It has long been believed that there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), which is essentially an auto-immune disease where the body's own defences attack the joints. This caused inflammation and painful swelling that over time causes the joints to degenerate, thus restricting mobility.
It can become so chronic that sufferers become severely physically handicapped with less and less mobility. But is that the whole story?
The term arthritis is given to a number of similar diseases where there is inflammation pain and lack of mobility in the joints of the body. This disease is more common in older people and more prevalent in women, but certain types of the condition can strike both men and women and at any age from childhood through adolescence to adulthood.
So what exactly is this illness that is only second to heart disease as America's (and most of the western world) most prevalent crippling disease?
As already mentioned, there are several different strains of this disease, but he most common forms are:
Many doctors will tell you that there is still no medical cure for this disease and that the only recourse is to take ever more powerful drugs to relieve the pain and reduce the inflammation. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are routinely prescribed by doctors to help reduce the inflammation but they are only treating the symptom and not addressing the true cause.
But what is the true cause?
Experts, as usual disagree on certain points about this, but there has been some clinical research into the real reasons why in this disease, the immune system is attacking the joints in the first place. We know that the immune system has a job to do in keeping alien invaders such as hostile bacteria and viruses from taking hold in our bodies and it generally does a pretty good job of keeping us safe in that respect.
So what would cause it to be triggered and attack the joints?
One strong theory is that there IS a reason for this, which is that excess uric acid in the blood stream is attracted to the alkali soft membrane that protects the joints, the synovium or synovial membrane. It is the reaction of acid neutralizing on alkali that causes the immune system to register a hostile invader.
Over time, the level of uric acid builds up in the joints forming a very thin, hard layer or "shell" which causes pain and further attacks by the immune system leading to further inflammation. It is the friction caused by movement of the joint over this acidic layer that brings the pain and stiffness experienced by sufferers of this disease.
An assumption must be made that excess uric acid in the blood stream may well be the cause of the joint pain and inflammation, but then we have to look back even further to find out what is causing the excess uric acid to build up in the body.
Again, there is not enough medical evidence to point the finger at any one definite cause. Some believe it is caused by faulty diet and this would be the strongest theory because it follows certain patterns.
It is known that eating too much of the wrong foods causes the body to become more acidic. The rise in the amount of processed food in the average diet is one indicator that links with the rise in cases of RA.
Processed foods contain high levels of artificial additives, salt and sugars, all of which in excess are considered unhealthy in many ways. An excessive level of sugar in the diet in particular is known to produce many health problems from diabetes to excess visceral fat deposits in the torso.
Another strong theory is that it is caused by too much stress, because it is also known that stress acidifies the body. Stress also causes imbalances in the body which could very well lead to the over production of uric acid or a reduction in the effectiveness of the elimination process.
Whichever is the root cause of the presence of too much uric acid in the blood, an effective treatment would be to reduce the level of that acid. This can be done through a change of diet, addressing stress levels and in consultation with a doctor in correct diagnosis and appropriate prescribed treatment in more sever cases where the former natural methods are not effective.
There is an all-natural remedy for rheumatoid arthritis available as an alternative to strong drugs that has been shown to provide relief from joint pain and swelling in RA sufferers, called Provailen. You can find out more about this natural treatment and visit the official website by clicking your mouse on the the promotional image on display in our review of Provailen on the continuation of this page here:
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