rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a particularly nasty form of arthritis. While the more common form of arthritis — osteoarthritis — typically results from use and overuse of joints which wear down protective cartilage, RA is known to result from autoimmunity. The immune system is misdirected to attack the lining of joints, causing swelling, severe pain, and if not treated joint destruction. Not only the joints are affected, however. RA involves an inflammatory process that can affect many body organs, including the skin, heart, lungs and bone marrow. For example, it's known that RA sufferers have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis.

Of course, just because autoimmunity is involved doesn't mean that external...

Turmeric via Shutterstock Turmeric via Shutterstock

Turmeric has been around a long time. It was first isolated in 1815 and its chemical structure was determined in 1973. This powder has been extensively used as a spice, food preservative and coloring in the East (India, China, Central and Southeast Asia). Turmeric is also reputed to be of value for its medicinal properties, with some believing that it's useful in treating such conditions as biliary disorders,...

Rheumatoid KneeAmong doctors caring for patients with rheumatoid arthritis, it is well known that the disease which when active makes life a living hell affects not only the joints, but the entire body. RA is a systemic inflammatory disease, and suppressing its activity is a difficult but necessary program, often involving numerous powerful drugs. In the U.S., there are about one and a half million RA patients; the disease is more common in women, and most often strikes in the prime of life, but there are variants that attack young children as well.

Active RA shortens life expectancy...

Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 2.05.11 PMSome people believe that the herbs and botanicals they use as supplements are not drugs, but rather, natural substances. Some believe that prescription drugs are merely synthetic chemicals.

Both groups are wrong.

In fact, a huge number of prescription drugs are derived from natural products, often plants. Some drug companies have a separate discovery area where the scientists do nothing except test crude extracts from multiple plants and other organisms and look for a biological effect. Then, the active ingredient is identified and...

The bad news is that any way you cut it, 161042133 (RA) is a disabling systemic disease that can flare unpredictably. It is an autoimmune disease, meaning that the body s immune system goes haywire and attacks various joints, (and sometimes other tissues), causing extremely painful inflammation and disfigurement. Understandably, victims of the disease are prone to psychological distress as well as sometimes-extensive physical disability.

There is some good news, however, according to a paper by Cécile L. Overman, a Ph.D...

Arthritis treatmentsIt has long been thought, among hopeful perhaps superstitious arthritis sufferers, that wearing copper bracelets might have some healing power to reduce painful joint swelling. However, the medical and scientific basis for this belief is entirely lacking. Now, a new small study purports to further discredit this myth. To a minor extent, it does.

A group of researchers...

Rheumatoid Knee

A new prospective, randomized trial has shown that two-drug therapy for active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is superior in efficacy to one.

The CAMEO trial, authored by Dr. Janet Pope of the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada, and colleagues, started with 205 RA patients who were on a disease-modifying drug, methotrexate (MTX). The subjects entering the trial...