The term rheumatism refers to a large number of inflammatory joint conditions that ultimately cause degeneration as well as a large number of soft tissue diseases. In total, these various rheumatic diseases affect more than eight million people in Germany. The word rheumatism stands for flow and describes the flowing pain that moves through the body from joint to joint. In general, rheumatism is usually defined as rheumatoid arthritis, which is often also called chronic polyarthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory systemic disease that in most cases leads to symmetrical joint inflammation and destroys the joint cartilage and bones near the joint over a period of years. The joint inflammation, which generally occurs in phases, can be very painful and, combined with muscle pain, can ultimately cause severe and permanent mobility restrictions. Over time, morning stiffness and rest pains of the affected joints develop, often accompanied by internal organ diseases. In more than 50% of patients, the condition leads to permanent disabilities within ten years.
In other cases of rheumatoid diseases, inflammation can affect organs such as the eyes, heart, bone marrow, intervertebral discs, vertebrae or the connective tissue. This can lead to so-called rheumatic nodules in the skin, lungs, and heart. Other special forms of rheumatoid arthritis are also possible.
Globally, about 1% of the population is affected. Women are nearly three times more likely to be affected than men. The disease usually develops between the third and fifth decade of life and occurs much more frequently in industrialized countries. It can result in disability.
RA is caused by malformed antibodies. The immune system fundamentally distinguishes between "foreign" and "self." Hence, something foreign must have entered the affected tissues. As soon as the immune system detects something foreign, it wants to neutralize and eliminate it. The question remains why, in millions of years of evolution, the immune system has not learned to eliminate autoimmune diseases such as rheumatism successfully.
Consequently, it would have to be a new foreign substance that has not yet appeared in millions of years of evolution. This can be only the environmental poisons that have abruptly entered evolution in the last few decades. Other possibilities do not come into consideration. For millions of years, evolution had not encountered environmental toxins. The few decades during which all humans have been exposed to it are not even a blink of an eye in terms of evolution and the history of biological adaptability. It precisely coincides with the invention of artificial environmental toxins by humans that autoimmune diseases suddenly and rapidly developed.
Therapy and Effectiveness
Pain relief and the reduction of inflammatory activity should be the focus of therapy. University medicine advocates symptom suppression using highly toxic methotrexate (MTX) in combination with cortisone (prednisolone) in alternating doses. But even with immunological modulators such as the extremely expensive TNF-α antagonists, root cause therapy of RA is not possible.
At present, university medicine only offers the concept of symptom suppression.
Extracorporeal immune adsorption (IA) offers a safe and effective therapy method for drug-resistant RA patients. The first promising findings on the effectiveness and safety of immune adsorption in RA patients were published in 1994 and 1999. From 1996 to 1998, the first randomized, double-blind clinical study on the use of IA in therapy-refractory RA patients was conducted.
The study demonstrated the significant clinical efficacy of IA.
The IA was carried out as outpatient therapy and comprised twelve individual treatments at weekly intervals. The average duration of treatment was 37 weeks (max. 84 weeks) without any additional immune modulating therapy. The study results demonstrated the efficacy and tolerability of IA in the treatment of severe RA.
Immune adsorption is the only therapy that has shown long-lasting efficacy with minimal side effects in patients with severe RA. According to the Federal Association for Medical Technology.
INUSpheresis® - which is comparable to immune absorption - not only flushes out the rheumatic antibodies from the blood but also the inflammatory mediators. INUSpheresis® is a scientifically proven effective causative therapy for rheumatoid arthritis and is often highly promising.