Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis, or “RA”, is an autoimmune disease that primarily affects joints and causes a decrease in the amount of synovial fluid (fluid capsule that surrounds and protects joints)and can ultimately lead to systemic inflammation. The slow, ongoing effects of uncontrolled inflammation make this disease difficult to diagnose in early stages.

“RA” is both autoimmune and inflammatory, and in the early stages before inflammation sets in, the body undergoes and autoimmune attack on the joints in which your immune system loses the ability to distinguish between body tissues (self) and foreign tissue (non-self). As the tissues within the joints continue to deteriorate, inflammation and pain ensues that may even lead to impaired used.

Symptoms Include:

  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Redness around joints

In Functional Medicine, it is believed that the development of chronic conditions, such as autoimmunity, begin in the gut. While you may have a genetic predisposition to something, which is like having a loaded gun, whether or not you pull the trigger of that genetic gun depends largely upon lifestyle factors (toxin exposure, stress, food choices) as well as the level of gut permeability (or “Leaky Gut”) you may have. Two of the three factors are manageable, so adopting a focus on nutritional and lifestyle therapy is helpful to managing Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Nutritional Therapy Discussions Include:

  • The importance of the gastrointestinal tract on the management of autoimmunity
  • Ways to optimize your bacterial ratios in the GI tract
  • Foods to help “heal and seal” the gut
  • The role of stress on the body
  • Therapeutic foods to incorporate
  • Foods to avoid for symptoms relief
  • Targeted nutritional supplementation

What are the Suggested Lab Tests?