Rheumatoid Arthritis

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a severe and potentially crippling form of arthritis that occurs when your immune defense system mistakenly turns its destructive power on its own body's tissues. In this case, the immune system defends you from your own joints and the tissues surrounding them, causing pain, redness, swelling, decreased movement, and if untreated, deformity and crippling caused by destruction of the cartilage surfaces covering the ends of the bones. We have described how this process occurs in more detail under Autoimmune Disorders, and you may wish to read that discussion for more information.
Rheumatoid arthritis Rheumatoid arthritis should always demand the regular attention of a physician expert in treating this condition, because prompt and vigorous treatment can spare you from deformity and crippling. Nutrition and nutritional remedies can help, but you should not substitute them for medications or physical remedies your personal physician may prescribe.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Herbal remedies

See Arthritis.

What makes Rheumatoid Arthritis worse?

• Many people who suffer from RA will see dramatic improvement of their symptoms when they avoid certain kinds of food. Food sensitivities, although they may not cause the disease, can certainly contribute to flare-ups of pain, swelling, and stiffness. Because any food, beverage, or food additive could be a culprit, you may want to consult an allergy specialist to perform some skin and blood testing to help narrow your list of suspects. Armed with that information, you will have to systematically eliminate each suspect individually. We have provided the details of how to conduct this systematic search, called an elimination trial, under Food Allergy.

• A diet high in red meat and egg yolks may worsen inflammation and pain in RA, because of the high amounts of arachidonic acid these foods contain. Arachidonic acid is the forerunner of the "bad" group of eicosinoid messengers that promote inflammation and increase pain and swelling. Recommendation: Sharply reduce your intake of these foods, eating them no more often than once a month or so.

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