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Sunday, October 23, 2005

Easing the Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Naturally

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease where the synovial membranes lining in certain joints and sometimes other parts of the body are attacked by the immune system. This causes the synovial membranes lining to become inflamed, thickened and become stiff, red, swell and painful due to the excess synovial fluid produced. The underlying bones of the joints that are affected by RA are affected by the inflammation as it spreads causing them to become distorted and worn. Some individuals who are affected with RA also have other symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, fever and weight loss. The exact cause of RA is unknown but it has been linked to an over-active immune system, an under-active immune system and Epstein-Barr virus which causes glandular fever. About 1% of the population, mostly women are affected by RA; the main parts of the body affected are the hands, feet, wrists, ankles, knees and neck. Most cases of RA occur between the ages of 40-50 years old.

Studies have shown that a very low fat free vegetarian style diet with plenty of olive oil and fish oil can improves RA. Further studies show that linking a vegetarian style diet with fasting improves RA, although the exact reason why this happens is unknown. Allergies and food sensitivies especially to milk and wheat have been linked to making the symptoms of RA worst. Avoiding these foods may be beneficial; also cutting down on coffee consumption will help with RA.

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