Rheumatoid arthritis is a crippling, chronic condition affecting millions of Indians every year. This disorder affects the joints, mostly the knees and wrists, and causes pain, inflammation and swelling in that area. Sometimes, it also hampers the mobility of joints.
Though this condition is clearly untreatable, some medications and therapies help reduce the inflammation and slow down damage of the joints. Listed below are some of these treatments
Best Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Non-steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs
NSAID’s; also known as non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs are among the most commonly prescribed drugs that help control inflammation and swelling of joints and prevent their further degeneration. Commonly used OTC non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs include ibuprofen and naproxen.
Most physicians often resort to alternative treatments first since the use of these drugs over a long period of time can have serious side effects on your health like stomach problems, heart, liver and kidney damage and other health hazards.
Steroid medicines like prednisone are prescribed to slow down damage of joints and reduce inflammation. Common side effects of these steroid and corticosteroid medications include thinning of bone due to loss of bone mineral density, cataract, diabetes and weight gain.
Disease-modifying Anti Rheumatic Drugs
Common DMARD’s like leflunomide, hydroxychloroquine, methotrexate, sulfasalazine and minocycline.
Though these drugs are highly efficient in stopping the progression of degeneration of joint tissue, they do have some side effects on prolonged use including liver damage and lung infections.
In a disease like rheumatoid arthritis, when the immune system of the body goes completely haywire, immunosuppressant drugs do a good job of taming the immune system to reduce the severity of the symptoms. Some common immunosuppressant drugs are cyclophosphamide, cyclosporine and azathioprine.
Shirodhara is an Ayurvedic treatment which is now known to be highly efficient in treating rheumatoid arthritis in a completely natural and harmless way.
This therapy makes use of essential oils that are warmed and dripped in a steady stream over the patient’s forehead. This practice is thought to stimulate the healing energies within the patient’s body that fight degeneration and decay.
Tnf Alpha Inhibitors
When a patient suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, a substance known as tumor necrosis factor alpha is produced in the body which is responsible for the pain and stiffness of the joint. TNF alpha inhibitors block the necrosis factor from being released, thus combating pain and stiffness and also reducing inflammation and degeneration of joints.
Common examples of TNF alpha inhibitors include certolizumab, infliximab and etanercept, prolonged use of which could cause serious infections in different areas of the body, heart failure and even certain types of cancers.
Some other drugs like rituximab, tocilizumab, anakinra and abatacept are also efficient in reducing severity of symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and target the disease with variety of different processes. Overuse of these drugs may cause certain side effects like abdominal pain, headaches and dizziness, runny nose, sore throat, itching and even certain severe gastrointestinal diseases. It is important to consult a physician before consuming any of these medicines.
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