Can diet and Alternative therapies help with Rheumatoid Arthritis


I've just been diagnosed with RA and I'm wondering if by changing my diet and using alternative therapies I could not have to take prescribed medication? I'm really upset at the moment with my diagnosis as I have horses and think I'm going to have to give this up as the pain is bad and I don't want to make my body worse! I'm in real turmoil with it all at the moment.


  • PeterJ
    PeterJ Administrator Posts: 872

    Hello @rachael50 and welcome to the community. We are a friendly and supportive group and I hope that that will be your experience as well.

    I understand that you have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and are looking for advice on diet and alternative treatments. On our website we have a lot of information and a good search facility and I would suggest having a look around it. To help I've put a couple of links in below.

    Please do keep posting and let us know how you get on and I am sure others will connect with you to share their experiences.

    With very best wishes

    Peter (moderator)

    Need more help? - call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • Hi @rachael50 

    Thank you for posting on the helpline forum. I am sorry you are feeling upset and in turmoil about your recent diagnosis of RA. There’s a lot to take in, and it’s clear you want to make decisions that will help you to manage the condition so that you can have the best quality of life in the short-term and in the future. We are here to help you through this.

    Thank you to PeterJ for providing the links to RA and to diet and nutritional supplements.

    Changing your diet and lifestyle probably won’t have as great an impact on your arthritis as medical treatments, but it can make a difference alongside them. It’s possible to lead a full and active life with the condition, with treatment and lifestyle changes.

    Having a good understanding of your condition will help you know about your treatment options and why diet, exercise and other self-management methods are important. It will also mean you’re in a good position to get the most out of your appointments with healthcare professionals.

    I expect your rheumatologist has prescribed DMARDS (Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs). These address the underlying disease and slow down the disease and its effects on the joints, protecting the joints and your overall health for the future.  Although most people find the prospect daunting, they can make a big impact on your quality of life. RA can affect different people in different ways, so it’s difficult for rheumatologists to predict how the condition might develop in individuals. They prefer patients to start on these treatments as soon as possible because damage to the joints can happen quickly and is irreversible, but this is ultimately the patient’s decision. Your rheumatologist may be able to assess how fast your arthritis is developing and what the outlook for the future may be with or without medication.

    You are very welcome to call us on our freephone helpline: 0800 5200 520 so you can have chat with one of our helpline team that is tailored to you. We can talk you through the medications and support you to have a more informed discussion with your rheumatology team about your concerns and the treatment options available. I do hope you will call us.

    I hope this is helpful.

    Best wishes


    Helpline Team