“For to those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.” Matthew 13:12
When it comes to health, the last part, “but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away”, is painfully true. For instance, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 51 percent of adults with diabetes also have arthritis, 55 percent of adults with heart disease also have arthritis, 48 percent of adults with high blood pressure also have arthritis and 45 percent of adults with high cholesterol also have arthritis.
Once one thing as aspect of our health goes wrong, many other aspect often follow. So if this is you, what can you do? How can become one of the “those who have” and to whom “more will be given”?
The answer is to take small steps to improve your health. Each small step makes you one who has and one to whom more shall be given.
Seven Sensible Steps for Effective Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment
1. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, take your joints through their full range of motion each day. That helps you retain the mobility you still have and over time expand your mobility.
2. Working within your daily and your moment by moment limits, do what you can to increase your muscle strength, which will also help protect your joints and make it more possible for you to exercise. If your mobility is limited you might begin by doing isotonic exercises you can do sitting or laying down.
3. Especially if you are already weak, you might need to then do simple weight lifting at home. The book Strong Women Stay Young by Miriam Nelson offers and excellent at home program for both men and women that works wonders for even the frail in nursing homes. An at home weight lifting program can often make a profound difference in your ability to walk and to later on to enjoy other exercise. And if you are still relatively strong, you will also get stronger and better able to function.
4. If you are overweight, lose weight. Even losing only 10 pounds can decrease joint pain significantly. Losing weight and eating a healthy diet can also dramatically cut your risk of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which helps stop and even reverse a downward spiraling of your health.
5. If you are experiencing inflammation (everyone with active arthritis has inflammation), take a blood test capable of detecting all type IV or delayed sensitivitity immune system reactions. This will identify dietary and environmental triggers. Type IV immune system reactions are the type of immune system reactions behind chronic inflammation. Classical food sensitivitiy tests such as the skin rast test detect type I immune system reaction, which are not related to arthritis. Antibody tests (often called Eliza tests) detect some type IV immune system reactions and miss others The specific foods and chemicals that trigger inflammation vary from person to person and can vary over time even for the same person. That is why it is important to be individually tested for what you are reacting against now, not some time in the past. That is also why you can’t rely on anyone else’s list of what triggers arthritis. You are unique. You must know and eliminate your unique triggers, the ones that are operative right now.
6. If you have a good relationship with your family treasure it and strengthen it. If you don’t, do what you can to heal those relationships or create others that are supportive. Healthy relationships support physical health. For example, The American Pain Associated recently released a study showing (not surprisingly) that strong marriages enhance functioning for rheumatoid arthritis patients.
7. Find a spiritual practice that appeals to you and make time for it in your life. The greatest spiritual masters are the greatest healers. For example, the Buddha is called the Great Physician. Jesus is known for his healing. Every spiritual tradition comes with its own healing tradition.