Download Integrative Rheumatology (Weil Integrative Medicine Library) PDF

Download Integrative Rheumatology (Weil Integrative Medicine Library) PDF
by Randy Horwitz (Author), Daniel Muller (Author)

Integrative Rheumatology offers a new and much-needed perspective in disease and symptom management, blending conventional medicine with alternative approaches not typically included in a Western medical practice. While conventional treatments can provide considerable symptomatic relief and can even slow the progression of many rheumatologic conditions, integrative treatment incorporating lifestyle interventions, mind-body approaches, and practices such as acupuncture and meditation into conventional medical therapies can improve quality of life, reduce medication dosages, and are generally better tolerated. In this book, researchers and clinicians highlight specific gaps in conventional rheumatologic care and examine how alternative approaches may be ideally suited to address these missed opportunities. Here, the authors introduce topics not typically addressed in conventional rheumatology texts, including nutritional therapies, exercise, herbal medicine, mind/body approaches, Ayurveda, and energy medicine. The contributors, all of whom have a background in academic medicine, share the approaches that they have found most effective in their own practices, basing their work on the best scientific evidence available. Ultimately, an understanding of complementary and alternative approaches to healing can help clinicians care for their patients using the best proven therapies to modify disease progress and relieve pain and disability.

Rheumatological disorders all but call out for integrative medical management. They are systemic diseases, whose course and severity are strongly affected by diet and other aspects of lifestyle. They have a high potential for remission, even for complete disappearance. Their ups and downs often correlate with mental/emotional changes. Many of us have seen the first sudden appearance of rheumatoid arthritis in young women who are in the midst of emotional trauma. I have seen several cases of systemic lupus erythematosus go into complete remission when patients fell in love. (I wish I could arrange for more patients to fall in love.) 
Conventional treatment for these disorders is suppressive, not curative, and the powerful drugs used often produce serious side effects; moreover, suppression of autoimmune inflammatory conditions may decrease the probability of remission. Conventional treatment is absolutely necessary to deal with severe exacerbations. The challenge is to keep the disease process under control without creating long-term dependence on suppressive drugs. 
In fact, there are many strategies for managing these disorders. Because inappropriate inflammation is responsible for the pain and tissue damage associated with them, it is important to teach patients how dietary choices affect inflammatory status. Simply following an anti-inflammatory diet—not onerous, since it is based on the Mediterranean diet—may enable many to use lower doses of less toxic medication. Additional benefi t may result from adding natural products with significant  anti-inflammatory  effects (ginger and turmeric, for example

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