Valerie Smith, APRN
5 Solutions to Reduce Inflammation During the Winter
Updated: Feb 25, 2022
Winter is a wonderful time of year for some, but for others? These dark and cold months are hard.
Many of our patients find it difficult to get around during the winter months due to harsh weather conditions and the limited hours of sunlight. This often equates to feeling trapped at home, spending the day stuck indoors.
When you feel confined and isolated, your physical and mental health tends to slip. For this reason, taking a proactive approach to your healthcare management is critical during the winter.
How can you best manage your rheumatic disease when the snow, ice, and cold temperatures get in the way? What can you do to make the most of these winter months?
You think of out-of-the-box solutions! Here are 5 tips for managing your rheumatic disease during the winter:
#1 Adopt New Eating Habits - Certain foods lead to inflammation, as do allergies. Use this time at home to evaluate your food choices and dive deep into how the foods you consume are impacting your autoimmune disease. If you suspect you have food allergies or intolerances, pursue allergy testing to get those answers. You can also start an elimination diet and track how you feel once you stop eating the specific foods you suspect are problematic.
#2 Work on Your Gut Health - You can improve your digestive tract in multiple ways. One way is by increasing your fiber intake and eating more plant-based foods. Check out this article that outlines foods to avoid when on an anti-inflammatory diet, or read our Beginner’s Guide to an Anti-inflammatory Diet. Another way to change your gut health is by taking probiotics. A probiotic contains live microorganisms that provide beneficial bacteria to your body.
#3 Learn New Skills - While gearing up to change your diet, you might as well refine your cooking skills. If that’s not your cup of tea, develop another skill set that keeps your mind and body engaged. If hand mobility and strength is not an issue, you can learn to paint, try out knitting, or teach yourself calligraphy. If you need more of a hands-free activity, take up yoga and meditation. Relieving stress and relaxing your body is an excellent way to reduce inflammation.
#4 Exercise Indoors - Starting an at-home exercise routine can be intimidating if you feel you lack the proper knowledge, training, or expertise. The key to a successful indoor exercise regime is to find an activity that matches your needs and abilities. At-home exercises don’t have to be big and grand. They can be safe and simple to be effective. There are a number of resources to help you get motivated such as YouTube channels, paid or free apps, and subscription programs.
#5 Add in Supplements - Many of our patients consider vitamin supplements a critical component of their healthcare plan. Certain supplements, such as vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, are known to lower inflammation. If supplements are not a part of your daily medication schedule already, it is important to seek the guidance of a medical professional to help you determine the vitamins and correlating dosages that are right for you.
Winter is a difficult time of year for many. The healthcare team at Paducah Rheumatology is here to support you through those hard moments this season. We have tools, tips, and resources that can improve your quality of life, even when you must remain at home.
Let us help you manage your autoimmune disease by giving us a call at 270-480-6100 today!