2015 Rheumatoid Arthritis Review

Rheumatoid Arthritis Review 2015

Rheumatoid Arthritis Review 2015

Before we say good by to 2015, we need to reflect on what we have learned in the past year about rheumatoid arthritis. 2015 has, in many ways, been a banner year for rheumatoid arthritis. Below is a rheumatoid arthritis review of important treatments of RA that have been stressed in 2015.

   1. Chronotherapy: Chronotherapy is the science of aligning medical treatment with our biological clock. If our medical treatment is provided to us at the time of day that our body most needs it, the effectiveness of our treatments can be maximized and treatment side effects are minimized.  Studies have shown that if Methotrexate is given to us in the evening, morning stiffness is less severe. In this study, 41% of study participants experienced disease recovery and 23% achieved clinical remissions. All participants experienced fewer side effects from MTX. Another study tested low-dose prednisone given in the evening in addition to regular drug therapy. These participants experienced similar results. This may be something you want to discuss with your rheumatologist.

   2. The Importance of Your Microbiome: The human microbiome is made up of over 100 trillion microbes that reside in our gut, skin and other areas of our body. These microbes are needed to support our life. They help us digest food absorb essential nutrients and fight disease. Dr. Blaser at the Cleveland Clinic discovered that our environment affects our microbiome. It is extremely important to our overall health and the health of our immune system that we do all we can to reduce our exposure to environmental toxins.

    3. Innovative Treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis: There are many innovative treatments being researched:     

  1. Stem cell treatment in Canada: The researchers themselves are investing some of their own seed money to fund this project.
  2. Deactivating a single cell protein to halt the progress of RA
  3. Implanting a pacemaker-like device in a patient’s body that is programmed to tell the patient’s immune system to stop attacking itself

These projects are still being researched, but give us hope that some researchers are focusing on a cure for RA as opposed to using drugs with severe side effects.

   4. The Brain and Gut ConnectionThere is scientific evidence that the Enteric Nervous System (ENS) which is our gut’s nervous system is able to communicate with our brain’s nervous system through neurons, chemicals and hormones. This could be one cause of the “brain fog” and depression that many with RA experience. More research is needed. If this is true, brain fog could be treated through the gut. Physicians could identify the specific bacteria that is causing the problem and provide the correct good gut bacteria to treat brain fog.

   5. Functional Medicine: Functional Medicine shifts the traditional disease-oriented practice of medicine to a patient-oriented practice that addresses the whole patient. Practitioners focus on the interactions of the person’s genetics, lifestyle and environmental histories. Functional Medicine practitioners have had success in treating autoimmune diseases with diet and other lifestyle changes. Functional Medicine is becoming more  accepted by the medical community.

 6. Connection Between RA and Stress: Several studies have tried to prove that the onset of RA often follows a traumatic event, but there is very little evidence that this is true. However, there is a lot of evidence that stress does increase the severity of RA symptoms.  Most Functional Medicine practitioners recommend mind-body practices that reduce stress as an important lifestyle change.

   7.  Tai Chi for Arthritis: Tai Chi is an ancient art form of exercise that has been used in the far East for centuries to enhance health. Many studies have looked at the benefits of Tai Chi for arthritis. They have concluded that Tai Chi practiced 1-2 times per week will improve muscle strength, balance and sleep habits of people with arthritis. The University of North Carolina and the Arthritis Foundation developed a form of Tai Chi that is safe and appropriate for people with arthritis. It has been tested and people with RA who practice Tai Chi have experienced improved well being, muscle strength, balance and morning stiffness,

   8. Environmental Toxins Linked to RA: Scientists have linked three environmental toxins to RA: nanoparticles, mercury and crystalline silica (found in sand, rock and soil). These toxins exacerbate RA. A study involving miners who were exposed to dust in the mines on a daily basis concluded that these miners had a higher rate of autoimmune disease than the general population.

   9. Eliminating Toxic Ingredients in Your Food: We can go a long way toward transforming our health by eliminating toxic ingredients from our diet. Processed foods have many toxic ingredients that can increase the inflammation in our joints. We need to learn to get in the habit of reading labels on the food we purchase, identifying toxic ingredients that are bad for our health and eliminating them from our diet. This RA Junction post contains a chart that identifies the most common toxic ingredients found in processed foods.

  10. Turmeric Is a Natural Remedy for RA: Turmeric has been found to be a powerful treatment for RA pain. A study conducted in 2012 divided participants with RA in three groups. One group received NSAIDS, one group received NSAIDs and curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric) and one group received only curcumin. The group receiving only curcumin had the most improvement in RA pain. The recommended dosage of turmeric is 500mg 2-3 times per day (the curcumin in the supplement must be standardized to 95%.

  11. Ginger as a Natural Remedy for RA: Ginger is another natural ingredient that can reduce RA pain. Ginger contains gingerols that are potent anti-inflammatory compounds. The easiest way to consume Ginger is by buying fresh ginger and making a tea. The Arthritis Foundation recommends 4 cups of ginger tea daily.

  12. Berries Help Control Your RA Pain: Berries have also been identified as an easy way to help control your RA pain.The Harvard School of Public Health found that women who ate 16 oz or more of strawberries per week had lower levels of C-reactive protein. Most experts recommend 1 cup of berries per day to improve your health.

This rheumatoid arthritis review of 2015 provides those of us with RA a lot of hope:

  • There is scientific evidence that supports the importance of gut health and proves that autoimmune diseases are likely linked to poor gut health.
  • There are many scientists around the world who are looking for a cure for rheumatoid arthritis.
  • There is also scientific evidence that supports several natural treatments for RA including turmeric, berries and ginger

Have you tried any of the lifestyle changes mentioned above? If so, did they help improve your RA symptoms?

Wishing You a Happy Healthy 2016,




S.H. Narayan, S. Shivangi, Y.A. Kumar, S. Sunil, Chronotherapeutics: Clinical Science Based on Circadian Rhythms, Ont. J. Med. Pharm. Res., Vol 1(2), ISSN 2321-2624 (2013)




http://www.functional medicine.org/about/whatisfm/



http://greenmedinfo.com/blog/toxic -and-dont-know/






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