Is There a Link Between Rheumatoid Arthritis and Vitamins?
Getting your daily dose of vitamins becomes even more important as you grow older, especially if you suffer from chronic conditions like rheumatoid arthritis (RA). A vitamin deficiency can lead to a lot of potential issues And it could worsen your condition if you’re living with this type of arthritis.
Millions of people in the U.S. have rheumatoid arthritis. If you’re experiencing RA, then you might want to be on the lookout for a vitamin deficiency. Lacking important vitamins may intensify your symptoms without you even realizing it. That’s why knowing the different ways to reduce symptoms could help you feel better on a daily basis.
Here’s what you need to know about how vitamin deficiencies and rheumatoid arthritis may be related.
What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Over 54.4 million Americans suffer from some form of arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is a specific form of the condition that causes painful swelling to multiple joints at once.
People who suffer from this condition typically feel it in their hands, wrists and knees. It’s an inflammatory disease, which means your immune system is attacking healthy cells in the body. This leads to the lining of joints to become inflamed, which causes chronic pain.
With rheumatoid arthritis, there’s a chance it could cause problems in other parts of your body such as the lungs, heart and eyes. RA will give people unsteadiness and misshapenness for the most part, as well as other symptoms.
The Causes and Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
There isn’t a definitive cause for RA, but it’s possibly related to genetics. Symptoms for people with a genetic link could be triggered by smoking, which is an environmental risk factor. Cases can range from mild to severe, and everyone with this condition will experience it differently.
People with rheumatoid arthritis might not realize they have it at first. That’s because you typically don’t see redness or swelling in the joints in the early stages, despite having some pain and tenderness.
Here are some common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis:
- Joint pain, tenderness, swelling or stiffness
- Morning stiffness that lasts for at least 30 minutes
- Small joints are affected first (such as in the hands and feet)
- Multiple joints on both sides of the body are affected
If you notice these symptoms are reoccuring over six weeks, then it could be caused by rheumatoid arthritis. Schedule an appointment with your doctor who will then look into your family history, blood tests and imaging tests to determine if RA is behind your symptoms.
How Vitamin Deficiencies and Rheumatoid Arthritis Are Related
Although there isn’t an exact way to prevent rheumatoid arthritis, there are solutions that might help you reduce symptoms.
One of these methods is simply getting a proper amount of vitamins each day. When you’re not getting enough vitamins and minerals from healthy diets, it can cause your RA to flare up. While vitamins are not a cure-all for this condition, it’s worth considering as another method to help ease your pain.
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for healthy bones, and a lack of it could contribute to rheumatoid arthritic pain. The connection between Vitamin D and RA stems from one thing — the immune system. Since RA is an autoimmune disorder and Vitamin D helps boost your immune system, there is a relation between the two.
There are other types of vitamins that can help you lead a more active lifestyle. Vitamin E and folic acids could help your body better absorb RA medicines. Bromelain and turmeric are known airds that work as a natural painkiller. There are also Omega3 fatty acids that can ease joint stiffness and gamma linolenic acid might reduce pain.
By getting a proper dose of all these vitamins, there’s a chance they can all play a part in relieving rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and pain.
There Are Plenty Of Ways To Get Your Daily Dose Of Vitamins
If you’re suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, it’s worth keeping track of how many vitamins and minerals you’re getting each day. There are lots of easy ways to do this, too.
To get your dose of Vitamin D, spend more time in the sunshine and absorb some natural sunlight. You can eat foods that contain this nutrient such as fish, eggs and soy-based foods. There are Vitamin D specific supplements you can find in store in various forms, like liquid and pills. Multi-vitamins are also a great option to ensure you’re getting as many supplements as possible.
A healthy and balanced diet will always be the most direct way to get your daily fix of vitamins. By eating healthy foods, you’ll automatically know that you’re getting a proper amount without having to track it in detail.
Since vitamins aren’t a proven cure to rheumatoid arthritis, talk to your doctor about other ways to manage the condition. There are various anti-inflammatory and pain relief medications that can reduce swelling and relieve pain. Therapy with a physical therapist might be another option where you can learn exercises for keeping your joints flexible, as well as easier ways to make daily tasks less intensive on the body.
A combination of all these treatments could help your chronic pain from RA, so talk to your doctor or look online for more possible solutions.