Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a chronic and progressive disease, involving many systems in the body. Ayurveda has got an elaborate treatment protocol for RA, in which diet is the most important as Panchakarma and medicines. Since RA is a chronic disease, the dietary restrictions and treatment are planned for a longer period.
RA will cause distress to the cells that line joints, leading to inflammation, swelling, stiffness and pain. The inflammation will affect not just the joints, but the surrounding tissues too, including tendon sheaths. This only makes it difficult to diagnose RA most often, as joint pain and fatigue are not specific to RA.
But first, one should understand the severity of the disease. This is most important as it helps the doctor to evaluate the effect of the treatment and arrest the progression of the disease. It will help the doctor the revise and change the treatment protocol according to the data available.
Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
The severity of the disease, functional impairment and physical damage can be checked using the Rheumatoid Arthritis Severity Scale (RASS).
The special diet for Rheumatoid Arthritis is meant to avoid worsening of joint pain, stiffness and swelling, improving gastro–intestinal health. The diet is also meant to bring down ‘Ama’ formation – a state of impaired digestion and metabolism, which is the main cause for Rheumatoid arthritis. It also avoids imbalance of Kapha and Vata, which in turn worsen stiffening, pain and inflammation.
Ayurveda recommends that Rheumatoid Arthritis patients avoid food that is hard to digest and those which aggravates the condition. The food to be avoided includes Curd, Fishes, green vegetable like Spinach, high-fat meat like mutton, black gram, and cold or frozen stuff.
Oil massage, which is one of the most important treatment methods in Ayurveda, is generally not recommended for RA. On the other hand, what is needed is a disciplined approach to life and strict diet control.