“Rheumatoid Arthritis is a specific autoimmune disease that is often very responsive to integrative medicine” – Dr. Kurt Woeller
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a devastating disorder that is caused by the immune system attacking its own healthy tissue. This is referred to as an autoimmune disease. This inflammatory disorder results in many organs in the body being adversely affected, but it is most significantly disabling to the joints and supporting structures such as connective tissue affecting the tendons and ligaments. RA is serious, and overtime is crippling.
Current statistics from the Arthritis Foundation place adult individuals with RA at approximately 1.3 million, an estimated 1% of the United States population. Women outnumber men 3:1 with RA diagnosis, and the average age of onset is between 30 to 60 years. There are approximately 300,000 children diagnosed with another inflammatory arthritic condition called Juvenile Arthritis which is similar to RA.
The causes of RA are multifactoral. Medical researchers agree that likely a combination of genetics and environmental factors play a role. Some of these factors for the potential development of RA are:
1. Stress – chemical reactions to stressful events such as physical or emotional trauma.
3. Acute and chronic infections – viruses and bacteria (including Lyme disease) can be triggers
4. Food reactions – this is evidence by improvements in RA with elimination diets
5. Intestinal imbalances – often from chronic bacterial infections
For most individuals who suffer with these conditions there is a myriad of different problems. No two people are exactly alike and so the combination of problems leading to RA can be individualized. In fact, it is not uncommon for an average person with RA to display 4 to 6 factors ranging from dietary sensitivities, hormone imbalances to chronic infections. Even though no two people are exactly alike and each person’s experience with RA may be different, there are core issues that seem to contribute to the majority of people suffering with this condition such as food sensitivities (like gluten), digestive imbalances of yeast and bacteria, immune problems from chronic infection, hormone issues (adrenal, sex hormone, thyroid) and environmental toxicity. All of these can be addressed with integrative medical therapies and specialized diagnostic testing.
To learn more about our approach to Rheumatoid Arthritis watch Dr. Woeller’s recorded webinars:
Dr. Woeller also has a book available for immediate purchase on a natural medicine approach to healing from RA: