Rheumatoid Arthritis and Omega-3s

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Omega-3s

In the US, rheumatoid arthritis affects approximately 1.5 million adults. Furthermore, osteoarthritis affects 13.9 percent of adults above age 15 and 33.6 percent of adults, or approximately 12.4 million, above age 65, asserts the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Each of these types of arthritis results in limited mobility and additional problems for range of motion.  Although each condition reflects either an immune response or the natural degeneration of tissues in the joint, these conditions could be improved through the addition of an omega-3 supplement to the diet.

Omega-3s and Medication of Rheumatoid Arthritis

The treatment for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis often revolves around pain-relieving medications, such as acetaminophen, NSAIDs, steroids, and corticosteroids. However, each of these medications can pose additional risk factors for developing other serious health problems. For example, long term use of acetaminophen can cause liver damage, explains the University of Maryland Medical Center.

If you consider the anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3s, which are found in Krill Oil, the immune system response to result in inflammation in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis is reduced due to a prevalence of omega-3s in the body. Specifically, the University of Maryland Medical Center recommends eating a balanced healthy diet that will help to reduce inflammation in the body. Some foods that may decrease the inflammation include garlic, onions, watercraft, mustard, celery, herbs, seeds, and other foods rich in omega-3s. Furthermore, those with arthritis are advised not to consume refined foods and use healthy cooking oils in the preparation of food. Essentially, omega-3s help to reduce the amount of medication treatment needed for arthritis.

Perceived Pain and Omega-3s

Part of the problem with arthritis is the occurrence of pain and the perception of pain after minimal movement of affected joint. In the publication, the Effects of Ingestion of Omega-3 Fatty Acids on Perceived Pain and External Symptoms of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness in Untrained Men, researchers thought to identify if the ingestion of omega-3s would reduce the perception of pain. The results of the study revealed perceived pain levels did not seem to change immediately following exercise. Yet, the degree of pain seemed to be less for the participants after 24 hours, and the amount of pain experienced after 48 hours seemed to be even lower. As a result, researchers concluded that the ingestion of omega-3s is an effective tool in reducing the onset of muscle soreness from excessive range of motion, which is a key consideration for those suffering from arthritis.

An Alternative Approach to Treatment

Traditional treatment for arthritis may include many different approaches. Some of these approaches may result in additional joint damage, such as permanent scarring of tissue after recurrent injections of corticosteroids. Fortunately, omega-3s may be able to help reduce the symptoms and treatment requirements of potentially dangerous medications for the traditional treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. If you have any other medical condition that requires anticoagulant therapy, be sure to discuss your plans to take any type of supplement, such as omega-3s, which may reduce clotting factors in your blood.  By understanding what alternative treatment options exist for arthritis, you can help reduce the pain of rheumatoid arthritis.