By Stephanie Venn-Watson, DVM, MPH
It’s a classic picture of getting older: a hunched back posture, bent knees, knobby knuckles, and an overall look of discomfort and fatigue. This is also a picture of arthritis, a condition that can have an early onset and increase in severity year by year.
According to the CDC, arthritis affects 23% of all adults age 18 and older, which is about one in every four adults. Arthritis can limit a person’s day to day activities and preclude them from doing things they would or once did enjoy.
Arthritis can also piggyback on other chronic diseases, like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. In essence, ensuring your protection against these other chronic diseases can lower your risk of developing arthritis, and can help ease the pain of arthritis if you already have it.
Being proactive in preventing arthritis can benefit you for years to come. Let’s look at what arthritis actually is, what causes it, what makes it worse, and what you can do to reduce your risk of developing it.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is a term that covers a multitude of inflammatory conditions of the joints that produce pain which can be long-term. Although it’s been classically referred to as an older person’s disease, arthritis affects people of all ages, including children.
Symptoms of arthritis include but are not limited to:
Arthritis is caused by a decrease in the amount of cartilage between the bone joints. This cushiony material keeps bones from rubbing against each other and helps you maintain fluidity of motion.
There are many causes of arthritis, here are just a few:
If you already have arthritis, controlling your pain can be a trying task. Between medications and lifestyle and dietary changes, you can usually find a way to maintain comfort levels and keep your arthritic pain under control. There are some irritants, however, that can make arthritic pain worse.
What Makes Arthritis Worse?
When you have arthritis, the last thing you want to do is experience a flare up, or a time period of intense arthritic pain. Your diet and lifestyle play major roles in keeping your arthritic pain under control and manageable.
If you have arthritis, avoiding the following foods can help you avoid flare ups and better control your arthritic pain:
Controlling your arthritic pain by avoiding certain foods can help you feel better and experience less arthritic flare ups.
5 Tips To Keep Your Joints Healthy for the Long Run
It may seem like arthritis is unavoidable, given the numerous pathways that lead to it. However, that isn’t true. You can give yourself a fighting chance against arthritis by changing certain dietary and lifestyle habits. Here are 5 tips on how to prevent arthritis.
Maintain a healthy weight. The more weight you carry, the more stress you put on your joints. Maintaining a healthy weight can help you avoid the onset of arthritis, especially in your knees.
Control your blood sugar. As previously mentioned, arthritis is often a piggyback disease that occurs alongside other chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes. Controlling your blood sugar will help you avoid potential inflammation from the release of cytokines and help you reduce your risk of diabetes and arthritis.
Exercise. Keeping your bones and joints strong and mobile is crucial in avoiding arthritis. Moving for at least thirty minutes a day, most every day of the week, can help you keep your joints oiled and increase your overall mobility.
Stop smoking. Research suggests a strong link between smoking and arthritis, especially rheumatoid arthritis. Stopping smoking now reduces your risk of becoming one in five adult smokers who suffer from arthritis.
Eat enough healthy fat. Not all fats are bad. In fact, some fats are essential. Consuming enough healthy fat, like C15:0, can help you support your overall health, including joint health, for the long run.*
C15:0 and Arthritis Prevention
C15:0, also known as pentadecanoic acid, is an odd-chain saturated fatty acid that a growing library of research shows can help you fight back against the breakdown of your cells due to aging.† This breakdown of cells leads to chronic disease related to aging, like arthritis.
C15:0 is found in foods like full fat dairy, and because dietary guidelines recommended in the 1970s told us not to eat fat, not many of us have been getting this fatty acid.
C15:0 can help support joint health by protecting you at a cellular level:†*
Arthritis can seem unavoidable. There are numerous causes of arthritis, but they may be kept at bay with dietary and lifestyle changes. C15:0 can be one of those changes that helps keep your body healthy and helps you age on your own terms.*
To learn more about C15:0 and how it supports your health, click here!
STEPHANIE VENN-WATSON, dvm, mph
Dr. Stephanie Venn-Watson is a veterinary epidemiologist dedicated to improving both human and animal health. Before co-founding Seraphina Therapeutics and Epitracker, Inc,. she worked for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, and the Department of Defense. Dr. Venn-Watson has over 70 peer-reviewed scientific publications and is an inventor on 40+ patents. Her dedication to discovering natural compounds to improve global health has been featured in/on Forbes, NPR Science Friday, PBS, National Geographic, BBC, and more.
ERIC VENN-WATSON, MD
Dr. Eric Venn-Watson is a physician, US Navy veteran and serial entrepreneur. Prior to Seraphina Therapeutics, Eric founded multiple companies in therapeutics discovery, healthcare analytics, and medical device industries as well as working in leadership roles in several life science companies.