The Best Supplements for Rheumatoid Arthritis
As rheumatoid arthritis progresses, the muscles, tendons and ligaments that help to support and stabilize the joints grow weaker, leading to pain, stiffness, and a loss of function and disability.
RA affects the entire body and not just the joints. While a majority of people with RA are able to control their symptoms with medications, the use of certain supplements can also help in several different ways. Some supplements may alleviate the symptoms of the disease, some may help control the side effects brought on by RA medications, and some may build on general well-being.
There are supplements that can do more harm than good
In order to keep the general public better informed about the use and safety of supplements, the FDA has created a program called MedWatch. This program is used to report side effects brought on by any dietary supplements you may be taking for RA or anything other events that you may find to be relevant to the safe reporting portal. You can also get warning information about supplements.
Using RA supplements safely
While supplements can be a great resource in managing RA, they are only part of the whole picture. A treatment plan for RA should also include a healthy diet, exercise, physical therapy, other medications, and possibly injections and/or surgery. In addition, supplements are a form of medication and as all medications, they too can bring about side effects and drug interactions. While the aforementioned 10 supplements all exhibit proven benefits for RA, one type of supplement that may work well for you may not necessary work well for another individual. For this reason, it is important to consult with your doctor before starting a new supplement in order to make sure that it is appropriate for your well-being and that it will not interact negatively with any other medications that you may be taking.
A large study conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services has found that in the United States, supplements are responsible for over 23,000 visits to the emergency room on an annual basis. If your RA is causing pain on a frequent basis or interfering with your everyday life, taking a supplement may help to alleviate your symptoms; however, you should not take matters into your own hands. Talk with your doctor about which specific brands are tested by independent laboratories in order to verify their purity. Together, you can adjust or add supplement(s) to your RA treatment plan that will be effective and safe for you to use.
Read on for the top 10 RA supplements.