Ask the Doctor – On Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Dry Eye

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Natural remedies for arthritis include serrapeptase, vitamins A, D, and K2, and Omega-3 from fish oil.

Dear Doctor Rona:

About 8 months ago, my aunt developed symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis with swelling and stiffness in her hands, knees, and feet. Over time, her doctor prescribed three different medications – the first two meds caused sensitivity reactions, and the third medication (Sulfasalazine) caused such an extreme reaction that it put her in the hospital with febrile nutrapenia. She is now afraid to take any medications.  Do you think that serrapeptase would be a viable alternative treatment for her joint swelling and stiffness?

Darlene Wangamo, Pickering, Ontario

Dear Darlene:

The usual medications used to treat rheumatoid arthritis can certainly cause significant side effects. Many years ago I wrote a book (Rheumatoid Arthritis, published by Alive Books) on natural ways to deal with this condition. The book did not mention serrapeptase, but this is definitely one natural health product that is both safe and effective that could easily be used to treat any type of arthritis. A few people get stomach upset with it, but the usual response to this anti-inflammatory enzyme is very positive.

Serrapeptase is derived from the silkworm and is a powerful enzyme that can clear away dead tissue, excessive mucus, clots, and other debris from the body. It has been used more extensively in Europe but is starting to become popular in North America. In regards to dosage, start with one capsule daily (120,000 units) for a week, and increase to one capsule twice daily in the second week, and keep increasing by one capsule each week, to a maximum of five capsules twice daily. Take the capsules on an empty stomach (one hour before or two hours after meals). If the stomach gets upset, reduce dose to tolerance level or take with a little bit of food. The enzyme works better on an empty stomach. With pain relief, the number of capsules could be reduced accordingly. You have to experiment with the dose to determine the right amount that needs to be taken daily.

Other natural remedies proven to help rheumatoid arthritis include vitamins A, D and K2, omega-3 from fish oil, curcumin (BCM-95), proteolytic enzymes, and probiotics.

Your aunt should get some food intolerance testing done to see if there are any foods that can trigger the chronic inflammatory response. It would certainly help her to see a naturopath or holistic medical doctor to get some lab tests done followed by personalized recommendations for diet and supplements.

Dear Doctor Rona:

I am a 68-year-old female and it seems I’ve developed ‘dry eye’.  The symptoms are burning, itching, dryness, irritation, redness, a foreign body sensation or intermittent blurry vision which makes it very difficult to read. I live a healthy lifestyle, eat organic food, get eight hours of sleep every night, do moderate exercise, do not take any prescription drugs, and am generally healthy. My opthalmologist says I probably have Meibomian gland dysfunction and I should use artificial tears. I’ve tried that but relief lasts only for a few minutes. The traditional treatments for MGD consist of warm compresses and lid hygiene for removing an obstructed meibum, as well as antibiotics and anti-inflammatory agents to improve the quality of the meibum.

Gloria Freeland, Timmins, Ontario

Dear Gloria:

Yes, you have accurately outlined the conventional medical approach to dry eyes. The most effective alternative treatment for dry eyes is bioidentical testosterone hormone replacement therapy. This is a very safe and effective natural hormonal treatment using compounded bioidentical testosterone that can be applied as a body cream or used vaginally. Doses used are not pharmacological, so significant masculinizing side effects are rare.

You can read more about it on Dr. Jeffrey Dach’s web site

This treatment requires a prescription in Canada so you may want to show this letter and Dr. Dach’s article to your doctor to get that prescription.

For more information on Dr. Rona’s products and services, visit:


Rheumatoid Arthritis:

• Conquer Inflammation with Serrapeptase:

• Dr. Rona’s book: Rheumatoid Arthritis: Decrease or Reverse Symptoms Naturally, is available on for $11.95. To order the book, visit:

• Research on Dietary Therapy for Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis:

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