Drugs That Make Rheumatoid Arthritis Worse – And What To Do About It

To cure Rheumatoid Arthritis it is very important to do everything perfectly ‘right’. However, many RA sufferers are inadvertently making their RA worse because of a lack of information or by not fully understanding the underlying cause of this disease. So today, to help you on your path to wellness, I would like to warn you about two types of drugs that can make your Rheumatoid Arthritis worse in the long run and give you some simple tools so that you can protect yourself from this problem.

The two drugs that I will discuss below can both have the effect of upsetting your digestive system in the worst possible way. These drugs create turmoil on the healthy bacteria in your intestines (which are called ‘probiotics’ by the supplement companies) and damage your intestinal wall leading to poor absorption of nutrients and a concept known as ‘leaky gut’ by Naturopaths. ‘Leaky Gut’ is actually a descriptive term for having holes in your intestinal wall, which then allows large foreign molecules to enter your blood. These foreign proteins entering your blood can trigger a state of ‘molecular mimicry’ and result in your body attacking it’s own joints in a state of innocent confusion. Quite literally, by having a depleted intestinal environment you will experience worsened symptoms of RA.

So, we need to look at the following two drugs very seriously! Let us first look at Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAID’s)


There are a large range NSAID’s that are commonly used to treat arthritis. Research has shown that most of these drugs actually contribute to ‘leaky gut’ and thus perpetuate Rheumatoid Arthritis through the mechanisms I have described above. The offenders include all the common brands like Advil, Motrin, Naprosyn and so on, with the only exceptions being aspirin and nabumetone (Relafen). [1] It has been shown that these drugs can increase intestinal permeability (holes in the intestinal wall) within 24 hours [2]

My personal experience matches these findings. The first medication I took for my RA was one of the leading NSAID brands. It was fantastic at relieving my pain for about 2 weeks. As time wore on the effects of the drug diminished and so after about 3 weeks I decided to see how I felt once I stopped taking the drug. After stopping this medication I felt about twice as bad as what I was before I started taking it. Looking back I believe that my intestinal wall took a battering during this time, which in turn led to increased swelling and pain.

I learnt most about my body and my food intolerances by remaining off these drugs. These drugs interfere with the critically important communication that occurs, via pain levels, from eating a food and monitoring its effect on your body. By cutting out the pain with a drug I was losing all the information I needed to create a diet free of offending foods.

Since NSAID’s are common and are available over the counter we think that they can’t be too harmful for us. It couldn’t be further from the truth. If you are stuck at the moment on these drugs due to persistent pain levels then that’s OK – pain relief and protection from joint damage in the short term is obviously of paramount importance – but I’ll show you below some great ways to offset the long term effects whilst you wean yourself off these drugs.

But first, lets look at another drug that is wreaking havoc on your insides:


To start our discussion of antibiotics and their effect on the body, we first need to talk about something a little unusual – your intestinal bacteria…

In an ideal state of health you would have between 2-4 pounds of bacteria living inside your intestines in numbers upwards of 40 Trillion. This may sound like the premise of a horror film, but don’t freak out, the vast majority of organisms living in there are helpful, or at least not harmful, to our lives. Beneficial Bacteria (also called Probiotics or Microflora) are the good bacteria that live inside us with the majority found between the end of the small intestine and the distal colon. These tiny organisms are absolutely imperative to our health and we should really think of this big mass of mini life as a vital organ like a lung or a kidney.

The many important functions that our bacteria perform for us includes killing harmful bacteria, killing fungus (also known as candida), and building B vitamins for the rest of our body to use. They also help our bodies produce enzymes, help to change the acidity within our cells and play an important role in the development of the immune system by maintaining a constant dialog with our internal bodies through the surface of the gut. Our microflora also influences many of our hormones. So this healthy bacteria is very important stuff.

The word ‘biotic’ means ‘pertaining to life’. Hence a probiotic is literally pro life. Poor eating habits, stress and antibiotics (‘anti-life’) sometimes found in animal foods can wreak havoc on the good bacteria, allowing bad bacteria to multiply. Taking prescription antibiotics for a long period of time is catastrophic to your internal health. Doses of antibiotics not only kill the nasties, but also kill the good, innocent civilians in your stomach as well. A lack of healthy intestinal flora is a serious concern. I believe the cause of my RA was due mostly to taking antibiotics for years to combat some persistent acne. I blindly took these antibiotics from my late teens through into my early 20’s without too much of a thought, other than ‘gee, my skin looks good!’. I wish I had some idea of the bigger picture. Little did I know that I was creating an environment where I was wiping out my healthy bacteria, thus allowing unwanted pathogens to thrive. Pioneering orthomolecular researcher Dr F. R. Klenner says RA sufferers have a ‘shortage of B vitamins’. [3] Since B-Vitamins are manufactured by your healthy bacteria it stands to reason that if you’ve killed all your bacteria you’d be short of B-Vitamins!

So How Can You Combat The Effects Of NSAID’s and Antibiotics?

Without the correct approach, the challenge to uphold our intestinal health can be a difficult one. You have a leaky gut, a depleted mucosal lining and a shortage of healthy bacteria to rectify. Trust me, you never ‘accidentally’ fix these without knowing how to, since they don’t teach you this stuff in high school (and they don’t teach Rheumatologists this stuff at College either unfortunately). However, once you are shown how then it can be understood and followed easily and excellent results can be achieved in a short period of time.

How to replenish your good bacteria?

Well, many companies sell probiotics in bottles which enable you to supplement your supply of good bacteria via capsules. But there is a better and more effective way than this, which is to feed the existing bacteria with their favorite foods which allows their populations to grow naturally, rather than trying to add new guys to the mix. From my own experimentation, I have found that this is the best way to go and it’s far cheaper. Let’s feed the good bacteria and let them multiply! God knows you’ve been starving them to death up until this point!

So what do your bacteria want to eat? Good bacteria love fiber. The partially digested remnants of our meals, after arrival in our large intestines, become the foods for our microflora. Each species of bacteria survives best on specific kinds of nutrients. Friendly bacteria love all kinds of plant-food remnants, especially fiber from green leafy vegetables, whilst pathogens thrive when the diet is low in plant foods and high in animal products and processed foods.

What we eat determines the predominance of the bacteria species that will live in our gut. By changing from a diet based on processed foods and animal products to plant foods, you can suppress the growth of harmful bacteria and stimulate those that are beneficial fairly quickly. Major alterations in the microflora take place within one to two weeks of dietary intervention [4] As a treat to your little guys, good bacteria also love raw garlic, raw onion and artichoke.

How to re-establish your mucosal lining?

Eat brown rice. Avoid dairy products like the plague. (In fact, I might send you a whole email about dairy products down the track to give you the full picture. You won’t believe the lies we get told about dairy over the years!)

How to heal your leaky gut for Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Think of your intestinal wall like a skin. When you stop irritating it with the wrong foods then it will heal, like any wound on your exterior. So you can replenish your gut flora, heal your mucosal lining and repair your leaky gut all by minimising your intake of meat and dairy products and increase your intake of fiber-rich foods. In particular, eat green leaves, raw garlic, raw onion and artichoke which will replenish your bacteria even faster. Eat brown rice to help heal your mucosal wall. (Avoid white rice, which is junk food compared to brown rice since it has been stripped of most of it’s nutrients).

You will make some humble progress on this natural Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment and help combat the negative internal effects of the drugs.

Remember, your health is your responsibility and consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. I am not a medical doctor (but I do have a PhD in results!)

Of several remedies, the physician should choose the least sensational – Hippocrates

Your Partner in Healing,

Clint Paddison

Previous RA sufferer, author of the ‘Clint’s Cure to Rheumatoid Arthritis’ program.

Restore Your Health!


[1] Baillieres Clin Rheumatol 10:165, 1996

[2] R.T.Jenkins et al Oxford JournalsMedicine Rheumatology Volume26, Issue2Pp. 103-107

[3] ‘A Clinical Guide to Vitamin C’, Frederick R. Klenner, M.D

[4] Clin Res 29:754, 1981

Share this article!