Healthy Beginnings

Rheumatoid Arthritis? Look to the Gut First!

Rheumatoid arthritis, along with a number of other so called “Auto-Immune” diseases, is on the rise. What could possibly be at the root of this rise?

Some readers might remember some of my previous articles regarding the link between “leaky gut” syndrome with irritation to the immune system. This is caused by larger than normal proteins leaking into the blood through a damaged lining in the small intestine. This damage can result from many different causes.

Some common causes are over use of modern pharmaceuticals (most notably antibiotics!) and more recently, the consumption of genetically modified foods. Prescription drugs can control the pain but usually do not stop the joint destruction.

New hope for treating this condition has recently been revealed by work on the “Micro-biome” project which is studying the bacteria and other microbes in our gut.

This research has turned up an interesting relationship between the type of bacteria in the gut and rheumatoid arthritis. It turns out that rheumatoid arthritis sufferers have a common but unusual bacterial microbiome.

Also, the bacteria in the gut have the capacity, through their chemical relationship with the body, to irritate or over activate the immune system which can then attack the cartilage in the joints causing the arthritis. This is triggered by similarities in the proteins on the surface of these bacteria and the proteins in the cartilage.

The microbiome research has also shown that the use of probiotics seems to help some rheumatoid arthritis sufferers by altering their gut flora back toward normal. The theory is that by normalizing the gut flora, you reduce the abnormal bacteria that trigger the autoimmune symptoms and give the body a chance to heal the joints.

Since the treatment is so simple, safe and inexpensive, anyone with rheumatoid arthritis should try probiotics for six months and judge their results for themselves.

Of course, doing more extensive treatment for leaky gut syndrome using things like colloidal silver, aloe vera juice, vitamin E and butyrate (among other things) in an integrative protocol could very likely yield even better results.

Another treatment modality that offers great promise is the use of ultraviolet light to irradiate the blood. The effect of this exposure is to kill the overactive or irritated T-lymphocyte cells (from the leaky gut) that are the cells attacking the cartilage in arthritis.

An additional therapy that deserves attention is called a fecal implant. This involves the implantation of a tiny amount of fecal material from a healthy donor into the colon. This treatment has even been helpful to people with chronic colitis, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease but these are topics for future articles.

With something as devastating as rheumatoid arthritis, finding simple natural treatments that have been effective for lots of people is very exciting.


West, Dr. Bruce, Health Alert, Volume 32, Issue 2, February 2015

For further information contact Reno Integrative Medical Center, 6110 Plumas St., Ste. B, Reno, NV, 775-829-1009,