|Rheumatoid Arthritis is a painful autoimmune disease.|
Diet and herbal remedies may give some relief!
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Rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, is a very painful condition that occurs when your own immune system attacks your joints. This results in swelling and stiffness of the joints. This is not the same as osteoarthritis which is caused by your joints being worn down when you age.
Traditional Treatment and its Risks
Doctors often prescribe painkillers, anti-inflammatory medications, and DMARDs (Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs). All of these drugs can have serious side effects. For example, if you are on DMARDs that work by suppressing your immune system, your immune system would then be weakened and may not be able to effectively fight infections. DMARDs also may hurt blood cells and certain organs such as your liver, lungs, or kidneys.
Many scientists have linked many chronic diseases, like heart disease, Alzheimer's, strokes, type 2 diabetes, even cancer, to inflammation. Although no one knows what causes RA, inflammation is once again a culprit that needs to be controlled.
Can Diet Help?
Eating an alkaline diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, omega-3 and other healthy fats, as well as anti-inflammatory spices and teas, can help reduce or prevent inflammatory conditions in your body. See my post on Dr. Andrew Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet.
Limit or avoid acidic and inflammatory foods such as sugar, packaged foods containing trans fats, white bread or pasta, fried foods, dairy, animal fats, excessive alcohol, and too much omega-6 fatty acids contained in safflower, grapeseed, and sunflower oils.
New Healthline Guide
Besides diet, many people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis who do not want to suffer the side effects of potent drugs, can get relief by taking certain herbs and supplements. Healthline recently published a guide that will introduce you to herbs such as Cat's Claw, Celery Seed, and others, that have been used for thousands of years to fight inflammation. The guide points out key vitamins, such as vitamin D, that have been shown to inhibit the development of RA. Check out Healthline's The Ultimate Guide to Herbs and Supplements for RA.
Make sure you work with your doctor before changing your medications or adding any supplements to your daily regimen. Many supplements can interact with drugs. To check to see if your drugs and herbal supplements have harmful interactions, go to Medscape's Drug Interaction Checker.