Is there a connection between the health of your intestine and arthritis? Some doctors, like Jose Scher, MD, a rheumatologist at New York University Langone Medical Center, think so.

Imagine what might happen if the normal bacteria that help your body were overcome by an overgrowth of bacteria called Prevotella. These bacteria are more abundant in people with untreated Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), and it's believed they may be responsible for triggering an inflammatory response within your body that targets joints, flaring up symptoms of arthritis.

What is Arthritis?

According to the Arthritis Foundation, arthritis isn't really a single disease. It's more of an informal way of identifying joint pain. Because of this, there may be many varied causes of joint pain which differ from person to person. Therefore, what works for one person may not be relevant to another, because the disease state is totally different.

The foundation also distinguishes between four types of arthritis, including degenerative, inflammatory, infectious, and metabolic. Again, this distinction is split by the pathology and symptoms and makes it difficult to make a blanket statement or treatment for arthritis in regard to leaky gut. However, if you know you have inflammatory arthritis, leaky gut treatment is most likely to have a positive impact on your health, while other types of arthritis, such as degenerative, may not respond at all to such treatment.


The symptoms of arthritis may be mild to moderate to severe and may include:

  • Joint pain

  • Stiffness in the joints

  • Swelling

  • Decreased range of motion.

What is Leaky Gut?

Leaky gut syndrome is a state of health that may exist in your intestinal tract which causes the lining of your intestine to by hyper-permeable, allowing bacteria and undigested food to enter your bloodstream, creating an immune and inflammatory response in the body. There are many varied symptoms of leaky gut, and it is associated with other conditions, which makes it easy to overlook when being diagnosed.

Is there a connection between Leaky Gut and Arthritis?

While there's little doubt that there's a connection between your intestines and your immune function, many people still debate if leaky gut syndrome or gut bacteria actually cause arthritis. Therefore, complementary and alternative practitioners emphasize the reduction of inflammation through what's called a leaky gut diet. Some practitioners may recommend an elimination diet to determine what foods exactly are causing issues. This way, you may reduce inflammation and improve your intestinal health, which will undoubtedly have a positive effect on your immune system and reduce symptoms related to inflammation.


A primary care physician will be able to diagnose arthritis through a physical exam along with blood tests and some imaging scans. In some cases, your primary doctor may suggest you consult a rheumatologist who specializes in arthritis care.

Treatment options

There are many natural treatments for arthritis. Natural therapies include:

In addition, there are many supplements you may take as treatment options for arthritis. Some you may wish to explore with your doctor include:

  • Black Pepper

  • Cinnamon

  • Garlic

  • Ginger

  • Green Tea

  • Probiotics

  • Willow Bark

For inflammatory arthritis, starting a probiotic is highly recommended and this probiotic guide is a great place to start when researching probiotics as a treatment option. Just keep in mind that you'll want to speak with your doctor about any supplements you want to take, as they could interfere with your medications.

Talk with your doctor

It's always a good idea to talk with your doctor before starting any kind of treatment for arthritis and leaky gut syndrome. Your doctor will also be able to advise you on specific information, like what supplements to take, the dosage, and frequency. And if you're looking for the best probiotic for rheumatoid arthritis, he or she can probably give you a good recommendation.