Having a few glasses of wine or beers with your friends isn't necessarily a bad thing; however, you should keep an eye on how much you are drinking as excessive consumption could eventually worsen your arthritis. Additionally, the effect of smoking on your musco-skeletal system can sometimes be lost among all of the dangers of smoking, but again smoking too many cigarettes can be detrimental to your condition.
One Drink Too Many
Alcohol may reduce pain in the short-term, but remember this effect will eventually wear off. Although you may feel fine during a long night on the liquor, alcohol can cause your arthritis to flare up, which could be extremely uncomfortable the following day. Drinking too much alcohol also increases the risk of stumbling and injuring yourself, which may not seem particularly dangerous; however, remember arthritic joints do not have the protective padding in place to protect against such injuries. With arthritis, the soft, spongy tissue that acts as a shock absorbent has degraded, leaving you particularly vulnerable to trips and falls.
Drinking too much alcohol -- beer and wine in particular -- can lead to heavy indigestion. Arthritis medicines, such as Cox-2 inhibitors and anti-inflammatories can have the same effect. Combining both of these together will exacerbate the side effects experienced and cause severe pain. Furthermore, drinking excessive alcohol whilst taking particular anti-inflammatory medication can increase the risk of internal bleeding. This is a very serious condition that requires immediate medical attention - it is much better to avoid this problem altogether rather than treating it retrospectively.
Considering the above, it's best to keep a tab on your alcohol consumption when suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Not only will this help your condition in the long run, but it will also improve your general health and well-being. You shouldn't feel pressured to drink when in company; rather, make an effort to slow your intake by alternating sodas and alcohol. Drinking a large glass of water when you arrive home is a proven way to avoid dehydration, which will also help in reducing any discomfort the following day.
Stubbing Out Cigarettes
Excessive smoking doesn't only worsen rheumatoid arthritis - it can actually be the cause of it. Although genetics are the main driver behind the development of arthritis, studies have shown that those who smoke and carry the gene run a high risk of developing the condition.
Some people may protest that smoking helps relieve pain by offering a distraction, however this common myth is not true. Rather, smoking can actually amplify the pain felt by sufferers due to the toxicity of fumes inhaled. Smoking also attacks your immune system, reducing your body's natural ability to heal itself. Over time, this can worsen arthritis by damaging any soft tissue left between the bones. With the body unable to repair itself, joints become weak and bones can rub against one another, resulting in severe pain.
Smoking is one of many people's biggest regrets, regardless of whether or not they suffer from arthritis. Fortunately, thanks to the internet and advances in technology it is now much easier to stop than ever before. Some of the best methods don't rely on nicotine replacement. Rather, simple introspection and understanding why you smoke in the first place can be extremely effective. In rheumatoid arthritis suffers, this can be the difference between enjoying a pain-free life and having to suffer every day.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition that can cause great discomfort. As such, you should take the steps mentioned above to reduce your pain and live a much healthier life. Arthritis may not be curable at present; however, it is definitely manageable by following some general guidelines for improving your health. Talk to professionals at places like Town Center Orthopaedic Associates for more information.
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