Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a kind of disease which causes joint pain and sometimes damages the joints throughout the body. It is seen that rheumatoid arthritis usually affects both the sides of a person. In addition to joint complaints, rheumatoid arthritis can also affect other tissues and functions. That is the reason, it is very essential to treat rheumatoid arthritis immediately as soon as you observe the symptoms on one side. Let us understand the seasonal variations of rheumatoid arthritis and ways to cope up with the symptoms.
Seasonal Variations of Rheumatoid Arthritis
It is mostly observed that the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis vary from season to season. However, some of the common symptoms that are observed in rheumatoid arthritis are joint swelling, joint pains, joint stiffness and loss of function of the joint.
It is seen that during cold weather, rheumatoid arthritis patients observe worsening of symptoms and mainly suffer from joint stiffness and joint pain. Most the rheumatoid arthritis patients say that winter and spring season becomes very difficult for them whereas the autumn season is comparatively pleasant. Studies too have reported that seasonal differences do play a major role in rheumatoid arthritis and that the disease activity is higher in spring and lower during fall.1
Ways to Cope With the Seasonal Variations of Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
You cannot change the weather but if you have rheumatoid arthritis you can do a lot to manage the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis that vary from season to season. The following are some effective ways to cope up with the seasonal variations of symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
- Stay Warm: If you have rheumatoid arthritis, the winter season can be very challenging as the joint pain increases during that time as compared to another season. Hence, it is essential that you keep yourself warm when the weather is cold or damp. This is one of the best ways to cope up with the seasonal variations of symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Wear some extra layer of woolen clothes to keep the joints warm. If possible, power up the heater in your room. Take a warm shower for at least 20 minutes or have a warm tub bath. It helps improve blood flow to the joints and muscles, thus helps reduce stiffness and pain.
- Regular Physical Activity: During the rainy season, it is very important that you keep yourself active to avoid stiffness of the joints. This too is one of the important ways to cope up with the seasonal variations of symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. You can choose to do yoga, light exercise or walking during the rainy season. Stretching or doing some light exercise in the morning and also before going to bed is found to be very beneficial for the people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis especially during the monsoon and winters.
- Eat Well to Get Well: When the season changes, rheumatoid arthritis symptoms can flare up. Studies have shown that in addition to medical treatment, diet therapy can help control rheumatoid arthritis.2 Hence, it is very important to take special care of your diet. Taking a healthy diet helps limit disease activity and cope-up with the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. It is very important to limit the intake of sugar and totally avoid the consumption of high fructose. You should take the diet that is low in cholesterol and high in omega 3 fatty acid as it can help control seasonal variations of rheumatoid arthritis and help fight joint inflammation during season change. So, if you are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis it is recommended to eat well throughout the year no matter what the season is.
Thus, it is seen that the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis vary from season to season. Seasonal variations of rheumatoid arthritis are common but can be managed with medical help. Some of the effective ways to cope up with the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include staying warm, being physically active and consuming a healthy diet. Having regular follow-ups and noting the change in symptoms helps to identify problems at an early stage. So, follow medical advice and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
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