Tips for Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus Sufferers.

Tips for Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus Sufferers

Feb 15, 2024

There are many forms of arthritis. Common arthritis symptoms such as inflammation, pain, and stiffness are usually caused by degenerative arthritis, known as osteoarthritis. It is the most common type of arthritis in the UK and other developed countries.

Rheumatoid arthritis is another form of arthritis. However, although it produces similar symptoms, unlike osteoarthritis, it has been proved to be an autoimmune condition. It means that in rheumatoid arthritis our own immune system, instead of protecting our joints, starts attacking them by sending antibodies against joint tissue. In this way, our own immune system causes chronic joint inflammation and damage.

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), known as lupus, is also an autoimmune condition. However, apart from joints, it usually affects other parts of the body, including the skin and internal organs.

 Possible causes and triggers

Possible causes and triggers

It is not fully understood why immune cells start behaving in such an abnormal way and attack parts of own body. Nevertheless, there are scientific reasons to assume that the listed below factors may negatively influence our immunity and contribute to the development of various autoimmune conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

  • Nutritional deficiencies, especially lack of antioxidants, vitamin D, B12, zinc, selenium, and magnesium. For instance, vitamin D, zinc and selenium are required for the normal function of the immune suppressor T-cells. Without these essential nutrients, suppressor T-cells are not able to prevent other immune cells from attacking own tissues.

There is a growing number of research suggesting that lack of vitamin D is a very important factor that contributes to all 160 autoimmune conditions (1). A lack of Vitamin D results in weak and dysfunctional immunity leading to frequent infections, allergies, and autoimmune   conditions.

In his bestselling book “China Study” Prof. Colin Campbell wrote that, “Autoimmune diseases become more common the greater the distance from the equator.” It means that all autoimmune diseases have a lot to do with the deficiency of vitamin D (“sun vitamin”).

Scientists led by Dr C. Mok, studied 300 lupus patients, and confirmed previous findings that the lower the vitamin D levels, the worse the lupus. They also identified that 96% of the lupus patients were vitamin D deficient (2).

  • Poor mental health, including low mood, anxiety, depression, and inability to control psychological stress.

When we study the physiology of our immune system, we get an impression that it somehow responds to our mood, thoughts, and mental attitudes. One scientist trying to express this idea suggested that leukocytes behave like “pieces of brain scattered all over the body”.

Brain in our organism is like a “chief commander” and because of that, all other parts of the body, including immune cells, never question anything coming from the brain. That is why the placebo or nocebo effect can impose such a powerful effect on body’s physiology and health.

Therefore, the simple conclusion is that anxiety, depression, and negative mental attitudes may greatly contribute to the development of all autoimmune diseases.

  • Insufficient number of beneficial probiotic bacteria in the gut leads to overgrowth of bad bacteria and increased gut permeability (leaky gut syndrome). It causes hyper-reactivity of the immune system through retention of toxic metabolites.

It is believed that the immune system, trying to cope with toxins, mistakenly attacks also own cells and, as a result, also causes inflammation of the joints. The same mechanism might be behind lupus and other autoimmune conditions.

  • Regular consumption of heated animal protein found in dairy and meat may contribute to autoimmune conditions, including RA and SLE.

  • Unhealthy diet, high in refined foods (sugar, white flour products, white rice, etc.), refined oils and margarines rich in pro-inflammatory omega 6 fatty acids, and deficiency of healthy omega-3 fats found in foods such as flaxseed or chia seeds.

  • Artificial sweeteners, Gluten, wheat, and GM foods.

  • Regular use of various stimulants.

  • Lack of exercise and sleep.


Nutritional and Lifestyle Recommendations


Nutritional and Lifestyle Recommendations

All forms of arthritis are more prevalent in populations with high meat and dairy consumption. For this reason, your diet should include healthy unrefined plant-based products.

A study published in the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases, confirmed that a Mediterranean diet which is high in whole plant foods including fruits, vegetables, legumes, and cold-pressed olive oil helps arthritis sufferers (3).

Frequently consume raw fresh vegetable juices, super greens (chlorella, spirulina, barley grass, alfalfa, etc.), and sprouts.

Two times a day, 30 min before meals, drink 1 glass of raw fresh vegetable juice made of carrots, celery, kale, broccoli and beetroot.

Eat foods rich in resveratrol (red grapes, cranberries, and blueberries) as it helps slow down the progress of arthritis. Scientists at Rush Medical University showed that resveratrol blocks the enzyme that is responsible for tissue degeneration (4).

Proper internal hydration of the body (including joints) through drinking properly filtered water (8-10 glasses daily) is very important.

Improve blood circulation through regular energetic physical activity, water treatments (alternative hot and cold showers), healthy plant-based diet, and plant extracts (especially Ginkgo biloba). Even if we manage to supply the body with all the nutrients, yet without proper blood circulation and clean flexible capillaries, the body may still fail to reverse the damage as capillaries won’t be able to provide oxygen, nutrients, phytochemicals and antioxidants to the synovial fluid and cartilage.

Consume fresh pineapples because pineapples contain bromelain, an enzyme that helps to fight inflammation. It must be either supplemental bromelain or fresh pineapple because canning, freezing and processing destroys the enzyme.

Avoid proinflammatory omega-6 fatty acids fats found in popular refined oils (sunflower oil, corn oil, soya oil, vegetable oil, etc.) and margarines. Instead use raw organic coconut oil and cold-pressed olive oil.

Do not consume white flour products, white pasta, refined rice, artificial sweeteners, any foods containing high fructose high-glucose syrup, and refined sugar as all of them can exacerbate the inflammation and pain.

Avoid dairy products (especially cheese), gluten, processed products, foods high in nitrites (meats).


Nutritional Supplements

Every day after breakfast take a good nutritional supplement with zinc, selenium and about 5000 IU of Vitamin D3. It is very important as deficiency of these essential nutrients is regarded as one of the key causes of autoimmune conditions. Since vitamin D3 supplements require magnesium for its own conversion into an active D4 form in kidneys and because they lead to magnesium deficiency, you must take 200mg of good quality magnesium twice daily.

According to a 2015 study, “Vitamin K2 in the form of menaquinone-4 (MK-4) has been shown to be very beneficial for people with rheumatoid arthritis. It was found that 45 mg per day of Bit. K2 MK-4 reduced clinical and biochemical markers of disease activity. For these reasons, MK-4 has been recommended as a new agent for the treatment of RA either alone or in combination with standard RA therapy.

The more recent study revealed that administration of Vit. K2 MK-7 (100 µg/d) to RA patients for 3 months decreased the signs of rheumatoid arthritis, providing evidence that this form of vitamin K2 may be also effective (5).




Rosehip from Rosa canina (dog rose) has anti-inflammatory properties and may block the activation of proteins in cartilage cells that can lead to unhealthy degradation of joint tissue. The key active ingredient in Rose hip which is responsible for the beneficial effect, is a fat-soluble galactolipid compound called GOPO. The results of studies carried out at Frederiksberg University in Copenhagen and published in the Open Journal of Rheumatology and Autoimmune Disease claim that GOPO has been shown anti-inflammatory and chondroprotective activity, helping to protect and repair joint cartilage even at low concentrations (6).


Osteoflex® Plus Tablets


Ashwagandha was found to help reduce pain and joint swelling in 86 people with rheumatoid arthritis (7).

Glucosamine hydrochloride. The body uses glucosamine to form the chemicals it needs to repair cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and synovial fluid (the naturally occurring fluid that bathes the spinal joints). Should you use glucosamine hydrochloride or glucosamine sulphate? The active ingredient in any glucosamine product is only the glucosamine element, and the hydrochloride or sulphate acid salt is only a delivery vehicle. Therefore, both forms are recommended.

Studies suggest that supplemental Bromelain (extracted from fresh pineapples) helps reduce levels of prostaglandins, hormones responsible for inducing inflammation.

Hyaluronic acid supplements have been shown to help improve joint health.

It is believed that nutritional supplements containing MSM (form of natural sulphur) and consume foods rich in sulphur (onion, garlic, cabbages, broccoli, and asparagus) may help to rebuild damaged cartilage and connective tissue.

Turmeric and its key active ingredient Curcumin may help ease pain and inflammation. Colitti (2012) found that oral delivery of curcumin in patients with arthritis results in decreased production of inflammatory factors. In another study, 40 subjects with a knee pain showed reduction in inflammation and pain as a result of taking turmeric (8, 9).

In countries with low levels of boron in the soil, arthritis rates are about 70%. The daily boron intake in these countries is less than 1 mg/day. On the other hand, the native Fijians with an estimated arthritis rate of 10% eat mainly root vegetables grown without fertilizer on the soil significantly higher in boron.

Omegazon and other supplements with Omega-3 fatty acids are believed to help ease inflammation and pain caused by chronic conditions such as RA.


Beneficial Water Treatments

Water treatments should be performed every day, especially alternative heat and ice therapy. It is effective in easing pain, improving blood circulation, elimination of toxins, and will stimulate regeneration of the damaged cartilage. Start with heat first (hot water bottle, electric heating pad, hot shower, hot towel compress, or hot bath) and after about 3 minutes, when the treated area is warm enough, apply an ice pack or any very cold treatment (cold shower, cold compress, etc.) for about 2-3. Then alternate the hot and cold application back and forth 5-7 times in a row.

There are individuals who claim that using Emu oil helped them ease the pain.


Related Articles



  1. Munoz LE et al (2012). Do low vitamin D levels cause problems of waste removal in patients with SLE? Rheumatology (Oxford).
  2. Mok et al, 2012.
  8. Kuptniratsaikul et al., 2014
  9. Funk JL, Oyarzo JN, Frye JB, Chen G, Lantz RC, Jolad SD, Sólyom AM, Timmermann BN. Turmeric extracts containing curcuminoids prevent experimental rheumatoid arthritis. J Nat Prod. 2006 Mar; 69(3):351-5. PubMed PMID: 16562833; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2533857.
Image Credits: Image by stefamerpik on Freepik Image by storyset on Freepik


Any information or product suggested on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition. Never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. Consult your primary healthcare physician before using any supplements or making any changes to your regime.

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