by Patricia Curley, MS, NC
RA, is an hereditary, autoimmune (AI), degenerative, inflammatory joint disease characterized by cartilage destruction and chronic pain and inflammation. RA can affect joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons, the heart, lungs and eyes, but is seen most often symmetrically in hands, elbows, wrists, ankles and feet. Joints can become deformed and surgery may be required in some cases.
But what causes our bodies to attack our own tissue? A combination of genetic, lifestyle and dietary factors are involved – food and environmental sensitivities, small bowel bacterial overgrowth, intestinal permeability resulting from food allergies and sensitivities, nutrient depletions, and Hypochlorhydria. Candidiasis is frequently a trigger. Heavy metal toxicity may interfere with collagen synthesis. Increased homocysteine levels have been implicated in RA. A significant number of studies have concluded that RA is caused by an allergic reaction to a virus-like microorganism. These are all physical stressors, but our inability to handle emotional stress can be a trigger as well.
Standard medical treatment may fail to address the complex causes of RA. Common drugs prescribed, such as Methotrexhate, ENBREL, steroids, and DMARDS, and NSAIDS, while alleviating symptoms, may further exacerbate the underlying causes by contributing to nutrient depletions and carry with them serious side effects.
A holistic approach to healing focuses on lowering inflammation, addressing hypochlorhydria and small bowel bacterial overgrowth, eliminating allergens and environmental pollutants, toxins and stress, and detoxification. Employ the 4R approach to support GI health and healing: Remove, Replace, Re-inoculate and Repair. Use foods, nutrients, supplements and botanicals that support cartilage repair, reduce inflammation, swelling and pain without side effects, reduce damage from free radicals, heal the gut, and support the liver. Cellular acidosis is a metabolic disorder common in AI diseases. Restoring the body’s acid/alkaline balance is essential – our bodies must be slightly alkaline to support health. Case studies have shown that these methods can ease symptoms of RA, and may even bring it into remission (Jaffe).
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