Rheumatoid arthritis afflicts at least 1.5 million Americans.
If you or a loved one are living with the pain and crippling effects of RA, you’ll want to know about research pointing to our digestive system as the source of the problem, and the answer.
Even while new drugs are developed that carry more and more risky or unpleasant side effects, study after study confirms that our gut, our “second brain,” holds the key to treating and preventing rheumatoid arthritis.
Research confirms the RA-gut connection
In 2013, the National Institutes of Health funded research to examine our gut biome, the world of bacteria and other microorganisms that flourish in our digestive system, and its connection to autoimmune disease, particularly rheumatoid arthritis.
Their findings showed that 75% of people with untreated rheumatoid arthritis had the bacterium Prevotella copri in their intestinal microbiome, as compared with only 12% of those whose RA was being treated, and 21% of those in a control group.
And, once treated for rheumatoid arthritis, the levels of Prevotella copri dropped to extremely low levels.
In 2016, another study conducted by Dr. Veena Taneja, an immunologist at the Mayo Clinic’s Center for Individualized Medicine, confirmed that research should be focused on the human gut as the next frontier in solving the puzzle of RA.
Dr. Taneja and her team “…were able to pin down some gut microbes that were normally rare and of low abundance in healthy individuals, but expanded in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.” She was clear in her opinion that testing for particular micro-organisms in the gut may hold the key to predicting and preventing the onset of RA.
Why focus on drugs?
Despite this promising research, mainstream medicine still pushes ahead with the development of more drugs, with more damaging side effects.
In 2016, the FDA approved a new “biological” drug to treat rheumatoid arthritis. A biologic is a genetically engineered drug that is similar to an already-approved drug. It’s usually given by injection, and promises quicker results.
But, as with more traditional drugs, these promised results carry a hefty price tag.
Methotrexate, the drug most commonly prescribed for rheumatoid arthritis, helps reduce inflammation for only about half of those who use it, while causing mouth sores, nausea, diarrhea, hair loss, and liver inflammation.
Biologics aren’t any better. The most common side effects of Erelzi, the newly approved biologic, include neurological problems, congestive heart failure, and blood problems. The box carries a warning about increased risk of serious infections such as tuberculosis, and states that malignant tumors have occurred in children and teens treated with similar products.
Looking within for the answers
There’s no better time than now for you to put into practice the promise of a natural way to cure and prevent rheumatoid arthritis. While science has not brought us a definitive answer, all signs point in the direction of a natural solution, without harmful side-effects.
Whether you’re suffering with RA, or concerned with prevention, here are some steps you can take now:
Supplement with probiotics. Even if you eat a healthy diet, the healthy bacteria found in yogurt, sauerkraut and other fermented foods will help maintain ideal functioning of your gut.
Add pre-biotics. These are plant fibers that support the growth and development of pro-biotics. They’re like fertile ground for the growth of healthy bacteria.
Asparagus, leeks, garlic, onions, and yams are a few vegetables rich in pre-biotics, especially when raw. You can also take a pre-biotic supplement.
Both probiotics and prebiotics are readily available in supplement form.
Think twice about antibiotics. Sometimes medication is absolutely necessary. But antibiotics in excess can destroy the good bacteria along with the bad.
Reduce grains and fructose. Both of these foods feed inflammation, the source of most auto-immune diseases.
Laugh. Stress plays a role in almost every bacterial imbalance in the gut. Research has shown that laughing can actually change the composition of your gut flora.
Get enough sleep. Studies have shown that disruptions in your circadian rhythm, your body’s natural sleep cycle, have a direct impact on the balance of harmful vs. healthy bacteria present in your gut.
Putting these protocols in place will support your “second brain” well, which can only lead to greater health.
Editor’s note: While you’re doing all the right things to protect your brain as you age, make sure you don’t make the mistake 38 million Americans do every day — by taking a drug that robs them of an essential brain nutrient! Click here to discover the truth about the Cholesterol Super-Brain!
- FDA Approves New Biological Drug for RA — WebMD
- Gut Microbes Linked to Rheumatoid Arthritis — National Institutes of Health
- Symptoms Can Hit You Hard — WebMD
- The Facts on Methotrexate for Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment — Everyday Health
- Methotrexate (Oral Route) — Mayo Clinic
- Gut bacteria can cause, predict and prevent rheumatoid arthritis — Mayo Clinic
- How do Drugs and Biologics Differ? — BIO