Living with rheumatoid arthritis changes the lives of many people. The constant pain, swelling and stiffness of the joints as well as restricted mobility can affect the quality of life of many patients. Although the condition cannot be completely reversed, it can be controlled through an active lifestyle, weight management, and a balanced diet. Rheumatoid arthritis, like other autoimmune diseases, occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks the tissues of your own body.
Why does the body attack its own cells in autoimmune diseases
“The immune system normally protects against germs such as bacteria and viruses. When it detects these alien invaders, it sends out an army of battle cells to attack them. Normally, the immune system can tell the difference between foreign cells and your own cells. When you have an autoimmune disease, the immune system thinks part of your body, such as your joints or skin, is foreign and releases proteins called autoantibodies that attack healthy cells which leads to joint pain, fatigue, rashes, brain fog, bowel problems and weight fluctuations, ”says Jyotika Diwan nutritionist.
Why losing weight is important with arthritis
It’s important to lose weight in arthritis because adipose tissue releases cytokines, which can cause inflammation in the body, making symptoms of the disease worse. Studies over the years have shown that obesity and arthritis don’t go well together, considering that the extra weight can affect your joint health.
ALSO READ: Pain Relief To Reduce Stress: This is why people choose hydrotherapy
Losing weight is one of the things health experts recommend to be extremely beneficial in treating arthritis. However, it is not that easy to lose pounds with the pain, swelling, and fatigue that come with the disease. An autoimmune disease also makes you prone to weight gain.
“People with autoimmune diseases tend to gain weight from medication and reduced physical activity due to inflammation. Scientists already know that there is a link between inflammation – an increased immune response – and obesity. But because fat cells can produce inflammatory molecules themselves. “It was difficult to tell whether the inflammation was causing weight gain or just a side effect,” says Diwan.
Weight loss tips for arthritis sufferers
If you have an autoimmune disease like arthritis and are struggling with weight gain, here are some tips from Jyotika Diwan to shed a few pounds.
ALSO READ: 6 Anti-Inflammatory Diets You Must Follow In Your 20s And 30s To Prevent Rheumatoid Arthritis
1. Say no to crash diets: Many people fall for the internet fashions and do more harm than good to their bodies. “Do not set unrealistic expectations of your body. Always lose little. You can lose a few kilograms at the beginning, but the results are often short-lived and can ultimately influence your metabolism, weaken your immune system further, disturb your bowel habits, and leave you behind low energy levels and increased immune responses, which could ultimately lead to more inflammation. So get on a fitness regimen instead and start on a structured diet, ”advises Diwan.
Arthritis Patients Advised To Lose Weight (Unsplash)
2. Intermittent fasting: Adjust a eating pattern that alternates between eating and fasting phases. Typically, you fast for 16 hours and then eat for 8 hours. During the fasting window, the body gets a lot of time to rest and recover, which leads to less inflammation, “says Diwan.
3. Diet according to the autoimmune protocol (AIP): It’s a relatively new, food-based approach to eliminating unwanted inflammation in a person’s body. “Unfortunately, patients with progressive autoimmune disease have a loss of mobility due to pain or muscle cramps. Then a change in diet becomes a high priority. This diet can be helpful in healing your bowels to reduce inflammation caused by autoimmune diseases. The diet is very restrictive and mainly includes meat and vegetables, the AIP diet helps improve intestinal health, build proper nutrient density, determine food sensitivity, regulate blood sugar to reduce inflammation, balance hormones and regulate the immune system by 30 days, it helps get rid of inflammatory foods, bowel irritation, and immune stimulants, “adds Diwan.
4. Drink water: Staying hydrated can help you lose weight in a number of ways. 4 to 5 liters of water are advisable. “Water provides energy, supplies all of our cells, especially muscle cells, with important nutrients and delays muscle fatigue. Water helps you feel full longer without adding extra calories. It supports digestion, detoxifies the skin and provides moisture, ”says Diwan.
5. Mindful eating: It is very important to watch your body signals and eat when you are actually hungry. Watching your portions while eating in a relaxed atmosphere will hold you back from emotional eating.
6. Meditate: Stress can affect your metabolism. Health disorders characterized by worry, anxiety, or anxiety are severe enough to affect daily activities and metabolism. Make time for relaxing activities like listening to music, walking outdoors, and most importantly, meditating, says Diwan.
7. Reduce sodium intake: For the average adult, no more than 2,300 mg of salt per day is recommended. The amount corresponds to about a teaspoon of common iodized table salt. With higher consumption, however, the body stores up to 1.5 liters of water. This causes you to feel bloated and gain weight. No more than 1,500 mg per day, about two-thirds of a teaspoon of salt – is recommended for middle-aged people, older adults, and people with high blood pressure.
ALSO READ: From Arthritis to Menstrual Cramps, Black Nightshade will help you manage everything naturally
8. Sleeping: Getting enough sleep is essential for the proper functioning of the body and especially for weight loss. Make sure you get plenty of sleep so your body can heal.
9. Keep an eye on vitamin intake: Especially vitamin D and vitamin B, omega-3 fatty acids are very helpful in autoimmune diseases such as arthritis. Magnesium supplements help with cramps and the conversion of vitamin D.
10. Introduction of Glutamine: Glutamine is an energy source for intestinal and immune cells. It also helps maintain the barrier between the intestines and the rest of your body and aids in the proper growth of intestinal cells. It supports many healthy functions such as making proteins for muscle tissue, fueling cells that protect our intestines, supporting immune system cells, and detoxifying the liver from foreign substances. Glutamine is the main source of fuel for your body’s lymphocytes, white blood cells that fight infection and disease. So it helps to supplement the body with it in an autoimmune disease, says Diwan.
Follow other stories on Facebook & Twitter