Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory condition and autoimmune disorder that can affect people of any age, though the affliction more commonly develops in middle age or older. If you are suffering with stiffness, joint pain, and other complications of arthritis, these symptoms can be minimized with personalized holistic treatment so you don’t suffer needlessly and can live a full, comfortable life.
Understanding Rheumatoid Arthritis
When your immune system mistakenly attacks your body’s own tissues – specifically, the lining of the membranes surrounding your joints – the result is a painful inflammatory condition known as rheumatoid arthritis. The swelling caused by the inflammation destroys the cartilage, weakens and stretches tendons and ligaments, and eventually leads to joint deformity and bone erosion.
The most severe cases of rheumatoid arthritis can cause physical disabilities or be completely debilitating. The inflammation can also damage other non-joint parts of the body, including the eyes, skin, blood vessels, heart, salivary glands, and respiratory system.
For some, rheumatoid arthritis is a 24/7 condition. Other people experience only periods of increased symptoms known as flares, while they are in remission the rest of the time and free from the swelling and pain.
Some people have a higher risk of developing arthritis, especially if you have a family history of arthritis, smoke, or are obese. Women are more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis than men. While science says that your genes are not a direct cause of arthritis, your DNA may make you more susceptible to bacteria or infections that could trigger this autoimmune disease.
What Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Look Like?
Arthritis can affect any joint in the body. The condition usually begins in the smaller joints, like the knuckles and joints of your fingers and toes. These small joints will become a big problem later – advanced cases of rheumatoid arthritis are most easily seen in hands and feet where people develop nodules.
As rheumatoid arthritis progresses, the problem will become painful throughout the body, affecting the knees, wrists, ankles, hips, shoulders, and even elbows.
Sufferers of early arthritis experience joint stiffness, particularly in the morning or after periods of inactivity. Tender, swollen, and warm joints are other telltale signs of rheumatoid arthritis, but so are fever, fatigue, and appetite loss.
Holistic Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that can never be fully cured, but it can be slowed and managed, especially if you do not want to be a slave to medications. Holistic changes make it possible for arthritis sufferers to live a full life, no matter what limitations arthritis has created.
Holistic therapy begins with a full course of blood tests to determine what other things may be affecting your body’s performance, particularly that of your autoimmune system. The digestive system is the root of many health problems, and changes to diet and lifestyle can be the difference between suffering and good health.
The goal is to prevent rheumatoid arthritis from progressing, avoid surgery or other invasive treatments, and keep this autoimmune condition from attacking the rest of your body. Get support from the holistic health experts at Ann Arbor Holistic Health. We customize your treatment plan so you have the tools you need to manage your condition through changes in nutrition, movement, and more.
We seek to remove the triggers from your body that are making your chronic condition worse, and replace them with holistic remedies that make you feel better, move better, and embrace life rather than shy away from it.
Rheumatoid arthritis is not a sentence, it’s a condition. And you can learn to live with it so that you’re in control. Contact Ann Arbor Holistic Health in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to schedule your appointment with our holistic health team.