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Can severe rheumatoid arthritis be cured?

Q: How can severe rhuematoid arthritis be cured? I have read that its not curable, but can be controlled with NSAIDs. My father has been taking NSAIDs for a long time; will it have any side effects? Is alternative medicine advisable in this condition? The doctor is giving analgesics like Pacimol and other supplements, but it does not reduce his pain. He has had this problem for 10 years. He took herbal and ayurvedic medicines for 10 years and was absolutely fine. All of a sudden, the problem recurred with a severe attack of pain and he was totally bed ridden for 3 weeks. Now, he is able to walk for at least a kilometre. But one leg still lags while walking. Please advise.

A:There seem to be several misunderstandings in your mind regarding the problems that your father is having. I will state them in brief to help you out. 1. Rheumatoid arthritis has to be diagnosed by a qualified rheumatologist (Physician trained and qualified in diagnosing and treating joint diseases; not an orthopaedic surgeon, or a general physician or a GP) based upon the clinical features and a few laboratory investigations. 2. Rheumatoid arthritis is a fully treatable condition not requiring simple painkillers but specific drugs that are able to put the disease in complete remission. These drugs are called DMARDs (disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs) and BRMs (biological response modifiers). Patients given these drugs become absolutely normal. And, the best part is that the medicines can then be reduced to minimal effective dose to keep the disease in complete remission throughout life. It is somewhat like treating diabetes and high blood pressure where the disease can be completely controlled and then, kept under control with minimal drugs that can be given life-time without any ill effects. 3. Patients have now been treated with these drugs up to 25-30 years continuously and kept under complete disease control without any side-effects. 4. I am not sure about the disease your daddy has. I strongly recommend that he is evaluated and clinically examined by a rheumatologist to get an accurate diagnosis. 5. Internet is a double-edged sword. It has outstanding authenticated peer reviewed web sites that give accurate scientific information about diseases and their treatment modalities. At the same time it has total junk and garbage written by unauthorised junkies whose only aim is to misguide people. It is obvious that you have not read appropriate web sites. DoctorNDTV is an excellent authentic peer reviewed web site that gives a lot of information about health matters. Another internationally renowned web site is arthritis.org (Arthritis Foundation of America). I strongly recommend that you read from these sites for any information that you require about arthritis.

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