Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, systemic inflammatory disorder that may affect many tissues and organs, but principally attacks flexible joints. The process produces an inflammatory response of the capsule around the joints, secondary to swelling of synovial cells, excess synovial fluid, and the development of fibrous tissue in the synovium. RA affects 1% of World’s population. Women three times more often than men. Onset is most frequent between the ages of 40 and 50, but people of any age can be affected. It can be a disabling and painful condition, which can lead to substantial loss of functioning and mobility if not adequately treated.
You are listening to me because you have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. You went to the doctor got a series of blood tests done and the doctor diagnosed that you have rheumatoid arthritis. We get a lot of people with rheumatoid arthritis coming to us asking if we can help.
How common is rheumatoid arthritis:
Around 1 million people in World suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. Women are about two to three times more likely to get rheumatoid arthritis than men.
What is rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is nothing but arthritis that happens in different parts of the body. You have pain, inflammation or your joints can even fuse. Most of the people with rheumatoid arthritis have pain in their small joints, it can be the elbow, wrist, knees, or toes. It can start with one joint and extend to the other joints.
In some people, it affects one joint causes a lot of pain, stiffness, swelling and you will not be able to move. You take some medicines and get better but in about three-four months it comes back again in another joint, it goes away, and it affects another joint again. Typically rheumatoid arthritis has spikes, it will cause you a lot of trouble, then it will come down and you are okay for a while, then it goes up again, it will come down. The cycle goes on.
It is an autoimmune disorder that means something is happening in your body from within, it has nothing to do with the outside. The pains keeps spreading from one joint to the other and then you eventually go to a rheumatologist. He will run you through few tests and he will diagnose it as rheumatoid arthritis.
They will put you on medicines like Methotrexate which is an immunosuppressant or sazo, or steroids. Sometimes they put you on biological injections. There are a series of medicines that are given and it helps but after a few months, the pain comes back again in another joint.
If you go to the doctor with a fused joint, you are not able to move your joints, he will give you some steroids, within a week you are fine and back to normal. But within two to three months, another joint gets affected and you are back to square one. You are not looking at what steroids are doing to you, it has a lot of side effects, not immediately but after a few months to years of use.
When you are on allopathic medications, the doctor asks you to go for blood tests every month, specifically liver and kidney tests. You are under the impression that these tests are done because of rheumatoid arthritis and you get it done every month. But these tests are done to figure out how much these immuno-suppressants are damaging your liver and kidneys, to see the side effects of the medicines that you are taking and not for the disease.
It is natural for these doctors to scare you, saying that if you do not take care, your joints are going to fuse, turn inwards, and you will be bedridden.
Let me ask you one thing. Frankly, How many people do you know or have seen who are bedridden or whose fingers are twisted or turned? You would have heard of people who are bedridden or whose fingers are twisted and turned but how many people have you seen?
As a doctor I have not seen too many people, I am not saying I have not seen because I get a lot of patients but as a layperson how many people have you seen? You worrying about something that you have heard some people have got and you want to take medication so that you are not bedridden.
It is okay to take the medicines and prevent yourself from becoming like this, but you are not even bothered about what it can do to your kidneys.
A point might come, where your serum creatinine or your liver enzymes start to go up, the doctor will say these medicines are damaging your kidneys, liver and we need to go easy on it. By then it is too late for you to continue your medicines as they are affecting your liver and kidneys, so you cannot continue the medicines and now there is nothing else that can be given to you.
Homeopathy like I always say, believes that rheumatoid arthritis is happening because there is something wrong that is happening within the body.
A lot of people with rheumatoid arthritis come to us in the initial stage. In the beginning, when they come to use, we give medicines that correct the root cause of the disease, once we start treating the root cause, further progress of the disease stops that means the other joints will not get affected.
Once we start the medicines, it takes some time to give you relief but within two to three months, the frequency and intensity of the attacks gradually come down. You will continue to have a problem, I am not saying you will not have problems but you will be able to manage without major medications. You will be able to manage with one or two painkillers here and there.
Homeopathy is the safest way to manage rheumatoid arthritis without compromising your kidneys and liver. I cannot think of any other system of medicine other than Homeopathy to safely treat rheumatoid arthritis.
Some patients, even though they are on homeopathic medications, at some point they might have a spike where they are in a lot of pain. Here we give them a combination of Allopathy and Homeopathic medicines. We ask them to see a rheumatologist, take some medicines for a while till the spike is there, once the spike comes down, they are back to only homeopathic medication for maintenance.
We don’t have to go through a blood test to check if kidneys or liver are affected because there are no side effects to homeopathic medication.
People who are already on allopathic medications:
We get a lot of people who are already on allopathic medications. We ask them to start Homeopathy along with allopathic medications and as they begin to get better, we gradually reduce their allopathic medication. Over a period of time we completely stop their allopathic medications and they are only on homeopathic medication.
What happens if rheumatoid arthritis is left alone?
If you leave it alone, it keeps spreading from one joint to the other, the pain, stiffness and swelling increases, there might come a stage where you cannot move your joints.
There are no diet restrictions to follow but if you feel that your pains have increased after eating a particular food, try to avoid it. You are the best person to decide what is good for you.
Do’s and Don’ts:
Be active, do some physical exercises regularly not to lose weight but so that there is mobility and circulation in your joint. Losing weight will definitely help because you will be putting less load on your joints.You can Ayurveda as a massage or therapy. Try to do yoga, meditation, have a positive mindset.
This is not a lifestyle disease. This is not something that is confined only to cities. 70 percent of the population who live in rural area and who are poor,
How do you think they survive? Do you think they can afford that kind of medication and blood tests every month for the rest of their lives? No way. They do not do any of those things. They take medicines when they have pain, once the pains go down they go back to their daily work, they come back again in 6 months, they go to a doctor take an injection.
They carry on their lives and they live as long as you and I live.Remember that their quality of life is way better than ours. The problem with us is awareness, knowledge, Google, search engines. All these things end up scaring us and we are forced to take these medications and we end up in bigger trouble.
Homeopathic medications along with some lifestyle changes can take care of your rheumatoid arthritis.
What would I do if I had rheumatoid arthritis?
In my last 30 years of experience with rheumatoid arthritis and knowing how they respond, I would, first of all, assess that once I get rheumatoid arthritis, I am going to have some pains and aches for the rest of my life. I am not going to be better but I am going to be fine.
If I were to start on allopathic medications and after a few years I get to know that my kidneys or liver are damaged and there is no treatment for it. I would rather my kidneys and liver be okay than some pains. I don’t mind having a little bit of pain on and off, I do not mind being in bed and taking care of myself once a week in 6 months or 8 months but I would rather safeguard my kidneys and liver. I will probably take allopathic painkillers when I am in a lot of pain. I would probably be forced to take some steroids if I have fusion of my joints but I would do that in a very judicious way.
I would not take allopathic medications continuously but I would constantly be on some alternative therapies particularly Homeopathy or Ayurveda.
We have been able to help a lot of people manage their rheumatoid arthritis. Contact homeopathic doctors, give homeopathy a try for at least 3 to 6 months, trust me nothing is going to happen to you in these 3 to 6 month’s time. But if these medicines can help you avoid steroids and painkillers for the rest of your life and do not damage your kidneys or liver, isn’t it worth giving it a try?
Take care. Stay safe.