Although cartillage doesn’t have a blood supply it can and does regrow, albeit slowly. The suffix ‘-itis’ simply means inflammation, as in tonsilitis, bronchitis, rhinitis, etc. Inflammation is a cell-mediated process and with rheumatoid arthritis in particular, the immune system is attacking the body and known as an autoimmune response. Inflammation is characterised by four basic conditions: heat, pain, redness and swelling.
General analgesia, or pain relief, is the first treatment most people experience and the majority of these drugs act on histamine receptors. These drugs are very broad in their action, however, and act on histamine receptors all over the body that can cause undesirable side-effects, especially with prolonged use. Treatments in the last couple of decades have moved towards inhibiting the genesis of the immune response, which is why stem-cell treatment holds promise, to somehow ‘reset’ the system. There are some very effective drugs in a class called ‘biologics’ that are derived from animal cell products, like antibodies, which seem to be a step in the right direction.
Etanercept and infliximab are two biologics licensed to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Historically they have been very expensive but also, unlike more traditional ‘small molecule’ drugs, very difficult to make, which has sustained their high price since even in the event of patent expiry, other companies found it hard to make generic copies and even harder to show licensing authorities they were as effective. The global health community has got its act together recently and agreed a framework to manufacture and validate biologic drugs and new ‘biosimilars’ (these are not drugs in the traditional sense) are appearing on the market at lower prices; although still high. With Thailand being a big player in traditional, chemical generic drug manufacture, it will be some time before it can compete in the biosimilar space and it’s unlikely you will find biologic treatments outside of Bangkok or other high-priced centres, but there’s no harm in asking.
As for detox treatments, there is always an argument for being more healthy, avoiding alcohol, losing weight and being fitter. But it’s a state of mind, rather than a treatment, and as CamelJockey says, doesn’t reverse anything, even though it might make you think it is or help reduce the progression of disease.
"A man who does not think for himself, does not think at all."