joint damage

  1. New arthritis rheumatoid med comes with huge risks

    New arthritis med comes with huge risks

    An FDA panel has signed off on a first-of-its-kind drug for rheumatoid arthritis -- but if you're suffering from this painful and even debilitating condition, don't get your hopes up.

    The drug, tofacitinib, reduced pain in clinical trials by such small amounts that you might not even notice a difference.

    And in return for the possibility of what amounts to just a little bit of relief, you could face big-time risks -- including the possibility of lymphoma and infection.

    It's not clear yet how big those risks are, but the FDA panel isn't interested in waiting around to find out. And if the FDA itself signs off on that recommendation, as it usually does, it'll be one more case of "approve first, ask questions later."

    Let's ask the questions now for a change -- especially the biggest one of all: Why don't RA drugs work very well?

    Answer: Because RA is an autoimmune disease with many possible causes.

    In some cases, it can be genetic. But it's more often caused by food allergies, infections (bacterial, fungal or viral), poor digestive function, hormone imbalances, exposure to toxic metals, or the presence of certain antibodies.

    In some cases, RA can even be the body's response to stress.

    But drugs don't treat any of that. They're more about symptoms, not the cause -- and even then, it's with very limited effectiveness.

    Case in point: The 20 percent improvements seen by patients who took tofacitinib in a company-funded study. And the FDA says X-rays tracking the rate of joint damage were inconclusive.

    So the best we can say about the drug is that it might mask the pain a little even as joint damage progresses. At some point, you have to wonder if the damage will be so great that the drug can no longer mask the pain even a little.

    Clearly, this drug isn't the miracle you'd expect from something being rushed through approvals -- and along with possible links to lymphoma, the drug can cause bronchitis, headache, infections and the usual array of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

    If you're suffering from RA, I understand your pain. I understand how badly you want relief.

    You can get it, too -- if you know where to look. Start with a holistic doctor who can identify and treat the cause of your RA rather than the symptoms. I've found it can usually be done with some combination of dietary changes, proper nutrition, and natural hormones.

    Not drugs.

  2. Some "D" for your knee

    Some of the biggest complaints I hear from my older patients concern arthritis.

    Well, I should say I get that complaint from my new older patients – because those who've been with me for any period of time and start following my plan tell me their arthritis is gone, unless it's end stage joint damage (bone on bone).

    I'll tell you more about that in a moment, but first I'd like to take a look at some remarkable new research that shows a link between osteoarthritis and a vitamin D deficiency.

    That's one more reason for you to make sure you're getting enough of the sunshine vitamin.

    A study published in May in Arthritis & Rheumatism found that folks over the age of 51 who don't get enough vitamin D lose 1.5 percent more knee cartilage per year than those who do.

    That might not sound like a lot, but over a few years it can add up – and over a decade or two, there's a potential for some serious damage.

    But if that's not enough to convince you to make sure you're getting enough vitamin D, consider this: Vitamin D can help reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke and cancer, prevent colds and the flu, and even help you live longer.

    While it's called the sunshine vitamin because your body can make it from exposure to the sun, there are too many factors that can interfere with that natural process. Everything from sunblock to clothing to the weather can impede your body's D production, so to really make sure you're getting enough, you'll want to take a supplement.

    But don't worry – they're inexpensive and easy to find.

    Now, vitamin D alone won't cure or prevent osteoarthritis – but it may help cut down on your risk or slow its progress. There are a number of factors that can cause or worsen this condition, and a few things you can do on your own to stop and even reverse it.

    For a complete look at how to rebuild your joints and cartilage and truly rid yourself of arthritis, go back into the May issue of Health Revelations. If you haven't subscribed yet, don't worry – if you sign up now, you'll get complete access to the archives.

    And if you're concerned about other forms of arthritis, be sure to take a look at the June issue as well, where I explain the real cause of rheumatoid arthritis – and show you how to reverse it.

    My plans are easy, inexpensive and something you can do on your own. Most of my patients are amazed at how well they work – they tell me all the time how they haven't felt this good in decades.

    Isn't it about time you felt that good, too?

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