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Gold salts and their long term effects in the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Updated on December 12, 2013
Gald salts, pictured, are used to treat Rheumatoid Arthritis
Gald salts, pictured, are used to treat Rheumatoid Arthritis

Gold treatments for rheumatoid arthritis come in the form of gold salts. They are part of a specific type of treatment known as disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs.

This means that the salts will not act right away. They will modify the diseases to hopefully prevent any kind of dsability or disfigurement or damage to joints.

Usually the treatments start and they become progressive as they continue. The number of injections or shots changes over the first four to six months before it becomes apparent if they are having a beneficial effect on the patient.

The gold salts are given in two different ways, although patients rarely have both together. The first way and the most effective way is through two different compounds that doctors use, is through an intermuscular shot that goes into something like the muscle in the arm. Side effects include a rash and mouth sores.

The other way to take gold salts is with an oral compound. This one is less effective and has a lot of side effects. These include decreased appetite, nausea, and diarrhea. Other problems included issues with the skin, blood, kidneys, or lungs, although lung problems are much rarer.

Medical research and analysis has shown over time that gold treatment is effective for some people but it has so many side effects and it needs to be monitored so closely that sometimes the risks associated with the treatment outweigh any benefits. Doctors are therefore no longer using gold salts as much these days but it is something that is still used.

Doctors have studied the effect of gold salts and continue to use them as a treatment
Doctors have studied the effect of gold salts and continue to use them as a treatment

Doctors to not know how gold treats rheumatoid arthritis.It seems likely that the gold salts build up slowly in the body and work to reduce inflammation and slow the progression of the disease.

On a more scientific level, it has been suggested that the gold salts and carried in the blood stream to the synovium before attaching to albumin. A protein is the createad and gold enters the cell and reduces mitochondrial activity.

The reduction of inflammation can be particularly effective in juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions including inflammatory bowel disease, psoriatic arthritis, membranous nephritis and lupus emphysematous.

The treatment of arthritis with gold salts has a failry long history. Physicians first used gold injections in the early 1900s to ease pain and swelling. But they were not reliable and recently medicines such as methotrexate have become more prevalant.

However, gold treatment has never been completely eliminated and as recently as 2007 doctors spoke highly of the treatment.

Dr. David Pisetsky from Duke University Medical Center said that gold 'should not be dismissed'. He also raised the prospect of 'better gold-like drugs to treat arthritis'.

He cited the HMBG1 molecule. This causes inflammtion and some believe could provide answers to what causes Rheumtoid Arthritis

Dr Pisetsky found that gold blocked the release of the HMBG1 molecule from a cell's nucleus. He belives that this lessens the inflammatory response.

Gold salts have also been linked to the treatment of autism. This was raised in a report in 2002 from the Meridian Institute.

There is anecdotal eveidence of people who were treated with gold salts for Rheumatoid Arthritis being cured of autism. One explantion is that the body's immune system may trigger autism.


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    • Rickrideshorses profile image

      Rickrideshorses 6 years ago from England

      Yes, I think that people do care about it. If you actually read the hub you'd realise that gold salts are still being used to treat Rheumatoid Arthritis.

    • profile image

      AWgurll 6 years ago

      do you really think anybody cares about that it was the 19th century wow ok capital BORING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!