Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease of the joints. Medications can help manage symptoms, and some people also benefit from natural remedies, as well as dietary and lifestyle changes that can help.
Stretching the muscles around the affected joints can provide some relief from RA symptoms.Check with a doctor or physical therapist before attempting any stretching in an area with RA. Some exercises can add harmful stress to the joints.
Heat and cold
There is conflicting medical evidence about the benefits of applying heat or cold to relieve RA pain in the joints.Some people find temporary relief from either heating or cooling these sore areas. At home, a person can use heat or ice packs.
Tip: Never put ice directly on the skin. Wrap it first in a towel.
Inflammation is a main characteristic of RA, and following an anti-inflammatory diet can help reduce symptoms.Research published in 2015 studied the effects of a plant-based diet on levels of a protein known to cause inflammation. The researchers concluded that a vegan diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds significantly reduced systemic inflammation in participants.In people with RA, a similar diet aimed to reduce inflammation may ease pain and promote overall wellbeing.
Fish oil from cold-water fish, such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, cod, and herring, contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. These acids help combat inflammation by blocking inflammatory receptors.
Indian frankincense, or Boswellia serrata, also has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and supplements may help relieve symptoms of RA.
Tumeric and curcumin supplements have shown promise in the treatment of arthritis, according to some research.Results of multiple studies suggest that turmeric and curcumin can prevent and combat inflammation.However, use supplements that contain turmeric with care. People who take blood thinners, such as , should avoid turmeric.
Probiotics may also benefit people with RA. A 2014 study found that administering the Lactobacillus casei 01 probiotic to people with RA for 8 weeks resulted in improved disease activity and inflammation.
Anyone planning to start taking supplements should consult a doctor. Some can have side effects or interfere with other treatments.Posted on March 15, 2019