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Do alternative therapies for RA treatment work?

Eileen Ginsburg
Nursing

Despite the large number of medically supervised therapies for RA many people want to try alternative therapies to try and modify their symptoms. These therapies range from the use of heat and cold to acupuncture, exercise and Tai Chi. Many supplements have been tried with mixed results depending on the individual and their symptoms. Several spices seem to have an anti-inflammatory effect. A few of these are cinnamon, turmeric and curry. I am sure there are more. Also others that may be helpful are fish oil, primrose oil or flaxseed oil. Remember that many of these supplements and oils can interact with your medications so make sure you let your healthcare provider know you want to start them. Some patients tell me that magnets are also helpful in alleviating symptoms. Because stress seems to magnify all symptoms, medication, deep breathing and relaxation techniques are also used. Weather changes, when the barometer falls, before large storms also can make symptoms worse. Of course there is no way to get away from the weather. Taking anti-inflammatory over the counter medications may help but you have to be careful that again there is no interaction with your medications and you have no stomach or abdominal problems that could be made much worse with the use of these drugs. Dietary changes for some individuals seem to help also. It is thought that some component with allergies may make symptoms worse. Patients have told me that going off dairy products and/or nightshade vegetables have helped them. This probably would be easy to try unless you really like ice cream and cheese.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.