What is Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid Arthritis is an auto-immune disease that causes inflammation of the joints. This inflammation is chronic in nature and does not subside on its own. It causes destruction of the joint tissue. Rheumatoid Arthritis causes pain, swelling, stiffness and deformities in the joints. It affects a large number of people and can make it difficult for them to lead a normal life. It tends to limit the range of movement of the joints and consequently can make it difficult to do the normal day to day chores. Rheumatoid Arthritis or RA tends to occur more commonly after 40 years of age. This does not mean that it cannot occur in younger patients but it is more commonly seen in patients who are above 40. Similarly, more women are affected than men though the reason for the same is also not known.
Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis or RA
The common symptoms that are seen in patients of Rheumatoid Arthritis or RA are because of the inflammation that it causes in the joints of the body. The joints become swollen and red. There is pain in the joints. Stiffness is felt in the joints which is more in the morning or after rest for some time. This means that the patient feels a lot of pain and stiffness in the joints in the morning. This stiffness tends to last for a couple of hours in the morning. It takes some time for the patient to get over this stiffness of joints in the morning. The stiffness and pain in the small joints can make writing or doing fine work quite difficult. These symptoms are more pronounced in the winters because of the low temperature. There may be fever in some patients which persists for a long time.
What causes Rheumatoid Arthritis or Causes of RA
Rheumatoid Arthritis or RA is caused when the immune system of the body starts giving an abnormal response. The immunity of the body is meant to defend the body from external harmful agents. Such agents may be infectious like bacteria or virus or any microbe. In some cases, the immune system of the body starts attacking one’s own body instead of defending it. The immunity of the body attacks the joints and the synovial membranes lining the joints. Over a period of time, the cartilage of the joint is destroyed. Even the bone is damaged. The ligaments and tendons become weak and are unable to bear the weight of the body or undertake normal daily activities. Although the exact reason is still unknown, the following factors have been noted-
- Women are more prone to have Rheumatoid Arthritis.
- Family history of having RA increases your chances of having RA
- Smoking also increases your chances of having RA
- Obesity can be another factor when it comes to the chances of having Rheumatoid Arthritis
Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis or RA
When it comes to treating Rheumatoid Arthritis or RA, as it usually called, the normal treatment given in Allopathy is to give steroids, anti inflammatory medicines and painkillers. This does not in any way cure the problem but is aimed at alleviating the suffering of the patient. Ironically, some of these medicines have their own side effects and end up causing some more problems than one originally had.
Homeopathy offers a much better treatment option for people suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis. That is because Homeopathy does not aim at providing short term relief for RA. On the contrary, Homeopathic medicines for RA are aimed at completely curing and eradicating the inflammation of the joints. Of course, this requires some time as the immune system has to get back into its original shape where it recognizes one’s own body as a friend and not as an enemy. In my experience, Homeopathic treatment is by far the best treatment for RA when one considers the long term effects of the treatment. It is purely a natural treatment for RA and no steroids or synthetic medicines are used.
Best Homeopathic medicines for Rheumatoid Arthritis
In the last 2 decades of my experience treating RA, I have used more than 2 dozens of medicines for curing Rheumatoid Arthritis. It is beyond the scope of this piece to detail all the medicines that have been used in treating RA with Homeopathy. For the sake of brevity, the most commonly used Homeopathic medicines for Rheumatoid Arthritis and their indications are being given. These are the commonly used Homeopathic medicines for treating Rheumatoid Arthritis but does not in any way mean that these are the only medicines that are used for treating RA with Homeopathy. Here are the 5 best Homeopathic remedies for Rheumatoid Arthritis.
1. Causticum-one of the best Homeopathic remedies for Rheumatoid Arthritis causing deformities
Causticum is one of the best Homeopathic remedies for Rheumatoid Arthritis where there are deformities in the joints. The patient tends to get weak over a period of time, with muscles losing their strength gradually but surely. The patient tends to be restless at night with the restlesness being centred more on the legs than any other part of the body. There may be contractions in the tendons causing severe pain and deformities. The pains are usually tearing and drawing in nature. In some cases, burning pains are also found. There is numbness and loss of sensation in the hands and other parts of the body. The muscles of the forearm and hands become weak and make it difficult to grip anything firmly. The ankles seem to be weak and cannot bear the weight of the body causing pain while walking. The gait may be unsteady and one even tends to fall while walking. The pains are better by warmth and more so from the warmth of bed.
2. Caulophyllum – Homeopathic medicine for Rheumatoid Arthritis affecting small joints
Caulophyllum, another very good Homeopathic medicine for Rheumatoid Arthritis, is primarily a woman’s remedy, which means that the symptoms pointing to its use are found more commonly in women. It affects the small joints much more as compared to the larger joints of the limbs. Therefore, it is more useful for the Rheumatoid Arthritis of the fingers of the hand and toes of the foot. The pains are erratic or flying in nature ie they change their position every now and then, in a matter of minutes. The patient feels pain in the right hand for some time and afterwards the pain gets better on its own but the pain starts to affect the left hand; then the pain in the left hand stops and shifts to a foot. The pain is severe and drawing in nature. The wrist joints ache and there is cutting pain on closing the hand.
3. Colchicum – Most common Homeopathic remedy for Rheumatoid arthritis
Colchicum has been the mainstay of the treatment, when it comes to Homeopathic remedies for Rheumatoid Arthritis and rightly so. It is more suited to the chronic rheumatic states. It tends to affect all tissues like periosteum, synovial membranes and muscular tissues too. The parts tend to be inflamed as is evident from the redness, heat and swelling of the concerned parts. The pains are tearing in character and get worse in the evening and at night. The patient cannot afford to get the joints touched, so much is the sensitivity. There may be a feeling of pins and needles in the hands and fingers. The tips of the fingers may be numb. There is stiffness in the joints and feel warm or feverish. The patient feels a sense of tingling in the finger nails. The problems tend to get aggravated in the warm weather.
4. Ledum Pal-Homeopathic remedy for Rheumatic Arthritis of feet
The defining characteristic of Ledum in the treatment of Rheumatic Arthritis is that the rheumatism begins in the feet and later on spreads upwards to other joints of the body. The other important distinguishing characteristic of this remedy is that the patient feels cold and chilly but still cannot tolerate warmth of his bed. The small joints of the foot are more commonly affected with shooting pains. The ankle may be swollen and so may be the great toe. The pains are worse at night and better from cold or putting the feet in cold water.
5. Bryonia- one of the best Homeopathic remedies for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Bryonia, another wonderful homeopathic remedy for rheumatoid arthritis, affects almost all joints and the serous membranes of the joints causing swelling and pain. The defining characteristic of this medicine happens to be the pains that it causes. The pains are stitching in nature and are aggravated by motin of any and every kind while the patient feels better when at rest. The joints are red and swollen with tearing and stitching pains. The patient feels worse in warmth and in warm weather and is better by lying on the painful side or by pressure and by cold.