Rheumatoid arthritis is a painful disorder that primarily affects the small joints of the body. (RA) afflicts close to one percent of the world's population. The term rheumatoid arthritis, comes from the term rheumatic fever, and is an illness associated with inflammation of joints which causes pain for those afflicted.
Who is affected by this disorder?
Studies show that (RA) can strike at any age, with the greatest occurrence manifesting itself in persons between forty and fifty years of age. Women are three times as likely to contract (RA) as men. Rheumatoid arthritis is considered an auto-immune disease, and would require that patients see a specialist in these types of diseases known as a rheumatologist. (RA) occurs when there is inflammation in the synovial joint. These joints are the most common type of joints found in human beings. Inflammation takes place when excess synovial fluids build up in a joint, which causes pain and loss of mobility. When rheumatoid arthritis develops, particularly in the areas of the hands and feet, deformities, appearing as lumps below the skin, cause joints to appear misshapen. These boil like bulges also often appear on the elbows of those suffering from (RA).
How do I know if I am developing rheumatoid arthritis?
Symptoms that may indicate the development of (RA) can include fatigue or running of a fever. This is where the term rheumatic fever was coined. Other common and more obvious symptoms would be joint tenderness and swelling. Another common symptom can we stiffness in the joint area of the hands or feet that lasts for several hours. If one finds puffy or inflamed joint areas that continue to increase in severity over time, your doctor should be notified. Many people mistake several of the common symptoms as flu or the onset of a cold. Since it is common for symptoms to appear, and then recede, it's advisable that you consult your family doctor if you experience these changes to your system. Additionally, people who work with computer key boards and spend much of the day typing, often mistake symptoms of (RA) with carpel tunnel syndrome.
How does fish oil play a role in treatment?
Many clinical studies over the years have shown the efficacy of Omega 3 fish oil in fighting inflammation. The medical community has deduced that inflammation is a major cause of serious complications when fighting several kinds of medical problems from diabetes to chronic kidney disease. Inflamed organs such as the kidneys, and especially the heart, lose functionality as the inflammation gets worse. The same basic issue is present with rheumatoid arthritis. The inflammation caused from the buildup of fluid on the joints causes pain and joint disfigurement for the patient.
Studies linking (RH) and fish oil
The benefits of taking Omega 3 fish oil have been shown to inhibit the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis according to studies conducted at the University of Maryland Medical Center. The benefits of fish oil as a supplement appear to be two-fold. In addition to the anti-inflammatory properties found in fatty acids like EPA, eicosapentaenoic acid, and DHA, docosahexaenoic acid, studies indicate that a regimen of fish oil can lessen the total dependence on (NSAIDs) or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Different people respond in various ways to (NSAIDs), and side effects include, upset stomach, blood clots and possible heart attack. The Center for Genetics, Nutrition and Health found that while Omega 6 fatty acids contributed to inflammation, Omega 3 fish oil and the fatty acids contained within, showed great anti-inflammatory characteristics and were helpful in managing inflammation and autoimmune diseases.
Now that we know the benefits of Omega 3 fish oil in fighting symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, sufferers of this disease can feel assured by the fact that fish oil offers an all natural way to augment other drug therapies, thus, providing for a better quality of life.