Mixed connective tissue disease is a disorder characterized by inflammation and pain in multiple joints. It is a rare type of autoimmune disorder that presents with overlap symptoms of other connective tissue disorders. It mostly occurs in women in the age group of 20-30 years. The symptoms similar to lupus, scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis and polymyositis are present.
The exact cause of mixed connective tissue disease is not known, although it is believed to have genetic predisposition wherein the RNP antibodies are formed in the diseased people. They are then attacked by the immune system and normal body cells are killed in this process. It is a progressive disease with no cure. The symptoms can however be managed with effective care and treatment. It is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle to fight off infections and prevent progression of the disease. The common symptoms of mixed connective tissue disease are low grade fever, weakness in the hands and legs, muscle and joint pain, easy fatigability, cold and numb fingers and toes as a result of stress and cold, swelling of joints and vasoconstriction of blood vessels. A modification in diet has shown benefits in people with mixed connective tissue disease.
What To Eat And Avoid When You Have Mixed Connective Tissue Disease?
It is important to strengthen the immune system and vitamin D has a vital role in the functioning of the immune system. It is known to help in cellular metabolism and functioning of the cells. Studies have shown that decrease in levels have intense role in development of joint and muscle disorders and it could be responsible for progression of mixed connective tissue disease. It is recommended to take 600 international units of vitamin D daily in the adults and for people older than 70 years a daily intake of 800 IU is advised. Natural foods that can help increase levels of vitamin D in the body are salmon, egg yolk; milk enriched with vitamin D, fresh fruit juices especially orange juice, sardine and mackerel fish. Fish oil is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It is helpful in relieving stiffness and joint pain associated with mixed connective tissue disease.
It also increases circulation of blood throughout the body that helps in prevention of cold related numbness and swelling in fingers and toes. Fish supplements, salmon, trout, sardine oil, herring all have great healing properties. It is recommended that daily consumption of 3 grams of fish oil is beneficial for your overall health and in fighting off inflammation and discomfort in muscles and joints. Pineapple is a good source of bromelain enzyme that has shown wonders in reducing pain related to rheumatoid arthritis over the years. It is mostly found in the stem of pineapple fruit and it promotes the production of pain relieving agents. It is also known to release chemicals that have the ability to arrest the growth of tumor and also act as natural blood thinning agent. It also helps in reducing the swelling associated with mixed connective tissue disease. Daily consumption of bromelain is helpful in patient of connective tissue disorder and it is also available in form of supplements but they should be taken under the guidance of a physician only.
Lastly it is important to take a healthy balanced diet rich in all nutrients and vitamins. A diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables is beneficial for the overall health of the body and in strengthening the immune system in mixed connective tissue disease. Foods that are rich in antioxidants such as strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli and cabbage have ability to fight free radicals and support the immune system.
It is also advised to remain hydrated and avoid the intake of alcohol and caffeine. Smoking should be avoided as it can further deteriorate the health of the diseased individual and lead to pulmonary congestion and breathing difficulties. An active lifestyle along with practice of yoga is helpful in relieving stress and maintaining overall health of the body and manages mixed connective tissue disease. They indirectly help in strengthening the immune system as well.
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