Arthritis is a fairly common disease in the U.S. This particular disease leads to mobility issues in adults. It’s also one of the main reasons those aged 30 to 50 years miss out on work.
Medical statistics have shown that about 23% of all adults in the U.S. (54 million Americans) have arthritis. It costs Americans over $300 billion every year to treat this disease because by not treating it, they can’t work or do the things they love doing every day. It’s a cause of distress for many Americans and one of the leading causes why many elderly have limited movement when they reach sixty.
But what is arthritis, exactly? What can we do to stop it? This article will look into what arthritis is and the different lifestyle changes you can make to prevent it from happening to you.
What Is Arthritis?
Arthritis isn’t a specific disease, but it is a way to label all sorts of joint diseases informally. There are at least 100 different types of arthritis, each affecting different parts of the body. We won’t be covering all of those in this article, but there are four common types of arthritis: degenerative, inflammatory, infectious, and metabolic arthritis.
Degenerative arthritis, also known as osteoarthritis, is related to the cartilage at the edge of our bones wearing out. Inflammatory arthritis is more centered on the immune system becoming hyperactive, and in turn, affecting our joints. On the other hand, infectious arthritis is caused by bacteria and viruses and affects our joints. Lastly, metabolic arthritis is about us consuming uric acid, which can accumulate in some parts of our body, leading to what we knew as gout.
Although there are many forms of arthritis, the ways to prevent them from happening are fairly similar. A healthy diet that consists of less meat, exercise, and managing occupational risks can all help you avoid arthritis in the future.
A Healthy Diet
When we speak of arthritis, we think of pain in our body, specifically the joint of our knees or bones located in our legs. However, we also think about weight, and that most obese and overweight people have it. Although it isn’t true that all obese and overweight people have arthritis, studies have found that they have a higher risk of getting arthritis. This is why many physicians recommend a healthy diet when battling or preventing arthritis.
Uric acid is one of our greatest enemies when battling arthritis. Back in medieval times, gout was a fairly common disease, especially for those in high-end families. This is because red meat was always in their diet. Nowadays, the same thing is happening but on a much larger scale.
Arthritis partially depends on what we eat, and uric acid is a big no-no for people who have a great risk of developing arthritis. You must avoid red meat in your diet and start consuming more fiber to help you lose weight. Look for fiber-rich meals in shops that offer healthy options. This will help you streamline your choices when it comes to a fiber-rich diet. Additionally, if you’re the kind of person exercising, it’s crucial that you still get your fair share of protein. You can do this by consuming fish and the white meat of chicken. Speaking of exercise, it is one thing you should do every week if you want to avoid arthritis.
One of the main reasons people develop arthritis during the later stages of their lives is that their joints are adequately prepared for such a long haul. Exercise will keep your joints stimulated and prepared for the coming years of your life.
Many people relate arthritis prevention with exercise, but they don’t know what kind of exercise they should be doing. The exercise you should concentrate on is first reducing the fats in your upper body. Once you have fewer fats, your leg joints should feel less stress in supporting your upper body. This is when you should concentrate on stimulating your joints through some cardio exercises.
As a person at risk for arthritis, make sure your exercise does not revolve around your legs alone. Reduce body fat first because there is a good chance your leg joints have less cartilage than a normal person. In addition, exercising your legs excessively can lead to arthritis faster than you might think.
Managing Occupational Risks
Lastly, your work can be a big reason why you will develop arthritis in the future. Unlike other diseases out there, arthritis depends a lot on the work you do every day. If your work is concentrated on kneeling, standing, walking, and lifting, you are more likely to have arthritis in the future.
If you can’t avoid these occupational risks, then it’s up to you to manage them. You can do so by taking breaks between tasks or maybe being transferred to other departments that do less of these things.
Avoiding arthritis can be a daunting task, but one that is made easy by doing these lifestyle changes in your life. Implement them the best way you can, and you should be able to keep yourself away from arthritis in the future.