In this aging process, the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis may not be a matter “of if”, but rather a matter “of when” they will hit us.
All of us have experienced times when our joints hurt slightly in the morning when we first get up, as well as after extended periods of low or no activity.
If you have ever been in meetings that have lasted two to three days where you have sit all day, they can become even worse.
Recently I went to my doctor who is very old fashioned about some of the symptoms and what he asked me and told me at first shocked me.
However, after I thought about it for a while, it made perfect sense. The first thing he asked me was if I had a dog. I told him yes, but what does that have to do with anything.
He then said have you ever watched your dog when they first get up. He said that most animals, including dogs, do what we should do when we first get up.
By now I was stumped and asked him point blank, what does this have to do with the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis? He said simply—they stretch.
I have never really noticed it, but stop and watch your pet, dog or cat. Once they have been lying, sleeping, or resting on their beds, when they first get up, they stretch.
They will stretch their front legs, and then stretch their back legs, and then they walk. He said you need to do that, before you take your first steps, you will be shocked.
In fact, as it will be covered later in this article, Tai Chi, is recommend by every medical expert for one reason, it’s gentle stretching and deep breathing exercises
The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are numerous, which shocks most people at any age, but for our age groups some of us already know there can be more than just the standard ones.
The standard symptoms include the following
However, what most people do not realize that there can also be several other warning signs to watch for.
In fact, it is estimated that between 30% and 40% of people, especially as we age, development symptoms that have nothing to do with their joints.
They include some of the following parts of our body
How in the world could the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis affect these areas of your body?
For one simple reason; it is an autoimmune disorder.
Although it is much better known as a chronic inflammatory disorder, it is also considered to be an autoimmune disorder. This disorder is where your own immune system, for whatever the reason, mistakenly attacks itself.
While this attack is dangerous to all age groups, it is especially dangerous to us for another simple reason; aging. We all know that as we begin to age, everything is slowing down and bones our joints are no different.
Some people can easily confuse it with osteoarthritis, where your joints are damaged by long term wear and tear. But with this condition, something much more sinister is happening; erosion.
Because of this erosion, the actual lining of your joints are being affected, and unless you do something quickly, your bones can begin to erode and your joints can become deformed.
Once this begins to happen, the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis can become much more than just warning signs, they can become disabling.
There are also some confusing facts about this condition; these warning signs can come very quickly, and then go away just a fast.
However, as we age, especially the older that we get, we need to take they warning signs very seriously.
They will generally start in the smallest of your joints and will include your fingers and your toes. We have all experienced joint pain in our fingers over the years, but joint pain in the toes is nowhere near as common.
When it does occur, do not ignore it—this is a real warning sign of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Stop and think about it, most of us have experienced a joint pain in our toes and thought “this is weird”, what is it?
As it progresses, it will begin to spread to your ankles and wrists, and then your elbows, shoulders, and hips.
There are several treatments and medications that you can take including NSAIDs, Steroids, and DMARDs, which are disease modifying drugs that can prevent permanent damage.
However, there are also some natural treatments you can use once you identity it as the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
They include the following:
Fish oil has been found to be very effective with helping these symptoms as it is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. These acids are nature’s strongest anti-inflammatory agents.
Plant oils such as evening primrose and black current also help as they fight anti-immune disorders and inflammation. However, perhaps your best natural agent is Tai Chi.
I will go back to what my old fashioned doctor told me-stretch before you step like a dog does. This mild movement stretch therapy very gently stretches your muscle combined with deep breathing.
This combination may be the natural help you are looking for.
Mayo Clinic Rheumatoid Arthritis
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