About 4 years ago I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.
I am 36, and live in Washington State, in the US. My cousin was also diagnosed one year after I was diagnosed. She is 28.
My great grandfather also had severe RA with many complications that led to an earlier death. I often wonder if this disease is hereditary, because the doctors disagree.
So I have a few questions.
First of all, do you think getting RA can be from a certain lifestyle?
For example, what we eat? If we exercise too much? Too much stress?
Another question I have is do you think it might be a naturally occurring thing in some people as we age, that sets on in our 30's?
Lastly, is there anything that can lessen the symptoms naturally that anyone has had success with?
I would love to know of any secrets other sufferers might know of to get the most from life with RA and to add longevity. I hope that someone who also has this disease can add his or her insight.
Jessica, this is a great question! First of all rheumatoid arthritis
involves dysfunction of the immune system where it attacks some of your body’s tissues, especially in the joints.
Scientists have identified several genes that appear to cause problems in the way the immune system functions, which may be a factor in why it seems to run in families.
It is not just a normal part of the again process as you have wondered, however the factors in normal aging do aggravate rheumatoid arthritis and cause more problems with it as you get older.
There is no known cure for RA, however it stands to reason that anything you can do to reduce inflammation in your body should help alleviate the symptoms of the disease.
I would look into the
Blood Type Diet
made famous by Dr. Peter D’Adamo. You will want to avoid any foods in your diet that would cause your immune system to react. You will also want to eat a low glycemic diet
to help keep blood sugar under control.
Then I would look at your nutrition and make sure you are getting healthy fats
in your diet, rather than the unhealthy ones. Pharmaceutical grade fish oils
can be very helpful in this case by providing healthy omega-3 fats you need to keep your immune system functioning properly, and address imbalances in inflammatory pathways which should help lessen pain and inflamation.
I would also make sure you use a good quality vitamin/mineral
supplement, and a potent broad-spectrum antioxidant again to lessen inflammation by neutralizing free radicals and oxidative stress.
I would do strength training exercise
to maintain muscle mass and help keep blood sugar under control, because elevations in blood sugar will increase the inflammation in your body.
Some simple daily stretches
should also help keep your body more limber and reduce stiffness that you normally get, but which is increased by the rheumatoid arthritis.
Last but not least, I would have your hormone profile checked by an antiaging physician
who can recommend natural (bioidentical) hormone therapy
to help correct any imbalances he or she detects in your system via blood and saliva tests.
Doing all these things will not “cure” rheumatoid arthritis, but they should reduce the levels of pain and inflammation, and help you maintain flexibility and function
, as you get older.
I urge you to do your own research on this condition. Even if rheumatoid arthritis
can’t be cured, you may be able to reduce pain and stiffness to the point where you can live a pretty normal life and avoid the more debilitating effects of the disease.
Hope that helps!
Good Luck and Good Health,