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3 Ways To Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis Naturally
Arthritis is a painful and debilitating condition affecting millions of people around the world. One of the most common forms is rheumatoid arthritis, a condition in which the body’s immune system mistakes the connective tissues in the joints as hostile organisms and begins to attack them. This creates chronic inflammation in the joints, resulting in pain and loss of mobility. In the United States alone, over 1.3 million adults are affected.
In more severe cases, the disease can even attack other areas besides the joints, resulting in inflamed blood vessels, and damage to internal organs.
For many years, rheumatoid arthritis was the most feared form this condition, as there was no cure. To this day, there remains no complete cure for rheumatoid arthritis, but the forms of treatment have improved so that it is no longer such a debilitating illness.
There are a number of conventional treatments for rheumatoid arthritis that have been developed over the years. Anti-inflammatory drugs and painkillers are usually the first treatment. Chemotherapy and steroids are also used in more serious cases. Unfortunately, some of these treatments, particularly chemotherapy, can have awful side effects.
Luckily, there are a number of natural alternative treatments that can provide relief for rheumatoid arthritis.
Probiotic supplementation might be the next big breakthrough in treating rheumatoid arthritis. Antibiotics are one of the most over-prescribed types of medication in the world. Not only has this rendered them less effective due to the process of natural selection with germs, it also results in massive damage to gut flora. Since antibiotics do not distinguish between good and bad bacteria, they can end up doing a lot of long-term harm to the gut.
Researchers in China found a link between imbalanced levels of gut bacteria and rheumatoid arthritis. Patients with the disease often had very low levels of the gut bacteria haemophilius. They also found they had trouble metabolizing minerals like zinc, iron and arginine.
Another study tested the effectiveness of probiotic supplementation on patients with rheumatoid arthritis. They provided them with 6 weeks of supplementation with the bacteria Bacillus coagulans to see if their symptoms would improve versus a control group. They found that patients given the probiotic experienced improved mobility and reduced levels of C-reactive protein, which is produced by the liver in response to serious inflammation.
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2. Vitamin D
A study found that over 76% of rheumatoid arthritis patients were deficient in a critical nutrient that plays an enormous role in maintaining overall health. Vitamin D deficiency has become very common in the industrialized world. This is because the body’s primary source of vitamin D is sunlight. When UV radiation from the sun is absorbed into your skin, it promotes vitamin D synthesis in your body. Vitamin D is technically a hormone rather than a vitamin, and you can also get it from certain foods, like fatty fish and certain dairy products, that are vitamin D fortified. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to rickets, a weakening of the bones and joints in children, and as stated above, also contributes to similar conditions, like arthritis, in adults.
In a study conducted in India, researchers gave patients 60,000 IU of vitamin D per week for 6 weeks, then the same amount once a month for 3 months afterward. The patients who received this vitamin D mega-dosing experienced significantly improved symptoms.
It is also possible to get vitamin D from supplementation. Take it with your most fatty meal of the day, as it is a fat soluble compound.
3. Fish and Cod Liver Oil
Fish oil supplements are often marketed as being good for joint health. According to many studies, that’s not just marketing hype: in a 12-month study, scientists in Scotland gave fish oil supplements to patients with rheumatoid arthritis who were undergoing treatment with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Amazingly, the patients who took fish oil were able to decrease their use of NSAIDs by 59 percent!
According to another British study, as well as one conducted in Germany, cod liver oil appears to be effective for relieving rheumatoid arthritis as well. In the German study, daily cod liver oil supplementation improved symptom in 68 percent of patients. The British experiment with cod liver oil found that nearly 40 percent of patients taking the supplement were able to reduce their NSAID use, versus only 10 percent of the control group.
The medical establishment is often slow to change, and more research needs to be done before the majority of doctors will recommend taking one of the three aforementioned supplements before conventional treatment. But if you have rheumatoid arthritis, it certainly can’t hurt to talk to your doctor about supplementing your current treatment with one of the natural treatments mentioned here. With the help of these three supplements, you can help manage your condition, rather than letting it manage you.