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Don’t Let Cold Weather Aggravate Your Arthritis

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The cold weather is coming and for arthritis suffers that means that joint pain and stiffness is coming, as well. This is why many elderly patients have second homes in the south which they use as a winter retreat. For the rest of us, we have other options to make it more tolerable.

First, we need to understand what the term arthritis means. Artho- means joint and -itis means inflammation. So we have inflammation of a joint(s). What can increase or decrease inflammation in the joints? A huge thing often overlooked about pain is that it is often related to what we eat. Wheat, gluten, soy, corn, sugar and dairy are inflammatory and inflammation in our bodies is the root of all diseases. I always recommend that patients limit their intake of inflammatory foods, and generally most people see improvements in various ailments.

In addition to watching the bad stuff that goes into the body, we need to increase the good stuff that goes in. Obviously, fresh fruits and vegetable should make up most of the diet. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables will help protect the joints from more damage, but that is not enough alone. Studies tell us that almost everyone is vitamin D deficient, especially in winter. I supplement with vitamin D all year. It is inexpensive and very important, but as I’ve mentioned a number of times before make sure you buy the best quality of vitamins and minerals.

It’s also important to stay active. Just because it’s cold, don’t think you have to hunker down inside. Dress warmly and take a walk outside. It’s amazing how much better you feel after a nice brisk walk. You can supplement walks with inside stretching and good old calisthenics like the jumping jacks and push ups you did in middle school!

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