Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that causes symptoms of arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis affects the lining of the joints, causing pain, stiffness, and swelling. It may also affect other organs of the body including the heart, lungs and blood vessels. Rheumatoid arthritis is more common in women than men and it usually develops in individuals over the age of 40. Functional testing focuses on the immune system and determining the true cause of the inflammation that is creating the symptoms associated with arthritis.

Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is characterized by pain and swelling in the joints. It commonly affects the wrists and fingers but may also affect the elbows, hips, knees and other joints of the body. Additional symptoms may include:

  • Tender joints
  • Redness and warmth in the joints
  • Rheumatoid nodules, or firm bumps of tissue under the skin
  • Morning stiffness
  • Symmetrical pattern of affected joints
  • Fatigue

Functional medicine & Rheumatoid Arthritis

The connection between gut health and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) development is one of several conditions where gut permeability predates symptoms, and it may be possible to prevent joint damage by treating the gut. Functional medicine helps clinicians understand the critical roles of gut integrity and microbial dysbiosis on patient health and provides key insights into preventing and treating chronic diseases like RA, that have been shown to be related to gut dysfunction.

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