Rheumatoid Arthritis


Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis | RA

What’s the difference between RA and common osteoarthritis pain and swelling that comes from an injury or aging? The symptoms can seem the same. But rheumatoid arthritis occurs when your immune cells attack your joints, causing tissue damage, inflammation and pain. It’s a specific form of arthritis. Often the only way to tell if you have RA is to do the blood tests listed below.


  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Low-grade fever
  • Depression
  • Muscle pain
  • Nodules or bumps under the skin and over an affected joint
  • Morning stiffness that lasts an hour for at least six weeks
  • Symmetric joint swelling
  • Swelling of three or more joints for at least six weeks
  • Swelling of wrists or fingers for at least six weeks

Request these tests from your integrative M.D.

  • Hand X-Ray
  • Blood test for inflammation: Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR) and High-Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein
  • Blood tests for ANA, Rheumatoid Factor (RF) and anti-citrullinated peptide/protein antibodies

These blood tests are critical because they will be your answer to whether or not you have RA. It’s possible to have a positive ANA with the remainder of the tests being negative; this means you do not have RA. But, you can have RA because you have a positive RF or anti-CCP but have a normal ANA. The Cardio CRP and ESR are indicators of how much inflammation might be happening in your body at the moment, helping to monitor flares in your disease.


  • Check for leaky gut and dysbiosis
  • Try an elimination diet
  • Automatically stop eating nightshade veggies (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers)
  • Take anti-inflammatory herbs such as curcumin to reduce pain and inflammation in joints
  • Do a stool analysis because dysbiosis in the gut is strongly associated with RA and you must be sure your gut flora are healthy

It is essential to work with a nutritionist and an Integrative M.D. because I am sharing general information that is not intended to be medical advice. This information is only given for informational purposes.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Diane Osier March 18, 2014 at 6:42 pm

I have been ‘somewhat’ (95%) gluten free for 5 months. I have had Rheumatoid arthritis for 12 years. Because of side effects from the prescribed medicines my health care practitioner suggested I get off all meds and go gluten free. I have depended on Organic NonGmo corn tortillas for my go to grain..and organic salsas. (I am Hispanic!) I have read pros and cons regarding nightshade vegetables, whether they help or hinder is not a definite science. I would be curious what studies you have read about. Thanks!


Amie March 18, 2014 at 9:13 pm

Thank YOU Diane. oxxxx


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