Guest Post by Dr. Brent Wells, D.C.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (also known as RA) begins when your immune system attacks and lines the thin layer of tissue that is located near your joints. Usually, joints are affected the worst, but in some cases, it can also spread to other bodily organs and systems. RA causes pain, fatigue, joint stiffness, and swelling, warmth, and inflammation near the joints.
Since this disease affects nearly 1.5 million people in the United States, it is important to not just understand the root causes of RA, but also what natural remedies are available to help manage or even eliminate the symptoms of RA.
While conventional medicine has a time and a place, RA and the pain associated with it can be effectively managed in a number of ways through supplements, diet, and lifestyle.
Understanding the Root Causes of RA
Understanding the root causes of RA is not black and white. There is a lot of grey area and we still don’t fully understand what causes this painful condition. However, there are some clear risk factors for RA.
Certain lifestyle factors can increase your risk of developing RA. Being overweight, smoking, and being exposed to certain environmental toxins can increase your chances of developing RA.
Family history and your genes also play a role in RA. Furthermore, a specific genetic marker known as HLA-DR4 is found much more often in people with RA. However, it is important to keep in mind that more research needs to be conducted to confirm these findings.
Hormones are believed to play a role in RA as it is more common for women to have this condition. Experts think this is because women experience more hormonal fluctuations than men, which may trigger RA. RA increases when hormones drop – this often happens after a woman has a baby or goes through menopause.
More recently, studies have suggested a strong link between RA and digestive issues and certain kinds of intestinal bacteria. Prevotella copri is a type of intestinal bacteria that is linked to the onset of RA. According to the study, more of these bacteria were found in patients with RA when compared to their healthy counterparts. This can lead to Leaky Gut, which causes an inflammatory response and thus an increased autoimmune response.
Researchers at NYU School of Medicine state there is growing evidence that directly suggests that the trillions of microbes in the body play a very specific part in regulating health. Eating an anti-inflammatory diet and steering clear of gluten is also a great way to help RA.
Natural Remedies for RA
Thankfully, there is a wealth of ways to naturally help pain and symptoms associated with RA.
Even though it may sound counterproductive, moving and exercising through the pain and stiffness is one of the best ways to feel better. It can help reduce the swelling in the joints and ease pain overall. Workouts such as walking, low impact aerobics, biking, swimming, and yoga are great options for getting moving and getting your heart rate pumping.
Massage has been used for thousands of years to help a multitude of issues. Massage can help reduce pain in all areas of the body, including the areas that are triggering the most pain. It is important to search for a doctor or certified massage therapist who works with RA patients, so they know what they are doing from a medical standpoint.
For instance, my clinic in Juneau is offering massage therapy, and we’ve worked with many patients to help manage the pain and other issues associated with RA. It helps loosen up the joints, get the blood flowing, and relieve pain.
Turmeric and Other Supplements and Extracts
Turmeric is a powerhouse spice and supplement. It is part of the ginger family and known for its brilliant bright yellow golden color. Turmeric is also famous for its ability to help ward off inflammation in the body. Evidence also suggests it is able to help ease pain just as much as common over the counter painkillers. Taking a turmeric supplement is an easy way to help relieve the pain associated with RA without taking conventional medication.
Many mushroom and lichen herbal extracts help with a variety of autoimmune conditions, such as RA. Reishi Tincture and Turkey Tail Tincture are great ones to choose. Reishi addresses issues such as inflammation, low energy, and hormonal imbalances.
Turkey Tail can help regulate the immune system and helps balance the digestive system, which is important since one of the causes of RA may be due to digestive issues and gut bacteria problems. This Leaky Gut Tincture contains herbs thought to be beneficial for gut repair.
Last but not least, Stinging Nettle Tincture is also great since it is an anti-inflammatory and is very often used to treat different forms of arthritis.
Looking for all of these? Try this Herbal Joint & Movement Bundle to help treat RA naturally.
Body Rubs, Lotions, Creams, Etc.
Topical rubs and creams are another great way to help treat RA pain and inflammation.
This Joint & Movement Salve combines natural ingredients like frankincense oil, cayenne, calendula, vitamin E and more to help ease arthritis pain, reduce inflammation, and soothe joints.
In the end, RA can be a tricky condition to understand and it is often even more challenging to properly treat. There is so much more to understand about this disease, which makes finding the best treatments for each individual person hard. Treatments vary from person to person, so it often takes a lot of playing around with options and natural remedies to find the ones that work the best for you.
However, when you find a natural solution that helps make you feel better and you can live your life to the fullest, the process is completely worth it.
About Dr. Brent Wells
Dr. Brent Wells, D.C. is the founder of Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab and has been a chiropractor for over 20 years. His practice has treated thousands of patients from different health problems using various services designed to help give you long-lasting relief.
Dr. Wells is also the author of over 700 online health articles that have been featured on sites such as Dr. Axe and Lifehack. He is a proud member of the American Chiropractic Association and the American Academy of Spine Physicians. And he continues his education to remain active and updated in all studies related to neurology, physical rehab, biomechanics, spine conditions, brain injury trauma, and more.