Fixing lunch is tough for Heidi McIntyre.
"Well, it's very painful," McIntyre told Ivanhoe. "My hands are very stiff, especially in the morning."
She developed arthritis at 15 years old.
"It can be a dull pain, a sharp piercing pain. It's not always the same," McIntyre said. Her range-of-motion is down to near zero.
"People with arthritis have a reduction of about a third to one half of their functional capability," Brad Fain, a research scientist at Georgia Tech Institute of Technology in Atlanta, told Ivanhoe.
Studies show listening to classical music one hour per day can soothe the pain. Patients claim the music distracted them from their aching body.
You also need to get outside. A new study of 9,000+ rheumatoid arthritis cases found a large portion were located in New England. Lack of sunshine there may lead to vitamin D deficiency, which may lead to arthritis. Outside, some drugs can boost your sensitivity to sunlight, so wear SPF 30 or 45 sunscreen when you go outdoors.
At home, foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, sardines and tuna may reduce inflammation. Foods like turkey, bacon and liver may trigger pain.
McIntyre also keeps grip-friendly lids around the house.
Another thing for arthritics to avoid: the liquor aisle in the grocery store. Liquor can boost the level of uric acid crystals in your joints, which can trigger painful flare-ups.
If this story or any other Ivanhoe story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Melissa Medalie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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