Rheumatoid Arthritis – Prevention and Treatment with a Plant-Based Diet

Introduction

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic systemic inflammatory disease of unknown etiology. There is no cure, so long term treatment is indicated. Medication-based therapies comprise several classes of agents, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), non-biologic and biologic disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), immunosuppressants, and corticosteroids. Other standard treatments include physical therapy and surgery.

Surveys have shown that a substantial proportion of people with RA will try complementary and alternative interventions, perhaps reflecting the lack of complete satisfaction with conventional approaches, and also a desire to help themselves. (1)

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GI Flora – diet matters!

There has been increasing interest in the role played by the gastrointestinal flora in the etiology of a variety disease processes. It had been known that long term changes in diet influenced the human gut microbiome. Recent research has focused on how the flora of those following a vegetarian diet differ from those on other diets, and what advantages that may convey.

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