Ayurvedic Treatment in Kerala for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Understanding Rheumatoid Arthritis
Of all the different kinds of arthritis around us, rheumatoid arthritis is perhaps one of the most feared because of its progressive nature and the huge impact that it has on one's career and life. Modern medicine’s limited understanding of the condition and its inability to offer safe & side effect free treatment options, make the situation worse. It is in this context that the value of ayurvedic treatment for rheumatoid arthritis is fully understood. Undergoing ayurvedic treatment for rheumatoid arthritis in Kerala opens the possibility of being able to lead a normal, active, symptom-free life without any side effects or drug dependence even though a permanent cure may not be achieved. Above all, ayurvedic treatment offers a safe way to prevent the dangerous progress of the disease. With the growing awareness world over on ayurveda and its benefits, more and more patients are looking for the best ayurvedic treatment for rheumatoid arthritis in Kerala.
What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is a kind of progressive arthritis where one or more joints are inflamed. In ayurveda, rheumatoid arthritis is understood as amavatam. It is different from the more commonly seen osteoarthritis. While osteoarthritis is basically a degenerative disorder of bones due to wear and tear, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that happens as a consequence of poor digestion. The disease starts as joint swelling and pain, but if it is not managed correctly it progresses to damage other organs like the skin, eyes, lungs, heart and blood vessels. Rheumatoid arthritis therefore has the potential to cause a serious impact on a person's physical, emotional and social lives as well as lifespan.
When should you consider ayurvedic treatment in Kerala for rheumatoid arthritis?
For all progressive diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, the general rule is, the earlier you undergo treatment, the better. When you undergo ayurvedic treatment for rheumatoid arthritis while the disease is still in its early stage you have a far higher chance of being able to completely arrest the progress of the disease and lead a normal symptom free life. The first symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are often seen after an infection or a fever. Morning stiffness that usually relieves after a hot shower is an early cardinal symptom. In most cases, it is one of the limbs which is first affected. The intensity of pain varies with seasonal changes and even during the day - it is usually most severe in the morning and becomes less by midday. Symptoms like fatigue, loss of appetite resulting in weight loss, lack of enthusiasm, full body pain, feeling of heaviness, indigestion, and constipation are also often seen in the early stages of rheumatoid arthritis. If you are experiencing these early symptoms, do not wait for the disease to progress and do not depend on pain killers. Seek ayurvedic consultation at the earliest.
How do diet and lifestyle cause rheumatoid arthritis?
The underlying reason for rheumatoid arthritis is poor digestion. When we indulge in wrong food and lifestyle habits over a long period of time, it disturbs our digestion. When digestion and metabolism are impaired, a toxic environment spreads in our body. This in turn disturbs our physiological balance and our normal physiological functions. When a toxic environment is formed inside joint capsules, our immune system tries to remove the toxins by attacking it, but in the process it causes damage to the joints instead. As a result, the joint lining or synovium gets inflamed leading to swelling and pain. Therefore, one of the main aspects of ayurvedic treatment for rheumatoid arthritis in Kerala is to correct digestion and detoxify the body. If treatment is not taken in time and if the toxicity is allowed to spread in the body, the disease spreads to other internal organs like skin, lungs and heart.
Ayurvedic Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis
What is the approach adopted in the ayurvedic treatment for rheumatoid arthritis in Kerala ?
The basic approach adopted in the ayurvedic treatment for rheumatoid arthritis is to address the root cause of the disease and arrest its progress. The root cause of rheumatoid arthritis is the toxins formed in the body as a result of improper digestion and the subsequent disturbance in dosha balance, especially the vata dosha. Therefore treatments that can correct digestion, detoxify the body and restore dosha balance are administered. Panchakarma treatments are adopted to stop the progress of the disease and anti-inflammatory therapies are employed to reduce joint stiffness pain and swelling.
What are the different stages in the ayurvedic treatment for rheumatoid arthritis in Kerala ?
What are some therapies used in the ayurvedic treatment for rheumatoid arthritis in Kerala?
Treatment procedures adopted are a combination of langhanam therapies, panchakarma and vata pacifying treatments. Langhanam is adopted as the foremost therapy because it is the basic way to tackle toxins in the body. Ruksha swedanam in the form of valuka swedam (a form of massage done with sand filled pouches) is suggested for rheumatoid arthritis, especially over joints. This helps to reduce the swelling around the joints and increase blood circulation to the affected parts. Due to the inflammatory nature of the disease, oils cannot be used for therapies since it will only worsen the condition. After these langhanam and swedanam procedures, the body is prepared for elimination therapies like virechanam and vasti. Virechanam /purgation eliminates toxins by cleansing the gut. Vasti is administered to eliminate the vitiated vata. Two types of vasti - anuvasana vasti and kshara vasti - may be given alternatively.
How long does it take to complete rheumatoid arthritis treatment in Kerala?
You may be advised an initial course of 3 to 4 weeks of inpatient ayurvedic treatment in Kerala followed by a few months of medicines to be taken at home. In some cases, follow-up courses of treatment may be found necessary in the subsequent one or two years. This is because rheumatoid arthritis is a self progressing autoimmune disorder and severe cases may need to be attended with more treatment sessions. Under ayurvedic treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, there are no lifelong medications to be taken.
How successful is the ayurvedic treatment for rheumatoid arthritis?
The biggest benefit is that by undergoing ayurvedic treatment, you can prevent the progress of the disease. The treatment provides nourishment to joints, relieves pain and improves joint mobility by reducing swelling and improving blood circulation. Ayurvedic treatment for rheumatoid arthritis also replenishes the system as a whole. Thus it reduces degenerative changes in the body and prevents joint deformities. Proper digestion, activated taste buds, better appetite, feeling of lightness, higher energy levels, proper sleep, formation of new tissues etc are other valuable benefits.
How is the ayurvedic treatment of rheumatoid arthritis different from western biomedical management of the disease ?
In western medicine, rheumatoid arthritis is treated mainly with painkillers and corticosteroids. In severe conditions, 3 to 4 painkillers are to be depended on which may still give only a temporary, symptomatic relief. Besides, many of these medications are known to have very serious side effects. On the contrary, rheumatoid arthritis treatment in Kerala addresses the underlying reason for rheumatoid arthritis. It strengthens joints and improves overall health. In most cases, when ayurvedic treatment is taken in time, it is successful in preventing the progress of the disease and preventing the disease complications. Besides, the drugs do not have side effects when taken as advised and there is no need for lifelong medications. Therefore ayurvedic treatment for rheumatoid arthritis offers the patient a safe way to manage the disease and lead a pain free, normal life.
Diet and lifestyle
What is the role of diet in the ayurvedic treatment for rheumatoid arthritis?
Food and dietary habits that cause indigestion are important causative factors for rheumatoid arthritis. Therefore, for patients with rheumatoid arthritis, ayurveda advises a light, easily digestible diet that is served hot. Eat fresh, warm, home cooked meals. Avoid foods that give you gastritis and constipation. Avoid eating on-the-go or in haste or while doing something else like working at the desk. Avoid munching through the day. Drink 2 to 3 litres of lukewarm water everyday. Take ginger tea and citrus fruits as they have anti inflammatory action. Finish your meal at least one hour before bedtime.
What are the lifestyle modifications required in the ayurvedic treatment for rheumatoid arthritis?
Sleep: Avoid partying at night. Do not stay up late. Sleep at regular hours. Avoid sleeping during the day.
Exercise: Make light exercise a part of your routine. Walk for about 30 minutes everyday and do mild stretching exercises. Keep your body weight in check but do not over exercise. Practise yoga and meditation every day and minimise stress. Reduce climbing stairs or hills. Swimming and trekking are to be avoided.
Environment: It is found that people in cold countries are more prone for rheumatoid arthritis. Working or sleeping in an air conditioned environment could also be another trigger. This is because cold aggravates vata dosha. If you live in a cold country, stay indoors when there is extreme cold weather and use good protective clothing when you go out. Always try to keep your body warm and avoid too much exposure to wind.
Habits: Avoid drying your hair under the fan and instead towel dry your hair. Do not keep oil on your hair overnight. Use hot water for showers. Do not suppress natural urges for bowel and bladder evacuation. Avoid overuse of mobile phones and other such electronic gadgets. Avoid alcohol and quit smoking.
Rheumatoid arthritis is chronic, serious, inflammatory condition of the joints. Since the disease has an autoimmune nature it is self progressing and can cause serious complications like joint deformity and loss of mobility, if not treated early. Morning stiffness and joint pain that aggravates after rest are classic symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. If you have been experiencing these symptoms and diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, seek ayurvedic treatment at the earliest to get the best results. While modern medicine fails to offer safe ways to control the disease, ayurvedic centres in Kerala are seeing more and more rheumatoid arthritis patients coming in for treatment. Undergoing panchakarma treatment for rheumatoid arthritis when the disease is still in its early stage gives long lasting results and can completely arrest the progress of the disease, helping you to continue to lead a normal life. You may need an initial course of inpatient ayurvedic treatment in Kerala for 3 to 4 weeks followed by medicines to be taken at home for a few months. If you have a more serious or advanced case of rheumatoid arthritis, you may be advised to undergo one or two courses of follow-up ayurvedic treatments in the subsequent years.
Why is it necessary to stay in patient at a Kerala ayurvedic centre while undergoing treatment?
Choosing a well equipped Kerala ayurvedic centre with physicians and therapists who are experienced in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and staying in patient is very important because rheumatoid arthritis is a self progressing a disorder and in order to stop the progress of the disease, panchakarma therapies including eliminatory processes like virechanam (purgation), vasti (enema) etc will be necessary. These panchakarma therapies along with medicines, patient education for diet and lifestyle modification, therapeutic yoga and meditation training etc will help the patient to return to normalcy and lead a full life. In order to administer these treatment procedures correctly and achieve the treatment goals, a hospital setting is required.
During my treatment period will I need to be at the Kerala ayurvedic centre all the time or can I go out for shopping and sightseeing?
You will need to be at the Kerala ayurvedic centre all the time because during treatment, your body will be going through many detoxification and rejuvenation processes and will need special care and support. Your diet will need special attention and you may also be advised to avoid wind and exposure to harsh sunlight. You will be advised to stay at the centre and only go out when absolutely necessary with the physician’s permission.
Does ayurvedic treatment for rheumatoid arthritis require lifelong medications?
No, lifelong medication is not prescribed in ayurvedic treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. What is important is that if you are diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, you must undergo ayurvedic treatment soon in order to prevent the progress of the disease. The earlier you take treatment, the better the results that can be achieved. When ayurvedic treatment for rheumatoid arthritis is taken in time and as prescribed, it will help to arrest the disease completely. This differs from patient to patient. After the initial course of ayurveda treatment in Kerala, if you are advised follow up treatment in subsequent years, make sure you undergo these follow-up treatments as well so that you can be free of symptoms for a lifetime.
Can ayurvedic treatment for rheumatoid arthritis in Kerala prevent the development of nodules?
Yes, if ayurvedic treatment for rheumatoid arthritis is taken in time, the progress of the disease and its complications like nodules can be prevented. Ayurvedic treatment for rheumatoid arthritis is found to be successful in arresting the progress of the disease. Complications of rheumatoid arthritis happen in the later, chronic stages of the disease, so if your disease is diagnosed early and if treatment is taken in time, this chronicity can be prevented and the disease can be arrested.
I have extreme fatigue. Will ayurvedic treatment for rheumatoid arthritis in Kerala address the fatigue? Will I be more energetic after treatment?
Yes. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, then the fatigue that you experience is basically due to indigestion. Since ayurvedic treatment for rheumatoid arthritis corrects digestion and improves blood circulation, your energy levels will improve after treatment.
Do I need to undergo any diagnostic tests when I come for ayurvedic treatment of rheumatoid arthritis?
Yes, you may be advised to undergo some blood tests before your ayurvedic treatment for rheumatoid arthritis in Kerala . Tests like ASO titre, RA factor and ESR are significant in the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis, but these tests may not be mandatory for all patients.
My blood test shows that Rheumatoid factor is negative. Will that make a difference to the ayurvedic treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in my case?
No. In ayurveda, rheumatoid arthritis or amavatam is diagnosed mainly by the symptoms. The symptoms act as key points to determine the severity of the disease as well. So even when RA factor remains negative, the ayurveda treatment for rheumatoid arthritis remains the same .