Rheumatoid Arthritis: NHS on common signs and symptoms
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Arthritis is fairly common, with around 10 million Britons currently living with the condition or other joint problems. It can cause pain and inflammation in the joints, as well as problems with movement. While there is no cure, there are things you can do to help ease symptoms.
Like many medical conditions, diet can have an impact on arthritis.
Multiple studies have shown how the mineral potassium can relieve symptoms such as inflammation and joint pain.
One such study, published in Rheumatology Research journal in 2018, cites the benefits of potassium on rheumatoid arthritis.
It says: “There are several benefits of potassium in health which could be extrapolated to be relevant in the overall management of rheumatoid arthritis.
“The data presented in the current report supports an analgesic (pain-relieving) and anti-inflammatory effect of potassium.
“The benefits on cardiovascular and bone health are indeed a bonus in rheumatoid arthritis.”
Some foods and drinks contain more potassium than others.
Coconut water is one such drink.
A paper, published in the Journal of Intercultural Ethnopharmacology, considered the use of both young and mature coconut water on rats.
It concludes: “Results revealed that both coconut water possess significant anti-inflammatory activity.
“This study strongly suggests the use of young coconut water for potent anti-inflammatory effect and mature coconut water for moderate anti-inflammatory effect.”
The benefits of coconut water on arthritis were also championed by Vinmec International Hospital, in Vietnam.
In an article it says: “Coconut water has the basic properties of an anti-inflammatory and helps reduce acidity in the body.
“This can help reduce inflammation and pain in the body, especially when drinking coconut water every day.
“In addition, this healthy drink also contains vitamin B6, which helps reduce and prevent inflammation, especially inflammatory joints caused by osteoarthritis.”
It adds that coconut oil also has “anti-inflammatory” and “pain-relieving properties” making it suitable to reduce knee pain.
One cup of coconut water contains around 600 milligrams of potassium, compared to an average banana which contains 420mg.
Other foods high in potassium include:
- Cooked spinach
- Cooked broccoli
- Sweet potatoes
- Leafy greens.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis in the UK, affecting nearly nine million people, and the second most common type of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis.
Symptoms of arthritis will depend on what type you have, but can include:
- Joint pain, tenderness and stiffness
- Inflammation in and around the joints
- Restricted movement of the joints
- Warm red skin over the affected joint
- Weakness and muscle wasting.
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