Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects synovium, the lining of the joints. It is an autoimmune disease, in which the body’s immune system produces antibodies that attack its own tissues. Some individuals with RA do experience flare-ups after eating certain foods especially dairy products, tomatoes, eggs and nuts. Hence, it is advisable that she keeps a food diary and if her condition worsens after eating a particular food, it is best to avoid it.
The same goes for foods that improve RA such as fiber and fish. Try to eat them more regularly. Oily fish and fish oil contain omega-3 fatty acid derivatives specifically eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) that inhibit the formation of inflammatory compounds. Evening primrose oil is another valuable supplement as it contains gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an omega-6 fatty acid derivative which is associated with beneficial anti-inflammatory prostaglandins.
Clinical studies revealed that a combination of fish oil and evening primrose oil significantly reduced morning stiffness and swollen joints which led to improvements in RA. It is important to understand that although home remedies such as cold packs, rest and elevation may make your mother feel somewhat better, these will not prevent the progressive destruction of her joints. Thus, apart from prescribed medications, it is advisable to supplement her diet with fish oil and evening primrose oil. A 4:1 ratio of fish oil and evening primrose oil is the optimum ratio that our bodies can use.