Safe Introduction to Natural Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatments
The number of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) sufferers increases annually, with around 2 million American sufferers and 700,000 in the United Kingdom. Despite this, the disease remains incurable and debilitating. If you suffer from RA, you possibly feel unhappy about your treatment regimen of aggressive, prescribed drugs that seem to have a little positive effect. If you are among the thousands of sufferers reaching out to more natural methods of treatment, this article may help you.
- 1 Safe Introduction to Natural Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatments
- 2 Current Treatments For Rheumatoid Arthritis
- 3 CBD Oil and Arthritis Pain Relief
More About RA
RA is a serious autoimmune disease that can quickly render you partially or wholly immobile. As a sufferer, you probably have high levels of pain and extreme swelling to your joints and associated soft tissues. Often starting in one small area of your hands or feet, RA quickly progresses to attack your entire body. You might experience crippling back pain, excruciating headaches, and vomiting due to spinal inflammation, extreme swelling of your small joints, and stiffness and immobility of the major joints.
In RA, your body's immune system attacks itself by interpreting synovial tissue, which is found in your joints, as a foreign body. This triggers your immune system to create aggressive antibodies in much the same way as it kicks in to fight a bout of influenza. The antibodies' action against your synovial tissues increases over time, so RA can rapidly become disabling.
Not only can RA affect your joints, including their muscles, cartilage, and ligaments, but it also can invade major organs. It is relatively common for heart and lung function to become compromised in the later disease stages, with ensuing permanent disability and loss of employment. Eventually, RA can totally disable all major joints, most commonly your shoulders, knees, and hips.
Current Treatments For Rheumatoid Arthritis
The side-effects from prescribed treatments can make it difficult to perform day-to-day functions. Immuno-suppressants take a high toll on your body; some were designed as anti-cancer drugs, altering your blood biochemistry and requiring you to have weekly blood tests. Nausea and dizziness are common complaints arising from prescribed medications.
Drugs in common use include a range of non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) and anti-rheumatic disease modifiers, known as DMARDs.
If you are fearful of the increasing side-effects of your RA drugs, you are not alone. Like other sufferers, you may be tempted to withdraw from prescribed treatment plans. If you do, there's no need to resort to random, abrupt, or haphazard forays into the alternatives. Uncontrolled, knee-jerk home trials of natural substances can have a devastating consequence on the progression of your RA, and this approach is partly responsible for practitioners' low opinions of home treatments.
Natural Supplementation Methods
However, the news about natural treatments is still overwhelmingly positive; many natural substances have begun to show promising (in some cases, startling) results. These include orally administered substances you may have in your kitchen or in your supply of health supplements:
Its active ingredient is curcumin, highly effective in RA pain control. In many clinical trials, curcumin's pain control efficacy outstripped even diclofenac, a popular painkiller offered on prescription. The supermarket's dried turmeric is as effective as any, as long as it's fresh and kept cool, dry, and resealed. The benefits are obtained from taking up to a teaspoon of the powder at a time, gradually building up from taking a quarter teaspoon suspended in water or milk and honey. Using the spice in cooking is not much of a help; you need to take a good measure in one hit, even if it makes your eyes water.
Its active ingredient is capsaicin, and just like turmeric, it is only effective when taken in one hit, daily, suspended in water or milk and honey. Capsaicin acts as a highly effective and fast-acting anti-inflammatory, so it's the ideal partner for turmeric in treating RA. The benefits of cayenne can be felt quickly, as the subsiding of joint swelling results in a marked lessening of pain and discomfort. It will also have remarkable effects on blood circulation, again aiding your mobility.
Taken internally, this is effective as an anti-inflammatory and seems to have some benefits in the prevention of flare-ups if good quality, genuine Manuka product with a high Manuka factor is taken daily. Applied topically and liberally, the effects on RA swelling can be dramatic and swift.
Usually available in capsule form at health food stores, MSM is a sulfurous compound found in raw vegetables and fruit. With both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, it can reduce swelling and enhance mobility. Sulfur is vital in the maintenance of healthy joints and bones and is an important component in producing collagen, the structural protein in your connective tissue.
It cannot harm to take a high-quality collagen supplement if you are taking a daily dose of MSM since the two together should help your joints retain greater mobility. Your skin will also benefit; since most RA sufferers have uncomfortable, hot, and stretched areas of skin due to swelling, substances increasing skin elasticity will be a help. Collagen is available in health food stores in capsule and powder format, and there are many types, so do your research first.
Take your time and research all the substances you want to try. Once you have assembled your natural remedies, it's also worth taking the care and time to introduce them the right way.
Cutting Conventional Medicines from Your Intake
As tempting it may be, do not cease any of your conventionally prescribed medications just because you have suddenly acquired an armory of natural alternatives. Prescribed medications cannot always be withdrawn immediately; some need to be phased out.
Always lower the dosages of conventional medications under health practitioners' guidance. However, it's only when you do lower them, that you'll notice the real benefits of your therapeutic alternatives. Invariably, in the management of RA, more than one practitioner is involved, so it may take time for them to talk to each other and agree they're happy for you to start reducing the prescribed medications. At the least, an RA sufferer will usually see a rheumatologist and a general practitioner, so both need to know what you're proposing before you embark on your plan.
That doesn't mean they need to agree with your plan, of course; there can be resistance to alternative therapies of all types, not just in the treatment of RA. It is courteous, though, to at least tell your medical advisers what you wish to do, so they do not feel you are blatantly disregarding all their advice and good work. You need these advisers on your side because it might make sense to return to conventional treatments at a later stage.
Once you have discussed the treatments you would like to try, it's likely they will support you even if it is with some hesitation or objection. Practitioners will rarely stand in the way of patients' wishes, but if you fail to consult them, don't expect a warm welcome back when you need them later.
Check All Substances Can Be Used Together
Make sure your health practitioners know about the natural substances you want to take, so they can advise whether there is likely to be a problem in you taking them alongside your medications.
This is an even bigger consideration if you are trying natural remedies that have not been listed here; many possible treatments are available and not all will be safe in their interactions with prescription drugs. Natural products can still carry health warnings and show adverse interactions with other things you may be taking.
Now that we know some of the common supplements and pain relieves that people have been taking for years, is there a better solution that is also all natural? Let's take a look
CBD Oil and Arthritis Pain Relief
Arthritis is an incredibly painful disease that impacts over half a billion people in the United States alone. Though there are multiple variations, the two most common are rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis, which affect different areas of the body for several reasons. RA is an autoimmune disease, which means that the inflammation in the joints of the hands and feet are caused by the individual’s immune system attacking itself. With OA, the user experienced degeneration in the cartilage in bones, making it difficult to remain flexible and causes paid. Rather than attacking the hands and feet, this type of arthritis goes after the hips, knees, and thumbs.
So far, there have been a wide array of studies on how CBD handles this inflammatory pain in animals, discovering that it is both safe and helpful. While there has yet to be a CBD-based treatment that can manage the pain associated with these conditions, there was a 2006 study that showed some promise. This study revealed that a mouth spray called Sativex helped with pain associated with arthritis. However, since it has both CBD and THC, consumers require a prescription from a doctor, and only a few states allow for this type of treatment.
Though the research over the years has shown potential for treating pain, the industry is still working on finding a method that pertains to humans and leaves THC absent. There are, however, multiple CBD remedies in the form of balms and salves that could ease more mild discomfort.
CBD Oil and Chronic Pain
Chronic pain is one of the most difficult medical issues to deal with, considering how doctors still struggle to treat it. Long-term opiate use should always be avoided, because it can lead to addiction and because the user often must keep increasing the dosage as they become acclimated to is. In a 2008 research study about CBD, scientists discovered that this chemical compound may be used as a solution.
Cannabinoids (CBD) directly attach to receptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which are categorized as either CB1 or CB2. CB2 receptors affect the immune system with soothing pain and inflammation. Though definitive proof is not available for varying levels of intensity, researchers believe that the reaction from the receptors could essentially eliminate pain. THC has been used for this purpose, leading to the legalization of medical marijuana in many locations, but scientists have yet to find a great enough strength to perform the same action for long-term pain sufferers.
Risks and Considerations
Right now, the major roadblock for the use of CBD as a medical intervention for arthritis is that the FDA has not actually approved it for doing so. In fact, the FDA only recently approved CBD as a method of treating two specific types of epilepsy in June of last year. Though the majority of states have legalized CBD oil, there are certain restrictions on how much THC can be found in these substances.
There have not been any significant risks that the industry has found with the use of CBD, apart from the lack of consistency between companies in their purity. However, much like any plant-based substance, consumers with sensitive skin should apply the treatment to a small area first, ensuring that they do not have an allergic reaction.