Is there really a link between caffeine and arthritis? This has yet to be proven medically so the debate rages on. Now while the intellectuals try to solve this seemingly great mystery between a hot cup of brew and arthritic pain, it would serve you better if you take it on yourself to read about it whenever you can. Understanding is your key to dealing with this disease.
- Types of arthritis. There are 100 types of arthritis but there are two common types that you often encounter: Osteoarthritis, which is the absence of soft cartilage that protects the bones resulting to bone-on-bone grinding. Osteoarthritis can be attributed to genes, old age, and years of playing sports like basketball. The other type is rheumatoid arthritis (RA), which can also be attributed to genetic disposition and environmental factors. Now while osteoarthritis attacks the joints, RA can also cross over to the skin, muscles and internal organs like the heart and lungs.
- Treatment for osteoarthritis. Heat packs, exercise, physical therapy, oral meds, and total knee replacement therapy are widely used approaches for this condition.
- Treatment for RA. Meds but to date, there is no cure for RA.
- Making the connection. The most obvious concern now is the one dealing with RA because osteoarthritis can be managed as you can see. Many medical research institutions are trying to figure out if there is a link between caffeine and RA. As you know, caffeine is a diuretic. A diuretic makes you want to pee all the time. When you pee often, you also pee out minerals that your body needs including calcium and potassium. Calcium is a bone-builder while potassium keeps you from dehydration. When you are dehydrated you organs don’t function as well. This weakens your immune system, which may lead to developing RA. That’s one theory that explains the connection between caffeine and RA.
- Other factors to consider. Caffeine is not only found in coffee. Caffeine is present in energy drinks, soda, tea, and chocolate although there are only trace amounts in chocolate.
- Managing RA. To approach RA and the impact caffeine might have on this disease, you can try the following:
- Remove caffeine from your diet. Even decaffeinated coffee is said
make RA severe so take this out of your staple diet too. By isolating
caffeine in your diet, you will be able to track improvements in your
health over time. You can prove for yourself if indeed, caffeine
exacerbates your condition or not.
Minimize caffeine intake. If you can’t stop drinking coffee
immediately, you can at least minimize your intake. A cup of coffee in
the morning won’t hurt and even your doctor will agree to this.
Excessive caffeine intake is what you want to avoid especially if you’re
on medication for RA.
- Work in partnership with your doctor. Although the link between caffeine and arthritis has yet to be medically proven, you must work with your doctor when it comes to various approaches to your treatment. This may include managing or barring caffeine from your diet. It is only with the process of elimination that you can manage your pain so be a good patient and follow doctor’s order.
Soon enough you can go back to enjoying a cup of caffeine fix but for now focus on your beating arthritis and getting your life back!