Living your best life with arthritis.

Life hacks for rheumatoid arthritis

Multi talk bubblesAccording to the results from the JointHealth™ Program Satisfaction and Interest survey, people living with arthritis want to learn about natural ways to help treat or ease the pain from arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Below are some life hacks for rheumatoid arthritis that you can consider. Please note that this article is for information purposes only and not intended to be medical advice. Talk to your healthcare provider before changing or starting a new treatment plan.

Continue reading

A salty effect on your immune system

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA new trial in the United States is looking at the effect of salt on the immune system. Previous research shows that a high intake of salt has an adverse effect on medical conditions like high blood pressure and diseases like heart disease, osteoporosis, and stomach cancer.

A study conducted at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston found that animals fed a high-salt diet for three weeks had a dramatic increase in a type of cell in the immune system called type 17 helper T cell (Th17) when compared to those fed a normal diet. The Th17 cell triggers inflammation and is associated with diseases like type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis (which cause inflammation in the gut).

Continue reading

How good is your health system?

Competition drives motivation and your health system is no different. Within Canada, there are comparative differences in climate and lifestyle across different provinces and territories. We have all heard that Vancouverites love to wear Lululemon and are more laid-back and Torontonians, being one of the financial hubs of Canada, are workaholics. Besides these fun and personalized comparisons, there should be data that address major issues like health, education, and politics. The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) has created just that for health – a new web tool titled Your Health System.

Your Health System provides the big picture for your health system. The tool allows visitors to compare between different city, province, region, territory, and hospital. Five themes were considered to be the most important:

  1. Access – Can you get the health services you need when you need them?
  2. Quality of care – How good is the care you are receiving, and is it safe?
  3. Spending – How much do the health services you use cost the system?
  4. Health promotion and disease prevention – How well is the system working to help you stay healthy and avoid getting sick?
  5. Health outcomes – Are Canadians actually getting healthier?

The following images are one of many data related to arthritis:

Specialist Data

Captured from Your Health System

Continue reading

Exploring food choices: Fruits and Veggies

The Fall season is great for exploring food choices. With seasonal holidays like Thanksgiving, Halloween and Christmas, it is easy to fall off the healthy eating wagon while creating the perfect holiday dish. Here are some fun facts to consider before you prep your next meal.

Bell PeppersBell Peppers

In a recent article on WebMD, it is noted that scientists define fruit as the part of a plant that develops from a flower and has seeds. It means that bell peppers, squash, cucumbers and pumpkins are considered fruits. Did you also know that one green pepper contains 176 percent of your daily needs for vitamin C? Red and yellow peppers can double that number. A citrus fruit, like the orange, contains just 75 percent of your daily vitamin C requirement. Sweet peppers are also rich sources of vitamin B6 and folate.

BananasBananas

Bananas are berries because it is a fruit that develops from a single flower and a single ovary (the female part of a flower). In a similar fashion, grapes and kiwis are also berries. Bananas are rich in potassium and the arthritis-fighting vitamin B6, folate, and vitamin C. They are also a source of soluble fiber, which helps you lose weight by making you feel full without adding calories.

 

Continue reading

Arthritis Society calls for more research into medical cannabis

Cannabis Sativa Plant LeafMedical cannabis refers to the use of plant material (either whole or in extract form) that contains various cannabinoid molecules such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC has psychoactive (mind altering), and pain relieving properties. CBD may also reduce pain and inflammation while having no known psychoactive side-effects.

The hemp plant Cannabis saliva (cannabis), known as marijuana, can be used as a therapy to alleviate symptoms such as pain and fatigue caused by chronic disease. Cannabis has a history of medicinal use dating back thousands of years across many cultures.

The Arthritis Society recently released a position paper on medical cannabis. Here is what they have to say about medical cannabis and arthritis:

Continue reading

AS it Goes – Life’s Bumps and Bruises

Illustration of two bandages taped across cut

Photo courtesy of kjnnt at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The other day I noticed a large blue bruise on my shin. You would think that if your shin sports a two-inch round contusion, you would be able to recall what you had done to end up with that discoloration. But for the life of me, I could not remember hitting my shin so hard that it looked like someone had whacked my leg with a baseball bat.

Small bruises are not an uncommon occurrence for me. I often find small bruises on my arms and legs (last week I found one on my stomach) in varying shades of blue, green and yellow. My favourite is the rainbow-streaked bruise created on the inside of my lower arm after I have had a blood test. Continue reading