Medically Reviewed by Neha Pathak, MD on October 28, 2021
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Try a Mediterranean Diet

Dietary changes and a healthy weight are important to help manage RA. While there are no formal guidelines on a specific diet to follow, I often recommend a Mediterranean diet. It includes fruits and vegetables and avoids processed foods and excess carbohydrates. Foods rich in calcium and vitamin D, which are found in most dairy products, may also promote bone strength.

Robert Koval, MD, rheumatologist, Texas Orthopedics, Austin, TX

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Stay Positive by Looking Forward

Staying positive is all about facing forward, even if you can only do it a little bit at a time. Sometimes you have to take it a day at a time or even an hour at a time, but as long as you're still facing forward, you’re still heading in the right direction.

Mariah Leach, patient advocate, founder, Mamas Facing Forward, Denver 

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Try Low-Impact Exercise

Our bodies love movement and exercise, but with RA it can cause flare-ups if you’re not careful. Try low-impact aerobic activity along with activities like light yoga or Pilates to maintain mobility and flexibility. It’s best to start slow and see how your body responds. If you need help creating a tailored program based on your unique needs, a physical therapist can help.

Dallas Reynolds, PT, DPT, physical therapist, Las Vegas

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Find a Clinical Trial

There are always new treatments for RA being developed. Go online to see if there are any clinical trials in your area. If you qualify, you may be the first one on the block to get the latest drug, as well as free related medical care for your RA. Just make sure to check with your rheumatologist first to make sure they’re comfortable having you participate.

Stuart Kaplan, MD, chief of rheumatology, Mount Sinai South Nassau, Oceanside, NY

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SOURCES:

Robert Koval, MD, rheumatologist, Texas Orthopedics, Austin, TX.

Dallas Reynolds, PT, DPT, physical therapist, Las Vegas.

Mariah Z. Leach, patient advocate, founder, Mamas Facing Forward, Denver.

Stuart Kaplan, MD, chief of rheumatology, Mount Sinai South Nassau, Oceanside, NY.