Can Probiotics Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis?

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Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disorder that affects more than just the joints. This condition is chronic and can damage a wide variety of body systems, such as the skin, lungs, eyes, blood vessels, and heart. 

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Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Fever
  • Fatigue or tiredness
  • Stiffness in more than one joint
  • Tenderness and swelling in more than one joint
  • The same symptoms on both sides of the body
  • Weakness
  • Pain or aching in more than one joint
  • Weight loss

Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Unfortunately, this condition has no cure, but there are ways to manage its symptoms, and it may also lead to remission. The types of medications recommended by your doctor will depend on the severity of your symptoms and how long you’ve had rheumatoid arthritis. NSAIDs, steroids, biological agents, and DMARDs are used for RA treatment. 

Your doctor may refer you to a physical or occupational therapist who can teach you exercises to help keep your joints flexible. If medications fail to prevent or slow joint damage, you and your doctor may consider surgery to repair damaged joints. Surgery may help restore your ability to use your joint. It can also reduce pain and improve function.

Can Probiotics Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis?

It is important to note that probiotics are not the immediate medical prescription for RA. Ensure to talk to your doctor about its risk and benefits, especially if you have other conditions. Probiotics are living organisms that exist in the human digestive system and some foods and supplements.

Gut permeability can cause the leakage of harmful bacteria from the digestive system into the rest of the body. Taking supplements may help reduce the inflammation RA causes and restore balance to the digestive microbiota. If you have an inflammatory type of arthritis, probiotics have an impact on inflammation, reducing common biomarkers of inflammation.

People with inflammatory arthritis also have been shown to have inflammation of the intestinal tract, which results in increased intestinal permeability. This enables certain bacteria to cross the intestinal barrier, get into the bloodstream and trigger an inflammatory response. A healthy diet helps keep the intestinal barrier strong and the immune system in a top-fighting condition. 

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Other Benefits of Probiotics

  1. It improves some mental health conditions. Research shows taking probiotics improves symptoms of mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, stress, and memory, among others.
  2. It can keep your heart healthy. Certain lactic acid-producing strains may reduce cholesterol by breaking down bile in the gut. By breaking down bile, probiotics can prevent it from being reabsorbed in the gut, where it can enter the blood as cholesterol.
  3. It balances the good bacteria. When taken in sufficient amounts, they can help restore the natural balance of gut bacteria.
  4. It prevents and treats diarrhea. These are widely known for their ability to prevent diarrhea or reduce its severity. Diarrhea occurs because antibiotics can negatively affect the balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut. Probiotics can also help with other forms of diarrhea not associated with antibiotics.
  5. Reduce symptoms of digestive disorders. Probiotics may help reduce the symptoms of bowel disorders like ulcerative colitis, IBS, and necrotizing enterocolitis.

Lifestyle and Home Care Remedies for Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Know your limit and rest when you overwork. RA increases your risk of fatigue and muscle weakness. A rest or short nap that doesn’t interfere with nighttime sleep may help.
  • Find ways to cope with pain by reducing stress. Deep breathing and muscle relaxation can all be used to control pain.
  • Take fish oil supplements to reduce rheumatoid arthritis pain and stiffness. 
  • Gentle exercise can help strengthen the muscles around your joints, and it can help reduce the fatigue you might feel. 
  • Talk to your doctor about the proper physical activities you can incorporate into your daily routine. 

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