The Beginner's Guide to Natural Living
The ultimate healthy lifestyle guide on how to prevent disease, lose weight, improve energy and live vibrantly.

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Dr. Angela Agrios, ND
My very talented Naturopathic Doctor
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Los Angeles, CA (Pacific Palisades)

Rheumatoid Arthritis
Naturopathic Medicine Treatment
Interview with Dr. Simon Barker, ND

Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. It’s a condition that involves the body attacking parts of itself, and in this case—in the case of rheumatoid arthritis—it’s attacking the joints, causing pain, difficulty with motion, sometimes even deformities. Nobody’s entirely sure why people develop autoimmune diseases. We know that there’s a genetic component; we know that there’s an environmental component; and certainly there seems to be a strong link with the way that people eat and the way that they live their lives.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Medications
There are a variety of different conventional treatments for rheumatoid arthritis. Often, they start out using anti-inflammatories or painkillers, and those can be very hard on the stomach, they can cause a lot of their own problems.

But if those don’t work, or if they’re not being effective enough, then typically they’ll use more aggressive treatments like plaquinil and methotrexate—and methotrexate is actually a chemotherapy drug. And there a number of really significant side effects with these: headaches, nausea, and so forth. One of the major problems is these treatments are for life—I mean, rheumatoid arthritis is not expected to go away, and so people are treated long-term with these medications.

Natural Medicine Rheumatoid Arthritis Causes
When a patient comes to see me with rheumatoid arthritis, I want to look for what the root causes are. And oftentimes, the central issue is around the gut: leaky gut is a significant problem, and that can lead to food sensitivities; there can also be environmental toxins that are a problem; bacterial and fungal toxins in the gut can also play a role. Naturopathic treatment of rheumatoid arthritis wants to address each of these causes in turn.

Natural Medicine Rheumatoid Arthritis Diagnosis
We want to focus, initially, on the gut—we want to make sure that we’re dealing with the central issue, finding out what the food sensitivities are and avoiding those food sensitivities, doing what we can to support the intestinal lining, dealing with any overgrowth of bacterial or fungal toxins, and dealing with any toxicities from the environment the patient has developed. We may want to use natural anti-inflammatories to help reduce the pain and discomfort of the arthritis as we’re dealing with these central root issues.

Live Naturally: Improve Your Health Today

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Natural Medicine Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment
Rheumatoid arthritis can be a very difficult disease to treat, but if I’ve had great success with many of my patients. Many of my patients are completely off all their medications within three to six months, and some of them have reversed the disease completely. If someone would like to reduce or reverse rheumatoid arthritis, they should think about trying the natural living lifestyle.

Natural Medicine Rheumatoid Arthritis Diet
There are a number of aspects of the natural living lifestyle, but one of the most important is diet. We think about diet for rheumatoid arthritis—we want to look at decreasing inflammation, so we want to take out foods that are going to increase inflammation like red meat, dairy products; we want to put in foods that are going to decrease inflammation—vegetables, fish, for example. We want to think about adding in supplements that may be helpful: probiotics and omega-3 fatty acids in the form of flax or fish oils can be very helpful in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. And of course I recommend the patients find a naturopathic doctor to help them with their questions.

Interview with Dr. Simon Barker, ND

Also See: Dr. Angela Agrios, ND Naturopathic Doctor Health Series