Rheumatoid Arthritis: NHS on common signs and symptoms

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It is thought more than 10 million Britons are living with arthritis and other joint problems. Depending on the type of condition you have it can leave you with pain and mobility issues. While there is no cure yet, there are a number of things you can do to try to ease the symptoms.

One expert recommended drinking green tea as a way to help.

Monika Wassermann, medical director at oliolusso.com, told Express.co.uk: “Drinking a cup or two of green tea can ease joint aches.

“It’s packed with epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) antioxidants that have proven to suppress production of some body chemicals that contribute to arthritis and other inflammation issues.

“EGCG can also prevent eroding or wearing out of cartilage, the common trigger of joint pain, relieving pain.”

Epigallocatechin gallate is a plant compound believed to have many health-boosting properties including reducing inflammation and promoting weight loss.

One cup (around 250 ml) of green tea usually contains around 50 to 100mg of EGCG.

Dr Wassermann’s recommendation was backed by a study published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science.

The research, conducted in 2016, trialled the consumption of green tea by arthritis patients for a six-month period accompanied either by infliximab (a drug used to treat arthritis) or an exercise plan.

It found that green tea and exercise were effective at easing arthritis symptoms.

The paper says: “Both exercise and green tea interventions appeared to be beneficial as nondrug modulates for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) disorders.”

It concludes: “In the present study, clinical improvements in disease activity, health quality, and bone resorption and formation biomarkers were observed in all RA patients following green tea and exercise therapy interventions.

“The data suggested that green tea and exercise might be of interest in RA therapy depending on to the patient’s needs and disease activity status.”

The most common type of arthritis in the UK is osteoarthritis, affecting nearly nine million people.

To begin with, it compromises the smooth cartilage lining of the joint, making movement more difficult and leading to pain and stiffness.

It typically affects joints in the hands, knees, spine and hips.

The second most common type of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis, which is when the body’s immune system targets affected joints, causing pain and swelling.

Symptoms of arthritis will depend on what type you have, but can include:

  • Joint pain, tenderness and stiffness
  • Inflammation in and around the joints
  • Restricted movement of the joints
  • Warm red skin over the affected joint
  • Weakness and muscle wasting.

Dr Wassermann advised on other foods to help with arthritis.

“Other foods with anti-inflammatory properties include; cherries, berries, nuts, olive oil, avocados, and garlic,” she said.

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