Rheumatoid Arthritis: The fast way to relief …
In the UK, rheumatoid arthritis affects over 400,000 people, and often starts when a person is aged between 40 and 50 years old, with women being three times more likely to be affected than men.
Unlike other arthritis conditions, rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the body’s immune system targets affected joints in the body leading to swelling, stiffness and pain. This long-term condition usually affects the hands, feet and wrists, and sufferers may also experience other general symptoms such as tiredness and weight loss.
What causes rheumatoid arthritis?
The cause of rheumatoid arthritis is largely believed to be a deficiency in the autoimmune system. This leads to the immune system – which usually fights infection – attacking the cells which cover the joint, making them stiff, swollen and painful. Over time this causes damage to the joint itself, surrounding bone and the cartilage.
And while the trigger for this problem is not clear, certain people are at increased risk of developing this condition:
- Those with a family history of rheumatoid arthritis
What are the symptoms?
Rheumatoid arthritis mainly affects the joints and their range of mobility. It can affect any joint in the body, but it tends to the hands and feet primarily. It typically affects joints symmetrically – so both feet or both hands.
Main symptoms include:
- pain in the joint – usually a throbbing or aching feeling;
- stiffness – for example being unable to bend fingers or form a fist;
- swelling – joints can become inflamed causing them to swell or become tender to touch.
- tiredness and lack of energy;
- poor appetite;
- weight loss;
- high temperature;
- dry eyes;
- chest pain.
What treatments are available?
There is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis but there are many treatments that can bring relief, help manage the pain and reduce the risk of flare ups – where the pain, swelling and stiffness is increased causing maximum discomfort.
As well as medication, many people with rheumatoid arthritis try complementary therapies such as:
- Physiotherapy – can help to keep the body moving giving confidence to continue with exercise and other activities that may become difficult for those with the condition;
- Hydrotherapy – can help to ease pain and improve mobility in the joints;
- Acupuncture – this holistic therapy may help relieve symptoms
- Osteopathy – some sufferers have found this to relieve symptoms;
- Fasting – has been found to help some sufferers;
- Occupational therapy – can help you to find ways to continue work, household tasks and hobbies without straining the joints further.
Tell me more about fasting
Fasting causes the body to release hardened calcium deposits into the joints, arteries, brain and heart cells to burn them as fuel.
With this in mind, fasting can greatly help to relieve arthritis inflammation and pain, as well as assisting with many other chronic conditions. It takes practice and research to find out which fasting schedule works best and initially it can bring intense headaches, as the stored toxins are released into the circulatory system. However, these will be rapidly flushed out and you will hopefully feel better than ever before, as will your arthritic joints!
It is worth noting that fasting schedules will differ for every individual, and great care and lots of research should be done to determine the length of a fast period that is right for you, and whether you wish to undertake a water-only fast or switch to a juice fast – where you drink a variety of nutrient-rich juices made from raw vegetables.
The length of the fast can vary from 24 or 48 hours, a week or even up to 30 days for some. It’s dependent on other conditions you may have. For example, someone with an impaired kidney function should not perform a juice fast and likewise a patient with diabetes should never undertake a 30 day fast.
For those that choose to fast using the juice method it can help to:
- Ensure energy levels remain high thanks to the sufficient nutrients in the juices;
- Reduce the burden on the digestive system freeing up more energy;
- Act as a nutritional supplement as it’s packed full of vitamins and minerals.
And don’t forget to listen to your body when it comes to determining when to break a fast … signs to look out for include the return of our natural hunger which is no longer satisfied by the juice or water, or the coating on your tongue clears.
What are the alternatives to fasting?
For those who don’t think that going without food is for them, there are other options including hydrotherapy and physiotherapy.
Or why not try a course of osteopathic or acupuncture treatment? Periodic osteopathy treatments or courses of acupuncture, can aid the relief of symptoms experienced by those with rheumatoid arthritis.