Updated: Jan 4
Do you struggle with pain, loss of joint function, stiffness, and swelling in joints due to arthritis? Millions of people suffer on a daily basis from these and other symptoms of arthritis. Traditionally, doctors prescribe an anti-inflammatory medication to reduce pain. However the pain medication fail to offer lasting relief as they are not addressing the complexity of the condition.
In this video I am going to share how to treat arthritis naturally using nutrition and natural remedies.
By improving our diet, increasing vitamins and minerals that support your recovery and using specific herbs can help you regain your active lifestyle you can effectively manage Rheumatoid Arthritis symptoms.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects the entire body but especially the synovial membranes of the joints. It is a classic example of autoimmune disease, a condition in which the body’s immune system attacks the body’s own tissue. In Rheumatoid Arthritis the joints typically involved are the hands and feet, wrists and ankles and knees. These joints are characteristically quite warm, tender and swollen. The skin over the joint takes on a purplish colour. As Rheumatoid Arthritis progresses, joint deformities result in the hands and feet.
The usual onset is 20 to 40 yrs, although Rheumatoid Arthritis may begin at any age and more predominant in females than males.
SIGNS and SYMPTOMS
The onset of Rheumatoid Arthritis is usually gradual but occasionally it is quite abrupt. Fatigue, low grade fever, weakness, joint stiffness and joint pain appear first. Several weeks later joints become painful and swollen. Most people suffering with rheumatoid arthritis feel fatigues as a result of the anaemia that usually accompanies the disease. Other common accompanying problems include carpal tunnel syndrome which is tingling and pain in the fingers caused by pressure on the nerve as it enters the hand through the wrist. and a condition called Raynaud's phenomenon where the blood flow through the fingers is severely reduced when they are exposed to cold. In some cases soft nodes develop beneath the skin over bony surfaces. More serious complications such as inflammation of the heart and lungs are also possible in severe cases.
1. Early symptoms listed above over several weeks.
2. Severe joint pains with much inflammation begins in small joints but progresses and affects all joints in the body.
3. X-ray findings showing soft tissue swelling, erosion of cartilage and joint space narrowing.
4. Rheumatoid factor RF is present in the blood.
5. Accompanying symptoms like inflammation of blood vessels, skin nodules, inflammation of heart and lungs, enlargement of spleen, anaemia and low white blood cells count.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is easily recognised in its most advanced form with characteristic symptoms. However diagnosis of early Rheumatoid Arthritis is often much more difficult. If you feel you may have RH, visit your doctor for a definitive diagnosis.
WHAT CAUSES RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS
There is evidence that Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune reaction where antibodies develop against components of joint tissue. However the trigger for this auto immune reaction is unclear. Some studies show it is due to genetic factors, abnormal bowel function -leaky intestines. posable microbial causes,
CURRENT MEDICAL TREATMENT
Standard medical therapy is limited in most cases of Rheumatoid Arthritis as it fails to address the complexity of the disease. Treatment generally involves the use of aspirin or other non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for pain release. They merely suppress the symptoms and accelerates factors that promote the disease process. The use of NSAIDs in Rheumatoid Arthritis is also a significant cause of serious GI tract reactions.
It involves reducing the many factors that contribute to Rheumatoid Arthritis like poor digestion, food allergies, abnormal gut permeability, circulating immune complexes and excessive inflammatory process. Diet is used to control inflammation. Diet has been strongly implicated to Rheumatoid Arthritis for both cause and cure. Studies show that a diet rich in whole foods, vegetables and diet that is low in sugar, meat, refined carbs and saturated fat offers protection against developing Rheumatoid Arthritis. The major focus of dietary therapy is eliminating food allergies, modifying intake of dietary fats and oils and increasing the intake of antioxidant nutrients
BENEFICIAL FOODS and SUPPLEMENTS
No diet should promise overnight success. Healing takes time. If you suffer from arthritis you need to eat foods and take supplements that calm the inflammatory process that cause pain. You also need to consume nutrients that the body needs to build new and healthy tissue such as cartilage in joints.
1. Olive Oil
Studies show that olive oil contain oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid that is converted to molecules with a much lower inflammatory potential. Vegetable oils obtained from sunflower of corn oil contain more omega 6 fatty acid that participate in inflammation.
2. Fish oils
The most commonly used supplement for arthritis is fish oil and cod liver oils and some studies show that cod liver oil have indicated positive results for people with RA. One particular studies showed that omega 3 fatty acids in cod lover oil switch off the enzymes that break down joint cartilage. Therefore taking this supplement can reduce cartilage destruction and can recuse pain and stiffness. Fish oils are dietary supplements that are rich in omega 3 essential fatty acid, which have strong anti-inflammatory properties.
Ginger contains active ingredients that contain anti-inflammatory properties and is shown to increase circulation. However note that Ginger can interfere with medications for blood thinning and should not be used if you have gallstones.
4. Fruit and vegetables
The world health organisation recommends five portions of fruit and vegetables a day to make sure our body receives the important nutrients it needs like vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. For people with arthritis this is even more important because antioxidants help to protect joints by eliminating some body chemicals that cause inflammations. Research shows that people who eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, especially containing Vitamin C seem to lower the risk of developing inflammatory arthritis. Brightly coloured vegetable and fruits are richer in antioxidants.
A healthy diet including all essential vitamins, minerals particularly calcium is very important. This is because people with RA need to keep bones and joints as strong as possible to prevent Osteoporosis which is common in people with RA, probably because of reduced exercise or steroid treatments. The richest sources of calcium are milk, cheese, yogurt, first with bones and calcium-rich soya milk. If you are trying to lose weight, you can go for the semi skimmed or low fat milk which contains the same level of calcium as full fat milk.
6. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is need fo that you body is able to absorb calcium and it helps slow the progression of arthritis. The body produces vitamin D when you are outside in the sun. However if you are missing the sun in winter months, you can take Vitamin D as a diet supplement or from oily fish.
Many people with rheumatoid arthritis are anaemic and therefore need more iron. However the anaemia can be due to different causes and is not always related to shortage of iron.
NSAIDs may cause bleeding and stomach ulcers in some people which can lead to anaemia. Sometimes it could be because some people are unable to absorb iron even if they eat iron rich foods. If this is the case the deficients should be picked up in blood tests and then it will need more investigation. Iron is found in red meat, oily fish, pulses like lentils, beans and dark green vegetables especially spinach, kale and watercress. It may be best to avoid drinking tea which your meal as it may reduce the amount of iron that your body can absorb.
Some studies have found that people with RH have low levels of selenium in their blood. You can absorb selenium from natural sources like brazil nuts, meat and fish as well as by taking a supplement.
There is no diet for RA that can help everyone although research has shown that some people can have an improvement in their symptoms by excluding some foods. Some people might have food allergies that arrogate the RA symptoms. Also long term using of NSAIDs could affect your gut health causing food sensitivity.
It is a good idea to try and maintain a healthy weight so you don’t put further strain on your joints that could cause more damage.
Food is a very complicated subject but I hope this information has given you some inspiration.
Physical therapy has a major role in patients with RH. Though non-curative, proper physical management can improve patient comfort and preserve joint and muscle function. Heat is typically used to relieve stiffness and pain, relax muscles and increase range of motion. Moist heat for example with hot baths or moist packs is more effective than dry heat. Cold packs are effective during acute flareups.
Patients with well developed disease and significant inflammation should begin with progressive passive range of motion and isometric exercises. As inflammation is ameliorated, active range of motion and isotonic exercises are appropriate.
If you would like to discuss how homeopathy can help treat Rheumatoid Arthritis naturally then click here to book a free 15min consultation with me.
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