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Rheumatoid arthritis or (RA) is regarded as one of the serious, painful, and disabling of all the forms of arthritis. It usually begins between the ages of 20 and 40. The women are 3 times more likely to get affected by RA than men. It affects hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, knees, ankles, and most often in the same joints on both sides of the body. It is characterized by the inflammation in joints and tendons. In inflammatory arthritis, the synovial membrane becomes swollen and inflamed which cause pain and stiffness in the joints. The inflamed tissues increase the blood flow to the joints, causing them to look red and warm when touched. The patients with rheumatoid arthritis try to hold the affected joints in a fixed position, just to reduce the pain. This makes the surrounding muscles near the joints to get stiffen and weaken. The tendons get tighten and joints may change the shape and patients may eventually lose mobility. This is an autoimmune disease where the body’s disease fighting immune system attacks its own healthy tissues. In RA, the immune system attacks the synovial membrane and the inflammation can lead to severe joint/s damage, which may eventually restrict a patient’s mobility.

Ayurvedic Description Of Rheumatoid Arthritis :

Rheumatoid arthritis in Ayurveda is known as Aam Vata. The indigestion leads to the Aam formation (indigested particulars) in the body and when Vata gets aggravated, this Aam gets circulated in the whole body, the Aam moves upon reaching the sites of Kapha (stomach, throat, joints, respiratory system etc.) produces abnormality in these places. Both vitiated Vata and indigested particles together produces abnormalities in the gastro intestinal tract, joints and lower back. It produces stiffness in joints and called as Aam vata (Rheumatoid Arthritis).

 

Signs & Symptoms

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  • Warm, red and stiff joints
  • Low movability of joints
  • Low red blood cells count
  • Frequent fever
  • Iimping, tenderness of joints

Causes and Risk Factors

Genetics

Genetics play a major role in RA and half of the risk for RA is believed to be hereditary, so family history is an important factor in RA. It is strongly associated with the inherited tissue type major histocompatibility complex (MHC) antigen HLA-DRB1.

Infection

The infection from bacteria and virus may trigger the disease.

Environment

The latest researches have indicated that environment may play a role in the risk for RA. Some of them are direct exposure to air pollution, insecticides and occupational exposures to mineral oil and silica.

Smoking

It is the most significant non-genetic risk factor. This condition is reported three times more in smokers than the non-smokers, particularly in men.

Self Care Tips

  • Do not consume foods that have incompatibility with each other, for example- milk with curd, fish and milk maids at happycleans.com.
  • Do not curb natural body urges as they aggravates the Vata and hence RA.
  • Fish, meat and diets rich in protein need to be curtailed.
  • The oil massage is not recommended in RA and rather warm fomentation is advocated but it is always advisable to consult your doctor what he/she recommends.
  • Curd and substances that are ‘cold’ in nature have to be avoided.
  • Add methi, ginger, sesame, and black pepper more in the diet.
  • Eat light food that is easy to digest, this includes khichdi and daliya in the list of many lighter food items.

The best way to overcome the condition of RA is to start the treatment at the initial stages. Ayurveda has many modalities including Panchkarma treatment that are being used in curing the disease along with the maintenance of chronic cases.

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