Healing Rheumatoid Arthritis with Naturopathic Medicine

People living with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) compare the pain and inflammation to a fire raging out of control. RA is a chronic, systemic autoimmune disease causing swelling, stiffness, and pain in the joints. It can result in joint deformity and damage to other organs, including the nerves, heart, and lungs.

Approximately 1.5 million Americans have Rheumatoid Arthritis: most are adults over age 40; about 12,000 children under age 16 have juvenile-onset RA.

Symptoms of RA (aggravated by stress and lack of sleep)

  • Swollen, painful, hot and disfigured joints on both sides of the body
  • Pain, stiffness and limited movement making daily activities difficult
  • Fatigue, muscle aches, and fevers

The prevailing, conventional theory is that inflammation results from an “over-reaction” of the immune system that may include genetic factors. Doctors of naturopathic medicine believe there is a deeper, root cause for this haywire immune system response. They theorize immune dysregulation originates in imbalances that involve a person’s genetics, lifestyle choices, nutritional status, gut health, stress, environmental triggers and emotional wellbeing.

Treatment of RA

Conventional treatment includes physical therapy and prescription medicines (steroids, painkillers, and immune suppressors) to treat pain and swelling. While these drugs may be necessary for some people, they have side effects including hair loss, liver damage, stress on the kidneys and heart, and risk for addiction, without correcting the underlying imbalance.

At Journey of Health our naturopathic doctors emphasize on identification and treatment of root causes. Naturopathic doctors use safe, natural therapies and interventions that stimulate the restoration of health without side effects. Here’s a sampling of naturopathic interventions that can make a huge impact in healing the root causes of RA.

An Anti-inflammatory Diet

Commit to a diet that includes: organic fruits and veggies; healthy fats such as olive, avocado, and coconut oils; whole grains; bone broth; wild-caught fish; and nuts/seeds. These foods provide natural antioxidants – cellular superheroes that gobble up the free radical cells that contribute to development of RA. There are many foods that are considered healthy in general, but may cause inflammation for some people, leading to immune dysregulation. Holistic doctors will test for food sensitivities, such as gluten, dairy, egg, or others, and work with a patient to create a diet with healthy alternatives when needed.

Keep Moving

Movement is important for managing symptoms (including pain) and enhancing psychological wellbeing. Low impact exercise, such as cycling, walking, water aerobics and Tai Chi, are ideal. Symptoms can improve with strength training.

R & R: Rest, Relaxation & Pain Reduction

Massage therapy, acupuncture or acupressure, reflexology, yoga, deep breathing, and guided imagery provide protection against painful bouts of RA by helping improve body awareness, reduce muscle tension, enhance sleep, and decrease stress hormones.

Manage Symptoms, Naturally

Nutritional and herbal supplements can help reduce pain and inflammation. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with RA, so supplementing can be important. Extracts of ginger and turmeric, Omega-3 fish oil and digestive enzymes are some nutrients that help tame the fire of inflammation.

A natural medicine approach to healing RA will be unique to each person. Consult with your La Mesa naturopathic doctor for interventions that will work best for you.

References
Contact our office for more information

Journey of Health Medical Clinic

619-772-1164

Comments

  1. Which natural remedies to relive pain can be implemented?

    • Dr. Shannyn says:

      Good questions. There are many approaches to relieving pain, but ultimately we want to try to find the cause for the pain if possible- that means investigating the reason behind auto-immune disease. There are several botanicals that help address pain such as boswellia, willow and ginger as a few possibilities. It is important to match the botanical to the person and ensure the quality of the product. Taking a poorly made product doesn’t make any sense if it doesn’t have the quality of the herb to have an effect or if it has an extra ingredient that will confuse your immune system. There are also heavy duty enzymes that help to decrease inflammation. Everyone is a little different. I have had patients who started probiotics and their pain was much better. A diet full of color and anti-inflammatory foods is very important as well.
      Find someone to work with and help guide you to your tools and treat you as an individual.

  2. Stephanie says:

    Cured of herpes simplex virus 1 & 2 by a great herbal doctor called Robinson Buckler with the use of different combination of Africa herbs. it is still like a dream to me. There is no word suitable enough to qualify your significance in my life dear doctor.

    • Dr. Shannyn says:

      It is a wonderful thing when you can find a doctor who listens to you and who is willing to work with you to find solutions. Chronic viral syndromes continue to be a challenge in today’s health. Empowering patients to find their answers is exactly what we do. My patients are very grateful as well. Continue to be well!

  3. Does yoga help alleviate the pain?

    • Dr. Shannyn says:

      Yoga can help by moving toxins out of muscles. Congestion of toxins and inflammatory molecules definitely contributes to poor use of muscles and poor nutrition into muscles, tendons and connective tissue around the area. Yoga helps with balance of getting toxins out and nutrition back in.

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