Arthritis affects a large percentage of the population, so you most likely know someone who suffers from the condition. Or, perhaps you have arthritis. It’s a disease that makes your joints stiff, painful, and swollen. There are different types of arthritis: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
RA is rarer than osteoarthritis, which is the most common type. RA can be more severe and needs a holistic approach to treatment. Let’s take a deeper look at the functional medicine approach to treating RA.
What is rheumatoid arthritis?
RA differs from osteoarthritis because it is an autoimmune disease, which means the root cause is an underlying issue with the immune system that leads it to attack the body’s own tissues. Autoimmune disease can target any part of the body, including your brain, eyes, skin, and colon.
In RA, your immune system attacks the joints and the tissues and fluid surrounding them. It causes the bone, cartilage, and ligaments in the area to deteriorate, which leads to swelling, stiffness, and pain. RA most frequently targets the wrist and hands or the feet, ankles, and knees.
What are the symptoms of RA?
Because RA stems from an issue with the immune system, the symptoms of RA can be more centralized than other types of arthritis. You may also experience muscle aches, fatigue, low-grade fevers, and loss of appetite along with the more common symptoms of RA such as:
Members Only Content
To continue reading please subscribe to WellnessPlus by Dr. Jess MD
Be your own best doctor with our comprehensive suite of online health coaching tools.