Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease. RA causes pain, swelling, and stiffness in a persons joints and problems with functioning. Conventional medicine is used to relieve pain, reduce swelling, slow down or stop the damage to joints, help the person function better, and improve the persons sense of well-being. RA medications include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), biological response modifiers, and corticosteroids. Other alternative therapies include physical therapy; modified exercise programs; devices such as canes, special shoes, and splints (rigid supports that keep a part of the body from moving while it heals); and lifestyle changes — such as balancing activity with rest, eating a healthy diet, and reducing stress. Poor nutritional status in RA population is thought to be the result of the weight loss and cachexia linked to cytokine production. RA patients are encouraged to consume a diet rich in natural anti-inflammatory, antioxidants, and joint-supporting nutrients while avoiding pro-inflammatory foods that are high in sugar, saturated and trans-fatty acids. The most commonly observed essential vitamin and mineral deficiencies in patients with RA, are folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin E, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, zinc and selenium. Increased intake of antioxidants such as selenium and vitamin E may decrease free-radical damage to joint linings, which diminish swelling and pain. However, to date, there have been no human clinical trials that convincingly prove or disprove the efficacy of antioxidant use. Supplementation of calcium and vitamin D is also recommended to decrease the risk of osteoporosis. Results from research are showing some encouragement to find alternative therapies along with their regular medications to treat RA. Further research is required to confirm these findings.
Keywords: Dietary approaches, alternative therapies, DMARDS, NSAIDS, autoimmune disease, corticosteroids, cachexia, malaise, beta-cryptoxanthin, juvenile arthritis affects, spondylarthritides, systemic lupus erythematosus affects, primary Sjogren's syndrome affects, alpha-carotene, tein/zeaxanthin, lycopene, tocopherol, methotrexate, synovial cell proliferation, fibrosis, pannus, prostanoids, tumor necrosis factor al-pha, monozygotic, dizygotic, MAPKs, phosphoinositide-3-kinase, systolic BP, eicosapentaenoic acid, docosa-hexaenoic acid, oleuropein, hy-droxytyrosol, tyrosol, Evening Primrose oil, dihomo-linolenic acid, dihomo-linolenic, Blackcurrant seed oil (BCSO), gammalinolenic, alphalinolenic acid, ATRA, collagen-induced arthritis (CIA), Megaloblastic anemia, glutathione peroxidase, toll-like receptors, luteolin, apigenin, quercetin, genistein, epigallocatechin gallate, anthocyanidin resulted, kappaB, Glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin sulfate
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