What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

The problem:

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disease. The immune system mistakenly attacks bones, joints, and cartilage resulting in inflammation of those areas. 75% of people with this type of arthritis are women, and can affect people of any age. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you may suffer from:

  • morning joint stiffness
  • bumps around joints (especially hands and feet)
  • low energy
  • loss of appetite
  • anemia (low red blood cell count)

The solution:

Rheumatoid Arthritis has been linked to vitamin D deficiency. Luckily, when the deficiency is corrected, it also treats the inflammation of arthritis. Researchers have learned that the more vitamin D a person has, the less often they experience morning stiffness and joint pain related to rheumatoid arthritis.  Vitamin D can help to regulate the immune system, as well as maintain calcium levels. This is why it’s such a vital health factor for people with rheumatoid arthritis and other bone or joint problems.

Do you Have a Vitamin D Deficiency?

Nutritionists suggest a simple at-home test to see if you have low vitamin D levels. Just press against your sternum with your hand (aka breastbone). If that causes pain, you probably have a vitamin D deficiency. You can also ask your doctor or nutritionist about getting tested for vitamin D levels.

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A vitamin D deficiency can also carry symptoms like depression or constant low mood, excessive sweating, weakness, and fatigue in spite of getting enough sleep. Not to mention, having rheumatoid arthritis is actually a pretty reliable indicator that you’re not getting enough vitamin D.

Health Benefits of Vitamin D

In addition to regulating the immune system, vitamin D promotes healthy bones and teeth. Getting 800 international units (IU) can reduce the risk of bone fractures by 20%. No wonder it’s used to treat arthritis! This is especially important for adults, since bone production is much slower after childhood. Also, vitamin D is known to help moderate insulin levels in the blood. Making sure you’re getting enough vitamin D means you’re helping to prevent developing diabetes (or manage it, if you have been diagnosed already).

Where to Find Vitamin D

The consensus about how much vitamin D adults need every day has actually changed in recent years, in light of the growing numbers of people with a deficiency. Currently, it is recommended that adults get 4000 IU’s of vitamin D per day. How can you make sure you’re reaching that number every day to treat rheumatoid arthritis? There are a few notable sources of vitamin D you can take advantage of:

  1. The sun is still our best source of Vitamin D. But how much sunlight do we need to get enough?  Let’s say it’s a slightly cloudy day, and you’re outside on your lawn; you’d need at least 15 minutes of direct sunlight without any sunscreen or UV protection to get enough vitamin D for the day. Fortunately, scientists have confirmed that commercial UV tanning lights can actually provide the same benefits of vitamin D, when sunlight is scarce during the winter.
  2. Food sources: Fish are a great source of vitamin D, especially wild salmon; 2 large eggs = 88 IUs, some yogurts are fortified with vitamin D, providing up to 70 IU’s. look at the nutritional facts to find out which ones,
  3. Cod liver oil. Very high source of vitamin D makes it an easy supplement if you’re not eating fish or spending time outside sans sunscreen. 

Try these natural sources of vitamin D as a way to fight the painful symptoms of arthritis. It only takes a few simple steps to treat your joint inflammation, and start seriously protecting your bones.
SOURCES:

http://www.rheumatology.org/I-Am-A/Patient-Caregiver/Diseases-Conditions/Rheumatoid-Arthritis

http://www.prevention.com/health/symptoms-vitamin-d-deficiency

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/161618.php

http://zardoz.nilu.no/~olaeng/fastrt/VitD-ez_quartMED.html

http://www.dietitians.ca/getattachment/464f3006-0bb2-4f1a-a338-0b21d148bacb/Factsheet-Food-Sources-of-Vitamin-D.pdf.aspx

http://www.dietitians.ca/getattachment/464f3006-0bb2-4f1a-a338-0b21d148bacb/Factsheet-Food-Sources-of-Vitamin-D.pdf.aspx

http://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/treatments/natural/vitamins-minerals/vitamin-d-deficiency.php

https://www.vitamindcouncil.org/blog/in-rheumatoid-arthritis-vitamin-d-levels-are-related-to-disease-severity-inflammatory-cytokines-and-bone-loss/

http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/10-natural-ways-relieve-rheumatoid-arthritis

 

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