Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory joint disease (Autoimmune disease) that is characterised by daily pain, stiffness and fatigue which, in turn, limits activities of daily living. Rheumatoid arthritis, a crippling disease that affects approximately 2-3% of the world’s population, and usually starts between the ages of 20-40 years and is more common in women, affecting them 3 times more often than men. Some forms of the disease can occur in children. Rheumatoid arthritis affects about 1 percent of our population and at least two million Americans have definite or classical rheumatoid arthritis. It is a much more devastating illness than previously appreciated.
Rheumatoid arthritis is not restricted to race or gender and can be prevalent in all ethnic groups. Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory illness that affects the joints and surrounding tissue, the condition is also “systemic”, which means it can effect the entire body, including organs.
Medications include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), disease-modifying anti rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), biological response modifiers, and corticosteroids. Non-drug treatments include physical therapy; modified exercise programs; devices such as canes, special shoes, and splints (rigid supports that keep a part of the body from moving while it heals); and lifestyle changes–such as balancing activity with rest, eating a healthy diet, and reducing stress.
Also used are medicines that manage the immune system called Immunosuppressants, these drugs are only used when the immune system goes completely out of control.
Sufferers of autoimmune disease’s have antibodies in their blood which mistakenly attack the body’s own immune system, which leads to pain and inflammation.
The joints most commonly afflicted by rheumatoid arthritis can include the hands, wrists, ankles, elbows, hips, & knees. Arthritis varies from person to person and Rheumatoid arthritis is no exception, while some will suffer daily with the chronic condition others may experience long periods of remission with perhaps only mild infrequent attacks. Most cases of rheumatoid arthritis are however chronic conditions, which means the disease is reoccurring.
People suffering with rheumatoid arthritis should always consult with their medical professional regarding their course of medication. Medicines must be used with caution, due to the toxicity of some RA drugs. Patients should let their doctors know about any changes that may occur while using the medication. Patients should also be aware that their condition could lead to other complications, which may not be obviously apparent such as the affect RA can have on their spinal cord.
Studies indicate the benefits and indeed the damaging effect of some foods in relation rheumatoid arthritis. Some foods are known to help one’s RA, while others will actually make things worse.
A clear link exists between rheumatoid arthritis & food allergy & intolerance
Foods which contain a chemical called inflammatory prostaglandin are known to be bad for sufferers of RA, these natural chemicals can be directly responsible for triggering attacks of arthritis. Many sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis have shown a marked improvement when removing certain foods from their diet.
Foods all Arthritics should avoid;
4.E numbers & preservatives
Foods which should be treated with caution;
Foods which cause confusion amongst many are those from the ‘nightshade family’
1.Potatoes (except for sweet potatoes)
2.Tomatoes (especially the smaller variety)
4.Sweet peppers (all colours)
Good and beneficial foods;
1.Brown rice (a good alternative to potatoes)
This is only a small list of some of the foods which have a link to RA (good or bad). Diet and natural programmes used to treat arthritis may not be quickest rout to pain relief because they first have to tackle the underlying contributing factors, this may take a few weeks, however natural practices do actually address the disease and not just the symptoms.
Natural, alternative and complimentary practices all play a part in the road to arthritis relief, and shouldn’t be discounted.
Author: mark johnThis author has published 4 articles so far.