This site is intended for patients prescribed Simponi (golimumab). If you are a Healthcare Professional then go to the HCP site or if you are a member of the public, please visit our public site.

Getting the most out of your treatment

Taking your medicine is very important, but there are some things you can also do to help minimise the impact of your disease on your everyday life.

This section contains information about the role of diet, exercise and lifestyle. You'll find advice based on research and evidence, so that you have useful information to decide what's best for you.

Diet & Exercise

Please use the buttons below to find out more about the different diet and exercise information for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA), Non-Radiographic Axial Spondyloarthritis (nr-axSpA) and Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS), or for Ulcerative Colitis (UC):

Diet

There are no specific foods that are known to cause UC and there is no clear diet that can be used to treat it.1,2.

However, certain types of foods may worsen symptoms, especially during in a flare.2,3 Which foods in particular vary from person to person, but to minimise the impact, you can try:3

  • Eating small amounts throughout the day
  • Drinking lots of water
  • Limited milk products if you are lactose intolerant
  • Avoiding fatty, greasy or fried foods
  • Avoiding alcohol and caffeine

Fibre is also known to make symptoms worse during a flare.2-4

It may help to reduce your fibre intake when your symptoms are at their worst2 – but fibre should only be restricted on a short-term basis.4 When symptoms become mild again, these foods should be slowly reintroduced back into your diet.4

Fibre should by no means be limited when you are in remission - in fact, it has been shown to be beneficial.4

High fibre foods include:4

  • Whole-grain products e.g. brown rice or bran
  • Popcorn
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Raw fruit and vegetables
  • Beans and pulses

Due to the nature of UC, it can be difficult for your body to absorb enough nutrients from your food.2,3

Taking supplements can help your body to overcome this. For example, if you are losing blood due to your symptoms during a flare, you might need to take iron supplements. Your doctor will tell you if you need to take any supplements.

Talk to your doctor for advice based on your specific trigger foods and current condition.

Exercise

We know physical activity can be beneficial as it has been shown to help reduce inflammation.

Becoming more active can be daunting, but you can start slow and build up your activity levels over time. When in remission, you can do low-to moderate-intensity exercise with minimal risk of worsening your disease status.7

You should ask your doctor if you need advice on what level is best for you as your condition changes.

Any increase in activity is better than none, you will improve your general health as well as help reduce inflammation. Walking and yoga, for example, are great options for getting started.7

Potential benefits include: 7,8

  • Reduced symptoms
  • Better general health
  • Reversed muscle wasting
  • Increased bone density
  • Less stress
  • Greater wellbeing

Choose activities that will raise your heart rate, including walking or cycling.

As your confidence increases, you can gradually build up the amount of exercise you should do and your doctor or nurse can best advise if in doubt.

Along with exercises that make your heart work harder, you should also try and incorporate activities that strengthen your muscles and improve flexibility.

Diet

Diet has been shown to have an effect on symptoms in people with inflammatory rheumatic diseases. Being aware of what you eat can support your treatment and make sure you are looking after yourself as best as possible.

The Mediterranean Diet

Foods that are common in a Mediterranean diet have been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect.

A Mediterranean diet is rich in:5,6

  • plants: vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts and grains
  • fatty fish: sardines, anchovies, tuna, salmon, mackerel
  • extra virgin olive oil

The Mediterranean diet has been linked to long-term weight control, anti-inflammatory effects and is:5,6

Losing weight can make a huge difference to the pressure placed on joints.6

Exercise

In the past, it was thought that people with inflammatory rheumatic diseases couldn’t exercise. But now we know physical activity may help reduce inflammation as well as being important to your general health.

Becoming more active can be daunting, but you can start slow and build up your activity levels over time. Exercise, such as brisk walking can also be beneficial for your heart, not just your joints.

Ask your doctor or nurse about which activities will be best for you, as this can depend on your personal symptoms and condition.

Potential benefits include: 9,10,11,12

  • Less pain
  • Increase mobility
  • Less tiredness
  • Less anxiety/depression
  • Better functioning
  • Greater wellbeing

Choose activities that will raise your heart rate, including walking or cycling.

As your confidence increases, you may gradually build up the amount of exercise you do and your doctor or nurse can best advise if in doubt.

Along with exercises that make your heart work harder, you should also try and incorporate activities that strengthen your muscles and improve flexibility.

Exercise tips

Here are some tips to get you started:

Choose something you'll enjoy – this will help you stick with it

Do as much as you are comfortable with – over time you'll want to do more

Keep a record – you may surprise yourself with how quickly you progress

Although being more active will make you feel better, don’t start too quickly – you should build up how much you do over time

Remember, it’s worth it – staying active can benefit your disease as well as your general health

Contact

For further information about Simponi (golimumab) please contact our Medical Information Department at:

Medical Information Department

Merck Sharp & Dohme Ltd.

Hertford Road

Hoddesdon

Hertfordshire

EN11 9BU

Tel: 01992 467272

E-mail: medicalinformationuk@merck.com

External link

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References

  1. Kanai T et al. Korean J Intern Med 2014; 29(4): 409-15
  2. Olendzki BC et al. Nutr J 2014; 13(5): 1-7.
  3. Brown AC et al. Expert Rev. Gastroenterol. Hepatol 2011; 5(3): 411-25
  4. Pituch-Zdanowksa A et al. Prz Gastroenterol 2015; 10(3): 135-41.
  5. Oliviero F et al. Swiss Med Wkly 2015; 145: w14190.
  6. Clinton CM et al. Arthritis 2015; 2015: Article ID 708152.
  7. Narula N, Fedorak RN. Can J Gastroenterol 2008; 22 (5): 497-504
  8. Bilski J et al. BioMed Res Int 2014; Volume 2014 (Article ID 429031): 1-14.
  9. Benatti FB, Pedersen BK. Nat Rev Rheumatol 2015; 11: 86-97
  10. Nolte K et al. S Afr Fam Pract 2013; 55: 345-9
  11. Metsios GA et al. Expert Rev Clin Immunol 2015; 11: 1121-30
  12. Brophy S et al. Semin Arthritis Rheum 2013; 42: 619-26

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