Can Rheumatoid Arthritis be Cured? – Anchor Wellness Center
While the term “arthritis” is widely used, many people don’t know there are over one hundred types of arthritis. The most common types are rheumatoid arthritis (RA), osteoarthritis, gout, and psoriatic arthritis. While they have different causes, all types of arthritis produce joint pain and ultimately destruction of the joint(s). Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that afflicts roughly 1.3 million Americans. Patients want to know, can rheumatoid arthritis be cured? RA is a complex disease, so this question has a complex answer.
Understanding Rheumatoid Arthritis
RA begins with changes in your immune system long before it manifests as pain and swelling in the joints. An autoimmune disorder is when your body loses the ability to distinguish between foreign substances and your body’s own organisms and mistakenly begins attacking your own body. In the case of RA it attacks the joints, but it can also attack surrounding tissue, such as muscles, ligaments, tendons, bursa, and even organs. As the tissue begins to deteriorate from repeated inflammation, the joints can become deformed. In the advanced stages of the disease, joint function can become inhibited or even halted.
Symptoms of RA include pain, stiffness, swelling, and redness around the joints. Patients typically experience symptoms in their hands, shoulders, elbows, hips and knees. Typically RA patients experience “flare-ups” followed by lessening of symptoms, with the pain and inflammation growing progressively worse. RA can lead to systemic inflammation, causing fatigue, loss of appetite, and general muscle aches. RA also tends to affect two to three times more women than it does men.
What Causes Rheumatoid Arthritis?
There is evidence that many RA patients have a genetic predisposition for the disease. However, even with a positive rheumatoid factor (RF), it is not guaranteed that a patient will develop RA. Environmental causes often have a “triggering” effect. These can include toxins, allergies, trauma, stress, food sensitivities, infections, and leaky gut syndrome. Thus rheumatoid arthritis is a multifactorial disease where a unique combination of genetic and environmental factors lead to disease onset and progression.
Traditional and Alternative Treatment for Arthritis
The most common treatments for arthritis include prescription NSAID’s, steroids, or narcotics. However, these treatments only mask the disease by treating the symptoms rather than the source. Long-term use of these medications can cause serious side effects and the efficacy of these treatments decreases over time, requiring higher and higher doses. Other RA medications focus on suppressing the immune system in order to limit the inflammatory response. However, this puts the patient at risk of developing a serious infection.
Effective RA treatment can be accomplished through a combination of traditional and functional medicine. While medication is often necessary during flare-ups, a holistic doctor can help you identify and address the underlying cause(s) to reduce the disease process itself. Being able to understand your individual condition is the first step to regaining control of your health.
For more information about alternative treatment for arthritis, call Anchor Wellness Center at (832) 246-8437 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Minni Malhotra, MD, FAARM, ABAARM. Dr. Malhorta is Board Certified in Family Medicine as well as Board Certified with the American Board of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine. This makes her uniquely qualified to treat both the symptoms and underlying causes of your rheumatoid arthritis.