You’re struck by a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis, your life falls apart. Do these diseases really condemn you to pain and impotence? Not at all! It is certainly not acceptable that we affix them with the label of “incurable”.

Thanks to scientific discoveries of the last thirty years, it is possible to overcome rheumatoid arthritis. But beware, there is no question of promoting a miracle because it does not exist! Only proper management of the factors that cause these diseases can stop the pathological process. Time for one cause and one cure for all cases of arthritis is gone.

Naturopathic Medicine: A Global Vision of the Problem of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Naturopathy defines arthritic diseases as a manifestation of a complex biochemical imbalance involving the whole body but is mainly expressed in the joint.

The components of our diet, microbes and parasites that plague us, and allergens or pollutants we are exposed to are all factors that impact on intercellular communication and the health of our cells.

Everything is interconnected. That is why naturopathy does not set its therapeutic approach on the affected joint or solely on the removal of the inflammatory process, but rather seeks to identify and change the multiple factors responsible for these imbalances. Pathological processes often evolve under the model of the domino effect, causing one another.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

This autoimmune disease is inflammatory, chronic and systemically affects the whole body and not just a joint. It affects the joints in progressive inflammatory attacks, causing their deformation and their ultimate destruction. It can strike at any age, even in young children, but the risk of developing it increase with age. The severity and progression of the disease vary from person to person.

Fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss, pain and stiffness are widespread symptoms that precede the onset of the disease. Joint symptoms develop gradually and insidiously after a few weeks or months. The attacks usually come in waves and are sometimes accompanied by fever. Adjacent tissues are affected and nodules can form there, distorting the joints until they become calcified.

The Causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis

The causes of rheumatoid arthritis are unknown. One theory is that it is the immune system that, by mistake, identifies some body tissues as foreign and attacks them to destroy them.

In fact, in the presence of autoimmune diseases, the body does not lead a war against itself but against an enemy, against a foreign body that has entered the body. Whatever the nature of the enemy, the war triggers the immune system and will always result in collateral damage to the organs affected. Hence, it is mainly the joints that suffer.

In 1999 in the Alternative Medicine Review journal, Dr. Alan R. Gaby says that the factor most frequently involved in rheumatoid arthritis is that food allergies and eliminating these allergens results in a rapid improvement of symptoms.

But it’s not that simple! Because there is not only that food allergies are involved. There are antibodies, and these may come from the presence of pathogenic bacteria in the intestine or elsewhere in the body. In some cases, it may be viral or chronic fungal infections.

Treatments of Rheumatoid Arthritis

The medical treatment of this disease is primarily to suppress inflammation, using the anti-inflammatory drugs or immunosuppressants, including methotrexate and cortisone.

In New Zealand, in a 2005 article in the journal Modern Rheumatology, JM Dunn and JM Wilkinson summarize the naturopathic treatment of rheumatoid arthritis: it is to relieve symptoms by changing the depth of the factors involved, which include food allergies, intestinal permeability, inflammatory processes and excessive oxidative stress level. The treatment will necessitate dietary modifications, especially by the quality of fat consumed (omega-3) and the use of enzymes and antioxidants.

Resources

  • Klippel JH, Crofford LJ, Stone JH, Weyand CM, Primer On The Rheumatic Diseases, The Arthritis Foundation, Atlanta (GA), 2001
  • Gaby AR, “Alternative Treatments for rheumatoid arthritis”, Altern Med Rev., 1999, Vol. 4, No. 6: p. 392-402