Is there a cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis?

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Is there a cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Touchy subject: a cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis

It seems like the there are thousands of the websites about Rheumatoid Arthritis which tout one cure or other. One of them must be real, right? I wish.

The other day someone became particularly angry with me after I typed this: There is no cure yet for RA. I’m sorry. I wish there were. People really want to believe there is a cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis. At my first rheumatology appointment, I asked whether there might be a cure. When I read my chart years later, it sounds like he thought I was a nut.

A food to cure Rheumatoid Arthritis

No, there is no food to cure Rheumatoid Arthritis. Wouldn’t that be great if we could eat yummy berries or fish instead of taking shots? Everyone I know would rather drink juice and swallow fish oil than take medication.

Nutrition is still important for RA’ers. We can use diet as one more weapon to fight inflammation. However, there other reasons: RA’ers  are predisposed to several conditions which can be combated in part by nutritional methods. Examples are heart disease and osteoporosis. Look for more nutrition posts soon.

A medicine to cure Rheumatoid Arthritis

We are seeing some AIDS patients living for decades. Most of us know someone whose cancer has been cured. Could it be that medical science has just done so much in our lifetimes that we expect a cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis to materialize soon?

I’ve never read a science or medical abstract which uses the word cure. So, I asked a friend who is always current on research for Rheumatoid Arthritis treatments to give me an opinion on RA cures. My friend said that we are decades away from a cure, especially since we do not yet understand how Rheumatoid Arthritis begins.

Are some people cured of RA?

What is so confusing is that Rheumatoid Arthritis has at least four possible courses. It may remit completely for a small percentage of people and never return. RA may flare and remit alternately without progressive damage or with increasing damage and disability. Or, RA may flare in an uninterrupted fashion, creating more damage all the time.

It is almost impossible to tell what causes a remission in someone whose Rheumatoid Arthritis remits anyway. If Rheumatoid Arthritis has been cured, then it will not return. And more significantly, if any substance could cure RA, it would work on the severe unremitting Rheumatoid Arthritis which has no natural remissions. These RA’ers can show only modest improvement even on disease modifying medicines (DMARDs).

Is this cynicism about an RA cure?

This site is written by a person living with Rheumatoid Arthritis who wants to see this disease eradicated from the face of the earth. If there were a viable cure, I would want to know about it and be cured. I believe there are at least two real problems with mistaken beliefs about an RA cure:

1) Some people do not treat their Rheumatoid Arthritis as they put their faith in a false cure, so they suffer greater permanent damage from RA.

2) As long as the public is confused about what RA actually is, what it is like to live with it, and what treatments and cures are available, it will remain difficult to educate the general public or obtain widespread support for a greater movement to find a genuine cure for RA.

In other words: It would be better for us if the world heard this: Rheumatoid Arthritis is a horrible incurable disease that causes irreparable damage. Let’s find a cure.

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Kelly Young. All rights reserved.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009 at 8:56 am and is filed under Reality Check. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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