Arthritis is the redness, swelling, pain and heat, due to inflation of any joint. It is interesting to know that one or more joints can be involved in more than 100 types of arthritis with different causes and treatment methods. A few of the most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, gout, ankylosing spondylitis, polymyalgia rheumatica etc.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disorder. In this disorder, soft tissues of the joints are affected due to immune-generated inflammation. The synovium, a soft tissue that produces fluid to lubricate the joint and nourish the cartilage is inflamed, eventually leading to the destruction of bone and cartilage of the joint. Family history of RA is a common occurrence.

From sudden onset to symptoms appearing slowly over a period of time, the onset of RA varies from case to case. The most common symptoms are joint pain, stiffness and swelling. Patients suffering from RA may have poor appetite accompanied by general tiredness due to systemic immune response.

Anaemia, with fever, may also be present along with deformities of joint in case of severe RA.

Arthritis and Gut health

The link between gut health and arthritis is well established. There are tie junctions in the intestinal lining. In the gut lumen, trillions of bacteria and food antigens are present. The healthy gut lining only allows the well-digested food nutrient particles to enter the body system.

Inside the body on the other side of the intestinal lining is present the body’s immune system cells waiting to recognise the nature of particles entering the body through the gut. The immune system is there to protect us in case anything bad comes in. And on one side inside the gut lumen, there are these trillions of bacteria are there to help in the digestion process so that nutrient particles are formed before entry into the gut.

In the leaky gut, the tie junctions are damaged. Through these leaky tie junctions’ bacteria and food particles that are not digested properly enter the body. The immune system does not recognise them and reacts to protect us.

This causes inflammation. The immune system reacts to food particles and you get food sensitivity. Because of the leaky gut, one develops this food sensitivity to even the most common foods one has been eating for years.

So here we must understand that more than food it is the leaky gut that is responsible for inflammation. We must eliminate foods to which we have become sensitive. We can identify these foods through food sensitivity tests.

In general foods responsible for causing inflammation through leaky gut are dairy, gluten, processed foods. Some nightshade groups of vegetables like tomato, potato, and eggplants also need to be avoided which favour inflammation.

Among the most common causes of leaky gut are stress, not having normal sleep, pesticides, pathogenic bacteria, antibiotics, antacids, eating fried processed foods, etc. To have the right kind of bacteria for a balanced microbiome one must eat enough fibrous whole foods. So, to heal your gut you have to repair the microbiome. Chronic ongoing stress directly affects the microbiome and thus tie junctions.

You damage your gut by not eating healthy so, fix your food, address your stress, practice relaxation, sleep normal, even while continuing your medications. In order to cure arthritis, you need to follow the Holistic functional medicine treatment approach.

A Holistic functional medicine treatment approach for arthritis includes nutrition therapy, supplementation, mental relaxation techniques to address stress and sleep issues and other alternative therapies like Homoeopathy to improve cell function, especially immune system function.

A functional approach recognizes that the immune system oversees both inflammation and anti-inflammation. Functional medicine exposes the root cause of the confused immune system and when we treat this, the body can realign the natural immune response and provide a sustainable relief from the problem of Rheumatoid Arthritis.