PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractRheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder where the lining of the joints is targeted, leading to synovial inflammation and destruction of the bone and cartilage. Since no cure or prevention for RA is available, current treatments, commonly involving drugs with complex side effect profiles, aim to control pain and to prevent further damage of the joints. Often times, patients with RA will also turn to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) as a way to help manage their symptoms, with botanical supplements as a common form of CAM used among this population. Little is known about the mechanism of herbal supplements, raising a concern of its possible interactions with drugs RA patients take. Therefore, a literature review was conducted to find current data on botanical supplement use in the RA population. Important findings were that not only does CAM prevalence vary from location to location but also that information about CAM use and specific botanicals in the RA population are lacking. Consequently, a survey in a pilot study that identifies specific supplements used by the unique population of Tucson, Arizona (42% Hispanic) and potentially the Southwestern United States was developed.
Degree ProgramHonors College