Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease affecting all age groups, more common in 30-50 years. Women are affected three times in comparison to male. It affects joints and their covering called synovial membrane and in the later stages leads to degenerative changes. During progress of the disease it may affect many other organs such as pleura and pericardium.
The disease starts with morning stiffness, loss of appetite, general weakness and sometimes may be associated with mild fever and generalized muscle pain. When joints are affected, it become swollen, stiff, and warm and pain starts. The common joints affected are knee, wrist fingers, neck and ankle. As joint inflammation progress, excess synovial fluid is produced and the joint become swollen. It is considered that the degenerative changes happening to the joint are not directly proportional to the swelling, pain or stiffness of the joints. In advanced stages chronic inflammation affect cartilage, bones, ligaments and deformity of joints happen. In RA patients there may be periods of remission and bouts of flare ups or increased disease activity.
Symptoms of RA include:
- Pain, swelling, and stiffness in more than one joint.
- Symmetrical joint involvement.
- Joint deformity.
- Unsteadiness when walking.
- A general feeling of being unwell.
- Loss of function and mobility.
- Weight loss.
Clinical presentation of RA is comparable to vataraktha explained in ayurvedic classics. Excess physical and mental activities, indulging in bitter and astringent foods, lack of activities cause aggravation of vata. To be specific vyana vata, the sub division of vata is aggravated which is the cause of blood circulation. Irregular and unwholesome food habits, sedentary life style, habit of sleeping in day time, eating meat of animals of water logged areas, black gram, curd and excessive sour salty food, trauma are cause of aggravation of raktha dhatu or blood tissue.
Ayurveda considers rheumatoid arthritis as a systemic disease caused by vitiated rakta or blood tissue and vata. The vitiated rakta dhatu or blood tissue starts vitiating vyana vata and this vata in turn again aggravates rakta. These vitiated factors then spread all over the body and starts pathogenesis and manifestation in the joints thus causing vatarakta.
Ayurvedic treatment for RA is aimed at preserving the functionality of the joints by, preventing joint destruction, keeping the inflammation and the associated symptoms like pain and stiffness under control, to maintain a maximal range of skeletal mobility and to avoid the development of deformities and complications. This is done by eliminating the cause and balancing all the vitiated doshas in the body.
Kooplicat Ayurveda Hospital helps you achieve this through a holistic approach comprising of diet modifications, lifestyle changes, stress management, herbal medication and ayurvedic therapies, yoga and pranayama that helps the body get back to the state of balance and harmony. We offer these individualized treatments after taking whole-body view into consideration which includes the patient's physical constitution, lifestyle and food habits.