The best treatment and prevention for rheumatoid arthritis is proper diet and nutrition, detoxification, and stress control. Correction of skeletal or postural problems should also be assessed. Achieving a normal body weight can also help since excess weight puts stress on weight-bearing joints that are affected with arthritis. Proper diet and nutrition play a large role in immune function and arthritis. Eating a diet in fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, and whole grains is recommended for maximum benefit. Cold water fish such as mackerel, herring, sardines, and salmon are beneficial with reducing inflammation. Taking cod liver oil supplement may also reduce the inflammatory process. Fatty meats, eggs, margarine, shortening, and all dairy products should be minimized or preferably eliminated from the diet. Avoiding caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, and sugars is also recommended. It is also a good idea to be tested for food allergies. Research has shown that some people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis are sensitive to solanines or lampshade plants. These include potatoes, peppers, eggplant, and tomatoes. These should also be eliminated from the diet. Some people with rheumatoid arthritis have great results from fasting, however this should be done under medical supervision.
Many researchers believe a balance of certain vitamins and minerals are vital in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Researchers recommend large amounts of vitamin C as well as vitamins A, B1,B6, E, and niacinamide. Other supplements that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects include boron, zinc, copper, selenium, manganese, panotothenic acid, methionine, flavonoids, tryptophan, sulfur, and proteolytic enzymes. Bee pollen, royal jelly, and evening primrose oil have also shown many benefits with alleviating arthritic symptoms.
There has also been research done on the use of the supplement called, glucosamine sulfate, and its effect on arthritis. The results have shown this supplement can be especially effective with helping to reverse arthritis. It stimulates the production of connective tissue and new cartilage growth which is necessary to repair the damage caused from the arthritis. Calcium and magnesium are also very important in fighting arthritis.
A very beneficial herbal tincture for rheumatoid arthritis consists of a mixture of meadowsweet, willow bark, black cohosh, prickly ash, celery seed, and nettle tinctures. Mix these in equal parts and take one teaspoon of the mixture three times per day. Adding wild yam and valerian to the mixture has shown excellent results for those specifically suffering with rheumatoid arthritis.
Eating canned or fresh cherries have also been found to have favorable results with preventing and reducing inflammation of the joints. Blueberries and other dark red-blue berries are also rich in compounds that affect collagen metabolism and prevent inflammation of the joints.
Guided imagery and yoga have excellent results for those with rheumatoid arthritis. Aromatherapy is also beneficial. Dissolve camphor and mint in rubbing alcohol and apply it externally. Juice therapy is also beneficial. Drink fresh celery juice during the acute inflammatory stage. Fresh carrot, cabbage, beet, and cucumber juice are also helpful.
A good book to read about the connection of food and environmental allergies and rheumatoid arthritis is called "Arthritis: The Allergy Connection". The book is written by John Mansfield, M.D.
The Rheumatoid Disease Foundation can be very helpful with answering your questions and guiding you to qualified physicians.