Some folks claim that vitamins can cure RA. Is that true?
Vitamin deficiencies can cause joint pain. If an individual has a vitamin deficiency and corrects that deficiency, then it is logical that their symptoms would resolve. One example is Vitamin D. It’s possible for a Vitamin D deficiency to cause joint pain. Furthermore, many RA patients have low levels of Vitamin D. Bringing D levels up (current recommendations are above 30) should be done in anyone who is low, regardless of their diagnosis. This sometimes alleviates or lessens joint pain.
That doesn’t mean, however, that every RA patient can take Vitamin D and be cured. Those who have a deficiency might experience a reduction in disease activity. Others, however, are not going to benefit from correcting a non-existent deficiency.
There are a host of vitamins that might help RA patients. Why might that be? If someone feels too crummy to eat for a few years, might that affect their nutrient levels? Maybe. If so, the person might well respond to vitamins.
Another person, however, might not have vitamin deficiencies. That person wouldn’t have a response to vitamin therapy.
In general, I have no problem with people taking vitamins to supplement what’s in their foods – whether or not they have been diagnosed with an autoimmune arthritic condition. There are studies that say it’s helpful, and studies that say it’s not. Which studies are you going to believe? Until more definitive studies are done, I don’t have a problem with vitamins. I do have a problem with people who say that vitamin therapy will cure RA. Wrong approach.
Medical doctors don’t blindly accept the word of another clinician. They want to see test results and do their own exam before accepting a diagnosis (or rejecting it and generating their own different diagnosis). After a diagnosis is confirmed, then treatment can be prescribed.
Vitamin salesmen, however, blindly accept people’s word regarding their diagnosis. “Oh, you think you have arthritis? Let me sell you some vitamins to cure you.” Maybe the person doesn’t have arthritis. Not any kind. Perhaps the person misunderstood which type of arthritis they have. Perhaps anything. It doesn’t make sense to sell someone a product to cure them without first thoroughly understanding what the problem is.
Last month, a dear friend sprung the vitamin thing on me. She isn’t selling these pills. She doesn’t stand to gain financially. She genuinely believes that one particular brand of vitamins will be the answer. Because I value the friendship, I agreed to investigate. Because I value my life, I can’t just buy a bunch of pills and hope they work. I will investigate.
I had already planned to do a series of posts on vitamins. This is separate, but related. I will still do the vitamin series, but I’ll also be looking into the claims of a specific company, too. It would be great if it’s true. I’m not getting my hopes up, but for the sake of my friend, I’ll listen to what she has to say.
Despite my friend’s claims that there are people with RA who were in a wheelchair, and now are out thanks to this product, I’m skeptical. If it were that easy, everyone would invest in these wonder-vitamins. Show me the evidence.