There is no cure for mixed connective tissue disease; however, medications and natural treatment may reduce the severity of symptoms. Various natural management options for this condition includes stress management, exercise, sleep, diet management, avoiding smoking, protection from cold and incorporating omega-3 fatty acids, high fiber foods and curcumin in diet.
Can Mixed Connective Tissue Disease Be Treated Naturally?
There is no treatment for the mixed connective tissue disease, but the symptoms of the disease can be effectively managed. Following are the natural treatments available for mixed connective tissue disease:
- Stress Management: Poor emotional health and stress make the symptoms of autoimmune diseases more severe. The patient with mixed connective tissue disease should adopt various stress relieving methods such as yoga, meditation or relaxation techniques to keep himself stress-free.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3 supplements reduce the symptoms of the mixed connective tissues disease. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce the level of inflammatory mediators and help in reducing the frequency of anti-inflammatory drugs. Studies have shown fish oil, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, reduces the swelling and pain in joints.
- Treat Chronic Infection: Mixed connective tissues disease is an autoimmune disease, which is caused due to hyperactivity of the immune system. This immune system is further activated due to the presence of chronic infection leading to more severe symptoms. Thus, chronic infection should be managed.
- Modulating The Immune System: Various immunomodulating therapies are available through which the immune system can be kept under control.
- Sleep: Various studies have identified a link between the lack of sleep and incidences of autoimmune disorders such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Sjogren Syndrome and ankylosing spondylitis. Generally, lack of sleep is also due to stress which further aggravates the symptoms of mixed connective tissue disease. Emotional stress also worsens the symptoms of mixed connective tissue disease.
- Exercise: Moderate level of exercise helps in managing the symptoms of mixed connective tissue disease. The patients found that their symptoms became mild after visiting a physiotherapist. Some patients have shown positive results with moderate weight lifting while some are comfortable with water-based exercises such as comprehensive aqua rehab. Aqua aerobics is also becoming popular for managing symptoms of mixed connective tissue disease.
- Protection From Cold: The symptoms are aggravated in the patients when they are exposed to cold. The symptom of the disease is Raynaud’s phenomenon. The characteristic of Raynaud’s phenomenon is during exposing fingers to cold, they become pale and numb. Thus adequate protection should be provided to exposed organs from cold.
- Avoid Smoking: As smoking increases the age-adjusted risk for mixed connective tissue disease, it also worsens the symptoms of this disease. Smoking constricts the blood vessels which exaggerate the symptoms of Raynaud’s syndrome such as a cough and difficulty breathing. Thus smoking should be avoided.
- Curcumin: Due to its potent anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antioxidant activity, curcumin reduces the symptoms of connective tissue disease. Curcumin reduces the pain and swelling in the joints.
- Diet Management: Diet management can also help in managing the symptoms of mixed connective tissue disease. As mixed connective tissue disease increases the risk of iron deficiency anemia and many of them suffer with it, the diet of the patient should contain iron-rich foods. Apart from this, the iron supplementation can also be provided to the patient. Eating a high fiber diet helps in maintaining a healthy digestive system. Thus the diet of the patient should incorporate whole grains, fresh fruits, and vegetables. The diet of the patient suffering from mixed connective tissue disease should also be low in Salt as high salt in food may increase blood pressure and aggravate the mixed connective tissue disease symptoms.
Mixed Connective Tissue disease is a rare disease which is categorized as an autoimmune disorder. The symptoms of this disease overlap with the symptoms of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic Sclerosis, and Polymyositis. Symptoms of mixed connective tissue disease include muscle weakness, joint pain, Raynaud’s phenomenon, and skin disorders.