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Managing Rheumatoid Arthritis Naturally

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Natural Management of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Managing Rheumatoid Arthritis Naturally

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune condition characterized by chronic inflammation that ends up destroying joints (especially the synovium, which is the connective tissue that lines the joint capsule) over time. If you have RA, you may feel swelling, pain, and tenderness in certain joints that has come on over time and may mistake if for osteoarthritis. Since RA is an autoimmune condition, the body mistakenly identifies components of the joint as an enemy that needs to be attacked and destroyed. A naturopathic approach to RA management focuses on both the autoimmune aspect of the condition as well as decreasing the level of inflammation in the body. There are several natural interventions that have been supported by science as having benefit for improving RA symptoms.

Decreasing Autoimmunity

One of the most studied vitamins known to play an immunomodulatory role in dampening the autoimmune response at higher doses is Vitamin D. RA patients are typically low in this vitamin, and testing your blood levels can help us determine how much supplementation you need. The right dosage can help decrease symptom severity within 12 weeks.

Other nutrients, including selenomethionine, may be helpful in reducing the progression of RA. Selenomethionine is typically used in other autoimmune conditions as well. In addition, a large proportion of the immune system is in the gut, and therefore one way we can decrease the autoimmune response is by treating the gut through diet, supplementation, and lifestyle changes.

Decreasing Inflammation

There is evidence that an anti-inflammatory, Mediterranean-type diet can help reduce the symptoms of RA. Naturopathic doctors can help you adapt your current diet to one that will help decrease your inflammatory symptoms and possibly help decrease the amount of joint destruction over time. Supplements which help decrease inflammation may also be beneficial.

If you are dealing with rheumatoid arthritis, chances are that you are also dealing with another autoimmune condition (an autoimmune thyroid condition is often missed or not addressed). Our naturopathic doctors can help you put together a holistic plan that addresses multiple facets of your health, from the inside out!

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