Rheumatoid arthritis is a serious autoimmune disease that attacks the joints and other body parts.
Hard to heal injuries
Numbness or tingling in the hands
Pairs of achy joints
Suggested Lifestyle Changes
- Get regular aerobic exercise (swimming is best for those with rheumatoid arthritis).
- Practice relaxation techniques. In addition, visualization can help moderate autoimmune responses and psychotherapy can help you change emotional states that keep the immune system off balance.
- Try hypnotherapy or guided imagery. Look for a therapist willing to take on an autoimmune disease. Meditation and yoga can help, too.
- Avoid health-care practitioners who make you feel pessimistic about your condition.
- Eliminate or reduce intake of coffee and tobacco as both have been linked to an increased risk for rheumatoid arthritis.
- Practice keeping a journal of your daily emotions, experiences, and symptoms. This very simple activity has proven benefits for those with rheumatoid arthritis.
Nutrition and Supplements
- Follow a low protein, high carbohydrate diet; minimize consumption of foods of animal origin.
- Eliminate milk and milk products, including commercial foods made with milk.
- Avoid all polyunsaturated vegetable oils, margarine, vegetable shortening and products made with partially hydrogenated oils of any kind.
- Increase intake of omega-3 fatty acids by eating more cold-water fish, walnuts or freshly ground flaxseeds. You may also want to consider taking a fish oil supplement to help keep your protein intake low.
Try changing your diet in the following way. One at a time, eliminate the following categories of food for two months:
- All sugar except natural fruits
- All citrus fruits
- Wheat, corn, and soy
At the end of each trial period, restore the eliminated items to your diet. You may find that one or more has an influence on your arthritis symptoms.
The following supplements and medications help alleviate pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis:
- For symptomatic treatment use aspirin and other over-the-counter anti–inflammatory drugs.
- Take feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) for its anti-inflammatory effect; one to two capsules twice a day
- Use anti-inflammatory herbs, ginger and turmeric are particularly effective. You can continue to take these herbs indefinitely.
- Experiment with traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, homeopathy, Native American medicine, and healers.
- Try long-term fasting in a facility staffed by experienced health professionals.
- Investigate apitherapy (bee-sting treatment); a local beekeeper should be able to advise you.
Advice provided by Dr. Weil