Whether you are an arthritis sufferer or you know someone who has arthritis, you might be wondering what causes arthritis to flare up. This article will show you some of the most common causes of arthritis, along with ways to prevent and manage them.
What typically triggers and arthritis attack?
Typical triggers for arthritis flare-ups include weather changes, injury, and changes in activity levels. Each type of arthritis can produce flare-ups in different ways. The most common cause of flares is inflammation. Inflammation causes pain, stiffness, and damage to joints.
Inflammation can also be triggered by stress. Inflammation occurs when the immune system attacks healthy cells in your body. For people with inflammatory arthritis, fatigue is a common symptom. Other symptoms may include fever, swollen joints, red eyes, and swelling of the urinary tract.
Changes in temperature, humidity, and air pressure can also lead to an arthritis flare. These changes can make the underlying swelling more painful. A doctor can prescribe medicines and use ice or compression to help relieve pain.
A person can also get an arthritis flare-up after doing an activity that is new to them. For instance, doing yard work can be stressful for someone with RA. Many patients report that they feel worse after working in the yard.
Often, the pain associated with an arthritis flare-up is intense. This is because the immune system attacks the synovium that covers the joint. This damages the cartilage and ligaments of the joint.
Inflammation can also be aggravated by certain foods. A diet rich in antioxidants, like fruits, nuts, and fatty fish, can help lower the level of inflammation in the body.
A person can also develop an arthritis flare-up after doing an activity with too much physical exertion. For example, running or jumping can be too stressful for those with RA.
How can you stop arthritis from flaring up?
Having an arthritis flare can be a very frustrating experience. In addition to pain, stiffness, and joint swelling, these flares can disrupt your daily life.
However, there are some things you can do to manage your flares better. These tips will help you deal with the unpleasant symptoms of an arthritis flare.
First, you should understand what an arthritis flare is. Flares happen when your immune system starts attacking your body. Symptoms can include red, swollen, or warm joints. They may also cause you to feel extremely tired.
There are also medications you can take to reduce the severity of your flare. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and naproxen can be helpful. You should always check with your health care provider to make sure that the medication you are taking is appropriate for you.
Other treatments you can try are occupational therapy and physical therapy. These treatments can help protect your joints while you are engaged in activities that you do on a regular basis.
Stress is another possible trigger. This is because the body’s response to stress can worsen inflammation. You can relieve stress by engaging in relaxation techniques such as yoga.
You should also make changes in your lifestyle to reduce your risk of having an arthritis flare. These changes can include quitting smoking. Choosing a healthier diet, exercising regularly, and finding ways to stay active are all important.
How long does an arthritis flare up usually last?
Having an arthritis flare up can be frustrating, painful and disruptive. They can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. However, there are some simple steps you can take to treat a flare up.
First, try to find out what triggers the flare. Your doctor can help you figure out what is causing your arthritis to flare up.
You should also develop a management plan. This can include changes in your diet, stress reduction, and medication. It can also include avoiding triggers.
There are many different medications available for preventing and treating arthritis flares. Some of these medications are topical creams and tablets. Other medications are prescription drugs. Some of these are disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). These medicines target specific parts of the immune system.
One of the most effective treatments for an arthritis flare is rest. This is especially important during an acute flare up. You should avoid activities that are causing the inflammation. You should also focus on resting the affected joint.
You can also use ice packs and heat compresses. This will help reduce pain and swelling. If you have a joint that is too painful to move, you may want to look into assistive devices, such as braces or handrails. You can also work with an occupational therapist to help you safely navigate home and get back to your normal routine.
You can also get help from your family and friends. They can help you with chores and help you avoid causing the flare to worsen.
What foods make arthritis flare up?
Choosing a healthy diet can reduce your arthritis symptoms. Some foods are known to cause inflammation. A good diet will provide all the necessary nutrients for your body, and can help you maintain a healthy weight.
Eating fried and greasy food can upset your stomach and contribute to inflammation. Avoid foods with high saturated fat and salt content. These foods can also increase your risk of heart disease.
Refined grains, sugar, and processed foods are unhealthy, and can worsen your arthritis symptoms. In particular, processed foods are loaded with refined flour and sugar, which can trigger a blood sugar spike. These foods also contain trans fats, which are inflammatory and increase bad cholesterol.
A plant-based diet can be beneficial, but it should contain enough nutrients for your body. Some foods that are best to eat include fish, which contains omega-3 fatty acids. These oils may help fight tender joints and stiffness. You can also add a roasted vegetable to a sandwich or salad. If you do not like fish, you can use an omega-3 supplement.
The Mediterranean diet is also helpful. This diet includes plenty of vegetables and fruit, as well as fish. It is often recommended by registered dietitians. It is also rich in antioxidants, which reduce inflammation.
Vitamin D is another essential nutrient. Your immune system needs this vitamin to function properly. It is also helpful for your bones, muscles, and teeth. You can get this nutrient in cod liver oil, sweet potatoes, and other vegetables.
Managing arthritis flare ups
Managing arthritis flare ups can be difficult. They can last a few days to a few weeks. They can be painful and disruptive. It’s important to take care of them quickly and effectively.
A good management plan can include medication, lifestyle changes, and homecare. You may also want to look for help from a rheumatologist or a nurse practitioner.
The best way to manage arthritis flare ups is to get plenty of rest. You can do this by getting enough sleep, avoiding sources of distraction, and establishing a good sleep routine. You can also help to relax your body and mind by doing some relaxation techniques, such as meditation or deep breathing.
You can also get relief by using a hot shower to soothe the stiffness in your joints. Applying ice to the affected joint can ease pain, too.
Identifying the triggers of your flare will also help you manage it. Some things to consider include changing your work schedule, having ready-cooked meals on hand, and hiring a cleaner/gardener.
If you are dealing with severe arthritis, your doctor may recommend an immunosuppressant drug. Depending on your case, your doctor may prescribe additional medications or physical therapy to relieve the symptoms of your flare.
Keeping a journal of your symptoms can also help you identify patterns. A flare may be a sign of an infected joint. If this is the case, you need to contact your doctor immediately.
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