Thursday, May 5, 2011

Healthy Ideas to Protect your heart in Rheumatoid Arthritis

A chronic condition, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) causes many problems such as pain, redness, heat, swelling, and stiffness by inflammation of joints and surrounding cartilage and bone. Hands, including wrist and finger joints, are most often affected by RA but shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, feet, and others are also affected because it can attack just about any joint in the body and also destroys the bone and cartilage in the affected joints. Other parts of the body such as the heart, eyes, lungs, nervous system, and gastrointestinal tract can be damaged by rheumatoid arthritis.

Healthy Ideas to Protect your heart in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis varies from person to person in the harshness and course. People, who have rheumatoid arthritis, have double danger of heart disease and heart attack. The risk of heart disease may be increased by certain RA drugs such as corticosteroids and NSAIDs. Blood vessels and heart tissues are damaged by an out-of-control inflammatory process that has been linked with both heart attack and stroke. However, people can protect their heart in rheumatoid arthritis by following some useful tips and suggestions provided below.

Maintain your weight:
People can help their heart and joints by avoiding excess weight gain. Exercise is very significant for maintaining a good weight and body composition. Some medications, like corticosteroids, can cause weight gain so this can be challenging because fatigue and joint stiffness are at their worst and exercise may be complicated during flare-ups. Your metabolism can really be changed and weight can also be lost by very active disease. However, the heart disease risk is also raised by active arthritis.

Eat right:
People need to remember that right eating is healthy for life so if they want to keep their heart healthy then eat the heart healthy diet and also right amount of calories for avoiding weight gain. The diet should be high in vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats such as olive oil because it can reduce inflammation and appeared to encourage better physical function in people, who are suffering from RA. Follow the Mediterranean diet that has been shown to be good for the heart too.

Check your cholesterol and blood pressure:
If people are suffering from RA, then it is significant for them to control other risk factors of heart-disease. People need to check their cholesterol and blood pressure and keep it under control. For that, they can start with diet but step forward to lipid-lowering drugs such as statins, if it is essential. Risk factors of heart-disease and guidelines for statin treatment may vary from RA patients to the general population.

Consider fish oil:
People with RA need to consume 1,000 milligrams of fish oil two or three times a day with a balanced diet to protect their heart. Fish oil decreases inflammation, and also manages blood fat. People can consume supplements of fish oil or a fish like salmon that is high in omega-3 polyunsaturated fats or nuts. Inflammation can really be increased by saturated fat, found in meat and high-fat dairy products so avoid these things. Before taking supplements, consult your doctor particularly if you are on medications like blood thinners.
Know the warning signs:
People with rheumatoid arthritis can hardly identify a heart attack because they experience silent heart attack symptoms in place of typical heart attack symptoms. People with RA need to know the classic symptoms, such as pressure or pain in the chest or upper body, and shortness of breath nausea, or light-headedness. Heart attack may obvious as fatigue and too common RA symptom for all people so, it is trickier in women.

Quit smoking:
Smoking is very harmful for health especially for people with RA. It has been found that immune system reactions are activated by smoking and long term smoking is connected with raised risk of getting rheumatoid arthritis and having worse rheumatoid arthritis. So it is important to quit smoking for healthy heart and life.

Control inflammation:
Inflammation is the heart health risk factor so people with RA need to control inflammation for healthy heart. People with RA can really decrease the risk of heart disease by consuming drugs by which their inflammation remains under control. Sometimes RA medicines have many side effects and are not always easy or suitable to consume. However, people need to know that these medicines can protect their heart which can be a motivating factor to consume them.

Find the right specialist:
Some cardiologists have more knowledge about RA and its heart risks. People need to select a best specialist after interrogating him. Ensure that you have a daily heart evaluation that contains a stress test before you do commit. If people have other heart-disease risk factors, like a family history, then they need to go for checkups regularly.

Monitor medications:
Some RA medicines such as corticosteroids are worse for the health heart; corticosteroids fight inflammation but it is believed that it increases the hardening of the arteries. So, to control arthritis, do not rely on steroids alone. Generally, oral corticosteroids are suggested for comparatively short-term use. Other medicines that treat RA are DMARDs (disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs) such as Enbrel (etanercept) or methotrexate and they seem to decrease heart-disease risk.

Exercise if you can:
Heart-attack risk can be decreased by exercise and sometimes people get help in reducing pain, in keeping bones strong and in maintaining muscle strength. People with RA need to check out Arthritis Foundation to get their local office, by which they can be directed to programs like water exercises and tai chi.


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