Top 5 Natural Supplements for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

“I am tired of this NEVER ENDING pain!”

Have you or your loved ones ever yelled at someone or even shouting at the sky when rheumatoid arthritis symptoms started to exacerbate and the pain slowly engulfed the sanity? Rheumatoid Arthritis is one of the most tormenting arthritis diseases. Joint pain and severe swells are significant torments of rheumatoid arthritis. When severe, not only does this disease cause immobility, but it will “ordeal’’ our mental wellness when dealing with the pain, stiffness and even immobility.

In this post, we will cover some supplements that will effectively reverse and improve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis which can help you or your loved ones (if you are looking for a cure for your loved ones who is suffering with rheumatoid arthritis) to feel better from the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

  1. Rheumatoid Arthritis & Causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis

  2. How to Alleviate the Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis

  3. Top 5 Natural Supplements for Rheumatoid Arthritis:

  4. Curcumin

  5. Omega 3 Fatty Acids (EPA + DHA)

  6. Vitamin D

  7. Boswellia Serrate

  8. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPARs) - The Natural Combatant of Inflammation

  9. Simply Nature PPARs?

  10. Summary

Rheumatoid Arthritis & Causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is one of the most common types of autoimmune arthritis.According to the Arthritis Foundation, there are approximately 54 million adults who have been doctor-diagnosed with arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis mainly attacks the joints, usually numerous joints at once, causing inflammation in the joints and resulting in painful deformity and immobility. Fingers, wrists, feet, and ankles are the most common “victims” of rheumatoid arthritis.

Joint pain is the biggest torment of rheumatoid arthritis. The inflammation in the joint has caused the joint lining to become thicker and produce extra joint fluid and increase the pressure on the capsule surrounding the joint, irritating the nerve endings.

Besides, the inflammation might cause the joints to look puffy and tender. Swelling of joints will stretch out the joint tissues which as a result causes joint deformities.

Fatigue may precede the onset of other signs of rheumatoid arthritis. A research from the Arthritis foundation showed that approximately 50% of patients are having high level faitgue. A person with rheumatoid arthritis may feel extremely and unusually tired and lack energy due to the body’s reaction to the inflammation in the joints. This symptom may come and go from day to day. Losing quality sleep due to the overwhelming joint pains might be another main reason contributing to fatigue.

There are risks of complications too where rheumatoid arthritis would affect and damage other organs, especially towards the lungs, heart and eyes. These possible complications include hardened and blocked arteries, inflammation of lung tissues, etc.

So, why does rheumatoid arthritis happen?

Rheumatoid arthritis is a long-term, progressive, and disabling autoimmune disease wherein the immune system in the body has mistakenly attacked the healthy cells in the body thereby causing inflammation in the affected part of the body. The immune system mistakenly attacks the healthy synovium which is the lining of the membranes that surround the joints.

Hence, when the immune system mistakenly attacks the healthy body tissues, inflammation occurred. The resulting inflammation stretches and thickens the synovium, which can eventually destroy the cartilage and bone within the joint. The tendons and ligaments that hold the joint together weaken and stretch. Gradually, the joint loses its shape and alignment, resulting in deformities and when serious, causing immobility.

You may get rheumatoid arthritis at any age. However, if you have the family history of rheumatoid arthritis, obesity, and are smoking, you are more likely to get rheumatoid arthritis.

How to Alleviate the Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Besides following medication instructions, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, balanced diets and taking supplements are helpful too to reduce and reverse rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, especially the inflamed joints.

1. Rheumatoid arthritis Exercise/ Physiotherapy

Regular low-impact exercises are beneficial for people suffering with rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.

Regular exercises are undoubtedly beneficial for health. Regular exercises which are normally known as physical therapies are often part of the rheumatoid arthritis treatment plan. The final goal of regular exercises is to keep the patients moving to stimulate muscles, bones, and joints. Associating with joint pains, it will be a great challenge for rheumatoid arthritis patients to engage in regular exercises. They tend to move less due to the pain. However, it is never a good sign to let the joints and muscles “unused”. Just like a machine, when the muscles are not used, muscles will be weakened and you will start to lose your muscles, worsen rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.

Besides, exercise will increase the release of endorphins which will reduce pain and create feelings of pleasure to our brain. In this way, it is helpful for us to manage our stress and inhibit stress hormones that will negatively impact the body.

Low-impact exercises like swimming, water aerobics, yoga and stretching are some good exercise choices for rheumatoid arthritis that will strengthen your muscle and promote flexibility. Besides, because rheumatoid arthritis is more likely to affect the joints on hands, wrists and fingers. Hence, hand therapies and exercises are the most common therapies for people with rheumatoid arthritis to help relieve pain, offer better mobility and prevent joint deformity.

Working with physical therapists who understand the mechanics of bones, joints, and muscles are always advisable. This is because the pro will help in creating the right program for you. More importantly, they are good at cheering you and encouraging you to keep going.

Sidenote: High-impact sports like running, basketball and football are simply not recommended. This is because these activities increase the risk of inflaming your joints or aggravating pain.

2. Balanced Diet

The first priority of ‘ Rheumatoid Arthritis diet’ is anti-inflammatory food.

Eat more antioxidant-rich foods (such as green, leafy vegetables) and fruits (such as blueberries, pomegranates, and cherries). Avoid refined foods, such as white breads, pastas, and sugar. This is because the digestive process of these foods will raise blood sugar levels and promote the release of cytokines which are pro-inflammatory, further deteriorate joint inflammation and swells. Eat fewer red meats and more lean meats, cold-water fish, or beans for protein. Preservatives, flavor enhancers, alcohol and tobacco are also a big ‘NO-NO’.

3. Supplement

Despite maintaining healthy lifestyle and balanced diets, there are several supplements which have shown to be promising in relieving symptoms and pains of rheumatoid arthritis.

Top 5 Natural Supplements for Rheumatoid Arthritis

1. Curcumin

Curcumin is an antioxidant compound, rich with anti-inflammatory properties which are helpful in decreasing pain associated with inflammation. Curcumin is an effective inhibitor for COX-2 enzymes which will contribute to inflammation that can lead to pain.

Curcumin is an active component in turmeric. However, curcumin only makes up 3% of turmeric. Therefore, there are turmeric supplements with higher concentration of curcumin.

Recommended dosage for turmeric will be 500–2,000 mg per day. Taking a very high dosage of curcumin may cause you to suffer with diarrhea, nausea and rashes. Also, you will need to take concern if you have an iron deficiency as curcumin may inhibit the body to absorb iron.

Besides, anti-inflammatory herbs like cinnamon and ginger are helpful for patients suffering from arthritic symptoms. You may take turmeric, cinnamon and ginger as spices to be added into your meal, or you could have them added to your drinks like hot tea.