Rheumatoid Arthritis: Causes, Symptoms and Home Remedies

Million of people from around the world suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, and all of them ask whether there is anything you can do about this. Actually yes, there are a some home remedies to treat rheumatoid arthritis, but first of all you have to know more about the common symptoms and causes of the rheumatoid arthritis.

Therefore, Let’s discover what RA is, and know more about its causes, symptoms, and all-home remedies for this form of arthritis.

Symptoms and Signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis

There are many common signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis including:

1- Pain
You will feel some or severe pain around the inflamed joint especially the wrists, feet, hands, ankles and knees which are the most commonly affected joints by the rheumatoid arthritis, but in general all the joints of the body can be damaged by the RA.

2- Swelling
You might also recognize swelling in and around certain joints due this problem.

3- Redness, heat and tenderness
You will notice redness and feel heat and tenderness in and around the inflamed joints in a “symmetrical pattern,” which means that the heat and tenderness are felt on two joints on both sides of the body instead of just one.

4- “Morning stiffness”
This problem usually appears once you wake up in the morning, and it lasts for 30 minutes. Some people also suffer from a morning stiffness which usually lasts for couple of hours.

5- Fatigue and muscle aches
People with rheumatoid arthritis, usually experience difficulties in bending over, climbing stairs, walking, running, exercising or other problems.

6- Losing appetite and low fever
Losing appetite and low- grade fever are also two probable symptoms.

Therefore, if you ever feel intense morning stiffness, redness and fluid retention, mimic fevers or infections, consider the possibility of having rheumatoid arthritis and consult your doctor.

Arthritis Complications

RA is a serious problem as well as a serious cause for long-term complications due to increased inflammation throughout the body. Studies proved that rheumatoid arthritis can cause some complications including:

1- Higher risk for having a heart disease and stroke.
2- Heart problems and nerve damage, caused by decreased circulation and inflammation of blood vessels (called vasculitis)
3- Lung scarring and damage which causes shortness of breath, chest pains, and many troubles regarding breathing normally.
4- Anemia and fatigue without doing much efforts.
5- Enlarged spleen and decrease in the number of blood cells
6- Development of small lumps of tissue around the affected joints below the skin.
7- Carpal tunnel syndrome
Frequent headaches
8- Kidney problems and fluid retention
9- Frequent infections in the mouth and gums
Appetite changes, weight gain or weight loss.
10- Skin rashes, redness, heat, bruising and ulcers near the nail beds
11- Problems in eyes and vision like redness, dryness, photosensitivity, and Sjögren’s syndrome.
12- Pain and thinning of bones.
These bone problems are so popular in people having RA

Causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis takes place because of faulty reactions of the immune system. This means that certain cells of the immune system mistakenly attack the body’s own healthy tissue, thus RA is an autoimmune disease.
Additionally, this inflammation causing RA mainly develops in the “synovium,” the tissue that lines the joint.
However, the question here is why would the immune system do this mistake and attack our body creating inflammation in tissues? Inflammation causing RA is caused by many factors like:

1- Poor diet
The main reason for RA is the poor diet and food allergies especially eating foods which contribute to inflammation and include refined carbohydrates, excessive oils and sugar.
2- Obesity
Having obesity before the age of 55 can be a good cause.
3- Genetic factors
Some genes of the body may make some people more prone to getting autoimmune disorders.
4- Toxicity
Environmental toxin exposure and endocrine disruptors can be a good cause for RA.
5- Medicines
Some medical conditions or autoimmune disorders can cause low immune function.
6- Smoking
Smoking is a bad habit and it hurts almost every part of the body including the immune system.

Diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis
According to a study done by the American College of Rheumatology, it is hard sometimes to properly diagnose and differentiate RA from other autoimmune diseases (like lupus or fibromyalgia) as some of their symptoms can be similar, and there is no specific test diagnose RA, so the doctor must evaluate the symptoms, medical history, family history and lifestyle of the patient.
He may also ask you for having a physical exam, and doing some X-rays or a blood test to make a better diagnosis.

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Home Remedies for Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms

In case of Rheumatoid Arthritis, most doctors prescribe medicines like anti-inflammatories, corticosteroids, biologic agents that alter the immune system or painkillers to control the painful and annoying symptoms of RA.
Although such medications are necessary for some people, there are also some effective natural remedies which can also lower pain, reduce swelling and prevent further joint damage, thus treating the symptoms and making it easier for the patient.
Additionally, such home remedies treatments has no serious side effects like including liver damage, anemia, low platelet count, hair loss, kidney issues and heart problems, but they may have additional benefits too.

Let’s check these remedies to manage rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and prevent the developing of any complications:

1. Eating a healthy, anti-inflammatory Diet

To control the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, try to eat high-antioxidant foods as well as those which are “whole”/unprocessed like whole grains.
According to the experts, healthy diet containing foods which are naturally high in omega-3s ( such as wild-caught fish and nuts/seeds), big amounts of fresh vegetables and fruit, bone broth, high-calcium foods, high-sulfur foods, and small amounts of healthy fats like olive oil and coconut oil have an amazing impact on decreasing the symptoms of RA.
However, try to avoid foods and additions that trigger inflammation like added sugar, synthetic ingredients, hydrogenated/unhealthy fats, fried food and fast foods, and common allergens like gluten or pasteurized dairy.

2. Stay Active

Those suffering from RA can’t move without having much pain as rheumatoid arthritis causes flare-ups of pain along with limited range of motion; however, studies proved that staying active is so important to control the symptoms and manage the joint inflammation. Additionally, joint pain due to RA will be worse if you become inactive especially that sleeping may causes morning stiffness, so try some walking, yoga, cycling, water aerobics and other exercises which are low-impact and don’t stress sensitive joints.

3. Manage Stress and Get Enough Sleep

Although you need to be active sometimes, you must also get enough sleep and limit the emotional stress to allow joints to heal especially during severe episodes of increased inflammation, pain, swelling and stiffness. Recent studies showed that fatigue and stressful episodes would worsen the inflammation contribute to more complications like muscle pains, low immunity, infections, overeating, inactivity and gaining extra weight.
Therefore, you can practice some relaxation techniques like guided meditation, yoga or stretching, deep breathing, guided imagery, and visualization which will help your muscles relax, balance hormones, decrease cortisol and strengthen your immune system, thus protecting your body against painful episodes. Additionally, getting some support from family and friends and having a positive attitude can be very helpful for patients with RA.

4. Control Pain Naturally

Many researches showed that there are many techniques to reduce the pain naturally like massage therapy, acupuncture or acupressure, and treatments by heat/ice like ice packs or warm baths, such treatments are very helpful to manage the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and can also act as natural stress relievers as they help the body to stay active and get comfortable sleep.

5- Using essential oils on the skin
Massaging your skin with oils of ginger, orange, myrrh, frankincense and turmeric oils are amazing treatments to reduce joint pain.

6- Reduce Inflammation with Supplements

You can also use some anti-inflammatory supplements like turmeric and ginger extract, omega-3 fish oils, MSM, proteolytic enzymes, boswellia/frankincense and glucosamine to reduce arthritis pain.