Arthritis & Osteoarthritis
Arthritis is a term often used to mean any disorder that affects joints. Symptoms generally include joint pain and stiffness. Other symptoms may include redness, warmth, swelling, and decreased range of motion of the affected joints. In some types other organs are also affected. Onset can be gradual or sudden.
There are over 100 types of arthritis. The most common forms are osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease) and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis usually occurs with age and affects the fingers, knees, and hips. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that often affects the hands and feet.
Osteoarthritis affects more than 3.8% of people while rheumatoid arthritis affects about 0.24% of people. In Australia about 15% of people are affected, while in the United States more than 20% have a type of arthritis. Overall the disease becomes more common with age. Arthritis is a common reason that people miss work and can result in a decreased quality of life. The term is from Greek arthro- meaning joint and -itis meaning inflammation.
There are more than 100 known disorders known collectively as rheumatic diseases. The Greek translation of arthritis means “joint inflammation” even though this typical symptom is not present in all types of arthritis.
Usually, osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, starts with the thinning-out of cartilage between the joints and eventually, general wear and tear destroys the cartilage. The reduction in cartilage causes bone-on-bone rubbing and causes much pain and discomfort. If one is overweight, you stand a greater risk of developing OA due to the stress and strain on the joints. There is research to show that by loosing even as little as 5 kg can cut this risk in half
There is a long list of unfounded arthritis ‘cures’, but though the list is short, there are many dietary factors that can provide healing potential. Relief can be gained by adjusting diet, lifestyle and light exercise to manage pain. We at DBM take a slightly different approach – read more on our DBM Arthritis Protocols here.
Additional weight and fat accumulated in the body can cause problems to joints that are already dis-eased and damaged. As an active tissue, fat creates and releases hormones and chemicals into the body and some of these promote inflammation and can contribute to worsening arthritis.
The University of Michigan School of Public Health reports, “Adipose tissue, once considered a passive storage portal of energy, is now recognized as a highly metabolic endocrine organ with the capacity to secrete active agents including adipocytokines, such as leptin, resistin and adiponectin. Over the past decade, interest in these adipocytokines has quickly become an area of intense study with respect to osteoarthritis based on evidence that they may play an important role in cartilage homeostasis and because of their emerging potential as therapeutic targets.”
2. Change Your diet
Omega-3’s: to lower inflammation – such as flaxseeds, chia seeds and walnuts, are all good choices.
Sulphur: Foods that are high in sulphur to help rebuild tissues and reduce inflammation – such as asparagus, cabbage, garlic and onions – all of which contain a form of MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane).
Bone Broth: DBM uses a vegan form of bone broth to provide necessary collagen and amino acids to help rebuild connective tissue.
Anti-oxidants: Foods high in anti-oxidants from natural sources of fruit and vegetables provide fibre, magnesium, potassium, vitamins A and C as well as digestive enzymes and anti-inflammatory compounds. Some of the best sources include leafy greens, cruciferous veggies, berries, melon, papaya, avocado and pineapple but read more on foods high in anti-oxidants, here.
Foods to avoid
- hydrogenated oils (soybean oil, cottonseed oil, even canola oil)
- refined conventional grains
- Read more on which foods to remove from your diet to rebalance your health, here.
3. Light Exercise
Exercise is crucial for people with arthritis. It increases strength and flexibility, reduces joint pain, and helps combat fatigue. Of course, when stiff and painful joints are already bogging you down, the thought of walking around the block or swimming a few laps might seem overwhelming But you don't need to run a marathon or swim as fast as an Olympic competitor to help reduce arthritis symptoms. Even moderate exercise can ease your pain and help you maintain a healthy weight. When arthritis threatens to immobilize you, exercise keeps you moving. Exercise can help you improve your health and fitness without hurting your joints. With your current treatment program, exercise can:
- Strengthen the muscles around your joints
- Help you maintain bone strength
- Give you more energy to get through the day
- Make it easier to get a good night's sleep
- Help you control your weight
- Enhance your quality of life
- Improve your balance
Though you might think exercise will aggravate your joint pain and stiffness, that's not the case. Lack of exercise can make your joints even more painful and stiff. KIeeping your muscles and surrounding tissue strong is crucial to maintaining support for your bones. Not exercising weakens those supporting muscles, creating more stress on your joints.
4. Take NATURAL Proteolytic Enzymes
Proteolytic enzymes, such as bromelain, papain, pancreatin, trypsin, chymotrypsin, and rutin, are essential regulators and modulators of the inflammatory response. Proteolytic enzymes are obtained from things like tropical fruits, including papaya, which contains papain, and pineapples, which contain bromelain.
5. Ginger and Turmeric
Ginger contains powerful phytonutrients that can have a profound effect on your health. Ginger has a long historical use for inflammatory conditions such as arthritis,osteoarthritis, bronchitis and rheumatism. To read more on the medicinal benefits of ginger, go here.
Turmeric also has many health benefits with regard to inflammation and it too has been used for centuries. To read more on the medicinal benefits of Turmeric, go here.
7. Boswellia Essential Oil (Frankincense)
Oral supplementation of oral Boswellia, known as Indian frankincense, has been shown in studies to suppress pain and immobility associated with OA quite significantly. Studies from the Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Science show that the pain reduction of supplementing with boswellia comes from several mechanisms. These mechanisms support overall immune function, interfering with cytokine production that raises inflammation, delays reactions to sensitivities, helps regulate lymphocytes (white blood cells) and T-cells interactions and reduces autoimmune effects related to immunoglobulin G antibodies.
Transdermal use of several drops of pure frankincense oil mixed with a carrier oil like coconut oil, can be applied to a painful joint / area several times a day. Other essential oils that are also beneficial for arthritis, used in a similar fashion, are myrrh, turmeric, ginger, orange, peppermint and lavender oils. To read more on the medicinal benefits of Boswellia, go here.
8. Above all else, CLEANSE, CLEANSE, CLEANSE and DETOX, DETOX, DETOX.
Science has shown that at least 13 mycoplasma species cause arthritis in animals. The role of mycoplasmas as causitive agents in arthritis has been considered since they were found 50 years ago in rats and mice with arthritis.
Mycoplasmas and bacterial L-forms are resident, in vivo parasitic “invaders” that become active from time to time to obtain nutrients, expel wastes, breed, and migrate in and out of the body to form new colonies. These actions precipitate an allergic reaction that appears to be an autoimmune disorder since no external cause for the reaction is detected by routine testing methods. In vitro cultures are slow and usually fail to detect mycoplasmas and L-forms. Mycoplasmas exhibit cloaking behavior in several ways: cell shape modification, infiltration of T-cells, and mimicry of normal cells.
Some Surprising Facts About Arthritis
- A 2010 study done by Brazilian Researchers found that bee sting venom appeared to reduce the signs and symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis.
- Most people think of osteoarthritis generally inflicting older people in hips, knees and hands but statistics suggest that more than half of people in their 60's and 70's are affected in their feet and ankles
- Gout is a form of arthritis and the joint that connects the big toe to the foot is often affected first in people who have gout
- Injured joints are more likely to develop osteoarthritis than joints that have not
- Children can get arthritis too. Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is the most common type of arthritis in children which strikes a child between the ages of 1 and 3 years old or between 8 and 12 years of age. It affects girls twice as often as boys.
Symptoms of Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis symptoms often develop slowly and worsen over time. Signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis include:
- Pain. Your joint may hurt during or after movement.
- Tenderness. Your joint may feel tender when you apply light pressure to it.
- Stiffness. Joint stiffness may be most noticeable when you wake up in the morning or after a period of inactivity.
- Loss of flexibility. You may not be able to move your joint through its full range of motion.
- Grating sensation. You may hear or feel a grating sensation when you use the joint.
- Bone spurs. These extra bits of bone, which feel like hard lumps, may form around the affected joint.
- While the symptoms of arthritis vary from person to person, the two most common are stiffness and pain. This is especially the case with osteoarthritis, which often causes the most intense stiffness first thing after waking up in the morning. The Arthritis Foundation points out that “if you experience morning stiffness that lasts longer than an hour, this is a good reason to suspect arthritis. It also shouldn’t be that hard or painful to get up from your favourite chair.”
Some joints are more commonly impacted by arthritis/osteoarthritis than others, including those located in:
- The lower back
- Thumb base
Factors that may increase your risk of osteoarthritis include:
- Older age. The risk of osteoarthritis increases with age.
- Sex. Women are more likely to develop osteoarthritis, though it isn't clear why.
- Obesity. Carrying extra body weight contributes to osteoarthritis in several ways, and the more you weigh, the greater your risk. Increased weight puts added stress on weight-bearing joints, such as your hips and knees. In addition, fat tissue produces proteins that may cause harmful inflammation in and around your joints.
- Joint injuries. Injuries, such as those that occur when playing sports or from an accident, may increase the risk of osteoarthritis. Even injuries that occurred many years ago and seemingly healed can increase your risk of osteoarthritis.
- Certain occupations. If your job includes tasks that place repetitive stress on a particular joint, that joint may eventually develop osteoarthritis.
- Genetics. Some people inherit a tendency to develop osteoarthritis.
- Bone deformities. Some people are born with malformed joints or defective cartilage, which can increase the risk of osteoarthritis.
- Other medical conditions such as diabetes or an autoimmune disorder can raise your risk for arthritis.
- Metabolic problems and gout (uric acid build-up) can contribute to arthritis as the crystal-like particles that develop in the joints result in spikes of joint pain
Conventional Treatments for Arthritis
Prescription Medication: Usually analgesics are prescribed to manage osteoarthritis and arthritis, to manage pain and inflammation. None of these drugs however treat the cause of the inflammation, they can be however very addicting and cause many side effects.
Four common prescription analgesics used to treat osteoarthritis pain include:
Over the counter (OTC) drugs: These drugs can sometimes help to relieve pain temporarily and some of them help to relieve the inflammation, but again, none of these drugs treat the underlying cause:
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- NSAID painkillers to help control both pain and inflammation (including Advil, Bayer, Aleve and Motrin),
Avoid the risk and side effects of OTC and prescription drugs by utilising alternative natural treatments for arthritis which can greatly help control your pain and reverse your condition.