Arthritis: How to Deal with It and Live a Healthy Life

Being diagnosed with arthritis can be a tough ordeal to go through. Not only do you have to deal with the usual joint pain, swelling, fatigue, and stiffness that this chronic autoimmune disorder can cause, but you also have to deal with the prognosis of it affecting your other bodily organs should you fail to manage your condition correctly. This can be a painful source of stress to have in your life, one that can cause depression and other mental health issues if you let it.

With that said, there is still a lot to be thankful for someone with this condition. For one, modern medicine has advanced to such a degree that there are now multiple treatments that can help minimize the symptoms of your condition as well as add years to your life. Second, there are simple and easy lifestyle changes that you can adopt to improve your overall health and well-being to slow down the progression of your disease and manage it better. So it’s not all doom and gloom—there is still definitely still hope.

To help you along, here are some ways on how to deal with arthritis and live a long, healthy life.

Realize that your condition doesn’t define you.

First of all, you have to accept the diagnosis as it is and to not let it define you. Yes, it’s a chronic condition that you’ll have to manage for the rest of your life, and it will certainly affect your mobility and mood, but the important thing here is to be at peace with it while also preventing it from taking over your identity as an individual. You are not an “arthritis sufferer” or “arthritis victim”, you are someone living with arthritis. You are still you, and the only thing that’s changed is that you need to keep an eye on a condition that affects millions of people worldwide.

With that said, keeping this internalized day to day can be hard, especially in your first days of adjusting it. To make things easier, remind yourself with a custom wristband. This wristband should say something that immediately brings to mind your promise to yourself that you will not let arthritis take over your life. It can be anything, from a Bible proverb, a pithy saying, or even just something as simple as “Never Give Up”. Wear that wristband as much as you can, so you’ll always have that reminder with you.

Follow your doctor’s advice and instructions dutifully.

Arthritis is a very serious chronic disease that can make a turn for the worse when you neglect its proper management, so it’s imperative for your well-being that you trust your doctor implicitly in this and do everything that they tell you to thoroughly and dutifully. From medication to physical therapy to the kind of diet that you have to stay on, don’t fight or resist them on anything. They know how to combat this disease and how you can manage it as well as you can on your end. What’s more, they only have your best interests in mind.

Do your best to get enough sleep every night.

Getting enough sleep every night is important, whether or not you have a chronic condition like arthritis to manage. Sleep deprivation takes quite a toll on your body as it prevents it from getting the restorative rest that it needs. This results in weight gain that will inevitably make your arthritis worse. What’s more, lack of sleep also causes cortisol buildup, which then causes you to get sick and your immune system to go into overdrive. Prevent this by making sure to get your eight hours every night.

Increase your intake of fish.

Add more fatty fish to your diet. Fatty fish such like salmon, albacore tuna, halibut, and others contain a lot of fish oil, which has been proven by studies to help reduce symptoms related to arthritis. Food like this also contains a healthy amount of omega-3 fatty acids that helps reduce the risk of heart disease.

Stop smoking.

Do you really need a reason to stop smoking? Besides just being unhealthy overall for your body, it puts you at a very high risk for heart disease, multiple cancers, lung diseases, and more. Recent studies have also shown that smokers are less likely to feel the therapeutic effects of commonly-prescribed arthritis medication. If you smoke, quit immediately. If not, don’t start, and keep away from areas or individuals that may cause you to breathe in secondhand smoke. You’ll be extending your life by many years just with this alone.

Keep the excess weight off.

If you’re overweight or obese, it’s time to lose all those excess pounds. The more overweight you are, the more stress you’re putting on your joints with every step or movement you make. There’s also the fact that being fat makes your heart work harder to supply your body with the oxygen-rich blood that it needs, and this could result in heart disease. Exercise regularly, keep physically active, and eat healthy.

Visit the doctor regularly for a checkup.

No one likes getting checkups, but it’s important for you to keep track of how you’re managing your arthritis. Regular checkups allow you to do this and help you identify what you’re doing wrong with your condition before it’s too late.

Get support from your family and friends.

Don’t feel bad about going to your friends for moral support or help. That’s one of the main reasons why they’re in your life—so that you can rely on them in your time of need. You’d do the same for them if they were in your position, after all. Whether it’s to ask for assistance or just to have someone to talk to, never keep your needs to yourself.

Having an arthritis diagnosis isn’t the end of the world

Getting diagnosed with arthritis is rough, but you shouldn’t wallow in self-pity for too long. Modern science and medicine has made this condition manageable, and you can still have a long and healthy life with it. Just keep the above tips in mind and you’ll have no problem with arthritis at all.

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