Five things that make arthritis more painful

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 54 million people in the U.S. suffer from some type of arthritis. It's the leading cause of disability.

There are lots of medicines to make arthritis symptoms better, but there are also things you do that can make it worse.

These are things to avoid if you have achy joints.

If you have arthritis, you know all about the pain, swelling and stiffness that the disease brings on.

"We're seeing arthritis at an earlier age, not only in the knees but shoulders, really everywhere. It's becoming an epidemic of sorts," Dr. Mathew Pombo said.

Staying still is the first mistake that can intensify your pain. Regular physical activity makes your joints more flexible. But too much exercise can also be a bad thing.

"We also have a lot of younger people participating in sports, and we know that prior injury leads to post-traumatic arthritis," Pombo said.

Try swimming, biking or walking for about 30 minutes a day.

Ignoring your dental health may also lead to worse problems. One study found the bacterium that causes periodontal disease increases the severity of rheumatoid arthritis.

The wrong foods can also cause inflammation in the body and trigger symptoms. Some ingredients to avoid include sugar, saturated fats, refined carbs, omega-six fatty acids, monosodium glutamate, gluten, aspartame and alcohol.

Lastly, stress could make your symptoms worse. A trauma or stressful situation can actually trigger the development of certain types of arthritis. Yoga, meditation, and getting enough sleep can help you manage your stress levels.

Smoking is another bad move. Recent research shows both current and past smokers with arthritis had worse symptoms and more joint damage than those who never smoked.

RESEARCH SUMMARY
5 THINGS THAT MAKE ARTHRITIS MORE PAINFUL REPORT #2683

BACKGROUND: Arthritis is an informal way of referring to joint pain or joint disease. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis and related conditions. People of all ages, sexes and races can and do have arthritis, and it is the leading cause of disability in America. More than 50 million adults and 300,000 children have some type of arthritis. It is most common among women and occurs more frequently as people get older. Common arthritis joint symptoms include swelling, pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion. Symptoms may come and go and can be mild, moderate or severe. They may stay about the same for years but may progress or get worse over time. Severe arthritis can result in chronic pain, inability to do daily activities and make it difficult to walk or climb stairs. Arthritis can cause permanent joint changes. These changes may be visible, such as knobby finger joints, but often the damage can only be seen on X-ray. Some types of arthritis also affect the heart, eyes, lungs, kidneys and skin as well as the joints. (Source: https://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/understanding-arthritis/what-is-arthritis.php)

ARTHRITIS AND DIET: Typical arthritis treatment involves inflammation and pain-reducing medications. However, research suggests including anti-inflammatory foods in your diet and limiting foods that may trigger joint pain. Researchers at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine examined disease prevention through diet. In the study, they found that decreasing the amount of fried and processed foods can reduce inflammation and help restore the body's natural defenses. Advanced glycation end product (AGE) is a toxin that appears when foods are heated, grilled, fried, or pasteurized. These toxins damage certain proteins in your body and tries to break them down using cytokines, which are inflammatory messengers. High amounts of sugar in your diet result in an increase in AGEs. Dairy products may contribute to arthritis pain due to the type of protein they contain. For some people, this protein may irritate the tissue around their joints. Some have success switching to a vegan diet, which contains no animal products. Smokers are at risk for developing rheumatoid arthritis and drinking alcohol has a higher risk for developing gout. There's no established arthritis diet plan. (Source: https://www.healthline.com/health/foods-to-avoid-with-arthritis#salt-and-preservatives)

NEW ANTI-INFLAMMATORY TREATMENT: Arthritis National Research Foundation grant recipient Chuan-ju Liu, PhD, joined by researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center, have created a new protein molecule that halts the progression and reverses the disease process in mice with rheumatoid arthritis. "The development of this protein extends our understanding of the molecular mechanisms that drive the growth factors and cytokines control of cartilage development and arthritis," said Dr. Liu, the lead researcher and associate professor, Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery and Cell Biology, NYU Langone Medical Center. "Whether the protein accounts for all of the anti-inflammatory effects we observed in the study needs to replicate, but we are very encouraged by these initial results." The researchers suggest that this progranulin-derived protein could result in alternative treatments to those suffering from chronic autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's diseases, ulcerative colitis, ankylosing spondylitis, plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. (Source: https://curearthritis.org/an-anrf-research-breakthrough-that-halts-ra-content/)