Take The Pain Out Of Your Arthritis

Dr. Sears' Blog: Take The Pain Out Of Your Arthritis

About one percent of the U.S. population suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, a condition in which the joints become inflamed leading to redness, warmth, swelling and pain. Individuals typically experience this type of inflammation in their hands, wrists or knees; but occasionally it may affect the skin, eyes, lungs, heart, blood or nerves (1). Although medications can be prescribed to help people with this condition, they don’t come without their risks. A few years back a powerful drug used to treat arthritis called Vioxx was recalled because it led to cardiovascular complications in a number of people taking it.

For those looking for more natural ways to treat their arthritis without the side effects, omega-3 fatty acids may be the answer. A recent study looked at the impact of supplying omega-3 fatty acids to individuals with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis (2). For two weeks individuals were given omega-3 fatty acids intravenously (eg, parenteral nutrition) after which they then took omega-3s orally in capsule form for the following 20 weeks. After one week of infusion, the group that received the omega-3 fatty acids had significantly fewer swollen joints than those who did not. By the study’s end, the omega-3 group had benefitted both from supplementation intravenously and orally and had decreased swollen and tender joints compared to the group that received no treatment.


  1. Rheumatoid Arthritis Overview. Available at: http://www.webmd.com/rheumatoid-arthritis/guide/rheumatoid-arthritis-basics. Accessed: May 27, 2010.
  2. Bahadori et al. {omega}-3 Fatty Acids Infusions as Adjuvant Therapy in Rheumatoid Arthritis. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr.2010; 34: 151-155.

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About Dr. Barry Sears

Dr. Barry Sears is a leading authority on the impact of the diet on hormonal response, genetic expression, and inflammation. A former research scientist at the Boston University School of Medicine and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dr. Sears has dedicated his research efforts over the past 45 years to the study of lipids. He has published 40 scientific articles and holds 14 U.S. patents in the areas of intravenous drug delivery systems and hormonal regulation for the treatment of cardiovascular disease. He has also written 14 books, including the New York Times #1 best-seller, The Zone, which have sold more than 6 million copies in the U.S. and have been translated into 22 different languages.


  1. Beatriz Ortiz

    Dear Dr Sears,
    I am 43 and have been recently diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, based on symptoms and with a Vectra score of: 13 (Low level). Last week my rheumatologist prescribed me Hydroxychloroquine and feels positive that if I respond well to the drug I may be able to reduce or put disease in remission within a year. My doctor is very insistent on the importance of taking the drug now before there is not turning around of the disease later on.
    I haven’t started taking it and feel very resistant to take any drug and would like to give a chance to take care of the problem through a different approach. I say so based on the dramatic improvement I’ve been experiencing since I started on my own 3 months ago, practicing daily meditation, super strict Zone diet and 4 caps OmegaRx2 per day, based on the results I got also 3 months ago on the Cellular Inflammation test which gave me an AA: 7.4% and EPA: 0.6% giving a score of 12.3.
    Before december 2016 I thought one morning I wasn’t going to be able to get up and go to work, because of the pain. I had trouble walking and my arms and hands felt stiff and painful. By the way, I am an artist and make my living through my hands, so imagine the depressing picture. Today is March 26th 2017 and I feel so much better, (still feeling stiffness and pains some days though). I wonder if I could avoid taking any drug if i would increase fish oil intake, and try to reduce stress devoting more time to meditative practices. I am in the process of researching as much as possible before taking a decision of which path to take. In your book “The Zone” in do not see too much reference to Rheumatoid Arthritis and wonder if you could provide me with any additional articles, studies or material that would show clinical data that could help me understand better this disease and the way to treat it. Thank you very much.

  2. Rita

    Dr Sears what can you tell me about Lupus? Can fish oil help? A friend is in severe pain throughout her entire body her heart is weak and has severe anemia.

    • Dr. Sears

      Lupus is an auto-immune condition characterized by systemic cellular inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids should be beneficial. I would recommend to have your friend taking the Cellular Inflammation test to determine his or her AA/EPA ratio. Once determined, I would recommend taking enough OmegaRx to reduce the ratio to between 1.5 and 3.


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