You’re probably aware of how arthritis affects more than your joints. The sad news is that having arthritis puts you at increased risk of developing heart disease than someone without the disease.
However, just because your risk is higher, doesn’t mean you will have a heart attack. Therefore, act now to lower your risk by doing just one thing.
The link between arthritis and heart disease
In a study in 2015, British researchers found that people with rheumatoid arthritis are more likely to have and develop atherosclerosis at a faster rate. Plaque in rheumatoid arthritis patients is also more brittle and prone to rupture, and more likely to cause a heart attack or stroke. In fact, the risk of the stroke that results from a clot in an artery supplying blood to the brain, is nearly doubled in people with rheumatoid arthritis.
In addition, inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis attacks the thin layer of tissue that lines your joints called the synovium. However, inflammation can also move to other organs, including the heart. It doesn’t only damage the heart’s arteries but, the veins too. This can increase the risk of blood clots in the legs or lungs.
If you take control of your inflammation, your joint pain won’t flare up as much reducing your risk of heart attack risk.
How to control your inflammation
The process involves changing your diet, exercising daily and taking the necessary supplements to ensure your body can keep inflammation at bay.
1. Changing your diet
Eat fresh fruit with dark skins like strawberries and blueberries. Green leafy vegetables such as lettuce, spinach and kale also also beneficial. Also, include vitamin C-rich fruits like oranges and grapefruit as well as, fatty fish like salmon, mackerel and tuna.
2. Low impact exercises
These include swimming, yoga, cycling and water aerobics.
3. Supplements to boost your body’s inflammation fighting response
Chondroitin sulphate, Vitamin C, Omega 3s and Glucosamine
These few lifestyle changes can help you keep inflammation under control and in the process lower your heart attack risk. But, before you try any of these, remember to check in with your doctor to ensure that nothing interferes with the functions of the drugs you’re taking.