What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

February 2, 2023

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation in the joints and surrounding tissues. This inflammation leads to pain, swelling, and stiffness in the affected areas, and can eventually lead to joint damage and disability.

Functional nutrition is a holistic approach to health that seeks to address the underlying causes of disease and promote optimal health. In the case of RA, functional nutrition can be a valuable tool for managing symptoms and reducing inflammation.

By identifying and addressing imbalances in the body, a functional nutritionist can help individuals with RA improve their quality of life and reduce their reliance on conventional treatments

Causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis

A. Genetic factors

Genetics can play a role in the development of RA. Certain genetic mutations have been linked to an increased risk of RA, and having a family history of the disease can increase an individual's likelihood of developing it.

B. Environmental triggers

Environmental factors, such as exposure to toxins, can trigger RA in individuals who have a genetic predisposition to the disease.

C. Microbiome imbalances

An imbalanced microbiome, or the collection of bacteria in the gut, can also contribute to the development of RA. Research has shown that imbalances in the gut microbiome can trigger inflammation and contribute to the development of autoimmune disorders.

D. Nutritional deficiencies

Nutritional deficiencies, such as low levels of Vitamin D, Omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants, can also contribute to the development of RA.

Signs & Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis

A. Joint pain and swelling

Joint pain and swelling are the most common symptoms of RA. These symptoms are caused by inflammation in the joints and surrounding tissues.

B. Stiffness

Stiffness in the joints, particularly in the morning, is another common symptom of RA. This stiffness is due to the inflammation in the joints and surrounding tissues.

C. Fatigue

Fatigue is another common symptom of RA. The chronic inflammation caused by RA can lead to a state of chronic fatigue, which can interfere with daily activities.

D. Systemic symptoms

In addition to joint-specific symptoms, individuals with RA may experience systemic symptoms, such as fever, weight loss, and anemia.

Conventional Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis

A. Medications

Conventional treatments for RA typically include medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), and biological drugs. These medications can help reduce inflammation and relieve symptoms, but they can also have significant side effects.

B. Surgery

In severe cases of RA, surgery may be necessary to repair or replace damaged joints.

C. Physical therapy

Physical therapy is another conventional treatment approach for RA. Physical therapy can help improve joint mobility and reduce pain and stiffness.

The Functional Nutrition Approach

A. Identifying and addressing underlying causes

A functional nutritionist will start by conducting a comprehensive assessment to identify any underlying imbalances in the body. This may include evaluating diet, lifestyle factors, and any nutritional deficiencies. By addressing these underlying causes, a functional nutritionist can help reduce inflammation and manage symptoms of RA.

B. Anti-inflammatory diet

One of the key components of the functional nutrition approach to RA is an anti-inflammatory diet.

An anti-inflammatory diet typically emphasizes whole, unprocessed foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein sources, and healthy fats. The goal of an anti-inflammatory diet is to reduce the intake of pro-inflammatory foods, such as refined carbohydrates and added sugars, and to increase the consumption of anti-inflammatory foods, such as omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.

C. Supplementation

In addition to diet, a functional nutritionist may recommend supplementation to address any nutritional deficiencies and support overall health. This may include Vitamin D, Omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants, as well as other supplements to support gut health and reduce inflammation.

D. Lifestyle changes

Lifestyle changes, such as stress management techniques and physical activity, can also play a role in managing RA. A functional nutritionist can work with individuals to develop a personalized plan that includes these lifestyle changes to support their overall health and well-being.

There have been many success stories of individuals with RA who have used a functional nutrition approach to manage their symptoms. One example is a patient who suffered from severe joint pain and stiffness for years before turning to functional nutrition. With the help of a functional nutritionist, this patient was able to adopt an anti-inflammatory diet and make other lifestyle changes that reduced their inflammation and improved their overall health. Another example is a patient who was able to reduce their reliance on medication and improve their quality of life by addressing underlying imbalances and adopting an anti-inflammatory diet.


The functional nutrition approach to RA offers a holistic, personalized approach to managing symptoms and reducing inflammation. By addressing underlying causes and promoting overall health, a functional nutritionist can help individuals with RA improve their quality of life and reduce their reliance on conventional treatments.

If you are living with RA and are looking for a way to manage your symptoms and improve your overall health, consider seeking out the support of a functional nutritionist. With personalized guidance and support, you can adopt an anti-inflammatory diet, make other lifestyle changes, and address underlying causes to support your overall health and well-being.










Nishmeet Arora
Content Writer, Digital Marketer

Nishmeet Arora is a content creator, host of the Send Dudes Podcast, and marketing enthusiast. He is passionate about creating meaningful connections through conversation and storytelling. With a background in engineering, Nishmeet brings an analytical approach to his craft. He has worked with various brands and influencers, helping them to create and distribute engaging content.

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