What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the major types of arthritis that causes pain, stiffness, swelling, and loss of function in joints. It may affect any of your joints however it is common in the joints of wrist and fingers. Women are more likely to develop the condition of rheumatoid arthritis as compared to men. It can occur in the middle aged people but it is common in old age people.

Its symptoms may come and go and you may suffer from it only for short time. However the severe form of this arthritis may last for a lifetime. It may also affect the body parts along with joints as eyes, lungs and mouth.

It is an autoimmune disease therefore it develops when the immune system starts attacking your own body’s tissues.This occurs when the body starts recognizing the joint lining as an enemy and attacks the joints, tissues or organs. It results in inflammation of synovial membrane that sometimes affects the other parts of the joint also and decrease the space between joints therefore makes the movement difficult. It also deteriorates the cartilage which results in rigid joint and difficult movement.

What Are the Causes and Risk Factors of Rheumatoid Arthritis?

The major risks factors and causes behind the development of rheumatoid arthritis are:

  • Gender: Women are more likely to develop this medical condition than men.
  • Age: Rheumatoid arthritis can affect a person of any age however the maximum patients are between the age of 40 and 60 years.
  • Family history: People who have family history of rheumatoid arthritis are at more risk of this disease.
  • Smoking: Cigarette smoking can increase the risk of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Environmental exposures: Exposure to asbestos, silica or to other similar agents increases the risk for rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Obesity: Obese people carry more risk of rheumatoid arthritis, especially in the case of women who are around the age of 55 or younger.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Following are the main signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis:

  • Tenderness of joints
  • Swelling of joints
  • Stiffness of joints in the morning or after a long period of inactivity
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
How to Diagnose Rheumatoid Arthritis?

For diagnose of Rheumatoid arthritis your physician may follow the following way:

  • Physical examination: It is not easy to detect rheumatoid arthritis at early stages as its early signs and symptoms are similar to some other medical conditions. Therefore doctor will check the warmth, swelling, muscle strength, and redness of your joints. He/she will advise you blood and imaging tests.
  • Blood tests: The blood tests will include erythrocyte sedimentation rate or C-reactive protein that will reveal the inflammatory process in your body.
  • Imaging tests: The imaging tests will be conducted by taking the aid of X-rays that will help to find the development of rheumatoid arthritis with time in your joints. MRI and ultrasound tests are also used in severe cases.
What Are Various Treatments of Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis cannot be cured. However its symptoms can be controlled if treatment begins at early stage. Your doctor may recommend you the following to treat the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis:

Medications for Rheumatoid Arthritis

The medicines and their doses depend upon the severity of symptoms and period from which you have been suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.

  • NSAIDs: Your doctor will recommend you to use NSAIDs to get relieved from pain and decrease the inflammation. He/she may recommend you to use stronger NSAIDs depending upon your condition.
  • Corticosteroids: Some of the steroids as Corticosteroid medications are also used to decrease the inflammation and pain.
  • DMARDs: The Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs as Methotrexate, Leflunomide and Sulfasalazine are the strong medicines that can decelerate the development of rheumatoid arthritis. Therefore this medicine can help you to save the joints and tissues from permanent damage.
  • Biologic agents: It is a new class of DMARDs. It includes medicines as Abatacept, Adalimumab, Anakinra, Certolizumab, or Tofacitinib. They target those parts of the immune system that stimulate the inflammation that causes joint damage.

Therapy for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Your physician may recommend you physical or occupational therapies that can help you to maintain your joints flexible. Assistive devices as kitchen knife with a saw handle, and buttonhooks are also available that makes your life easy.

Surgery for Rheumatoid Arthritis

If you are not affected even after the treatment with medicines then your doctor may advise you surgery to repair damaged joints. Rheumatoid arthritis can be treated with following procedures:

  • Synovectomy: In this surgery the inflamed synovium is removed. It can be done on knees, fingers, elbows, wrists, and hips.
  • Total joint replacement: In this surgery the surgeon removes the damaged parts of joint and replaces it with prosthesis made up of metal and plastic.
  • Tendon repair and Joint infusion: They are the two other procedure used to treat the rheumatoid arthritis.

Alternative Medicines and Therapies for Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Ayurvedic treatment for rheumatoid arthritis: Vasthi is the most important treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis.
  • Kairali massage for rheumatoid arthritis: Ayurvedic treatment of rheumatoid arthritis is preceded with other therapies like, Podikkizhi (Herbal powder massage), Dhanymla dhara (Pouring of a warm fermented liquid), or Oil massage with steam bath.
  • Unani treatment of rheumatoid arthritis: Unani treatment in Rheumatoid Arthritis uses Concoction and Purgation (Munzij/Mushil therapy) which is thought to provide relief in this condition.
  • Acupressure in rheumatoid arthritis: Acupressure may sound soothing for the pain treatment however its potential effect has not been seen in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Homoeopathic treatment in rheumatoid arthritis: Homoeopathic medicines as Bryonia Alba or Actea Spicata are generally recommended for the rheumatoid arthritis.

Alternative treatments and therapies for rheumatoid arthritis do not have much significant role as they can only provide you temporary relief that too at a very slow pace.

Dietary Supplement for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Dietary supplements include herbs, vitamins, minerals, and many other products that have a vital role in the maintenance of health. They are accessible as pills, drinks, capsules, powders and energy bars. The best dietary supplement for the treatment and management of rheumatoid arthritis is GLME.

  • GLME (Green Lipped Mussel Extract): GLME (Green lipped mussel extract) is the best dietary supplement for rheumatoid arthritis. It is extracted from the green lipped mussel which is a shell fish grown in the farms of New Zealand. It is highly beneficial for the people fighting with rheumatoid arthritis as it has great nutritional value.
What Is the Role of Glme (Green Lipped Mussel Extract) in the Treatment and Management of Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Following are the unique benefits of GLME (Green lipped mussel extract)in the treatment and management of rheumatoid arthritis:

  • It prevents the deterioration of cartilage and improves the joint lubrication. It repairs the damaged cartilages and enhances the joint mobility.
  • It shields the stomach lining from the harsh effects of medicines used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis by serving as Gastro-protective.
  • It assists other medicines to show their maximum efficacy.
  • It controls the inflammation process through several mechanisms and reduces swelling, pain, and inflammation.
Why Seatone?

Seatone is the best brand of GLME (green lipped mussel extract) which is available as capsules. Seatone is the safest treatment for rheumatoid arthritis as:

  • It is extracted only from the premium, fresh mussels at their peak condition. Full control is kept to ensure that the harvesting is done at the best times of year.
  • Several tests are conducted to check the toxicity of Seatone. Toxicity is not detected even at higher doses.
How Seatone Is Better than Any Other Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Seatone is better than all the other treatments for rheumatoid arthritis because:

  • Seatone is obtained from natural source therefore it does not show any side effects. It is obtained in a very pure and safe form. However the medicines used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis show numerous side effects. The NSAIDs and analgesics effect different organs and show undesirable effects.
  • Medicines used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis damage the delicate lining of stomach while Seatone guards your stomach lining from the harsh reactions of these medicines.
  • Blood clot or infection can be caused by the surgeries performed for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Medicines for rheumatoid arthritis may provide you fast relief but it is generally temporary. However the Seatone provides gradual but progressive relief which is generally long lasting.
  • Medicines as NSAIDs only reduce the pain and swelling buts seatone offers gradual enhancement in grip strength and mobility along with the reduction in pain and swelling.
  • Seatone is safe at higher doses also but the medicines as analgesics or NSAIDs can cause adverse effects at higher doses.
How to Manage Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Your doctor may recommend you the following to cope up with the condition of rheumatoid arthritis:

  • Exercise: Patients of rheumatoid arthritis can choose exercise as walking, swimming or gentle aerobics to reduce pain.
  • Heat or cold therapies: Use heat or cold to relieve painful muscles. Cold can dull the painful sensations and will numb the joints and relax the muscles.
  • Relax: If you feel fatigue or muscle weakness then take rest or short nap. Stay connected with your family, they may be worried about you. Try to share your thoughts with your close ones. This will help you to feel better. Give time to yourself. Enjoy writing articles, journals or walking or anything that makes you feel better. Find the ways to reduce stress in your life.
How Rheumatoid Arthritis Can Be Prevented?

Rheumatoid arthritis cannot be prevented however the progression of disease can be slowed or stopped by early and aggressive treatment. Well quitting smoking, reducing extra body weight and reducing the exposure to environmental pollutants can decrease the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.

What Is the Prognosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis?

The prognosis for rheumatoid arthritis at initial stage depends upon the stage of the disease when it was first diagnosed. Also the age of the patient at the onset of disease and at first diagnose effects the prognosis of rheumatoid arthritis. It is observed by the medical experts that about 10 to 20% patients of rheumatoid arthritis have sudden onset of the disease which is followed by many years that do not show symptoms. In some rheumatoid arthritis patients symptoms may come and go. Time for which there are few or no symptoms can occur between flares and last for months. Generally the majority of rheumatoid arthritis patients suffer from the chronic and progressive type of rheumatoid arthritis which needs long-term medical management.

Comparison Table
Type of Treatment Effect on Rheumatoid Arthritis Advantage Side Effects Clinical Studies
Medicines They reduce pain and inflammation. They also prevent the permanent damage of tissues and joints. They provide quick relief from the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. They cause many unfavorable effects as gastrointestinal bleeding, and even they can damage organs also.

Josef S Smolen, Sabine Collaud Basset, Maarten Boers. Clinical trials of new drugs for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis: focus on early disease. BMJ Journals. 2016 - Volume 75 – 7

J. Michelle Kahlenberg and David A. Fox. Advances in the Medical Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Hand Clin. 2011 Feb; 27(1): 11–20. doi:10.1016/j.hcl.2010.09.002

Csuka ME1, McCarty DJ. Aspirin and the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Rheum Dis Clin North Am. 1989 Aug;15(3):439-54.

DrLarsKlareskog, Désiréevan der Heijde, Julien Pde Jager. Therapeutic effect of the combination of Etanercept and Methotrexate compared with each treatment alone in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: double-blind randomized controlled trial. The Lancet Volume 363, Issue 9410, 28 February 2004, Pages 675-681. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(04)15640-7

Evripidis Kaltsonoudis; Charalampos Papagoras; Alexandros A Drosos Current and Future Role of Methotrexate in the Therapeutic Armamentarium for Rheumatoid Arthritis. Int J Clin Rheumatol. 2012;7(2):179-189.

Eduardo Collantes, Sean P Curtis, Ka Wing Lee, Noemi Casas, A multinational randomized, controlled, clinical trial of etoricoxib in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. BMC Family Practice20023:10 https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2296-3-10

DL Scott. Biologics-Based Therapy for the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Advance online publication 2011; Volume 91. doi:10.1038/clpt.2011.278

Therapies They make life easy by maintaining the flexibility of joints. They can help to enhance the mobility and motion. If they are not done in an appropriate manner then they can worsen the condition.

Vural Kavuncu and Deniz Evcik. Physiotherapy in Rheumatoid Arthritis. MedGenMed. 2004; 6(2): 3.

Mir I. Buljina, Mihra S. Taljanovic, Dijana M. Avdic, Tim B. Hunter. Physical and exercise therapy for treatment of the rheumatoid hand. DOI:10.1002/1529-0131(200108)45:4<392::AID-ART353>3.0.CO;2-2

Surgeries It is opted after the failure of medicines in providing relief from the condition. They remove the damaged parts permanently. They can lead to blot clot or infections.

Matricali GA, Boonen A, Verduyckt J, Taelman V, Verschueren P, Sileghem A, Corluy L, Westhovens R. The presence of forefoot problems and the role of surgery in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Ann Rheum Dis. 2006 Sep;65(9):1254-5. DOI: 10.1136/ard.2005.050823

L. Ghattas F. Mascella G. Pomponio. Hand surgery in rheumatoid arthritis: state of the art and suggestions for research. Rheumatology, Volume 44, Issue 7, 1 July 2005, Pages 834–845, https://doi.org/10.1093/rheumatology/keh608

Beat R Simmen, Earl R Bogoch & Jörg Goldhahn. Surgery Insight: orthopedic treatment options in rheumatoid arthritis. Nature Reviews Rheumatology 4, 266–273 (2008) doi:10.1038/ncprheum0767

E. Nikiphorou, S. Konan, A. J. MacGregor, F. S. Haddad, A. Young. The surgical treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Bone Joint J 2014;96-B:1287–9 DOI: 10.1302/0301-620X.96B10.34506

Chung KC1, Kotsis SV, Kim HM, Burke FD, Wilgis EF. Reasons why rheumatoid arthritis patients seek surgical treatment for hand deformities. J Hand Surg Am. 2006 Feb;31(2):289-94

Kevin C. Chung, MD, MS1 and Sandra V. Kotsis, Outcomes of Hand Surgery in the Patient with Rheumatoid Arthritis Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2010 May; 22(3): 336–341. doi: 10.1097/BOR.0b013e3283369c9d

John L. Gillick, John Wainwright, and Kaushik Das. Rheumatoid Arthritis and the Cervical Spine: A Review on the Role of Surgery International Journal of Rheumatology Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 252456, 12 pages http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/252456

Alternative Treatments They help you to overcome symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. They do not cause many side effects, however their prolonged use can cause unfavorable effects. They show unreliable and slow effects.

K. L. Soeken S. A. Miller E. Ernst. Herbal medicines for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis: a systematic review. Rheumatology, Volume 42, Issue 5, 1 May 2003, Pages 652–659, https://doi.org/10.1093/rheumatology/keg183

Lai-Shan Tam, Ping-Chung Leung, Tena K Li, Lang Zhang, and Edmund K Li. Acupuncture in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis: a double-blind controlled pilot study. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2007; 7: 35. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-7-35

Kim YJ (2017) Clinical Observation on Warm Acupuncture Therapy for Rheumatoid Arthritis. J Tradit Med Clin Natur 6: 225

Qi-hui Li, Wen-xia Xie, Xiao-pei Li, Adenosine A2A Receptors Mediate Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Electroacupuncture on Synovitis in Mice with Collagen-Induced Arthritis. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 809560, 11 pages http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/809560

Kumar P. R. Krishna. The efficacy of Ayurvedic treatment for rheumatoid arthritis: Cross-sectional experiential profile of a longitudinal study. Int J Ayurveda Res. 2011 Jan-Mar; 2(1): 8–13.

Arvind Chopra, Manjit Saluja, and Girish Tillu. Ayurveda–modern medicine interface: A critical appraisal of studies of Ayurvedic medicines to treat osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. J Ayurveda Integr Med. 2010 Jul-Sep; 1(3): 190–198. doi: 10.4103/0975-9476.72620

Daniel E. Furst, Manorama M. Venkatraman, Double-Blind, Randomized, Controlled, Pilot Study Comparing Classic Ayurvedic Medicine, Methotrexate, and Their Combination in Rheumatoid Arthritis. Journal of Clinical Rheumatology & Volume 17, Number 4, June 2011

Shailesh V. Deshpande, Shraddha S.Potdara Effect of panchakarma and Ayurvedic treatment in postpartum rheumatoid arthritis (amavata): A case study Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine Volume 8, Issue 1, January–March 2017, Pages 42-44

Sarah Brien Laurie Lachance Phil Prescott Clare McDermott George Lewith. Homeopathy has clinical benefits in rheumatoid arthritis patients that are attributable to the consultation process but not the homeopathic remedy: a randomized controlled clinical trial. Rheumatology, Volume 50, Issue 6, 1 June 2011, Pages 1070–1082, https://doi.org/10.1093/rheumatology/keq234

RG Gibson,SL Gibson, AD MacNeill,WW Buchanan. Homoeopathic therapy in rheumatoid arthritis: evaluation by double- blind clinical therapeutic trial. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2125.1980.tb05840.x

Dietary Supplements It (GLME) prevents the cartilage deterioration and repairs the damaged cartilages. It enhance the mobility of joints and reduces the inflammation. It aids other medicines to show their effects to treat the rheumatoid arthritis. It (GLME) does not show any side effect even after prolonged use. Its effects are always progressive. Do not have any side effect.

Kendall R, Lawson J and Hurley LA. New research and a clinical report on the use of Perna canaliculus in the management of arthritis. Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, 2000; 204:98-111

Gibson RG, Gibson SLM, Conway V, et al. Perna canaliculus in the treatment of arthritis. Practitioner, 1980; 224:955-60

Rainsford KD and Whitehouse MW. Gastroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties of Green-Lipped Mussel (Perna canaliculus) preparation. Drug Res, 1980; 12:30 (11)

Miller TE, Dodd J, Ormerod DJ and Geddes R. Anti-inflammatory activity of Glycogen Extracted from Perna canaliculus (NZ Green-Lipped Mussel). Agents and Actions, 1993; 38: Special Conference Issue

Personal communication with researchers at the Wellington Clinical School, University of Otago School of Medicine, NZ. Results of Cox-2 Specificity Study, 2002

Kosuge T,Tsuji K, Ishida H, Yamaguchi T. Isolation of an anti-histaminic substance from green-Lipped mussel (Perna canaliculus). Chem Pharm Bull, 1986; 34 (11) : 4825-8

Billard H. Extract of Perna canaliculus (New Zealand green-lipped mussel) in Rheumatology. La Gazette Madicale 1985; 92 (7): 1-5

Miller TE and Wu H. In vivo evidence for prostaglandin inhibitory activity in New Zealand Green-Lipped Mussel Extract. NZ Med J, 1984; 97:355-7

Reginster JY, Deroisy R, Rovati LC, et al. Long-term effects of glucosamine sulphate on osteoarthritis progression: a randomised, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Lancet 2001; 357: 251-6

Bertolini A, Ottani A, Sandrini M. Dual acting anti-inflammatory drugs: a reappraisal. Pharmacol Res 2001; 44 (6): 437-50

Miller TE, Ormrod DJ and Findon G. Evaluation of the effect of Seatone administration on cell-mediated immune mechanisms determined using ′in vitro′ and ′in vivo′ analysis of T Lymphocyte function. Private study in the Department of Medicine, University of Auckland. 1984

Miller, T. E., Ormrod, D., An evaluation of the Toxicity of an Extract of Perna canaliculus

Cheras PA, Stevenson L, Myers SP. In-vitro Biological Activities of Biolane Extract (Seatone): A comparative study. ACCMER, Sep 2005

Lambert M, Semark A, Grobler L. The ergogenic properties of Seatone. Research Report by MRC/UCT Bioenergetics of Exercise Research Unit, UCT Medical School, Sport Science Institute of South Africa, 31st August 1998

Lambert M, Semark A, Grobler L. The ergogenic properties of Seatone. Research Report by MRC/UCT Bioenergetics of Exercise Research Unit, UCT Medical School, Sport Science Institute of South Africa, 31st August 1998

Disclaimer : All information on this website is only for general educational purpose and it cannot substitute the consultation with a doctor. It is highly suggested that you seek advice from doctor to determine your requirements. Women who are in their gestation or lactation period and children should not take any supplement without the consultation of their doctor.

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