Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune condition which causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints. It is linked to increased inflammation in the body. RA is caused by an underlying issue with the immune system that leads it to attack the body’s own tissues. Autoimmune disease can target virtually any part of the body, including the skin, the brain, the eyes, and the colon. But in the case of RA, the body’s immune attack is aimed at the joints and the fluid and tissues that surround them, causing the cartilage, bone, and ligaments in that area to deteriorate and cause stiffness, swelling, and pain. RA most frequently targets the wrist and hands or the feet, ankles, and knees.
This autoimmune condition commonly manifests as inflammation and pain in the joints. However, organs throughout the body can also be affected. Symptoms can fluctuate over time with symptom severity increasing during a flare-up.
Symptoms can include:
- Pain / stiffness in the joints
- Loss of energy
- Loss of joint function
- Mild fever
- Loss of appetite
- General weakness in the body
RA is an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune diseases develop when the body’s natural defence system mistakenly attacks healthy cells and bodily tissues. The immune system cannot distinguish between healthy tissue and potentially harmful antigens.
In the case of RA the immune system attacks the tissue and synovial fluid in the joints, creating inflammation.
Research has shown that RA sufferers are also deficient in the major antioxidant nutrients, Vitamins A, C, E plus the mineral selenium, but particularly Vitamin E. The majority of RA sufferers also appear to be low in stomach acid.
Heavy exercise may cause RA to progress faster but gentle exercise like swimming, Tai Chi, yoga, stretching and walking are more helpful.
At the London Clinic of Nutrition we use an evidence based approach in getting to the root causes of RA as highlighted above. Our advice is bespoke and tailored to each individual’s circumstances.
Some of the areas we pay particular attention to are gut health (healing the leaky gut), toxicity (such as heavy metals) and identifying any bacterial and viral infections present. It is also important to identify undiagnosed gluten sensitivity as gluten can often cause a flare-up of symptoms. All of these causes can be identified using accurate state of the art testing.
An autoimmune disease diet will normally consist of the avoidance of foods that trigger symptoms. Personalised nutrition is important and can be discussed in more detail at a consultation.
The eventual goal is to calm the inflammatory reaction in your body by implementing diet and lifestyle changes as well as finding and eliminating any biochemical stressors that are aggravating your condition. Changing your diet and lifestyle can have a significant effect on reducing the inflammation that is causing your pain.
Schedule an appointment in our London clinic, or via an online consultation
We offer a range of appointments in-person or online. Of course, with our virtual, online clinic, you’ll receive the same exceptional service from your expert Functional Medicine practitioner as you would seeing us at our London clinic.
” I am back living a full and complete life that I honestly did not imagine would be possible last year. “
” I don’t really get arthritic pain or swelling in my fingers anymore and have just started back on the treadmill at the gym. “
” Oliver Barnett helped me get over debilitating joint issues which were not being addressed properly by conventional medicine. He also looked into my breast cancer history and recommended tests and subsequent supplements to minimize a chance of recurrence. The effects were immediate and they have been long lasting. It’s over a year since I saw him and I can say I’ve never felt better.
Thank you Oliver. “