By Dr Harsh Sharma, DHMS, BHMS
Understanding Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which there is chronic inflammation of the joints. An autoimmunne disease means that the immunity that is supposed to protect the body starts attacking the body itself. To understand this in another way, one can imagine that a country is being attacked by its own army, which was meant to save it or protect it from other invaders coming from outside. In this case, the protector has become the hunter. Rheumatoid Arthritis commonly affects the joints of the limbs, which can lead to inflammation of the joints. This can in turn destroy the ligaments and tendons that help to keep the joints in shape. Such joints get disfigured and lose their proper range of movement. The difference between Rheumatoid Arthritis and other forms of arthritis like Osteoarthritis is that there is inflammation of the joints involved in Rheumatoid Arthritis while it is the normal wear and tear that is the cause in Osteoarthritis.
Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
The most common symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis happen to be the pain and swelling in the joints. At times, the joints may be red, warm and tender to touch. More than one joint is usually involved and often the involvement of joints is bilateral, which means that both the sides of the body are equally involved. Joints of the hands and fingers are most commonly involved. The pain, stiffness and swelling of the fingers can make routine chores difficult to perform. One may find it difficult to grip things. It can often cause deformities of the hands where fingers are bent to one side. Generalised fatigue and fever are also commonly seen. Early morning stiffness of the joitns and the whole body is also common and may even last for hours. One finds it difficult to move and stretch early in the morning after waking. It is only after some time that the body limbers up and one is able to move around. The appetite is diminished. Weakness and lassitude are often a part of the symptoms. Rheumatoid Arthritis can also affect other organs and systems of the body like eyes, skin, lungs and the blood vessels. As far as the age of the patients is concerned, Rheumatoid Arthritis tends to occur more frequently after the age of 40, though it can affect all ages. There is no particular age group that is immune to this disease. Women are more likely to be affected than men though the reason for this is not properly understood. Often, there are prolonged periods of remission when the disease seems to get better for some time, only to return later on.
Homoeopathy can help cure Rheumatoid Arthritis
Homeopathic medicines have been found to be very helpful in the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Since Homeopathy essentially works on the principle of correcting and strengthening the body’s immunity, it is at a big advantage when it comes to the treatment of this trouble as it is primarily due to the malfunctioning of the immunity of the body. Therefore, Homeopathic medicines are able to get the whole process moving in the right direction by correcting the deranged immunity of the patient. Instead of keeping on taking anti-inflammatory medicines or painkillers, which are the mainstay of the allopathic treatment, one should take recourse to the homeopathic treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Homeopathic medicines that are commonly used for its treatment and have been found to be routinely useful are Colchicum, Ledum Pal, Kalmia, Causticum and Caulophyllum. At times, one may need the help of some other Homeopathic medicines also. Once the acute phase of the disease has been dealth with, the homeopathic treatment has to focus on preventing any further flare up. For this, one may require a constitutional Homeopathic remedy, which can effectively cure the patient once and for all.