I just wanted to say to all those who are close to, or taking care of someone with rheumatoid arthritis; stay positive and look after yourselves too. The pain, inflammation and other miserable effects of RA ‘can’ be reversed and prevented from recurring, and a good deal of healing can take place afterwards.
The negative, disruptive, and destructive effects of RA can often be harder in many ways for loved ones (and especially carers) to cope with, than for the sufferers themselves. As a person who has RA, I can confirm that it is possible to live with it and even hide much of the pain from loved ones (or so you imagine). However, I have seen and experienced the effects on others for myself; they worry about you, you worry about them worrying about you, and on it goes.
The carer or supporter can eventually appear to stop reacting or stop showing their emotions around the sufferer, they become more mechanical or matter of fact about things (there must be a better description for this, but my brain isn’t cooperating with me at the moment). This does not mean they have stopped caring of course, it’s just a way of coping.
Also, (as a carer and/or family member) don’t believe all the doom and gloom you often read and hear about rheumatoid arthritis. It seems that every few weeks there’s a new study linking RA with increased chance of heart disease, shorter life expectancy or an increase in foot odour (the last one was a joke of course, but I expect there will soon be a study to look into it!). In my experience, a fair bit of the doom and gloom is caused by many of the drugs used to treat rheumatoid arthritis in the form of side effects. Increased chance of stroke, liver damage and heart problems for example. Also, the attitude of many doctors leaves a lot to be desired. I’ve had some soul destroying meetings with a number of GPs and consultants over the years (decades) even quite recently.
Remember, as a sufferer or carer, you deserve to be treated with respect and understanding by medical professionals and you have a right to access the best advice and treatment available; if you don’t get it, fire your doctor and find another one who will provide what you need.
As I mentioned in my About Me page, I always read or asked about the side effects of any RA drugs that I was offered or given (mostly corticosteroid injections and very rarely, anti-inflammatories) and one of my favourites answers was: “Anti-inflammatories can sometimes make heart failure or kidney failure worse.” How??? How exactly can heart failure or kidney failure be made any worse?? :-)
Anyway, just remember this, if you remove the cause of rheumatoid arthritis, you not only remove its damaging effects, but you also remove the need for potentially damaging drugs.
Until you are ready to investigate the cause of your RA and do everything you can to resolve it yourself, medical treatment may be required and you should try to get the best possible professional advice and care. However, I believe everyone ‘can’ find the cause of their arthritis and remove it, so please try as soon as you feel able. I also believe that for a large number of people suffering from this hideous disease, the cause(s) may well be the same or similar. For example; leaky gut, a tooth/gum infection, a viral or bacterial infection etc.
There are many possible solutions to reversing and preventing RA, mine is just one of them. Many other courageous people have found full or partial solutions to their rheumatoid arthritis problems. Here are a few areas to research if you (and your loved ones) are not sure where to start or if your association with RA is recent.
- There’s a fair amount of support for the idea that milk and other dairy products may cause rheumatoid arthritis. Although raw milk is a wonderful food product (especially raw goat’s milk for example) there are many people that have problems such as lactose intolerance. It may be that for people with RA, there is a similar problem. This is something I will experiment with later along with gluten and other potentially destructive food components… I will post my results here. However, I can say that for me, milk was a huge contributor to my rheumatoid arthritis.
- I have no doubt that a diet high in fish can help with RA, it helped me and I’ve read at least a dozen books based on this premise. Of course even more convincing than this, my grandmother always swore by cod liver oil :-)
- I was vegetarian for many years (maybe 15 or so) and unfortunately had to start eating fish to survive because of the developments which led to my own RA diet solution. Once or twice, while I was developing my diet, I also tried other meats (believe me it was not easy for me). On one particular occasion I was doing OK, things were improving slightly, my diet was coming along and I wanted to find other protein sources apart from fish. I tried a piece of steamed chicken; I was immediately ill (within half an hour) and I continued to be very ill for several days afterwards. Being vegetarian and especially vegan, has apparently been enough in some cases to cure RA, so it may be worth looking into.
- Of course, I hope you will give my RA solution a try because it is the only method which worked effectively for me (in fact it has elements from all the above). However, I realise that it is a difficult diet to follow so if your circumstances are such that you would like to try something a little easier, then the above may give you a few ideas.
Important! If you are a person close to an RA sufferer (or have rheumatoid arthritis yourself), please don’t hesitate to comment on any of my posts or pages, I will be happy to respond and try to help in any way I can with the time I have available. I can also suggest more avenues of research or other resources for you too. If you would like to try my own solution then again, please let me know, I would welcome your feedback :-)
Keep your chin up, there’s light at the end of the tunnel and it’s time to make the tunnel a lot shorter…