Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease that makes it progressively more difficult to move the joints. However, there are strategies and treatments to maintain a good quality of life.
The pharmacological treatment of rheumatoid arthritisThe anti-inflammatory and antalgic drugs, especially anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs, are a constant companion for people suffering from this disease and enable them to lead a better quality of life. But what are the effects of these medicines taken over the years, and do they act on the cause of the disease?
While effective, such treatments do not get to the source of the disease. From the biological medicineIn a broad sense, each person can find strategies to improve their quality of life. and receive treatments that act on the immune system.
The rheumatoid arthritis is a autoimmune disease of evolution. Inflammation in the joints and pain are the main symptoms, although not the only ones. Outside the joints, disorders of the digestive system, tiredness or high body temperature are other symptoms that the patient may suffer. What is behind these manifestations of rheumatoid arthritis?
This autoimmune disease has a genetic background in 60 percent of cases. Although the cause of the "activation" of this disease is unknown, whether or not it is genetic in origin, it is known that the environmental factors are important drivers of this pathology. Food intolerances, generalised viral or bacterial infections, intestinal candidiasis, tobacco use, obesity and periodontitis are some of the factors that have been directly linked to rheumatoid arthritis.
In an analysis for the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis we find different types of autoantibodies or rheumatoid factor, even years before the first symptoms appear. Lhe membrane that lines the joints can become inflamed when cells of the immune system attack it. As a result of the inflammation, the membrane will thicken without our noticing it. When the level of inflammation reaches the level where it affects the joints and the bone, the first symptoms will be detected.
One of the aims of biological medicine is to block these inflammatory mechanisms in the joints. And that is why biological medicine as a treatment approach is so successful. At Biosalud Day Hospital, in addition to treating the symptoms, we seek to repair the patient's immunity and restore their strength. Once the process is complete, we can act to restore the patient's immune system.evelop damaged tissues with different PRP techniques.
What causes rheumatoid arthritis?
The genetic causes are present in 60 per cent of the cases and always act the same as the environmental factors. In addition, it has been found that some viruses and bacteria could be the cause of rheumatoid arthritis.
Genetic factors are not preventable but external factors can be acted upon to prevent rheumatoid arthritis and many other diseases. The heavy metals in the body, a diet high in processed foods and refined flourstoxic chemicals or oxidative stress are factors to avoid in our daily lives.
On the other hand, people with rheumatoid arthritis have been found to have a rare bacteria in the gut microbiota. In an article published in Genome Medicine explain this finding, which could lead to early detection of the disease. Infectious arthritis has also been referred to as arthritis caused by the Lyme disease.
Nutrition as part of rheumatoid arthritis treatment
Diet and lifestyle are key to controlling pain and inflammation and restoring some quality to rheumatoid arthritis patients' daily lives.
What foods should we include in our diet?
Omega 3. Smoked salmon and oily fish in general, and extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) are some of the foods that are most commonly used in the production of fish and seafood. contain Omega-3 fatty acids. It has been shown that these foods contribute to the production of inflammation-fighting molecules and that patients who incorporate these substances into their diet, reduce the consumption of anti-inflammatory drugs, have less pain and a lower intensity of morning stiffness.
Fresh food, fruit and vegetables. Fibre from fruit, pulses or cereals helps to reduce inflammation because they affects levels of C-reactive protein in the blood, an indicator of inflammation. Strawberries, foods rich in vitamin C or green leafy vegetables. Traditionally, the consumption of solanaceae was discouraged, but nowadays it is not considered that the amount of toxic alkaloids is low or non-existent. However, in all cases it is advisable to cook vegetables.
Turmeric. Turmeric contains an active component, curcumin, which has strong anti-inflammatory properties and therefore helps to reduce pain. This spice can be taken mixed with food or in tablet form as a food supplement.
Physical exercise in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis
Far from increasing pain, a a healthier lifestyle with adequate exercise such as walking, swimming or cycling, is very beneficial. for people with rheumatoid arthritis. Joint mobility and muscle strength, aerobic capacity or maintenance of bone mass lead to increased quality of life and independence of patients.
The recommendations for exercise with rheumatoid arthritis are:
- You should start with a physiotherapist or specialist who will recommend the most appropriate exercises for you.
- The intensity and frequency of exercise should be progressive.
- Activity should be adapted to the evolution of the disease, but always in an active manner.
- Exercises should not impose a great impact on the joints.
- Active life, in general, keeps us on the move.
Medicinal products of biological origin
As mentioned at the beginning, the pharmacological treatment that treats the symptoms is based on analgesics, corticoids or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
As well as the treatment of the immune system that we develop at Biosalud Day Hospital, there are drugs that modify the course of the disease. These are biological treatments known as DMARDs, disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs. The aim of these drugs is to regulate the immune system.