Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis Overview:

Rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic inflammatory and autoimmune condition affecting the joints. it is much more frequent in females than males (3:1), and has genetic, hormonal, viral, and environmental risk factors.

 

Aetiology:

Onset tends to be gradual, and will affect the smaller joints first in the hands, wrists, and feet (compared to osteoarthritis).

  • Genetic factors
  • Hormonal factors
  • Environmental factors
  • Viral factors
Screenshot 2018-03-09 14.41.08.png
 

Symptoms:

Gradually increasing pain in the hands, wrist and feet

Most painful in the morning

Nodules around the joints

Joint swelling (usually symetrical)

Skin changes

Deformity of the joint

Warmth of affected area

 

Systemic Effects:

Rheumatoid granulomas near affected joints

Systemic vasculitis

Skin ulcers

Scleritis (eyes)

Pericarditis

Heart valve dysfunctions

Kidney infarction

Lymphadenopathy

Thrombosis

 

Diagnostic Considerations

  • Rheumatoid factor (RF)
  • Antinuclear antibodies (ANA)
  • C-reactive protein (CRP)
  • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR)
  • Anti-DNA antibodies
  • IgA, IgM, IgG
  • Anticyclic-citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP)
  • Cardiolipin autoantibodies
  • Antiscleroderma antibodies (anti-SCL-70)
  • Anti-Sjogren’s syndrome A (anti-SSA)
 

Therapeutic Aims:

1. Alleviate the symptoms of inflammation and pain

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2. Repair and normalise gut function

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3. Improve stress adaptation

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  • Nervines
  • Adaptogens

4. Support primary immunity

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5. Reduce allergenic load

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Differential Diagnosis:

  • Osteoarthritis
 

Herbs For Rheumatoid Arthritis:

  • Apium graveolens
  • Harpagophytum procumbens
  • Bupleurum falcatum
  • Echinacea spp.
  • Eschscholzia californica
  • Guaiacum officinale
  • Hemidesmus indicus
  • Zanthoxylum clava-herculis
  • Salix spp.
  • Panax ginseng
  • Valeriana officinalis
  • Iris versicolor
  • Dioscorea villosa
  • Smilax spp
  • Withania somnifera
  • Centella asiatica
  • Acetaea racemosa
  • Corydalis ambigua
  • Phytolacca decandra
 

Nutritional Considerations For Rheumatoid Arthritis:

  • Se, Zn
  • Vitamin A, C, D, E
  • EFAs
  • Manganese
  • Bromelain, Quercetin
  • Bs
  • Digestive enzymes
  • Glucosamine, Chondroitin, Green-Lipped Mussel
 

Dietary Considerations For Rheumatoid Arthritis:

  • Avoid allergenic foods – inc. lectins
  • High flavonoids
  • Avoid salicylates
  • Avoid sugar, caffeine, OH, red meat, SFA, trans fat, processed foods, chemical additives
  • EFAs
  • Vegetarian sources of protein
 

Author:

Justin Cooke

The Sunlight Experiment

Updated: June 2018


References:

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