Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in the general family of lupus. In this condition, the immune system goes awry and attacks healthy tissues, especially the cartilage of the joints. Various joints become red, hot, and swollen under the onslaught. The pattern of inflammation is usually symmetrical, occurring in approximately the same places on both sides of the body. Other symptoms include inflammation of the eyes, nodules or lumps under the skin, and a general feeling of malaise.
Rheumatoid arthritis is more common in women than in men and typically begins between the ages of 35 and 60. The diagnosis is made by matching the pattern of symptoms with certain characteristic laboratory results.
Certain conventional medical treatments can slow the progression of rheumatoid arthritis. There is no evidence that any homeopathic remedy has the same power. In any case, rheumatoid arthritis is far too serious a disease for self-treatment. Doctor’s supervision is essential.
Scientific Evaluations of Homeopathic Remedies for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Studies performed to evaluate the effectiveness of homeopathic remedies for rheumatoid arthritis have returned mixed results.
double-blind, placebo-controlled study
of 46 people evaluated the effectiveness of individualized homeopathic remedies for rheumatoid arthritis.
At the beginning of the study, two homeopathic practitioners evaluated all of the participants and wrote out prescriptions. Participants were then randomly assigned to receive either the prescribed treatment or placebo, unbeknownst to them or the researchers who would perform an examination. The results showed
improvement as compared to placebo among the participants receiving active treatment, most notably in pain and stiffness.
Another positive, double–blind, placebo-controlled trial of 111 people with rheumatoid arthritis evaluated the effectiveness of a fixed remedy containing
Rhus toxicodendron, Bryonia cretica, Strychnos nux vomica, Berberis vulgaris,
The results showed that people in the treatment group experienced a significant decrease in the amount of analgesics required and in their perception of pain as compared to those in the placebo group.
In a 6-month, double-blind study of 112 people with rheumatoid arthritis, treatment with individualized homeopathic remedies failed to prove more effective than placebo.
Due to a high rate of dropouts, however, these results carry little weight. A high dropout rate also compromised the meaningfulness of an apparently negative 6-month, double-blind study enrolling 44 people.
Traditional Homeopathic Treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis
, there are many possible homeopathic treatments for rheumatoid arthritis, to be chosen based on various specific details of the person seeking treatment.
includes feeling extremely fatigued and depleted, with cold limbs, swelling in the joints, and difficulty climbing stairs or even walking. These symptoms worsen with exposure to cold or dampness, in the morning, and with exertion.
For those with arthritic symptoms who are extremely sensitive to cold, the homeopathic remedy
might be recommended. Other features of the symptom picture include feeling restless, while noticing that moving around doesn’t make you feel any better; preferring damp weather over dry conditions; and experiencing a dislike of wind.
If, however, you tend to feel better rather than worse in cool air, you might fit the picture of
, made from the venom of the honey bee. Other symptoms traditionally associated with this remedy include feeling restless and fidgety overall, and noticing increased discomfort when you are exposed to heat from any source, when touch or pressure is applied to your joints, and when you lie down.
Other Natural Options
For herbs, supplements and other alternative treatments that may be useful for this condition, see the
For a thorough explanation of homeopathy, including dilution of therapies, see the
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a