Rheumatoid Arthritis Advice From Dr. Oz and Others

Rheumatoid arthritis advice from Dr. Oz and others
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When looking for medical advice or information, your safest bet is to turn to sources with reliable credentials that can back up their claims with published evidence or data. Therefore, if you are searching for rheumatoid arthritis advice, should you turn to TV stars like Dr. Oz or other health professionals who are not specialists or researchers in this field, or should you rely on more relevant resources?

Where do you get your health information?

Healthcare consumers are continuously inundated from various media sources with information about the latest "hot" supplement, medical procedure, drug, surgical technique, diet, and sure-fire cure for all sorts of health issues, including rheumatoid arthritis. Separating the true helpful information from the hype can be a challenge, especially when some of the information can come your way as glitzy, popular TV shows, attractive packaging, and catchy sound bites.

That's not to say there may not be a kernel of truth in some of these attempts to catch your attention, but if you want reliable, verifiable information about a condition such as rheumatoid arthritis, don sunglasses to block out the glitter and look for true experts.

Where to get information about rheumatoid arthritis
As with most health issues, there are two basic sides to the story: the mainstream conventional approach, and an alternative/complementary approach, and in the case of rheumatoid arthritis, both sides have valid input. If you truly want a broad spectrum of information from which you can make informed decisions about how to manage your rheumatoid arthritis, such information is available for this disease.

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The following brief list of resources is provided as a starting point for your own personal research on rheumatoid arthritis and is not an endorsement of any one source. It will hopefully give you an idea of the level of professional staff, services, and research you should look for when seeking help for rheumatoid arthritis, whether such expertise is available in your city, online, or elsewhere.

This information comes with a reminder that you should always verify your sources, check references, and ask questions of a drug or supplement provider, physician, or organization about their information or study findings.

Because everyone is different and has their own biological profile, no one treatment approach works for everyone who has rheumatoid arthritis. Therefore it's important to not only do your research, but to try different therapy options based on what you uncover during your investigation.

  • The Arthritis Foundation is a traditional, conventional source of information about rheumatoid arthritis. Visits to the website and contacting local offices for services and information can be helpful as part of your information-gathering process. In addition to conventional medical advice, the Arthritis Foundation also offers information about alternative/complementary therapies for arthritis.
  • The Baylor Research Institute-Rheumatology is actively involved in clinical research studies and genetic research of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • The Massachusetts General Rheumatoid Arthritis Program is internationally known for its research into this autoimmune disease.
  • Arthritis Research UK is a nonprofit organization that can help keep you up to date on the latest research on rheumatoid arthritis
  • The Cleveland Clinic Orthopaedic & Rheumatologic Institute has a professional staff of rheumatologists, occupational and physical therapists, musculoskeletal patient educators, and non-operative orthopaedic doctors who specialize in rheumatoid arthritis and similar conditions
  • From the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine comes information regarding studies on "Food and Arthritis." Numerous reports published in peer-reviewed journals explain the benefits of specific dietary approaches shown to significantly improve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis as well as help prevent them from occurring.
  • A dietary approach recommended by Neal Barnard, MD, whose research has focused on nutrition and the relationship between food, inflammation, and pain (outlined in his book, Foods That Fight Pain) has been shown to significantly help individuals with rheumatoid arthritis. His Four-Week Anti-Arthritis Diet is based on years of research of the effect of diet on inflammation and pain.
  • John A. McDougall, MD, author of The McDougall Program: 12 Days to Dynamic Health, who has dedicated decades to researching the effects of diet on health, uses his approach with much success at Dr. McDougall's Health and Medical Center in California.
  • The American College of Rheumatology is a reliable resource for rheumatoid arthritis patients, including advice about exercise, which is a critical part of disease management. The ACR website on Exercise and Arthritis is a good starting point for information.

The bottom line is, when seeking information and advice about rheumatoid arthritis (or any health issue), be sure to look for experts and organizations in the field or area of your interest, check all references and study sources, and take a broad view by examining more than one viewpoint.

Image: Morguefile

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Comments

There isn't a magic bullet that cures all RA and there never will be The problem with finding a cure is that RA is caused by hundreds of reasons, not just one. No one strategy can prevent it, apart from diet, and different types of arthritis respond to different treatments so no one treatment can cure them all. If it could, no doubt we would have found it. It took scientist 7 years from a concept to the actual use of the atom bomb. Cancer research, in contrast, has been going on for more than 50 years, and the cancer figures are increasing rather than decreasing. Same with RA. Most research seems to be focused on means to cope with the disease rather than overcoming it. Baylor has been doing clinical research and trials, and has more than 40 years of experience in rheumatic care, clinical trials, novel drug development and translational investigation. Drug companies like Pfizer is, and has been involved in court cases for misconduct in research. Public Health Service (PHS) established the following definition of “misconduct in science” through federal regulation in 1989: “Fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, or other practices that seriously deviate from those that are commonly accepted within the scientific community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research. With all this going on should we wait for research? I feel it might be better to avoid the most commonly quoted causes of RA, such as dairy products, wheat, and potatoes and tomatoes. It might not have been triple placebo, three blind mice tested on yellow canaries, bu it might work for at least some of those suffering from this debilitating disease!
Last year I was diagnosed w/Rheumatoid Arthritis. I have had two major flare-ups which required prednisone treatment. I am in Illinois and we've had a lot of cold days and snow. Is this the main cause of flare ups? The worst one was on Christmas day. I also have Osteoarthritis. Have had three knee replacements.
Generally, experts say that everyone responds differently to weather changes, including cold and fluctuations in barometric pressure. Some people with arthritis experience flares in cold weather while others do not. Stress and eating inflammatory foods (e.g., dairy products, animal fats) also can contribute to increased pain and flares. With the vast amount of cold weather much of the US has experienced this year, there may be lots of people who are experiencing an increase in problems with their arthritis!