Arthritis is an inflammatory condition that is easily aggravated by the fat, sugar, refined white flour, dairy, gluten, and sodium found in a traditional Thanksgiving Day feast. Rather than sit it out, make some wise menu modifications to help you enjoy the holiday and decrease arthritis pain.
What Is Arthritis?
Arthritis is a chronic condition that people can get in over 100 different forms because it is a condition that affects the joints of the body. There are over 360 different joints in your body. These are areas that act like hinges, connecting bones together. In order for your body to move, muscles, tendons and ligaments pull on your bones, making your body move. That movement happens at those hinge-like joints.
However, there are chronic types of arthritis—like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis—that can make it so your joints become swollen, inflamed, weak and even deteriorate over time. This is something you want to avoid through proper diet and medical help.
Joint pain is the most common symptom that comes with arthritis, and it’s usually what sends patients to the doctor to see what is going on. The most common symptoms that patients report having include:
- Knee pain, or joint pain elsewhere
- Frequent stiffening that happens over a few days or a few weeks
- Joint swelling, which can be visible
- Fatigue that gets worse over time
- Waking up with stiff joints
- Hard nodules that grow around the joints and under the skin
- Joint pain that increases with activity (even moving around the house) and cold weather
Arthritis Types and How They Hurt the Joints
Arthritis—in all of its forms—has a lot to do with your lifestyle, family history and your nutrition. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that as many as 78 million Americans could have some form of arthritis by the year 2040. 1 in 2 will develop the condition by the time they reach age 85. Why? Because the condition is becoming more common due to health and lifestyle choices by the population as a whole.
The two most common types of arthritis will affect your joints in different ways. With rheumatoid arthritis, your body’s immune system actually harms your joints. That system generally fights off bacteria, viruses, waste cells, allergens and things that shouldn’t be in the body. With RA, your body will fight against the lining of your joints, trying to deteriorate them, causing swelling and inflammation. The other type of arthritis (the one that works like osteoarthritis) will wear down cartilage between your bones so that the joints have no cushion. That causes bones to grind together.
The only type of bone you want to worry about this Thanksgiving is the wishbone from Thanksgiving dinner that you can make a wish with. That’s why you want to make smart nutrition choices this year to enjoy your Thanksgiving fully.
Tips for Calming Inflammation this Thanksgiving
Want to help your body to not have inflammatory responses by your immune system? Then treat it well! Studies show that your body needs 6 essential nutrients in order for your body to work properly and have fewer inflammatory responses each day. Those include healthy fats, healthy carbs (like from vegetables instead of bread), protein, water, vitamins and minerals. When you focus on food items like fruits, veggies, protein shakes, nuts, seeds and more, you have a healthier body, with less chances for your body to create inflammation everywhere.
When it comes to Thanksgiving dinner, try out some of these tips for enjoying your Thanksgiving meal without feeling worse with arthritis afterwards:
- Choose apple pie over pecan pie.
- Dress your dishes with homemade cranberry sauce instead of gravy.
- Keep your sweet potatoes marshmallow-free.
- Add almonds to green bean casserole instead of fried onions.
- Bake your turkey, don’t fry it.
- Serve roasted red potatoes in place of white mashed potatoes.
- Make cauliflower stuffing rather than traditional stuffing.
- Serve pumpkin pudding instead of pumpkin pie.
With your Thanksgiving food options, try sugar-free or low-sugar substitutes for foods (like pie) that you like to enjoy. Choose lower fat options (like the almonds instead of onions) to keep inflammation at bay. There are many ways to eat better, but still eat deliciously. Try to incorporate some of these tips into your Thanksgiving meal and see what other meals you can switch up!
Anti-Inflammatory Injections to Help Your Arthritis Pain
If you want to change how you live with arthritis, start with how you eat your Thanksgiving meal and all your other meals after that! Choose healthy options and set goals for only eating fatty, sugary and inflammation-causing foods only once a week or once a day.
At Spine Correction Center of the Rockies, we can help you with your diet as well as therapies to decrease your arthritis symptoms. We do various types of joint injections for arthritis, trigger points, general inflammation and more. All of our injections are designed to lubricate and decrease pain in the joints where you are experiencing symptoms. For example, our knee injections utilize Supartz, which is a vitamin injection that lubricates, stops inflammation and helps provide vitamins to the area for healing. Our injection process can be customized to your health conditions and needs.
To see how we can help you with your arthritis, nutrition and joint pain, call Spine Correction Center of the Rockies today at (970) 658-5115!