(Natural News) If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, you’ll be painfully aware of the havoc this chronic inflammation can wreak on your cartilage, joint connective tissue, and bones. As your immune system mistakes your joints for something far more sinister, it attacks them – and your mobility and function pay the price.
If your doctor has offered you anti-inflammatory drugs or painkillers to help keep the symptoms at bay, you might have been initially relieved – only to later discover that they’re not quite as safe and effective as you’d like. Here is a brief look at 10 proven ways to get some relief from this condition naturally, as outlined by GreenMedInfo.
1. Dietary changes
Diet studies have shown that rheumatoid arthritis could be a reaction to antigens in food, and some sufferers have found that cutting out dairy, meat and cereals from the diet can bring about improvements in symptoms. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who ate a vegetarian diet noted improvements, while a two-week elemental diet was shown in another study to be as effective as prednisone.
2. Fish oil
Cod liver oil was found in a German pilot study to be effective; after taking a gram of it every day for three months, patients reported a 52.4 percent drop in morning stiffness, a 42.7 percent reduction in joint pain, and a 67.5 percent decline in pain intensity. Another study found that a daily combination of EPA and DHA fish oils reduced the need for NSAIDs by 16 percent.
Curcumin, a compound in turmeric, is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, so it’s not surprising that patients who took 500 milligrams of it per day in a study noted significantly greater improvements in symptoms than those taking the NSAID diclofenac.
Although exercise might be the furthest thing from your mind when you’re suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, it can be immensely helpful in reducing the pain and stiffness of the illness. There’s no need to start bench pressing your own weight, however; practices like yoga and tai chi have proven beneficial.
A 12-week study in which patients drank just 10 milligrams of pomegranate juice per day saw 62 percent reductions in the number of tender joints and a drop in overall disease activity of 17 percent.
Interestingly, patients who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis have distinctive changes in their oral and gut microbiome, and probiotics have been shown to help. Those who took a probiotic that produces lactic acid in a study were able to walk for two miles and take part in daily activities, and they noted improved pain scores and less disability than those taking a placebo.
7. Vitamin D
A vitamin D deficiency has been linked to rheumatoid arthritis, with one Polish study finding that 76.3 percent of sufferers are deficient in vitamin D. Supplementing can improve the condition and reduce its recurrence rate, studies have shown.
8. Essential oils
Patients in a Korean study who were given a mix of lavender, eucalyptus, rosemary, peppermint and marjoram oils prepared with carrier oils noted decreased pain and depression, while a different study showed that evening primrose oil could bring about significant improvement.
9. Bee venom
Delivering bee sting venom via acupuncture relieved the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis in a Chinese study while reducing patients’ need for medication and keeping recurrences at bay.
10. Chinese thunder god vine
In a randomized trial that compared a traditional Chinese herbal medicine known as thunder god vine to the rheumatoid arthritis drug methotrexate, the herb was found to be far superior in terms of improving the condition.
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