According to the CDC, approximately 1.3 million Americans have rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an inflammatory autoimmune disease that primarily attacks the joints. RA can cause a great deal of pain and disability, and while there is no cure, there are treatments that can help ease symptoms. Rheumatoid arthritis is no picnic. Most people with RA rely on medication and lifestyle changes to help them find relief. But what if there were natural treatments that could provide additional relief? Here are a few possible hacks you can try.
Vitamin D and B Vitamins for Rheumatoid Arthritis
A 2013 study published in the journal Biofactors found that vitamin D supplementation may help reduce the risk of developing RA. Vitamin D is essential for immune system health, and since RA is an autoimmune disorder, it makes sense that this vitamin would play a role in its prevention and treatment. As for B vitamins, research has shown that they may help to reduce inflammation. A 2014 study published in the journal BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders found that taking a B-complex supplement daily significantly reduced participants’ levels of CRP (a marker of inflammation).
Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a role in hundreds of biochemical reactions in the body—including those involved in energy production and protein synthesis. It’s also known for its anti-inflammatory effects. A 2012 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that magnesium supplementation was associated with a reduction in markers of inflammation. If you’re deficient in magnesium, you are more susceptible to inflammation; boosting your levels with supplements or foods rich in this mineral (such as dark leafy greens, nuts, and seeds) may help reduce inflammation associated with RA.
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet with numerous health benefits—including weight loss, improved blood sugar control, and reduced inflammation. A 2017 study published in Frontiers in Neurology found that the ketogenic diet was associated with reduced disease activity and improved quality of life in people with RA. The ketogenic diet is worth considering to help manage your RA symptoms naturally. Talk to your doctor before making any significant dietary changes, though—especially if you’re taking medications for your RA or have other health conditions.
Embellin for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Embelin is a substance found in the fruit of the Embelia Ribes plant, which is native to India. The plant’s fruit, leaves, and roots have been used for centuries in traditional Indian medicine to treat various conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis. The exact mechanism of action is unknown, but it’s thought that embelin works by inhibiting an enzyme called cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), which plays a role in inflammation. Inhibition of COX-2 has anti-inflammatory effects and can help relieve pain and swelling associated with RA.
A study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research found that embelin was as effective as celecoxib (Celebrex), a common nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), at reducing inflammation and relieving joint pain associated with RA.
Embelin is generally well tolerated, but side effects can include stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhea, and rash. It’s also important to note that embelin can interact with certain medications, such as blood thinners and NSAIDs.
The mineral Zinc is essential for a healthy immune system. Zinc levels are often low in people with autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Your body doesn’t produce Zinc, so you must get it from your diet or supplements. Zinc is found in oysters, beef, poultry, beans, nuts, and whole grains. It’s also available in supplement form. This naturally occurring element has a wide range of benefits for the human body, and recent studies have shown that it can be effective in treating RA.
Zinc is an essential mineral that the body needs for various functions, including cell growth, immune system function, and wound healing- found in food sources like meat, poultry, oysters, and beans. You can also get Zinc from supplements, although it’s always best to get nutrients from food whenever possible.
The link between Zinc and rheumatoid arthritis is still being studied, but there is some evidence to suggest that this mineral can help relieve the symptoms of RA. One study found that zinc supplementation was associated with improved disease activity and quality of life in people with RA.
Another study looked at the effect of zinc sulfate on antibody levels in people with RA. The study found that zinc sulfate reduced the levels of several RA-related antibodies, including RF and anti-CCP antibodies.
A third study looked at the effect of zinc sulfate on metalloproteinase levels in people with RA. Metalloproteinases are enzymes involved in the breakdown of collagen and have been implicated in the development and progression of RA. The study found that zinc sulfate reduced metalloproteinase levels in people with RA.
Further research is needed to confirm the link between Zinc and RA, but these preliminary studies suggest that this mineral could be a helpful addition to your RA treatment regimen. Speak to a health professional before taking Zinc because it may not interact well with certain medications, and too much is not good.
PEMF (Pulse Electromagnetic Frequency)
PEMF (pulsed electromagnetic field) therapy is a non-invasive, drug-free treatment that uses magnetic fields to relieve pain and promote healing. Let’s take a closer look at how PEMF therapy works and why it just might be the answer to your arthritis problems.
PEMF therapy works by exposing your body to low-frequency magnetic fields. These magnetic fields cause electrical currents that stimulate cell regeneration and help reduce inflammation. PEMF therapy has been shown to be an effective treatment for various conditions, including arthritis, insomnia, anxiety, and depression.
If you’re wondering how something as simple as magnetic fields could relieve the pain of arthritis, you’re not alone. We asked Dr. Gary Martin, MD—a leading expert on PEMF therapy—to explain why this treatment is so effective for people with arthritis. Here’s what he had to say:
“PEMF therapy is an effective treatment for both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The magnetic fields help to reduce inflammation and pain by stimulating cell regeneration.”
“PEMF therapy is particularly effective for treating inflammation because it helps to increase blood circulation and oxygenation at the cellular level. This helps the cells to eliminate toxins more effectively and promotes healing.”
“Another reason PEMF therapy is effective for treating arthritis is that it helps to increase serotonin levels—which helps to improve mood and reduces pain perception.”
While more research is needed to confirm its efficacy, many people living with RA have found relief from their symptoms with PEMF therapy—and since it’s completely safe with no side effects, there’s nothing to lose by giving it a try!
RA is tough to deal with—but you don’t have to go through it alone! In addition to medication and lifestyle changes, the above natural treatments may provide additional relief from symptoms. Vitamin D, B vitamins, magnesium, the ketogenic diet, Embelin, Zinc, and PEMF are all worth considering if you’re looking for natural ways to hack your RA management plan. As always, speak to your Health Professional before trying any new treatments—natural or otherwise—to ensure they’re right for you.