Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue and joints, resulting in chronic inflammation. It is a debilitating disease because it can create a severe lack of mobility. Rheumatoid arthritis causes pain, stiffness, swelling, and even destruction of the joints during periods of inflammation, which are followed by periods of remission. This chronic illness can affect any joint in the body. For most people, the effects are worst upon wakening and gradually subside as the day progresses.
Although there is no known cause, many people hypothesize that rheumatoid arthritis is related to a prior infection from a bacteria, fungus, or virus. Other people believe that the disease is genetic. Still others believe it to be a result of lifestyle choices, such as smoking tobacco. Scientists are currently studying rheumatoid arthritis in an effort to pinpoint its cause.
Treatment for rheumatoid arthritis addresses the inflammatory component of the disease while also attempting to stabilize the immune system. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis should decrease their intake of foods from the nightshade group, such as eggplants, peppers, potatoes, and tomatoes.
Supplements to treat rheumatoid arthritis
• Alpha-lipoic acid
• Arginine – If you have kidney disease, liver disease, or herpes, only take under a doctor’s supervision
• B-complex vitamins
• Coenzyme Q10
• EPA/DHA (fish oil)
• Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA)
• Ginger – Do not take with Coumadin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory pain medications (NSAIDs)
• Grape seed extract – Proflavanol is a key weapon in your antioxidant arsenal.
• Methylsulfonyl-methane (MSM)
• N-acetylcysteine (NAC)
• Vitamin C