8 great supplements for calming rheumatoid arthritis

Living with rheumatoid arthritis can feel like an unending battle.

The crippling disease leaves you not only with pain, tenderness and swelling of your joints but also with whole-body exhaustion.

Fortunately, there are natural supplements that you can take to not only improve your symptoms but also your general health and even combat some of the side effects of those medications your doctor prescribes.

Here are the eight most important you should know about.

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#1 — Vitamin B12

Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of rheumatoid and if you’ve been living with the disease, I’m sure you’ve experienced it. In fact, for many people with RA, it can be hard to even get out of bed in the morning.

That’s where vitamin B12 comes in as it can be helpful for boosting energy. You can take a B12 supplement that dissolves under your tongue or even get B12 shots to help further.

#2 — Ginger

It’s no secret that rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease, as you can see every time you look at your swollen joints. This makes ginger the perfect supplement for RA sufferers.

That’s because ginger is a known anti-inflammatory with effects similar to those non-steroidal anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs which is why studies have shown that ginger can reduce inflammation in people with RA.

And, to top it off, ginger is also helpful for curbing nausea and other stomach problems, common side effects of those RA medications.

#3 — Cat’s Claw

Another anti-inflammatory, cat’s claw is another supplement you should consider to help with your RA symptoms. You see, cat’s claw works on the same target as those biologic drugs prescribed for RA like Humira and Enbrel do (known as the tumor necrosis factor).

In fact, one study showed that in people with RA the supplement reduced joint swelling and pain by more than 50 percent compared to a placebo.

Just be sure to pick a brand of cat’s claw without any tetra-cyclic oxindole (TCO) alkaloids.

#4 — Krill Oil

The omega-3 fatty acids in krill oil are powerful anti-inflammatories. A study examined how krill oil helps reduce the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. People who took 300 milligrams of krill oil each day for 30 days saw an improvement in symptom reduction and used less rescue medication. Some studies have also shown krill to be more bioavailable or easier for the body to absorb.

#5 — Iron

Anemia (when your blood doesn’t have enough hemoglobin or red blood cells) is a common problem for people suffering from RA and can be caused by a lack of iron. This anemia can worsen the fatigue you’re already living with thanks to the RA and make your life more difficult. You can use iron supplements to overcome this anemia and feel better.

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#6 — Turmeric

Another supplement that falls into the anti-inflammatory category is turmeric. Its active component, known as curcumin, can reduce joint swelling and has been shown to help people with both osteoarthritis and RA.

#7 — Folic Acid

If you take methotrexate for your RA, you should be taking folic acid. It’s been proven to help manage the side effects that come with methotrexate use, especially GI problems and mouth ulcers. And, it can even help protect your liver from the toxicity caused by the medication.

#8 — Probiotics

Another supplement that can help with the GI side effects of RA meds is probiotics. You see, you have trillions of bacteria living in your gut. But, certain medications can throw off the balance between the good and the bad bugs. Taking probiotics can help restore balance and relieve your GI symptoms. You can also find probiotics in food and drinks like kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha.

Bonus Supplement Vitamin D3

In a study on vitamin D and RA, researchers concluded, “It appears that vitamin D deficiency is highly prevalent in patients with RA, and that vitamin D deficiency may be linked to disease severity in RA. As vitamin D deficiency has been linked to diffuse musculoskeletal pain, these results have therapeutic implications. Vitamin D supplementation may be needed both for the prevention of osteoporosis as well as for pain relief in patients with RA.”

Living with RA can get a little easier when you use the eight supplements above to naturally reduce inflammation and swelling, relieve the pain, improve your overall health and combat the side effects of those prescription rheumatoid drugs.

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Ginger — Arthritis Foundation

Cat’s Claw — Arthritis Foundation

Fish Oil — Arthritis Foundation

The Promise of Probiotics for Arthritis — Arthritis Foundation

Arthritis Medication Side Effects — Arthritis Foundation

Cat’s Claw Relieves Joint Pain from Rheumatoid Arthritis – Director’s Choice — National Health Research Institute

Herbal anti-inflammatories (Part 1) — RheumatoidArthritis.net

B vitamins and folic acid — RheumatoidArthritis.net

Zingiber officinale: A Potential Plant against Rheumatoid Arthritis — Arthritis

[Anemia in patients with rheumatoid arthritis] — Zeitschrift Fur Rheumatologie

Efficacy of Turmeric Extracts and Curcumin for Alleviating the Symptoms of Joint Arthritis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials — Journal of Medicinal Food

Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

By Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

Dr. Adria Schmedthorst is a board-certified Doctor of Chiropractic, with more than 20 years of experience. She has dedicated herself to helping others enjoy life at every age through the use of alternative medicine and natural wellness options. Dr. Schmedthorst enjoys sharing her knowledge with the alternative healthcare community, providing solutions for men and women who are ready to take control of their health the natural way.