Living with chronic pain takes a tremendous toll on those who suffer with rheumatoid arthritis. Quality of life is affected not just by those stiff, sore, swollen joints, but also by emotional, mental and financial repercussions. Depression, loss of employment, and difficulties in marital and family relationships can cause stress, which in turn can make autoimmune diseases such as arthritis worsen.
Prescription medication can be useful, but it is expensive and can cause side effects that add to stress. Over-the-counter remedies can alleviate joint pain but instigate stomach pain, for instance. More serious side effects can occur too, as evidenced by the recall of Vioxx in 2005. Alternative means for managing your pain can at least help lower the dosage of these medications.
While it may seem like the last thing you feel like doing, getting some gentle exercise can help strengthen joints and relieve pain while also reducing stress levels. The buoyancy provided by exercising in water makes that possible when other kinds of exercise are too painful. Losing any extra weight, too, can relieve some of the stress on joints.
There are also nutritional supplements that can help, particularly Natur-Leaf®. This supplement contains sterols and sterolins, which are compounds obtained from plants that may help relieve symptoms and work against the cause of autoimmune disorders such as arthritis. Sterols have anti-inflammatory properties to relieve the pain and swelling. They also provide "building block" nutrients to the immune system to help it modulate itself. And unlike prescription drugs, Natur-Leaf® has no negative side effects.