What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

What is rheumatoid arthritis? Most people know about osteoarthritis, but what is rheumatoid arthritis? It’s not the “wear and tear” disease of aging. Instead, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune systemic disease that affects the joints by causing inflammation.

In addition to conventional drug treatment, some patients also successfully use complementary medicine or alternative natural dietary supplements for pain and symptom relief. Persistent pain is a warning.

RA is one of many autoimmune diseases in which, for unknown reasons, the immune system attacks its own body tissues. In RA, the immune system attacks the synovium, which is the tissue that lines the joints, causing inflammation and overgrowth of this tissue.

The common symptoms for those living with RA are inflammatory pain, stiffness, swelling, loss of motion, fatigue, sleep disturbances, and fever.

Commonly affected joints are in a person’s wrists, fingers, knee and feet, but all joints are at risk and sometimes organs, such as the lungs and even the heart. Those affected can have difficulty walking or even writing or eating.

Autoimmunity produces body responses against itself

So what is rheumatoid arthritis? Researchers speculate that the inflammation and damage to the joints may be a result of the body’s immune system attacking the joints as if they were foreign bodies. White blood cells, which normally attack bacteria or viruses, move from the bloodstream into the synovium, making it swell and become tender.

Excess synovial fluid weeping from inflamed synovium can provide a barrier to distribution of nutrients to cartilage. It’s believed this inflammation causes proteins to be released that gradually make the synovium tissue grow thicker.

These proteins also damage cartilage, bone, tendons, and ligaments. In time, if treatment is not instituted promptly, the joint loses its shape and the bones no longer line up correctly.

What is rheumatoid arthritis cause?

The causes of rheumatoid arthritis are unknown. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), in rheumatoid arthritis, a person’s immune system (the system in the body responsible for fighting disease) mistakenly attacks the joints. The reasons that this happens are complex and not fully understood.

According to a number of reliable sources, such as the Cedars Sinai Medical Center, researchers suspect the causes may be triggered by an infection in people who’ve inherited the tendency to develop RA. Other trigger factors being studied include prior exposure to immunizations and drug medications.

Some researchers think hormones may play a role. It is known that women are more likely than men to develop rheumatoid arthritis. Smoking is a risk factor for susceptibility and severity. RA can develop at any age but, according Reuters News July 15, 2008, onset occurs most often in adults 30-50.

What is rheumatoid arthritis remission possibility?

What is rheumatoid arthritis? If you’ve been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, it’s important to understand that the disease can go into remission at any time. It’s not necessarily a life sentence. While there’s no medical cure, early treatment in particular can be successful in managing its symptoms.

You may have long periods (even a lifetime) when your RA is quiet, or in remission. Then, suddenly, you have acute episodes of pain and inflammation, known as flares.

Flares may occur after infections, or after highly stressful situations. Often, however, what triggers a flare is not clear.

What is rheumatoid arthritis complementary alternative medicine?

Some types of complementary treatments for RA include natural dietary supplements, special diets, acupuncture, magnets, hydrotherapy, homeopathy and mind-body techniques. Of these, there is no scientific research to conclusively document the effectiveness of any of these methods.

However, the use of natural dietary supplements is the most common of these therapies, and has been the subject of considerable clinical trials some of which are promising. This is discussed in more detail on this site under RA Pain Relief.

One caution when considering natural dietary supplements: many are heavily advertised and make attractive claims, often based on personal stories (testimonials). However, it’s important to find out whether any scientific research has been done on the natural therapy you’re considering.

For more information on what is rheumatoid arthritis, please click on the following links:

For additional facts, RA Facts

For children’s arthritis, Juvenile RA

Only one dietary supplement company has a 20-year landmark study

When investing in dietary supplements, consider it first as an investment in your health. This way, you won't want to waste your money on poorly formulated or synthetic supplements containing artificial colors, sweeteners, binders, fillers, etc. that will not be readily absorbed into your bloodstream.

Instead, you'll want a high quality dietary supplement with ingredient purity, potency, and guaranteed efficacy that your body's cells will happily absorb.

To help me find a top-tier manufacturer, I devised a list of 30 questions concerning standards of excellence that led my husband and I to the company referenced in the Landmark Study below. It's the only one that we trust for nutritional and herbal supplementation.

There's only one natural nutrition company that can claim a 20-year clinical landmark study on its consumers that verifies from blood samples that its supplement users retained normal levels of blood pressure, HDL, cholesterol, triglycerides, C-reactive protein and homocysteine.

The 2006 study was conducted in collaboration with researchers from the U.C. Berkeley School of Public Health comparing one company's supplement users to people who took either no supplements or other brands of multivitamins from different companies. For details, go to:

What is rheumatoid arthritis featured supplement company

If you’re considering dietary supplements as alternative treatment for your RA autoimmune disease, please click on 30 questions, a link to help you find the leading company in the dietary supplement industry.

For three supplements designed to alleviate rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, please click on three pain products or click on bold links below to view the featured manufacturer's product/price pages:

  1. Pain Relief tablets -- a complex herbal blend of boswellia and safflower extract.

  2. Joint Relief capsules -- a complex blend of natural glucosamine hydocloride and cat's claw herb for joint health. Helps mitigate pain while building cartilage tissue.

  3. Pain Relief Cream -- a menthol analgesic cream featuring liposome delivery with penetration up to four inches and relief lasting up to four hours.

    What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis Disclaimer: Health statements on this What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis page have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

    Rheumatoid Arthritis Relief. Many of the natural or herbal supplements for osteoarthritis are also recommended for rheumatoid arthritis. Click here for RA natural treatment options

    Rheumatoid arthritis facts. 1.3 million Americans are affected by rheumatoid arthritis according to latest figures by the Arthritis Foundation. Click here for additional RA facts

    Living with rheumatoid arthritis. The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis tend to come and go. Periods of severe symptoms (flare-ups) will be followed by…. Click here for more on symptoms of living with RA

    What is juvenile rheumatoid arthritis? Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) and related forms of juvenile arthritis affects nearly 300,000 children in the U.S. ... Click here for details on juvenile RA

    Joint Pain Relief. Wouldn't it be great if you could have a drug-free future with no harmful side effects and have complete control over your joint pain? It's not a dream--all of this is possible.... Click here for more on natural joint pain relief

    Herbal Pain Relief. In the last twenty years in the United States, the public has become increasingly dissatisfied with the cost and side effect risks of prescription medications. This, combined with an interest in returning to natural or organic remedies, has ….<.a>. Click here for background on herbal medicine

    Osteoarthritis Relief. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. It affects joints of the knees, hips, fingers, lower spine and neck. Click here for more on osteoarthritis

    Knee Pain Relief. During their lifetimes, an estimated 45 per cent of Americans will develop knee osteoarthritis, the most common kind of arthritis. Increasing numbers of arthritis patients are seeking alternative natural products… Click here for more knee joint information.

    Neck Pain Relief. Usually, everyday activities are the cause of neck pain. Some can be altered or eliminated to relieve common symptoms such as neck pain and …. Click here for more information

    Hand Pain Relief. Wrist, finger, and thumb joint pain are all symptoms of arthritis of the hand. Increasing numbers of arthritis patients are seeking alternative natural ….. Click here to find out more

    Elbow Pain Relief. Early symptoms of elbow joint pain are often controlled with a combination of natural anti-inflammatory treatment and home self care. Click here for more

    Ankle Pain Relief. If the pain you’re feeling is getting worse, it may be timely to consider dietary supplements for ankle pain relief naturally. Untreated ankle pain… . Click here for more on ankle pain

    Hip Pain Relief. Hip arthritis studies show glucosamine hydrochloride dietary supplements provide pain relief similar to drug therapy without risk of side effects for those with moderate to severe ….. Click here for more information on hip pain

    Return from What is Rheumatoid Arthritis to Arthritis-Relief Naturally