When I was twelve, every night before bed, my mom would come upstairs with all my medications and I would always pretend to be asleep.
“Kiran, It’s medy time.” My mom would call out, thinking that making medicine sound cute would make the tedious task somewhat less tedious.
I would yell back, “No. I don’t want it. I had it yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that, and the day before that. I don’t want it.” I would pout. I would cry. I remember hearing my mom cry. She didn’t want to give me the medication either; she didn’t want me to be sick. But I was sick, and she knew I had to take it.
“It will only take a second.” My mom would try again. I would rip the covers off, with my hair all in a mess. I would nod and take my medication.
I never understood why I needed to take all those pills
I never understood why I needed to take those little blue, green, and white coloured pills, which were sometimes circle-shaped and sometimes oval. Sick Kids said I needed to take them. My parents said I needed to take them. They probably even told me why, but I didn’t care to listen. I didn’t want to listen. I wanted to be normal.
Now I understand why I need to take them; I understand that if I want to be healthy, I have to take them. I hope this will help you understand too.What are our joints made up of?
To make things easier let’s first look at what our fingers and joints are really made up of:
First of all, there are several layers of tissue that hold our bones together. Within those layers we have:
1.) Our cartilage, which helps to protect our bones from scraping against one another.
2.) Our tendons, which connect our bones to our muscles.
3.) Our ligaments, which connect our bones to other bones.
4.) And our joints themselves that are connected by surrounding synovial fluid, its job is to help protect the joint.Joints for people with rheumatoid arthritis
In rheumatoid arthritis patients, their immune system attacks healthy tissue like the synovial sac, the small sac that holds the synovial fluid. This disease causes inflammation of the joints and a build up of excess fluid which results in pain and reduction in mobility. Eventually, this leads to the destruction of the cartilage, tendons, bones and fusion of the joints.
We don’t want our bones to wither and deform. To keep them strong and healthy, we need to take both calcium and vitamin D.
Calcium is important for the maintenance of healthy bones, teeth and even our nerves, heart and blood stream. Our body stores up to 98% of its calcium in our bones. This helps give our bones shape, and calcium is stored there until our body needs to use it, like when healing a wound.
Calcium leads to strong bones, and strong bones help prevent bone erosion (when your bones rub against one another), bone displacement, bone thinning, loss of cartilage, and deformities.
You can get calcium from:
5.) Flax seeds
6.) Dairy products
7.) SalmonSo if calcium does all of this, why do we need vitamin D?
Vitamin D and calcium work hand-in-hand. It doesn’t matter if you take tons of calcium, your body won’t absorb calcium unless you take it with vitamin D. Vitamin D also protects against cell death. The amount of vitamin D you need depends on your age, so please consult a doctor.
You can get vitamin D from:
5.) Fish oil
Vitamin D deficiencies have been linked to rheumatoid arthritis.Is there anything that lowers the levels of calcium and vitamin D? Yes.
Medication, along with certain acidic beverages like soda, can lower calcium and vitamin D levels within our bones, which is why rheumatologists tell their patients to take their medication. It is important, please take it!So why not just stop taking medication?
I know what you’re thinking. If medication is going to lower the calcium in your bones, why take it? I’ve gone through this same dilemma myself. This idea would pop up into my head repeatedly and I would stop taking my medication; however, I was wrong to do that.
You see, when your synovial sacs fill up with excess fluid, when you can see the inflammation and feel all that pain, that’s what’s ruining your joints. That fluid is what’s attacking everything we spoke of earlier.
This is why we take medication, medication helps prevent the formation of excess fluid and inflammation from occurring, it prevents pain and deformation. Popping in some calcium and vitamin D pills is easy.
But not taking medication to save whatever bits of calcium will be drained from my body doesn’t make sense to me. It’s too big of a risk for a small return, especially a return that can easily be balanced out with vitamin supplements.
Stay healthy and strong, beautiful! We are all in this together, one tablet at a time.