To successfully treat and prevent recurrence of rheumatoid arthritis we need to understand and — if possible — remove the underlying causes and risk factors. We need to ask: "What else is going on inside the body that might allow rheumatoid arthritis symptoms to develop?"
Accurate diagnosis of the factors behind rheumatoid arthritis consists of three steps:
|Immune System Imbalance||30%||Unlikely|
|Lyme Disease**||2%||Ruled out|
|Gluten Sensitivity||1%||Ruled out|
|EFA 3 Need||1%||Ruled out|
|Bacterial Dysbiosis||1%||Ruled out|
|Ulcerative Colitis||0%||Ruled out|
Have you been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Possible responses:→ No / don't know
→ Minor episode(s) now in remission / controlled
→ Major episode(s) now in remission / controlled
→ Yes, but I can function normally
→ Current serious problem / I am disabled by it
Lyme disease was "discovered" in Lyme, Connecticut in 1975 because of the perseverance of Polly Murray, a homemaker who thought that too much Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA) was being diagnosed in her community. Putting aside the issue of whether Lyme disease does or does not cause some cases of JRA, the two diseases share so many symptoms that Lyme disease is often mistaken for JRA.
Immunologic responses to gut flora have been advanced by several authors as being important causative factors of inflammatory joint diseases. It is well-known that reactive arthritis can be activated by intestinal infections with Yersinia, Salmonella and other enterobacteria. In some cases bacterial antigens have been found in synovial cells and may enter the circulation because of the increased intestinal permeability associated with the intestinal infection. Increased intestinal permeability and immune responses to bacterial debris may cause other types of inflammatory joint disease as well.
Aching, swollen joints may just be demanding the right kind of oil. Shifting the body's balance toward omega-3 oils and away from omega-6 oils significantly alleviates symptoms in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, according to a recent study in the Journal of Rheumatology.
A Mayo Clinic study found that the T-cells were 'worn out' in rheumatoid arthritis patients, who do not make new T-cells as readily as they should.
According to researchers, women with rheumatoid arthritis have up to double the risk of developing osteoporosis and those who use steroid drugs to help control the arthritis are at an even higher risk of bone loss. [Arthritis and Rheumatism, March 2000]
People with rheumatoid arthritis, who for a long time were thought to have overactive immune systems, instead may have exhausted immune systems. A study at the Mayo Clinic has shown for the first time that patients with rheumatoid arthritis have prematurely aged immune systems. Patients 20 to 30 years old had a collection of T-cells that looked like they belonged to 50 to 60 year olds.