A Natural Approach To Health
Living With Rheumatoid Arthritis
I had a question the other day about rheumatoid arthritis.
Arthritis means inflammation in a joint.
Joint inflammation causes redness, warmth, swelling, and pain within the joint.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a type of chronic arthritis that occurs in joints on both sides of your body (like both hands, both wrists, or both knees).
This symmetry helps distinguish rheumatoid arthritis from other types of arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis may also affect your skin, eyes, lungs, heart, blood, or nerves.
Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are:
>Joint pain and swelling
>Stiffness, especially in the morning or after sitting for long periods
Rheumatoid arthritis affects everyone differently.
For some, joint symptoms develop gradually over several years.
In others, rheumatoid arthritis may develop quickly, while other people may have rheumatoid arthritis for a short time and then have a time with no symptoms, called remission.
About 1% of Americans have rheumatoid arthritis.
It’s an autoimmune disease, meaning your body’s immune system attacks its own healthy tissues.
Rheumatoid arthritis is 2-3 times more common in women than in men, but men tend to have more severe symptoms.
It usually happens in middle age, but young children and the elderly also can get rheumatoid arthritis.
The cause of rheumatoid arthritis is unknown.
It’s thought to be due to a combination of genetic, environmental, and hormonal factors.
With rheumatoid arthritis, something seems to trigger the immune system to attack the joints and sometimes other organs.
Some theories suggest a virus or bacteria may alter the immune system, causing it to attack the joints.
Other theories suggest smoking may lead to rheumatoid arthritis.
Research hasn’t found exactly what role genetics plays in rheumatoid arthritis.
Some people do seem to have a genetic or inherited factor that increases their chance of developing rheumatoid arthritis.
Once your immune system is triggered, immune cells migrate from your blood into your joints and joint-lining tissue.
There your immune cells make inflammatory substances that cause irritation, wearing down of cartilage, and swelling and inflammation of your joint lining.
As your cartilage wears down, the space between your bones narrows.
As it gets worse, your bones could rub against each other.
Inflammation of your joint lining causes fluid to build up within your joint.
As the lining expands, it may damage your bone.
All of these things cause your joint to become very painful, swollen, and warm to the touch.
To deal with rheumatoid arthritis it’s helpful to:
*Drink 6-8 cups of purified water every day to hydrate your cells.
*Discover and avoid triggers.
*Breathe deeply to oxygenate cells.
*Alfalfa is extremely helpful for inflammation; take throughout the day; try as a tea.
*EFAs (Omega 3, flaxseed oil, fish oil) help lubricate joints and decrease inflammation.
*Avoid nightshade vegetables, like peppers, tomato, eggplant, and potato.
*Try Epsom salt baths.
*Try hot castor oil packs (apply white cotton dipped in warmed castor oil, cover with plastic wrap, cover with heating pad if desired for up to 2 hours).
*Maintain a healthy weight.
*Test for heavy metal toxicity.
*Try Kombucha Tea.
*Ensure proper footwear.
*Fresh, raw pineapple and papaya contain bromelain, an anti-inflammatory enzyme.
*Consider liver support and/or a liver cleanse.
*Avoid MSG and artificial sweeteners because they are neurotoxins.
*EZ-Gest between meals may be helpful to ease inflammation.
*Have chiropractic or osteopathic evaluation/treatment.