What is Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)? - Dietition Thought


Until current day many conventional cure for RA are available. But most of them have issues in terms of their efficacy and safety. There are many alternative therapies available such as antibiotics, botanicals, food supplements and dietary modifications which are increasingly being used and studied.

Despite the fact that the response to these alternative treatments is inconsistent and often irregular, some patients have responded with dramatic improvement and in some cases even complete and lifelong relief. In addition, these alternative therapies other than antibiotics comprise a low rate of adverse effects. Considering such treatments as an option over the conventional treatments can potentially benefit many RA patients .

Understanding Rheumatoid arthritis from a dietitian perspective

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is defined as chronic systemic disorder that is evident as inflammation of multiple body joints. How severe is the RA depends upon person to person. Some people experience little pain and uneasiness, some experience severe inflammation including joint damage and deformity.


RA sometimes can produce extra-articular symptoms, including vasculitis, rheumatoid nodules, anemia, heart or lung disease and peripheral neuropathy. Even if the cause of RA is not known, it is usually termed an autoimmune disease.

It has been considered that RA may be an expression of the immune reaction to an infectious agent. On the other hand, a number of susceptive contributing agents have been studied, but none has been credibly verified to cause RA.

Rheumatoid arthritis Therapy

Traditional therapy for RA typically starts with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines, called as NSAIDs.

Recently, a similar class of medicine known as COX-2 inhibitors is also being used to treat RA. Severe cases of RA are treated with glucocorticoids which are also called as “disease-modifying drugs” (such as methotrexate or gold).

One thing common in the above drugs is none of them cures RA. Other common thing is they all are likely to cause considerable adverse effects. While the COX-2 inhibitors enjoy a lower rate of gastrointestinal reaction than NSAIDs.

Many doctors and patients are looking other solutions for treating the RA citing the risks and restrictions of conventional therapy. The most frequently favoured alternative solution includes nutritional supplements, antibiotics, dietary modifications and botanicals.

Many researchers have observed a varying response to the treatments among patients some patients realize very little or sometimes no benefit, on the other hand some show dramatic progress to the point of getting no signs of RA for many years. These alternative treatments have been adopted both as an add-on and an option to traditional therapy. Other than antibiotics, most of the alternative treatments have relatively no side effects.

RA can cause in late thirties and forties also and can be a severe and at times crippling disease. Since there are risks and limitations to the conventional therapy, many practitioners and patients are looking for other ways to cure the disease.

Alternative therapies such as supplements, dietary modifications are becoming popular now. While not every person has been benefitted fully, almost all people have responded positively and there have been no adverse side effects also. Considering the facts these treatments should, therefore, be seriously considered by the people seeking treatment.

Check more about Rheumatoid Arthritis on below links

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis Definition, Causes and Symptoms
  • How to Improve Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment
  • Rheumatoid arthritis