some abstracts relevant to RA and nutrition:
Serum zinc and copper in active rheumatoid arthritis: Correlation with interleukin 1β and tumour necrosis factor α http://www.springerlink.com/content/j33q1382073g4231/
Serum Ferritin and the Assessment of Iron Deficiency in Rheumatoid Arthritishttp://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10 ... 8309099740
Serum Selenium, Serum Alpha-Tocopherol, and the Risk of Rheumatoid Arthritishttp://journals.lww.com/epidem/Abstract ... the.7.aspx
The Vitamin D Epidemic and its Health Consequenceshttp://jn.nutrition.org/content/135/11/2739S.short
n-3 Fatty acid supplements in rheumatoid arthritishttp://www.ajcn.org/content/71/1/349S.short
many of these nutrients are also of concern in ms patients, but you're not necessarily going to see both conditions in every patient. different patients present differently, even when their only dx is ms. comorbidities add a whole different level of complexity.
if you can get tested for serum vit D3, alpha tocopherol, zinc, copper, ferritin, and selenium, you can determine if your levels are in the healthy part of the normal range, or the 'RA' (not to mention MS) part of it. if you are able to get results and bring them back i and others here can help you interpret the findings.
as for the diff nutrients and a little rationale for testing..: for example, ms patients tend to have zinc levels that are lower in the normal range.
as for vitamin d3, you'd qualify as 'normal' with levels down as low as say 80 nmol/L, but lowest risk of ms has been found in patients with d3 levels over 100 nmol/L.
my approach: no meds so far - just nutrient-dense anti-inflammatory whole foods, and supplements where needed
info: www.whfoods.com, www.nutritiondata.com