Learn about natural remedies for rheumatoid arthritis, including omega-3 fatty acids and other researched supplements. Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory condition that causes pain and swelling of the joints, especially the smaller joints of the hands and feet. It generally affects both sides of the arthritis and rheumatoid alternative treatment at the same time.
Rheumatoid arthritis is believed to be an autoimmune disease, resulting in the immune system attacking tissues that line joints. There is no known cure for rheumatoid arthritis. Alternative therapies are popular among people with rheumatoid arthritis, however, they should complement, not replace, conventional care. Here are some natural remedies that are used for rheumatoid arthritis. Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of fat.
Our bodies can’t make omega-3s on their own, so we must obtain them through our diet. There is reasonably strong evidence that omega-3 fatty acids may help people with rheumatoid arthritis. The results of over 13 double-blind, placebo-controlled studies involving a total of more than 500 people suggest that omega-3 fatty acids may improve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. One of the ways it appears to work is by decreasing the production of inflammatory chemicals. Although omega-3 fatty acids reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, they don’t appear to slow the progression of the disease. Cold water fish such as salmon, sardines, and anchovies are the richest food source of omega-3 fatty acids.
But instead of eating more fish which contain mercury, PCBs, and other chemicals, fish oil capsules are considered a cleaner source of omega-3 fatty acids. Many companies filter their fish oil so that these chemicals are removed. Fish oil capsules are sold in health food stores, drug stores, and online. Most brands should be stored in the fridge to prevent the oil from going rancid. Although flaxseed oil is often used as an alternative to fish oil, it doesn’t appear to have the same anti-inflammatory effects as fish oil at achievable intakes. Fish oil capsules may interact with blood-thinning drugs such as warfarin and aspirin.
Side effects may include indigestion and bleeding. Fish oil should not be taken two weeks before or after surgery. Fish oil can also cause a fishy aftertaste. To prevent this, fish oil is usually taken just before meals. Although there is more evidence that omega-3 fatty acids may improve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, some studies suggest that gamma-linoleic acid, another type of essential fatty acid, may also help. Boswellia is a herb that comes from a tree native to India. Although there have been a couple of preliminary studies that suggest boswellia may reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, we need more research to know whether it’s effective.