Rheumatoid Arthritis – Lifestyle Options | Johns Hopkins

Rheumatoid Arthritis – Lifestyle Options | Johns Hopkins

(gentle music) – I tell my patients diet is not the cure for rheumatoid arthritis. If you go online and you
say how can I can cure RA? And you might find, you
know, tons of information on do this with your diet
or do that with your diet, and your RA will disappear or get better, I always caution them that these are not scientifically well done studies or data that his been proven conclusively. Having said that, diet is
a key part of our health, whether you have rheumatoid arthritis or whether you do not
have rheumatoid arthritis, do what’s common sense in terms of what is healthy diet, right? And you hear about about it, lots of fruits, vegetables and grains. Lots of vegetables with lots of colors. Fruits of different colors. And why is that important? Because they provide
you with a whole range of nutrition from anti-oxidants to very important minerals and vitamins. I also tell my patients to stay away from processed foods, colas that have a lot of empty calories in it, that water is the best form of hydration, and cooking in a way where you’re reducing your calories is very important. Calories and your weight can become important in rheumatoid arthritis because if you put on weight, it may be harder for you to move. If you have knees and hips and ankles where there may be stiffness
and pain and swelling, then you add to that extra weight, and it just becomes that
much more difficult to move. I often hear from my
patients that, you know, one of my friends is getting
rid of gluten from the diet, and the rheumatoid
arthritis has gone away, or my other friend has
eliminated meat from the diet or eggs or dairy from the diet. In that case, I always tell my patients that I’m not able to really assess what’s going on in their
acquaintance’s life, but for my own patients,
if they notice a pattern that if they cut down on gluten or wheat or dairy, then I think it is important to know about it because some people have food
allergies and sensitivities. So if you come to my
clinic and you tell me that every time I have a glass of milk, my rheumatoid arthritis flares, then I have a chance to
actually work on that in a more scientific manner and try and understand if my patient has an underlying food allergy. So I think if there is consistent pattern that you are recognizing as a patient, it’s important for you to sit down with your rheumatologist and
have a discussion about it. But, overall, I would
avoid elimination diets. They can be severe. They have not been evaluated scientifically in a rigorous manner, and I think it’s best
avoided at this point, and our focus should be a healthy diet where you’re eating plenty of
fruits, vegetables, grains, and you’re staying away from calorie dense, fatty and processed foods. (dramatic music) Another very important
component of living healthy is making sure that you get
enough exercise in your day. Exercise can also mean
movement, so keep moving. And in patients with arthritis, this becomes especially important. It’s important because, when they exercise and when they move, they’re actually making their joints stronger. They’re making their muscles around their joints also stronger, and they are making their joints go through a range of motion so that they are exercising their
joints in effective manner. (dramatic music) My answer to that always is you
need to listen to your body. If you’re in a flare where you
have multiple swollen joints, I do not think that’s a good time for you to be on a
treadmill or be in a gym. You should be listening to your body and our focus should be in
getting rid of that flare. And once the flare has resolved
and the pain has resolved, you can definitely step back
into your exercise regimen. The other question people often ask is I want to to exercise, but when I start exercising,
the next day I pay for it because I hurt so much, either my knees or my hips or my ankles hurt. In those instances, I
would tell my patients that you probably need
small doses of exercises that you should gradually build up on. So don’t go out there the first day and walk for 20 minutes if
you’re not used to that. Maybe step out of your house and walk for five
minutes or seven minutes. The first week, just walk for five minutes just maybe in your yard. The second week, maybe,
say, I can try 10 minutes and so gradually increase that and you will see that your
body will slowly feel stronger, and your joints will not be
hurting after exercising. You may also ask me, there’s so many different forms of exercises, right? There’s cardio, and
there’s weight training, and there’s stretching, what should I do if I have rheumatoid arthritis? And my answer to that
would be all of the above, as long as, again, you’re doing it safely, you’re not hurting
yourself while exercising. Stretching is wonderful for
patients with arthritis. It helps you preserve
your range of motion, and the muscles, keeps the muscles around your joints limber. (dramatic music)

1 Comment

  • TheSnakeGaming says:

    I agree with you, I found so many YouTube videos saying diet would cure me, so I cut out dairy products and went vegeterian.
    Waste of time, it didnt cure me. Only thing that helped was a steriod injection, it took away the pain but not the stiffness.

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