Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. An autoimmune disease is when our immune system turns on the body that hosts it and systematically tries to destroy it by attacking healthy body tissue such as the joints (rheumatoid arthritis), muscles (fibromyalgia), pancreas (type 1 diabetes) or nerves (multiple sclerosis).
Think of the immune system as a huge army of white blood cells ready to defend our body against attack by outside invaders such as germs, bacteria, viruses and parasites (also known as antigens) It does this by producing antibodies which fight against these external parasites.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is caused by our immune system mistakenly identifying our joints as external parasites (antigens), causing it to attack and destroy the tissues that line bone joints and cartilage. This as we know causes pain and inflammation. So why does this happen?
It happens because our immune system is compromised. Our modern lifestyle puts more and more stress on our immune system. Drugs, infections, smoking, hormone inbalances, lack of exercise and stress all play a role, whereas our diets do nothing to help. No wonder our immunity is struggling to cope!
A healthy immune system is vital for a healthy and vigorous life. More and more these days we are hearing of the increase of autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, guillain-barre syndrome and type 1 diabetes.
If medical science has taken such great strides in the research and discovery of breakthrough knowledge and medicines, why do we seem to be getter sicker and sicker by the year?
Well conventional medicine focus more on treating the symptoms of diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, than focusing on the prevention and possible cure of this debilitating disease.
The side effects of medical drugs used to treat rheumatoid arthritis can be quite severe. Is there any way out?
Alternative medicine and natural cures for arthritis can help cure rheumatoid arthritis at the source. Of course there are many options in alternative medicine for alleviating pain, but the main aim is to deal with the cause of arthritis which in most cases is a weak immune system.
So what's the best thing we can do to strengthen our immune systems?
Get sufficient sleep - There's nothing more draining on the immune system than a sleep deprived body. Everyone has different sleep needs, make sure you're getting enough sleep time for you.
Improve your diet - This is one of the best ways to give your immunity a boost! We can use up a lot of energy just digesting the foods we eat. Eat plenty of fresh foods and cut down on junk and processed foods.
Take a supplement - Mainstream medicine is fond of telling us that food alone can give us all the nutrients we need. Well it probably could if we knew what to eat and in what quantities.
Added to the fact that we're not all nutrition experts, our soils are depleted of natural nutrients owing to over-cultivation, chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Our food is sometimes stored for months in cold storage, allowing nutrients to leak out. Just take a supplement!
Get plenty of exercise - You knew I was going to say that, didn't you? Exercise increases oxygen into the bloodstream, releases endorphins, the "feel-good" hormones and helps to build the muscles that support your joints.
This has been a very brief venture into the ways to boost our immune health to help prevent or alleviate autoummune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. The spin-offs are fewer diseases like cold and flu and more energy to do the things we enjoy.
There is so much conflicting information on rheumatoid arthritis that many people just hand over all responsibility for their treatment to their doctor. But drugs are not a long term solution, you need to take control.
Find out the latest href="http://www.rheumatoidarthritisfacts.org/rheumatoid-arthritis-information/">rheumatoid arthritis information from a holistic health therapist. Wendy Owen (HHDip)