Has a cure for rheumatoid arthritis finally been found? A quick look around the internet finds scores of over-the-counter medications guaranteed to bring relief! Keep looking and you'll find more prescription medicines, new medical procedures, announcements of new surgical procedures and natural herb supplements than you can imagine.
All claim to effectively treat RA. Some use the term "miraculous." Among them are a $50,000-per-innoculation under development by scientists at England's Newcastle University. A custom vaccine will be individually engineered for each patient.
Such a rheumatoid arthritis cure will have to halt what RA does - turning the sufferer's immune system against his or her own body, attacking the patient's joints. If the vaccine is approved, technicians will harvest white blood cells from each patient. Cells will be "reprogrammed" by therapy that includes a patented cocktail of Vitamin D, steroids and other compounds. The altered cells will be injected into one of the patient's arthritis-inflamed joints - with the expectation that the altered white blood cells will suppress the immune system's attacks on the sufferer's own body.
If it works, a historic rheumatoid arthritis cure will come in a single dose. The target date for use on humans is 2013.
But will such a rheumatoid arthritis treatment work? Or will it destroy patients' immune systems, making them susceptible to infection? If it does work, will its effectiveness wear off, requiring additional $50,000 treatments?
And who will this shot help? Only those who haven't developed full-blown RA yet? Or just those with mild cases? Will the effect only be localized - requiring expensive vaccinations to every affected joint? Will it work for patients with advanced cases? Will there be side effects?
While the prospect is exciting, RA sufferers have heard it all before. There are so many rheumatoid arthritis cures and treatments out there that it's easy to get cynical. Physicians state bluntly that there's no cure. But they may also suggest ideas that have worked for others.
One is to put up a high fence and sunbathe au natural in your own back yard. Preposterous? No, rheumatoid arthritis responds well to sunshine! When sunlight falls on your bare skin, your body creates its own vitamin D, which works far better than any health food supplement or daily multivitamin.
Fifteen minutes in the sun three times weekly gives most patients a potent dose of vitamin D. Will more sunshine help? The best advice is to take it slowly - five minutes at a time for the first week, extending to 20 minutes until you have a nice "base tan." Then you may find yourself sunbathing for an hour or more at a time. Some rheumatoid arthritis patients say the treatment is addictive! Plus, it's free!
Other rheumatoid arthritis treatments include regular doses of omega-3 fatty acid, gamma-linolenic acid and Boswellia. Similar success is reported with glucosamine chondroitin, ginger, magnesium, copper supplements, beta-carotene rich foods, vegetarian diets, curcumin, green tea extract, guggul, lyprinol, folic acid as well as large doses of vitamin B6, C, and E.
Some sufferers say their condition eased when they quit smoking, cut back on coffee... and drank small "doses" of alcohol! The bottom line? Until scientists announce a miracle cure, the rheumatoid arthritis sufferer needs to keep reading, keep experimenting to find what works - and avoid feelings of being overwhelmed. There is hope!