What Are The Available Treatments For Arthritis And Rheumatoid Arthritis?

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What are the some alternative treatments for arthritis or available treatments rheumatoid arthritis?

Most, if not all, sufferers of arthritis have been exposed to the medical pills, ointments, and treatments for arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.

All of which might or might not have worked to varying degrees and so searching around for arthritis remedies that will bring some relief has become central to their lives, which is no surprise really because arthritis is a painful condition to try and live with.

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As well as trying to live with the pain, there is the added knowledge that arthritis can ravage the body and leave the sufferer with debilitating and disabling joints that will severely affect a person’s standard of living and ability to do everyday things.

Better Arthritis Diet

People who suffer from arthritis are always looking for ways to relieve their pain.  One way to ease or even prevent it is through an arthritis diet.

There are some arthritis diets that some people will swear by but have never been proven to make a difference.  There are some diets that make a definite difference according to health experts.

First, we’ll take a look at some arthritis diets where there’s little or no evidence that they actually make a difference.

One of the most common arthritis diets is to eliminate potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, and most peppers.  While the diet won’t do any harm, it hasn’t been proven to affect arthritis at all.

Another arthritis diet seeks to reduce the acids in one’s body eliminating sugar, coffee, red meat, most grains, nuts, and citrus fruits.  It’s intended to be followed for just one month.

People may feel better because they lose weight which reduces the stress on their joints, but again there is no evidence to support this.

It also excludes many sources of vitamin C which are essential in fighting arthritis.  Drinking green tea has been shown to reduce the effects of rheumatoid arthritis in mice, but there are no conclusive results on human studies yet.

Shark cartilage is supposed to relieve arthritis.  Animal and lab studies show promise, but there are no human studies to support this yet.

Now, let’s take a look at some arthritis diets that have been shown to work.  Switching fats can reduce inflammation.  Eating fats found in red meat and poultry have actually been shown to increase inflammation.

Switching to cold water fish can help reduce the inflammation.  Using corn, safflower, and sunflower oils also help.

Another arthritis diet is the ASU (avocado soybean unsaponifiable).  It has been shown to relieve osteoarthritis, stimulate cartilage repair, and lessen a patient’s need to NSAIDs to control pain.

Ginger has been shown to ease pain and inflammation as well as protect the stomach from gastrointestinal effects from taking NSAIDs.

Glucosamine is a supplement that relieves pain in some patients with osteoarthritis.  It helps the body rebuild cartilage, but can take up to two months to see the effects.

If you are allergic to shellfish, check with your doctor before taking this as it is derived from crab, lobster, or shrimp shells.

Before taking any supplements talk with your doctor as some can interfere with or worsen side effects from your medications.

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Of course, the best arthritis diet is a good old-fashioned well-balanced diet.  Eat 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables, and go easy on fats and cholesterol.

A heart healthy diet is especially important to patients with rheumatoid arthritis as studies have shown a link between this disease and heart failure.

Vitamin C is good for repairing body tissue.  Vitamin D helps absorb calcium, build bone mass, and prevents bone loss.

Calcium helps strengthen your bones.  If you are on medication, ask your doctor if he/she recommends taking vitamins.

Some medications can create vitamin or mineral deficiencies.  When choosing your arthritis diet, be sure to talk with your physician as different types of arthritis have different needs.

treatment for arthritis

Other Remedies for Arthritis

Arthritis remedies that involve reducing the swelling that this disease causes in the joints of the sufferer are highly thought of and suggested.

Ice packs applied to a newly affected joint is a proven method to ease pain and reduce painful swelling.

However, what needs to be added to this point, is that icing a joint can often lead to the joint stiffening and becoming inflexible.  It is for this reason that icing of an arthritic joint is usually suggested at the end of the day.

Alternatively, applying heat to the affected joint also works well as arthritis remedies go. 

Heat works the opposite way to ice and so the best time to often use a hot water bottle or heat pack is at the beginning of the day.

The joints have been stiffened throughout the night and a warm heat pack can often loosen up the joints and give more flexibility for the rest of the day.

It might sound counter-intuitive, but exercise is also a proven remedy for arthritis. 

Of course, depending on the level of mobility that a suffer might have, an exercise in its full range might not be possible.  However as soon as arthritis is diagnosed, exercise should be placed at the top of the list.

Without exercise, the bones and joints quickly become stiff and immobile and any hope of reclaiming the flexibility needed to live an independent and active life might disappear for good.

Massaging the affected joints with soothing oils, incorporating exercise and adjusting the diet are all proven and worthwhile arthritis remedies that can effectively offer relief and a much better quality of life to anyone struggling with arthritis.

treatment for arthritis

Alternative Treatments for Arthritis

Many arthritis sufferers have tried unusual and rather nasty ‘cures’ for their disease like enduring bee-stings or covering themselves in cow manure. The benefits must have been rather less spectacular than the cures or else everyone else would have done the same.

One arthritis cure suggests that half a glass of raw potato juice followed by chewing two or three juniper berries will do the trick!

While this may be so, many doctors and scientists researching arthritis have studied the benefits of taking nutritional substances like vitamins.

In fact, studies have shown that people with arthritis are mostly deficient in the B group of vitamins, though whether this is due to the disease or to the fact that taking aspirin depletes the body’s stores of this vitamin is not clear.

Vitamin C, E, and beta-carotene are powerful antioxidants that help to neutralize free radicals.

These oxygen-reactive free radical molecules are thought to contribute significantly to disease and tissue damage.

It has been found that cells from damaged knee cartilage can release great amounts of free radicals. In fact, studies have shown that those who have a high Vitamin C intake have a two-thirds reduction in the risk of further damage to their knees.

Well-known scientist Dr. Linus Pauling recommends 18 grams of V-C per day as an arthritis preventative measure.

Osteoarthritis can cause thinning of the bones, and so can prednisone, often given to treat it. It makes sense then to increase the amount of Vitamin D and calcium, both of which are bone-builders.

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As far back as 1974, British scientists found that lack of vitamin D contributed to bone fractures in the elderly with arthritis. Lack of sunlight and an unhealthy diet both contributed to the lack.

The recommended daily dose of Vitamin D is 400 IU or 600 IU if for those over the age of 60. A daily dose of 1200 IU is the limit as this vitamin is toxic if too much is taken.

Vitamin E is also an antioxidant, working in a similar way to vitamin C. Studies in Germany have proven that it can help to reduce pain. Good sources of this vitamin can be found in wheat germ, sunflower seed, corn oil, legumes and whole grains.

While some people swear by the arthritis cure that their copper bracelet brought, there is no scientific link to copper as being an aid to arthritis. In fact, the opposite is true. Those with RA often have higher levels of copper in their blood. Too much copper can make you sick.

Selenium deficiency can cause a particular type of arthritis called Kashin-Bek disease, but it is more common where the soil is deficient in selenium, though sufferers of RA have less in their blood than others. Fish, organ meats, whole grains, nuts, and beans will provide selenium.

Zinc may help reduce pain, stiffness and swelling. Some trials showed this was true, though others gave conflicting results. Oysters, cheese, and tofu are all good sources of zinc.

The pain of arthritis can also be relieved by hot-packs, deliberately focusing on something else like pleasant music, humor, gentle exercise and losing weight.

treatment for rheumatoid arthritis

Treatments For Rheumatoid Arthritis

Because there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, the treatment is directed at controlling your symptoms and helping you feel better. There are some medications that will slow the degree of joint damage you will experience.

There are several types of drugs used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Some are relatively easy to tolerate, while others have serious side effects that you should be aware of. Doctors usually start with the medications that are easiest to tolerate first.

Here are some good treatments for rheumatoid arthritis.

prcvirSteroid medications, such as prednisone or prednisolone, are helpful in that they reduce the pain and inflammation of the joints and can reduce the rate of joint damage. Unfortunately, they have side effects, such as osteoporosis, diabetes, and weight gain. Steroids are especially good when you have flares of the disease and are not meant to take chronically.

prcvirNSAID medication. These include medications like ibuprofen and naproxen (unless you get one prescribed by the doctor). They are not without side effects, however, and these include liver damage, kidney damage, irritation of the stomach, heart problems, and tinnitus.

prcvirAnti-Rheumatic drugs. These medications can actually lessen the damage done by the autoantibodies so that the joints aren’t permanently damaged. Medications in this class include Plaquenil, Azulfidine, methotrexate, and leflunomide. Because they can affect your immune system, they can cause side effect including suppression of your bone marrow, lung infections, and liver problems.

prcvirBiologic medications. These represent a new class of medications that act on the immune system so that there are less inflammation and less joint damage. They can cause an increase in infections because they affect the immune system. Choices of biologic medications include adalimumab, abatacept, certolizumab, rituximab, and infliximab.

prcvirPhysical therapy. You may wish to see a physical therapist who can help you learn various exercises that will keep your joints more flexible. They may also help you learn how to do things around the house that don’t involve using your hands. Devices may be prescribed for you that will help you do things without stressing the joints too much.

prcvirSurgery can be done that can repair the damage to your joints. This includes things like joint replacement in which the damaged joints are removed and a prosthetic joint is put in its place. Tendons can also be repaired. In the worst case scenario, the surgeon can fuse the joints together so they don’t rub against one another.

 


POINTS TO REMEMBER

Better Arthritis Diet

Drink green tea

Switch to cold water fish

ASU (avocado soybean unsaponifiable)

Ginger

Glucosamine

Vitamin C

Vitamin D

Other Remedies for Arthritis

Ice packs applied to a newly affected joint

Applying heat to the affected joint

Exercise is also a proven remedy for arthritis

Alternative Treatments for Arthritis

Vitamin C, E, and beta-carotene are powerful antioxidants that help to neutralize free radicals.

Increase the amount of Vitamin D and calcium, both of which are bone-builders.

Zinc may help reduce pain, stiffness and swelling

Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Steroid medications

NSAID medication

Anti-Rheumatic drugs

Biologic medications

Physical therapy

Surgery

TAKEAWAY QUESTIONS

– Are you familiar of the available treatments for arthritis?

– Are you familiar of the alternative treatments for arthritis?

– Are you familiar of the available treatments for rheumatoid arthritis?

– Which treatment works best for you or for your love one?


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