In the last six months, my husband has developed rheumatoid arthritis. He is 45, reasonably healthy, not overweight and the rheumatoid arthritis hit him like a mack truck.
A little back story; my husband started noticing joint pain in his thumbs and shoulder about 6 months ago. When he told his conventional doctor, the doctor smiled and told him it was a symptom of getting older. The joints in his hands, especially his thumbs started to swell at an alarming rate. The doctor, with a large amount of pressure from my husband (who was under a large amount of pressure from me) did a blood test, only testing for rheumatoid. The result was “you show signs of rheumatoid, I am going to send you to a specialist” (the quote from the doctor).
My husband came home and told me this, I blew up at the nonchalance the doctor had with his health. In my opinion, he only tested because we made him, he only tested for 1 thing. We decided to get a second opinion from a naturopathic doctor.
The naturopath was wonderful and very concerned. (Side note: the swelling is now in my husband’s knees, both thumbs, his wrists, his shoulders and his feet. All in about 4 weeks.) He, immediately wanted a blood test. He tested everything. My husband had 10 vials of blood drawn for this test, he only had 4 drawn for the doctor’s test. The results came back super high for rheumatoid, as well as, his thyroid was not functioning well, his good cholesterol was way to low, his immune system was low, his pituitary gland was fine and his testosterone was great.
The naturopathic doctor put my husband on a slew of supplements and an anti-inflammatory diet, for all the issues, including Omegas and turmeric. Unfortunately, the swelling got worse, more painful. After 2 weeks on the supplements, we decided to see a rheumatologist. She told my husband to stop taking all the supplements, except the Omegas and immediately put him on prednisone and methotrexate. Her disdain of the naturopathic doctor was obvious.
While my husband’s pain and swelling is subsiding, which is wonderful. We are concerned about the long term side affects of the pharmaceuticals and hope to manage the RA with diet and supplements once it is under control. I, truly believe that if his regular doctor had taken him seriously in the beginning, six months ago, we could have started on the natural route sooner. The lesson learned is, we are in control of our own bodies and we know how we are feeling. Do not let someone, doctor or anyone else, make you feel like they know best.
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