RA and lupus can’t be cured, but medications help. Researchers have also found some foods that relieve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and symptoms of lupus.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and lupus are two different diseases, but they have several things in common. People with RA or lupus often go through periods known as flares, when symptoms are worse, and they can also experience remissions of their diseases for a time. Both rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are autoimmune diseases and both are, at the present time, treatable but incurable.
In all, there are more than 80 autoimmune diseases. These conditions occur when a person’s immune system attacks their body’s own tissues, organs, and cells. RA and lupus, along with type 1 diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease, are among the most commonly diagnosed autoimmune diseases, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. While symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and symptoms of lupus differ, both conditions are known to involve inflammation.
In recent years much progress has been made in relieving RA and lupus symptoms and helping prevent complications with drugs that reduce symptoms caused by inflammation. And it turns out there are specific foods that relieve symptoms of RA and lupus, too.
Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
About 1.5 million people in the United States have rheumatoid arthritis, women making up the majority. In fact, women are around three times more likely to have the disease than men. Rheumatoid arthritis typically starts to affect people between the ages of 30 and 60. However, worrisome symptoms of RA are most likely to develop when a person reaches their 60s, according to the Arthritis Foundation.
The immune system of people with RA mistakenly attacks joints, causing inflammation in the synovium (the tissue lining the inside of joints) to thicken, swell, and cause pain. If the inflammation isn’t reduced and continues unchecked, damage to cartilage (the elastic tissue covering the end of bones in joints) and bones can develop.
March 27, 2020
Christopher Nystuen, MD, MBA