Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is chronic inflammatory disorder in the small joints in your hands and feet that effect approximately 1.5 million Americans each year. If you have been diagnosed with RA, it may have an impact on your health as well as your ability to stay active and perform normal daily activities. To help you manage your diagnosis, we have put together a few suggestions on managing the diagnosis, and staying active with RA.
Here are 4 ways to help manage your Rheumatoid Arthritis:
- Continue to Get Exercise: Although you may not feel like being active when you have rheumatoid arthritis, gentle exercises can actually help reduce pain. Walking, cycling, swimming, and lightweight training done three times a week for 30 minutes can offer these benefits, but make sure they are safe for you. Yoga is another low-impact, but highly effective option to help reduce rheumatoid arthritis pain. Keep in mind though, when it comes to exercise, it’s also wise to exercise caution, so talk with your doctor to develop an activity regimen that is specific to your diagnosis, or if any workouts are making your pain worse.
- Maintain a Healthy Diet: Sticking to a healthy diet will help you maintain your ideal weight, which reduces stress on joints. Eating well and drinking plenty of water will also help you keep your energy up throughout the day. When looking into foods and a diet that will help ease your symptoms, there is evidence that omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation and that could ultimately help you find relief. Omega-3s can be found in cold-water fish and in fish oil supplements. Contact your doctor or nutritionist to find the right healthy diet to help you manage your rheumatoid arthritis.
- Find a Pharmacy Partner: Finding the right pharmacy partner is key to managing your rheumatoid arthritis. Avella’s pharmacy team has the expertise and experience needed to help you manage your health through guidance, support and access to these advanced medications. We also collaborate with your doctor to ensure that your treatment plan is working while helping you manage side effects and avoid drug interactions. Contact your local pharmacist or our national distribution center to learn more about these therapies. You can also submit any questions you have our to our pharmacists, and they will respond within 3 business days.
- Local & National Support Resources: If you're looking for general information about rheumatologic conditions, there are several organizations you can choose from that will provide treatment options and support. We partner with great organizations such as the Arthritis Foundation, American College of Rheumatology, RheumatoidArthritis.com, and more to offer support, education and guidance to help patients living with rheumatoid arthritis maintain their independence and emotional well-being. Learn more about our treatment resource partners.
If you have any questions about your recent rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis, contact our pharmacists to answer any questions you might have regarding your medication treatment plan. You can also read one of our latest articles in our "Ask the Pharmacist" series. Here is the question we received from an RA patient:
Question: I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis last year. I have good days and “flare-ups” where I can hardly get out of bed. On good days, I don’t always take my medication as directed — either I forget or I just don’t feel like I need it. My doctor says that this is a serious problem. Why? Read the article to learn more.