Naturopaths, Massage, Nutritionists, Acupuncturists & Osteopaths in Brisbane

Rheumatologist Brisbane Complementary Support

Is the health of our gut bugs impacting Rheumatoid Arthritis, joint pain and inflammation?


Do you have Rheumatoid Arthritis or chronic joint pain? If you're looking for some natural solutions that safely complement treatments prescribed by your doctors or Rhematologist in Brisbane, Ananda Mahony is a Naturopath with a special interest in supporting chronic pain.

Dysbiosis, out of balance gut bacteria, bad bugs…it seems like our gut bugs are always in the news as being linked to many health conditions, and now that list might include Rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory joint pain. Our gut bugs, which are the major source of microbes in our body can exert both beneficial and negative effects on our health. One area that is emerging in particular, is the role that the composition of our gut microbes can have on inflammation, either driving it or dampening it down and this may have implications for inflammatory rheumatic diseases.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic autoimmune disease characterised by persistent inflammation which leads to damage to joints. There is frequently (60-70%) a genetic inherited risk with RA however risk alone doesn’t determine disease development, rather, development is driven by environmental triggers, of which a number of bacteria and virus types have been considered but no confirmed links have been made.


With Rhematoid Arthritis the question then becomes, “what is driving the inflammation?”

There is growing evidence to support the idea that the onset of RA may be related to changes to our microbiota, both in the gastrointestinal tract and the oral microbiota (our mouth bacteria.)

Findings to support the idea that microbial changes may be driving inflammation in RA and inflammatory joint pain are growing:

  • Changes in gut microbial composition of those with early stage RA differ significantly from those that don’t have the condition. When doing "gut bug testing" or microbiome screening on the gut bugs with people with Rhematoid Arthritis, they commonly have reductions in bacteria belonging to the Bifidobacterium family and increases in Prevotella. It is these changes that may actually be driving immune changes creating inflammation.
  • Support for this idea also comes from the knowledge that diet has been shown to reduce inflammation in people with Rheumatoid Arthritis, as have some medications that have anti-microbial effects. These changes have resulted in partial restoration of their gut microbiota composition, leading to reductions in inflammation and pain levels.
  • Studies are showing increased prevalence of periodontitis - gum disease and dental disease and RA disease severity, which supports the disordrered "mouth bugs" theory
  • Environmental factors that may influence the oral microbiome, diet, stress and smoking also impact RA.

So, differences in composition of gut and oral microbiota could be one of the factors creating immune drive inflammation and promoting disease development.

How can seeing a Naturopath help with Rhematoid Arthritis?

For those of you under the care of a Rheumatologist in Brisbane, you may also be looking for natural solutions to support your current pain managament plan. Many day-to-day factors impact on the make-up of gut bacteria such as stress levels, diet, specific anti-inflammatory foods and medications such as antacids and antibiotics.

Ananda and the Naturopaths at Vibe Natural Health in Brisbane have experience working alongside medical specialists such as Rhematologists and can help you address the imbalances in your gut microbiome with simple dietary, herbal and nutritional supplement and lifestyle treatments.

Shifting the gut environment can have a significantly positive effect on microbial composition, and this may be the key factor in reducing inflammation and pain levels in those with Rhematoid Arthritis and inflammatory joint pain.

There are tests that can reveal the types of bugs prevalent in your gut, which may be run by our Naturopaths. But most often, a holistic approach to reducing inflammation and encouraging the healthy gut bugs to thrive can make a significant difference in the lives of people with joint pain and other chronic pain conditions.

Book an appointment with a Naturopath