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Role of Vitamin D Levels in Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the lining of the joints. This inflammatory disease affects the joints of the hands, feet, wrists, elbows, knees and ankles and can cause pain, swelling, stiffness, and loss of function in the joints. Pain management services in Brooklyn involves providing quality care for RA using an approach that blends both pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic therapies. The prevalence of RA is on the rise in the United States. According to the Arthritis Foundation, about 1.5 million people in the United States have RA.

Rheumatoid ArthritisDr. Tomas De Haro Muñoz, of Hospital Universitario Campus de la Salud in Spain and his team conducted a study to investigate how a person’s vitamin D levels affect the course of a person’s RA treatment. For the purpose of study, Munoz and fellow researchers measured the presence of 25-hydroxyvitamin D – a marker which points to vitamin D in blood samples – in 78 people with RA. It was noted whether or not RA was in remission in each of these people. They also compared the vitamin D levels of those with RA with the levels of 41 healthy people who served as the study’s controls. The outcome of the study was that only 33 percent of the people with RA showed satisfactory vitamin D levels, and the levels were lower for those who had active RA and experienced more severe symptoms. The research presented at the 70th American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) Annual Scientific Meeting and Clinical Lab Expo in Chicago proposed that consuming some extra vitamin D is necessary to ease some rheumatoid arthritis (RA) symptoms. The authors also wrote, “The quantification of serum 25 (OH) D levels and, consequently, vitamin D supplementation, should be considered in the management of patients with RA.”

According to Dr. Daniel Small, a Mayo Clinic rheumatologist, “Vitamin D is very important for a person’s immune system, brain, and bones. Low levels have been linked to a worse prognosis in pretty much all of the diseases that affect these systems.” He also said that “Vitamin D deficiency may be seen as part of unhealthy habits such as poor nutrition, smoking, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, lack of exercise, physiological factors such as agoraphobia, or being shut in due to disabilities. Social – economic factors may be part of the deficiency as well, and the sum total of all these factors often leads to a poorer disease outcome, of which vitamin D deficiency is probably both causation and a sign.” He further added, “Vitamin D supplementation is important for most people that have not had adequate dietary intake.” Some good sources of dietary vitamin D are fresh fatty fish, eggs, mushrooms, beef liver, and foods that have been especially marked as fortified with Vitamin D – milk, orange juice, cereals, and tofu. Dr. Daniel Small says that anyone who has an autoimmune disease such as RA, osteopenia, or osteoporosis and neurological disorders should make sure to get their vitamin D levels checked. He said that primary care physicians test for vitamin D levels usually during people’s yearly physicals. You can get vitamin D supplementation through two separate forms of the vitamin – vitamin D-2 or vitamin D-3. Current research points to the fact that vitamin D-3 offers a better supplementation of vitamin D levels, and would recommend this form of the vitamin to his patients.

Brooklyn-based reliable multispecialty healthcare and rehabilitation centers offer comprehensive non-surgical treatment modalities to ease pain and reduce inflammation related to arthritis. Experienced doctors at these healthcare facilities will assess your medical history, conduct a physical exam and blood tests to diagnose the condition. Joint damage will be detected by performing imaging tests such as X-ray, ultrasound or MRI scan. Based on these assessments, they will develop a customized treatment plan. The treatment program combines medications, rest balanced with exercise, and lifestyle modifications. These include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), pain relievers, disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, injections, physical therapy, spinal decompression therapy, chiropractic care, muscle relaxants, exercise programs and Game Ready cold therapy system.

Benefits of RA Treatment

  • Reduces long-term complications
  • Helps maintain mobility and function
  • Prevents further joint damage and disease progression
  • Helps manage pain and other symptoms
  • Improves quality of life

Effective pain management helps patients with RA to manage their acute and chronic pain and also prevents disease progression from further damaging joints by sending it into remission.

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