The word rheumatism is derived from the Greek word, 'rheuma' which means swelling. It refers to an acute or chronic illness which is characterized by pain and swelling of the muscles, ligaments or tendons or the joints.
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Yograj Guggul: 2 tablets twice daily before meals with plain water.
Aamvatantak Churna: 1 teaspoonful twice daily after meals with plain water.
It is a severe chronic, systemic inflammatory disorder that may affect many tissues and organs but principally attacking the joints producing inflammatory synovitis that often progresses to the destruction of articular cartilage and ankylosis of the joints. The exact cause of rheumatoid arthritis is unknown but autoimmunity plays a vital role in the progression of the disease. it is such a painful condition that slowly it leads to immobility and disabling of the joints with the progression of the disease.
The onset of the acute variety of rheumatism is characterized by fever, intense soreness and pain. In the acute muscular type, the area becomes so sensitive that even the weight of the bed clothing aggravates the pain. It may settle into a chronic state under a wrong mode of treatment. If the disease is not treated properly in the acute stage, it may become chronic.
The symptoms of chronic muscular rheumatism are pain and stiffness of the affected muscles. In the case of chronic articular rheumatism, pain and stiffness are felt in one or more joints of the body, with swelling in most cases.
The chief cause of rheumatism is the presence of toxic waste products in the blood. The liberal consumption of meat, white bread, sugar and refined cereals leaves a large residue of toxic wastes in the system. When the vitality is low, the toxic wastes are concentrated around the joints and bony structure, where they form the basis of rheumatism.
In certain cases, infection from the teeth, tonsils and gall bladder may produce rheumatism. The disease is aggravated by exposure to cold water and working in water for a long time.
The joint inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis is due to synovitis, an inflammation of the synovial membrane and tendon sheaths. The joints are inflamed or swollen and warm to touch and the movements are restricted. Most commonly, small joints of the hand, feet and cervical spine are affected. Morning stiffness is the most commonly seen feature and it lasts for more than half an hour.
The patient suffering from rheumatoid arthritis should always prefer to have boiled and steamed foods. They should drink warm water instead of plain and cold water. They should strictly avoid fried food items, refrigerated foods, meat, white bread, sugar and refined cereals. They should also avoid processed, canned foods, pickles, spices, condiments and beverages like tea or coffee. Following a strict vegetarian diet has been proven beneficial for a number of patients.
Also fasting done occasionally has been proven beneficial for a number of patients.
They should avoid exposure to cold and dampness.
The conventional medicines are prescribed in a manner to relieve pain, reduce swelling, and slow down the damage of joints and to help the person function better.
Medications include Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID's), disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), biological response modifiers and corticosteroids.
Usually pain killers are opted to subside the rheumatic pain. The commonly prescribed drugs are aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen.
In more severe forms of rheumatoid arthritis, corticosteroids, penicillamine and cyclosporine are prescribed.
Non medicament treatments include physical therapy, modified exercise programs and following a health lifestyle such as having a healthy diet, adequate rest, and avoiding stress. Exposure to fresh air and deep breathing are also found to be beneficial.