Cholesterol Levels can be Reduced Without Medications

Cholesterol, when excess in the body can lead to a myriad of health
ailments. It may cause plaque build-up and clog your arteries and
ultimately lead to cardiovascular diseases, heart attacks, strokes and
more. Crazy, right? If you want to know how to best protect yourself
from plaque build-up, then make sure to check the tips below for ways to
lessen your body’s cholesterol deposits.


Usually a doctor will order a cholesterol test, and when the results are
out, the doctor will take a look at a few numbers.

LDL (low density lipoproteins). This is what is referred to as the
“bad” cholesterol and is well-linked to the development of heart
diseases also if left UN-treated for long periods of time. So, if you
happen to have high LDL levels, relax, you still have time to reverse
this process and lower your results. For healthy people, usually the
goal is to have LDL levels of less than 130.

HDL (high density lipoprotein). In contrast, this is the ‘good”
cholesterol. Exercising regularly and proper weight maintenance helps
increase this number. The goal here is to get an HDL level of more than 40.

Triglycerides. Another type of “bad” cholesterol and is typically seen
as elevated with people who consume a high carbs or high fat diet. The
therapeutic goal for healthy adults is less than 150.

Total cholesterol is the combination of both your good and bad
cholesterol levels.

Ways to Lower Your Cholesterol Levels Minus the Medications

Now that you’re familiar to the fact that high cholesterol levels need
your attention, then you might as well employ some strategies to lower
those numbers. There are of course medications that can help you achieve
your goal, but if you want to do it the natural way and without the use
of any maintenance pills, then please feel free to discuss the following
tips with your doctor before proceeding with your plan.

1. Limiting your total cholesterol.

Your daily cholesterol threshold should be no more than 100 mg. Make sure to keep count of your intake by reading the labels of the food you eat. If reading labels is not your forte, ask a dietician’s help for some explanation and basic know how.

2. Steer clear of trans fat. This kind of fat is mostly included in
processed and fried foods, and sweets. Your daily diet should
contain as little amount of trans fats as possible to get your
cholesterol levels lowered.

3. Limit your saturated fat intake. Your saturated fat intake should be
no more than 5% of your total caloric intake for the day. That’s
roughly 10 grams a day for most people.

4. Limit carbohydrates. Make sure to eat a complete and balanced diet.
Eat complex carbohydrates that are easier to metabolize by the body
like brown rice and whole wheat breads instead of white ones. Lesser
carbohydrate intake will help lower your cholesterol levels and can
aid in achieving your weight loss goals too.

5. Increase fiber intake. For adults, the daily recommended fiber
consumption is a minimum of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables
(around 25 grams fiber). Fiber can also be found in oats, barley,
fortified cereals and whole wheats.

6. Limit alcohol consumption. This is a big source of fats and
triglycerides, not to mention calories which can make you gain
weight. So make sure that you limit your drinking, and if you must
drink, op for red wine which is a much healthier alternative to beer.

7. Consume Non-fat dairy.

8. Eat plant-based proteins such as tofu, soy beans and more.

9. Shed excess weight.

10. Exercise and strive to lead an active and healthier lifestyle.

8 Signs You May Have a Thyroid Problem

The thyroid, is a butterfly-shaped gland in your neck, which produces
hormones that are important for metabolism and brain activity. Signs and
symptoms of a thyroid problem are often vague, but if you notice any of
the following signs persisting, or have more than one of the symptoms,
endocrinologists recommend consulting a doctor. This is to request a
simple blood test to determine your hormone levels.

When your thyroid is dysfunctional, it can cause vast array of health
issues. That is why it is important to determine if you have any of the
following common symptoms that might indicate a thyroid issue.

signs of thyroid problem

1. Changes in Bowel Movement

Frequent constipation could be a sign of an underactive thyroid. Thyroid
hormones participate in keeping your digestive track running. If you
produce too little, things get backed up.

While an overactive thyroid can create the opposite effect. You will
experience a regular bowel movement, this is not diarrhea, but the need
to go more frequently, because everything is sped up.


2. Changes in Menstrual Cycle

Both overactive and underactive thyroids can disrupt a women’s menstrual
cycles. The nature of the changes depend on whether an individual is
suffering from hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.

Women with underactive thyroids may experience a lighter than normal
periods, and they may also miss periods altogether. While an overactive
thyroid can cause heavier than normal periods, or periods which usually
last several days longer than normal. The menstrual cycle itself may be
short, and spotting can occur.

3. Changes in Weight

If you have tried every low-carb, low-fat and low-calorie diet with
little weight loss success, then you might have hypothyroidism. An
underactive thyroid gland slows down your metabolism to the point of

With an overactive thyroid, or hyperthyroidism on the other hand,
patients usually cannot gain weight no matter how much they eat. An
overly active thyroids push your metabolism to warp speed, which causes
your body to burn calories like rocket fuel. Many patients also
experience unexplained weight loss.

4. Dry Skin

If your skin is dry and itchy, it can be symptoms of hypothyroidism. The
change in the skin texture and appearance is probably due to slowed
metabolism, which is caused by too little thyroid hormone production.
This can also reduce sweating.

Skin without enough moisture can become flaky and dry. Likewise, your
nails can become brittle and may develop ridges.

5. Fatigue

Feeling tired and having no energy are problems linked with lots of
conditions, but they are strongly associated with hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism is a disorder that is the result of too little thyroid

If you are still tired in the morning or all day even after a full
night’s sleep, that is a sign that your thyroid may be underactive. Too
little thyroid hormone that is coursing through your cells and
bloodstream means your muscles are not getting that get-going signal.

6. High Cholesterol

High levels of low-density lipoprotein or LDL cholesterol that have not
responded to exercise, diet or medication have been associated with
hypothyroidism. Elevated levels of the bad cholesterol can due to an
underactive thyroid.

Left untreated hypothyroidism can lead to heart problems, including
heart failure or an enlarged heart.

7. Joint and Muscle Pain

Unexplained pains and aches in your muscles and joints, following no
period of physical exertion, can be symptomatic of a thyroid condition.
These pains can be intense, which might interfere with normal activities
and inhibit the patient’s ability to perform movements within their
normal ranges of motion.

These symptoms can also manifest as muscle weaknesses, which leads the
specific muscle groups unable to carry normal workloads. Some
individuals experience tremors in their hands, which can become severe.
Swelling, pain and stiffness can also occur in your muscles and joints.

8. Swollen Neck

A visibly enlarged thyroid or swelling in your neck that leads to neck
pain and a gravelly voice can indicate thyroid disease. This condition
is called “/neck goiter/,” and it presents as a localized enlargement at
the base of your neck, which affects the skin and surrounding tissues,
protecting the actual thyroid gland.

But, the presence of a neck goiter does not necessarily mean that there
is a problem with the thyroid itself. This type of swelling simply means
that there is some underlying condition which is affecting the size of
your thyroid and causing it to grow. If it occurs in isolation without
the presence of other symptoms, it may not require treatment.



Medical and Natural Treatments for Diabetic Neuropathy

Mindfulness May Lower Blood Sugar Levels

Being overweight is stressful on the body, and stress can worsen obesity-related health issues and make it harder to shed pounds—throwing people into a vicious cycle that seems impossible to escape. Now, a new study published in the journal Obesity offers a strategy that may help. In a group of overweight women, mindfulness training reduced stress and fasting blood sugar levels better than traditional health-education classes.

To study the effects of mindfulness, researchers from Penn State University randomly assigned 86 overweight or obese women to receive eight weekly sessions of either mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), taught by a professional instructor, or general health education, taught by a registered dietitian.

The MBSR group learned how to use mindfulness techniques—like meditation and breath awareness—to respond to stress. The health education group learned about diet, exercise, obesity-related health issues and general stress management.

The goal of these sessions was not to help people lose weight, but to reduce stress and stress-related health problems. In that sense, mindfulness worked better: After eight weeks of training and eight more weeks of home practice, perceived stress scores for women in the MBSR group had decreased 3.6 points from the start of the study on a 10-point scale, compared to only 1.3 points for women in the health education group.

Both groups experienced improvements in mood, psychological distress and sleep-related problems. But only the MBSR group saw a decrease in fasting blood sugar levels—both right after training was completed and when the women were retested eight weeks later.

The researchers also tested the women for other health outcomes—including weight, body mass index, waist circumference, blood pressure, fasting insulin, cholesterol, inflammatory markers and levels of stress hormones—but they saw no significant changes for these measurements, in either group.

Still, the decrease in blood sugar levels could be enough to have real health implications, say the study authors. While they did not ask the women to report what or how much they ate, they hypothesize that “increased mindfulness could have made it easier for the MBSR group to adhere to the diet and exercise guidelines we gave them,” they wrote in the paper.

Only 71% of the study participants completed the eight-week training sessions, and only 62% stuck with the research for all 16 weeks, which reduces the strength of the findings. But the authors wrote that most dropouts were in the health education group, which “is evidence that the current standard of care is ineffective and unappealing to patients.” The fact that more women completed the mindfulness training than the health education (83% versus 59%) “lends support to the feasibility and acceptability of MBSR in women with overweight or obesity,” they added.

More research—in larger and more varied groups of people—is needed to determine the mechanisms through which mindfulness-based stress reduction may lower blood sugar, and to see whether sustained increases in mindfulness over longer periods of time would result in even greater and lasting benefits, the authors wrote. “If, as our study suggests, MBSR lowers glucose in people with overweight or obesity, then it could be an effective tool for preventing or treating type 2 diabetes,” they wrote.

Pneumothorax: Causes, symptoms, and treatment

Pneumothorax, commonly called a collapsed lung, can be a painful and worrying experience.

In a healthy body, the lungs are touching the walls of the chest. A pneumothorax occurs when air gets into the space between the chest wall and the lung, called the pleural space.

The pressure of this air causes the lung to collapse on itself. The lung may fully collapse, but most often only a part of it collapses. This collapse can also put pressure on the heart, causing further symptoms.

A few different things can cause pneumothorax, and symptoms can vary widely. Doctors can help to diagnose and treat pneumothorax.


The causes of pneumothorax are categorized as either primary spontaneous, secondary spontaneous, or traumatic.

Primary spontaneous

If air gets in between the lung and the chest wall, it can cause the lung to collapse in on itself.

A primary spontaneous pneumothorax (PSP) occurs when the person has no known history of lung disease. The direct cause of PSP is unknown.

At-risk groups for primary spontaneous pneumothorax include:

  • tobacco or cannabis smokers
  • tall men
  • people ages 15-34
  • people with a family history of pneumothoraces

The most important risk factor associated with PSP is smoking tobacco. A review in the medical journal BMJ noted that men who smoke tobacco are 22 times more likely to develop PSP than nonsmokers. Women who smoke tobacco are nine times more likely than nonsmokers to develop PSP.

If treated promptly, PSP is usually not fatal.

Secondary spontaneous

Secondary spontaneous pneumothorax (SSP) can be caused by a variety of lung diseases and disorders.

SSP carries more serious symptoms than PSP, and it is more likely to cause death.

Lung diseases that may increase the risk of developing pneumothorax include:

  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • cystic fibrosis
  • severe asthma
  • lung infections, such as tuberculosis and certain forms of pneumonia
  • sarcoidosis
  • thoracic endometriosis
  • pulmonary fibrosis
  • lung cancer and sarcomas involving the lungs

Certain connective tissue disorders may also cause SSP. These disorders include:

  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • polymyositis and dermatomyositis
  • systemic sclerosis
  • Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
  • Marfans syndrome

Under certain conditions, children are also at risk for SSP. Causes of SSP in children include:

  • congenital malformations
  • inhaling a foreign object
  • measles
  • echinococcosis

The risk may also be higher if a family member has previously experienced SSP.

Traumatic pneumothorax

A traumatic pneumothorax can occur without a noticeable wound, such as while scuba diving or after an explosion.

A traumatic pneumothorax is the result of an impact or injury. Potential causes include blunt trauma or an injury that damages the chest wall and pleural space.

One of the most common ways this occurs is when someone fractures a rib. The sharp points of the broken bone can puncture the chest wall and damage lung tissue. Other causes include sports injuries, car accidents, and puncture or stab wounds.

A traumatic pneumothorax can occur even if there is no noticeable wound on the chest. This is common in people who have experienced a blast trauma from an explosion.

Scuba divers have to take precautions when underwater to prevent pneumothorax. When divers breathe from a compressed air tank, they experience different levels of pressure from the water and the air itself. The force of these different pressures can cause damage to the lungs, which may take the form of a pneumothorax.

Certain medical procedures may also lead to traumatic pneumothorax. Inserting a catheter into a vein in the chest or taking a sample of lung tissue may lead to a pneumothorax. Doctors will often monitor people after these procedures to catch any early signs that may need treatment.

Tension pneumothorax

Any of these types of pneumothorax can turn into a tension pneumothorax. This is caused by a leak in the pleural space that resembles a one-way valve.

As a person inhales, the air leaks into the pleural space and becomes trapped. It cannot be released during an exhale. This process leads to increased air pressure in the pleural space that is life-threatening and needs immediate treatment.


Symptoms of pneumothorax may hardly be noticeable at first and can be confused with other disorders.

The symptoms of pneumothorax can vary from mild to life-threatening and may include:

  • shortness of breath
  • chest pain, which may be more severe on one side of the chest
  • sharp pain when inhaling
  • pressure in the chest that gets worse over time
  • blue discoloration of the skin or lips
  • increased heart rate
  • rapid breathing
  • confusion or dizziness
  • loss of consciousness or coma

Some cases of pneumothoraces have almost no symptoms. These can only be diagnosed with an X-ray or another type of scan. Others require emergency medical attention. Anyone experiencing the symptoms above should contact their doctor or seek immediate medical help.


Diagnosing pneumothorax can be complicated due to the variety of symptoms and causes.

In non-emergency situations, doctors will first physically examine a person to look for signs of the disorder. They may tap on their chest to check for abnormal sounds or listen to their breathing through a stethoscope.

A doctor will usually use an X-ray to look for signs of a collapsed lung.

Doctors will also ask someone about their medical history and habits, such as smoking. They may also ask about any family history of lung disorders.

Imaging is an important part of most diagnoses. Doctors use X-rays to take images of the chest and look for signs of a collapsed lung. A technician takes the X-ray while the person inhales fully and holds their breath.

The size of the pneumothorax is usually measured as the space between the lung and chest wall. The size of the pneumothorax often determines how it is treated.

CT scans are used to get a better picture of the lung than an X-ray provides. Doctors often use CT scans in trauma situations when they need an accurate image of a puncture wound or other damage for treatment.

Ultrasound is used in some situations and can provide a quick way to view the size and severity of a pneumothorax. It may be more sensitive than X-rays for examining blunt trauma.

In cases of a severe tension pneumothorax, the evidence of the collapsed lung is often very obvious and requires immediate attention to prevent permanent damage or death.


Most forms of pneumothorax require medical attention. The extent of this medical attention can vary as much as the disorder itself.

The standard medical treatment usually involves inserting a small tube between the ribs or under the collarbone to release the gas that has built up. This will slowly decompress the lung.

Doctors may prescribe various drugs to numb pain, help remove toxins, or prevent infection in the body. Some people may need oxygen if their lung capacity is deficient.

Surgical treatment may be necessary in some cases, especially in individuals who have had repeated pneumothoraces.

People with SSP are more likely to need medical attention due to the serious nature of the lung diseases associated with the condition. Those with SSP may experience more severe symptoms and face a greater risk of serious complications and death.

Some very small pneumothoraces may heal without any treatment. Doctors may give their patients the option to allow the pneumothorax to heal under supervision without taking any medical or surgical action.

A person who experiences any signs or symptoms should report them to a doctor. They can decide whether medical intervention is necessary to reduce the risk of serious events.

source: medical news online.

How Important is Hemoglobin?

What is hemoglobin?

Hemoglobin (Hgb) is an iron-rich protein in red blood cells responsible for transporting oxygen. Oxygen entering the lungs attaches to the hemoglobin in the blood, which carries it to the tissues in the body.

When someone has insufficient red blood cells or the ones they have malfunction, the body is left short of the oxygen it needs to function. This condition is known as Anemia.

Here, we will look at the role of hemoglobin, and how levels of it in the blood are tested. We also examine the main kinds of anemia in more detail and see ways the condition can be prevented.

Each hemoglobin protein can carry four molecules of oxygen, which are delivered throughout the body by red blood cells. Every one of the body’s billions of cells needs oxygen to repair and maintain itself.

Hemoglobin also plays a role in helping red blood cells obtain their disc-like shape, which helps them navigate easily through blood vessels.

How are hemoglobin levels tested?

Hemoglobin levels are measured by conducting a blood test. Hemoglobin, or Hgb, is usually expressed in grams per deciliter (g/dL) of blood. A low level of hemoglobin in the blood relates directly to a low level of oxygen.

In the United States, anemia is diagnosed if a blood test finds less than 13.5 g/dL in a man or less than 12 g/dL in a woman. In children, normal levels vary according to age.

What do high hemoglobin levels mean?

High hemoglobin levels could be indicative of the rare blood disease, polycythemia. It causes the body to make too many red blood cells, causing the blood to be thicker than usual. This can lead to clots, heart attacks, and strokes. It is a serious lifelong condition that can be fatal if it is not treated.

High hemoglobin can also be caused by dehydration, smoking, or living at high altitudes, or it can be linked to other conditions, such as lung or heart disease.

What do low hemoglobin levels mean?

Low hemoglobin levels usually indicate that a person has anemia. There are several kinds of anemia:

  • Iron-deficiency anemia is the most common type. This form of anemia occurs when a person does not have enough iron in their body, and it cannot make the hemoglobin it needs. Anemia is usually caused by blood loss, but can also be due to poor absorption of iron. This can happen, for example, when someone has had gastric bypass surgery.
  • Pregnancy-related anemia is a kind of iron-deficiency anemia, which occurs because pregnancy and childbirth require a significant amount of iron.
  • Vitamin-deficiency anemia happens when there are low levels of nutrients, such as vitamin B12 or folic acid (also called folate), in the diet. These anemias change the shape of the red blood cells, which makes them less effective.
  • Aplastic anemia is a disorder where blood-forming stem cells in the bone marrow are attacked by the immune system, resulting in fewer red blood cells.
  • Hemolytic anemia can be the result of another condition, or it can be inherited. It occurs when the red blood cells are broken up in the bloodstream or the spleen.
  • Sickle cell anemia is an inherited condition where the hemoglobin protein is abnormal. It means the red blood cells are sickle-shaped and rigid which stops them flowing through small blood vessels.

Anemia can also be caused by other conditions, such as kidney disease and chemotherapy for cancer, which can also affect the body’s ability to make red blood cells.

Newborns have a temporary anemia when they are 6-8 weeks old. This occurs when they run out of the red blood cells they are born with but their bodies have not made new red blood cells. This condition will not affect the baby adversely unless they are sick for some other reason.

Babies can also have anemia from breaking down cells too quickly, which results in yellowing skin, a condition known as jaundice. This often occurs if the mother and baby have incompatible blood types.


A shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, and chest pain may be symptoms of low hemoglobin.

Typical symptoms of low hemoglobin include:

  • weakness
  • shortness of breath
  • dizziness
  • fast, irregular heartbeat
  • pounding in the ears
  • headache
  • cold hands and feet
  • pale or yellow skin
  • chest pain

Who is at risk?

Older people or people who lack iron in their diets can be at risk of developing anemia.

People who do vigorous exercise are also at greater risk, as exertion can lead to a breakdown of red blood cells in the bloodstream. Women who are menstruating or pregnant may also be at increased risk of developing anemia.

People who have chronic health conditions, including autoimmune conditions, liver disease, thyroid disease and inflammatory bowel disease, may have lower hemoglobin levels, which increases the chances of developing anemia.

Hemoglobin levels increase in situations where a person needs more oxygen in their body. Consequently, someone who has lung or kidney disease, who smokes, or is dehydrated, may be at risk of increased hemoglobin levels.


iron-rich foods
Eating iron-rich foods may help to prevent anemia.

While many types of anemia cannot be prevented, eating iron-rich foods, such as beef, dark green leafy vegetables, dried fruits, and nuts can prevent anemias caused by iron or vitamin deficiencies.

Meat and dairy are good sources of vitamin B12, and folic acid is found in citrus juices, legumes, and fortified cereals.

The American Society of Hematology recommend taking a daily multivitamin to help prevent nutritional anemia’s. Older adults, however, should not take iron supplements for iron-deficiency anemia unless instructed to do so by their doctor.

Smoking cessation and drinking plenty of water can help avoid high hemoglobin levels.

SOURCE:Medical News Today

Breast implants may cause false ECG diagnosis of heart attack

Electrocardiogram recordings are often used to diagnose heart attacks and other conditions. But a new study suggests that in the case of patients with breast implants, the recordings can often be misleading. It recommends that doctors use other tests to confirm any indications.

The study, which was presented recently at the European Society of Cardiology meeting EHRA EUROPACE-CARDIOSTIM 2017, held in Vienna, Austria, is published in the Society’s Europace journal.

An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a recording of the heart’s electrical activity that is made using a machine attached to the skin of the chest, arms, and legs.

An ECG can reveal how fast the heart is beating, whether or not the rhythm of the beat is irregular, and the pattern of electrical pulses in each part of the heart.

ECGs are used to diagnose heart disease, heart attack, heart failure, irregular heartbeat, or arrythmia, and other heart conditions.

They are used routinely in clinics, doctor’s surgeries, and outpatient departments. Emergency departments also use them to investigate chest pains.

Implants can disrupt heart readings

Breast implants are used in breast augmentation to enlarge or restore breast size. They can also be used in mammoplasty or reshaping of the breast, as well as in breast reconstruction – following mastectomy, for instance. Most implants are of the saline or silicone-gel type.

In 2016, plastic surgeons carried out nearly 290,500 breast augmentations in the United States, 4 percent more than in 2015.

Dr. Sok-Sithikun Bun, lead author of the new study and a cardiologist at Princess Grace Hospital in Monaco, explains why they carried out their investigation.

“Our experience shows that breast implants make it difficult to see the heart with echocardiography because ultrasound cannot penetrate through the implant. We wanted to find out if implants also disrupt an ECG.”

For the study, 28 women with breast implants and 20 control women of the same age without breast implants underwent ECGs. All the women were healthy and showed no evidence of structural heart disease.

Each ECG was analyzed by two electrophysiologists who were “blinded” about the subjects – that is, they were unaware of key characteristics such as the age and sex of each patient, whether they had breast implants, and whether they had heart disease.

One physiologist declared all the ECGs of the control group to be normal. The other said that one of them was abnormal.

‘Be aware of potentially abnormal ECGs’

When they examined the ECGs of the group with breast implants, one physiologist said that 38 percent of them were abnormal, while the other said that 57 percent of them were abnormal.

Dr. Bun says that since “the main difference between the two groups of women was the breast implants,” he and his colleagues concluded that the abnormal ECG recordings were due to the implants.

“Albeit echocardiography is difficult in women with implants, these measurements indicated that they had normal hearts and no structural heart disease, which suggests that there was no heart problem that could explain the abnormal ECGs,” he adds.

Doctors look at various patterns in an ECG – such as “ST depression” and “T wave inversion” – to diagnose a heart attack.

Dr. Bun says that the pattern that came up the most often in the abnormal ECG recordings of the group with breast implants was “T wave inversion from leads V1 to V4, followed by ST depression.”

“T wave inversion is an unspecific sign but can indicate the presence of coronary artery disease, while ST depression indicates that a patient may have a heart attack,” he explains.

Dr. Bun advises patients to let doctors know if they have breast implants before they undergo an ECG. They should also consider having an ECG before receiving implants so that there is a pre-implant recording on file for comparison later. He concludes:

Doctors should be aware that ECG interpretation can be misleading in patients with breast implants. In case of any doubts regarding the diagnosis, blood tests need to be performed depending on the symptoms.”

source: Medical News Online.

How to Prevent Arthritis 10 Unique Ways

Although there is no sure way to prevent various types of arthritis, people can reduce their risk or delay the onset of certain forms of the disorder, according to the Arthritis Foundation.

These 10 methods could help to prevent arthritis:

1. Maintaining a healthy weight helps reduce the risk of osteoarthritis. study shows that overweight women are nearly four times as likely to develop knee osteoarthritis as women who maintain a healthy weight.

2. Not smoking or quitting smoking may help someone avoid  the onset of rheumatoid arthritis.

3. A healthy diet low in sugar, alcohol and purine sources, such as liver, poultry and pork, may work for gout, another form of arthritis, the Arthritis Foundation notes.

4. Fish containing omega-3 fatty acids may reduce inflammation in the body, according to Healthline. Sources of omega-3s include salmon, mackerel, trout and sardines.

5. Exercise helps to keep the weight off, and it also builds up muscles in areas around the joints for protection. Healthline recommends alternating exercises that include activities such as walking or swimming with strengthening exercises along with stretching for flexibility.

6. Avoiding injury is a way to prevent the onset of arthritis. Injuries may cause damage to the cartilage near the joints to bring on the crippling disease.

Wearing protective gear during contact sports and learning the proper way to exercise helps to avoid injury.

7. Women who drink moderate amounts of alcohol may have a lower risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, according to The BMJ, formerly the British Medical Journal.

Moderate drinking means one glass a day for women and two glasses a day for men.

People should consult their doctor about drinking before using it as a preventive measure.

8. People can have their vitamin D levels checked by a doctor as a means to prevent arthritis, according to Dr. Scott Zashin, rheumatologist and clinical professor of medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School.

“Patients who have adequate levels of vitamin D have less progression of osteoarthritis,” Zashin told Everyday Health. Sources of vitamin D include omega-3-rich fish and milk fortified with the vitamin.

9. Staying properly hydrated also helps to prevent arthritis because cartilage needs an adequate supply of water to cushion the joints. Drinking six to eight cups of water a day may keep the cartilage healthy.

10. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables with vitamin C may prevent osteoarthritis. Vitamin C supplements help to increase bone density, writes Dr. Harvinder S. Sandhu in SpineUniverse, an information site on conditions related to the spine.

People should check with their doctor about dosage when using vitamin supplements to prevent arthritis.