What is rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic form of arthritis caused by the malfunction of the immune system. It destroys the tissues around the sufferers’ joints. This results in inflammation in one or several joints, especially small joints such as fingers and toes. However, there are cases where it spreads to the knees and joints such as the spine. In addition, if the patient leaves the inflamed joint for a long time without treatment, it may cause a deformation, and disability can follow. Clinical data also found that some patients had inflammation in other areas that affect the function of various systems in the body, such as the skin, eyes, lungs, heart, and blood vessels.
At risk of rheumatoid arthritis but asymptomatic
During the progression of rheumatoid arthritis, symptoms are normally slow and gradual. Some patients develop symptoms that last from weeks to months. But commonly, sufferers experience symptoms such as pain in the small joints, especially upon waking up in the morning due to lack of motion during sleep. Some people experience pain moving from one spot to another. For example, pain in the right hand may move to the left hand. Other common areas that may experience pain along with swelling, redness, and stiffness are as follows:
- Neck and back
Who is at risk for rheumatoid arthritis?
- Females are generally found to be more at risk of rheumatoid arthritis than males.
- People aged 55 years and over.
- Genetics is one of the causes of rheumatoid arthritis. If someone in the family has had this disease, there is a chance that other members may be increased risk.
- People who have been on antibiotics for a long time are also at risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. This is due to the imbalances in the intestinal microflora which can cause inflammation.
- People who smoke regularly may have immune system disorders because of the chemicals in cigarettes.
In general, in the early stages of the disease, patients are often unaware that the symptoms are present. Is it rheumatoid arthritis because the initial symptoms that show are similar to other ailments, so the patient may require a lot of observation?
Confirmation of the disease may require laboratory testing such as blood tests, synovial fluid examination, synovial examination, and X-ray examination of the joints, which are the main examinations used in conventional medicine. The integrative medical approach in turn examines the intestinal microflora with diagnostic testing such as the IgG food intolerance test to determine which foods eaten regularly are the key factors that stimulate inflammation.
This is in order to avoid food that directly causes inflammation. Integrative medicine does not focus on medication alone, but instead takes on a holistic care approach. This is done by adjusting the diet and looking into other approaches to enhance treatment outcomes, which in turn can reduce inflammation, increase the strength of the intestinal system, the balance of intestinal microflora, and reduce the amount of medication.
Most types of conventional treatments are long term. This may cause side effects on the liver, kidneys and the overall health of the patients. Therefore, the integrative medical approach which combines a multipronged treatment platform and low dependence on medicaments can be very useful in treating patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis must be treated
All rheumatoid arthritis patients need treatment. If not treated, it can result in deformities to the affected joints and can in turn affect the sufferer’s quality of life.
In general, the treatment of rheumatoid will focus mainly on the control of the disease with steroidal drugs and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in the immunosuppressant group. Different drug groups can change the course of the disease, and biopharmaceuticals have been found to be effective against the abnormal development of immunity. Data has shown that many rheumatoid patients did not have access to biologic medicaments. Although highly effective, they can be costly. As a result, most of the patients are still being prescribed medicaments from older drug groups.
Some of these medications may inevitably cause long-term side effects such as vision issues, liver conditions, kidney problems, or abnormal heart rate. In addition, at times, patients may also suffer from anorexia, nausea, vomiting, and dizziness, which can greatly affect their quality of life.
While biologic medicaments are highly effective, side effects are rare, but in some cases, side effects such as serious infections can be fatal. This group of medication is therefore classified as the 3rd or 4th option and only when the first line of medication is not effective or when patients cannot tolerate the side effects of the initial group of medication. However, as mentioned earlier, long-term treatment can be costly and not everyone can afford it. Therefore, avoidance of long-term medications is the key solution.
Knowing the cause of the disease and getting the right treatment
In integrative medicine, rheumatoid arthritis is viewed as an autoimmune disorder which can be caused by toxic residues, genetics, and inflammation in the body, which are often associated with the gastrointestinal tract. This can occur, especially in patients who have been on long term antibiotics, which may cause an imbalance in the intestinal microflora that later causes the inflammation. Pathogenic microorganisms cause intestinal wall cells to stick together, not tightly, causing a condition known as Leaky Gut. This can result in food that is not digested thoroughly into large molecules and absorbed into the intestinal lymphatic system, causing an abnormality in the immune system.
The triggered immunity and food molecules floating in the bloodstream can cause local reactions in the joint system, which in turn may cause rheumatoid autoimmune disorders. Most of the time, a sufferer does not have any symptoms. For example, some microorganisms grow gradually in the bladder or in the digestive tract, which results in the arthritis reaction.
The microflora of the intestines in the bladder can be examined to isolate the infection and find a cure. Sensitivity to types of food can be tested to note which ones stimulate the immune system, causing inflammation on the joint surface. In some cases, patients may have heavy metals that trigger inflammation in joints similar to rheumatoid arthritis.
The integrative medical approach focuses on in-depth examination to get to the root cause of the disease. This allows the patient to be treated according to the cause rather than just the symptoms he or she experienced for better treatment results.
Integrated treatment for rheumatoid arthritis with long-term benefit.
- In Germany, integrative medical practitioners are using a treatment known as Autohaemotherapy. This therapy involves the use of the patient's own blood as part of the treatment. This is done by treating the patient's blood through the ozone. The ozone process opens the antigens of those immune and abnormal pathogens and triggers the body to create an immune response to destroy the abnormal immunity.
- Individual vaccines are formulated from a patient's own blood. The patient's blood is taken to extract proteins. Hapten a molecule that reacts with specific antibodies is introduced into the patient's body to stimulate the natural antibodies that can help to destroy the abnormal immunity. The patient does not have to rely purely on medication, and current medication can be titrated down along with lifestyle and diet, with diagnostic blood tests used as a form of benchmark. It is recommended to refrain from eating foods that may trigger allergies for a period of about 6 months.
- Excretion of toxins from the body is extremely important, especially when the body has a lot of toxins in its tissue systems. However, if the levels of toxins are too high, Hapten can be used to stimulate antigens and assist in creating immunity. Most problems occur when inflammation is triggered. In an integrated treatment approach, the solution focuses on fixing the problem at its root cause, which in this case is to eliminate toxins from the body through non-toxic treatment methods. In addition, proper diagnostic testing is needed for analysis and measurement of the levels of toxins and heavy metals that have accumulated in the body so that a more precise treatment can be done.
- The use of nutraceuticals that are more natural and non-toxic in nature can also be a great option. Continuous use of high doses of chemical-based medicaments, especially in people with an underlying disease, can affect organs such as the liver and kidneys. Therefore, the use of nutraceuticals to play a role in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis is to help protect the organs. In addition, using nutraceuticals as part of the treatment may also help sufferers reduce possible side-effects of the chemical-based medications.
We at Absolute Health hope that the information provided above can act as a form of guidance. We strongly believe that there are many ways to promote a good quality of life for people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis without the prolonged use of medication alone.