New research is showing that saturated fats may increase inflammation in the body, especially for rheumatoid arthritis patients. This research also shows that Omega 3 oils are linked to helping relieve rheumatoid arthritis patient’s symptoms. Omega 6 fatty acids found in vegetable oils could possible be linked to be a cause of inflammatory and joint pain. An Oxford study shows that 40 percent of arthritis patients have reduced their pain by half after using capsaicin for just one month. Capsaicin can be found in chili peppers and any other foods found on the Scoville scale, the scale that measures the spiciness of the pepper.
There is more than just omega-3 fatty acids to help lower levels of inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis patients. Gamma Linoleic Acid, sometimes known as GLA, which is found in the oils of seeds in several plants. Early research shows that GLA can reduce stiffness and joint pain. A traditional Chinese medicine that has been found to reduce inflammation is Thunder God Vine. Green tea, ginger, curcumin and frankincense are some herbs that have shown promise as possible treatments, but hasn’t been approved for clinical trials.
While there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis there are several rheumatoid arthritis treatments that reducing symptoms, gaining back and maintaining joint function and slowing the progression of rheumatoid arthritis. Drugs and medication are usually the first line of defense against rheumatoid arthritis. There are four major types of rheumatoid arthritis drugs, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroids, disease-modifying anti-rheumatics drugs (DMARDs) and biological agents. NSAIDS are used for long-term pain and inflammation treatment. Corticosteroids are used for shorter term pain and inflammation treatment. DMARDs are disease-modifying drugs that slow the progression of rheumatoid arthritis in different ways. Lastly there are biological agents that interrupt the body’s inflammation process.
Surgery is a last resort treatment for rheumatoid arthritis that is only used if medications stop working and/or joints become severely damaged. The four main surgeries that treat rheumatoid arthritis are total joint replacement, tendon repair or reconstruction, synovectomy and joint fusion. In a total joint replacement, like the name suggests, the damaged joints are removed and replaced with metal or plastic prosthetics. This surgery is a good long-term solution, but is very complex and can be costly to replace all the many joints in the hands. Tendon repair when then the damaged tendons are reattached to the bone and this will restore function and movement in the hands. Synovectomy is a style of surgery that removes the inflamed synovial tissues, which is the membrane that surrounds the inflamed joints. This will reduce swelling and pain, but the membrane will grow back after the surgery only making it a temporary solution. The final surgery option is joint fusion, which the rheumatoid arthritis affected bones are fused together using bone grafts.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease when the immune system mistakes the body’s own cells for invader cells and in rheumatoid arthritis the immune system attacks the membranes lining the joints. When the membranes are attacked it causes swelling, pain and stiffness which can damage bone, tendons and cartilage. Some other symptoms are fatigue, loss of appetite, weakness, morning stiffness and muscle aches. Destruction of the joints may occur within 1-2 years after the first appearance of the disease.