If you are experiencing constant and prolonged malaise, muscle aches, and fever; then you could potentially be suffering from an autoimmune disease called polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR). This is a debilitating medical condition that is often characterized by chronic muscle pain and stiffness in the neck, hips, shoulders, arms, buttocks, and thighs. It affects both men and women but is observed to be more common in women at the age range of 50 to 70 years old.
What Is Polymyalgia Rheumatica?
This inflammatory disease manifests in the form of numbness and pain that is concentrated in the upper body or the arms and shoulders. The painful symptoms of PMR can relatively be felt at the lower extremities as well.
Inflammation is common in patients with an autoimmune disease, such a polymyalgia. It is a natural response that manifests itself when the body is trying to safeguard you from harmful pathogens. Your own immune system is wreaking havoc and attacking your connective tissues. In essence, you are fighting off your own healthy muscle tissues and joints, even when there are no foreign bodies or microbes present.
Anti Inflammation Diet to Relieve PMR Symptoms
Lifestyle and dietary changes are crucial in improving the condition of patients with PMR. The food that you take in can have a dramatic impact on managing your polymyalgia symptoms. There are certain foods that should be avoided because it can dangerously trigger inflammation while there are anti-inflammatory foods that can help nourish the body and reduce the symptoms of PMR. If you are looking to improve your polymyalgia symptoms to gain your life back, then check out the 3 food nutrients to include in your polymyalgia diet.
Foods Rich in Calcium and Vitamin D
Some medications for combating PMR can also work against your body and cause osteoporosis. You can help turn the tables around by integrating calcium and vitamin D into your body. Dairy products prove to be excellent sources of calcium such as cheese, yoghurt, and milk. Other foods that are infused with calcium are spinach, sardines, and broccoli. One sufficient source of vitamin D is the sun. You can also get vitamin D from tuna, salmon, and other dairy products.
Foods Rich in Omega 3
Your body needs healthy fats and one good source of that is Omega-3. Fish oil which is rich in Omega-3 is said to have anti-inflammatory effects to people with asthma, arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Some of the good sources of Omega-3 are the following: sardines, walnuts, salmon, eggs, and flaxseed. Olive oil, berries, tomatoes, spinach, and kale are some of the anti-inflammatory foods that should be included in your diet.
With or without polymyalgia, drinking water helps nourish the body. It cleanses the body from toxins and other impurities. The best way to combat inflammation is by keeping yourself hydrated especially during warm months when the body is most susceptible to dehydration. Drinking water also helps in lubricating your joints; this will surely help you move with ease and lessen morning stiffness.
But how much water do you need to take? A cup of water is equivalent to 8 ounces. Drinking 8 ounces 8 times daily might be enough but the recommended intake for adult women is 9 ounces so that’s 72 ounces daily. Men need more; they must have 13 ounces per intake, a total of 104 ounces daily. Patients with PMR do not take more water for several reasons, one is because of their age. The frail body has weakened the ability to hold water. So other fluids may also be given such as healthy fresh fruit juices and herbal tea.
Drinking coffee is said to have anti-inflammatory effects although some people have reported experiencing the opposite. It is safe to replace your coffee with other forms of hydrating your body. This will also lessen your risk of osteoporosis or bone problems.
Foods to Avoid for Polymyalgia Patients
Your polymyalgia symptoms can also be aggravated when you consume certain foods. Processed foods are not recommended for polymyalgia patients. It can trigger inflammation and weight gain which can cause undue strain to your bones and ligaments. You should also avoid too much sugar intake which also causes inflammation.
Depending on the severity of symptoms, there are foods to avoid when suffering from polymyalgia. Examples of these are margarine, pastries, white bread, and red meat.
Tuning into your health and modifying your diet can help improve your symptoms of polymyalgia rheumatica. Habits may be difficult to break at first which is one of the challenges of this disease. You can refine your food choices with the support of your family. Also, work closely with your physician regarding an effective treatment and best polymyalgia diet plan. If you do, you can improve your overall quality of life even if you have PMR.