Alternative Therapy for Rheumatoid Arthritis

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It is evidently clear from the discussion that some factors that affect the RA patient’s quality of life are endemic to the disease. This helps to rule out the possibility of another disease. Patients rarely have RA as their only medical problem. It is estimated that seventy percent of the RA patients who are on DMARDs (disease-modifying ant rheumatic drugs) have at least one other disease. The combination of the RA and another co-existing disease ultimately leads to a higher rate of mortality as compared to healthy people. In other words, RA patients age faster than healthy people. This may or may not be the result of the initial onset of RA or whether the premature aging precedes the onset of RA. 2.1 million Americans (0.5% – 1.0%) are affected by rheumatoid arthritis. Women are twice as likely to have the disease as men. The onset of RA occurs between thirty to fifty-five years of age with a median age of fifty-five years. Forty-nine billion dollars is spent annually on direct medical and lost wages and productivity. This amounts to $8500 per RA patient per year as the average cost of pharmaceutical therapy for rheumatoid arthritis which amounts to 9 million physicians’ visits and 250,000 hospitalizations per year. Yoga is an alternative therapy that has its roots in ancient India. It was used by the Indian culture as a sort of psycho-spiritual treatment for various diseases. Yoga is considered to have a positive effect on mental and spiritual health. The National Health Interview Survey of 2002 on Yoga use in the United States discovered certain traits endemic to people who were regular practitioners. It found that yoga users were primarily Caucasian (85%) and female (76%) with a mean age of 39.5 years. In this study, it was found that the practice of yoga has a modulating effect on physiological and neurophysiologic symptoms. Some of the documented effects of yoga practice found in this study were. decrease in resting heart rate, increase in baroreflex sensitivity in healthy elderly patients in addition to significant blunting of heart rate and blood pressure.