Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), an autoimmune disease that affects one out of every 100 people, is twice as common in women as men. Although the condition predominantly produces chronic inflammation of the joints, other organs in the body may also get involved. An antibody called the 'rheumatoid factor' can be found in 80% patients. X-rays and scans are usually used to assess joint damage.
Homeopathic treatment aims at offering symptomatic relief and correcting the altered immunity in order to control the progress of the disease and prevent complications such as deformities or disability. Autoimmune disorders are known to be triggered by emotional stress in many cases. Homeopathy can treat such conditions best, considering that it is a holistic system of medicine that heals the body as well as the mind. In a double-blind controlled study conducted in Britain in 1980, 82% of the group that received homeopathic treatment reported significant improvement in their symptoms of RA against just 21% of the control group that was given placebos. The subjects in this study received individually prescribed constitutional homeopathic remedies.
A 53 year-old-lady came to us with severe pain in her fingers and toes. We diagnosed her as a case of RA. Based on her detailed history, along with the fact that she was aggravated by rest and better by continued motion, she was prescribed the homeopathic medicine Rhus Tox 200C. Within a few months, her condition was 90% better, to her surprise, as she had tried various other forms of treatment but never improved to this extent.
RA patients are advised to exercise moderately but regularly to strengthen muscles and reduce the load on joints, thereby preventing stiffness and increasing the range of movements. Omega-3 fatty acids (found in walnuts and soybean kernels), whole-grain products, eggs, fortified breads, cereals, milk, and vitamin C-rich foods like berries and citrus fruits are recommended. Red meat, high carbohydrate foods and fatty items are best avoided. Thus, combining the goodness of homeopathy with the appropriate diet and regimen seems like the way to go for all RA patients.
Article by Dr Mukesh Batra
L.C.E.H., F.H.M.A. (U.K.), F.R.S.H. (Med) P.(Lon), M.D.H. (U.S.A.), F.B.I.H.(U.K.)
Published in Times of India on 21 September 2009