Management of rheumatoid arthritis may include dietary and lifestyle changes, prescription or over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs, disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, alternative medicines and therapies or all the above. Doctors look at a patient’s symptoms and other factors when diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis.

The Test

Tests such as X-rays and blood tests can be used when diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis. A blood test may reveal the presence of the rheumatoid factor antibody, but it’s not present in all folks with the disease, and it may also be found in those who have various diseases.

Therefore, diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis requires physicians to look at other elements. Treatment strategies for the management of rheumatoid arthritis may begin before all tests are finalized, especially those remedies that address pain and swelling.

Diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis involves looking at a patient’s symptoms. As an example, morning joint stiffness could be a sign of rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis; X-rays can help physicians determine which kind of arthritis exist.

Osteoarthritis is a wearing out of the cartilage and changes in the fluid between the joints. On an X-ray, it might look like the bones of the joints are touching or even closer than they normally are.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Is an inflammation of the fluid which normally lubricates and protects the joints, so on an X-ray the individual bones of the joint may seem further apart than usual. Except for the addition of disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, management of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis is typically similar.

After diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis, the development of this disease must be taken under account. If the management of rheumatoid arthritis isn’t successful in the first stages, joint deformities can occur, resulting in disabilities and sometimes requiring surgery.

In the early stages, the symptoms are very similar to osteoarthritis, except that osteoarthritis sometimes affects just 1 joint or just the joints on one side of their body, whereas rheumatoid arthritis typically starts with inflammation in the little joints (feet or hands ) on either side of the body. It’s this symmetry of inflammation and pain that’s one determining factor when diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis.

What to eat?

Even after diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis, physicians’ opinions vary on how best to achieve management of rheumatoid arthritis, prevent the illness from progressing and put the disease into remission.

Some physicians recommend a strict diet which excludes grains, nuts, milk, eggs and beef. These foods are common allergens and food allergies have been reported to play a negative role in inflammatory diseases.

Additionally it is considered that rheumatoid arthritis may result from a malfunction of the immune system and food allergies are thought to play a part in auto-immune diseases, also. In a number of studies, patients who followed this diet reported that an alleviation of symptoms for as long as five decades. A diet like this might be an effective part of a treatment strategy for the management of rheumatoid arthritis.

While some doctors turn only to prescription drugs after diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis, some believe herbals, botanicals, vitamins and vitamin supplements as part of their long term management of rheumatoid arthritis. Vitamin and mineral supplements sometimes recommended for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis include zinc, copper, selenium, omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.

Natural Treatment

Herbals and botanicals sometimes advised for the management of rheumatoid arthritis include ginger root, bromelain, feverfew, turmeric and mangosteen (an exotic fruit native to Southeast Asia).

Studies have shown that the previous one, the mangosteen, harbors anti-inflammatory properties and the rind of the mangosteen fruit has been shown to comprise Cox-2 inhibitors, which have strong pain relieving and anti-inflammatory consequences. Many individuals in the Western world are now turning to substances such as the mangosteen because they naturally contain Cox-2 inhibitors, and several folks report experience pain alleviation.

After diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis, physicians now realize that anti inflammatory medications can have detrimental effects on the digestive systems and might recommend additional testing after therapy starts.

The health supplements and botanicals like ginger root and mangosteen might actually protect the digestive tract from harm. Indeed, they are often recommended by herbalists and naturalists for treating heartburn and acid reflux.

Other recommendations

For long term management of rheumatoid arthritis, you may incorporate a routine exercise program, with frequent rest periods. Exercising in water is very easy on and beneficial to the joints. Changes around the home, like replacing little drawer handles with bigger ones, replacing round door knobs with the lever kind and putting commonly used items on lower shelves can make life a bit simpler.

After diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis, only your physician and you are able to make decisions about what treatment strategies to incorporate in the management of rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. Acupuncture, bee treatment and several other non-conventional treatments do exist.