Rheumatoid arthritis is a serious and very painful disease that causes inflammation and stiffness of your joints. It's not the same as the ordinary sort of wear-and-tear arthritis some of us get. Some of the pain and swelling of rheumatoid arthritis comes from "bad" prostaglandins that are made from arachidonic acid—which is an omega-6 fatty acid. For some patients, omega-3 oils seem to help counteract the "bad" prostaglandins and relieve the symptoms. The doses needed are fairly high, in the range of 3 grams of fish oil or flaxseed oil a day. Since rheumatoid arthritis is usually treated with powerful anti-inflammatory drugs that can have nasty side effects, omega-3 oils are certainly worth a try. Be sure to discuss them with your doctor before you try them.
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