Information on Rheumatoid Arthritis

Information on Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and What Is RA?

Rheumatoid arthritis is disease that affects the joints. It causes pain, swelling, and stiffness. If one knee or hand has rheumatoid arthritis, usually the other does too.

This disease often occurs in more than one joint and can affect any joint in the body. People with this disease may feel sick and tired, and they sometimes get fevers.

Some people have this disease for only a few months, or a year or two. Then it goes away without causing damage. Other people have times when the symptoms get worse (flares), and times when they get better (remissions).

Others have a severe form of the disease that can last for many years or a lifetime. This form of the disease can cause serious joint damage.

Information on Rheumatoid Arthritis and Who Gets It?

Anyone can get this disease, though it occurs more often in women. Rheumatoid arthritis often starts in middle age and is most common in older people. But children and young adults can also get it.

What Causes Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Doctors don't know the exact cause of rheumatoid arthritis. They know that with this arthritis, a person's immune system attacks his or her own body tissues. Researchers are learning many things about why and how this happens. Things that may cause rheumatoid arthritis are:

Genes (passed from parent to child)

Information on Rheumatoid Arthritis and How It Is Diagnosed?

People can go to a family doctor or rheumatologist to be diagnosed. A rheumatologist is a doctor who helps people with problems in the joints, bones, and muscles. Rheumatoid arthritis can be hard to diagnose because:

There is no single test for the disease.

The symptoms can be the same as other kinds of joint disease.

The full symptoms can take time to develop.

To diagnose rheumatoid arthritis, doctors use medical history, physical exam, x rays, and lab tests.

Information on Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatments

Doctors have many ways to treat this disease.

The goals of treatment are to:

. Take away pain and reduce swelling

. Help people feel better and stay active

. Slow down or stop joint damage

Treatment can include patient education, self-management programs, and support groups that help people learn about: how to exercise and relax, how to talk with their doctor, and problem solving.

These programs help people:

. Learn about the disease

. Reduce pain

. Cope with physical issues and emotions

. Feel more control over the disease

. Build confidence

. Lead full and active lives.

Treatment for rheumatoid arthritis may involve:

. Lifestyle changes

. Medicine

. Surgery

. Regular doctor visits

. Alternative therapies

Here are some ways to take care of yourself:

. Keep a good balance between rest and exercise

. Take care of your joints

. Lower your stress

. Eat a healthy diet


Most people with rheumatoid arthritis take medicine. Drugs can be used for pain relief, to reduce swelling, and to stop the disease from getting worse. What a doctor prescribes depends on:

The person's general health.

How serious the rheumatoid arthritis is.

How serious the rheumatoid arthritis may become.

How long the person will take the drug.

How well the drug works.

Possible side effects.


There are many kinds of surgery for people with severe joint damage. Surgery is used to:

. Reduce pain

. Help a joint work better

. Help people be able to do daily activities

Surgery is not for everyone. Talk about the option with your doctor.

Regular Doctor Visits

Regular medical care is important so doctors can:

See if the disease gets worse.

See if drugs are helping.

Look for drug side effects.

Change treatment when needed.

Your care may include blood, urine, and other lab tests and x rays.

Alternative Therapies

Special diets, vitamins, and other alternative therapies are sometimes suggested to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Some therapies help people reduce stress. Many of these treatments are not harmful, but they may not be well tested or have any real benefits.

People should talk with their doctor before starting an alternative therapy. If the doctor feels the therapy might help and isn't harmful, it can become part of regular care.

Omega 3 Fatty Acid and Whole Food Supplements

Research shows that omega 3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation, pain, and joint destruction in people with Rheumatoid Arthritis by reducing the activity of chemical messengers that are most likely to cause inflammation and joint destruction. Please note that it may take up to 6 months to see a reduction in Rheumatoid Arthritis inflammation and pain from a diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids.

A diet rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and the antioxidant vitamin E may also help reduce inflammation and pain in people with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Beneficial results have occurred as early as 6 weeks after beginning a diet rich in MUFA and vitamin E. Olive oil and high-oleic acid oils, such as canola and high-oleic safflower oil, are rich sources of monounsaturated fatty acids.

Antioxidants help prevent cell and tissue damage by free radicals. How? By scavenging for and "neutralizing" them. Some experts say that an adequate intake of antioxidants may even reduce the production of free radicals, which can help slow the progression of Rheumatoid Arthritis and may even reduce your Rheumatoid Arthritis symptoms and need for medication.

For us here at whole food supplements guide, the research lead us to get the potent benefits of antioxidants in a whole food supplement.
This supplement contains ten super vegetables and grains: broccoli, parsley, carrots, beets, kale, cabbage, spinach, tomatoes, brown rice bran and oat fibers in capsule form.

It also contains seven of the most nutritious fruits around: apples, oranges, pineapple, cranberries, peaches, acerola cherries, and papaya.

If your interested in learning more about the health benefits of antioxidants (from numerous fruits and vegetables) in a product that has "been demonstrated through numerous independent clinical research studies.... and published in peer-reviewed scientific journals." then you should look into our whole food supplement of choice.

For More Information on Rheumatoid Arthritis

For more information on Rheumatoid Arthritis and related conditions contact the following organization:

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) Information Clearinghouse

National Institutes of Health
1 AMS Circle
Bethesda, MD 20892–3675
Phone: 301–495–4484 or 877–22–NIAMS (226–4267) (free of charge)
TTY: 301–565–2966
Fax: 301–718–6366

The NIAMS, a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), leads the Federal Government research effort in information on rheumatoid arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases in the United States. The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Information Clearinghouse is a public service sponsored by the NIAMS.

Much more than information on Rheumatoid Arthritis discussed back at the Home Page

Information on Rheumatoid Arthritis

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