The Best Supplements for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune condition where the immune system mistakenly responds to attack the lining of the joints in our body. While the exact cause of RA is unknown, there are ways to help prevent and treat it both naturally and with pharmac
Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune condition where the immune system mistakenly responds to attack the lining of the joints in our body. While the exact cause of RA is unknown, there are ways to help prevent and treat it both naturally and with pharmaceutical medications.
Who gets RA?
Fewer people suffer from rheumatoid arthritis than osteoarthritis, however it is still common. Like other autoimmune conditions it more commonly affects women and presents in about 1% of the population overall. Most people are diagnosed between 35-50 years of age.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms that are common to rheumatoid arthritis include stiffness when getting up in the morning that usually lasts for more than 1 hour, pain with movement, and redness and swelling at the joint are the basic.
Both sides of the body are usually affected at the same time (eg. both right and left wrist joints) and the bone and cartilage can become permanently damaged and result in the joint becoming deformed.
How can you treat Rheumatoid Arthritis naturally?
As RA is a condition that involves the dysfunction of the immune system leading to inflammation and these are two areas that can be can be targeted for treatment.
Healthy nutrition and lifestyle choices are the most important pillars of a healthy immune system, however there are supplements that can also help.
Omega-3: Omega-3 decreases inflammation in the body, which will help decrease flair ups and pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis. We consume a large number of omega-6 fats in our modern diet, which increases inflammation in our body. Increasing our intake of Omega-3, which act as an anti-inflammatory in the body will help to balance overall inflammation. Given that much of our fish can be contaminated with environmental pollutants, consuming fish oil as supplements may be a safer and more convenient option.
Curcumin: Curcumin is the active anti-inflammatory ingredient found in turmeric, which can be very effective in decreasing inflammation throughout the body. As levels of inflammation will increase the pain associated with RA, taking curcumin regularly can help someone manage the pain in their joints. It should be pointed out that the body does have some difficulty with the absorption of curcumin, however consuming it with a fat source and some piperine or black pepper dramatically increases its absorption in the body. Pairing curcumin with omega-3 is a power combination to help manage any inflammation in the body and
Vitamin D: Lower levels of vitamin D in the body is associated with increased susceptibility for developing RA and Vitamin D status appears to be correlated with severity of the disease to. Vitamin D is also very effective at controlling levels of inflammation in the body as well as suppressing certain types of immune cells that can become over-activated in autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. Our main natural source of vitamin D is from sun exposure, but in the winter our exposure is very limited and in the summer the sunscreens we wear to protect us from developing skin cancer also block vitamin D from being absorbed. There are a few foods that contain vitamin D (eg. fatty fish, egg yolks, mushrooms) but taking a good quality supplement is important as it is hard to achieve adequate levels through diet alone.