Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that results when inflammatory cells mistakenly invade and destroy joints and cartilage.
While is a systemic disease, RA primarily affects joints, typically starting in small joints, such as the fingers and toes, and progressing to larger joints including the wrists, ankles, knees and hips. A person with RA may present with the following symptoms: fatigue, weakness, unintentional weight gain or loss, fever, and joint pain, swelling, tenderness and deformity.
Although drugs are commonly used to treat this condition, they will not fix the problem. Standard medical treatment is of limited value in most cases of RA as it fails to address the complexity of this disease in an appropriate manner.
Use of anti-inflammatory drugs often prescribed to manage RA will suppress symptoms but accelerate factors that promote the disease process. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), one the drugs often used to treat RA, have been shown to greatly increase the already permeable gastrointestinal tract of those who suffer from this autoimmune disease. When NSAIDs are no longer effective, corticosteroids may be used to suppress symptoms. It is well known in the medical community that long-term use of corticosteroids is not advised due to its dangerous side effects and increased risk of developing diabetes and osteoporosis with usage, among other debilitating conditions. The benefits of these drugs are greatly outweighed by their detrimental side effects, which often require additional medications to mediate the negative side effects.
The Functional Medicine approach looks beyond the pain centers to evaluate the relationship of all bodily systems and find the culprit behind the pathophysiology. There is potential to relieve the pain from Rheumatoid Arthritis. Dr. Marci aims to find the contributing factors to your disease state and reduce them.
To truly solve the underlying issue and normalize the function of your immune system, schedule a consultation today.
Kripa, Cherian. “Glucocorticoid-Induced Osteoporosis.” Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism October 2017.
“Suh, Sunghwan. “Glucocorticoid-Induced Diabetes Mellitus: An Important but Overlooked Problem.” Endocrinology and Metabolism. June 2017.