posted on Jul, 18 2004 @ 09:28 PM
Rheumatoid Arthritis(RA) is an autoimmune disorder. Your immune system is attacking the synovial tissue in your joints, and may very well be attacking
tissues in other parts of your body as well.
RA is associated with genetics -- it tends to run in the family. This does not mean it cannot be effectively treated, but it is worth remembering this
hereditary factor. It runs in my family, but mainly seems to afflict females. I have very old male relatives with no arthritis.
There are a bazillion ways to try to treat RA, but beware, most are either hoaxes or offer less than stellar results.
I am not an expert on this disease. However, the best results I have seen in my relatives were holistic methods that addressed the immune system and
overall health. While some treatments seek to "fight" the immune system, a wiser approach may be to seek to strengthen it, since it may very
well be a malfunction in the immune system that is leading it to attack "friendly" tissues. Attempting to disable the immune system has potentially
severe consequences unrelated to arthritis, and, from what I have seen, is not even very effective at treating RA to begin with.
None of my relatives has seen any long-term benefit from the use of prescription drugs. Your mileage may vary, but remember that the business of
medicine is, first and foremost, a business. Caveat emptor.
I recommend doing a lot of research on Rheumatoid Arthritis via the Internet, being skeptical about "miracle cures" (and skeptical in general),
consulting more than one doctor about this, and remembering that extreme "remedies" usually cause more problems than they solve. There are
supplements that may help (a product called "Syn-Flex" may provide some relief, but your mileage may vary), but I still think a total
health approach is the best way to go, in the end.
Be sure not to neglect your overall health, especially be sure to vary your diet. There is a possibility that some kinds of foods may aggravate RA.
Not to go new age on you, but if you experience a lot of emotional stress and/or live in a heavily polluted area, this may be a factor aggravating
your condition. Resolving causes of stress and supplementation with anti-oxidants may help with this.
Don't stop exercising, but don't "force" joints too much. Bear in mind that the joints are deteriorating, you can hurt yourself if you overload
them. On the other hand, try not to let them stiffen up to much, and flex them without loads frequently and lightly, without inducing excessive
Maintaining joint flexibility, even in advanced cases of RA, seems to be important. Once they "freeze up", things tend to get worse more rapidly.
Rheumatoid Arthritis sucks, but I refuse to believe it can't be successfully combatted, or at least adapted to in healthy ways.
Beware. If anyone promises you anything regarding Rheumatoid Arthritis, they are lying.
Good luck, study, study, study, don't believe everything you read, or hear, or see, and never lose heart.