Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition caused by a malfunctioning immune system that attacks the lining of the joints and can occur at any age, unlike osteoarthritis, which is age-related and involves the degeneration of the joints and surrounding tissue. Rheumatoid arthritis can be quite debilitating and may, over time, lead to deformity. Western modes of treatment basically include medications designed to inhibit the abnormal immune activity, and hold back inflammation; oftentimes, however, these drugs have proven ineffective.
The best way to slow down the damage and get the best relief from the symptoms is to include natural alternative therapies to your treatment regimen. Some of these therapies are listed below:
1. Acupuncture – Used for thousands of years as a way to treat a host of health problems, acupuncture has been subjected to hundreds of tests and has proven to be very effective in improving health and treating dozens of health conditions. These include depression, substance and behavioral addiction, obesity, cancer pain, chemotherapy-induced nausea, stress, IBS, ADHD, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and many others . A number of studies about acupuncture’s effectiveness against rheumatoid arthritis have revealed significant successes. One noted study done in 2011 in China showed that both electro-acupuncture and traditional acupuncture lessened significantly the levels of a number inflammatory substances in the body associated with triggering the symptoms of RA (rheumatoid arthritis) including VEGF and TNF-alpha. Other studies have also demonstrated these two treatments to be the best way through which acupuncture can help relieve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
2. Supplementation – Various types of supplements can be very helpful for rheumatoid arthritis although it is vital to first have an understanding of their use. There are supplements that should not be used if you are currently taking certain types of medications or are suffering from certain health conditions. Inflammation-reducing supplements include green tea, ginger, cat’s claw, bromelain, turmeric, and omega-3 fatty acids. Devil’s claw, GLA ( which can be found in evening primrose, black currant seed, and borage oil, and vitamin A can alleviate the stiffness and ease pain related to RA.
It may take a bit of time for those supplements to take effect, and expect anywhere from a couple of months or more to experience their full effects. If after three or four months nothing has changed in your condition, then you can stop taking them. They usually target the underlying cause of the problem and this really takes time.
3. Diet – There are two goals you want to see fulfilled when it comes to diet therapy. First, you expect the inflammation to go away and second, you want to avoid eating the foods that you are allergic to or which makes you more sensitive. A lot of people suffering from autoimmune disorders seem also to suffer from food allergies. Negative reactions can come about if you happen to eat foods that do not agree with your body. This may include an increase of inflammation.
The first thing you want to do not want to do it to eat fats when you’re in an anti-inflammatory diet. This includes walnuts, hemp seed, flax seed, salmon and other foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. These types of fats are not bad in and of themselves but result in inflammation when consumed in large amounts, which is typical in a standard American diet. Also, stay away from trans-fats and minimize consumption of saturated animal fats. Lessen or avoid your intake of mixed vegetable oil, soy oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, and corn oil.
Inflammation causing foods also include processed carbs, as well as sugary and refined foods and drinks. Select carbohydrates wisely.
Do not eat common foods that are known to trigger allergies for at least two months. Then slowly reintroduce one food back in at a time and see if your body still reacts to it. Gluten, dairy, nuts, and soy are the most common allergenic types of foods. It is to your advantage to read up on how to do a proper elimination diet to achieve the best results.
Some RA sufferers who now strictly follow a vegan diet have reported a significant lessening of their symptoms. If you have RA, you may want to try it out.