Rheumatoid arthritis affects 1% of world population, that’s more than any other autoimmune condition. In the US over 1/3 million people suffer from this disease; however, medical science is unable to diagnose the triggers and causes of the disease. Genetics may play an important role but according to stats majority of RA patients do not have a family history of RA.
A lot of stress, being exposed to pollutants, unhealthy diet could be the cause as well.
What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
It is a chronic progressive disease of small joints such are fingers, wrists, ankles, and feet; it causes inflammation swelling and pain which may result in deformation or stiffness of these joints.
The immune system in a healthy body fights off germs and disease, but in autoimmune conditions, it mistakenly targets the body itself, in rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system attacks the thin tissue lining synovium, of the joints.
This causes thickening of Synovium, inflammation, and pain. Continuous inflammation restricts the movement of the joint and gradually the joint may become utterly immobile if it is not treated.
Rheumatoid grows symmetrically, that means both wrists or ankles will get affected simultaneously. Rheumatoid arthritis doesn’t only affect the joints, but it can also attack the cardiovascular or respiratory systems in your body.
Medical science has not discovered a cure for RA as yet, so some drugs are prescribed that may suppress the immune system, reduce inflammation and swelling and painkillers.
11 Home Remedies For Rheumatoid Arthritis
If you are a patient with Rheumatoid Arthritis, you might as well be aware of a large number of medicines you have to take every day to just function and control pain. These medicines have numerous side effects which can be equally as deadly an RA.
Therefore many RA warriors try alternative therapies, for example, homeopathic medicine, herbal medicine, aqua pressure, and acupuncture.
Rest is the number-one companion for rheumatoid patients. Physical exertion can be damaging to the joints and can increase pain and stiffness. Also, RA causes severe fatigue it is suggested to take a ten-minute rest after every hour of physical work. Taking short breaks of lying down can increase your work efficiency and will also help with the fatigue.
2. Yoga and Meditation
Yoga includes different postures and steps it can make a big difference in the stiffness and swelling of joint. Regular Yoga can reverse immobile joint and can enhance the flexibility of affected joints in the body.
When you have rheumatoid, you wake up tired and hurting because you took a lot of rest, that’s correct with rheumatoid an extended period of inactivity can cause pain and stiffness. Therefore it is important to incorporate exercise into your routine. Consult your rheumatologist before starting an exercise and listen to your body. Don’t push yourself and know the limitations of your body. Start with light exercises and move on to slightly harder ones. Swimming and jogging are excellent exercises for people suffering from RA.
There are some books and programs out there advocating certain diets. One common thing is they all suggest using more of fresh and natural foods, instead of canned and processed food.
A gluten-free diet is one of the most successful among all the diets, and it has promising results for some people. Avoiding dairy products have also shown good results for some patients.
Use fresh produce, avoid red meat, eat more fish and vegetables simply take a lot o antioxidant.
5. Essential Oils
As we know stress has a great role in triggering a flare, it really important to keep stress and anxiety in check. Aromatherapy using lavender, eucalyptus or peppermint oil can relieve stress and create a soothing environment. It can also help with insomnia caused by RA.
Put a drop or two of lavender essential oil on your palms, cup them and inhale deeply, inhaling lavender oil through water diffusion may also give same results. A study conducted by a group of RA patients showed regular inhaling of lavender essential oil helped with the pain tremendously.
6. Herbs and Spices
Magnolia Bark Extract
Magnolia bark can reduce inflammation and swell effectively, Honokiol in Magnolia bark extract reduce inflammation of joints without increasing glycogen level in the liver, so unlike most anti-inflammatory drugs it doesn’t put liver health at risk.
It works by suppressing the signaling molecules.
Turmeric also has anti-inflammatory properties; it reduces pain and inflammation by modifying the autoimmune response. Like Magnolia bark, it targets inflammatory cytokines. Therefore, it doesn’t produce adverse side effects as drugs.
Turmeric can be taken in the form of a capsule, or it can be applied in the form of paste on the affected area.
7. Herbal Teas
Herbal teas have a rich antioxidant content polyphenol which helps relieve stress and reduce inflammation. Some teas also relax mind and body while; some have active ingredients that fight, inflammation and pain in joint.
8. Hot Baths with Epsom Salt
Hot baths are great for stiff and inflamed joints on their own, so adding Epsom salt can double the efficiency. Epsom salt gets absorbed in the body through the skin and is supposed to relieve the pain and stiffness of joints.
It has been used since a long time for aches and pains of the body.
9. Hot and Cold Packs
Hot packs reduce stiffness while cold pack helps with the swelling and paint. You can use cold packs when your joints are flaring bad, but don’t overdo it keep a cold pack for not more than15 minutes, and give a30 minute break before reapplying.
Hot packs can be especially useful when your joints are very stiff; it increases the blood flow and provides ease in movements.
A monthly relaxing body massage can do wonders for swollen, tender joints. It increases the blood circulation in the body and releases stress.
11. Fish Oil Supplements
Fish oil supplements are rich in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids which reduce the risk of heart disease; it is especially beneficial for RA patients as they are at higher risk. Fish oil is very effective in reducing morning stiffness.
So that’s a list of some easy home remedies which can help with pain, stiffness, and inflammation.