Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disorder that affects 1.3 million adults in the United States. While prescription medications are commonly prescribed to curb the pain, stiffness, swelling and weakness associated with the condition, there are also numerous ways to naturally treat it.
Some of these natural approaches include dietary changes, physical therapies and the addition of supplements that may reduce the severity of symptoms. Let's take a closer look at the top three musts for treating rheumatoid arthritis the natural way.
Three top tips for treating rheumatoid arthritis without meds
#1: Minimise consumption of inflammatory foods
Foods like dairy, red meat, carbohydrates, excess sugar, fried foods, overly processed foods and those high in saturated fats, gluten and monosodium glutamate cause an inflammation response in the body and therefore you should avoid them. You should also avoid foods that contain artificial colouring, as these artificial dyes are made from petroleum and gasoline by-products that can disrupt your hormone function and body chemistry, leading to inflammation.
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#2: Stay physically fit through exercise
causes you not just pain
– it causes you to use your joints in a way that stresses other structures, explains Dr Sharon L Kolasinski, a professor of clinical medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in the United States. For this reason, it’s very important that you maintain your flexibility and strength by exercising a few times a week. Any type of exercise counts – think walking, cycling, swimming or even yoga.
#3: Supplement with fish oil, GLA and green tea extract
A number of supplements have been shown to have positive effects on rheumatoid arthritis patients. Among these are fish oil, gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) and green tea extract. A 2010 meta-analysis found that fish oil significantly reduced joint stiffness and tenderness in rheumatoid arthritis patients, as well as eliminated NSAID use. Furthermore, GLA relieves symptoms including joint pain
stiffness and tenderness, while green tea extract is an excellent anti-inflammatory agent.
Before trying any of these natural remedies for rheumatoid arthritis, you should consult your doctor to ensure coordinated and safe care, recommends The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
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