Monday, October 7, 2013

Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms and Causes

The cause or causes of arthritis are oftentimes difficult to determine because there are many factors that contribute to the development of this common disease.

Arthritis involves the breakdown of cartilage. Cartilage normally protects the joint, allowing for smooth movement. Cartilage also absorbs shock when pressure is placed on the joint, like when you walk. Without the usual amount of cartilage, the bones rub together, causing pain, swelling (inflammation), and stiffness.

You may have joint inflammation for a variety of reasons, including:

* Broken bone
* Infection (usually caused by bacteria or viruses)
* An autoimmune disease (the body attacks itself because the immune system believes a body part is foreign)
* General "wear and tear" on joints

Often, the inflammation goes away after the injury has healed, the disease is treated, or the infection has been cleared.

With some injuries and diseases, the inflammation does not go away or destruction results in long-term pain and deformity.

When this happens, you have chronic arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common type and is more likely to occur as you age.

You may feel it in any of your joints, but most commonly in your hips, knees or fingers. Risk factors for osteoarthritis include:

* Being overweight
* Previously injuring the affected joint
* Using the affected joint in a repetitive action that puts stress on the joint (baseball players, ballet dancers, and construction workers are all at risk)

Arthritis can occur in men and women of all ages. About 37 million people in America have arthritis of some kind, which is almost 1 out of every 7 people.

Other types or cause of arthritis include:

* Rheumatoid arthritis (in adults)
* Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (in children)
* Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
* Gout
* Scleroderma
* Psoriatic arthritis
* Ankylosing spondylitis
* Reiter's syndrome (reactive arthritis)
* Adult Still's disease
* Viral arthritis
* Gonococcal arthritis
* Other bacterial infections (non-gonococcal bacterial arthritis )
* Tertiary Lyme disease (the late stage)
* Tuberculous arthritis
* Fungal infections such as blastomycosis

Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptom

If you have arthritis, you may experience:

* Joint pain
* Joint swelling
* Stiffness, especially in the morning
* Warmth around a joint
* Redness of the skin around a joint
* Reduced ability to move the joint

Self-destructive immune response of R.A may be caused by a combination of genetic susceptibility and an environmental trigger. Changing hormones may also play an important role in disease, possibly in response to an infection of the environment.

More than one gene has been linked to the risk of R.A. Specific genes may increase the likelihood of a person developing the disease, and could also partly determine how serious his condition is. However, because not all people with a genetic predisposition to rheumatoid arthritis actually have the disease, other factors should be important.

A specific environmental trigger has not been found, but some research suggests that infection by a virus or bacterium leads to rheumatoid arthritis in people genetically susceptible. That does not mean that rheumatoid arthritis is contagious. People with rheumatoid arthritis appear to have more antibodies in the synovial fluid in their joints, suggesting that there may be an infection. Low levels of hormones of the adrenal gland are common in people with rheumatoid arthritis, but how hormones interact with genetic and environmental factors is unknown. Changes hormone can contribute to the progression of rheumatoid arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis may occur independently of other conditions, but its causes and its relationship with other diseases are not well understood. A different way of chronic arthritis can sometimes develop in rheumatoid arthritis. It is also possible that infections or other environmental triggers exist that may cause rheumatoid arthritis in people who already have a gene for the disease.

What Foods Can I Eat If I Have Arthritis?

The link between food and arthritis has been difficult to prove because of the difficulty inherent in study design. However, observations made over the last several decades point to trends that may be important. Multiple studies have suggested that rheumatoid arthritis symptoms could be reproduced by the reintroduction of certain foods and ameliorated by excluding these foods from the diet.

More recently, rheumatoid arthritis has been shown to worsen when there is an excessive amount of Omega-3 fatty acids in the diet. Excessive ingestion of feedlot beef, refined cooking oils and margarines result in an increase of inflammatory symptoms. Some evidence has linked the consumption of saturated fats found in whole milk, cheese, as well as other animal products such as red meat and poultry to worsening RA symptoms. (O'Banion DR. J Holistic Med 1982; 4: 49-57)

An interesting connection has been proposed by some researchers that a food allergy to high saturated fat foods, meat, dairy, omega-6 fatty acids, and refined vegetable oils may be responsible for some rheumatoid arthritis flares (Hicklin JA, et al. Clin Allergy 1980; 10: 463-470.)

For centuries, nightshade foods such as potatoes, eggplant, and pepper have been claimed to aggravate arthritis. Firm data here, though, is not compelling. Study design has been a drawback. Doing a randomized double-blind study using foods is exceedingly difficult.

Small studies evaluating the effects of foods in rheumatoid arthritis sufferers have continued to make a case for food being a significant inciting factor in disease. Studies performed by researchers have demonstrated that partial fasting with avoidance of animal fat, refined sugar, citrus fruits, preservatives, coffee, tea, alcohol, salt, and strong spices which were associated with symptoms led to a reduction of symptoms.

Another study published by Beri et al showed that an elimination and rechallenge diet provided significant improvement in 71% of patients tested. (Beri, D, et al Ann Rheum Dis 1988; 47: 69-72)

In another study, Darlington evaluated 70 patients with rheumatoid arthritis. By eliminating foods deemed to provoke symptoms, he was able to eliminate symptoms as well as need for medications in 19% of patients. Darlington also identified foods such as grapefruit, cheese, malt, coffee, beef, eggs, rye, oats, milk, oranges, bacon, tomato, peanuts, cane sugar, butter, lamb, lemon, and soy as causative factors. (Darlington LG. Rheum Dis North Am 1991; 127: 273-285)

A recent study suggested that a diet high in vitamin D such as is found with salmon, tuna, shrimp, sunflower seeds, eggs, and vitamin-D fortified milk may prevent rheumatoid arthritis. (Merlino, LA et al. Arthritis Rheum 2004; 50: 72-77)

The upshot of these studies indicates that perhaps dietary manipulation should be considered as a possible therapeutic intervention. Elimination of all foods believed to be causing symptoms followed by single food reintroductions to determine which foods might be the culprits seems a reasonable course of action. Foods such as corn, wheat, cow's milk, pork, oranges, oats, rye, eggs, beef, coffee, malt, cheese, grapefruit, lemon, tomato, peanuts, and soy seem to be the most common offenders.

In our office we have found the Immunolab assay (Fort Lauderdale, FL) to be useful in excluding food allergies as a potentially important contributing factor to arthritis symptoms.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Arthritis - Facts and Helpful Tips

The colder months of the year can be miserable for sufferers of Arthritis. The cold and damp can play havoc with joint mobility, causing inflammation and pain. If you suffer from this condition you are far from alone. The information that follows will hopefully provide you with some useful tips to help you get through the winter months with less pain.

The Statistics

  • Arthritis and Rheumatic disease affect around 8 million people in the UK

  • More than 3 million people have a significant disability

  • Osteoarthritis - the most common joint disorder in the UK affects more than one million people.

  • It affects 10 - 25% of people aged over 65

  • Around 600,000 people have Rheumatoid arthritis

  • Arthritis and rheumatic disease are the most common causes of long-standing illness, and account for one fifth of all visits to the doctor.

The Facts

The term "Arthritis" means damage or swelling of joints. Joints are the points where 2 bones meet. The ends of bones are covered by a thin layer of gristle or cartilage, which acts as a shock absorber when you put weight on a joint.

Cartilage is the tough, rubbery coating you can see on the ends of chicken thigh bones. It cushions the joints and ensures a smooth motion.

Joints are surrounded by a membrane called the Synovium, which produces a small amount of thick fluid called Synovial Fluid. This nourishes the cartilage and keeps it slippery. The Synovium has a tough outer layer called the Capsule, which stops the bones moving too much. Ligaments on both sides keep bones firmly in place. These are thick, strong bands usually just outside the Capsule. Tendons are also on both sides and attach muscles to bones. They keep the joint in place and help to move it.


Osteoarthritis is the end result of a number of different episodes of damage to the joint over a period of time. Genetic inheritance may play a part with some people. Being overweight, injury to the joint and repeated minor pressures on the joint, e.g. some sports or occupations involving repeated kneeling or lifting, can also cause this condition.
Osteoarthritis usually occurs at the knee (more common in women), the hip (equally common in men and women), the spine, and in the hands, especially at the base of the thumb and in the fingers. Osteoarthritis can produce a mild ache to crippling pain, when Total Hip Replacement or Knee Replacement may be indicated.

In severe osteoarthritis, the cartilage can become so thin that it no longer covers the bone ends. The bone ends touch and start to wear away. The loss of cartilage, the wearing of the bone, and the bony spurs at the edges can change the shape of the joint. This forces the bones out of their normal position and causes deformity.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory, auto-immune disease where the body turns against itself. Normally, inflammation is our immune system's response to fighting bacteria, viruses etc. In the case of rheumatoid arthritis the tissues and joints are attacked, which damages the cartilage, bones and sometimes the ligaments and tendons, too. When this happens the joints become unstable and deformities can occur.

Rheumatoid arthritis is more common in women and usually occurs between the ages of 40 to 60 but can appear earlier. It can also be hereditary in some families.

With rheumatoid arthritis the symptoms can come and go unpredictably. Sometimes physical exertion, an illness, or an emotional experience may trigger a 'flare up' but other times there may be no obvious cause.

Helpful Tips

Information and education - knowing how and why arthritis occurs can help to slow down or prevent further deterioration.

Weight management - being overweight puts further stresses on the joints, particularly the knees and hips. A reduction in weight can make a significant difference.

Exercise - aerobic exercise where the individual raises their heartbeat, sweats and becomes breathless is good for the whole body and can help in the management of weight. It may also increase general well being. Local strengthening exercise is particularly useful in arthritis of the knee. By strengthening the quadriceps muscle on the front of the thigh, pain can be reduced and balance and stability can be improved, therefore lessening disability. A physiotherapist can teach the exercises.

Frequent breaks in activities - it is sensible to have frequent breaks when gardening or doing housework to avoid mechanical stress.

Sensible footwear - a good training shoe for arthritis of the hip or knee is designed to absorb any impact when walking. Shoes should have a thick sole, no raised heel, a broad forefoot and soft uppers.

Drug therapy - no drugs are totally safe but Paracetamol is usually the first painkiller to try. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Ibuprofen may be the next choice but they have the potential to cause side effects, especially stomach problems, and may interact with other drugs. NSAIDs can inhibit repair of the joint.

Natraflex - a natural, herbal balm containing Boswellia, Capsaicin and MSM has been shown in trials to be effective in over 75% of people with arthritis and is available from Health Food Shops or the internet.

Diet - Nutritionists recommend that we eat a diet which is 80% alkaline and 20% acid. Instead, most people eat the opposite. Acidic bodies also cause calcium to be leached out from the joints, making the condition worse.

Foods that should be avoided

  • Alcoholic drinks

  • Caffeine-Coffee, Tea, & Chocolate

  • Packaged or processed food with artificial additives

  • Chinese food (contains Monosodium glutamate)

  • Dairy products

  • Eggs

  • Refined flour

  • White sugar

  • Salted foods

  • Fried foods

  • Burnt, charred or rancid food

  • Animal proteins-red meat

  • Foods containing nitrates

  • Citrus fruits

  • Aubergines

  • Tomatoes

Foods that may help Arthritis sufferers

  • Yams

  • Celery

  • Sea vegetables e.g. seaweed, kelp

  • Garlic and onions

  • Pineapple -contains the enzyme Bromelain

  • Bananas

  • Apples, pears and paw paws

  • Water - at least 2 litres of filtered water each day

  • Herbal tea

  • Rice milk

  • Oats, oatcake biscuits

  • Rice cakes (with no added salt)

  • Brown rice

  • Millet

  • Flax seed or linseeds

  • Linseed oil

  • Cider vinegar

  • Tuna, mackerel and sardines

  • Nuts and seeds (make sure they are not mouldy) - Brazil nuts, almonds, hazel nuts, cashew nuts (not peanuts), sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds (Tahini paste)

  • Dried fruits

  • Pulses -lentils and beans

  • White meat -chicken, lamb, and game

  • Herbs -basil, coriander, and ginseng

Any allergens or food intolerances should be identified to reduce the load on the immune system, particularly with Rheumatoid arthritis sufferers. Milk, yeast, eggs, grains and citrus fruits are the common foods that cause intolerance (see list of foods to avoid, above).

Fish oils are recommended to help lubricate the joints and therefore reduce the damage. MSM (methylsulphonylmethane) has also been found to reduce degeneration of the joints and can be taken orally or as a skin cream. Glucosamine is also recommended by Rheumatologists as it speeds up joint repair.

Doctors practising in nutrition recommend taking a multi-vitamin and multi-mineral supplement each day, which provides the daily values of all essential vitamins and minerals.

By understanding the facts about arthritis and following these simple diet and lifestyle recommendations, you can help to control or even reduce the symptoms of this common disease.

Top Tips To Treat Morning Stiffness

Morning stiffness in the muscles and joints is the hallmark of inflammatory kinds of arthritis. With a sprained ankle, with rheumatoid arthritis, with ankylosing spondylitis, or with other kinds of inflammation, you may notice that the sore area is stiff in the morning but loosens up as the day goes on. This phenomenon is most pronounced in rheumatoid arthritis, in which the morning stiffness generally lasts for an hour or more and can be a great aggravation. With osteoarthritis the stiffness usually lasts only a few moments.

No one really understands the reason for morning stiffness. Presumably, while the body is inactive, fluid leaks out from the small blood vessels and capillaries and the tissues become "waterlogged." Then, if you try to move the part, the swollen tissues feel stiff until the motion pumps the fluid out through the lymph channels and the veins. If you sit or lie down during the day the stiffness may return. This phenomenon is called "gelling" or the "gel phenomenon," after the behavior of gelatin, which remains liquid if kept moving and warm but solidifies if it sits for long. The phenomenon appears to be normal, but in the patient with inflammatory arthritis it can be very vexing. Don't let morning stiffness keep you in bed. If your stiffness is that severe, call the doctor and discuss the problem today.

With a minor local condition, such as a sprained ankle or a tennis elbow, don't worry about the stiffness. Think of it as a normal part of the process of bringing healing materials to the injured area. Loosen up carefully before activities and keep in mind that the healing is not yet complete. You should continue to protect the injured part. With a condition like rheumatoid arthritis, the stiffness is apt to persist and you are going to have to come to grips with the problem. Use all the tricks you can to reduce the inflammation and the stiffness. Be sure that you take any prescribed medication strictly according to schedule. Morning stiffness can be a sign of the activity of arthritis, and the best way to reduce stiffness is to treat the arthritis. Your stiffness may be a signal that you have been sloppy in taking prescribed drugs. Or you may need more medication or a different drug. In particular, don't forget to take the last dose in the evening.

Ask your doctor about changing your medication schedule. Perhaps you can take a drug later in the evening or in the middle of the night so that there is medication in your blood in the morning when you are most stiff. Some people taking aspirin find that taking a coated aspirin are absorbed more slowly, and the aspirin level in the bloodstream lasts a bit longer. Avoid painkillers, they don't help morning stiffness. Stretch gloves, of spandex or similar elastic material, may help morning stiffness in the hands if worn overnight. Give them a try, the idea is to prevent the tissues from becoming waterlogged. Try a warm bath or shower upon rising. Work at gentle exercises in the bed before you get up. You will have a certain amount of stiffness each day, and you might as well get it worked out as soon as possible. Some people find that they are helped by using an electric blanket.

Foot Arthritis - How To Treat It?

Foot arthritis could be described as one of the more common forms of arthritis. The problem with the foot is that it consists of 28 bones and 30 joints, of which any are susceptible to arthritis. If arthritis develops in any of these joints, its going to affect the way you walk, run and move in general. The joints in the foot which are more commonly affected are: the big toe, the ankle, the mid foot and the hind foot joint.

The most common form of arthritis which develops in the foot is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the result of getting older, and essentially wear and tear on the joints and cartilage. The cartilage wears down, and the bones rub together resulting in pain and swelling.

Traumatic arthritis is a common form of osteoarthritis that develops in the foot of a patient following some form of severe injury. This can develop in the foot even when the injury was treated correctly, and given time to recover fully. The most common forms of traumatic foot arthritis are a torn ligament, broken bone or severe sprain.

There are various symptoms and indications of foot arthritis, which should alert the sufferer to the condition immediately. These symptoms include swelling, tenderness, pain, stiffness and reduced mobility of the affected joint. All these symptoms will eventually lead to a difficulty in walking.

For a doctor to properly diagnose foot arthritis, a serious of tests and physical examinations will need to be performed. The doctor will also require information about your health and lifestyle to give clues on the complexity of the condition. The next step is to perform a walking analysis. In performing this walking analysis, the doctor will measure your stride and test your ankle and foot strength. Certain diagnostic imaging tests may also be required to further diagnose your condition- theses may include and X-Ray, CT or MRI scan.

After fully evaluating your foot arthritis, your doctor/physician will devise the most suitable treatment plan. There are many non-surgical treatments available, these include:

Taking anti-inflammatory medication

Steroid injection

Foot brace or cane usage

Ankle and foot support usage

Physical therapy

The final treatment option is surgery, and is generally reserved as a 'last resort' when all other treatment methods have failed. The key to effectively treating arthritis is early diagnosis. Don't ignore those sensations of stiffness and soreness; see a doctor as soon as possible, so that you have the best chance of treating your foot arthritis.

Your Rheumatoid Arthritis Diet - Balance, Moderation And Variety

A lot of people believe that rheumatoid arthritis only affects older people, but it is in fact also prevalent among people aged twenty to fifty. It can, however, affect people younger or older than the given age range; is more common with women than men. Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the worst types of arthritis - it doesn't stop with joint pain but gradually progresses to joint deformity.

There is no known cure for this disease, but the right rheumatoid arthritis diet and lifestyle, coupled with regular medication and other treatments, could allow people to continue leading normal lifestyles.

What Research Says About Rheumatoid Arthritis and Diet

Research is needed to accurately gauge the effects of diet on rheumatoid arthritis. As symptoms of this disease change in frequency and intensity from one day to another, it is virtually impossible to determine which foods caused which episode. Expert studies, however, have been able to determine that healthy food choices will always benefit individuals of any age afflicted with rheumatoid arthritis.

Today, researchers acknowledge the link between diet and rheumatoid arthritis. Nutritional supplements have been proven to be helpful as well not only for rheumatoid arthritis but other musculoskeletal problems like reactive arthritis, osteoarthritis, and osteoporosis.

Researchers however emphatically warn individuals from believing all the diet claims they hear. The US Department of Food and Drug Administration always request food and drug manufacturers to state if their claims are not sufficiently proven with research - if you see a disclaimer of this type then know that the claims provided are unsubstantiated.

Worse, there are even food products and supplements that are completely fraudulent and only out to con consumers. Such products may also contain harmful ingredients like zinc or alfalfa, both of which have been suspected to have unwanted side effects.

The Makings of the Right Diet for Rheumatoid Arthritis

There is no official recipe for the right diet. You can create your own menu plans just as long as your diet is based on three essential principles: balance, moderation and variety.

A balanced diet contains all the necessary components to ensure that you receive complete nourishment. Intake must always be moderate - eating too much of anything is not good. Lastly, what you eat must vary from time to time because it's easy to lose interest in eating and sticking with your diet if you force yourself to eat the same thing day after day.

Preparing this type of diet isn't easy and especially if you suffer from daily arthritic pain. Consider asking one of your family members or hiring an individual to ensure that your meals are carefully laid out everyday.

Caution In Preparing Your Diet

Special concerns may also dictate necessary changes for your diet. Arthritis can sometimes make you sensitive to certain food groups. Obviously, your meals will therefore avoid including any of those food groups. Depression and other emotional problems caused by arthritis may make you lose your appetite - your meals must therefore be more visually appealing and delicious than usual.

Also, rheumatoid arthritis can make a person suffer from potassium deficiency and sodium retention problems. As such, your meals will have to be particularly rich in potassium to make up for these losses.

Do your best to keep your weight ideal. Obesity has long been discovered to be disadvantageous to people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Besides the right diet, regular exercise can prevent you from gaining weight. Exercises may be done at home or through sports - what's important is to get yourself moving!

What's In, What's Out

Reduce intake of foods rich in cholesterol and fat. You don't have to avoid them completely, but you do need to eat less of them. The same goes for foods that are particularly sweet or salty.

On the other hand, increase intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain products. They reduce the inflammatory response of your joints.

Lessen consumption of alcohol - drinking too much will only make your joint pains worse.

If your diet is deficient in any vitamin or mineral, consider taking supplements to make up for the loss.

Lastly, consider consulting your doctor or nutritionist to determine other special conditions you may have to adhere to for your rheumatoid arthritis diet. Ask, for instance, if there are certain foods that could interact with the medications you're presently taking for your condition.

What Are the Joint Pain Causes?

There are many causes of joint pain, though the majority is from illnesses. Joint discomfort can also be felt from injuries, infections and some allergic reactions to medications. Treatment for joints will depend on the unique cause and situation. You may need to have joint replacement surgery, need to switch medications, or just take immune suppressant's. Most joint pain is destructive and degenerative, so you may need to change your activities or lifestyle to accommodate or find relief for the joint discomfort, depending on the severity.

Joint discomfort can be associated with pain, your nervous system, head symptoms, muscle symptoms, swelling, movement symptoms, skin symptoms, muscle weakness, fever, body temperature, stiffness, and fatigue. Some of these causes are very easy to treat while others cannot actually fix the cause, but allow you to function with the joint problems. Finger joint pain not only causes discomfort, but debilitation in some more serious cases.

Viral infections, the common cold, the flue and other bacterial infections all can cause joint pain. The many types of arthritis cause joint pain, from light pain to very sever and debilitating pain. The list of arthritic causes is extensive. Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, rheumatism, Reiter's syndrome, psoriatic arthritis, gonococcal arthritis, and inflammatory bowel syndrome are common culprits.

Some other common causes for aching joints are African sleeping sickness, east African trypanosomiasis, optic neuropathy, anterior ischemic, and West African trypanosomiasis. Severe joint pain causes are avascular necrosis, bartonella infections, bertonellosis, haemoglobin S/haemoglobin Lepore, Boston, Hemoglobin S/haemoglobin ), Arab, and Hemoglobin SC. Charcot joint pain, which is the degeneration of a stress bearing joint, such as your knee, is caused by repeated trauma, chronic haemarthrosis, chondrocalcinosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Joint redness, painful joints, joint inflammation, joint swelling and other joint symptoms are all associated with arthritis. Some causes of arthritis are acrodysostosis, Behcet's disease, Blau syndrome, Caplan's disease, Ciproflaxin, Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hypertostosis, Escherichi coli, Farber's disease, Bone fracture, Hemophilia type A, Hepatitis A, Kawasaki disease, Mayaro virus fever, Methimazole, mixed connective tissue disease, Mycoplasma pneumonia, obesity, PAPA syndrome, pituitary tumor, rheumatic fever, rubella, sickle cell disease, Streptococcus suis, raised Urid acid levels, West Nile fever, and Winchester. And that's just naming a few.

Gout related arthritis is a joint condition associated with the accumulation of urate crystals in the joints. It can be caused by familial juvenile hyperuricemic nephropathy, juvenile gout, Kelley-seegmiller syndrome, lesch-nyhan syndrome. Rheumatoid arthritis which causes quite sever joint pain is caused by cartilaginous deafness syndrome, chromosome 22q deletion, chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, felty syndrome, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, human adjuvant disease, hyperprolactinemia, large granular lymphocyte leukaemia, systemic juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and X-linked agammaglobulinemia.

It is important to remember that painful joints are a symptom of many different causes. You need to diagnose and recognize, rather than target the symptoms of joint troubles. This will help in determining why you are experiencing the discomfort in joints. Joint problems are commonly found in those 45 years of age and older. Most commonly rest, exercise, massage, stretching and warm baths can effectively treat nonarthritic joint issues. There are also anti-inflammatory medications that can relieve any swelling and inflammation. There is also special physical therapy for muscle and joint rehabilitation. You may need to have fluid removed from your joints to get rid of painful joints.

Without a doubt joint pain plaques millions of individuals. In some cases treatments or medication are effective in treating this problem. In other cases a more aggressive approach may be necessary. Regardless, new developments and technologies are making treatments more and more successful.

Herbal Remedies For Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition which is considered to be a chronic, inflammatory disorder that causes the immune system to attack the joints. This debilitating disease is a disabling and painful inflammatory condition, and can often lead to a major loss of mobility due to pain and joint expiration. Since rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic disease, it often affects extra-articular tissues throughout the body including the skin, blood vessels, heart, lungs, and muscles.

A number of herbs have been shown to feature significant anti-inflammatory properties. Some herbs also can be potential painkillers as well as being anti-inflammatory in nature. However, further testing of possible herbal remedies is still in the early stages and it would be difficult to tell the true effectiveness of these herbs. A number of promising herbal substitutes for painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs are shown below to harbor significant anti-inflammatory properties:.

 Birch leaf juice - Acts as a diuretic without irritating the kidney. It is advised to take 1 tablespoon three times daily.

 Boswellia - Boswellia, has been investigated for its effects on arthritis. The herb has a unique anti-inflammatory action, and acts much like the conventional non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). People are advised to take 400-800 mg of extract in capsules or tablets three times per day.

 Blueberries and cherries - These berries are rich sources of flavonoid molecules, specifically proanthocyanidins. These flavonoids possess membrane and collagen stabilizing, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory actions, including many other functions that are very beneficial in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

 Celery seeds - These seeds help clear uric acid from the joints of gout and arthritis patients. To prepare, boil 1 tsp. of seeds in 1 cup of water for fifteen minutes, strain and sip.

 Dandelion - Noted to dispel uric acid. Take 3 capsules daily, 1 tbsp. juice or 1 cup tea, twice daily for four to six weeks to reduce the frequency and intensity of pain, and to strengthen the connective tissue.

 Devil's claw root - Is known to be effective in reducing the inflammation of connective tissues, as it dispels uric acid.

 Chinese skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis) - Chinese skullcap has proven anti-arthritic and anti Chinese skullcap does not appear to have any adverse effects at therapeutic levels. Its therapeutic-inflammatory actions, similar in effect to the prescription drugs phenylbutazone and indomethacin. action appears to be related to its high content of flavonoid molecules.

 Chinese thoroughwax - (Bupleuri falcatum) This root is an important ingredient in various prescriptions in Chinese traditional medicine, particularly remedies for inflammatory conditions.

 Ginger - In one significant study, Indian researchers gave three to seven grams of ginger a day to 28 people with rheumatoid arthritis. More than 75 percent of those participating in the study reported at least some relief from pain and swelling.

 Feverfew - Feverfew has a long history in traditional herbal treatment circles for the treatment of fever, arthritis and migraine. Extracts of feverfew have indicated greater activity in inhibiting inflammation in experimental studies. Feverfew extracts have been noted to inhibit the synthesis of many pro-inflammatory compounds at their initial stage of synthesis.

 Dong quai - This herb is potent for relieving fleeting muscle and joint pains, particularly, if they are worse in damp conditions. Take I tbsp. of dried root juice three times daily.

Along with these herbal concoctions, rheumatologists also advise that treatment for conditions like these also includes rest and physical activity. Regular exercise is required for maintaining joint mobility and strengthening the joint muscles. Swimming is particularly good, since it allows for exercise with a minimum of stress on the joints. Heat and cold compresses are effective modalities that can ease RA symptoms before and after exercise.

Prime Herbal -

Rheumatoid Arthritis Diet - Natural Cures That Treat and Cure RA

If you are depressed and suffer from achy joints and are in constant pain you need help now. The good news is there is an all-natural cure for your arthritis. Listen; there are millions of people just like you who suffer in silence. Arthritis can be a daily nightmare...fingers gnarled, joints sore all the time. You are stressed out and literally in tears from the pain.

Why You Suffer From Arthritis?

Most Americans consume a diet that is acid-forming--too much meat, too many processed foods, not enough raw fruits, vegetables and fresh fish. Here is a list of 12 of the best foods that fight arthritis. If you are looking for an all-natural cure for arthritis start with these. The first 6 foods listed contain high levels of Omega 3 fatty acids which soothe joint pain and inflammation. Tart cherries are a natural anti-pain medicine. The remainder of the foods on this list are good sources of Vitamin C (which is a powerful antioxidant). They also contain calcium and magnesium which are good for bone maintenance.

Wild and fresh salmon
Rainbow trout
Mackerel, except for king mackerel
Tart Cherries
Brussels sprouts

Note that I did not mention milk or dairy products in this list. That's because milk is basically "liquid meat". Dairy products are acid-forming foods. I know the conventional recommendation is to drink more milk, but nothing is further from the truth. Milk and dairy products can exacerbate the problem.

In addition to the foods above you should be drinking powerful herbal teas. Teas like dandelion, green tea, burdock and red clover. These teas are known for their blood cleansing properties. They can destroy the bacteria that is the root cause of rheumatoid arthritis.

What's that? You didn't know that a bacterium has been implicated as the primary culprit for causing rheumatoid arthritis? Well, a doctor over 40 years ago proved this and cured almost all of him patients using this knowledge. Why hasn't the medical establishment made this research public knowledge? Well as Dr. Eli Wallach once said about arthritis, "If the truth were released [to the public], the orthodox doctors would lose an entire specialty [rheumalogy] in short order, so they keep it a secret."

But this is just the tip of the iceberg. If you really want a step-by-step guide to cure rheumatoid arthritis then download a special report that I have written just for you. Learn why I kick milk to the curb and what the medical establishment doesn't want you to know about curing your arthritis with simple ingredients found in your kitchen cupboard. You need to know about a kind of bacteria that is the root cause of almost all cases of rheumatoid arthritis and why most antibiotics usually do not work in eradicating this bacterium.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Effect of Smoking in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients

Most of us know that smoking would lead to lung cancer. Not just lung cancer, but also, various other cardiovascular diseases as well. Apart from these two life threatening complications, smoking has been proven to be a risk factor for rheumatoid arthritis. This very factor has led to many clinical studies to establish the connection between this chronic autoimmune disorder and smoking.

Ironically, it is not known to date, what causes smoking to increase the risk of rheumatoid arthritis, neither it is clear why even treatment in patients is affected if they are smoking during the course of it.

Rheumatoid Factor in Smokers: The Journal of Rheumatology published a report in its March, 2000 issue regarding the effect of smoking in rheumatoid arthritis patients. This report was the theory proposed by Dr. Frederick Wolfe, a specialist in Rheumatology and this also details the results of his research. The smoking effect was studied on the clinical, radiographic and laboratory fronts in the patients.

According to Dr. Wolfe's theory, the effect of smoking can be clearly studied provided the rheumatoid factor in these patients was studied separately.

Rheumatoid factor is not present in all the people. These are antibodies that bind themselves to other antibodies and trigger an autoimmune response. This factor is not present in all the people. Mostly aging people (about 20 percent) are known to contain elevated levels of this antibody that is responsible for a rheumatoid arthritis attack.

According to Dr. Wolfe, this factor would definitely have to be more in smokers and less in non-smokers to prove that smoking is a major risk factor of rheumatoid arthritis.

The Research Objectives: The prime objectives of Dr.Wolfe's study-

- determine elevated rheumatoid factor levels in smokers
- determining the quantitative effect of smoking

As part of the study, 640 patients who have been suffering from rheumatoid arthritis patients (consisting of both men and women) were taken into consideration.

Among the 640 patients, while 18 percent of them were current smokers, 28 percent were found to be past smokers.

The study found that smoking rheumatoid arthritis patients had a higher rheumatoid factor when compared to their non-smoking counterparts.

Also, the rheumatoid factor was found to be increasing in smokers of longer durations.

These elevated rheumatoid factor levels were increasing or elevated irrespective of the gender.

Thus, smoking definitely proves to have a negative impact on rheumatoid arthritis patients.

Effect of Smoking While Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis: Not just increasing the risks of arthritis, but smoking can also diminish the benefits and effects of treatment in rheumatoid arthritis patients.

The 2011 January issue of the American College of Rheumatology's journal, Arthritis and Rheumatism has published the results of a ten year long study which suggests that smoking can lessen the impact of drugs like methotrexate inhibitors of Tumour Necrosis Factors in Rheumatoid Arthritis sufferers.

As part of the study, 1430 patients were studied at the Karolinska Institute of Stockholm, Sweden.

The study revealed that patients who smoked while on treatment were having either diminished effects of the drugs or were not responding to them. At the same time patients who smoked in their past and have given it up were not affected in any way.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has estimated that around 0.8 percent of the adults across the world, aged over 15 are victims of this dreadful autoimmune disorder which leads to severe joint swelling and degeneration along with pain. Even the healthiest of persons with no vices whatsoever can be affected by this arthritis condition.

Thus, it is better to avoid any external risk elements (like smoking) that can trigger this disease.

Some Natural Ways to Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a serious form of arthritis where the immune system which is supposed to defend the body, actually starts to attack it. It is more serious than say osteoarthritis simply because in addition to the standard joint pain and swelling, rheumatoid arthritis can also cause anemia, poor circulation and debilitating fatigue.

The best natural treatments for rheumatoid arthritis are the same as osteoarthritis, however with more emphasis being placed on diet. Here is a look at a few that have proven to be particularly helpful.

Heat Application

Whether it be electric blankets, heating pads or hot packs, applying heat to painful joints can offer substantial relief. One method of heat application that has shown to be particularly helpful is hot baths, especially when infused with essential oils such as rosemary and eucalyptus.

Cold Application

At the other end of the spectrum is the application of cold. This is most effective and appropriate when your joints are really inflamed. A cold pack or bag of peas compressed against the area can bring much needed relief in a short period of time. This is due to the fact that the cold reduces the swelling fast and also stimulates the nerve endings which acts as a distraction against deeper joint aches and pains.

Vegetarian Diet

Recent studies have shown that people with rheumatoid arthritis showed significant improvement after just 30 days of switching to a vegetarian diet. This diet also excluded eggs, dairy, gluten, caffeine, alcohol, salt and refined sugar.

Going vegetarian may seem like a daunting prospect if you are a heavy meat eater however being vegetarian is not about just eating vegetables / salads. There are lots of beautiful tasting, hearty dishes that can be prepared. If you are interested in this just do a search online for vegetarian recipes. You will find plenty.

However, if vegetarianism is not an option for you, the next best thing is to really tune into your body after you eat. This will give you some insight into which particular foods seem to flare up your symptoms. You can then decide whether or not to reduce or exclude these foods from your diet.

These are just a few things you can do to treat your rheumatoid arthritis naturally. I know this is an awful condition to have to deal with (my Mother has it) and my heart goes out to you. Just keep an open mind and keep trying new things until you have got enough 'things that help' in your back pocket that you can draw on as needed.

Hot and Cold Therapy for Arthritis

Arthritis affects the joints, causing stiffness and pain. While there are a number of treatments you can do at home, hot and cold therapy is one of the easiest and definitely one of the safest arthritis treatments used to relieve the painful symptoms. Doctors often recommend hot and/or cold therapy to reduce inflammation and relieve aching joints. Trying hot and cold therapy is the only way to find out if this treatment will work for you. You can then work with hot and cold to find the particular combination to treat your specific symptoms of arthritis.

This therapy works to improve the body's own healing abilities. Heat allows dilation of the blood vessels. This in turn promotes circulation, resulting to reduced spasm of the muscles and increased oxygenation. Heat also defers the sensation of pain. Dry heat, such as lamps and pads, can be used as well as moist heat through hot baths, or wash cloths soaked in hot water.

According to the American College of Rheumatology, 5 to 10-minute ice massages applied to a painful area within the first 48 hours of pain onset can help relieve pain while heat should be used for pains that last longer than 48 hours.

When using heat therapy, you have to be careful with the heat being applied to prevent burning the skin. You want it hot, but not hot enough to be uncomfortable. You will find the temperature that your body can tolerate by testing gradually starting at lower temperatures and gradually increasing the temperature. Heat therapy can work well if done just before exercising. In between the exercise, heat packs can also be applied. Moist heat therapy can be done to provide additional relief from pain in arthritis. Other types of heat therapy includes heat patches, belts, hot packs, heated pools, moist heating pads, warm baths, showers, whirlpools, hot tubs, and warm towels or cloth that can be heated through the microwave. Also, many people with arthritis find soaking in hot baths and saunas effective relief for arthritis pain. Heat packs applied to arthritic joints at least twice daily has been proven to relieve pain and stiffness.

While heat opens blood vessels, cold constricts the blood vessels. Cold therapy can work on swollen parts of the body by producing a dulling and numbing effect and also reducing the swelling of inflamed joints. Ice packs are most effective during arthritis flares and can be effective when applied over joints. The cooling sensation of the skin above the affected areas lessens spasm of the underlying muscles, which improves the threshold of pain. Cold packs can easily be done by filling zip-lock baggies with water and placing them on the freezer to chill. For some people with arthritis, cold therapy may be enough to completely ease pain. However, many people choose to alternate hot and cold therapy.

Have You These Symptoms of Knee Tendonitis?

Knee tendonitis

The knee joint comprises not only bones but also several tendons and muscles. Under increased tension brought on by physical activity or trauma these tendons may become inflamed, torn or degraded. When this occurs it is said that one has knee tendonitis. It seem a classic case of dammed if you do dammed if you don't as active individuals are the ones most at risk due to the increased tension on the knee as a result of their active life style.

There are various types of knee tendonitis such as Patella tendonitis (Jumper's Knee), quadriceps tendonitis and Illiotibial band friction syndrome, the most common of which being Patella tendonitis. Patella tendonitis / jumper's knee occur as a result of excessive usage of the knee joint or increased tension brought on by physical activities such as running and jumping. Other contributory factors include aging, rheumatoid arthritis which is known to degrade cartilage and cause inflammation at multiple body joints.


Symptoms vary according to degree of inflammation and the particular tendons involved. The most common symptom is pain, the degree and frequency of pain indicates the severity of the problem. In mild cases the pain occurs before the undertaking of any physical activity. As the problem progresses pain will occur during activities such as running and brisk walking. The problem is most severe when pain is consistent and simple activities like kneeling or climbing stairs become quite intimidating. The other common symptom is swelling around the joint. If degradation of cartilage occurs then one may hear a grinding or popping sound when flexing the knee.


Treatment of knee tendonitis is dependent on the severity of the problem. A physician will carry out certain physical examination to determine the severity of the problem and thus develop an ideal treatment plan. In some cases an MRI or an ultra sound may be required to properly diagnose the problem.

For individuals who experience mild cases of knee tendonitis treatment is pretty straight forward, it involves taking a break from activities that increases tension on the knee and the consumption of non steroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen. In some cases the application the application of ice packs will do the same job as the anti-inflammatory medication. When symptoms no longer persist it is advised that one take up a squatting and stretching to strengthen quadriceps and calf muscles as this will help to reduce ones risk of a recurring problem.

In moderate cases it is advised that with the aforementioned treatment method one restrict the movement of the knee joint. If conditions persist then a steroidal injection might be required. In severe cases it is advised that one take an extensive break from sports related activities, at least 3 months in addition to the aforementioned treatment methods. If conditions persist then surgery though a last resort might be required.

While it is good to know about treating this problem it is even better to know how to stop it from recurring or even happening in the first place. Warming up before any physical activity goes a long way in reducing the risk of knee tendonitis, as it improves circulation and gets the body in a state to withstand high stress / tension activity. As previously mentioned regular stretching and squatting is also a useful preventative method. Also wearing proper footwear that offer some leg supports whilst may not be the most fashionable also helps.

Gluten Allergy - Celiac and Gluten Intolerance Symptoms

Celiac disease is a digestive disorder. Once thought to be a rare condition affecting only children, it is now known to be more common, affecting as many as two million Americans alone. It is a genetic disease and those with a close family member with a gluten allergy are at increased risk of it. For some individuals, the disease is latent until triggered by an event such as pregnancy, childbirth, surgery or extreme stress.

In a nutshell, individuals with this condition have a gluten intolerance. If they are exposed to gluten, it triggers an allergic reaction in which the body attacks itself, damaging and sometimes destroying the villi that line the small intestines.

Symptoms of a gluten allergy are much like those experienced with other food allergies, but can vary widely between individuals. Digestive problems are common with celiac disease, especially in infants and children. They may include abdominal pain and bloating, vomiting, constipation, chronic diarrhea or pale, fatty, or foul-smelling stools. Weight loss is common in children as a result of these symptoms. Gluten intolerance may also lead to defects in growth and development.

In adults, symptoms may be more varied. Many symptoms can be attributed to other conditions, which is why it may not be diagnosed right away. Symptoms may include bone and joint pain, arthritis, unexplained iron-deficient anemia, fatigue, bone loss or osteoporosis, seizures, tingling or numbness in the extremities, canker sores or dermatitis herpetaformis, an itchy skin rash. Women may also experience reproductive problems such as missed menstrual periods, miscarriages or infertility.

Left untreated, gluten intolerance can lead to more serious symptoms. Because the body's response to a gluten allergy is to attack the villi of the small intestine, the body has a decreased ability to absorb nutrients from food. This can lead to malnutrition. Liver diseases or digestive cancers can also result.

Many people with celiac disease have other conditions in which the body attacks itself. These may include Type 1 diabetes, autoimmune thyroid disease, autoimmune liver disease, rheumatoid arthritis, Addison's disease or Sjogren's syndrome. These conditions may bring additional symptoms.

Symptoms of these conditions may include frequent urination, vision disturbances or problems, slow healing time, weight loss or gain, jaundice, joint stiffness, muscle weakness or fatigue, irritability or increased occurrence of infections. Many of these conditions have similar symptoms to gluten intolerance, which may mask the underlying gluten allergy.

Because of the varied symptoms that come with celiac disease and the probability of more serious conditions also being present, you should talk to your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms on a regular basis. A food journal may be helpful in diagnosing the condition if you can link gluten with symptoms. Keep in mind that gluten, while generally found in food, is also sometimes found in places you might not expect, including vitamins, medicines and lip balms.

To confirm a diagnosis of a gluten allergy, your doctor may run blood tests or order an intestinal biopsy. The blood tests look for specific antibodies which elevate in patients with gluten intolerance. If blood tests indicate celiac disease, the biopsy is generally done to confirm the diagnosis. The doctor will remove small pieces from the small intestine to look for villi damage.

Friday, October 4, 2013

What Are the Symptoms of Thyroiditis?

Thyroiditis is actually a broad expression that describes inflammation in the thyroid gland. Thyroiditis symptoms incorporate a selection of unique conditions which all trigger thyroidal inflammation and, consequently, leads to a variety of clinical presentations. For instance, Hashimoto's thyroiditis is regarded as the most frequent cause of hypothyroidism in North America. Postpartum thyroiditis, that causes temporary thyrotoxicosis (excessive thyroid hormone concentrations within the bloodstream) followed by temporary hypothyroidism, is a very common trigger of thyroid conditions following the birth of a child. Sub acute thyroiditis certainly is the principal reason for pain and discomfort in the thyroid gland. It may also be observed in individuals using the medications interferon and amiodarone.

The various clinical signs and symptoms

There aren't any symptoms which are entirely unique. In the event the thyroiditis brings about gradual and long-term thyroid cellular deterioration and destruction, ultimately causing a drop in thyroid hormonal levels in the bloodstream, the actual signs or symptoms will be those of hypothyroidism. Common hypothyroid symptoms comprise of tiredness, an increase in weight, bowel irregularity, dried-out skin, depressive disorders as well as below average physical exercise endurance. This is frequently the scenario for patients with Hashimoto's thyroiditis. When the condition brings about accelerated thyroid cellular deterioration and destruction, the actual thyroid hormone which is held in the particular gland escapes, raising thyroid hormonal levels in the bloodstream, and then results in signs and symptoms of thyrotoxicosis, which can be very much like hyperthyroidism. These types of signs and symptoms frequently consist of anxiousness, sleeping disorders, heart palpitations (rapid heartbeat) exhaustion, weight reduction, and also becoming easily irritated. It is observed in individuals with the toxic stage of subacute, painless and post-partum thyroiditis. The signs and symptoms of thyrotoxicosis and hyperthyroidism are exactly the same because raised quantities of thyroid hormones in the bloodstream bring about both of those health conditions. Thyrotoxicosis is the expression used with thyroiditis for the reason that the gland isn't overactive. In subacute, painless and post-partum thyroiditis, the thyroid gland frequently ends up being exhausted of thyroid hormone while the duration of inflammation persists, resulting in a drop in thyroid hormonal levels in the bloodstream and signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism. Discomfort in the thyroid gland may be observed in individuals suffering with subacute thyroiditis.

What can cause the condition?

Thyroiditis is actually brought on by an attack on the thyroid gland, leading to inflammation and destruction of the thyroid gland cellular material. Antibodies which invade the thyroid bring about nearly all kinds of thyroiditis. As a result, thyroiditis is generally an autoimmune condition, comparable to juvenile diabetes and also rheumatoid arthritis. Nobody understands precisely why specific individuals manufacture thyroid antibodies, however this has a tendency to run in families. It may also be brought on by infection, say for example a virus or perhaps bacterias, which often operate in much the same way as the antibodies to result in inflammation within the gland. Ultimately, medications that include interferon and amiodarone, also can harm thyroid gland cellular material and trigger symptoms.

What's the clinical course?

The path of the condition is determined by the particular type. Hashimoto's thyroiditis - Individuals typically present with hypothyroidism, that is in most cases irreversible. Painless and post-partum thyroiditis - These types of conditions offer a similar experience and also keep to the same exact standard clinical course of thyrotoxicosis followed by hypothyroidism. Really the only distinction between them is the fact that post-partum thyroiditis arises following the birth of a child whilst painless thyroiditis only occurs in individuals not associated with a pregnancy. Not every patient displays evidence of undergoing the two stages; in the region of one third of sufferers will develop both stages, whilst one third of individuals would have just a thyrotoxic or hypothyroid phase. The thyrotoxic phase can last for between one and three months and it is related to signs and symptoms which includes anxiousness, sleeping disorders, heart palpitations (rapid heartbeat) exhaustion, weight-loss, and also becoming easily irritated. The hypothyroid stage generally takes place one to three months following the thyrotoxic stage and can continue for as long as nine to twelve months. Prevalent signs and symptoms consist of exhaustion, excess weight, irregular bowel movements, dried-out skin, depressive disorders and below average physical exercise endurance. The majority of sufferers (~80%) should have their particular thyroid function return to normalcy within Twelve to Eighteen months from the start of their symptoms.

Exactly how is it treated?

Treatment methods vary depending on the kind of symptoms and also the clinical presentation of the condition. Thyrotoxicosis - Beta blockers to reduce heart palpitations and minimize shakes and tremors can be beneficial. When symptoms get better, the medicine is tapered off because the thyrotoxic stage is temporary. Antithyroid medicines aren't employed for the thyrotoxic stage of any sort considering that the thyroid is not overactive. Hypothyroidism - Treatment solutions are started with thyroid hormone replacement for hypothyroidism as a result of Hashimoto's thyroiditis In individuals that are symptomatic with the hypothyroid stage of subacute, painless and post-partum thyroiditis - thyroid hormonal treatment is in addition suggested. In the event the hypothyroidism in these latter conditions is slight and the individual has very few, if any, signs and symptoms, then simply no therapy might be required. If thyroid hormone treatments are started in individuals with subacute, painless and post-partum thyroiditis, therapy needs to be ongoing for about Six to Twelve months and after that tapered to ascertain if thyroid gland hormone is needed on a permanent basis. Thyroidal discomfort - The discomfort related to subacute thyroiditis in most cases may be controlled with minor anti-inflamatory medicines for instance aspirin or ibuprofen. In some instances, the discomfort may be extreme and call for steroid treatment solutions with prednisone.

Subacute thyroiditis - This adheres to the exact same clinical course as painless and post-partum thyroiditis, except for the signs and symptoms of thyroidal pain. The thyroidal discomfort in individuals with subacute thyroiditis generally adheres to the very same time-frame of the thyrotoxic stage (1-3 months). Even so, not every patient with thyroidal discomfort inevitably has thyrotoxicosis. As mentioned with painless and post-partum thyroiditis, resolution of all the thyroidal irregularities after Twelve to Eighteen months is observed in the majority of individuals (~95%). Recurrence of subacute thyroiditis is uncommon. Drug-induced and radiation thyroiditis - Both thyrotoxicosis and hypothyroidism could be observed in these kind of conditions. The thyrotoxicosis is generally short-lived. Drug-induced hypothyroidism frequently resolves with the stopping of the substance, whilst the hypothyroidism in connection with radiation thyroiditis is normally irreversible. Acute/Infectious Thyroiditis Symptoms range from Thyroidal pain, wide spread illness, painless enlargement of the thyroid as well as hypothyroidism. The particular signs and symptoms in most cases resolve as soon as the infection goes away.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms and Treatments

Any kind of joint disorders definitely need certain medications and some medically indicated procedures to relieve muscle aches. But these kinds of interventions would never suffice to fully treat rheumatoid arthritis since there is still a need to know more things when it comes to its treatment. More importantly, experts must find accurate ways in dealing with this condition since it is believed to be a risk factor of cardiovascular diseases.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammation that affects various organs and tissues but mainly on the synovial joints. Pain is more likely to be experienced by someone having this condition as well as swelling on the affected part. Stiffness is also possible. In some cases, joints tend to lose their functions most especially if left untreated.

Experts have confirmed that this disease is a hereditary type. This means that it can run from generation to generation. Its causes may be due to the combination of some genes and other factors triggering the disease. The most common individuals who are unlucky to acquire this disorder are those having the human leukocyte antigen or HLA. This group of people have higher chances of developing rheumatoid arthritis compared to those who never acquired that particular gene.

There are instances when the symptoms of this disease can be intermittent or recurrent but it is typically reliant on the degree of inflammation. Sometimes, the disease only attacks the sufferer if the tissues are inflamed. The most common symptoms include: swelling in one or more joints, lack of appetite, body weakness, mild hyperthermia, severe pain in one more joints and morning stiffness.

Knowing that rheumatoid arthritis is considered to be a systemic type of disease, it is very important for everyone to fathom that the joints are not the only parts that can be affected. In fact, there are cases where other vital organs can be perturbed as well. To exemplify, this disease can also cause an inflammation to the glands located in the mouth and eyes leading to the dryness of the affected organ.

Today, the study of determining more causative agents of this condition conducted by several health care professionals is still underway. Nevertheless, it may only be a matter of time before the most accurate treatment can be discovered. Experts also concluded that an aberrant increase of uric acid is not the only triggering factor of rheumatoid arthritis. Other agents leading to this disease may also include: excessive intake of alcoholic beverages, dehydration, fever, surgical procedures and the adverse reactions of some medications.

Knowing that some causes occur during the activities of daily living, it is imperative for a person to do lifestyle modifications to dwindle the chances of developing this disorder. Such measures include: switching to a healthy diet, consistent physical exercises, moderate drinking of alcoholic drinks and parrying too much activities that are strenuous.

The bad news is that there hasn't been any type of drug or procedure that can completely cure rheumatoid arthritis. Nonetheless, certain drugs are available which can at least suppress the attack. By preventing the exacerbation of this disease, one could fully improve his or her quality of life.

There are also drugs that can prevent the attack of rheumatoid arthritis. However, many of these medications can have major adverse reactions so it is important for physicians to prescribe those that have lesser side effects only. Other forms of treatment can include: sufficient rest, physical therapy, good nutrition and some drugs to suppress the immune system.

Finally, it is always important to consult with your doctor if you are experiencing another episode of rheumatoid arthritis. That way, the doctor can immediately find a way to manage it.

Arthritis: Knee Pain and Joint Pain Most Common Symptoms

Do you Suffer from Aching Bones and Stiff Joints?

Arthritis is a condition in which the joints of the body become inflamed. Knee pain, joint pain and knotted or inflamed joints are common symptoms of arthritis which range from mild to extreme. People who suffer from arthritis may find their movement becomes limited by aching bones and stiff and sore joints. Arthritis is most commonly found in the hands, mostly affecting the fingers and wrists, but also occurs in the knee joints.

The word itself "arthritis" literally means inflammation of the joints from the Greek word 'arthron' meaning "joint" and the Latin word "itis," meaning "inflammation".

What to expect from Arthritis

While some of the most common complaints from arthritis sufferers are painful knees and joints, other joints to be affected by arthritis, the hips, finger joints, thumb joints and lower spine. Shoulders, elbows, wrists, ankles, and toe joints are less commonly affected.

Arthritis Care UK estimates that there are close to 10 million people in the U.K. alone that suffer from one form or another of arthritis. This makes it one of the most widely spread conditions in the UK. Seeing as arthritis affects so many people, let's take a closer look at what exactly it is.

Symptoms of arthritis vary in strength and severity; they can often start off mild and become stronger as the condition develops. Knee pain and joint pain may start to develop especially before or during weather fluctuations. Pain may develop in the joints of the wrists, knuckles, fingers, ankles and toes. Shoulders may become stiff first thing in the morning and also give rise to pain. Movement may become limited in the hips and other affected areas.

Knee Pain and Joint Pain - Possible Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis

In rheumatoid arthritis, knee joints can become inflamed and swollen, resulting in pain, joint stiffness and in extreme cases, reduced movement or even loss of joint function. Rheumatoid arthritis affects the elbows, knees, shoulders and hip joints. All of these joints contain a special lubricating fluid called synovial fluid. The fluid of the joints comes under attack from the body's own immune system. Painful and inflamed joints are often symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis that may lead to discomfort and can often making movement painful.

Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms tend to develop gradually, over a period of several weeks and tend to be more common in women than men and usually starts between the ages of 40-60. The word 'rheumatoid' comes from the Gk. rheuma meaning "stream, current, a flowing," as this condition affects the fluid in joints.

Bones become Worn Away in Oseotoarthritis

One of the most common forms of arthritis is osteoarthritis and is caused by a wearing away of the joints, most specifically, the cartilage at the end of the knee and hip joints. Other joints such as the fingers, thumbs and lower spine may also be affected. These are predominantly the weight-bearing joints. The word 'osteon' comes from the Greek language and means 'bone'.

What actually happens to the cartilage when someone has osteoarthritis is that it can become rough and brittle, it literally gets worn down. Sometimes the underlying bone tries to compensate for the additional load on the cartilage and bony growths can occur at the outer edges, making the joint appear knotted and thick. Over time, the affected joints can become stiff and inflamed, leading to pain and often immobility.

There are natural health products that may be of benefit in alleviating the suffering and symptoms of arthritis.

Age and Age Related Change

1. Brain: Memory and Alzheimer's Disease

Many people become anxious about developing memory impairments as they transition into being senior citizens and begin to worry that forgetting details is the first sign of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Confusion and loss of memory were thought to be inevitable parts of aging in the past, but we now know that people can still be able and alert despite aging. Senior citizens and those responsible for providing their elder care should be aware of these changes in memory and work to prevent, identify, and treat them.

Over the past several years, researchers have been looking at a type of cognitive change known as mild cognitive impairment (MCI). This is separate from cognitive changes related to aging and often progresses to AD over some years. Senior citizens with amnestic MCI have a specific memory difficulty and have ongoing problems with memory, but they do not develop other losses seen in AD like confusion, attention problems, and problems with language.

2. Bones and Joints

As we age, our bones and movable joints are subject to wear and tear. The most common conditions among senior citizens in this area of the body are as follows:

Osteoporosis. This is a disease that causes bones mainly in the hips, backbone, and wrists to weaken to the point of breaking easily. As people, especially women, age into their 40s and 50s, bones start to weaken, and the outer shell of the bone gets thinner.

Arthritis. This is not one type of disease; there are many types of arthritis, and each has different symptoms and treatments. In general, arthritis can become a problem in most any joint in the body. Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type in senior citizens. It begins when cartilage begins to wear away, and at its worst, all the cartilage in a joint is worn away, causing bare bones to painfully rub against each other. Conversely, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease. People with RA have immune systems that attack the lining of their joints as if it were an injury or disease. It leads to inflammation in the joints, causing pain, swelling, and stiffness for hours.

Consuming enough calcium and vitamin D and including regular weight-bearing exercise in your lifestyle are extremely important in preventing weak bones in senior citizens. Methods of improving quality of life and reducing the symptoms of osteoarthritis include weight loss and exercises in light resistance and flexibility. In rheumatoid arthritis, the most effective treatment is drug therapy to modify the immune system response and decrease joint damage.

3. Eyes and Ears: Eyesight and Hearing Changes with Age

Eyesight usually declines around age 40, and cataracts and macular degeneration may develop around age 60. Hearing weakens with age.


Presbyopia. This is a gradual loss of ability to see objects close to you or read small print. This condition is normal in senior citizens, and a usual treatment is simply to get a pair of reading glasses.

Cataracts. These are areas of cloudiness in the lens of the eye that cause loss of sight. Generally, these form slowly without symptoms, and some remain small and do not interfere with vision. Others may grow large or dense, harming vision. Cataract surgery, which is very safe and common, can be very helpful.

Glaucoma. This is a result of fluid inside the eye causing too much pressure. Gradually, this pressure can damage the optic nerve, leading to loss of vision and blindness. Often, senior citizens with glaucoma lack early symptoms of pain or pressure, but annual eye exams that include dilating your pupils can protect you from developing this disease.

Retinal disorders. These disorders are some of the most common causes of blindness in the United States. The most prevalent among senior citizens is age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which affects the area of the retina that provides sharp central vision. Treatment of AMD includes photodynamic therapy, which uses a drug and a strong light to delay the progress of the disorder. Another common retinal disorder is a degenerative disease that affects vision and is called diabetic retinopathy. It is important that senior citizens seek appropriate medical care, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and have frequent follow-ups to help reduce its prevalence.

Two new drugs, ranibizumab (Lucentis) and bevacizumab (Avastin), are now being used to treat neovascular macular degeneration in senior citizens.


Presbycusis. This is slowly progressing hearing loss caused by aging.

Tinnitus. This is a ringing, roaring, or other noise that may come with hearing loss. It may be caused by loud noise, hearing loss, some medicines, and other health problems like allergies or problems in the heart and blood vessels.

4. Digestive and Metabolic.

Gastrointestinal problems are more common in senior citizens. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) fails to close properly, causing the contents of the stomach to leak back-or reflux-into the esophagus. If this sensation of heartburn happens more than two times per week, it may be considered to be GERD, which can lead to more serious health risks.

Many senior citizens are pre-diabetic, which raises their risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

5. Urogenital.

Incontinence. This is the term for loss of bladder control, from mild leaking to uncontrollable wetting, that is very common in senior citizens. It is not caused by aging alone; factors causing it may be urinary tract infections, vaginal infection or irritation, constipation, or certain medicines. Many cases of incontinence can be controlled or cured with treatment, so it is important to talk to a doctor or another involved in your elder care about this.

Benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH). The urethra, which passes urine, is surrounded by the prostate gland. Since the prostate gland grows with age, it may begin to squeeze the urethra. Tumors in the prostate may also contribute to this problem. This growth or unrelated infections may cause problems with passing urine. Some men experience this symptom in their 30s or 40s, whereas others do not notice this until a later age.

Prostate cancer. This is the second most common type of cancer in men in the United States. Frequent check-ups are important in identifying and treating this disease.

6. Dental: gingivitis, periodontitis, loss of teeth.

Tooth decay can occur regardless of age as long as you have natural teeth. It ruins the enamel that covers and protects the teeth. Plaque forms when you neglect your teeth and bacteria clings to them, forming a sticky, colorless film that can lead to cavities and tooth decay. Another factor in causing tooth decay is gum disease. Using a fluoride toothpaste can help protect your teeth, as it is just as helpful for senior citizens as it is for children.

Gum diseases. These are sometimes called periodontal or gingival diseases, and they are infections that harm the gum and bone holding the teeth in place. If plaque stays on the teeth for too long, it forms tartar, which brushing doesn't clean and which continues to damage the teeth. When plaque and tartar remain on the teeth, gingivitis is formed. Gingivitis can form areas in which your gums lift away from your teeth, forming easily infected pockets. This is called periodontitis, which, if not properly treated, can ruin the bones, gums, and tissue supporting the teeth. It could even loosen your teeth in time, warranting removal of those teeth.

7. Skin Care for the Elderly.

Staying out of the sun is the easiest and least expensive way of avoiding skin damage. Sunlight is the main cause of our changing appearance as we age-including wrinkles, age spots, and dryness. Smoking can also increase the number of visible wrinkles because the chemicals in cigarettes damage elastin proteins in the skin. Skin changes with age; for example, you sweat less as you get older, leading to more dryness. Skin also loses fat, causing it to appear less smooth. Still, senior citizens can take steps to protect themselves from the sun's harmful effects.

Dry skin. This appears mainly on the lower legs, elbows, and forearms and affects many senior citizens. Skin may feel rough, scaly, and itchy. This could be aggravated by low humidity, which can be worsened by overheating in the winter and air conditioning in the summer. Dryness is also caused by the loss of sweat and oil glands that accompanies aging. Other things that may lead to dry skin are overusing soaps, antiperspirants, perfumes, and hot baths or dehydration, sun exposure, smoking, and stress.

Skin cancer. This is the most common kind of cancer in the United States. Three types of skin cancer are the most prevalent. These include basal cell carcinomas, the most common, which grow slowly and rarely spread; squamous cell carcinomas, which seldom spread but do so more often than basal cell carcinomas; and the most dangerous common skin cancer, melanoma, which can (often fatally) spread to other organs.

Shingles. This affects nerves, causing pain and blisters in senior citizens. It is caused by the same virus that afflicts people with chickenpox. After you recover from chickenpox, the virus remains in some of your nerve cells and, for reasons unknown, can become active again rather than remaining inactive. This regained activity produces shingles.

Senior citizens with shingles feel sick with a rash on their body or face. Shingles targets older people rather than children, and about 20 percent of people who have had chickenpox as children will develop shingles after the age of 50.

8. Functional Abilities.

Senior citizens often suffer from injuries caused by falling. This may be caused by other changes, including loss of sight, hearing, muscle strength, coordination, or reflexes. Diabetes, heart disease, or complications with your circulation or nervous system may negatively affect balance, and some medicines can cause dizziness. Any of these could cause a senior citizen to be more prone to falling.

As with most problems experienced by senior citizens, the better you take care of yourself, the less prone you will be to falling. A test called a bone mineral density test can tell you how strong your bones are. If necessary, your doctor can use the results of this test to prescribe medications that will make your bones stronger and less likely to break.

A Rheumatoid Arthritis Cure Uncovered

Just what is the most beneficial rheumatoid arthritis cure? RA is considered the most common autoimmune conditions on earth. It has an effect on around 1% of the world's people. Thrice as many women are usually afflicted as men. It may possibly come about at ages young and old yet is most frequent to start out in between the age groups of 40-50 year old. Frequently it's going to alter the synovial joints of the body through destruction and inflammation. This ends up in soreness and also rigidity of the joints. It is actually a systemic autoimmune disease and so in addition to joints it can possibly change the lungs, pleura, pericardium and sclera. The ideal rheumatoid arthritis cure is one that will not merely address the symptoms but the source of the problem.

To understand how effective a rheumatoid arthritis cure is, we need to understand the underlying cause of this autoimmune disease. Normally our immune system serves to protect us from foreign substances, it is the bodies first line of defense. The body will often attack these foreign substances to destroy or remove them from the body. In an autoimmune disease like RA the immune system has become over sensitive and starts attacking its own cells and tissue. It is this over reactive immune response that results in the myriad of symptoms experience in RA. A true RA cure will address this over active immune system and not just treat the symptoms.

An incorrect rheumatoid arthritis cure is aimed at symptomatic relief. And while this is a good short term strategy, it does little for the true underlying cause of the disease. With the use of drugs you may even suppress all your symptoms and falsely think that you are better. But the moment you stop taking your drugs, the symptoms will come straight back because you have done nothing to stop the root cause of the problem. So what could an effective rheumatoid arthritis cure be?

Diet is usually touted to be a effective place to start for autoimmune diseases plus a rheumatoid arthritis cure. Even though several mainstream providers may giggle at the thought of using eating plan to take care of an autoimmune disease, anecdotal data is turning up. The advantage of attempting purely natural treatments is they can have simply no unpleasant side effects. Every substance or prescription medication you add straight into your system has got unintended effects. I believe there is absolutely no problems in seeking a non-drug technique just like diet and simply tracking your symptoms. There are a few general foodstuff that happen to be proven to trigger autoimmune responses and increase inflammation. Additionally, there are several foods that will deliver the body with nutritional requirements that combat inflammation.

The benefit of approaching your rheumatoid arthritis cure originating from a natural stand point is that you simply will be handling the true reason behind your complaint. You simply won't just be giving a quick term solution and covering up the symptoms. Your symptoms will go away if the true cause has been cared for. Wouldn't you want to take control of your health and gain back control of your system through using a real rheumatoid arthritis cure.

What Is Uveitis - Learn About Causes Of Uveitis, Symptoms And Cure

Uveitis- An Overview

Uvea or the uveal tract is the middle layer of the eye that is located between the sclera and the retina which supplies most of the blood to the retina. The uvea encompasses the iris, the choroid of the eye, and the ciliary body. The condition of inflammation or the irritation and swelling up of the uvea is called as uveitis.

There are several kinds -Anterior, Intermediate, Panuveitic Forms and Posterior Uveitis. The extremely common type that is found is Anterior Uveitis. It is the condition of inflammation of the front part of the eye which is called as iris and hence it is referred to as Uveitis and Iritis as well.

Causes of Uveitis

Statistics provide that around 10% of the blindness in USA is because of Uveitis. Uveitis is commonly seen in young and middle aged individuals. Uveitis can be caused by several causes such as autoimmune diseases like psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, infections or exposure to toxins. Blindness can develop if uveitis is left untreated. There are other causes for Uveitis like diseases that can damage the immunity system of our body such as tuberculosis, AIDS, Syphilis, Herpes etc, Cancers like Lymphoma and severe injuries to the eye also cause Uveitis.

Symptoms of Uveitis

Mostly all the symptoms of Uveitis are associated with eventual loss of vision. Hazy and blurred eyesight, severe pain in the eye, photosensitivity or sensitivity to light, Blood shot eyes, constriction of pupils and changes in the color of the eye are the major symptoms of uveitis and Iritis. However it is essential to observe that the children with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis or Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis generally do not tend to have any Uveitis symptoms until vision loss occurs.

Uveitis Treatments

Treatment for Iritis is rather simple in cases of mild implications. The patient will be prescribed eye drops or steroid drops to control the immune system, these drops also help in dilating the pupils and bringing down the muscular spasms to control pain to some extent. The patient will be asked to wear dark glasses for the protection of the eye. Oral steroids may also be prescribed as a treatment option for uveitis. If Uveitis is caused because of some body infection, strong anti-inflammatory medications called corticosteroids and antibiotics may be prescribed to the patients.

It is necessary that you hurry without delay to an ophthalmologist who is specialized in treating uveitis. It is also essential to go for regular eye checkups to protect and prevent your eyes from uveitis attacks.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Understanding Arthritis

At present, there are approximately 37 million Americans who are unduly suffering from the pains brought about by arthritis and other rheumatic diseases. But what exactly is arthritis and why is this troublesome disease so painful to bear?

Arthritis refers to a wide range of joint problems, which bring about pain, swelling and stiffness. In layman's terms, arthritis simply means the inflammation of a joint. While this disease can strike virtually anyone regardless of age, arthritis is more common among older people.

There are many types of arthritis. At present, there are approximately 100 different types of arthritis and each one has its own set of symptoms. As to what triggers the onset of most of these, no one really knows. However, there seems to be an apparent connection between them and heredity, hormonal imbalance and/or other immune system problems. Among the most widely known forms of arthritis, which affect the majority of the population, are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout and lupus.

- Rheumatoid arthritis is primarily brought about by the inflammation of the membrane lining the joints. Its symptoms include pain, stiffness and swelling in multiple joints and strikes the hands, wrists and feet. This type of arthritis is not an inevitable component of the aging process and is noticeably most common in women aged between 30 and 40.

- Osteoarthritis, on the other hand, is caused by the breakdown of the joint cartilages as brought about by old age. As we age, it is inevitable that the cartilages will eventually be worn away causing the bones to rub against each other. This constant friction aggravates the joints and leads to the hardening of the bones beneath the cartilages and the formation of bone spurs around the affected joints. Osteoarthritis commonly manifests in the fingers, hips and knees.

- Gout develops when the body fails to metabolize purines (naturally occurring chemicals found in certain foods such as liver, kidney and anchovies). In cases of gout, uric acid crystals begin to accumulate in the affected joints bringing about the onset of burning pain, stiffness and swelling. Gout commonly affects the big toes, ankle, knees, wrists and elbows and was observed to be more common in men than in women. This disease commonly affects overweight and physically inactive men over the age of 35.

- Lupus. If gout is more prevalent in men, lupus tends to affect women more than their male counterparts. It is a unique medical condition wherein the body's own immune system attacks the body's healthy cells. Among the symptoms of this disease are joint pains, mouth sores and fatigue.

The advent of arthritis may be impossible to avoid. The best that anyone can do is try to prevent the onset of undue pain which accompanies the disease. This can be done by following these simple suggestions:

- Adopt a regular exercise routine. Regular exercise may help relieve or prevent arthritic pains. Moderate physical activities strengthen the muscles around the joints, help nourish the joint cartilages and facilitate the elimination of metabolic wastes. However, it is best to avoid repeated jarring activities such as high-impact aerobic exercises. These can only aggravate the pain.

- Try to maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight puts on more stress on the joints. Maintaining a healthy weight, on the other hand, can help retard the onset and progress of arthritis.

Shoulder Arthritis - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

The shoulder is comprised of two joints, one is located at the point where the clavicle or collarbone meets the shoulder bone (acromion) and the other is the junction of the upper arm bone (humerus) and the shoulder blade (scapula). These areas are known as the AC joint and glenohumeral joint respectively.

Both joints are subject to arthritis. Your treating physician must assess where the pain is coming from and which area is affected by the arthritis in order to properly treat your condition.

Types and Causes of Shoulder Arthritis

There are three different types of arthritis that affects the shoulder. These include:

1. Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that is often referred to as the 'wear and tear' arthritis. Osteoarthritis annihilates the outer covering of the bone known as articular cartilage. People over the age of 50 are generally more susceptible to this kind of arthritis.

2. Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory condition that affects the joint lining, known as the synovium. This type of arthritis may affect people of all ages and typically impacts multiple joints on both sides of the body.

3. Post traumatic arthritis

As a result of injury, such as a dislocation or fracture of the shoulder, post traumatic arthritis may develop. This is also a common form of arthritis that occurs after an individual experiences a rotator cuff tear.

General Symptoms of Shoulder Arthritis

The common symptoms of shoulder arthritis include pain that progressively worsens over time. The pain can be aggravated as activity occurs and often affects individuals at night when they are resting due to the activities carried out through the day.

Limited range of motion typically occurs in all forms of arthritis due to the pain that ensues over time. As the disease progresses shoulder pain and restricted range of motion my increase.

Treatment Options for Shoulder Arthritis

Both non-surgical and surgical treatment options are available for shoulder arthritis depending on how progressive the condition is. Non-surgical treatment consists of resting the shoulder, applying moist heat, undergoing physical therapy, taking anti-inflammatories, applying ice two to three times per day and even taking dietary supplements.

When non-surgical options do not provide relief, surgery may be offered as a form of remedy. The most common surgical procedure is joint replacement, which has predominantly excellent results.

Your doctor can help you decide which treatment option is best for you and your condition. Surgical or non-surgical treatments do provide some form of relief from pain and motion restoration.

The Values of Physical Fitness While Living With Early Symptoms of Arthritis and Poor Circulation

How does a person who suffers day in and day out with arthritic pain and poor circulation better themselves through physical fitness? It is no surprise that the very act of exercise itself can help to regenerate and revitalize the body. It is more surprising that more people are realizing the importance of physical exercise and are making good efforts to change themselves for the best.

In this article I will list some components of physical fitness exercises for the shoulders. I will cover other parts of the body like elbows, neck, legs, hips, and feet in other articles.

In this article I will help you explore some shoulder routines combined with some great nutrition ideas that will give you a good start in the right direction to better yourself. In addition I will cover some thoughts on all natural supplements that combined with a good diet and exercise regimen may help any person who wants to go to the "Old Home Gym" or "Public Gym" to take control of their lives.

Component #1

Its all in the mind.

The first component of physical fitness starts in the mind. You have to decide to change. I realized early on that no matter what I read or how much I envied another persons achievements I had a need to make that determination for myself. I was determined to make the difference.


Be your own self motivator. Nobody is going to make you do anything. We are left to the basics of our human nature that is our ability to choose. Read books or search the Internet. There is a lot out there to learn. So choose wisely!

Component #2

The Shoulder?

Here is a quick anatomy lesson on the shoulder for those like me (till I researched it) didn't know or understand how this body part works.

In the human anatomy the shoulder joint comprises the part of the body where the humerus (a long bone in the arm or forelimb that runs from the shoulder to the elbow) attaches to the scapula (connects the arm bone to the collar bone). The shoulder is the group of structures in the region of the joint. It is made up of three bones, the collarbone, shoulder blade, and the upper arm bone as well as associated muscles, ligaments and tendons.

There are two kinds of cartilage in the joint. The first type is the white cartilage on the ends of the bones called (Articular Cartilage) which allows the bone to glide and move on each other. When this type of cartilage starts to wear out (a process called arthritis) the joints become painful and stiff.

The second type of cartilage in the shoulder is the Labrum. This type is distinctly different from the Articular Cartilage in which it is more fibrous or rigid on the ends of the ball and socket. Also, this cartilage is only found around the socket where it is attached.

The shoulder must be flexible for the wide range of motion required in the arms and hands and also strong enough to allow for actions such as lifting, pushing and pulling. All these are part of a good physical fitness routine.

So what causes the cartilage to deteriorate? (aka Osteoarthritis)

Usually age is a big factor. However age is not the only contributor. Other culprits are excessive weight which puts stress on joints.There is also joint overuse, joint injury or stress, and family history. Other possible causes are genetic or developmental abnormalities in the structure of the joint which can cause excess wear and tear.

If you have any genetic or family history of inherited abnormalities in your cartilage structure, seek a physical fitness test from your doctor to determine early symptoms of arthritis. He will give the right advice on the right methods of physical fitness that will work for you.

Component #3

What shoulder fitness routine do I start with?

It has been my experience in weight training that simplest way is usually always the best way. You need to develop a physical fitness program that works for you if you are to properly train your shoulders. The basics of shoulder training is one that requires a person to be conscious of every movement as well as develop a regimen that will consistently challenge oneself to push onward. In all honesty if you get bored you're going to quite!

Keep it fresh and exciting! Change up the routines I list here to keep your body in a state where it will not adapt to just one technique.

Start with 1, then 2, then 3.....

I recommend starting with three (3) separate shoulder exercises for obtaining maximum results.

Start with 3-4 sets of either "machine shoulder press" or "dumbbell presses". I recommend doing between 8-10 repetitions on each set. If you are a beginner use a light weight that gives you some resistance. If you use to light of a resistance you are simply cheating yourself.

Remember Component #1? "It's all in the mind." If you don't get motivated to see results our nature is to just get by with the easiest possible route.

Be careful not to start out with more weight than you can handle as you might injure yourself. Slowly advance in weight as your strength increases. Each set will look as follows:

  • Start by raising the weight above your head and palms out. DO NOT lock the elbows! By locking your elbows you risk hyper extending them causing injury.

  • Next lower the weight till your closed fist is parallel with your chest.

  • Repeat exercise 2-3 more times till completed. Rest 1-2 minutes.

Another type of shoulder exercise is the "side lateral raise". In this exercise I recommend using dumbbells for this exercise. Each set will look as follows:

  • Do 3-4 sets of 8 repetitions with moderately light weight. This isolates the shoulder caps or sides. Don't feel bad if you look over at the guy or gal next you and they are lifting a lot more then you. You will get there soon if you keep up the exercise.Start by holding the dumbbells with palms facing your legs.

  • Raise the dumbbell laterally so your arms are stretched outwardly (palms facing downward at this point) Hold for approximately 2 seconds. Squeeze at the top of the motion, then lower to the starting point.

  • Repeat exercise till 2-3 more times till completed. Rest 1-2 minutes.

The last type of shoulder exercise strengthens the rear deltoid muscle. This normally does not get a lot of attention. Most people forget to even include this part of the shoulder in their fitness routine. So if you get to this point and you are completely wiped out you can stop. However, if you're like me I want to make sure I get all my areas covered. So keep going. Each set will look as follows with 3-4 sets with 8-10 repetitions.

  • Start in a bent over position about a 45 degree angle. Bend the knees slightly to help support and balance yourself. Use light weight dumbbells for this exercise. Be careful not to lock your knees, keep them bent through the entire exercise to avoid stressing the lower back muscles.

  • Your palms should be facing each other and your arms hanging towards the floor. Look up, and with a slow motion raise your elbows just above the ridge of your back (90 degree angle at the elbow).

  • Lower back to starting position.

  • Repeat exercise till 2-3 more times till completed. Rest 1-2 minutes.

That's It! Congratulations! You just finished your first step towards bettering yourself in the physical fitness arena. If you continue to exercise you will strengthen bones, and muscles as well as help circulation in your limbs.

So what does poor circulation and the value of physical fitness have in common?

When we exercise our heart begins to pump blood through our body. The muscles that surround our skeletal structure require great amounts of blood and oxygen. I have experience poor circulation first hand. Many years ago I had an allergic reaction to a medication that was given to me. The doctors after many different tests concluded that I had an allergic reaction to penicillin.

I was in the hospital for four days. At that time a nurse had me get out of bed and walk around. I did not understand the implications but I immediately understood why. My legs would not could not move! I was dumbfounded! I struggled to walk even the shortest distance. During my four day stay at the hospital my muscles developed atrophy. It took several walks before I gained my strength back.

What I am getting at is that when we exercise our bodies we cause this awesome machine to do what it was intended to do. To get good circulation you must make your heart work harder. When you exercise with weights or cardiovascular exercise like running or jogging you force blood and oxygen into the muscles and therefor helping with circulation.

Now I do not suffer from any disease like type 2 diabetes. Nor do I suffer from any arthritis. But I understand now the the full benefits of making the most out of most types of physical fitness programs. Mine is just one of personal preference. So if you suffer from poor circulation due to type 2 diabetes or perhaps you have pain from arthritis in your joints don't fret.