gum inflammation

Surprising Triggers of Inflammation

Reining in runaway inflammation is essential for managing arthritis, especially autoimmune, inflammatory varieties such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and psoriatic arthritis. Taking your medications as prescribed is essential, but certain lifestyle changes may lower inflammation, too. For instance, smoking sparks inflammation, says rheumatologist Susan Goodman, MD, of the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, so the choice is simple: Don’t. These other inflammation triggers may be less obvious.

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road trip tips arthritis

Road Trip Tips for Arthritis

The stress and tension that often come with road trips can add to physical discomfort and even lead to an arthritis flare. But with proper planning and a few travel tips, you can reduce surprises and anxiety, says Elin Schold Davis, an occupational therapist and coordinator of the Older Driver Initiative for the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) in Bethesda, Md. Here’s how.

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lupus rheumatoid arthritis blood clots

Arthritis Patients Face Increased Risk of Blood Clots

People with autoimmune disease such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are more likely to get dangerous blood clots during hospital stays. In fact, one 2014 Arthritis Research & Therapy meta-analysis of 25 studies found that people with inflammatory rheumatic diseases were three times more likely to experience venous thromboembolisms (VTEs, or blood clots in the veins) than the general population.

Lupus patients are four times more likely than people without an autoimmune disease to develop blood clots when hospitalized. And RA patients are one-and-a-half times more likely to develop blood clots during a hospital stay. According to a 2011 study from researchers in the United Kingdom, anyone with an immune-related disorder faces some sort of increased risk.

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organic fruits vegetables

Going Organic?

If you’re bypassing organic fruits and vegetables because of their higher prices, you may wonder if you’re shortchanging your health to save money. Even if non-organic produce isn’t doing you any harm, could organic be healthier?

In terms of nutrient quality, a scientific review of 162 studies published in 2009 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found no significant differences between organic and conventionally grown produce.

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arthritis diet power shopping food labels

Misleading Food Labels

Sticking to the perimeter of the store, where healthier whole foods are displayed, is your best bet when shopping for an anti-inflammatory diet. But it’s hard to avoid packaged foods altogether ­– especially when many labels promise everything from a slimmer figure to better health. Here are some common health claims you’ll see on labels, and the truth behind them. Continue reading Misleading Food Labels

emotions and joint pain connection

Can Adjusting Your Attitude Ease Joint Pain?

Happy thoughts aren’t what come to mind when pain and stiffness are dragging you down, but forcing them into focus may help ease your pain.

Optimism counteracts sadness and fear – feelings that can heighten pain perception, says Burel Goodin, PhD, a psychologist and anesthesiologist at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, who researches the link between pain and optimism. Because optimists believe their situations can improve, they are more likely to eat healthfully, exercise regularly and take other actions that lead to better health and less pain, he says.

Not feeling very upbeat? Take these steps to act your way to optimism.

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arthritis friendly side dishes

Arthritis-Friendly and Healthy Side Dishes

You’re aiming to cook healthful, anti-inflammatory meals, but you’re in need of some wholesome side dishes. You want your plate full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats to pack a nutritious, anti-inflammatory, and arthritis-friendly punch.

You may be tempted to reach into the cabinet for a convenient box of seasoned pasta or even a rice mix to make your life easier, but Heather Bainbridge, a registered dietitian at the Comprehensive Weight Control Program at Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City, says it’s almost as quick – and a lot healthier – to make easy sides yourself.

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