Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease that can cause significant problems in the patient's life. Fighting these problems is not possible with drugs alone.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease that can cause significant problems in the patient’s life. Fighting these problems is not possible with drugs alone. The patient should also pay attention to some issues and acquire life habits that will help the treatment. It will be easier to fight the disease with the advice of the following health team.

Here are some things you can do in this context:

  • Disruption of treatment: The drugs you use have an effect when they reach a certain blood level, and this effect is permanent at a certain level. For this reason, take the drugs recommended by the following healthcare team as long as there are no serious side effects. The medicine may not take effect immediately. Use it patiently. Do not stop your medication when the acute exacerbation period ends, use the recommended dose so that the drug can remain at a certain blood level when a new exacerbation period occurs. Treatment for rheumatoid arthritis can be a long and somewhat laborious process.
  • Have your check-ups regularly: The disease has a long course. In order to monitor the treatment process, your health checks should be done periodically. Your healthcare team following this issue will inform you. It is important for the treatment planning and the course of the disease to have your check-ups done on time and properly.
  • Consult: Consult the follow-up healthcare team regarding the problems you experience during your treatment, additional complaints, the medication or supplements you want to use other than the recommended treatment, and complementary medicine practices.
  • Protect yourself: Joint problems due to disease pave the way for accidents in your home and workplace. Extra-articular organ involvement, immune system problems and drugs used also pave the way for infections. For this reason, it is necessary to pay attention to personal hygiene, to be protected from infections, and to take preventive measures against accidents in homes and workplaces.
  • Do not neglect your vaccinations: In order to keep your immune system strong and fight infections, you should have your flu vaccine or pneumonia vaccines. Get your vaccinations on time and in line with the recommendations of the following team.
  • Get psychological support: Rheumatoid arthritis and its treatment process is a troublesome process that can sometimes seriously affect a person’s life, restricting his movements, and the psychology of the patient can be seriously affected in this process. It may be necessary to receive psychological support in order not to be adversely affected by the process.
  • Nutrition: Patients with rheumatoid arthritis tend to gain weight due to their mobility limitations and lack of physical activity. The disease itself and the drugs used also have negative effects on the immune system. For this reason, take a planned nutrition program under the control of your follow-up health team or a dietitian and eat accordingly.
  • Regular exercise: Your illness may prevent you from exercising like healthy people. Try to be more active to close this gap. Choose to move more in your daily chores, such as increasing walking distance on the way home from work, using the stairs instead of the elevator. Sports activities such as swimming, cycling and walking can help you.
  • Rest periods: Resting painful, stiff, swollen joints, especially during exacerbations of the disease, will help you reduce inflammation.
  • Keep Warm/Cold: Your joints can relax in warm environments such as a warm bath, warm towel. Relieves joint stiffness and muscle fatigue. However, cold is more beneficial for swollen, inflamed and painful joints during exacerbations.
  • Creams: You can use creams for pain, swelling and limitation of movement in your joints in line with the recommendations of the following healthcare team.
  • Complementary therapy: Some patients benefit from complementary medicine practices such as acupuncture, massage or osteopathy. You can apply it without interrupting the main treatment and with the knowledge of your follow-up healthcare team. You can also use products such as turmeric, omega 3 fish oil.
  • Physiotherapy: In addition to the treatment you receive, your healthcare team may recommend physiotherapy to you. Your physical therapist can advise on methods of coping with pain.
  • Sharing experience: Meeting with other rheumatoid arthritis patients about your disease, exchanging views, coping with the disease and getting additional support can help.
  • Provide information: Inform your family, relatives and colleagues about your illness. They will support you in rearranging your living environment for you.
  • Financial considerations: Your illness may affect your job performance. The cost of treatment can strain you. Inform your co-workers and employers about your illness. They can support you to work in the appropriate department for your illness. If you have difficulty in meeting the cost of the treatment you use, public or private organizations and non-governmental organizations working in this field can support you.
  • Smoking: Do not use tobacco or tobacco products.