Rheumatoid Arthritis and Our Alternative Remedy What is Rheumatoid Arthritis? Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic, degenerative disorder of the joints in the human body. The disease may develop in the body’s joints for years. During the early stages, there may not be major symptoms until the synovial membrane becomes injured and inflammation occurs followed by damage of the cartilage between the joints. After onset of the disease, disfigurement of the fingers may develop if the disease is not treated intensively. However, treatment of the disease is not always effective because it is very difficult to heal degenerative joints. According to the American Medical Association, 3 to 5 percent of the U.S. population may suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. This means approximately 1.3 million Americans live with rheumatoid arthritis. Major Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis: The major symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are differentiated in the development stages. In the early stage, patients may feel stiffness and pain in their fingers’ joints and/or wrists when they get up in the morning due to slower blood circulation while asleep at night. With development of the disease, patients may experience swelling around the joints and more severe pain. This is because of the inflammation of the synovial membrane, the inner lining of the joint capsule which surrounds the bones of the joints. One of the hallmark symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis is the symmetrical occurrence of deformation of the joints in both hands and/or heels. Some patients may experience fever and fatigue or lose their appetite. The fever brought on by the swelling and inflammation of the joints may last several days or even a couple of weeks. During the later stage of the disease, the deformation, swelling, and the pain in the middle joints of the fingers, knuckle joints and wrists become more severe. Many patients may see nodules growing out from the skin next to their joints. The nodules are created by an accumulation of the damaged bone and tissue debris caused by abrasion of the joints against each other. In some cases, patients may develop rheumatoid heart disease in which the membrane which covers the inner lining of the heart ventricles become inflamed, similar to the inflammation of the synovial membrane of the joints. What Causes Rheumatoid Arthritis? Rheumatoid arthritis is a very complicated connective tissue disease of the body that we do not fully understand. However, there are several theories about the disease’s cause. Most scientists believe that it is an autoimmune disorder of the body in which our immune system mistakenly attacks the bones and tissues of the joints, resulting in inflammation, swelling and pain. With the continuing attack, the tissues and bones of the joints may become damaged and abraded. There must be a trigger for this autoimmune disorder that attacks the patient’s own synovial membrane within the joints. One theory is that the trigger may come from genetic or hereditary factors. Another theory is that the disease may be triggered by cellular materials from either the patient’s mother or the patient’s children during her pregnancy: for example, the patient’s mother’s cellular materials may be transferred to the patient when the patient was in the mother’s womb, or a baby’s fetal cellular materials may be transferred to a patient when the patient was pregnant. When this cellular material accumulates in the joint area, the body’s immune system may identify it as a foreign invader and start to attack the cellular material, causing inflammation and flare up of the autoimmune disease. This speculation may explain why women develop rheumatoid arthritis at 3 times the rate of men. In our opinion, the triggering factor may come from a combination of poor blood circulation and chemical toxins that enter the connecting tissue. Poor blood circulation may result from blood loss or body fluid loss events such as bleeding from an injury, or when a woman loses blood during delivery of a baby. Particularly during a period of blood or fluid loss, if the hands or feet are exposed to cold weather or working with cold materials, such as cold water, for an extended period of time, the synovial membrane of the joints may be affected by the lower blood supply which may lead to a lower oxygen supply, a condition that can cause minor, local cellular shock, resulting in injury or damage to the synovial membrane’s cells. When exposed to cold weather or cold conditions, to protect vital organs such as the brain and heart which need a constant blood supply, the body automatically reduces or shuts down the blood supply to less vital organs such as the skin and connecting tissues that are distant from the heart. This is because these organs can survive without blood supply for a certain period of time. That is why in the winter or in cold conditions, people tend to get frostbite in their hands and feet. For people with loss of blood or body fluids or poor circulation, the blood supply may be more severely reduced to the organs when exposed to cold conditions. For people with poor circulation, the synovial membranes within the joints of the hands and feet are more vulnerable to injury and inflamed when working in the cold weather or in cold conditions. At the same time, chemical toxins may play a role in the development of rheumatoid arthritis, particularly when the body has poor circulation which may be caused by loss of blood and body fluids as well as some diseases such as diabetes, kidney dysfunction, etc. People may come in contact with chemical toxins either through their hands or feet in their daily lives. For example, people use detergents or chemical cleaners almost every day to clean their dishes, clothes, floors, bathrooms, furniture, etc. If the body has poor circulation, the chemicals in the detergents or cleaners may enter into the joints through the skin, and these chemicals may act like toxins to injure the cells of the synovial membrane, cartilages and bones or make them sick so that they eventually die. During this destruction process of cells of synovial membrane, cartilages and bones, these dying cells may release uric acid which in turn causes the immune system to destroy them. As a result, the synovial membrane, cartilages and bones of the joints become eroded if the attack continues. In summary, the combination of poor circulation and chemical toxins may be one of the major factors triggering the immune system’s attack on the synovial membrane and the tissues of the joints. The body’s poor circulation or loss of blood volume in a cold condition may result in local cellular shock of the synovial membrane and tissues of the joints. Subsequently, the cells of synovial membrane and tissues experience a lower oxygen supply, losing the vital function to protect themselves, thus becoming vulnerable to injury. Oxygen or air mixes with joint fluid (hyaluronic acid) within the cavity of the joints to support lubrication between the two bones of the joint. A lower oxygen supply to the cavity of the joints may reduce the amount of lubrication fluid, resulting in conflict between the two bones of the joint. At the same time, when coming in contact with chemical toxins, the toxins may enter the cells of synovial membrane and tissues of the joints since they are vulnerable to chemical attack. The destruction of the cells of the synovial membrane and tissues of the joint causes a response from the immune system that results in inflammation of the synovial lining and tissues of the joints. If this immune system response continues, the synovial lining and tissues of the joints will become thicker, and the cavity within the joints will be shortened; this increases the rubbing action of the cartilage of the joints. Finally, the cartilage will be destroyed, the bones of the joints become eroded, and the joints of the fingers and toes may become deformed. Therefore, the combination of the body’s poor circulation and a chemical toxin invasion may cause the flare up of a rheumatoid arthritis attack and lead to the development of rheumatoid arthritis. The opinion expressed above on the cause of rheumatoid arthritis may explain why there are 3 times as many women as men that have a chance of developing rheumatoid arthritis. This is because women have a greater chance of losing blood volume during their lifetime than men. For example, women will lose blood volume in monthly menstruation or after labor. Also, women have a greater chance than men to come in contact with chemical detergents with their hands. For example, women will handle cleaning dishes, washing clothes and household cleaning for their families. Traditional Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis: Since we do not fully understand what really causes rheumatoid arthritis, so far there are no drugs that can directly cure the disease. Therefore, treatment for rheumatoid arthritis is based only on reducing the symptoms and controlling its development. The traditional treatment for rheumatoid arthritis is to relieve its major symptom, pain. Doctors will treat patients with painkillers to relieve the pain. In general, 2 major types of painkillers are used for treatments. The first type is a non-steroid, anti-inflammatory drug, or NSAID, such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen. The second type is a steroid painkiller such as the corticosteroid drugs, Prednisone and Methylprednisolone (Medrol). Although the painkillers can quickly relieve the pain and discomfort for patients, they cannot prevent the development of rheumatoid arthritis. Also, these painkillers generally have side effects, particularly if taken for a long period time. Major side effects include internal bleeding if the patients have stomach ulcers, and constriction of the blood vessels that may result in high blood pressure, harm the heart, or cause stroke. For controlling or modifying the development of rheumatoid arthritis, doctors use drugs to suppress the immune system since the development of the disease is caused by the patient’s immune system repeatedly attacking the connective tissue of the joints. Major drugs suppressing the immune system, also called Disease Modifying Anti - Rheumatic Drugs (DMARDS), include Azathioprine (Imuran), Methotrexate (Rheumatrex), Penicillamine, Leflunomide (Arava), Etanercept (Enbrel) and Infliximab (Remicade). They are used to control the development of the disease. In general, these drugs target the immune system’s cells, such as T-cells and B-cells, or tumor necrosis factor (TNF-alpha), to prevent inflammation, the immune system’s response. These drugs normally take 4 to 6 weeks show results. Treatments with DMARDS in the early stage of rheumatoid arthritis may modify the development of the disease. However, they can cause serious side effects, including harming the liver, loss of bone, and weakening of the patient’s immune system which may lead to difficulty in fighting diseases and infection and in healing wounds, and may make the patient vulnerable to cancer if the drugs are taken for a long period of time. Prevention of Rheumatoid Arthritis: First of all, one of the best ways to deal with rheumatoid arthritis is prevention. One important factor in prevention is to avoid physical injury. Physical injury to the joints can be caused by being overweight or even overworking of the joints. Normally, people overlook the fact that overusing the joints can cause injury to the connecting tissue of the joints in certain conditions. One of the major conditions is when the body has poor circulation that may be caused by loss of blood or fluids, as seen during a female’s menstruation and labor, and some related diseases such as diabetes or kidney disorder. In this condition, the body always tries to protect the heart and the brain with a constant supply of blood and may sacrifice the hands or feet by reducing or shutting down the blood supply to these areas. As a result, when the joints are overused, especially in a cold condition, the tissue of the joints can become injured, causing pain in the joints. When cells of the connecting tissue are in a lower oxygen condition, they are very vulnerable to injury; for example, we see this when people need to catch their breaths while running hard. Actually, pain is not always a bad thing. It alerts people that something is wrong in the area of the pain and warns them that a disease may be the cause. In the case of joint pain, the pain warns people to stop working and take a rest; otherwise, more severe injury may occur. Therefore, when the body has poor circulation, people need to avoid overusing their joints, hands or legs; try to avoid contact with cold water; and keep their bodies warm to prevent injury to the joints. Secondly, patients need to improve the body’s blood circulation; otherwise, tissues of the joints may become vulnerable to injury. Patients also need to manage diseases such as anemia, diabetes and kidney disorders which may cause poor circulation. Thirdly, avoiding direct contact with chemical toxins is another way to prevent development of rheumatoid arthritis. Particularly if the body has poor circulation, direct contact of the hands and feet with chemical compounds such as various detergents, cleaners and other harmful chemical agents should be avoided. This is because in the body’s poor circulation condition, the tissues of the joints are most vulnerable to chemical toxins and become easier to injure. Alternative Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis: Our alternative treatment for rheumatoid arthritis is to use a combination of two Chinese herbal medical formulas. The first one focuses on reducing the symptoms of the disease, such as swelling in the joints, and relieving the inflammation and pain. A traditional Chinese herbal formula called Vine Essence Pill is used for this therapy. The Vine Essence Pill herbal formula was first developed to treat t he illness of the first Emperor of China more than 2,000 years ago, and since then, the formula has been modified to improve its effectiveness. The herbal pill is made in China’s Beijing Medical Manufacture Company by using ingredients consisting of Geranium Herb, Erycibc Stem, Chinese Angelica Tree Herb, Futokadsura Stem, Oriental Ginseng, Pipefish, Ilicis, Kadsura A.C. Root, Epimedium Aerial Parts, Dong-Quai Root, Homalomeana Rhizome, Chinese Licorice Root, Sichuan Lovage Rhizome, Morinda Root, Ligusticum Rhizome, Gastrodia Rhizome, Sichuan Teasel Root and Fo-Ti Root. This herbal formula primarily works on the connecting tissues and the bones of the joints by relaxing the tissues and strengthening the bones. It also reduces the stiffness and swelling of the joints and relieves pain due to its anti-inflammatory function. To reduce the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, patients take 4 pills per time, 3 times daily, and may show effective results from the treatment in 1 to 2 weeks. So far, thousands of patients have taken this formula through our retail store. The feedback from many patients has been positive, and there have been no reports of any major side effects from the pills. The second herbal formula tries to control the development of rheumatoid arthritis by targeting the cause of the disease since we believe one of the major causes of the disease may originate from the body’s poor circulation which may be caused by the loss of blood volume or fluid, complications of diabetes, as well as kidney disorders. For this reason, we use a traditional Chinese herbal formula, Gejie Bu Shing Wan, to tonify the kidneys and improve blood circulation. Gejie Bu Shing Wan primarily works on the kidneys to improve one of its important functions, releasing the hormone called Erythropoietin. The Erythropoietin hormone, released by the kidneys, promotes production of the red blood cells in the blood’s circulation. Weakness of the kidneys may affect their ability to release enough Erythropoietin, resulting in lower production of red blood cells and in turn causing poor circulation. Gejie Bu Shing Wan are capsules made by China’s Yilin Medical Manufacture Company by using ingredients consisting of Gejie, Cordyceps Fungus, Oriental Ginseng, Epinedium Aerial Parts, Broomrape Herb, Astragalus Root, Lycium Berries, Atractylodes Rhizome and Polyporus Sclerotium. This herbal formula is popular and well known for improving kidney function and has been used in China for hundreds of years. Patients taking 3 to 4 capsules per time, 3 times daily, may show effective results from the formula in about 2 to 3 weeks. Thousands of rheumatoid arthritis patients have used this formula from our retail store. There have not been any complaints of side effects, and many patients feel improvement in their body’s blood circulation, as well as the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
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