Ayurvedic treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis

WHAT IT IS?

Rheumatoid Arthritis(RA) is an auto immune disease.

-The body’s immune system which normally protects its health by attacking foreign substances like bacteria and viruses-mistakenly attacks the joints.

SYMPTOMS:

Signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis may include-

■Tender, warm, swollen joint.

■Joint stiffness that is usually worse in the mornings and after inactivity.

■Fatigue, fever and weight loss.

-As the disease progresses, symptoms often spread to the wrists, knees, ankles, elbows, hips and shoulders.

About 40 percent of the people who have rheumatoid arthritis also experience signs and symptoms that don’t involve the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis can affect many nonjoint structures, including:

  • Skin
  • Eyes
  • Lungs
  • Heart
  • Kidneys
  • Salivary glands
  • Nerve tissue
  • Bone marrow.

CAUSES:

-Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when your immune system attacks the synovium — the lining of the membranes that surround your joints.

⬇️

The resulting inflammation thickens the synovium, which can eventually destroy the cartilage and bone within the joint.

⬇️
The tendons and ligaments that hold the joint together weaken and stretch. Gradually, the joint loses its shape and alignment.

RISKS:

Factors that may increase your risk of rheumatoid arthritis include:

  • Your sex. Women are more likely than men developing RA.
  • Age. RA can occur at any age, but it most commonly begins between the ages of 40 and 60.
  • Family history. If a member of your family has RA, you may have an increased risk of the disease.
  • Smoking. Cigarette smoking increases your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, particularly if you have a genetic predisposition for developing the disease. Smoking also appears to be associated with greater disease severity.
  • Environmental exposures. Although uncertain and poorly understood, some exposures such as asbestos or silica may increase the risk for developing rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Obesity. People who are overweight or obese appear to be at somewhat higher risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, especially in women diagnosed with the disease when they were 55 or younger.

DIAGNOSIS:

Diagnosing RA can take time and may require multiple lab tests to confirm clinical examination findings. Your doctor will use several tools to diagnose RA.

First your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. They’ll also perform a physical exam of your joints. This will include looking for swelling and redness, and testing your reflexes and muscle strength. Your doctor will also touch the affected joints to check for warmth and tenderness. If they suspect RA, they’ll most likely refer you to a specialist called a rheumatologist.

Since no single test can confirm a diagnosis of RA, your doctor or rheumatologist may use several different types of tests.

FOODS TO EAT:

The Ayurvedic Diet is typically based on three doshas: Vata (air)

Pitta (fire),

Kapha (water and earth). A dosha is a primary element, or energy, that exists in the body.

The recommended diet for those living with RA is similar to those of the ayurvedic condition amavata.

Amavata refers to a disease of the joints, and causes similar symptoms to RA. For amavata, ayurveda recommends a diet that pacifies, or balances out, Vata.

Examples of foods to eat on this diet include:

  • grains: easy to digest grains like cooked oats, rice, and cream of wheat
  • legumes: lentils, dal, mung beans, miso, and tofu
  • lukewarm water, or water boiled with ginger root, to help with digestion and remove toxins
  • green, leafy vegetables
  • berries
  • spices: ginger, turmeric, and garlic, which are anti-inflammatory and aid with digestion
  • buttermilk
  • wild animal meat
  • aged wine in moderate amounts

EXERCISE:

Recommended ayurvedic exercises usually include gentle movements like yoga, swimming, and walking.

-Deep breathing and daily meditation are also recommended.

-Yoga may be especially beneficial for RA. Many poses which are beneficial to treat RA are-

Vrksasana

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana

Mrtasana

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