Role of Diet in Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
Rheumatoid Arthritis is an Autoimmune disease in which there is inflammation in multiple systems of the body. Primarily affecting the synovium (Covering of the bones) and the adjacent tissues. Autoimmune Disease is a condition where the body's Immune System mistakenly starts attacking the body parts (healthy cells) and destroys them.
Presentation of RA
- As it is an Autoimmune disease the exact cause is not known.
- It is commonlly seen in women due to Hormonal factors like before menopause, during pregnancy.
- Stress is one of the major cause to trigger it.
The Progress of the disease:
- It presents as acute inflammation of multiple joints (Polyarthritis) developing over a period of time - a few days, weeks or months.
- It starts with severe pain in joints followed by swelling of the joints.
- The disease starts in the joints of the fingers of the hands (Metacarpophalengeal joints) or the toes (Metatarsophalengeal joints) and the wrists.
- There is stiffness of the joints and swelling of the synovial tissue is a common feature.
Few Dietary tips to control Rheumatoid Arthritis and lead a healthy life::
- Patients suffering from RA for more then 6months will develop progressive erosive joint disease which will lead to significant disability.
- Up to 10% suffer from acute episode and progressive disease,20% tend to suffer from an episode of inflammatory Polyarthritis and do not suffer further.
- Due to RA 50% of the individuals suffering from the disease are unable to work 10 years after its onset and life expectancy is reduced by 5 years in women and 7 years in males.
- The high rate of mortality in R. A. patients is due to cardiovascular disease.
- In order to reduce the inflammatory process include certain essential fatty acids like Omega 3. Some of the important sources of Omega 3 are Cod liver oil, Flaxseeds, Walnuts, Indian Almonds, Hazelnuts.
- One can drink a special juice made from Raw Green Leafy Vegetable juice mixed with carrot, beet root and celery juice. It is known to reduce the symptoms due to its alkaline nature.
- As Turmeric is known to be high in anti-oxidants is also an anti-inflammatory and anti-septic; if consumed 1/2 teaspoon with warm water every morning will considerably help reduce the inflammation of joints.
- Allicin is an active ingredient found in Garlic which has anti-inflammatory properties. One clove of Raw garlic fried in clarified butter (homemade ghee) or in castor oil or flaxseed oil will be benefical if consumed every day.