Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Is rheumatoid arthritis an autoimmune disease?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common of several autoimmune diseases affecting mainly the joints. It is characterized by abnormal inflammatory responses that damage the synovial membrane of joints and other tissues. Components of the immune system mistakenly identify the normal body tissues as potentially harmful organisms and attack cause considerable collateral damage.

This results in joint pain, permanent damage to the swelling and articular cartilage and bone underlying. Other body parts such as blood, nerve and heart may also be affected in severe cases.

In addition, drugs conventionally used in the treatment of RA are often the cause of many health problems as the disease itself. Bone marrow and immune suppression, toxicity to the liver, osteoporosis and stomach ulcers are some common side effects produced by these drugs.

Well, that antibiotic also has potential side effects, they are generally fewer and less severe than those associated with conventional drugs used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.


Most scientists agree that infections initiate abnormal inflammatory response observed in RA patients. The theory is that the immune system reacts to an infection of some sort and then becomes confused between the antigens of the pathogen and similar antigens on normal tissues of the body. The classical view is that the infection only triggers a transient autoimmune response and not a persistent factor underlying its chronic course.

However, countless Studies have shown that there are actually a number of chronic, “hidden” infections underlying RA. Some pathogens have been found in the joints of RA patients, but most of these low-grade infections occur in areas such as the camera, mouth genito-urinary or intestines. They are employed indirectly in these areas by maintaining the aberrant inflammatory response characteristic of RA.

Mycoplasma, Chlamydia, Escherichia coli, Proteus and are all bacteria which can cause low grade, asymptomatic urinary tract infections that underlie RA. Porphyromonas gingivalis is a bacterium that cause gingivitis and periodontitis and also has a strong association with RA.

While laboratory tests often confirm the presence of a or more of these infections, these negative results do not preclude a cause of infectious disease from one individual.

Because many infections underlying RA so difficult to find, even in patients who have no positive laboratory tests should be treated with antibiotics.


For many years the cornerstone of antibiotic treatment of RA tetracycline antibiotic minocycline has been or others such as doxycycline. These antibiotics are still very useful as they also have properties anti-inflammatory and stimulate regeneration of damaged cartilage.

However, many bacteria have developed resistance tetracyclines and is now common practice to use combinations with other antibacterials such as azithromycin, clindamycin, metronidazole, levofloxacin, and others.


Patients may notice some improvements their symptoms ranging from days, weeks or months, depending on how long they have the disease. They should also expect to stay on antibiotics for several months more than a year until complete remission occurs.

Information for doctors who have used this treatment for many years shows that at least 80% of patients benefit from this treatment modality relatively simple.

WHY IS IT EFFECTIVE TREATMENT not widely available

There are two reasons for the delay in getting this “new” treatment more widely accepted:

All First, there is research “lag effect in time? the period that elapses between when a new medical discovery is made until it is accepted and implemented by most doctors. This interval can be more than 20 long years.

Second, despite ample evidence that some organisms are associated with RA and other autoimmune diseases, no agency has been a specific shown to be responsible for the group of diseases. Because autoimmune diseases represent a spectrum of overlapping conditions that can be caused by several types of microbes in different areas of the body.

Diet RA - The Amazing Health Benefits Of Omega-3 Fats

Omega 3 fats got quite a lot of media coverage in recent years and I?m sure you already read or heard on or the other story about them. But the question is, can they really deliver what they promise? Are omega 3 fats some kind of miracle medicine or is all just media hype?

Actually, none of both is true. Please don't expect omega 3 fats to be a universal cure for each and every ailment. On the other hand, it's not all hype neither. There actually is overwhelming scientific proof for the numerous health benefits of omega 3 fatty acids and we will talk about them in a minute.

But first, what are omega 3 fats anyway?

Omega 3 fatty acids belong to the group of essential fats, which means they cannot be produced by the body and have to be provided from external sources.

There are actually 3 important types of omega 3 fats:

  •  Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)

  • Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)

  • Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)

ALA can be obtained from the following sources: Flaxseed oil, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, green leafy vegetables, and others. The richest source of EPA and DHA is fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, herring, and sardines.

The body converts ALA into EPA and DHA. However, older people and people suffering from diabetes or schizophrenia may lack the ability to convert ALA into EPA and DHA. In these cases it's more advisable to obtain omega 3 fatty acids from sources that are rich in EPA and DHA.

As I already mentioned, the best source of EPA and DHA is fatty fish, but you can also take omega 3 fish oil supplements if you don't like the taste of fish or if you need increased amounts of omega 3 fatty acids.

The numerous health benefits of omega 3 fats

It all started back in the 70's when researchers discovered that Eskimos showed a surprisingly low rate of cardiovascular diseases although they had a very fat-rich diet due to their high consumption of fish.

The common logic was: Eskimos are overweight and their should be more incidences of heart disease, but there were not. Why? Scientists concluded that it must be because of their diet, which is very rich in omega 3 fatty acids.

Over the years, these initial assumptions have been confirmed by thousands of studies carried out all over the world. And not only did they confirm the positive effects of omega 3 fats on cardiovascular diseases, they also discovered numerous other health benefits.

Today we know that Omega 3 fatty acids can help to prevent- and reduce the risk of numerous diseases and that they may also benefit in the treatment of these diseases.

Here is a list of some of these health benefits provided by omega 3 fatty acids:

  •  Omega 3 tend to lower cholesterol levels.

  •  They help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

  •  They help to control high blood pressure.

  •  Omega-3 fatty acids seem to limit the inflammatory reaction associated with lupus.

  •  They also help to control constipation, hemorrhoids, and diverticular disorders.

  •  Omega 3 fats may even help to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, like breast-, colon-, and prostate cancer.

  •  Omega 3 proofed to be beneficial for the brain development.

  •  They lower the risk of depression and showed positive effects in the treatment of patients suffering from depression.

  •  Omega 3 appears to lowers the risk of Alzheimer?s disease.

  •  Omega 3 might be used as a possible treatment for patients with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.

  •  Studies also found that EPA might prevent the development of asthma.

  •  Research points out that omega 3 might reverse atherosclerosis.

  •  Omega 3 fats proved to be beneficial for people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.

This is quite an impressive list and it should motivate you to increase your intake of healthy omega 3's if your current diet lacks them. The recommended daily dosages of EPA and DHA is ~ 650 mg and you can obtain these amounts either with a balanced diet containing some of the nutrients I mentioned above or by supplementing your diet with omega 3 fish oil capsules.

If you suffer from any of the conditions described above, I strongly recommend you get professional advice from a physician. Your doctor knows best what kind of medication you need and if taking omega 3 supplements would be beneficial in your case.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Why A Healthy Rheumatoid Arthritis Diet Matters

Learn why it is critical to maintain a certain diet to help minimize the pain and suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis. A well balanced rheumatoid arthritis diet can really help you improve your daily life.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto immune disorder affecting multiple joints resulting into pain, swelling, redness and rise in the local temperature of the joint. The precise cause of Rheumatoid arthritis is not known. However, the role of genetic factors mostly the histocompatibility antigens (HLA- DR 1, HLA- DR 4), the infective hypothesis (association with Proteus mirabilis, Epstein-Barr virus, CMV,

Mycoplasma, Rubella virus and Parvovirus are demonstrated), some environmental factors (harmful role of climatic changes along with urbanization) have been hypothesized.

As the signs and symptoms of it differs from one time to another, some researchers have thought the association of a number of foods we take that may adversely affect our symptoms.

Practically, there is no specific proof that any particular food has some effect over joint pain or inflammation; researches have highlighted that certain fish oils and oranges have a protective role against Rheumatoid arthritis by reducing joint inflammation. However, more study is needed for titration of the potential benefit.

The rule of thumb is that if it is seen that certain foods increase the pain and inflammation of the arthritis, it is always better to skip over from our diet, if it really helps. But it will be irrational if we exclude the whole group of the specific foods without obtaining an opinion from a doctor or a qualified dietician.

A double blind study was conducted comprising 23000 participants for eight years. They were maintaining the food cards to note the diet they were taking. The data came out that, 73 participants developed this and 146 control subjects (who were not suffering from the same).

After intensive analysis, researchers opined that people who developed Rheumatoid arthritis were eating less number of fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables in compared to those who did not produce the symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis. The most important thing is to take a balanced diet and maintain an optimal weight in a patient suffering from it.

The aim is to reduce or possibly omit the gluten and casein from pursuing a healthy Rheumatoid arthritis diet

The extra amount of weight increases the stress over the weight bearing joints by amplifying the joint load. Thus there is increase in the joint pain, inflammation and restricted mobility of the joint if any. It was also noticed that people who consumed less amount of Vitamin C were at three times greater risk of being a Rheumatoid arthritis patient than that of the people who consumed highest amount of Vitamin C.

The conclusion was that Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant, which fights against the triggering factors of this.

Vitamin C acts as a cofactor during collagen synthesis, the main structural protein forming the joint tissues and bones. It has a role to fight against infection and may act to control inflammation.

Another key factor for joint pain is increased weight. The extra weight put some additional load to the joints which are already weak, and it can not bear the same amount that it was used to. So, it is important that we must lose some weight. Diet has a tremendous role to reduce weight.

We have to eliminate the foods that give us blind calories. These include all the carbonated beverages, alcohol, and chocolate, junk foods, butter, Ghee (clarified butter) or any other food that is rich in saturated fatty acids.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Arthritis Digest – What is Palindromic Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Palindromic rheumatoid arthritis is characterized by episodes of pain, swelling, warmth and stiffness of the joints. Individuals affected by the disease also experience recurrent attacks of transient inflammation in and around the joints. It normally afflicts two to three joints and has some typical symptoms and is very difficult to treat.

Palindromic rheumatoid arthritis is characterized by episodes of pain, swelling, warmth and stiffness of the joints. Individuals affected by the disease also experience recurrent attacks of transient inflammation in and around the joints. It normally afflicts two to three joints and has some typical symptoms and is very difficult to treat.

Fast Facts About Palindromic RA

  • Palindromic rheumatoid arthritis is a rare kind of inflammatory arthritis with very distinctive features. It is sometimes referred to as a syndrome, which means that it is a typical condition with a collection of several symptoms

  • This type of arthritis is generally characterized by episodes or attacks of pain and swelling of the joints. It also affects tissues that surround the joints.

  • These attacks generally involve one to three joints

  • The attacks attributable to palindromic rheumatism start suddenly and would last for hours or days before the attacks quickly recede.

  • There is high probability of recurrence but with unpredictable frequency.

  • This syndrome does not usually lead to permanent joint damage, as differentiated to RA.

  • About 30-40 % of those affected by the syndrome develop more frequent episodes as the disease progresses. This may lead to complications including rheumatoid arthritis and their rheumatoid factor may become positive.

  • The joints commonly involved with palindromic rheumatism include: the large joints, knees and palindromic arthritis fingers

  • X-ray results will indicate normal condition as joint space narrowing id not present.

Recurrent Episodes of Pain

This type of arthritis gives rise to episodic articular, or periarticular pain. The most common joints that are affected by the disease are those of the fingers and knees.

The pain caused by palindromic rheumatoid arthritis can get intense but will not last longer than two or three days. These episodic attacks stop as quickly as they begin. In about 60% of cases, individuals suffering from this disease may have pain-free phases lasting up to weeks or months. In some instances, the attacks can return after years and may cause no permanent damage.

Rheumatoid Factors in Palindromic RA

There are several factors typical of rheumatoid which are observable in some of the palindromic rheumatoid arthritis patients. Some of these factors include:

  • The large joints are the more commonly involved when recurrent episodes of attacks are considered

  • Soft tissues of the heel pads and finger pads are the ones affected by the swelling of the periarticular tissues.

  • Nodules will develop below the skin in the subcutaneous tissues

  • During a typical blood test, increased ESR and CRP levels indicate a rheumatoid factor

Treatment of Palindromic RA

NSAIDs are usually prescribed during attacks associated with palindromic rheumatoid arthritis. The treatment for the syndrome may also include steroid injections or oral steroids. DMARDs and colchicine are now also emerging as modalities to prevent future attacks of palindromic rheumatism.

Generally, the factors that give rise to palindromic rheumatoid arthritis are still uncertain. In the absence of substantive study results, medical experts consider the disease to be a special form of RA.

By: Zach Smith

How Food Can Affect Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is a debilitating disease. There is no known cure for rheumatoid arthritis as its possible causes are still merely theories up to now. Can food affect rheumatoid arthritis? Are there foods that could reduce inflammation?

Rheumatoid arthritis is a debilitating disease. It is an autoimmune disease that causes persistent inflammation of the joints and the tissues around them. It can also affect other organs of the body if the disease is allowed to progress.

An autoimmune disease could be explained as the body's immune system mistakenly attacks its own tissues. An arthritis patient has to deal with the fact that his own immune system is attacking his body tissues.

Is There a Cure?

There is no known cure for rheumatoid arthritis as its possible causes are still merely theories up to now. Though there is no single cure for this medical condition, there are available drugs that can control flare-ups and inflammation. There are also exercises and some innovative joints protection and self management methods that have made rheumatoid arthritis patients lead happier, healthier and less "painful" lives.

Can Food Affect Rheumatoid Arthritis?

There are two schools of thought regarding this matter. The Arthritis Foundation and majority from the medical sector say that the food has no direct connection in the rheumatoid arthritis development and arthritis cure as there are no scientific proofs or study that is conclusive regarding this theory. On the other hand, there are other medical practitioners and alternative medicine practitioners who say that somehow, food can affect arthritis.

Despite years of studies, there is still no irrefutable evidence that proves that a particular food has a direct effect on arthritis. Decades ago, it was believed that nightshade plants such as tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant will aggravate the symptoms. However since rheumatoid arthritis is inflammation of the joints and tissues around the joints, does not it follow that a patient should avoid arthritis food that causes an allergic reaction on his person?

Allergic reaction to a particular food causes the immune system to produce immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies. The body produces antibodies that go to every part of your system including the joints where they might add to inflammation. Avoidance of such food might or might not help your rheumatoid arthritis, but it would definitely control your allergies. If you have known food allergies then eliminate them from your diet.

Are There Foods that Could Reduce Inflammation?

Some studies have shown that there are certain foods that could reduce inflammation of the joints. Fish rich in omega-6 fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids could help reduced inflammation. Mackerel, salmon, herring, sardines and trout are some of the fishes that were reported to have reduced symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis patients.

Avoid food that has arachidonic acid. This fat is found in animals. Animal fat (pork, beef, poultry and dairy products) has been associated with various ailments aside from rheumatoid arthritis. History evidenced that there were no cases of rheumatoid arthritis on cultures who ate natural and meatless food.

There were studies that showed that fasting also help alleviate the symptoms. Fasting flushes out the toxins from the body and those toxins could very well be allergens that added to the inflammation of the joints.

Inconclusive as the studies may be it still follows that eating a healthy and balanced diet is beneficial. Exercising and keeping your weight down would also do you good in the long haul.

By: Casey Yew

Friday, August 17, 2018

Natural Health Advice for Tendinitis

Relative to muscles, tendons are weak. When tendons are injured, they heal slowly because of a low blood supply. This is why doctors often refer tendinitis patients to a physiotherapist to help guide the joint into proper motion and prevent a recurrence of the problem. They will use stretching and strengthening exercises to address any muscle imbalances and relieve pressure on the tendons.

Here are some great alternative methods that Chinese practitioners have been known to employ for the treatment of tendinitis:


The ancient therapy of painless needlework holds promise for treating tendonitis. The needles are placed specifically along the pathway where the body’s energy is believed to flow. This will help limit pain, reduce swelling and foster a healing environment for the injured tendon fibers.

There is some scientific backing (Western studies, at that) for this. For instance, one 1999 study found that patients with rotator-cuff tendinitis had much success using acupuncture to treat their pain.

There are several positive studies for using it in tennis elbow. One took 45 patients and compared real acupuncture to “sham acupuncture.” They got treatment two times a day for 10 weeks. Patients taking the real treatment experienced major improvements in pain and in their ability to use their elbows again. The sham treatment did little.

Another study compared the same thing in 82 patients with tennis elbow. The real acupuncture led to greater results in pain and elbow function, although after three months, these results faded.

Another study compared sham to real acupuncture in 44 patients who had tendinitis in the shoulder. They found benefits with the real treatment that lasted beyond three months.

It should be noted that scientists don’t yet know what to think with this treatment. It has shown definitive promise, but to really gauge its effect, a study will have to be done comparing acupuncture to conventional medicine.

Proteolytic Enzymes

For supplements, these may be your best options. Easily digestible, the digestive enzymes are well absorbed and have none of the aspirin-related stomach distress. They can lessen inflammation and reduce pain.

The biggest one is “bromelain,” which has excellent anti-inflammatory abilities. One study found that when tendinitis patients were given bromelain in addition to conventional therapy, their symptoms improved dramatically in swelling, tenderness and pain at rest and while moving.

The other potential treatment is “pancreatin,” which is thought to help with tendon pain. Take it with food, and follow directions on the label.


Staying fit will help prevent tendinitis. If you want to build up resistance to it, slowly increase the intensity of your workout. Do different activities so that no one in particular puts undue stress on a joint. Keep steadily exercising: pick a number of days a week and stick to it.

Those who get hit with tendinitis are often those who exercise on and off or who focus too much on one activity. If something is aggravating symptoms of tendinitis, do another activity, but don’t stop exercising altogether.

If you are experiencing tendinitis pain, help yourself by exercising. Don’t keep using the same motion or overusing the area in which you just suffered tendinitis. Try warming up, loosening up your muscles and tendons before both working or engaging in activity. Strong and flexible muscles will help keep tendons from tearing. That’s because the muscles and tendons are really one unit, and they both absorb any force that comes their way.


One is called “deep transverse friction massage,” which is performed by a professional masseuse. It’s shown promise in treating tendonitis.

Also, a gel made of “DMSO” is a potential treatment. One study found that it was suitable for use on the skin, with little risk to the patient. They found that nearly half of patients with acute tendon pain found relief with DMSO compared to just nine percent of placebo patients.

The supplements “glucosamine” and “chondroitin” are very popular and effective for osteoarthritis. They keep cartilage strong, and it’s the same effect, which makes them strong candidates for treating and preventing tendinitis.

Same goes for the amino acids “glycine,” “lysine” and “proline,” which are all known to help heal tendons. They are known to help the muscle and connective tissue recover from injury. They are found in foods and in supplements.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Natural Remedies for Rheumatoid Arthritis

I haven’t painted a very rosy picture of rheumatoid arthritis. Unfortunately, that’s because it doesn’t deserve one. There are many drugs on the market prescribed in hopes that they clear up the pain and other symptoms; these include NSAIDs, corticosteroids, COX-2 inhibitors, anti-rheumatic drugs, drugs that suppress the immune system, drugs that block a certain cellular protein, “Orencia,” “Rituxan,” and antidepressants. Sometimes surgeries, such as joint replacement, are used.

There are several good options in the natural side of medicine to help limit the symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis. Here is a look at the natural choices:

1. Fish oil. Omega-3 fatty acids in cold water fish such as tuna, herring and salmon contain anti-inflammatory properties and may be able to help those with Rheumatoid arthritis. Omega-3 has been proven successful in improving this condition. For some, the more omega-3 you have, the fewer NSAIDs you need for pain.

A double-blind study found that taking 2.6 g of omega-3s a day led to significant improvements in rheumatoid arthritis symptoms for patients during a 12-month study. In fact, at least 13 good-quality studies have found that using omega-3 supplements could significantly reduce rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. (Note: the benefits of fish oil may be enhanced by eating olive oil at the same time.)

2. Boswellia. This Indian herb, legendary in the annals of Ayurvedic medicine, is directly related to frankincense. It’s a historical herb for arthritis, but modern research seems to back up its potential here. There are active ingredients in boswellia, acids that fight inflammation, which make the herb useful for Rheumatoid arthritis. A review of previously unpublished studies found that 81 people with Rheumatoid arthritis had significantly less swelling and pain over three months taking boswellia.Another one found that six months helped relieve symptoms in 60 rheumatoid arthritis patients. While more is to be discovered here, boswellia is promising.

3. Herbs named “claw.” Devils’ claw has potential for rheumatoid arthritis. A good study tracked 89 patients over two months, and those taking the herb showed a major decrease in pain and improved motion in the joints. Another following 50 people with a variety of arthritis types proved that 10 days of devil’s claw treatment provided significant pain relief.

The other herb here is cat’s claw, which has well-known potential for joint pain. Taking the extract called Uncaria tomentosa in supplement form may improve rheumatoid arthritis symptoms a little bit. Taken alongside regular drugs, the number of swollen joints and painful flare-ups can be reduced.

4. Gamma linolenic acid

Gamma linolenic acide (GLA) is found in evening primrose and borage seed oils. It’s a fatty acid that could help control inflammation and repair injured joint tissue. In a study of 37 rheumatoid arthritis patients, GLA reduced the number of tender joints by 36%, swollen joints by 28%, and two related medical “scores” (how the patient rated) by nearly half. Those on placebo had no improvement. Taking borage seed oil along with conventional drugs helps decrease symptoms even further than taking drugs alone. Other studies have found encouraging results as well. Both oils as well as GLA can be found in any health store.

5. Vitamin E

The super antioxidant vitamin doesn’t work to limit inflammation, but could reduce pain. Evidence shows that taking vitamin E orally along with standard rheumatoid arthritis therapy could bring pain down further and improve results.

6. Glucosamine

This is a very popular supplemental treatment for osteoarthritis, but may have benefit in rheumatoid arthritis as well. Last autumn, a good-quality study of 51 RA patients found that 1,500 mg of glucosamine a day significantly improved symptoms. Like vitamin E, it didn’t affect the inflammation at all.

7. Dietary measures

People with Rheumatoid arthritis can use food to help themselves as well. Some find that avoiding dairy can help improve symptoms—keeping a food diary and seeing if any foods seem to aggravate your symptoms is a good idea. Learning what the culprits are and cutting them out of your diet is not a bad idea. One study found that following a vegan diet that is rich in chlorophyll drinks could decrease the symptoms.Researchers have found that fasting can provide temporary relief of pain.

In 1991, the Lancet published a study that found tenderness and swelling in joints was lowered, morning stiffness was decreased and grip strength was increased in Rheumatoid arthritis patients who followed a particular diet. Step one: a seven-to-10 day fast during which only herbal teas, garlic, vegetable broth and juice extracts (carrot, beet, celery) were allowed.

Step two: a “new” food item was introduced every other day. If RA symptoms got worse in the next two days, this food item was eliminated for a week. If this item aroused symptoms again, it was cut permanently. So, what got eliminated? Meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, gluten, refined sugar and citrus fruits. Also to be avoided: salt, strong spice, preservatives, alcohol, tea and coffee.