New strategies for dealing with Rheumatoid Arthritis and how you may be able to have a better life.

“Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic (long term) systemic illness of unknown cause for which no complete cure is available. Satisfactory disease control may be transient or difficult to achieve even with newly available potent (medication) treatment.” [1]

Basically, if you have rheumatoid arthritis, it has likely been with you for years and may be causing considerable pain and disability in your life.

How would you like to be able to significantly decrease all your rheumatoid arthritis symptoms in just 4 weeks (except morning stiffness)? A study from 2004 may show how.

The single blind dietary intervention study ran over 4 weeks with a very low fat vegan diet on 24 subjects with rheumatoid arthritis, average age, 56 ± 11 years old.

Pre-study and post-study assessment of rheumatoid arthritis symptoms was performed by a rheumatologist blind to the study design.

The results showed all measures of rheumatoid arthritis symptomatology decreased significantly, except for duration of morning stiffness. Weight also decreased significantly. At 4 weeks, C-reactive protein decreased 16% and RA factor decreased 10%. Conclusion: This study showed that patients with moderate-to-severe RA, who switch to a very low-fat, vegan diet can experience significant reductions in rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. [5]

Please note, this is a small study and does not mean that everyone with RA will have the same result. However, research on the vegan diet shows it can lower the risk for many diseases and promote a healthier life. So there may be little harm in giving it a go. Vegan means a plant based diet with minimal processing of foods (see nutritionfacts.org for further info).

To further clarify the link between rheumatoid arthritis and diet, a prospective study from 2005 showed that higher intakes of meat and total protein as well as lower intakes of fruit, vegetables and vitamin C are associated with an increased risk of inflammatory polyarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. [2]

What about a supplement that appears to be more effective for rheumatoid arthritis symptoms than a commonly used medication without the side effects?

A pilot clinical study from 2012 evaluated the safety and effectiveness of curcumin alone, and in combination with diclofenac sodium (a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory used for RA and other pain conditions) in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis. Forty-five patients diagnosed with RA were randomized into three groups with patients receiving curcumin (500 mg) and diclofenac sodium (50 mg) alone or their combination. The primary endpoints were reduction in Disease Activity Score (DAS) 28. The secondary endpoints included American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria for reduction in tenderness and swelling of joint scores. Patients in all three treatment groups showed statistically significant changes in their DAS scores.

Interestingly , the curcumin group showed the highest percentage of improvement in overall DAS and ACR scores (ACR 20, 50 and 70) and these scores were significantly better than the patients in the diclofenac sodium group. More importantly, curcumin treatment was found to be safe and did not relate with any adverse events. This study provides the first evidence for the safety and superiority of curcumin treatment in patients with active RA, and highlights the need for future large-scale trials to validate these findings in patients with RA and other arthritic conditions. [3]

Additional help for arthritic and/or rheumatic conditions 

Many arthritic and rheumatoid conditions involve pain and stiffness in the spine, pelvis and other areas. A gentle and relaxing process has been clinically observed to progressively soften spinal and pelvic stiffness and normalise misalignment whilst also reducing excess muscle tension. Thereby having a positive effect on the whole system as demonstrated in a study [4] of over 2800 people. The study was of the general population but may be of benefit even in arthritic conditions.

The results of the study show significant improvements in:

  1. Physical well-being: Reduced pain; improved spinal flexibility; more energy; less fatigue; fewer colds/flu; fewer headaches.
  2. Stress evaluation: Less stress with family, significant relationships and work; improved coping with daily problems.
  3. Mental/Emotional Well-being: Less distress about physical pain when present; more positive feelings about themselves; less moodiness, temper or anger outbursts; improved ability to think and concentrate; less anxiety or depression.
  4. Lifestyle changes: Increases in regular exercise and use of relaxation techniques; improved dietary choice
  5. Life enjoyment: Greater experience of relaxation or well-being; more open in relation to others; more confidence in dealing with adversity; more compassion for others; more openness to guidance by inner feelings or inner voice.
  6. Quality of life: Improved satisfaction with personal life, personal self, accomplishments and ability to adjust to change; improved satisfaction with life as a whole.

    The authors of the study conclude, “The evidence of improved health in the four domains (physical state, mental/emotional state, stress evaluation, life enjoyment) and overall quality of life, suggests that Network Care is associated with significant benefits.” These benefits are evident from as early as 1-3 months and show continued improvement with further Network care.

    What to Do

    If you suffer with rheumatoid arthritis, polyarthritis or other rheumatoid conditions and would like help in regards to diet, supplementation and therapy, then please call our office today for an appointment. 9793 3755

    We provide more info about and help you transition to a  vegan diet to naturally reduce inflammation and disease and help you feel better. We also supply an activated form of curcumin and provide Network chiropractic therapy which is gentle and relaxing with no cracking or crunching.

    If you are not happy with how your life is progressing with the rheumatoid type conditions, you may want to call us right away.

  1. Choi, H. K. (2004), Diet and rheumatoid arthritis: Red meat and beyond. Arthritis & Rheumatism, 50: 3745–3747. doi: 10.1002/art.20732
  2. Effects of a Very Low-Fat, Vegan Diet in Subjects with Rheumatoid Arthritis. John McDougall, Bonnie Bruce, Gene Spiller, John Westerdahl, and Mary McDougall. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. July 2004, 8(1): 71-75.
  3.  Choi, Hyron K. Dietary risk factors for rheumatic diseases. Current Opinion in Rheumatology: March 2005 – Volume 17 – Issue 2 – pp 141-146
  4. Chandran, B. and Goel, A. (2012), A Randomized, Pilot Study to Assess the Efficacy and Safety of Curcumin in Patients with Active Rheumatoid Arthritis. Phytother. Res., 26: 1719–1725. doi: 10.1002/ptr.4639
  5. R. Blanks, et. al. A retrospective assessment of Network care using a survey of self-rated health, wellness and quality of life. JSVR Vol 1. No 4. 1997, pg 15 – 40