Turmeric For Rheumatoid Arthritis: Benefits And Uses
The prevalence rate of rheumatoid arthritis is 1%, i.e., around 14 million people. It is a worldwide chronic inflammatory disease with progressive joint damage, leading to permanent disability in many instances. Rheumatoid arthritis is incurable, but people suffering from this disease can undoubtedly take preventive measures to reduce the cases of flare-ups and prevent the further complications associated with it. In addition, the prescribed medications and healthful dietary changes and lifestyle modifications help people lead a happy life by keeping the flare-ups at bay. Furthermore, various spices and foods help reduce the inflammatory response of rheumatoid arthritis. One of them is turmeric.
Turmeric is a popular spice in recipes and an alternative treatment for several conditions. For example, for 5,000 years in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, turmeric helps to treat arthritis. Curcumin is the part of turmeric that shows positive effects while treating rheumatoid arthritis. It can treat the symptoms of RA but not the cause. It can be exciting to hear of a natural remedy for rheumatoid arthritis, but its essential to know more about it.
What Are Possible Side Effects Of The Drugs
A review study evaluating the efficacy and safety of NSAIDs that longer use of these medications yields better treatment response.But the study also reports that data regarding the safety of these medicines is lacking.
Gastrointestinal symptoms are the common side effects associated with these drugs. Carprofen causes erosion of the gastric lining of the colon .
One study reports occurrence of adverse events like diarrhoea, vomiting and loss of appetite with firocoxib treatment.
Administration of COX inhibitors with diuretics impairs kidney function in dogs. When administered as a painkiller prior to surgery, carprofen is found to mildly affectkidney function. However some studies state that it does not cause detectable differences. So, this point is still debatable.
One experimental study reports that NSAIDs like carprofen, meloxicam, and deracoxib can alter platelet function and thus should not be administered prior to surgery to avoid the risk of bleeding.
Quality Assessment Of The Articles
The Cochrane tool was used to assess quality of the RCT articles included in this systematic review by determining the risk of bias .28 This validated tool consists of the following eight categories: random sequence generation, allocation concealment, blinding of participants, assessor blinding, reporting drop out or withdrawal, intention to treat, selective outcome reporting, and other potential bias. Each category was scored as H, high ROB, U, uncertain ROB, or L, low ROB. Three independent reviewers performed the quality assessment, and disagreement on scores was resolved through discussion.
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Turmeric Golden Milk Oatmeal
The Arthritis Foundation recommend eating oatmeal as part of an anti-inflammatory, high fiber diet.
Adding turmeric to oatmeal can increase its anti-inflammatory power. This recipe incorporates golden milk into rolled oats for a filling breakfast.
For an extra inflammation-fighting boost, add blueberries or strawberries. According , they are rich in anthocyanin, a flavonoid that has potent anti-inflammatory power, and antioxidants to help fight infections.
Curcumin Prevents Bone And Cartilage Loss
The pro-inflammatory cytokines like TNF- and interleukins, expressed in the bone tissues also lead to the degradation of bones and cartilage mediated by various signaling pathways like RANK pathway.
These molecules modulate the process of osteoclastogenesis and lead to bone erosion.
Curcumin can prevent bone loss as well. It inhibits the signaling pathways like RANK, which in turn inhibits osteoclastogenesis in rheumatoid arthritis patients. This prevents bone loss.
Curcumin also protects the cartilage cells from the damage induced by a pro-inflammatory molecule, interleukin-1 . It inhibits the activity of IL-1 and thus, prevents cartilage degradation.
What does it mean?It means curcumin can prevent the bone and cartilage loss mediated by the pro-inflammatory molecules. It inhibits signalling pathways involved in the bone loss and cartilage degradation.
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Curcumin For Arthritis: Does It Really Work
- By Robert H. Shmerling, MD, Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that is the most common type of arthritis. Usually, it occurs among people of advanced age. But it can begin in middle age or even sooner, especially if theres been an injury to the joint.
While there are treatments available exercise, braces or canes, loss of excess weight, various pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medicines these are no cures, and none of the treatments are predictably effective. In fact, often they dont work at all, or help only a little. Injected steroids or synthetic lubricants can be tried as well. When all else fails, joint replacement surgery can be highly effective. In fact, about a million joint replacements are performed each year in the US.
So, its no surprise that people with osteoarthritis will try just about anything that seems reasonably safe if it might provide relief. My patients often ask about diet, including anti-inflammatory foods, antioxidants, low-gluten diets, and many others. Theres little evidence that most of these dietary approaches work. When there is evidence, it usually demonstrates no consistent or clear benefit.
Thats why a new study is noteworthy: it suggests that curcumin, a naturally occurring substance found in a common spice, might work for osteoarthritis.
How Turmeric Can Treat Arthritis Pain And Inflammation
To get turmeric in your diet, you can add the powder to veggies, soups, smoothies, or tea. Or you can take curcumin supplements. Read more:Turmeric and Curcumin for Arthritis
The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric can be especially helpful for those with arthritis. This includes both degenerative arthritis and inflammatory arthritis .
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Bottom Line On Turmeric Or Curcumin For Osteoarthritis
Neither turmeric or its active ingredient curcumin has been tested with the numbers and controls that are needed to approve medications by the FDA. That said, the little research we do have available in controlled human studies suggests that these nutraceuticals may have an anti-inflammatory effect that could benefit osteoarthritis. If you are interested in trying one of these supplements, start by discussing the risks and benefits with your health care provider.
Curcumin Has Chemopreventive Action In Rheumatoid Arthritis
The risk of developing cancer in the rheumatoid arthritis patients who were treated with DMARDs has increasingly been known.
There are severalreports of cancers of breast, lung, colon, lymphoma, skin, etc.
These malignancies are linked to the altered immune responses and inflammatory responses caused by the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis as well as the DMARDs treatment.
Curcumin is a well-known chemopreventive agent which prevents the development of a number of cancers induced by drugs, carcinogens or other factors.
The radical scavenging action and inhibition of inflammatory responses of curcumin help in the prevention of cancer. It also induces death in malignant cells by interfering in various molecular pathways.
It is known to induce cell death in the synovial cells of rheumatoid arthritis patients. This prevents the hyperplasia or excessive division of cells which marks an initiation of malignancy.
Curcumin blocks the activity of T-lymphocytes which helps in inhibiting proliferation and inflammatory responses that can lead to cancerous conditions.
Curcumin derivatives also show chemopreventive activity in a rheumatoid arthritis model. This activity is a result of inhibition of various pro-inflammatory gene expressions.
What does it mean?It means curcumin consumption can prevent the risk of developing cancer due to various aspects of rheumatoid arthritis. Curcumins anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and induction of cell death mechanisms helps in this.
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Other Treatments For Arthritis
If youre going to take turmeric for your arthritis, just remember that this should not be thought of as a replacement for other treatments, especially those prescribed by your doctor.
You can manage your symptoms by:
- Doing more exercise and maintaining a healthy weight
- Taking over-the-counter and prescription painkillers
- Applying capsaicin cream or using topical drug pain relief like Flexiseq
- Using insoles, walking aids or splints
- Using hot or cold packs
- Having physiotherapy
In combination, these treatments, lifestyle changes and medication prescribed to you by a healthcare practitioner should help to make your symptoms more manageable. You should not take supplements as a substitute for a varied, balanced diet or a healthy lifestyle.
Omega Fatty Acids Or Fish Oil
Food that contains omega-3 fatty acids has amazing anti-inflammatory properties. Foods rich in this include: fatty fish like salmon/mackerel, flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, fish roe, seafood, soya beans and spinach. If you dont have sufficient time to eat then you can take them through supplements.
Dosage: 2.6g per 2 times in a day.
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How To Choose Your Turmeric Supplement
Supplements arent regulated like medications. Do your research on the company and brand you choose.
Consider supplements tested by a third party like Informed Choice or NSF International.
Turmeric extracts are the most potent type of supplement. Concentrated extracts are 95% curcumin. Powders and spices contain a lot less of the potent ingredient.
Extracts also have less chance of contamination from other substances.
Side Effects Of Taking Turmeric
- Curcumin, an active component present in turmeric is not suitable for everyone. Some people may react with a severe rash which signals an allergy. Turmeric capsules may cause digestive distress in some people. If you are experiencing any of them avoid taking turmeric for arthritis treatment.
- People taking warfarin should avoid taking turmeric as it can increase the anti-clotting effect. Turmeric can also interact with other anticoagulants like clopidogrel or even aspirin. So, make sure you dont take turmeric while taking anticoagulants.
- Turmeric might lower blood sugar levels. People taking diabetes medication should avoid consuming high amounts of turmeric or curcumin. It is better to monitor the sugar levels as it can sometimes drop the levels too low.
- People who are suffering from kidney stones should avoid considering turmeric for arthritis treatment. As turmeric is high in soluble oxalate which increases the possibility of kidney stone formation.
- People taking blood thinning medications or who are undergoing surgery should avoid taking turmeric in either raw or supplement form.
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid taking turmeric capsules. Discuss the interactions with raw turmeric consumption with your gynecologist before consuming it.
- Recent studies show that turmeric, when used regularly, may also reduce the risk of prostate cancer in men.
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Making Good Choices With Alternative Treatment
It can be exciting to hear of a natural substance working well and safely for RA, but its important to research these statements. With turmeric, research shows that it may be effective for symptoms, but not for RA itself. It also is shown to have side effects and possible interactions. Ask your doctor or a licensed naturopath before using it.
How Does Turmeric Help In Canine Arthritis
Turmeric also known as Golden spice and a Miracle Herb native to Asia. It finds its use in cooking and in traditional medicine. It has anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-allergic, anti-cancer, anti-microbial and many other pharmacological properties.
Curcuminoids are the active components of turmeric that give the spice a golden yellow hue and anti-oxidant properties.
Curcumin is the most important curcuminoid.
Turmeric oil also has fractions of therapeutic agents.
Following points suggest the ways in which turmeric could heal and help with your pets pain. Most of these studies are directed towards healing arthritis in humans. But that does not change the pharmacological property of turmeric which suggests that it can be used in animals too.
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Why Use Turmeric For Ra
NSAIDs provide effective pain relief in RA and other forms of arthritis. But regular use is associated with very serious side effects, including:
- Cardiovascular problems.
Anyone with a history of health disease and who overuses NSAIDs is at a higher risk for congestive heart failure , this according to research reported in the journal, Cureus. And anyone who currently has CHF should not take NSAIDs at all, as they face the highest risk for a cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack.
High blood pressure is a type of heart disease where the force of blood against your artery walls is too high. And research from The Journal of Rheumatology shows the risk for high blood pressure is higher in people with RA than others in the general population, although researchers are not sure why.
NSAIDs also increase your risk for ulcers and up to 60% of people who use NSAIDs regularly will have GI side effects, this according to the American College of Gastroenterology.
Given that the risks of taking NSAIDs to treat your RA pain are high, safer and more effective options make more sense. And research has shown that turmeric is a viable alternative to NSAIDs.
Health Benefits Of Turmeric
Turmeric in supplement form has higher levels than the spice used in cooking. Its a great addition to an anti-inflammatory diet. The anti-inflammatory properties make it a popular remedy for conditions, including:
- Kidney Problems
Recent studies show turmeric helps prevent and reduce joint inflammation. This reduces pain, stiffness, and inflammation related to arthritis.
For digestive relief, pay close attention to the amount of turmeric in a supplement. High dosages can cause an upset stomach.
Turmerics health benefits may include lower cholesterol levels. Research done on animals to date produced encouraging and consistent results. Its reasonable to think it can lower cholesterol in humans, too.
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Turmeric Trials For Osteoarthritis
The 107 participants with primary osteoarthritis of the knee were randomised to receive either 2 g turmeric or 800 mg ibuprofen per day for six weeks.
- Both groups pain levels when walking and when climbing stairs improved, as did their knee function.
- Those who took turmeric found that their pain when climbing stairs improved more than those who received ibuprofen.
- There was no difference in reported side-effects between the groups, and the most commonly reported were heartburn and dizziness.
- Those who received ibuprofen were better at taking their treatment than those who received turmeric.
Curcumin Exerts Antioxidant Effects On The Target Tissue And Joints In Ra
Oxidation, just like inflammation is a process that leads to extensive damage in the cells of the joints in rheumatoid arthritis.
Oxidation is caused when the damage in the joints due to immune attack starts secreting oxidative molecules, also known as reactive oxygen species.
Reactive oxygen species such as NOS, peroxide, and others react with the cellular components and kill them so that the cell dies.
This leads to increased degeneration of the tissue which exacerbates the effects of rheumatoid arthritis.
In many research studies, it has been found that curcumin inhibits the secretion of several of the reactive oxygen species in the tissue under immune attack in rheumatoid arthritis.
This effect is known as the antioxidant effect which curcumin is known for.
Preventing the secretion or formation of various oxidants helps in reducing the damage to the joints and also prevents the premature and unnecessary death of the target cells.
Ultimately, there is reduced degeneration, pain, inflammation and other similar symptoms on consumption of this herb.
What it means: curcumin from turmeric exerts anti oxidant effects and helps prevent the oxidation in the cells of the joints so that there is reduced degeneration in the target tissue accompanied by ameliorated symptoms and better pain management .
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Surgery And Other Procedures
If a joint is severely affected, you may need surgery. The most successful surgeries are those on the knees and hips.
Sometimes people with RA need total joint replacement with an artificial joint. Surgeries may relieve pain, correct deformities, and modestly improve joint function. In some cases, total knee or hip replacement can restore mobility and improve quality of life.
Why Turmeric Curcumin
Remember, a healthy immune system generates internal inflammation to fight off infections or prevent diseases. Sometimes, things can go awry, and your immune system will target the joints causing uncontrollable inflammation and joint erosion.
Curcumin can reduce inflammation and enhance the bodys antioxidant capacity, making the immune system more efficient. This benefit may help lower inflammation, ultimately decreasing joint pain, increasing mobility, and restoring functionality in problematic areas.
Weve seen turmerics positive anti-inflammatory effects demonstrated in many studies regarding back pain, fibromyalgia pain, and inflammation related to asthma and allergies. Now, we will review the research as it pertains to arthritis pain relief. More specifically, well cover how turmeric can help rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, osteoarthritis, and joint pain.
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How To Use Turmeric
Turmeric can be used in three different ways. You can use it in spice form by adding it to salads and curries. Turmeric is fat-soluble, so mix it with a healthy fat. If youre taking it as a supplement, using capsules or extract may reduce the risk of contaminants. The dosage for those with RA is 500 mg daily.
Can Turmeric Help Relieve Ra Symptoms
Turmeric, or Curcuma longa, is a bright yellow or orange spice that is a popular ingredient in a variety of food dishes. Turmeric also has a place in traditional medicine practices, such as Ayurveda, which uses the spice to treat:
- stomach problems
- liver conditions
Researchers have also studied the potential health benefits of turmeric and its compounds in Western medicine. According to a 2015 review article, study findings suggest that curcumin, one of the main active compounds in turmeric, may lower blood sugar and have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer properties.
RA is an autoimmune condition, which means that the bodys immune system mistakenly attacks healthy joint tissue. These attacks cause inflammation that eventually leads to bone and joint damage in the affected areas.
As such, the natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of turmeric may benefit people with RA.
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