BENGALURU : Any patient suffering from rheumatoid arthritis will tell you that the condition can be quite a challenge. Intense pain, fatigue, disability and other debilitating symptoms are common with this autoimmune disease. Conventional medical treatment for rheumatoid arthritis involves Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) and Disease-Modifying Anti rheumatic Drugs (DMARDs). Both these class of drugs can have serious side effects when taken over a long term including potential harm to the liver and kidneys. Often, people suffering from this condition supplement primary medical care with complementary and alternative therapies. Naturopathy is one of the most effective systems of alternative medicine to deal with symptoms of arthritis.
Naturopaths favour a more patient-centric and holistic approach, taking into account physical, environmental, psychological and social factors before prescribing a course of treatment. They integrate diet and yoga therapy with a whole host of treatment such as hydrotherapy, therapeutic massage, mustard packs, immersion bath with Epsom salt, mud packs, enemas, acupuncture, biofeedback, and counselling to treat patients. Naturopaths are accredited physicians, and follow rigorous scientific principles while treating patients.
According to naturopathy, rheumatoid arthritis is the result of a combination of factors. These include, but are not limited to, food allergies, inflammatory properties, gut permeability, and others. The treatment encompasses various techniques designed to address all these factors.
Guidance on natural
medication: One of the most commonly held beliefs is that herbal medication is safe because they are natural. However, they can interact with other substances, both allopathic and natural. Naturopathic physicians make recommendations after reviewing your medical history. Acupuncture: It involves inserting sterilised fine needles through the skin at specific points to various depths for pain relief. Studies have demonstrated that it is effective at bringing down inflammation, and lowering pain. Most naturopaths are trained in acupuncture and use it to treat conditions that cause pain, including rheumatoid arthritis.
Diet: A naturopathy treatment may involve a process of food elimination to identify if and which food components are triggering your disease. You will be required to go on a very limited diet until your symptoms improve.
Reducing the side effects of treatment: All medication has potential side effects and the drugs prescribed for rheumatoid arthritis are no exception. The digestive system is one of the main target areas when dealing with rheumatoid arthritis. They focus on normalising bacterial flora. Probiotics, when taken according to prescription, are very effective in maintaining the bacterial balance in the gut. They also prescribe natural nutritional supplements like curcumin to bring down the inflammation in the body.
Improving your overall health: Since rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic condition, it affects more than just your joints. It may have an adverse effect on other organs, including your heart. By focusing on being as healthy as you can, you can battle the challenges posed by rheumatoid arthritis. A naturopath can assist you in choosing the right natural remedies, vitamins, diet and yogic exercise plan to improve the quality of your health.
Manage fatigue: One of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis includes intense fatigue, which is sometimes exacerbated by the medication. Naturopathy has a lot of pain management regimens to help combat fatigue, including but not limited to botanical and herbal supplements, chiropractic care, acupressure, hydrotherapy and a lot more. The author is the deputy chief medical officer of Jindal