She’s in her 30s and has had rheumatoid arthritis (RA) for quite a few years. By our 1st meeting, she has already developed erosions and had widespread swelling and pain in joints, both big and small.
It was not an issue with lack of rheumatology support. She was seeing someone and she had tried a number of traditional DMARDs such as Methotrexate and Sulphasalazine. These weren’t working effectively enough.
I think the issue was she was always searching for a “better” solution, something she could control that would cure RA.
Over the years, she searched for this help from many sources: naturopaths, herbalists, traditional medicine practitioners. She radically altered her diet. She even paid thousands of $ to experiment with faecal transplantation. and high dose antibiotics. To cure RA.
This led to a delay in upscaling her medical treatment. Finally, years later, she commenced a biologic DMARD. This worked after the 1st injection and by many different measures utilised in clinical trials, she can now be said to be in remission. This however still requires her to use medication.
I had thought that she had reached a point of acceptance.
She then saw an ad pop up in her Facebook feed introducing her to the Paddison program, self-touted as “The Most Successful Natural Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment In The World”. It advertises the possibility of “becoming pain-free, drug-free and back to maximum energy!”
A chance to cure RA!
This has led to more mental angst and doubts about her treatment. More reading, more Youtubing, more focus on looking for alternatives.
I am hopeful she will find some benefit from trying it but I do worry about what it does to her psyche. More rumination about what could be & what ifs.
I don't think it’s a healthy mental state to be in.
Those of you who read this blog and know our clinic, will understand that we do believe that there is a role for diet and good nutrition, we very much feel that exercise and lifestyle changes matter. We have seen people who have done remarkably well with these changes and in some, their musculoskeletal complaints are very much helped by these measures. In some, they do not need medication or their use of medication is reduced.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is however not one single disease. There are many different presentations, different responses to therapy, likely different causes and different immune pathways affected.
There are certain presentations of RA which are much more worrying and more likely to cause damage. These might involve the presence of high level RA autoantibodies, high levels of systemic inflammatory markers (ESR/CRP) and the presence of erosive change (as this predicts more damage will occur if uncontrolled). When you have these markers, cure is unlikely.
And I would not promise to cure RA.
But some do, and I think some use it as a very powerful marketing message given it’s a message that many are looking for.