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What is Rheumatoid Arthritis – The Inflammation Connection
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, systemic inflammatory disease that happens when the immune system attacks certain proteins in the body. Rheumatoid arthritis typically begins as joint pain in the fingers and toes. It also can cause disruption of cardiac, pulmonary, or cutaneous (skin) systems. Three people in every 10,000 persons will develop rheumatoid arthritis annually. RA most commonly manifests in patients between the ages of 35 and 50 years of age and affects women three times more often than men.
Rheumatoid arthritis often results in joint disfigurement and chronic pain, creating chronic inflammation that leads to disruption of the body’s own tissues. RA affects synovial cells, an important source of fluid in joints, causing these cells to over grow in size and complexity (hypertrophy). This eventually leads to destruction of cartilage and bone.

The key immune cell players in RA include CD4 T cells, mononuclear phagocytes, fibroblasts, osteoclasts and neutrophils. These cells once activated, produce immune system proteins, which can lead to chronic inflammation. This inflammation and synovial cell hypertrophy is responsible for the destruction of bones, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and even blood vessels.

RA is currently treated with anti-inflammatory drugs, disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), immunosuppressants and steroids. Not a cure, but these drugs help slow the progress, control the inflammation as well as the pain associated with RA.

Unfortunately, mortality rates for patients with RA has shown to be 2.5 times greater than that of the than non-RA suffers of the same age. Infection, cancer, vasculitis and poor nutrition are implicated as significant causes of increased mortality in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Breaking the Cycle
Aside from taking extensive medications, some of which have sever side-effects, is there anything an individual can do to alleviate the symptoms and even the progression of RA? The answer is yes.

Scientific researchers have known for sometime that the cornerstone of all degenerative conditions is chronic inflammation. We know that there are triggers within the immune system that cause this process but what triggers the triggers?

Diet – Let’s go back to the reference above about poor nutrition. There are numerous studies linking the progression and severity of RA symptoms to foods that promote chronic inflammation. According to Dr. David Perlmutter, a neurologist and author of “Grain Brain”, the most prominent dietary simulators of the inflammation pathways are gluten and a high carbohydrate diet in general. This is true regardless of being “gluten sensitive”. Not only does this deadly reaction to the food we put in our bodies affect the development and progression of RA, it causes inflammation in the brain, a precursor to Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. The connection to chronic inflammation and heart disease is well documented and RA suffers are at higher risk.

The Immune System – When the immune system is working optimally, the thymus gland makes proteins that mature and “educate” T-cells to stop and start the immune response. But the thymus gland shrinks with time and eventually stops producing the proteins required for the immune balance that replaces dysfunctional or declining T-cells by maturing and activating new ones.

In the past, there was no known way to replace the specific protein required to activate T-cells in the thymus, the cells at the very cornerstone of our ability to deal with disease, infection, prevent autoimmune response and inflammation.

In a discovery made by Dr. Terry Beardsley during research into the HIV virus, Thymic Protein A was discovered. Thymic Protein A (TPA) is the essential protein required by the thymus gland to mature and replace T-cells. Whether due to aging or genetics, when the thymus no longer has access to TPA, new T-Cells cannot be matured and utilized by the immune system thereby altering the body’s ability to mount a healthy immune response. The result is more vulnerability to infection and viruses, less ability to fight off diseases like cancer, increases in autoimmune issues like RA and potentially an uncontrolled inflammation response.

The good news for rheumatoid arthritis sufferers is there are two ways to directly address the severity and progression of their condition.

First, as Dr. Perlmutter establishes via scientific research referenced in his book “Grain Brain” and through extensive use in his own practice, a gluten free diet and lowering carbohydrate intake has a remarkable impact on lowering inflammation markers which signals a reduction of chronic inflammation in the body. As one of our ProBoost customers reported, his endocrinologist puts all her diabetic patients on a gluten free diet to reduce their risk of heart disease from chronic inflammation.

Second, supplemental replacement of Thymic Protein A boosts immunity by increasing the number of mature T-Cells needed by the immune system to properly regulate infection, inflammation and autoimmune response.

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