I see a lot of patients with a number of different ailments affecting their bones. If I had to choose one that is fairly common and the most miserable, I’d pick rheumatoid arthritis, hands down. There may be conditions that are more rare and more painful, but I doubt there’s a disease that causes more people as much daily pain and suffering.
When you have rheumatoid arthritis, your body’s immune system begins to attack itself. It begins in the joints. Your joints will swell and stiffen and become red and inflamed. The disease is usually progressive, so it gets worse over time. Eventually the swelling and stiffness spreads to other tissues around your affected joints causing tendons, ligaments, and muscles to become inflamed, too.
The inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis can begin to destroy your joints and damage your bones. It can even progress to your organs and damage them, as well.
It’s a terrible disease.
There is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis. Doctors treat it with a combination of prescription drugs. Knowledgeable doctors also recommend exercises that strengthen your joints.
The prescription drugs used to treat rheumatoid arthritis can be an important part of maintaining a good quality of life, but they can also have dangerous side effects like weakening your bones.
It is up to you and your doctor to determine which types of treatments are best for you, but today, I also want to recommend some safe, natural steps that you can use to relieve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
Protect Your Joints From Swelling and Pain
In many cases, rheumatoid arthritis flare-ups are triggered by eating certain foods. It’s important that you take note of the foods that tend to trigger pain and swelling in your joints. By avoiding these foods, you can significantly reduce the frequency and even the intensity of your symptoms.
Certain foods have the opposite affect. These foods tend to fight inflammation in the body. Such foods can play an important role in your diet if you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. For example, research shows that omega-3 fatty acids from fish combined with olive oil improve mobility and relieve stiffness in rheumatoid arthritis sufferers. 1
Some juices such as cherry juice, celery juice, barley juice, and spinach juice also have an anti-inflammatory affect and can be beneficial to people suffering with rheumatoid arthritis. 2
A vitamin D supplement can also help to relieve your symptoms. The Iowa Women’s Health study, a large-scale population study found that people who get the most vitamin D are the least likely to suffer from rheumatoid arthritis.3 Turmeric is another supplement that may help protect you from the affects of rheumatoid arthritis. This common Indian spice has powerful anti-inflammatory affects and was used to effectively treat rheumatoid arthritis in rats. 4
While you may not be able to cure your rheumatoid arthritis, you can make changes to your diet that can help reduce your symptoms. You can also take supplements that will give you extra protection. Doing these things in addition to the treatment you and your doctor have agreed upon can help increase and protect your quality of life.
Mark Bromson M.D.
1 “Supplementation of fish oil and olive oil in patients with rheumatoid arthritis,” Nutrition 2005; 21(2): 131-36
2 Kage, Ben. “Revealed: which fruit and vegetable juices alleviate arthritis pain without drugs or surgery,” NewsTarget. 6/9/2005
3″Increased vitamin D intake associated with reduced rheumatoid arthritis,” Arthritis and Rheumatism January, 2004.
4 Kage, Ben. ” Turmeric extract shows strong anti-inflammatory effect in new study,” NewsTarget. . 10/31/2006
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