Rheumatoid Arthritis
19 Case Studies
5 Member Stories
47 Research

Learn research based natural remedies for Rheumatoid Arthritis treatment and prevention

Overview

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic disease that inflames and deforms the joints in a body. Additional problems such as inflammation of blood vessels (vasculitis), the growth of lumps (rheumatoid nodules), lung disease, blood disorders, and weakening of the bones (osteoporosis) may also develop across the body. Rheumatoid Arthritis can often be characterized as a chronic, systemic, inflammatory disorder, that attacks the peripheral joints and close muscles, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels. It may additionally have an effect on several tissues and organs. The joints inflammation of their lining (synovium), leads to pain and swelling that eventually results in deformity. It's characterized by spontaneous remissions and unpredictable exacerbation. Rheumatoid Arthritis may be a medical condition that has multi-faceted reminder presentation, as well as several general complaints because the malady progresses. The aim of treating a rheumatoid arthritis patient is to arrest the progress of the disease and stop the onset of any abnormality. With persons in whom the deformity has already set in, the aim is to cut back pain and deformity. 

Description

The skeletal system of the human body consists of different types of strong, fibrous tissue called connective tissue. Bone, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons are all kinds of connective tissue which have different compositions and attributes.

The joints are structures which hold two or more bones together. Synovial joints allow for movement between the bones being linked, the articulating bones. The most straightforward synovial joint involves two bones, separated by a slight gap called the joint cavity. The ends of each articular bone are covered by a layer of cartilage. The articular capsule has two elements: the fibrous membrane on the outside and the synovial membrane, or synovium, on the interior. The fibrous membrane may include tough bands of tissue called ligaments, which are responsible for providing support to the joints. The synovial membrane has special cells and several tiny blood vessels called capillaries. This membrane produces a supply of synovial fluid that fills the joint cavity, lubricates it, and assists the articular bones move easily about the joint.

In rheumatoid arthritis, the synovial membrane becomes severely inflamed. Usually thin and delicate, the synovium becomes thick and stiff, with numerous in-foldings on its surface. The membrane is invaded by white blood cells, which produce an assortment of harmful chemicals. The cartilage across the articular surfaces of the bones might be attacked and destroyed, and the bone, articular capsule, and ligaments may start to erode. These processes seriously interfere with movement in the joint.

RA exists all around the world and affects people of all races. In the USA alone, about two million people suffer from the disease. Women are three times more likely than men to have RA. About 80 percent of people with RA are diagnosed between the ages of 35 and 50. RA appears to run in families, although certain factors in the environment can also influence the development of the disease.

Causes

The underlying event that promotes RA in a individual is unknown. Given the genetic factors involved in RA, some researchers have suggested that an external event occurs and triggers the disease cycle in a individual with a specific genetic makeup. The discovery should soon aid research into diagnosis and treatment of this disease. Recent research has also demonstrated that many autoimmune diseases, including RA, share a common genetic link. In other words, patients with RA may share common genes with household members that have other autoimmune diseases like systemic lupus, multiple sclerosis, and others.

Many researchers are examining the possibility that exposure to an organism (a virus or bacteria ) may be the first event in the progression of RA. The body's normal response is to create cells that can attack and destroy the organism, protecting the body from the foreign invader. In an autoimmune disease like RA, this resistant cycle spins out of control. The body generates misdirected immune antibodies, which unintentionally identify portions of the individual's body as foreign. These immune cells then produce an assortment of substances that injure and destroy parts of the body.

Reports in late 2001 suggest that particular stress hormones published during pregnancy may affect development of RA and other autoimmune diseases in women. The symptoms then worsen in the year following pregnancy. Further, girls appear to be at greater risk of developing new autoimmune disorders following pregnancy.

Symptoms

RA can start very slowly or it may strike without warning. The most commonly involved joints include feet, hands, wrists, elbows, and ankles. The joints are generally affected in a symmetrical fashion. This implies that if the ideal wrist is involved, the left wrist is also involved. Patients often experience painful joint stiffness when they first get up in the morning, lasting maybe one hour. Over time, the joints become dimmed. The hands and feet can also curve outward in an abnormal way.


Many patients also detect increased tiredness, lack of appetite, weight reduction, and sometimes fever. Rheumatoid nodules are lumps that look under the skin around the joints and also on the very top of their arms and thighs. These nodules may also occur in the tissues covering the surface of the lungs and lining the chest cavity (pleura), also at the tissue covering the brain and spinal cord (meninges). Lung involvement can lead to shortness of breath and can be seen more in guys. Vasculitis, an inflammation of the blood vessels, can interfere with blood flow. This could lead to bloated pits (ulcers) in the epidermis, gangrene, and interference with nerve function that triggers numbness and tingling.

 

The joints become swollen, tender and the stiffness limits their movement. With time, RA can affect multiple joints ( polyarthritis). Most typically, little joints of the hands, feet and cervical spine are affected. However larger joints just like the shoulder and knee also can be concerned. inflammation may end up in tethering of tissue with loss of movement and erosion of the joint surface, inflicting deformity and loss of operate. Augmented stiffness early in the morning is commonly a distinguished feature of the malady which can last for an hour or more. In many cases, RA follows a course that allows normal activity, although some can suffer total disability from severe articular deformity, associated extra-articular symptoms, or both. The prognosis worsens with the development of nodules, vasculitis, and high titers of rheumatoid factor (RF). The malady has been shown to put a big burden on society at large. The studies show that RA tenth of the population can suffer from some type of RA - and about half of that set has joint (or related) diseases. Women are affected by RA thrice typically than men. 

Treatments and therapies

There's no cure available for RA. However, treatment is available to fight the inflammation to be able to reduce destruction of the joints and other complications of this disease. Efforts are also made to offer relief from the symptoms and to preserve maximum flexibility and mobility of the joints.

A wide range of holistic therapies are advocated for patients with RA to manage the painful effects. Meditation, hypnosis, guided imagery, relaxation, and reflexology techniques are used effectively to control pain. Acupressure and acupuncture have also been used for pain; operate on the stress points need to be performed daily in combination with other remedies. Bodywork can be soothing and is considered to enhance and restore chemical balance in the body. A massage with rosemary and chamomile, or soaking in a hot tub with these vital oils, can provide additional relief. Stiff joints may also be loosened up with a hot sesame oil massage, followed by a hot shower to further heat the oil and permit entry to the pores. Movement therapies such as yoga, t'ai chi, and qigong also help to loosen up the joints.

A large number of nutritional supplements can be useful for RA. Fish oils, the enzymes bromelain and pancreatin, as well as the antioxidants (vitamins A, C, and E, selenium, and zinc) are the principal supplements to take into account.

Anti-inflammatory herbs may be useful, such as turmeric (Curcuma longa), ginger (Zingiber officinale), feverfew (Chrysanthemum parthenium), devil's claw (Harpagophytum procumbens), Chinese thoroughwax (Bupleuri falcatum), and licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra).

Homeopathic practitioners recommend Rhus toxicondendron and bryonia (Bryonia alba) for acute prescriptions, but inherent therapy, generally used for chronic problems like RA, is more often recommended. Yoga has been used for RA patients to encourage relaxation, alleviate stress, and enhance flexibility. Nutritionists recommend that a vegetarian diet low in animal products and sugar may help to reduce both inflammation and pain from RA. The enzyme bromelain, found in pineapple juice has also been proven to have significant anti-inflammatory consequences.

RA, considered an autoimmune disease, is often connected with food allergies or intolerances. An elimination/challenge diet can help decrease symptoms of RA in addition to identify the foods which need to be eliminated to stop flare-ups and recurrences.

Hydrotherapy can help greatly reduce inflammation and pain. Various yoga exercises performed once a day may also help in maintaining joint flexibility. Review natural therapies with research, case studies, and success stories from experts to evaluate what may be best for you.

Risk Factors

 Risk Factors related to arthritis can be associated with many factors such as: 

Age – the foremost common onset of arthritis is between the ages of 40-60, although there are cases at variable ages. 

Family History – If a loved one has arthritis, you will be at augmented risk. it's additionally thought that there is also a genetic predisposition to developing arthritis however no correlational statistics has been created. 

Gender – Females have augmented the risk of developing arthritis than men 

Smoking – significant smoking will increase your risk of developing arthritis 

Prevention

There is no known way to prevent the development of RA. The most that can be hoped for is to prevent or slow its progress.

References

1. Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine

2. Aaseng, Nathan. Autoimmune Diseases. New York: F. Watts, 1995.
Lipsky, Peter E.“Rheumatoid Arthritis.” Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine. 14th ed. edited by Anthony S. Fauci, et al. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1998.
3. Schlotzhauer, M. Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993.
4. Akil, M., and R. S. Amos.“Rheumatoid Arthritis: Clinical Features and Diagnosis.” British Medical Journal. 310 (March 4, 1995): 587+.
5. Gremillion, Richard B. and Ronald F. Van Vollenhoven.“Rheumatoid Arthritis: Designing and Implementing a Treatment Plan.” Postgraduate Medicine. 103 (February 1998): 103+.
6. The efficacy of Ayurvedic treatment for rheumatoid arthritis: Cross-sectional experiential profile of a longitudinal study , Kumar P. R. Krishna

 PUBMED: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3157120/
7. Moran, M. “Autoimmune Diseases Could Share Common Genetic Etiology.” American Medical News. 44; no. 38: (October 8, 2001):38.

8. Immunotherapy Weekly. (December 26, 2001):24.

9. Vastag, Brian. “Autoimmune Disorders and Hormones.” JAMA, Journal of the American Medical Association. 286, no. 19 (November 21, 2001):1.

10. Ross, Clare. “A Comparison of Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis: Diagnosis and Treatment.” The Nurse Practitioner. 22 (September 1997): 20+.

Get a Consultation
(650) 539-4545
Get more information via email