Information on RA if anyone needs it

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by dobegood, Dec 18, 2002.

  1. dobegood

    dobegood New Member

    The medicational threatment today is medications that reduce the infection reaction in the joints and therefore the pain, and medication that "slows down" the immunity system's cells so the infection reaction in lesser degree are started in the joints.

    Arthritis is an illness were the immunity system attacks any part of the joints and the surrounding tissue of the joint.

    In earlier stages of Arthritis it can be difficult both for the doctor and pacient to understand what is happening. Swollen, tender and stiff joints combined with unusual tiredness can be present for months. Most often with RA, it is the smaller joints that are affected BUT larger joints can be affected too. Morning stiffness, morning tiredness, need for a lot of sleep, swollen joints, redness in jonts, pain with movement, aching are the most common symptoms with RA.

    What happens in the joint?
    When the immunity system attacks a joint and it's surroundings, you have a battle field with frequent attacks from your cells in your immunity system. Many cells from it follows, create a substance that respond with each other and destroys it's surroundings. The body then sends fluids to the joints to "repear" and the substance itself sends signals to the brain and gives it pain signals.

    This process means the joint becomes painful, swollen, functions less than normal, becomes loose and can eventually become totally STIFF. When that happens, there's nothing left to "attack" and many feel the pain goes away BUT then the reduction of the joint's function becomes a problem and can create pain again when the joint might be so destroyed it needs to be replaced.

    CORTISON - Slowing down the immunity system
    Cortisone is the strongest "break" on the immunity system as we know it. The cells in the immunity system are slowed down by Cortisone, the liberation of many substances in the body are slowed down, including histamine and allergic reactions.

    Cortisone is pain reducing and reduces feaver, too.
    It also have severe side effects when used over a long period of time. There is a debate going on about that but doctors in Norway do agree that when used in smaller doses than 10 mg, the side effects are not that severe as higher doses.
    (I've used 5 to 10 mg for 25 years and have had no Osteoporosis yet)

    The MOST important thing to remember when it comes to RA and "diet" is that it should be varied and contains the normal amount of vitamins, minerals and "fish" products. People who do not eat a lot of fish should take fish oil.
    Changes in your diet may reduce some of your problems with RA but it doesn't hae any effect on the illness itself. Be sceptic to all the commercial offers that usually can not perform what they promise it will.

    Eat meat, vegetables, fish, bread on a daily basis. Take vitamin c and b daily but be a little more careful with vitamin a and d. Take Ginseng or similar herbs if you feel tired and fatigued and feel free to take fish oil such as Omega 3. Fish oil has been tested and has shown a reduced release of cells in the immunity system.

    I have translated all of this from the Norwegian expert on RA/JRA, who also happens to be one of the doctors I have known since I was 10 years old. He is the number 1 expert here in Norway and sticks to facts only.

    Hope this has helped a little.

    [This Message was Edited on 12/19/2002]