Arthritis (Osteo)/Osteoarthritis

OsteoarthritisWhat is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is usually referred to as “degenerative arthritis”. You can refer to this as joint degeneration which is brought about by the normal wear and tear of the joints. This is one cause of disability since its presence limits one’s movement. Older women are often more affected by osteoarthritis than older men. Studies have shown that 1 of 3 people often suffer from this type of arthritis.

 

What Causes Osteoarthritis?

As with any type of disease or condition, osteoarthritis is brought about by a lot of causes. One of the causes is the gradual deterioration of the cartilage. The cartilage is the padding that protects the bones from rubbing against each other. This natural wear and tear of the joints is the reason why a lot of people feel and experience the different symptoms of osteoarthritis.

Some contributing factors that speed up the deterioration process of the joints are age, inflammatory joint disease, sex, genetics, obesity, diet, structural damage or trauma to the joints.

 

Diagnosis, Signs, and Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

People who start experiencing signs of arthritis are usually those age 50 years and above. Some actually say that there are those who experience the symptoms at 45 years of age.

Some symptoms associated with such a condition are the following:

  • “Popping” sound in the knees
  • Reduced flexibility.
  • Pain in the hands, hips, and knees. This pain usually worsens in the evening because it is aggravated during the day. This can be relieved by resting.
  • Joints feel stiff in the morning. This stiffness can be eased by moving.
  • Swelling in area

A lot of people over the age of 50 years will start to experience some joint discomfort, with creaky ‘popping’ knees and reduced flexibility.

 

Remedies, Treatment and Cure for Osteoarthritis

Useful Lifestyle Hints

  • Joints must stay supple.
  • Therapy can help in enhancing the repair process of the body cells, especially those located in the joins.
  • Diet is important. Eat healthy foods.
  • Give attention to your weight. When you have excess weight or are already obese, you tend to increase the stress felt by the weight bearing joints. Decreasing your weight can help in easing the stress from the joints.
  • Check food allergies. A lot of people say that food allergies can trigger the pain as well.
  • Tobacco, alcohol intake, use of painkillers, drugs, and anti-inflammatory medication can adversely affect the body’s healing process. Therefore, if you are suffering from arthritis, these should be avoided.
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen, can indeed suppress the pain, however, it also suppresses the regeneration of the cartilage and can actually contribute to a fast progression of osteoarthritis.

Fitness Tips

  • Increase your activity so that the circulation of your blood and your heart rate will be better. It is said that this will help get rid of the toxins from the body, especially those that are found in the joints.
  • You can try walking since it is a mild form of exercise. If you do not have the time to walk, do some stretching exercises. Stretching could help in giving the body more flexibility and strength. You may also try to lymphasize. Some of these activities would include jumping on a trampoline. You may be surprised but you can do the trampoline activity by merely sitting.

Other Forms of Therapy

  • Seek therapeutic massage at least once a week. You may use cold compress to reduce the swelling. Hot compress can help in relieving aches and pains. You may use the essential oils lavender or chamomile.
  • For muscle relaxation, soak in a warm bath with magnesium Epsom salts.

Diet for Osteoarthritis

Foods to Avoid

  • Avoid food additives, and other foods processed or grown using chemicals and pesticides.
  • Stay away from foods that are high in sugar, as well as those that have high fat content.
  • Avoid hydrogenated oils and fried foods. If you need to fry, make it seldom only.
  • Caffeine from instant coffee may increase inflammation and pain, especially for those who are sensitive to gluten, an ingredient found in bread, cakes and muffins.
  • Avoid trans fatty acids found in margarine and butter, the latter is better but use sparingly.
  • Try to avoid common allergy foods like dairy, wheat products, nightshade vegetables like eggplant and tomatoes. Try to avoid bell peppers, tobacco, and potatoes as well. Onion and garlic must be avoided too. (Check with a naturopath for your food allergies so that you may then enjoy certain foods, as opposed to other foods you may be allergic to.)

Friendly Foods

  • The safest would always be to drink fresh water and green tea daily.
  • Eat moderate amounts of lean mean and lots of fish.
  • Healthy dietary fats can be included in your meals as well. Examples of these are cold pressed olive oil, flax oil, fish oil, nut oil, and borage oil. These oils could help in reducing inflammation.

 

Vitamins, Minerals and Herbs for Osteoarthritis

  • Glucosarnine and Chondroitin. These natural nutrients come from sea cucumber, sea crustaceans, or cartilage. These are used by the body for a healthy joint tissue. It assists in the articulation and lubrication of the joints. These can reduce pain and inflammation of arthritis and can slow its progression. 1200mg of Chondroitin and 1500mg of Glucosamine daily can help.
  • Fish oil, flax oil, and evening primrose oil, can help in reducing inflammation. 3000mg of evening primrose oil or fish oil, 1tbsp – 2tbsp of flax oil daily are ideal.
  • Antioxidant formulas daily can help too. Some of these are Green tea, Gingko, Kelp, Vitamins A, C, E, Zinc, selenium, and Grape seed.

Herbs

  • 1800mg of Cloves, combined with 2000mg of Wormwood, and 2000mg of Black Walnut daily, for three weeks can help in eradicating parasites that settle in the joints, brought about by ‘leaky gut syndrome’.
  • Devil’s Claw, 500mg of dried root daily, can help in reducing pain and swelling. This also improves the mobility of the joints.
  • Celery Seed, being a natural diuretic helps in preventing buildup of fluid. Take 500mg-3g daily.
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