Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease of joints and other tissues which affects approximately five million individuals in the United States and Canada. RA causes great suffering in the form of chronic pain and progressive loss of function. Drug treatments are disappointing and pain control is often inadequate. The disease is characterized by: persistent inflammation of joints with swelling and progressive deformity; stiffness, pain, reduced mobility, loss of joint function.
There are many patterns of arthritis. A group of related joint and connective
tissue disorders have been called rheumatic diseases. All these diseases are
immune-mediated, and all are expressions of inflammation in connective tissues.
Joint involvement is diagnosed as arthritis. There are several distinct
patterns. Inflammation of tissues around the joints is diagnosed as bursitis,
synovitis, and tendinitis. Inflammation damages joints and surrounding tissues
resulting in loss of function and deformities. Variations in the patterns of
these diseases reflect the many possibilities for immune damage to disturb and
distort structure and function of tissues. Severity ranges from mildly painful,
chronic activity to drastic, disabling and sometimes life-threatening disease.
Cause of the Disease - immune mediated attack on tissues. T - lymphocytes are thought to be the main disease-causing cells. Inflammatory disorders involve:
Rheumatoid arthritis, often severe and disabling, is the dominant rheumatic disease that can attack all joints in the body. Rheumatoid arthritis is also a systemic disorder and sometimes presents as an acute illness with pain, rashes, fever, fatigue, weight loss and anemia. In adults, there is a distinct female predominance. Joints tend to be involved symmetrically.
In children the onset of the illness is acute 20% of the time with fever joint pain with swelling, rash, generalized lymphadenopathy, splenomegaly, liver disease, and GIT disease A single joint, usually the knee, is involved in 30 % and in 50% multiple joints are involved. Flu-like symptoms may precede the onset of arthritis for months to years. The temperature peaks once or twice daily, often in the late afternoon or evening, to a level of 39oC or higher with a quick return to normal. Chills are common. These children can be apparently well between attacks of fever. The rheumatoid rash consists of 2mm-5mm red macules, commonly seen on the trunk and proximal extremities.
Rheumatoid arthritis is often considered an autoimmune disease. The whole concept of autoimmunity has flaws. It is clear that immune cells attack tissues of the host. It is not clear that this self-attack arises entirely with the body in the absence of external pathogens. Our idea is that no disease is internally generated and must involve outside contributions. despite years of research, no one has come up with a pathogen. Bacteria and viruses have been considered but no definitive evidence of infection has emerged. An important clue is that inflammatory arthritis is often associated with inflammatory bowel disease. The mechanisms of food allergy link abnormal digestive tract function with immune attacks on connective tissue.
In a review article, Darlington and Ramsey suggest that there are now enough good studies that show that diet therapy in some cases may improve symptoms and possibly halt the progression of arthritis. They review both supplementation and food elimination approaches. They suggested that diet therapy should begin with elimination of all foods that might be causing symptoms, followed by single food re-introductions to discover which foods reproduce symptoms. They list corn, wheat, cow's milk, pork, oranges, oats, rye, eggs, beef, coffee, malt, cheese, grapefruit, lemon, tomato, peanuts, and soya as the foods most likely to cause arthritis.
Carinini and Brostoff reviewed the concepts of and evidence for food-induced arthritis. They stated: "Despite an increasing interest in food allergy and the conviction of innumerable patients with joint disease that certain foods exacerbate their symptoms, relatively little scientific attention has been paid to this relationship. Abnormalities of the gastrointestinal tract are commonly found in rheumatic disease...Support for an intestinal origin of antigens comes from studies of patients whose joint symptoms have improved on the avoidance of certain foods antigens, and become worse on consuming them. These have included patients with both intermittent symptoms, palindromic rheumatism and more chronic disease."
It has been known for some time that fasting is very helpful in reducing the activity of rheumatoid arthritis. If you start with a fasting period, you can reduce the disease activity and you are motivated to follow the disciplined path of the Alpha Nutrition Program. The fasting period must be 10 days or longed. You use Alpha ENF mixed in fruit or vegetable juices
You are at Alpha Online, the host of the Inflammatory Arthritis Center. The topics are from the book, Managing Arthritis by Stephen Gislason MD. Alpha Education books refer to the Alpha Nutrition Program, a standard method of diet revision.
The Arthritis Nutritional Starter Pack includes
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