RA, or Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease that leads to stiffness and inflammation of the joints. This can be any joint or even all the joints. The pain associated with this disease is unbearable and can even lead to disability. At present, there is no specific cure for this. The only way to get relief is to follow a specific treatment plan charted out for you by your rheumatologist.
The treatments for RA can stop the progression of joint damage and can also help in relieving the pain to a certain extent.
Some possible options for treatments for this autoimmune disease are listed below.
1. Neurostimulation offers some Promise:
Some people do not have any success with their Rheumatoid Arthritis even after trying multiple medications. At present, researchers are studying the potential risks and benefits of vagus nerve stimulation for the treatment of RA.
Electrical impulses are used in this treatment approach for stimulating the vagus nerve. This nerve helps in regulating the body’s inflammation.
Recently, scientists conducted the first ‘in-human’ study. A small neurostimulator or a sham device was implanted in 14 RA patients. Six of these patients were treated for 12 weeks with this vagus nerve stimulation.
Four out of the six who received treatments felt a difference in the symptoms of RA. There were few patients who experienced adverse effects of this treatment, but none were serious or even permanent.
- J&K inhibitors for Relief:
Many patients of RA use a DMARD (disease modifying anti- rheumatic drug) known as ‘Methotrexate’ In some of the cases, this methotrexate is not enough for controlling the disease.
If this treatment is not very effective for you, you can ask your rheumatologist to add a J&K (janus kinase) inhibitor to your treatment plan.
These J&K inhibitors help in stopping the chemical reactions that are the cause of inflammation in your body. For many, these J$K inhibitors added to methotrexate are effective totally.
Currently three J&K inhibitors have been approved by the FDA.
Baricitnib , was approved in 2018
Tofacitinub that was approved in 2012
Upadacitnub was approved in 2019.
There is constant research going on to find out how they compare with each other and also to the other options for treatments.
Clinical trials are on for developing new J&K inhibitors.
Besides taking the medicines prescribed, studies advise on adding Omega-3 supplement to your daily diet. This can help in limiting the symptoms of RA.
This supplement is known to reduce the inflammation in RA and can help in easing the symptoms.
The breakthroughs in science can help the researchers optimize the treatments that are existing and also develop some new treatment approaches for managing RA.
Before making any adjustment with the ongoing treatment plan for RA, it is important to consult the rheumatologist. This decision cannot be taken on your own. Specific lifestyle changes can also help in managing this autoimmune disease. There are possibilities of leading a quality life only by following what your doctor recommends.