Many people who suffer with rheumatoid arthritis are looking for a natural way to reduce pain and swelling from this crippling inflammatory disease.
Below is a collection of articles on herbal remedies, vitamins and supplements that are used by many people around the world for treating rheumatoid arthritis pain and swelling.
Although they will not cure the condition, any natural methods to reduce pain and inflammation is welcomed by anyone suffering from rheumatism.
There are some limited clinical studies that looked at using natural cures for rheumatoid arthritis.
However, many of these studies on the use of herbs or supplements for treating the inflammation and pain involved only a small numbers of volunteers. (This means that the results showing whether it works or not are more likely to be inaccurate.)
Clinical trials involving a larger number of volunteers are not available currently.
Unlike osteoarthritis, which primarily involves joint damage from "wear and tear", rheumatoid arthritis is a very complex inflammation process that involves our immune system.
The symptoms include joint stiffness, swelling, weight loss, fever, anemia and fatigue. Often, the pain can be crippling. The cartilage and surrounding tissues are damaged to the point that the joints become visibly and permanently deformed.
While there are no well established natural cures for rheumatoid arthritis, many individuals with this disease will find that certain herbs and supplements can provide only modest pain relief and reduced inflammation.
Rheumatoid arthritis is not just an inflammatory condition of the joints, it is a systemic disease that involves the immune system and it affects many organs structures in the body.
Here is a list of symptoms that rheumatoid arthritis sufferers often experience:
Morning stiffness is characteristic of rheumatoid arthritis. It can last for one or more hours. Stiffness can also be expected after long period of sleep or sitting down. This is unlike osteoarthritis where the stiffness goes away in less than 1/2 an hour.
Joint pain occurs in the smaller joints and affects both sides at the same time. (Experts call this symmetrical involvement.) Pain often starts at the wrists and knuckles. It often affects more than one set of joints.
Swelling of the joints is very common. It can be warm to the touch and often feels like it is full of fluids.
Hands are often puffy and red.
Joints feel tender when touched.
There can be bumps and lumps under the skin. These are called rheumatoid nodules. They can range in size from very small to very large. Often, they occur at joints like the knuckles and elbows.
Flu-like symptoms are common. These symptoms include low-grade fever, fatigue, weight loss and loss of appetite. These symptoms do not usually go away and are present constantly.
Symptoms can get better and worst over a long period of time. Some rheumatoid sufferers may experience remission of symptoms for months to years, only to have it flare up again.