Friday, March 19, 2010

Link Between Arthritis and Diet

Diet is often linked to many health conditions and in some cases a change in diet can alter the way your body is reacting. For example, people with Adult Onset Diabetes can effectively change their disease by simply altering their diet. The same can be said of some types of arthritis. There is a definite link between arthritis and diet that if followed can help alleviate symptoms and bring relief from suffering.

One type of arthritis that can be helped with diet is gout. Gout is an extremely painful condition that is characterized by attacks of acute inflammatory arthritis. The affected area, usually the feet, is swollen, red, tender to the touch and hot. Gout is caused by high levels of uric acid building up in the blood. This acid crystallizes and settles in the joints, tendons and surrounding tissues. Diet can play a large role in keeping bouts of gout from occurring as frequently. Gout is often caused by diets high meats, seafood, sugar, and alcohol. When these items are decreased in the diet the attacks of gout are less frequent.

Diet can also play a part in arthritis due to weight being a factor in arthritis pain. If you are heavier than you should be and you have arthritis your body is dealing with extra stress on its joints. Eating a healthy diet that keeps your weight under control is one way you can incorporate your diet into your arthritis treatment.

Food allergies are also thought to be triggers of arthritis attacks. According to Diet and Nutrition, some foods that are known to cause the immune system to malfunction are caffeine, dairy products, salt, red meats, chocolate, sugar, additives and preservatives and dairy products. Knowing that these foods are immune system related and allergen triggers makes it possible that they are responsible for triggering attacks of asthma.

The link between diet and arthritis is not always scientifically proven; however, you can determine if your body is reacting to a certain food by removing it from your diet for a period of time. If you don’t have an arthritis flare up, put the food back in your diet and see if you have an arthritis attack. You can do this on your own to find the link in your diet to your arthritis attacks.


Photo: Suat Eman

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

6 Tips for Dealing with Arthritis Knees

If you have been told by your doctor that you have arthritis knees, then you’re probably in a quandary with a million questions racing through your mind. Arthritis knees means that your knee joints are swelling, you are suffering from stiffness, and experiencing some degree of pain.

This condition can happen to any adult, not necessarily a senior citizen. In fact, for every three Americans, one suffers from some kind of arthritis. It has become a major medical concern, but the good news is that there are ways to alleviate the pain and discomfort you feel. Here are some tips you can try.

Tip 1

If you are overweight, you must try to shed some pounds to relieve the pressure on your knees. It will make it easier for you to go around without limping. Exercise and proper diet will not only make it easier for you to move around, it will pick up your spirits. Join a gym or sign up for an exercise class, and make some friends.

Tip 2

Before you sign up for any exercise program, ask your doctor’s approval. There are some exercises that can put too much pressure on the knees. This will be counter-productive and could cause injury to your already weakened arthritis knees.

Also, make sure to follow proper protocol when going through an exercise plan. This means that you need to stretch those muscles slowly to warm them up before going into the heavier activities, and warming down slowly at the end of your session.

People with arthritis knees need to be very careful about injuries, however slight. This is because it can aggravate your situation, and cause you more pain.

Tip 3

Take a warm Epsom salt bath. Epsom salts is very effective in eliminating mineral deposits and toxins from our body. These are major causes of arthritis so getting them out of your system will help you.

Tip 4

Include anti-oxidants and Omega 3 in your daily diet. You need to start eating healthier, and avoiding fast food restaurants, the dessert tray, and TV dinners which are very high in sodium.

Tip 5

Relax with a massage. If you can massage your arthritis knees for 10 minutes a day with lotion or massage oil, you will be able to lessen the inflammation.

Tip 6

Try green tea. This is a very good drink for people suffering from arthritis. You can brew your own or use the convenient green tea bags for your daily dose. Some have been known to drink more than 3 cups a day, and claim that it not only helps their arthritis, it also helps improve their skin, lose weight, and freshens breath because it works great as a mouthwash.

Dealing with arthritis knees is something you will have to accept. However, it does not mean you have to give in to it. Keep learning and stay alert for new FDA-approved treatments.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Tips for Handling Arthritis Pain

Arthritis is a physical condition that causes extensive damage to the joints of the body. It can hamper mobility and can greatly decrease the ability of the patient from performing regular day-to-day activities. Pain is an integral part of this condition and individuals suffering from arthritis have constant pain in their joints. This makes their condition all the more difficult. There are some ways to cope with the pain resulting out of arthritis and patients can try one of these to alleviate their pain.

The most common way to cope with arthritis pain is to take muscle pain relievers that are available in drug stores. A lot of it is available over the counter, though some require prescription from the doctor. There are pros and cons with either kind of medicines. Over the counter medications usually do not have any side effect, but they are mild and may not give the required relief. Prescription drugs, on the other hand, are very powerful and will give immediate relief from pain, but they may have side-effects in the long run. It is up to the patient to decide the kind of drug that must be taken, depending on the age and the severity of the pain.

Another important tip to cope with the pain is to make changes to the current lifestyle. Diet must include more calcium and vitamin and less of protein and fat. So, it is a good idea to include more fruits, vegetables, lean meat and milk. Exercise is an important part of preventing and treating arthritis. When the joints are moved, even at a very slow pace, it can provide relief and it can help them to keep working. Excess weight can make arthritis worse and so one must always be cautious of it. Obese and overweight people must take efforts to reduce weight by changing the diet and by trying to include more exercise into the daily activities. Some relaxation techniques also have a good effect on the pain. Yoga, Tai chi and acupuncture are also used to get relief from the pain.

Physical therapy can help to alleviate the pain. It helps to restore movement in the joints. It can be a very slow, yet effective process. When everything else has failed, the final way to treat pain is to go in for Arthroplasty. It is a surgical procedure that helps to bring movement in the joints.

These are some of the ways to cope with pain from arthritis.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Arthritis Causes

When you are diagnosed with arthritis you might not be concerned with why you have it or what caused it, you are more interested in what you can do to get some pain relief and resume your normal life activities. Later, you may wonder what caused your arthritis. Did you workout too hard? Did grandma pass it down to you or is it just a part of your makeup that you will have to deal with. The causes of arthritis depend a lot on what type of arthritis you have.

Medical News Today describes the causes of some of the most common arthritis conditions including osteoarthritis. This type of arthritis is caused when cartridge loses its elasticity over time and is commonly caused by aging. As the cartilage wears away the tendons and ligaments are not protected and the bones become vulnerable and pain is investable as they rub against each other. In addition to normal aging, genetics play a large part in developing osteoarthritis. If your family has a history of this disease you are likely to develop it.
Injury to tendons or muscles can cause degenerative arthritis. These types of injury often occur while playing sports or exercising and the arthritis might not appear for years. If your body has an imbalanced metabolism or problems with its immune system you can develop gout or pseudo gout. These are painful arthritis conditions that are a direct result of the body’s metabolic or immune system being off kilter.

Arthritis associated with Lyme disease is caused by an infection that typically comes from being bitten by deer tick. Lyme disease has many other symptoms in addition to arthritis and is a dangerous infection. Once the Lyme disease is successfully treated the arthritis may continue to linger for years. This could be due to the autoimmune system being compromised by the Lyme disease.

Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by an overactive immune system which also is the cause of systemic lupus. Knowing the cause of the arthritis, such as in lupus and rheumatoid, makes treating the arthritis easier to do and more precise for doctors to do.
Not all types of arthritis have a definitive cause and treatment is more difficult. However, if doctors can find an exact cause for your arthritis you are closer to getting the treatment options to help alleviate your pain.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Arthritis Foods - Understanding Foods That Have Anti-Inflammatory Magic

Arthritis foods simply means dieting properly so that the pain you experience becomes manageable. You cannot prevent arthritis from happening to you, but you can control how it affects your life. One of the recommended ways is to watch your food intake, and make sure that you avoid fatty, sugary foods, while including anti-inflammatory foods.

Extra Virgin Oil is the best kind of oil to use because it is teeming with monounsaturated fat. It will work very well on arthritis sufferers by stemming inflammation. This is because of the presence of anti-oxidants called polyphenols. To use Extra Virgin Olive Oil, you can make your own Italian dressing for your salads. You can also use it for cooking as long as you do not cook the oil for long. Olive oil is not good for deep-frying. It loses its “magic.” In fact, what you can do is add it to your cooking a few minutes before removing from heat - like in spaghetti sauce.

Seafood, Seaweed, Salmon, Flaxseeds are food rich in Omega-3. This is fatty acids that suppress enzymes production like cytokines which causes bone damage that leads to arthritis. However, not all seafood fall under this category, so you will need to get a detailed list from your doctor which seafood to avoid.

Spices like ginger and turmeric also have anti-inflammatory magic, and are good arthritis foods to include in your diet. This means having a rich seafood or chicken curry once in a while. There are also arthritis foods with ginger in many Asian dishes like Broccoli with Oyster sauce and Chopsuey. You can even have ginger tea or ginger cookies, if you are feeling adventurous enough. Just make sure that it is not too sweet.

Vegetables and Fruits will naturally be part of arthritis foods that have anti-inflammatory magic. Again, we see a lot of anti-oxidants in broccoli, spinach, kale, sweet potatoes, and berries. It would be also better if you buy the organic produce to lessen the amount of preservatives you ingest.

Green Tea, Black Tea from Japan or China should be part of your daily diet. In fact, green tea is the most beneficial tea variety for almost all illnesses, including arthritis. The best kind of green tea would be to brew your own. It’s easy to do, and you get the full benefits of green tea.

When you have to adjust your diet to help you deal with the pain, the best arthritis foods will always be anything that contains anti-oxidants. Aside from the abovementioned food and spices, you should also consider nuts, cocoa powder, corn, natural Vitamin C, and whole grain.

With a solid diet of magic arthritis foods, managing pain from this potentially debilitating condition becomes easier. The question is, “Do you believe in magic?”

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Arthritis Nutrition Tips

It may often seem like every time you go to the doctor his answer is diet and exercise no matter what your ailment is. While that may be stretching it slightly, it is true that nutrition plays a huge role in keeping your body healthy and can impact ailments such as arthritis. In order to know how food affects your body and arthritis in particular you need to have some arthritis nutrition tips to use as a guideline while grocery shopping.

At All 4 Natural Health they suggest some diet and nutritional goals that will help with arthritis. The number one diet tip that is offered is to increase the amount of fatty fish that is consumed. This is because of the Omega-3 fatty acids that you get when you eat fish such as salmon and mackerel. These have been shown to help with arthritis.

If you don’t like fish you can add soybeans and avocado to your diet to increase your intake of Omega-3 fatty acids. These foods are also rich in the essential amino acid. You can also take a supplemental tablet of Omega-3 that is made from fish oils.

Research has shown that arthritis sufferers should limit their consumption of beef, corn or salt. The research shows that these foods have high allergic tendencies that often aggravate arthritis symptoms.

People with arthritis need to add fresh fruits and vegetables to their diets in order to keep their arthritis symptoms at bay and have better overall health in general.
Foods that should be avoided by arthritis sufferers are those foods that prevent the body from absorbing calcium such as cranberries, coffee, alcohol and spinach. Avoiding these foods can help keep you from having arthritis flare ups and helps your body absorb the calcium it needs to be bone and joint healthy.

Pick your foods carefully; they are doing more than just providing nutrition. In many cases they are helping you avoid outbreaks of illness and ailments and helping you stay healthy and strong. Arthritis, like any other disease, has foods that aggravate it and foods that are beneficial to it. Choose those foods and keep your arthritis where it belongs, in the background.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Common Arthritis Treatments

Arthritis is a common problem in America and it is estimated that more than 20 million people suffer from it. There are many kinds of arthritis and the most common ones are Rheumatoid arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Psoriasis and Infectious arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition in which the immune system of the body rebels and attacks the body tissues, especially those near the joints. This is a serious disease and it can make individuals severely crippled and deformed within a few years. It has no cure mainly because it usually occurs in the later part of one's life. The treatments are all based on drugs and medications for this kind of arthritis.

Some immuno-suppressant medications can control the immune system's attack of the cartilage and tissues while pain relievers can provide relief from the pain. Some doctors even prescribe an anti-rheumatoid drug that can limit the immune system from causing further damage to the joints.

Osteoarthritis is a form of arthritis that affects larger bones in the body like hips and back. It occurs in the later stages of life and it is caused due to the daily wear and tear of bones and joints. It causes two bones to rub against each other. This condition limits movement and it can be very painful to even do the daily activities. One of the main reasons for osteoarthritis is obesity and a sedentary lifestyle. It can be prevented by regular exercise and healthy eating habits. The main treatment is a change to the overall lifestyle. Mild exercises like swimming can provide a lot of relief to the pain. Massage with any kind of herbal oil will also help to alleviate the pain. Many pain killers and heating pads are available that can also be used to reduce the pain.

Psoriasis is a kind of arthritis that starts off as a skin disease and slowly progresses to pain in the joints. This form of arthritis can occur periodically and there is no treatment available. Infectious arthritis is also severe and it is accompanied by fever and chills, besides the pain.

Arthroplasty is a surgical treatment available for people who are in their advanced stage of arthritis. Artificial surfaces are attached to bones to provide better movement in the joints. Pain relievers, massage, yoga and acupuncture can provide temporary relief from pain. Due to this lack of treatment, it is a good idea to prevent them from occurring in the first place by regular exercise and a healthy diet.