“Try (Fill-In-The-Blank), It Works Miracles for My Arthritis!”

I’ve grown accustomed to a few things in this world. The first is the speed with which my body grows hair. It’s amazing. Also, more importantly, is the amount of unsolicited suggestions and feedback from people all around the world about remedies they have tried for their arthritis. It’s just as amazing. I hear things from people near and far – personal stories of being at their wit’s end and their last hope was to try…you name it. The far-fetched stuff is great, the not so far-fetched stuff is also interesting.

But I do think people should also recognize that some forms of arthritis, like RA, AS, or other systemic autoimmune conditions, do irreversible damage to the joints. So alleviating the symptoms is only half the battle.

Basically, if someone has tried something and the FDA has not bothered to evaluate it or approve it, I have heard about it. That doesn’t make it bad or stupid – since you can’t argue with success, no matter how crazy the remedy might seem – but it doesn’t necessarily mean it would work for everyone. Which is something I try to explain to people very calmly, despite how wound up they are in telling me their miracle cure.If you told me that spreading a jar of peanut butter on your hands every morning from 7-8 AM made them feel better, I’d suggest that you go out and buy a case of peanut butter. But I do think people should also recognize that some forms of arthritis, like RA, AS, or other systemic autoimmune conditions, do irreversible damage to the joints. So alleviating the symptoms is only half the battle. And ignoring this fact could lead to BIG trouble down the road.If this column ever makes it to a late night television show, I’ll share some of the funnier stories. But they’re definitely rated R!

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