Damage to the intestinal mucosa plays an important role in the development of rheumatoid arthritis, opening the way for a new approach to treating the disease.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease that causes pain, swelling, and inflammation of the joints. Although researchers know some of the genetic and environmental factors that may be involved in the development of arthritis, they still do not fully understand what triggers the disease and how it is accelerated. A new study published on 13 May in the journal Med suggests that microbiota may play a role in the severity of rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.
Blood markers follow the disease progression
Researchers believe that bad bacteria in the gut may play a role in triggering the disease. “We wanted to find out what is going on in the gut and whether changes in the gut lining, which normally acts as a barrier protecting the body from bacteria, are a hallmark of the disease and contribute to its development,” says Claudia Mauri, co-author of the study.
Through a series of tests on mice and patients, the study authors found that the blood markers for damage to the intestines were higher in sufferers than in healthy people. These results were found even in the early stages of arthritis, and the damage markers increase as the disease progresses.
Symptoms of inflammation
The researchers also found clear signs of inflammation, as would be in inflammatory bowel disease. They also showed that the gut lining became permeable (Leaky Gut), allowing bacteria to enter the body through the gut lining. A mechanism that increases inflammation in the gut and potentially in the joints.
Our results suggest that the intestinal mucosa is a therapeutic target,” Claudia Mauri concluded. Most importantly, we found that the use of existing drugs that restore the integrity of the gut barrier, i.e. prevent the movement of inflammatory cells in and out of the gut, can reduce the severity of arthritis in preclinical models.”
This actually good news for rheumatoid arthritis sufferers as there are simple ways that could help heal a leaky gut. To improve the health of one’s leaky gut one must do the following:
- Include more fiber in your diet.
- Lower the intake of refined carbohydrates.
- Avoid using are at least reduce your use of NSAIDs.
- Add some probiotics to your diet. (Fermented Foods).
- Quit drinking alcohol.
- Lower your stress levels.
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