Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Strange Cures for RA

Some days you would think that cures for arthritis abound and those of us who have it have no excuse for not recovering. Some of this cure advice, like the importance of diet and exercise, would certainly be a benefit to anyone, but generally much of it is just old wives tales.  

Exercise is in fact something people with RA take to heart. To use RA Warrior's results from a survey of comments, more people with RA exercise than among the general public, so why are we not more healthy?  Is this the culprit below?
                                        IL-17 contributes to inflammatory diseases Photo: Professor Kingston Mills

Have you heard that gin-soaked raisins will cure you of rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)? I can just imagine a little gang of gin-soaked raisins chasing after the cytokines in the IL-17 family trying to have some effect on them.  Even with cute sneakers it's just not going to happen.


I have developed a huge resistance to most ideas that don't make sense or are too good to be true in their promises of immediate relief.  There are no ideas in this post except for diet and exercise that have any truth in them if you ask me.

My dad suggested I should drink apple cider vinegar every day. My brother gave me a copper bracelet with dragons on it. It was the copper that is said to be a remedy.


Here's another copper cure we can look at.  And the price is right!! Good thing we all saved some Canadian pennies.

A good friend went to a Chinese druggist and bought special pills to help me. I even tried them but did not notice the difference, though I liked the way they looked.

                                  These are really black balls. The pills were like this.

Let's not forget the magnets either, or the potato juice therapy that some people call a biological treatment.


This is only scratching the surface on bizarre cures. You could look at snake venom or bee venom cures, or bury your lower body in sand. Or how about olive oil and kerosene mixed and applied to your joints before a shower?  None of these ideas has any real proof or a clinical trial.  I think doing a trial on these would diminish your professional reputation.   

Though I did see that a scientific paper has been published in the National Review of Rheumatology with this title: Autoimmunity: Will Worms Cure Rheumatoid Arthritis? Do you think it is suspicious that the abstract is absent?


Insensitive Remarks Slip Out

My online friend Patty was out shopping one day.  She is so troubled by her hands she does not even like to eat in restaurants anymore.  She accidentally dropped a pill in a store and wanted to pick it up so no child would be at risk, and as she tried a little girl said "Mommy why does that lady have witches' fingers?"


I have two of those unforgettable comments in my memory.  Last week at the hairdresser I mentioned to someone I was talking to that I had RA.  When she looked at my hands she said "Oh, how awful"  This was obviously not meant unkindly because she proceeded to give me the name of  a rheumatologist I should see. It just came out all wrong.

Another time, in talking about exercise with a health care professional, she asked me why I would want to exercise for upper body strength with hands like mine.  The minute she said it she regretted it - too bad we can't delete conversations.  Many times I wished I could.

In truth people are trying to help with these ideas and just don't know enough about what to do that is effective. Raising awareness about RA may help us in the long run.

The worst thing I heard was from a friend in the midwest. The members of her church felt that it was a  deficiency in her faith that led to her disease being unremitting - and this from the group where traditionally support and comfort for the sick is thought to be ingrained.

I've found I just need to accept the comments people make for what the people mean to say, not the words that come out.   And no excuse for the happy baby, I just love that smile.


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