Managing your RA

There is good evidence to show that self-management works to improve outcomes for people with conditions such as RA. Self-management takes on many forms, including changes to exercise, diet, smoker status and through the use of healthcare apps, including a number that NRAS has been involved in developing. 

There is good evidence to show that self-management works to improve outcomes for people with conditions such as RA. Self-management takes on many forms. Regular exercise and healthy diet have been shown to improve RA symptoms and overall health. If you are a smoker, quitting smoking can relieve symptoms and make medications more effective. There are also aids to help with managing your RA, such as healthcare apps, including a number of apps that NRAS has been involved in developing.  

RA is not managed by healthcare professionals and the prescribing of medications alone, though they do of course play an important role.  

Being diagnosed with a long term health condition and being on long term medication can have a huge impact on the person with RA. It can also make them feel as though they are not in control of the situation and taking back some of that control is important.  

01. Exercise

Exercise is important not just to reduce the risk of further joint damage but for reducing the risk of heart disease, improving muscle strength and mental wellbeing too. There are exercises for people at all stages of their RA journey.  

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02. Diet

There is a huge amount of dietary advice aimed at people with RA. This article summarises some of the dietary advice for which there is evidence of benefit for people with RA.  

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03. Smoking

Many are aware of the negative effect smoking has on overall health but may not know how it impacts on RA. It can make people more susceptible to developing RA, can worsen RA symptoms and make medication less effective.  

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04. Alcohol and RA

Managing alcohol intake can be important for those taking certain medications. Understanding the risks of drinking too much alcohol, sensible drinking levels and what a unit looks like can help you to manage your health.

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05. RA apps

NRAS has been working in partnership with other organisations to help develop and improve apps to help you to monitor any or all of these aspects of your condition.  

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