Alternative and Natural Treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Your diet can help relieve Rheumatoid Arthritis.

There are some alternative and natural remedies for rheumatoid arthritis, as always check with your doctor about any side effects. Since natural remedies often include herbs, these herbs when taken with any type of medicine, over the counter or prescription drugs can have side effects with herbs and interfere with the other medicines you might be taking.

Fat ratios.

Americans (and other countries) have a bad ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratios in their daily diet.

A healthy ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids in their diet is 2:1 for adults. Today many Americans have a ratio of 20:1, since it is so easy to get Omega-6 in the diet. It is everywhere from the fast food meats to diary.

A diet very low in animal foods such as red meat, pork and diary products can help this condition. Since these animal foods contain a lot of Omega-6 fatty acids, Americans eat too many of these foods in their diets. Giving most people an unhealthy ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 in the body.

Omega-6 is important in the body, just not as much as most Americans eat of it. There are many healthier options for Omega-6 than all of that meat and diary products.

Omega-3 fatty acids come in three types known as, ALA (alpha linolenic acid), EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).

The proper amounts and of the good types of these fatty acids has been shown to reduce inflammation.

Omega-3 fats

Omega-3 is very important to get in the diet, since the body doesn’t make this fat on its own. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in the following foods. Some common items that can help better your ratio of Omega-3.

  • Flax seed or flax seed oil.
  • Fish oil.
  • Pumpkin seeds.
  • Walnuts.
  • Cold water fish such as salmon, halibut, sardines, tuna, cod and mackerel.
  • Green leafy vegetables.

Omega-6 fats

More healthier types of Omega-6 fatty acids are found in these following foods.

  • Sesame seeds.
  • Sunflower seeds.
  • Wheat germ.
  • Tofu.
  • Borage oil.
  • Primrose oil.

What is causing inflammation.

There are two main type of acid in Omega-6 fatty acids, GLA (Gamma Linolenic Acid) and Arachidonic acid (AA).

Good sources of GLA are the Borage oil and the Primrose oil. In some cases GLA has been used with success in treated rheumatoid arthritis.

The bottom line is to eat a healthier diet, decrease the ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3, eat the good forms of these two fatty acids. By eating more of the Omega-3 fatty acids, you can reduce your ratio of these acids. By eating a healthier diet, lower in meat and dairy products and adding the better forms of Omega-6 acids can possibly help the condition of rheumatoid arthritis.

Other studies using several groups of people using corn oil, fish oil and a placebo found that the group using the fish oil improved considerably.

My personal observations.

I was never diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, but I started to wake up with such aching knees it was hard to walk and several joints in my hand were swollen. I then tried a vegan diet and cleaned by body out and I did notice a marked improvement in the aches and the swelling in my hands went away. I then started to add back some of the old foods I was used to eating and found that for me, white processed products such as sugar and white breads made the aching knees and swollen hands came back.

I think everyone is different and by noticing what you eat compared to how you feel is a great way to find out what foods do bother your body. In the long run I found that dairy products, white processed products, including white sugar and coffee made me ache the most. And I feel the best when I don’t eat those foods.

Please do your own research concerning Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, also another type of fatty acids more recently talked about is the Omega-9 type.

In my diet, I try to eat fish even though it has gotten to be very expensive. I was told that fish oil, the liquid and not the capsules is a better form then flax seed. Some people don’t like fish, so the flax seed or the fish oil capsules is a good way to get more Omega-3 in their diet. Sometimes I get the bad of ground up flaxseeds and mix a teaspoon or two in soups or even on salads.

Other possible alternative treatments for rheumatoid arthritis

  • Can include tai-chi. Which are gentle and slow movements for the entire body that increases blood flow and balance.
  • Acupuncture
  • Acupressure

Sam Montana © 22 November 2008

Resources

A great book is 12 Days to Dynamic Health by Dr. John McDougall

Tuft University RA Research

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