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Natural Treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Are There Safe Supplements for Rheumatoid Arthritis? continued...

Keep in mind that even natural supplements can interact with other medications. Be sure your doctor is aware of all drugs and supplements you are taking.

Supplements for RA that have the best medical research to back them up include:

Fish oil. Studies show that omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil have an anti-inflammatory effect in the body. Several studies have shown that fish oil supplements may help reduce morning stiffness with RA. In addition, the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil help protect against heart disease. People with RA are at a higher risk of developing heart disease. Fish oil appears to be safe when used appropriately. Doses greater than 3 grams per day may increase the chance of bleeding.

Thunder god vine. A few studies have shown a decrease in inflammation and tender joints in people with RA taking this supplement. A large government-funded study that compared this root with sulfasalazine, a traditional drug used to treat RA, found that symptoms improved more with the use of thunder god vine. Side effects may include stomach upset, headache, hair loss, upper respiratory tract infections, and sterility in men. Pregnant women and women at risk of developing osteoporosis should not take it. However, obtaining safe and high quality thunder god vine manufactured in the U.S. is difficult, and the safety and efficacy of thunder god vine from China is difficult to verify, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM).

 

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David Zelman, MD on May 24, 2014
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