You’ve little question heard that staying hydrated is essential for general well being. But when you’ve got rheumatoid arthritis (RA), consuming sufficient fluids is particularly vital for sustaining joints and retaining signs at bay.
RA is a illness that happens when the physique’s immune system mistakenly assaults joints and different tissues, resulting in signs reminiscent of joint ache, fatigue, irritation, and stiffness.
Lack of Adequate Water May Intensify Joint Pain and Other RA Symptoms
“My rheumatoid arthritis symptoms positively enhance after I don’t drink sufficient water, or if I’m in excessive warmth,” says Eileen Davidson, a rheumatoid arthritis affected person, advocate, and creator of the Chronic Eileen blog. “I are inclined to really feel extra stiffness in my joints and muscle groups. I’ve a spike in fatigue, sluggishness, and particular enhance in cognitive dysfunction.”
Water performs a significant position in serving to totally different components of the physique perform at their greatest. A scarcity of liquids can enhance irritation and reduce the quantity of fluid that cushions joints. The excellent news: Simple measures may also help you keep away from the detrimental results of dehydration.
Here’s what you might want to learn about how dehydration impacts somebody with RA.
How Does Dehydration Affect Someone with RA?
Dehydration outcomes when your physique doesn’t have sufficient fluids to carry out regular features since you use or lose extra liquids than you devour, in accordance with the Mayo Clinic.
Studies have prompt greater than 500,000 individuals within the United States are hospitalized for dehydration yearly.
Although analysis on the precise relationship between dehydration and RA is restricted, scientists do know water consumption can have an effect on the processes that preserve joints working.
“To my data, there are not any research displaying the consequences of dehydration with people with RA, however there’s proof that hydration would possibly assist preserve joint well being,” says Betty Hsiao, MD, a rheumatologist at Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, staying hydrated is essential for flushing toxins out of your physique, which can reduce irritation.
Cartilage Needs Hydration to Stay Healthy and Functional
Hydration can be essential for wholesome cartilage, tissue that covers the ends of your bones and permits them to glide over one another with out rubbing collectively. An article published in the British Medical Bulletin discovered between 65 and 80 % of the cartilage in your physique is manufactured from water. When you’re sufficiently hydrated, friction between bones is decreased, so you may transfer extra simply.
A great visible could be to match cartilage to a sponge. When a sponge is hydrated, it’s moist, mushy, and straightforward to govern. But when it dries out, it’s stiff and troublesome to make use of.
Additionally, if you happen to’re dehydrated, your physique might not produce sufficient synovial fluid — the thick liquid positioned between joints that acts as a cushion and helps forestall friction whenever you transfer. “Water is a significant element of synovial fluid, so sustaining sufficient hydration might assist preserve joints wholesome,” explains Dr. Hsiao.
Some research means that consuming hydrogen water (water with hydrogen gasoline added to it) might cut back signs of RA. The thought is including hydrogen to the water will increase its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant results. But extra research are wanted to substantiate these findings.
Signs and Symptoms of Dehydration in People With Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Fainting or dizziness
- Dark-colored urine
- Urinating much less steadily
- Dry skin or mouth
“Not solely does my mouth really feel dry, however so do my joints and muscle groups,” says Davidson. “I additionally are inclined to crave sugary meals, that are recognized to extend irritation. If I don’t drink sufficient water whereas I take my every day NSAIDs or SSRI, I can discover a rise in heartburn and stomachache.”
How Much Water Should You Drink?
The quantity of water it’s best to devour is dependent upon your gender, age, and the way energetic you’re. Additionally, sure medicines might require ample fluid consumption.
“For the remedy of RA, we steadily use methotrexate, which is eradicated by the kidney, so it’s crucial to remain hydrated when taking methotrexate to assist forestall kidney toxicity,” says Hsiao.
While there are not any hydration tips particularly for individuals with RA, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine suggests the next:
- Adult males ought to devour 3.7 liters (L), or about 16 cups, of water a day
- Adult girls ought to devour 2.7 L (about 11 cups) of water a day
The whole every day water consumption in these suggestions can come from each drinks and meals.
The tips are a great rule of thumb, however some individuals might must devour extra or fewer liquids relying on the climate, their exercise stage, or different elements.
Tips to Stay Hydrated When You’re Living With Rheumatoid Arthritis
Drinking sufficient fluids would possibly require a acutely aware effort in your half.
“It is essential to remain hydrated, particularly throughout hotter climate, so it could assist to hold a reusable water bottle to assist rehydrate through the day,” Hsiao says. “Remember to remain hydrated earlier than, throughout, and after train. Hydration can even assist cut back muscle cramps.”
Davidson has some hydration methods of her personal. “Water is usually a bit boring to drink all day, so I at all times preserve available glowing water and a few lemons or limes for taste and added vitamin C,” she explains. “This not solely helps me keep hydrated however may also help with malaise from each RA and unwanted side effects of medicines.”
Here are another methods to remain hydrated:
- Set a routine. Some individuals discover it useful to drink a glass of water after each rest room go to or earlier than every meal.
- Track your consumption. High-tech water bottles talk with smartphones that will help you doc how a lot you drink.
- Set reminders. Daily alarms in your cellphone or laptop can provide you with a warning when it’s time to drink a glass of water.
- Try an app. Apps like Daily Water Free or Daily Water assist preserve you on monitor.
- Avoid dehydrating drinks. Drinks that comprise alcohol or caffeine can pull water from the physique and dehydrate you.
- Eat meals that help in hydration. Foods like fruit, veggies, and soups comprise a excessive water content material.
The Bottom Line on the Importance of Hydration
While consuming extra water gained’t remedy RA, sufficient hydration might assist enhance joint well being and preserve joints lubricated.
When you’re hydrated, your total physique features higher, and also you’re prone to have extra power and improved temper.
But don’t overdo it. Drinking an excessive amount of water could cause hyponatremia — a situation that’s characterised by low sodium ranges within the blood.
Talk to your physician if you happen to’re involved that you just’re not consuming sufficient liquids.