Health Issues: Arthritis

Health Issues: Arthritis
Health Issues: Arthritis

Arthritis is otherwise known as joint inflammation. It is an inflammation of one or more joints that results in pain, swelling, limited movement and stiffness. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis. However, the two most common forms are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Arthritis entails the breakdown of bone cartilage. Cartilage in general protects the joint, permitting for smooth movement. It also works as a shock absorber particularly when pressure is placed on the joint, like when you walk and run. Inadequate amount of cartilage makes the bones rub together, causing pain, swelling (inflammation), and stiffness.

There are several factors leading to arthritis. Arthritis can be a result of an autoimmune disease meaning the body itself attack its immune system as it mistakenly identify as a foreign matter. Another cause would be broken bone, wear and tear on joints and bacterial or viral infection.

Frequently, the inflammation goes away once the injury has healed, the infection is treated, or the illness has been cured. With some diseases and injuries, the inflammation doesn’t diminished or long term destruction result in pain and deformity. This is known as chronic arthritis. However, osteoarthritis mostly occurs in old age and common areas being affected are the hips, knees or fingers. Risk factors for osteoarthritis could be due to severe overweight, previous injury and even repetitive use of affected joint. The occupation that has a higher risk of developing arthritis is those construction worker, ballet dancer and baseball players.

Early diagnosis is necessary in the prevention of the long-term effects of the disease. The type of fat in the diet influences the symptoms. Omega-3- fatty acids help control hormone-like substances called eicosanoids that control swelling and tenderness. The fats in meat have the contrary effect by stimulating the production of inflammatory agents. Food allergies may play an important role in precipitating arthritis. Common allergens are refined sugar, milk products, citrus fruits, and nightshade vegetables such as potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and chili. It is suggested that these foods or any food alleged of causing an allergic reaction be eliminated from the diet for a period of 2 months and then be reintroduced to monitor the reaction. Moderate exercise is very helpful for arthritic individuals in improving circulation, relieving stress, and increasing mobility. An electrical nerve stimulating unit (TENS) can in fact reduce chronic pain. Always take note that arthritis chooses no one. It can occur of all ages both men and women.

Nutritional Supplements:

  • Boron—3 to 6 mg, helps relieve symptoms of osteoarthritis, aids the retention of calcium in the bones.
  • Bromelain—250 to 750 mg three times daily between meals, helps reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Chondroitin sulfate—400 mg two or three times a day, reduces pain, increases mobility and healing of joints, a major component of the lining of the joints.
  • Copper—1 mg, has anti-inflammatory activity.
  • DMSO—apply topically, alleviates pain.
  • Evening primrose or black currant oil—for rheumatoid arthritis, if taking anti-inflammatory drugs, contains gamma linolenic acid which is a precursor to anti-inflammatory prostaglandins.
  • Flaxseed oil—1 T, for rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Glucosamine sulfate—500 mg three times a day, repairs joint cartilage, reduces symptoms of osteoarthritis.
  • Niacinamide—250 mg four times a day, improves joint mobility, muscle strength and reduces fatigue.
  • Pantothenic acid—1 mg, relieves symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • SAMe—400 mg three times a day, reduces pain, stiffness, and swelling.
  • Selenium—if deficient, take with vitamin E, for rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Vitamin B6—100 mg twice a day, for osteoarthritis.
  • Vitamin E—400 to 600 IU with mixed tocopherols, reduces symptoms.
  • Burdock root—relieves pain in the joints.
  • Cayenne—cream, capsaicin compound relieves pain.
  • Devil’s claw—1 to 2 g root powder or 4 to 5 ml tincture three times daily, an anti-inflammatory and analgesic.
  • Feverfew—1 to 2 capsules twice a day, prohibits the synthesis of inflammatory agents.
  • Garlic—has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Ginger—1⁄6 oz fresh or 1⁄3 tsp powdered three times a day, an anti-inflammatory agent, relieves pain and increases mobility, superior to the NSAIDs with no side effects.
  • Horsetail—silicon content strengthens connective tissue.
  • Turmeric—400 mg curcumin three times daily for rheumatoid arthritis; has an anti-inflammatory effect due to the compound curcumin.
  • White willow—containing 100 mg salicin daily, has anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties; slower acting but lasts longer than aspirin.
  • Yucca—2 to 4 g three times daily, saponin content reduces symptoms.

Aromatherapy:

  • Everlasting—high content of sesquiterpene hydrocarbons which are effective anti-inflammatory compounds relieves joint pain.
  • Juniper berry, black pepper, Roman chamomile, lavender—mix together as massage oil with carrier oil, omit juniper berry if pregnant.
  • Lavender, rose, eucalyptus, juniper berry—mix together as warm compress.
  • Moroccan thyme—borneal content beneficial for autoimmune disease.
  • Rosemary, chamomile—place 10 drops in bath water.
  • Rosemary, lavender, marigold—mix together as massage oil.

Chinese Medicine: Herbal formulations prescribed for arthritis.

  • Acupuncture—relieves pain; improves immune system functioning.
  • Chinese throroughwax—2 to 4 g dried root or 5 to 10 ml tincture or 2 to 4 ml extract three times daily, contains the anti-inflammatory compounds saikosaponins, increases release of cortisone and other adrenal hormones, prevents adrenal gland atrophy caused by corticosteroids.
  • Licorice and ginseng—2 to 4 g dried root or 10 to 20 ml tincture or 4 to 6 ml extract three times daily and 4 to 6 g or 500 mg extract, respectively, enhances effectiveness of thorough wax, have anti-inflammatory properties.

Homeopathy:

  • Aconitum napellus
  • Apis mellifica
  • Arnica montana
  • Aurum metallicum
  • Belladonna
  • Benzoicum acidum
  • Bryonia
  • Calcarea carbonica
  • Calcarea fluorica
  • Calcarea phosphorica
  • Causticum
  • Cimicifuga
  • Colchicum
  • Dulcamara
  • Kali bichromicum
  • Kali carbonicum
  • Kalmia latifolia
  • Ledum palustre
  • Medorrhinum
  • Pulsatilla
  • Rhododendron
  • Rhus toxicodendrum
  • Ruta graveolens

Ayurvedic Medicine: Vata types are prone to arthritis.

  • Boswellia—400 mg boswellic acids three times daily, prevents further damage of joints and increases mobility.
  • Calmus oil—massage, improves circulation and drainage.
  • Guggul—reduces swelling and pain.
  • Sesame or mustard oil—whole body massage as well as specific joint areas; relieves pain.