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Chinese herbal remedy effective in treating rheumatoid arthritis

Although there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, medications, such as [b]methotrexate[/b], are used to reduce symptoms. But [s]Medical News Today[/s] reports that research published in the [s]British Medical Journal[/s] suggests that a Chinese herbal remedy is just as effective as methotrexate. The research team, led by Dr Xuan Zhang of the [b]Peking Union Medical College Hospital at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences[/b], assessed the effects of methotrexate (MTX) and a herbal remedy, [i]Triptergium wilfordii[/i] Hook F (TwHF) against rheumatoid arthritis in 207 patients. A combination of MTX and TwHF was found the most effective. However, the investigators said that since the trial lasted for 24 weeks, disease progression of patients was not measured and they therefore planned to follow the patients for a further two years.

Another study suggests that people with rheumatoid arthritis may be at increased risk for kidney disease and require close monitoring. [s]Medicinenet[/s] reports that factors that contribute to a higher risk of kidney disease in rheumatoid arthritis patients include more severe inflammation in the first year of rheumatoid arthritis, use of corticosteroids, high blood pressure, obesity and high cholesterol levels. Study author Dr Eric Matteson of the [b]Mayo Clinic[/b] said that while the study, published in the [s]American Journal of Kidney Diseases[/s], found an association between rheumatoid arthritis and a raised risk of kidney disease, it did not establish a cause-and-effect link. The researchers said that doctors should check rheumatoid arthritis patients periodically for signs of kidney problems.

[link url=]Full Medical News Today report[/link]
[link url=]Full Medicinenet report[/link]
[link url=]AJKD abstract[/link]

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