Saturday, July 20, 2013

Rheumatoid Arthritis - Not Just An Old Person's Disease

When referring to arthritis, you generally bring to mind the normal aging process that results in joint damage and inflammation. Rheumatoid arthritis, however, is a form of arthritis that can strike the old and young alike. The symptoms are more widespread than the common "old age" arthritis. Fortunately, there are many successful treatment options available for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.

Some signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are similar to those of osteoarthritis while some symptoms are unique to the rheumatoid form. Like osteoarthritis, this arthritis affects the joints causing the cartilage, a rubbery substance whose main function is to protect the joints, to wear down.

This results in joint pain and inflammation. Those suffering from this arthritis can also have a loss of appetite, extreme fatigue and low grade fever. Rheumatoid arthritis is also a progressive disease which means symptoms get worse the longer you have the disorder. In adults symptoms generally begin between the ages of 40 and 60. Juvenile arthritis is a special classification of the disease that affects children younger than 16.

It is diagnosed by meeting certain criteria laid out by the American College of Rheumatology. These include morning stiffness lasting more than one hour, arthritis and swelling of three or more joints in a set of 14 specific joints/joint groups as well as arthritis of the hands.

The arthritis is also symmetric, meaning if you have it in your left knee, you will have it in your right knee also. Nodules, or firm raised lumps, are also a symptom. Those suffering from it generally also have a rheumatoid factor at least in the 95th percentile as well as evidence of joint erosion.

Unlike osteoarthritis, which is caused by the normal aging process, rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the body's immune system turns on the body. Researchers are unsure what causes the body's own immune system to mistake the body for a foreign substance. The immune system unleashes its attack on the joints, which results in inflammation and joint erosion.

Thanks to today's medical advances, however, there are several successful treatments available for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. These include disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARD's) which help stop the body's attack on itself.

Methotrexate, which is one of the more widely used of this class of drugs because it not only controls joint pain and stiffness, but also helps to prevent bone damage. New injectable DMARD's, often referred to as biologics, can also help keep the disease from becoming worse.

These medicines work by causing the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) in the body to return to normal levels, thereby stopping or slowing the progression of rheumatoid arthritis. Unfortunately these injections are costly. Many patients are unable to afford them, and they are often not covered on most insurance plans.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a debilitating condition that worsens the longer you have it. If you suspect you might suffer from this form of arthritis, there are specially trained doctors who can create a treatment plan to help with the pain and inflammation. Drugs can also be prescribed which will help keep it from getting worse. There is help for your condition.

Hand Surgery - A Useful Solution to Get Rid of Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis can be extremely painful and make every day activities become increasingly difficult and frustrating to deal with. It can strike at any age, but most commonly begins near the age of 40. There still is not a single cause that can be pinpointed, nor any guaranteed prevention methods. In fact, it usually isn't even detected until symptoms are already visible.

There are medications available that can help relieve the pain and there are some that can help stop the rapid progression of this disease; however, rheumatoid often causes major deformities of the hand, making mobility severely restricted. In these cases, sometimes the best answer is hand surgery.

Signs of rheumatoid arthritis, which most commonly occurs in the hands but can also affect the feet and other joints, usually begin with noticeable inflammation of the area. Most people find themselves waking up feeling stiffness or pain that lasts for up to an hour.

As arthritis progresses, the joints continue to deteriorate, making movement increasingly difficult and eventually causing deformation. The fingers often become twisted at odd angles although there is no one single pattern that may occur.

For some patients, if caught early on medication may be enough to treat symptoms; however, very severe and late stage rheumatoid arthritis can often benefit from surgery. Many people are able to return back to their former jobs or continue to do hobbies they enjoyed in the past that have become too painful or difficult to continue due to complications, such as art and exercise.

If you find that arthritis is adversely affecting your life and causing great physical pain as well as emotional distress, you may want to seek a consultation about possibly undergoing operation.

Hand surgery will vary depending on your specific problems or deformity, but commonly the tendons will be repaired, reconnected back properly so the fingers and hand can regain normal functioning and movement once again. If the joints have been significantly damaged, these may be replaced with prosthetics to improve aesthetic appearance as well as functionality.

Many patients find that their pain has been greatly reduced following procedure, the appearance of the hand is much more natural, and its functions are restored to a much better condition.

There are risks and complications involved with surgery, including infection, bleeding, blood clots, loss of sensation, and no improvement in the condition. Since this procedure has the potential to decrease mobility further, you should carefully consider all options. Most patients will find operation provides some degree of relief, much of the results depend on the preexisting state of the tendons and joints.

Surgeons differ on when during the progression of surgery is best performed, so you may want to consult with one as soon as you are diagnosed and research a few different views before making your own, well-informed decision.

Your general practitioner may be able to offer you referrals to specialists, and you will most likely want to visit with several before choosing which you feel most comfortable with.

Common Symptoms Of Rheumatoid Arthritis Explained

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a multifactor disease usually developing in multiple joints leading to inflammation of the affected joint.

This gives rise to pain, swelling, redness and increase in the local temperature of the area.

The cause of Rheumatoid arthritis is unknown, but it is assumed that genetic factors, infective agents, some environmental factors have a predisposing role for developing it.

Awareness of the most common signs and symptoms of the Rheumatoid arthritis can help people as well as doctors to recognize this disease during its early stages.

It is an autoimmune disease described by inflammation in the articular surfaces of the joints.

It has an effect on more than two million people in the US between the ages of twenty and forty five. The disease can occur in all ethnic groups and races; women are affected three times more than men.

Generally the disease starts in the middle age with increasing incidence in older persons; it may develop among the children as well as the young adults.

The early symptoms generally include some obvious signs. Most commonly, it starts with one or two common symptoms and gradually advancement takes place over time.

The common symptoms for Rheumatoid arthritis vary from person to person. It is seen that there is no single test that can confirm the diagnosis of Rheumatoid arthritis.

In addition, it takes time for developing the full blown symptoms. Just a few indistinctive signs and symptoms may be present at the onset, making the task difficult of diagnosing Rheumatoid arthritis at its early stages.

So, the doctors use an array of means for the correct diagnosis of most common symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis and side by side ruling out other arthritic conditions.

The points doctors remember while diagnosing Rheumatoid arthritis by early sign and symptoms are- proper history taking, detailed medical examinations, categorically placed laboratory tests and different imaging modalities. All these are done to asses the degree of joint involvement.

Complaining of pain in the joint daily is, by far, the most common symptom for Rheumatoid arthritis [].

There are also reports of morning stiffness in and around the joint that lasts for an hour or two before improving, at least three involved joint with concurrent soft tissue swelling or increase in the synovial fluid including not less than one swollen joint area in the wrist, the middle joints of the finger or the knuckle.

Rheumatoid arthritis has a predisposition the wrist and joints of the finger closest to the hand. It is also seen that Rheumatoid arthritis affects other large joints like joints of the feet, ankles, knees, elbows and jaws.

Early diagnosis along with quick proper treatment is beneficial for the people suffering from Rheumatoid arthritis to live longer, healthy life. They will also suffer from fewer amounts of pain, joint damage and subsequently permanent disability.

It is unfortunate that early symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis fail to diagnose the case properly as they are very similar to other conditions, especially the other forms of arthritis like Lupus and Fibromyalgia.

Due to this, it is imperative that the patient communicates openly and in totality to the doctor and keep each other well informed about the disease.

Do You Suffer From Arthritis? Food Allergies May Be to Blame

If you have joint pain due to rheumatoid arthritis, relief may be closer than you think.

Many people see rheumatoid arthritis as a disease of aging, while others believe it "runs in the family". But often, arthritis symptoms can flare as a result of food allergies.

Nightshades in particular are well known to cause flare-ups of arthritis pain. Potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini, peppers and eggplants are among the foods that can trigger an allergic reaction causing joint pain and swelling. Luckily, there's an easy way to find out if this family of plant foods is problematic for you.

If you have arthritis pain, finding out whether your symptoms are due to food allergies is a simple process. First, avoid all nightshades for several days--at least four. Then, add one particular food item--potatoes, for instance--back into your diet. Eat a portion daily for several days and note any symptoms. Then eliminate all nightshades for another few days, and test another of the foods.

You may be surprised by the results. You may find that you can tolerate one particular food for several days before developing symptoms, while another food will cause symptoms almost immediately. Once you've analyzed the results, you can plan to either avoid certain foods completely or control the portions and frequency of these foods in your diet.

If you are taking prescription medication for your arthritis, be sure you discuss your results and ask questions of your physician before stopping any meds; they may have positive results beyond pain relief, and stopping them cold may have a negative effect. Also, be sure to monitor your condition with your physician, even if you manage to control the symptoms with diet. Arthritis is a complex auto-immune disease, and bears watching, whether you're symptom-free or not.

Still's Disease Diagnosis - The Long and Winding Road

A pretty girl in her mid twenties walks into her family doctor's office.
Actually, that's not true. She does not walk into the surgery; she hobbles in - and only with the support of her concerned fiancé. The doctor tries to hide the fact that he is shocked, but he doesn't do a particularly good job of hiding the concern written all over his face. This is one sick young lady.
She starts to describe the symptoms that appeared out of the blue two days ago: the sore throat that she thought was the beginning of a cold that grew steadily worse; a strange pink rash that spread over her hands, breasts and legs; and of course the crippling pain in her knees, ankles and wrists. She describes the pain as broken glass between her bones. She is gray, exhausted and scared.
The doctor starts his initial examination with taking her temperature.
"No... that can't be right," he mutters under his breath. He pulls out his old trusted mercury thermometer and tries again: same result. A shade under 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
The doctor knows something is seriously wrong, but no illness that he knows of fits the picture exactly. He thinks it's a viral inflammation of some type... but then again, it could be a mosquito borne illness... or perhaps  influenza? He aims on the safe side and sends her for a battery of blood tests including lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, malaria, Ross-River fever and a full spectrum of immune system function.
A week later, all tests come back negative except for extremely high levels of inflammation. He calls her with the results, but she's even sicker than before. Her fiancé is just packing her bags and about to take her to the hospital.
And they don't even know what is wrong with her.
The road to diagnosing Adult Onset Still's Disease is a long and winding one. For the majority of Still's Disease sufferers, this story will ring only too true. That is certainly not to say that our doctors don't know their stuff, or that they should have been able to make a diagnosis earlier. After all, Still's Disease is a rare condition - only one in every 100,000 will be diagnosed with the illness.
The other factor that significantly slows down diagnosis is the fact that Still's isn't really a disease at all: it's more of a collection of symptoms that present similarly in patients. Still's Disease does not have a test or even a concrete criteria: it is diagnosed by ruling out other illnesses and by identifying common symptoms.
The first clues to a diagnosis of Still's Disease are presented by two main symptoms that almost all Still's Disease sufferers will present with: a splotchy, salmon pink rash and high quotidian fever that appears daily and tops the thermometer out at over 103 degrees Fahrenheit. There will also likely be severe joint pain and swelling in more than one main joint, extreme non-specific myalgia throughout the major muscle groups, and loss of appetite. The disease often starts with a sore, itchy throat.
The major trouble is that by themselves, these symptoms are shared by literally dozens of other (much more common) illnesses and conditions. Because of this, the doctor will certainly send for a variety of blood tests to try and definitively label the condition. Commonly - and usually only after several trips to and from the doctor's office and the blood laboratory - the Still's Disease patient will be tested for the following blood markers:

  • Rheumatoid Factor. This test identifies Rheumatoid Arthritis in most RA patients. Still's Disease will always return negative, however.

  • SLE (Lupus) tests including CBC, ANA and ENA. Again, Still's Disease patients will not trigger a positive result.

  • ESR - a general indicator of inflammation in the body

  • CRP - another inflammatory marker that measures the evidence of a special protein secreted by the liver.

  • Viral and bacterial markers

  • Others, including blood count, blood cell size and ferretin levels

At this point, the general practitioner will either have a pretty good idea that the patient has Still's Disease and will refer the patient to a rheumatologist or consultant physician. On the other hand, the doctor may have absolutely no clue and refer the patient to a rheumatologist or consultant physician anyway! Regardless, a diagnosis of Still's Disease is usually not made until the patient's case is reviewed by a specialist.
This can be a harrowing time for the patient. A diagnosis may take as little as a few weeks and as much as a few years depending on the ability of the patient's doctors to arrive at a diagnosis. While the patient is waiting for diagnosis there is often little relief. Over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs and analgesics often offer little respite from the swelling, inflammation and pain that almost always defines this illness.
It is only after a diagnosis of Still's Disease is arrived at can the patient be started on steroid therapy or disease modifying anti rheumatic (DMARD) medication.
As you can see, Still's Disease is vague, elusive and generally very difficult to diagnose. The good news is that once a diagnosis is made, the illness is largely manageable with the combination of medication and a well considered and thorough management plan.

Chiropractic Treatment of Carpal Tunnel

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is caused by the compression of the median nerve as it passes through the carpal canal in the wrist. It affects women more than men and is most commonly seen between the ages of 35 and 60. Typically it affects one hand, more commonly being the dominant hand, but in severe cases it can affect both hands at the same time. Carpal tunnel syndrome presents as pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the palm through the thumb, pointer finger, middle finger, and part of the ring finger. Occasionally the pain can radiate upward into the forearm, elbow, arm, and even to the shoulder on the affected side. The symptoms can come and go with varying degrees of activity and is often experienced more at night during and after sleep. In left untreated, advanced muscle atrophy, grip weakness, and clumsiness can occur in the hand. Patients may note difficulty abducting and opposing the affected thumb and even a decrease in the muscle size and tone of the thenar muscles of the affected thumb in advanced cases. Certain orthopedic test findings may be present including positive Phalen's Test, Reverse Phalen's Test, and Tinel's but a more evident test to determine if the median nerve is being compressed is by simply applying direct pressure over the carpal tunnel with your thumb and seeing if it reproduces the symptoms. Special tests can be useful in diagnosing carpal tunnel including nerve conduction velocity tests (NCV) and electromyographic studies as well as MRI and diagnostic ultrasounds.

Causes of carpal tunnel are numerous but the most commonly found cause is overuse. Repetitive motions throughout the day are found in many different occupations. Repetitive wrist or finger flexion and extension and ulnar deviation are the most common movements found to cause carpal tunnel. Repetitive fine movements of the fingers as seen with seamstresses, writers, and typists can cause carpal tunnel symptoms to occur. Constant gripping, twisting of the wrists, and back and forth movements are other triggers that are commonly seen in tradesmen, cashiers, and mechanics. Constant pressure at the wrist can also be a cause. This is usually seen with tight fitting watches, bracelets, casts, and bandages. Trauma and fractures can also be a cause of carpal tunnel symptoms as well as certain ailments that cause swelling at the wrist including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, neuromas, ganglion cysts, and subluxations. Carpal Tunnel can also accompany pregnancy, diabetes, kidney disease, and hypothyroidism.

There are many different options for treatment of your carpal tunnel but this article will focus on non-invasive and alternative treatments that can be preformed in a chiropractic office. Initially, all patients must identify the activities that are causing the symptoms and modify or remove them. If the motion is necessary or work related, a carpal tunnel brace is recommended as well as taking frequent small breaks from the activity when possible to rest. When the pain is severe, ice is recommended over the wrist to reduce swelling. Massage and manipulation by a chiropractor is very helpful to restore proper positioning of the carpal bones and to reduce fixation in the wrist and carpal bones especially of the lunate bone. Chiropractic manipulation of the wrist and the neck, where the median nerve originates, has been proven to reduce symptoms and restore proper functioning. Massage work on the muscles of the forearm is helpful, especially myofascial release and Active Release Technique (ART). Proper stretching will help to loosen up the area which usually entails "prayer position" and "reverse prayer position" stretches. Some chiropractors may use therapeutic ultrasound and electric muscle stimulation at the wrist to break up adhesions, reduce swelling, and decrease the pain. Cock-up splints are recommended in some cases to be worn at night and straight wrist braces can be used at work or during exercise. Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, bromalain, and bioflavenoids have been shown to help and a low salt diet should be used to reduce swelling and fluid retention. Anyone taking medications or being treated for a serious illness should consult their doctor before changing their diet or taking any nutritional supplements.

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Top Rated 10 Natural Arthritis Remedies

Organic and natural arthritis treatment plans are increasingly being used to minimize, and sometimes actually wipe out, arthritis signs and symptoms. If you are tired of taking arthritis pain prescription drugs and worry about their detrimental effects on the body, start thinking about adding effective natural treatment options to your arthritis treatment program. The following are the most effective arthritis super stars of holistic painfulness and inflammation assistance.

Glucosamine is one of the nation's best selling dietary supplements and is a widely accepted natural supplement for arthritis. Glucosamine is a naturally developing amino sugar generated by the body and is a necessary building block of cartilage, joint fluid and other connective tissue. The quantity of glucosamine formulated by the body lessens with age. To avoid cartilage deterioration, it is preferred to supplement with glucosamine at the very first signs of arthritis.

Yucca is reputed to lessen harmful toxins around and within joints, thus reducing inflammation. One review revealed that yucca decreased joint problems and rigidity in fifty percent of the arthritic people. Other studies demonstrate that yucca can diminish head aches, improves blood flow and lowers blood pressure.

White willow holds the moniker "nature's aspirin." The pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory results of white willow remain for a longer period compared to aspirin and unlike over-the-counter aspirin, white willow does not cause stomach bleeding. One review established that, when compared to placebo, white willow effectively minimized arthritis pain.

Chondroitin, the second most commonly established arthritis supplementation, lowers inflammation and aids glucosamine in protecting cartilage material. Chondroitin, precursors of the material foundations of cartilage, prohibit enzymes which might hurt cartilage cells. Chondroitin is also thought to promote elasticity in joint cartilage.

Capsaicin is what adds spice to the cayenne pepper. The hot energy of this healthy ingredient is what knocks out pain. Capsaicin is regarded for its pain-reducing results and in the alternative medicine world, capsaicin is a top arthritis treatment.

Boswellia has been used for 100's of years by conventional Indian healers of Ayurvedic for arthritis and rheumatism. This unique herb's anti-inflammatory attributes help lower aching, rigidity and inflammation. Boswellia, additionally known as "Indian frankincense," is thought to be as potent as OTC NSAIDs like ibuprofen and aspirin but does not trigger stomach discomfort.

Omega-3 essential fatty acids have been clinically proven in a number of scientific tests to act as anti-inflammatory materials. Research shows that Omega-3 essential fatty acids lessen inflammatory symptoms of arthritis and also hinders enzymes that break down joint cartilage. These extremely advantageous nutritional elements might additionally help reduce the associated risk of long-term diseases such as heart disease and cancer, and can boost mood and help with depression.

Feverfew escaped awareness for several years but because of new scientific curiosity is now getting a solid name as an anti-inflammatory. Feverfew got its name from its old fashioned use as a fever reducer. Modern herbalists work with this herb to treat intense head aches and migraine headaches, as well as joint pain and discomfort. Feverfew helps regulate the body's inflammatory response and is found to imitate the anti-inflammatory effects of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and corticosteroid cortisone.

Shark cartilage is increasingly becoming a commonly recognized means for managing osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. A number of scientific tests demonstrate the helpfulness of shark cartilage for arthritis. One shark cartilage review revealed noticeable improvements in comfort in 75 % of arthritis patients researched over a 3 to 8 week time frame. A small-scale review involving bedridden individuals demonstrated that after merely 3 weeks of using shark cartilage, 8 of the ten people were able to get out of their beds and move about. Then in a much bigger review of 147 arthritis sufferers, the people using shark cartilage enjoyed an 85 % drop in discomfort scores, compared to the five % drop in discomfort scores described by the placebo group.

Devil's Claw is an herb put to use worldwide for its analgesic, sedative, anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties. Devil's claw has been used in Europe and Africa for more than 3 centuries and is said to lower joint painfulness while improving the physical condition of joints. A German review noted that devil's claw demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects when comparable to the anti-arthritic drug phenylbutazone. Researchers additionally observed analgesic outcomes coupled with reductions in uric acid blood levels.

These herbs and nutrients have all been proven to aid in reducing the pains of arthritis. Will these products work for you? There is simply one way to find out. All of these arthritis possibilities are commonly regarded as low risk. All the same, you will want to double check with your healthcare professional or pharmacist for possible interactions if you are taking any other drugs.

Arthritis Treatment: Is It Neck Pain or Is It Shoulder Pain?

The cervical spine- the neck- consists of seven vertebrae which are stacked on top of each other and separated from each other up front by rubbery discs and in back by a pair- one on each side- of what are called uncovertebral joints. These are true joints which are covered with a thin layer of hyaline cartilage.

Right next to these joints, again on either side, are small holes or foramina, where nerve roots from the spinal cord exit. The spinal cord, originating in the brain, runs down a central canal or tunnel, formed by the various elements of the spine. The head weighs about 6-8 pounds depending on a person's intelligence (that's a joke, by the way) and is balanced on this cervical spine column.

Because of the complexity of the structures involved, it is no secret that neck pain can arise as a result of a variety of different causes. Arthritis can develop in the uncovertebral joints thereby narrowing the neural foramina. Since the nerve roots occupy 25 per cent of the volume of the foramina to start, further narrowing can lead to pinching of the nerves. In addition, disc hernation or the flattening of the discs that occurs with aging also can lead to narrowing of the neural foramina as well.

It has been estimated that more than 50 per cent of individuals beyond the age of 45 years have experienced at least one episode of neck pain.

With advancing age, neck pain tends to become more radicular, meaning there is an element of nerve pinching involved.

Pain coming from the cervical spine may be accompanied by pain in the shoulder. A pinched nerve in the neck, particularly a pinched nerve in the upper neck, often presents as shoulder pain. It may also cause pain to radiate down from the neck to between the shoulder blades.

Myofascial pain, pain arising from ligament strain or muscle spasm, can also be a source of discomfort.
Since conditions that cause neck pain and conditions that cause shoulder pain may coexist, it is often difficult to distinguish what problem is most responsible for the symptoms.

Diagnosis is made using a careful history and physical examination. Often times, though, even that can be unrewarding as far as providing an exact diagnosis. Imaging procedures such as magnetic resonance imaging and computerized tomography can be very helpful in sorting things out.

The choice of treatment obviously depends on diagnosis.

Physical therapy, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), brief use of a cervical collar, gentle stretching and strengthening exercises, and injections may be useful.

For soft tissue causes, prolotherapy or injections with platelet rich plasma may be useful. Only in cases where there is significant nerve root impingement with progressive loss of function, or significant pressure on the spinal cord is there a need for a surgical solution.

Osteoarthritis - Signs and Symptoms

Osteoarthritis is a common condition affecting the joints that can affect mobility and quality of life. It can limit daily function such as ability to squat down or carry heavy objects.

This article reviews the signs and symptoms used to diagnose osteoarthritis.

It is a very common; 8.5 million people in the UK have osteoarthritis (Arthritis Care, UK 2002).

Osteoarthritis may first appear between ages 30 and 40, and is present in almost everyone by age 70.

There are several symptoms associated with arthritis and can include:

- Morning stiffness of stiffness after periods of inactivity
- Achy joints
- Pain
- Restriction range of motion/ impaired mobility
- Crepitus or grinding sound on movement

Symptoms are most likely felt in large weight-bearing joints in one or more sites especially the hip, knee, spine and hand.

Osteoarthritis can develop as we age or from other factors, such as injury or being overweight.

It is important that if you experience these symptoms that you consult a suitably qualified health professional for an assessment and diagnosis.

Most people with arthritis or degenerative joint pain have already been to their doctor to get it diagnosed.
In my experience there are some times when you MUST see your physician about your joint pain.

Here is my advice, if you have any of the following:

- joint pain that is causing persistent pins and needles or numbness
- spinal pain with weakness in your arms or legs, pins and needles, or loss of control of bladder and bowel (you need to see your doctor immediately for this one)
- undiagnosed trauma or significant injury that has not been assessed
- joints that lock regularly or give way on you (especially knees)
- unexplained weight loss
- constant unremitting night pain
- unable to weight bear through the joint
- undiagnosed joint pain for more than 2 weeks

Then you MUST consult your physician. Not all joint pain is from arthritis, and an accurate diagnosis is very important.

Your health professional will ask a series of questions to learn more about the symptoms then do an objective assessment.

On examination there may be swelling around the joint, heat, deformity, and pain on manual joint compression.

This could be confirmed by X-ray imaging where your health professional could see any of the following:

- narrowing of the joint space
- bony spurs or osteophytes
- alignment changes of the joint

It is important to know that signs follow symptoms and that in early arthritis you may experience some symptoms of osteoarthritis before the signs. As the condition develops it is more pronounced on X-ray imaging. Your health professional will look at the total clinical picture for the diagnosis.

Once you have received a diagnosis it is important to establish a systemised management plan that you can easily integrate in to your life to proactively manage your osteoarthritis. The earlier and more comprehensive your plan is in the beginning the better for your overall outcome.

Natural Remedies For Wrist Arthritis Inflammation Explained

Arthritis is among the most common diseases that plague populations all across the world. Arthritis refers to the inflammation of joints accompanied by pain and inability to move the bones that are associated with the inflamed joints.

Rheumatoid arthritis is where your immune system attacks your own cells, thinking them to be foreign bodies. Joint pains and a significant drop in the range of movement are a result of this type of disease.

Wrist arthritis inflammation is one of the most common members of the arthritis family. Nutritional imbalances have been narrowed down on as the one of the foremost causes of arthritis. Therefore, natural remedies for wrist arthritis inflammation include restoring a healthy nutritional balance in the body. But the most important step to take, even before considering any medical course of action, is to try to give your wrist ample rest.

Cause of Wrist Arthritis

The lack of sufficient amounts of essential fatty acids in your body can be a cause of all types of arthritis. Omega 6, which has inflammatory properties and omega 3, which has anti-inflammatory properties, are required to be present in the body at a ratio of 4:1 for optimal functioning of the body. Some renowned medical institutions gravely point out that most people's reality is far from this ratio, with the average being 10 to 1 for omega 6 to omega 3. For the more extreme cases, the figure goes up to 20:1.

What Can You Do About Wrist Inflammation

Cold water oily fish are the best known source of omega 3 oils which most of us need more of, and in particular DHA. So it can certainly help fight inflammation by increasing the amount of fresh fish you eat, so long as you choose your types of fish carefully.

There is sadly a limit here however. Government advice is currently not to consume more than 2 portions of such fish per week. This is due to real concerns over contamination and toxins in our oceans - toxins which build up faster in the very types of fish we want to be eating more of.

Taking fish oil pills is therefore a strong alternative option to ensure a daily dose of omega 3. Mainly because good quality brands filter out the toxins. Just make sure you choose a brand that makes it very clear how they process the oils, and that they do properly filter out all toxic metals.

It is important to remember of course to consult a physician before making any changes to your diet, particularly for those taking blood-thinning medications.

Besides balancing the quantities of essential fatty acids in your body, you must also bring in the right amounts of fiber into a healthy diet. To do this, all you would need it to increase the intake of foods rich in fiber, such as brown bread, fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains and seeds.

A Quick Note About Arthritis Symptoms

If you are suffering from joint pain, swelling around the joint region, inability to fully move a joint, joint stiffness and either redness or extra warmth around the joint area - then you may well be suffering from arthritis.

After conducting a series of tests by a medical practitioner, you may find that fluid has accumulated around a joint or your joints have become "tender", it is usually a confirmation that you have one of the common types of arthritis. Always consider the different steps that you can take to ease these symptoms because any delay will only aggravate the condition and make it difficult to deal with later on.

What's New for Rheumatoid Arthritis?

One source of new information about rheumatoid arthritis is the annual American College of Rheumatology meeting. This year's meeting was held in Atlanta, Georgia from November 7-11.

Some of the interesting findings ion rheumatoid arthritis are summarized below...

One study described the combination of etanercept (Enbrel) and methotrexate in rheumatoid arthritis. The study found that disease progression is less frequent in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who haven't responded to methotrexate alone if it is continued at the same time the biologic drug etanercept (Enbrel) is started. After randomizing "151 patients with active RA to etanercept, 25 mg twice a week plus methotrexate 6mg to 8 mg/week, or to etanercept alone," researchers found the following... Significant differences in joint erosion scores (joint damage scores) were seen after two years of combined etanercept plus methotrexate compared with etanercept alone. These results were reported by Hideto Kameda, MD, of Keio University in Tokyo, and colleagues at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR).

Another hot topic at the American College of Rheumatology meeting is an investigational compound called JAK. JAK has attracted increasing interest as a drug target in rheumatoid arthritis because it's pivotal to the inflammatory response. It's an enzyme that serves as the traffic director for the release of tumor necrosis factor and other cytokines (protein messengers) that accelerate inflammation in diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. The weakness of JAK is that it is an enzyme whose effects can be blocked by an oral, small-molecule drug.

There are three forms of JAK simply known as JAK 1, JAK 2, and JAK 3. Pfizer has a JAK inhibitor called tasocitinib. Earlier reports from the ACR meeting about this compound showed that it was extremely effective as well as possessing an acceptable safety profile. Tasocitinib blocks JAK 1 and JAK3.

Tasocitinib is taken twice a day.

Another JAK inhibitor, called INCB028050, is a product from the Incyte company. Incyte has partnered with Eli Lilly to manufacture and market this compound. The drug produced ACR20 responses (at least 20% reductions in symptom scores) in up to 70% of patients after 24 weeks, and ACR70 responses in nearly 30% of patients, reported Maria Greenwald, MD, of Desert Medical in Palm Desert, Calif. INCB28050 selectively blocks JAK1 and JAK2.

INCB28050 is taken once a day.

Side effects of the JAK drugs include elevations in both HDL and LDL cholesterol of up to 25%, depending on the dosage.

Other side effects that have been seen in the clinical trials with these medicines include an increase in respiratory tract infections, viral infections, including shingles, drops in white blood cell count, increases in platelet count, and slight abnormalities in both kidney and liver function.

On a more mundane note, the drug, leflunomide (Arava), may be an acceptable alternative to methotrexate for use in combination with rituximab (Rituxan) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who can't take methotrexate.

Katerina Chatzidionysou, MD, of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, reported a study showing these findings at the American College of Rheumatology meeting.

A total of 29.1% of patients on leflunomide and rituximab had a good response at the six month mark. A number of research studies have shown that the B-cell targeting antibody drug, Rituxan, is beneficial in RA, and it has usually been given in combination with methotrexate.

But a big question for doctors has been how to deal with patients who have side effects with methotrexate.

Those of us who see a lot of rheumatoid arthritis patients find this information to be "old hat." But patients with the disease should find some helpful nuggets here.

When You Hurt All Over - What Could Be Wrong?

Patients with generalized aches and pains are often seen in clinical practice, but a diagnosis can be difficult to make because of the wide variety of possible diseases that could be responsible.

The most common cause of aches and pains- other than overexertion- is a viral infection.

In cases where the aches and pains don't go away though, a more in depth analysis is required. Something as common as an underactive thyroid gland can cause generalized aches and pains along with fatigue. The diagnosis can be made clinically and confirmed by checking the thyroid stimulating hormone level.

Polymyalgia rheumatica is a disorder that affects people past the age of 50 years. Patients with this condition have widespread pain and stiffness in the neck, shoulders, hips, and buys. The pain is aggravated by inactivity.

Symptoms including low-grade fevers, and weight loss may be common. On physical examination, patients will have difficulty moving their shoulders and hips because of severe pain. Sometimes, patients will have inflammation of the small joints of the hands, wrists, and the feet. Laboratory tests will show an elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate.

Giant cell arteritis is a severe inflammatory disease that affects arteries. This condition often is found in patients who have polymyalgia rheumatica. The danger here is that patients with giant cell arteritis, because of inflammation of the arteries leading to the eye, may become blind. If this condition is suspected, a temporal artery biopsy is necessary in order to make the diagnosis.

A person presenting with swelling and pain involving the small joints of the hands, wrists, and feet will likely have another condition-rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most common forms of inflammatory arthritis. Patients will complain of significant morning stiffness lasting several hours. They will also have stiffness during the day. Chronic fatigue is a problem. On examination, they will have swelling of the hands, wrists, ankles, and feet. Laboratory tests such as the rheumatoid factor and anti-CCP along with the erythrocyte sedimentation rate may help confirm the diagnostic impression.

Osteoarthritis, a form of wear and tear arthritis, may also present with generalized aches and pains. However, on examination, the patient will be found to have involvement primarily of weight-bearing areas such as the neck, low back, hips, and knees. While localized inflammation is present, generalized inflammation is absent.

Likewise, crystal induced arthritis- gout and pseudogout- can cause generalized aches and pains. However, the aches and pains are generally located in the joints.

Inflammatory muscle disease may also be associated with generalized aches and pains. Elevated levels of muscle enzymes in the blood can be seen. The diagnosis can be confirmed by studies such as electromyography, magnetic resonance imaging, and muscle biopsy.

Paget's disease of bone is an unusual condition that also can cause generalized aches and pains. The blood bone alkaline phosphatase level is elevated.

Cancer that has spread to bone also can cause aches and pains. In fact, I have seen two patients in the last week who presented with metastatic cancer and who complained of generalized pain as their primary symptom.

Obviously, the treatment for a patient who hurts all over will depend upon securing a precise diagnosis. For people who have chronic generalized pain, one disease condition that needs to be considered is fibromyalgia. This is a disease that affects about 2% of the population and may start at almost any age.

Patients may have had their symptoms for many months to many years. Patients with fibromyalgia complain of "pain all over" and, by definition, have pain on both sides of the body both below the waist as well as above.

The pain may be described as deep and achy. Stiffness in the morning is common. Patients may also complain of chronic fatigue and feeling as if they have not gotten a good night sleep.

They may also complain of symptoms such as irritable bowel, irritable bladder, headaches, numbness and tingling, subjective swelling of the hands and feet, and be very sensitive to sensory stimuli such as light, odors, and sounds.

A diagnosis of fibromyalgia can only be made after other diseases that can cause aches and pains are excluded.

Less common causes of generalized aches and pains are systemic lupus erythematosus, strep-related illness, and Lyme disease. These have to be factored into the list of possibilities.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Natural Supplements For Arthritis Body Pain

Arthritis is believed to be the oldest discovered body pain ailment of mankind. Scientists have even found this disease in the joints of some dinosaurs and even mummies!

The term arthritis means "joint inflammation." While there are several-hundred forms of arthritis, the most common are Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Regardless of type, common arthritic symptoms include pain in the joints, redness and swelling of the joints and loss of joint function. The pain of osteoarthritis gradually worsens with use over the course of the day, whereas the pain of rheumatoid arthritis tends to be worse on waking and improves as the day progresses.

Despite advances in medical science, the best arthritis relievers are the natural ones. Safe care, no side effects. While store shelves are stocked with the popular arthritis supplements, here are three powerful supplements you may not have heard of but have been shown to relieve arthritis body pain and inflammation.


The development of Hydraflexin began by accident years ago when a brilliant and well-respected researcher at the University of Chile, Dr. Juan Hanke, was a hired by a pharmaceutical company seeking a cure for the common cold.

During his research, he came across a rare herb called Andrographis Paniculata-a plant with a long history of use in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine. Dr. Hanke discovered that at higher dosages, Paractin (the patented, standardized extract from Andrographis) actually helped reduce inflammation and pain-not just colds. That is because your immune system is not just about preventing colds or the flu, it also helps control inflammation signals sent throughout your body.

Research shows that the Paractin in Hydraflexin works directly on the immune system and enables it to block certain inflammatory chemical signals-the very signals that cause arthritis pain. The evidence is overwhelming. For instance:

  • According to The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics Paractin (the same amount in Hydraflexin) reduces the abundance of chemical cytokines that cause inflammation which leads to pain.

  • Paractin stops (or dramatically reduces) two other significant sources of inflammation sent by your immune system----COX-2 and Nuclear Factor kappa B.

  • Paractin stimulates "PPAR-Gamma," a little-known protein in your cells that works to slow down and smother inflammation. But researchers were also shocked when they saw that increased PPAR-Gamma also reduced C-Reactive protein-a dangerous marker of inflammation and heart trouble-by up to 40%!

Chinese Patent Herbal Medicines

Traditional Chinese medicine has a log history of herbal remedies. The 400 most popular of these formulas have been prepackaged into "patent herbal medicines." Two of them are especially good for arthritis.

Kang Gu Zeng Sheng Pian can be taken for a wide variety of joint and bone syndromes, such as: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, rheumatism and general joint and tendon pain. Another formula, Juan Bi Tang, is effective for arthralgia caused by cold and/or dampness. Symptoms can include pain in the neck, back, shoulders and arms, difficulty in movements, numbness in the hands and feet. It is especially good for treating the symptoms of osteoarthritis, bursitis, fibromyalgia and sciatica.

While these formulas are effective and safe, they require a licensed herbalist or acupuncturist to properly diagnose the condition and determine the quantity one should take over what period of time.

Rheumatoid Arthritis - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Rheumatoid arthritis is a disorder that affects a lot of organs and tissues. But it majorly causes problem for the joints and results in inflammatory synovitis. Further, it may also destruct the articular cartilage. The rheumatoid arthritis could also cause inflammations to various parts such as sclera, pleura, lungs and pericardium. Till today, the reason behind this problem has not been discovered. According to a study almost 1% of the population gets affected by this problem and the increase in the women being affected is almost 3 times more than men. You will find people suffering with this problem at the age of 40 to 50.

It is a very painful problem, you lose your mobility because of his problem. This problem can be diagnosed only if a few blood test and x ray is taken to confirm that you are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.

The cause of this particular problem has not been discovered till today but there are a lot of suspicions about bacteria, virus and fungi being the major reason for this problem but none of these suspicions have been proved right. Doctors also say that the reason for rheumatoid arthritis could also be genetic.

If your parents have it then you also make a chance to go through this problem. In case the immune system is not directed properly than there are chances of the tissues being triggered?

What are the symptoms?

There are a lot of symptoms it various from different parts of the body:

Joints-your joints have the chances of getting swollen, you will start the stiffness and it might also be painful while moving around. You might find more pain early in the morning or after a particular time when you haven't moved.

Skin- you will find a lot of difference in your skin and sometimes you find purple coloration where the problem has occurred.

What is the treatment for this problem?

When the reason for the problem has not discovered than how will a treatment be judged only when we get to know what exactly the problem is then we can take up a few steps to solve this problem. Nowadays you find treatments which bring down the symptoms of this problem on the other hand it does not let the problem to grow to far too it is better to treat yourself but prevention is better than cure any day.

The major goal of the treatment is that it avoids further joint destruction and if the disease is not checked at the right time then there are lots of chances for the person to become handicapped also. A person who is above the age of 40 cannot afford to take so much pain. When old age comes it becomes very difficult to take care of your body. There is also a therapy called cortisone therapy but then this therapy has not given long term results, the problem is cured for some time but there are chances of it to occur again.

Knee Arthritis Typically Takes Place When the Kneecap Gets Unbalanced

Knee arthritis is mainly considered by many to be the less grave condition of arthritis even though it is a more commonplace arthritis condition acknowledged as osteoarthritis. This is different from rheumatoid arthritis that is more dangerous and can also cripple a person.

One of the main reasons that people ends up suffering from such a disease is that normal wear and tear or perhaps even injury can end up causing the kneecap to move in directions that are not desirable. This might end up having it rub up against other sections of the structure of the knee, for instance causing a total sequence of inflammation that results in a softening of the surface of the joint followed by it's destruction leading to substances of a chemical nature entering into the joint.

Chemicals Lodged In The Knee Joint

At the point when chemicals get into the knee joint, quite a bit of harm happens and it also actuates a chain reaction within the joint. If an individuals kneecap is not capable of moving correctly within the knee then some section of it might then start to press against what is known as the femur with enough pressure. This will have an end result of the kneecap starting to become unbalanced and will eventually lead to problems of a much greater severity due to the fact that it is necessary for the kneecap to be properly balanced so that it has the ability to release nutrients from the joint fluids.

The result of the kneecap being off balance is knee arthritis and will also culminate in the joint cartilage softening in addition to swelling. Also, there might be tiny blistering and even what is known as small fissures should become noticeable and they have the capacity to become fibrils, which will typically over time break off from the knee tissue and end up getting lodged in the fluid that surrounds the knee. The effect of this is the release of bad types of enzymes that lead to grievous as well as unwanted conditions.

Nevertheless, knee arthritis doesn't need to end up in further health problems in any other joints in your body. Most of the knee arthritis cases are caused due to certain physical ailments that are integral to the knee itself, and which needs to be distinguished and fixed at the earliest time possible, which would aid in the recovery process of the condition and lead to regaining a healthy knee once again.

If you are hoping to rid yourself of knee arthritis, you have the option to take a few steps, for instance lowering your overall weight and also starting up and sticking to an exercise program to strengthen up your knee. Nevertheless, the latter choice should only be performed under the close supervision of your physician or perhaps a physical therapists.

You also have the option to use ice, as well as anti-inflammatory medications, and in time, even the use of steroids under a doctors care. Additionally, a helpful means of lessening the effects of knee arthritis is through the use of taking supplements such as glucosimine and chondroiton. You have to make to make sure you do your research and take the advice of your physician on the right types of supplements so that they contain the right type of preparations, the ingredients are pure, and that they have what is stated on their labels. This is particularly critical given the fact that the supplement industry hasn't as of yet been put under any regulations, and therefore the purchaser must beware of what they are actually are getting.

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Beer - A Strange Relationship

Rheumatoid arthritis is incredibly painful and debilitating. The usual course of treatment involves taking steroids long term, as well as taking pain medication to help you deal with the pain, inflammation and soreness that goes hand in hand with the condition. However, new research from scientists in the UK seems to indicate that beer might be of significant benefit to those who suffer from RA.

What has scientists buzzing (as well as RA sufferers), is a study conducted with almost 2,000 participants. There were 873 people who consumed alcohol and just over 1,000 people who did not. All of these individuals had rheumatoid arthritis. The study found that those who drank more beer, wine or cocktails had less pain, less swelling of the joints and fewer problems than those who didn't drink at all.

Interestingly, the same study found that people who consumed alcohol on a regular basis were far less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis in the first place. That last bit is a real stumper for scientists, who are still unsure how alcohol can protect against RA and provide benefits for sufferers of the condition as well.

Of course, that doesn't give you carte blanche to become a lush in the hopes of preventing RA or treating the symptoms of your arthritis. The heaviest drinkers in the study were those who had just over 10 drinks in a single month, and doctors still suggest having no more than two beers or glasses of wine per day. However, even that small amount might be enough to help keep you from getting RA in the first place, or of alleviating the pain and disability associated with RA if you currently have it.

Of course, if you do have RA, then you need to have some other treatment options. Beer is great, but it's not going to do the job alone. You need to visit your doctor and discuss a treatment plan with him or her, and you need to add exercise to your diet, as well. It seems that more exercise can actually help you beat swelling, pain and disability, even though it causes pain in the short term.

Combined with a healthy diet, a limited intake of alcohol from beer or wine and the right medication, exercise can be a definite factor in helping sufferers reduce their symptoms both now and for the longer term.

Poto Cervesia,
Dustin Canestorp

Overweight With Arthritis

As we get older many of us including myself suffer from some joint pain from time to time. Many times it could be overworked joints but sometimes it's a more serious condition like rheumatoid arthritis. Being overweight or even obese can really put extra stress on those joints and affect your quality of life. Everyday normal routines can become very painful and unbearable.

Recent studies conducted in Oslo, Norway show that being overweight can affect Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in some other ways as well. Patients with RA and who are obese are more likely to suffer greater pain, increased fatigue, decreased physical function and an overall worsened quality of life score. The

researchers tested over one thousand patients who had RA. They grouped them according to their body mass index levels and came up with three groups, normal weight,overweight and obesity. Over one hundred people fell into the obesity category while three hundred sixteen were in the overweight and the remaining were either normal or underweight. All the obese patients reported having higher levels of pain and feeling more fatigued and worse physical function than all those in the normal group.

Being overweight reduces the chance of RA going into remission. Remission helps reduce the long term affects of Ra because symptoms like inflammation go away. The researchers found after a 12 month study and treatments that 58 percent of the normal weight patients who were on a placebo went into remission while only 35 percent of overweight and 25 percent of obese patients were in remission.

Because fat tissue produces pro-inflammatory molecules, it puts overweight patients at an increased risk of inflammatory complications. The head doctor in the study used Remicade plus a combination of therapy. It was found that being overweight didn't seem to affect those taking Remicade plus therapy. She believes Remicade may act on the inflammatory molecules allowing obese people to be able to go into remission.

There's obviously more to be done to reach conclusive results, but one thing is for sure, being overweight can have many negative affects on our health and quality of life! The one thing we all can do for ourselves which will have a positive effect is to eat right and exercise and maybe we can end the need for such studies and research.

Arthritis Knee Pain - 2 Simple Steps to Stop Arthritis Knee Pain - Without Medication Or Surgery

Arthritis knee pain does not discriminate. It can strike anyone, anywhere and at any age. The awful pain and discomfort caused by arthritis is hard to describe to someone who hasn't experienced it: The stiffness, the burning, the inflammation and swelling, the constant creaking and popping, the pain when you stand and walk - Words are not enough to describe these symptoms. Most sufferers are led to think that this is a condition that they must learn to live with, manage, cope with and adjust to. This is not true. Arthritis knee pain can be dramatically reduced - without medication or surgery.

What Causes Arthritis Knee pain?

In one word - Inflammation. Osteoarthritis of the knee is a wear-and-tear condition that occurs when the cartilage in your knee deteriorates with use and age. The breakdown of cartilage causes the bones under it to rub together. The result is inflammation, swelling and pain. If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis of the knee- inflammation is caused by the body attacking its own joints.

2 Simple Steps to Stop Arthritis Knee Pain

All forms of arthritis knee pain have one thing in common - Inflammation. To achieve fast and dramatic knee pain relief - you must fight and reduce the inflammation in your knee. As always, the best way to achieve this goal is through natural methods - without addictive medication or surgery.

Step 1 - Stay Active!

Keeping active and losing weight (only if you are overweight of course) are the best ways to prevent and fight arthritis knee pain. We all know that losing weight is not so simple and doesn't happen over night, so let's focus on physical activity that can be started today and even right now.

If you have knee arthritis, the more you walk the more the knee will hurt. In time, running, playing golf or tennis and eventually even walking - may become impossible. But - cutting down on activities will not slow down arthritis and will actually worsen your knee pain in the long term. You must stay as active as your pain will comfortably allow. Take a walk every day, as much as you can bear. This will reduce the stiffness and strengthen the muscles around your knee - allowing them to properly support the knee joint. Stop only when you feel the pain is too much and only then. Do this every day and you will feel the results in a few days.

Step 2 - Fight the Inflammation!

There are natural ways to eliminates arthritic knee pain by reducing joint and cartilage inflammation. The most recommended one a combination of enzymes and herbs that fight the inflammation effectively and fast.

Enzymes - Proteolytic enzymes are created in your body. These enzymes fight the inflammation and repair damage caused by overuse of your joints and aging. They also clean your blood, break down scar tissue and even fight viruses and bacteria. When you pass the age of 25, your body produces dramatically less amount of these enzymes.

Herbs - Boswelia and Bromelain are herbs that have been clinically proven be highly effective in reducing inflammation and pain.

A combination of these enzymes and herbs are a powerful natural treatment so stop arthritis knee pain.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Polysomnography: One Tool in Helping in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Fibromyalgia

Stop! and imagine for one moment that your body is being savagely and brutally attacked by chronic pain. This pain is so intense that you become less active. As you become less active you start to develop muscles weakness. Just trying to do normal daily activities such as, working, housekeeping, cooking, playing with the kids, shopping, walking the dog and sleeping has become an extreme ordeal. All is not peaceful in the Land of Nod. In fact, you as a fibromyalgia (FM) sufferer are downright restless.

As of this writing, fibromyalgia is the most misdiagnosed and misunderstood syndrome of the 21 century. Because it mimics other diseases and conditions, many people with FM initially have often been diagnosed as having multiple sclerosis, scleraderma, rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. Fibromyalgia has also been closely associated with chronic fatigue syndrome, it shares many of the same qualities.

Since so many fibromyalgia sufferers have been misdiagnosed, experts have categorized fibromyalgia as a syndrome rather than a disease. A syndrome is defined as "an aggregated of signs and symptoms associated with any morbid process."

Although it does occur in men, women in their late 40's and older are at least four times more likely to develop the disorder.

Pain, it is the most common symptom and complaint of the FM sufferer. Some people experience pain, fatigue, muscle stiffness and swelling in their joints, especially in the morning. This stiffness can be quite distinct and be accompanied by pain in key areas of the body, usually in the neck, shoulder, lower back and buttoch.

Irritable bowel syndrome has been reported in approximately 40-70 percent of these patients. It is not unusual for those afflicted to have diarrhea, constipation or a frequent need to empty their bladder. Fatigue and restlessness in FM patients can cause poor concentration, memory loss, non-restorative sleep and secondary endocrine malfunction involving the hypothalamic pituitary and adrenal glands.

Approximately 50 percent of FM sufferers experience some sort of increase sensitivity to stimuli, such as, flashing lights (photophobia), increase sounds (phonophobia), and varies odors.# Some patients often present with a chronic runny nose, congested head cold, and a throat clearing cough. Another common complaint is restless leg syndrome. When a FM sufferer presents to their doctor their are two things they want more than anything in this whole wide world. They want their pain alleviated and one of the greatest pleasures known to all creatures, the ability to get a good night of rest and sleep.

Fibromyalgia and Sleep

Sleep is vital to our very existence, it is during sleep that our temperature decreases conserving energy, sugars are stored for future use, our immune system is blasted into action and growth hormones are released fostering the repair of cells and tissues.# That important journey into sleep is a beautiful time for our bodies and brains to heal themselves from the vigorous wear and tear of daily living. But, numerous studies have been conducted which reveal that persons with fibromyalgia have a sleep disturbance that prevents them from receiving these healing powers. Many physicians are unaware of the importance of getting a sleep study done on their FM patients.

Here's what we know, a landmark study published in 1975 discovered that 70 percent of patients with FM had NREM (non-rapid eye movement) stages of sleep "contaminated" by an abnormal EEG pattern called alpha-delta sleep, in which incurrent alpha waves (seen when you are awake) are riding on large, slow delta waves. This constant alpha-delta intrusion robs the body of deep sleep (stage 3 and 4 sleep).# It is during this stage of sleep that our body is being repaired. There is also some evidence indicating that fibromyalgia syndrome and sleep disorders are intimately related, but know one is certain which causes the other. Many FM sufferers exhibit bruxism (tooth-grinding), periodic limb movement (PLM), and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The absence of stage 3 and 4 sleep in FM can also cause chronic sleep deprivation and may contribute to the rapid physical decline many doctors see in their patients.

Diagnosing FM is not an easy task. To actually receive a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, the American College of Rheumatology, identified 18 separate points on the body called "tender points," by applying pressure with the index, third and fourth fingers of the examiner's hand at nine key bilateral surface sites. These include the side of the hip joint, and buttock and the inside of the knee.

In addition, the patient must complain of widespread pain lasting at a duration of 3 months or more. the pain must be radiating on both sides of the body, and be above and below the waist.

Fibromyalgia and the Polygragh

There is no cure for fibromyalgia. The only relief FM sufferers can hope for is the treatment of their symptoms. Majority of FM patients complain that no matter how long they sleep, it is never restful. Their sleep may be interrupted by frequent awakenings, or they wake up gasping for air, or in pain. Even more common most patients complain of waking up day after day feeling exhausted.

Many of the symptoms that FM patients experience are shared by those with other sleep disorders. As sleep care professionals, we do know the symptoms. Now we must raise awareness to patient and doctors treating FM, that their lack of sleep can be caused by so many factors. Such as, pain, sleep apnea, PLM and bruxism.

But how, (you ask) would a doctor know for sure in a patient complaining of sleep deprivation that their lack of sleep is because of pure fibromyalgia verses fibromyalgia overlap with another sleep disorder?

Here's your answer, "Polysomnography." The polygraph can be used as one of the tools to help doctors battle the problem. In order for you to better understand how fibromyalgia works in sleep. I invite you to come along with me and peek in on the inner workings of the fibromyalgic brain.

I had been working in sleep medicine as a polysomnography technician for only six months when I saw my first client with fibromyalgia. LT was a forty-eight years old female, mildly over-weight and in poor overall health. Her chief complaint was, (Yep you guess it), pain and lack of sleep.

I meticulously place each EEG electrode on her scalp making sure I properly prep and measure each site. I attached two effort belts, one on her chest, the other on her abdomen. Leads where placed near her eyes and chin. Leads where places on her legs, and EKG leads where placed on her chest. A thermistor airfow was placed at her nares and a pulse oximeter probe on her finger. The setup procedure took about an hour, to pass the time away she and I "chatted" about our families and recent news events

Once in bed the client was hooked up to the EEG machine and monitor. She was allowed to watch a little television around 10:30 PM she started getting sleepy. She lets out one big yawn and shuffled between the covers. On the computer screen I notice LT is drifting in and out of sleep (microsleep). She's not totally asleep yet, but her body is relaxing and preparing itself for sleep. It is during this time that her body temperature drops, and her pineal gland at the base of her skull is slowly releasing melatonin in her bloodstream, signaling to her brain that it's time to make that wonderful transition into sleep.

Now this is where the fun for me as a sleep technologist begins. On a computer screen I get to observe all the wonderful electrical activities of the brain. When she was awake I observed those fast, low-voltage type of brain waves called beta waves. But as she closed her eyes, the waves change to a slow-high voltage brain rhythm called alpha waves. Alpha waves danced across the screen for several more minutes, then suddenly right before my eyes the alpha waves were quickly replaced by a new wave pattern called theta. Her mind is no longer thinking about her day, LT has now drifted from a state of conscious wakefulness to that wonderful abyss called stage 1 sleep.

Stage 1 sleep is the lightest stage of sleep. Considered transitional sleep, stage 1 will move LT into a deeper and rewarding sleep state. Her eyes began to roll slightly from side to side, she no longer hear the sounds of cars and trucks passing her window. Or the mild humming noise coming from the fan. But yet if I where to enter her room and lightly touch her arm, she would be easily aroused and not have a sense that she had been sleeping at all.

After 5-7 minutes in stage 1 sleep, LT slowly enters stage 2, during this stage of sleep two identifiable sleep-specific wave forms pop on the screen. Sleep spindles and K-complexes, these are two beautiful wave forms floating across the polygragh. I love vintage cars so every time I look at a sleep spindle, I am reminded of old spoke tires on a ford Model T. K-complexes are quite different then a sleep spindle, it is a super large wave form that appears seconds before a sleep spindle, and looks like the QRS complex on a EKG tracing, with a well delineated negative upward spike which is immediately followed by a positive downward spike. Both of these wave forms appear and disappear across the screen in seconds. LT's legs begins to twitched several times. She now is definitely showing signs of PLM.

15 minutes later she falls into stage 3 sleep or deep sleep. In stage 3 sleep she is not easily aroused. In this stage of sleep between 20-50 percent of the waves are transformed into delta waves. Over size slow tee-pee shape waves ripple across the EEG computer and appear again and again. When all of a sudden (out of the blue) delta waves are constantly being bombarded by alpha waves. Until finally for every delta wave seen an alpha wave intrudes on its territory. LT is no longer asleep, the alpha-delta intrusion causes her eyes to pop open. After twenty minutes staring at the ceiling, she then takes her first bathroom break, why not, her restful sleep has been interrupted.

Once in bed, her sleep debt built up from her arousal causes her to fall quickly back into stage 1 sleep again. Throughout the night she will repeatedly travel up and down the stages of sleep, never reaching stage 4 or REM sleep because of alpha-delta intrusion and PLM. This constant interruption in her sleep can hamper the proper release of serotonin, (which is necessary for the activation of an important immune system cell called "natural killer cells")# and growth hormones that aide in rebuilding damage cells. LT's sleep test ends at 6:00 AM, she had several complaints from being tired, to increase pain, to being unhappy. these are all typical complaints of a FM sufferer.

A trained and experienced polysomnographic technologist then analyzed and scored LT's sleep data. The report indicated she had frequent leg movements in stage 1 and 2 sleep, consistent with the disorder premature leg movement (PLM), along with frequent arousals and alpha-delta intrusion.

A month later, a follow-up phone call was conducted by the sleep center. Therapy for LT included low dose anti-depressant, physical fitness training and benzodiazepines such as clonazepam which help in promoting better sleep, by relaxing skeletal muscles and reducing her premature leg movements. Every fibromyalgia patient is different and may require a different individualized treatment, (some patients may suffer from sleep apnea or bruxism.) But, for LT these combination of treatment seemed to help and she was happy with the outcome.


I hope this small glimpse into fibromyalgia will help explain why patients need and will benefit from a sleep center. Precise diagnosis is essential to establish the existence of fibromyalgia and distinguish this disease from other sleep disorders. Once the diagnosis is made, a multifaceted approach is then required to ensure healing and restful sleep.

The consequences of fibromyalgia can be significant for those affected as well as bed partners and family members. Although many patients try to self-manage their lack of sleep, most will eventually seek treatment if symptoms are progressive and/or unrelenting. I extend this one challenge to every doctor and that is to ask their fibromyalgia patient one question, "How are you sleeping?"

TMJ Syndrome: Managing the Pain

The temporomandibular joint connects your lower jaw or mandible to your skull and is located right in front of the ear. The different elements that make up the TMJ allow the individual to chew or masticate, yawn, talk, and other functions of the facial muscle. The bones, facial muscles, blood vessels, and nerve endings are the components of the temporomandibular joint. There comes a time when problems arise that would cause the temporomandibular joint to cause you discomfort and severe pain. Problems such as headache, neck and facial pain, ear pain, locked jaw, bite problems etc. Temporomandibular joint syndromes (TMJ) otherwise known as temporomandibular joint disorder have several causes. It can be a trauma to the joints and or the facial muscles. A punch to the jaw can cause misalignment, dislocation and damage to the cartilage disc of the jaw. Even dental appointments that involve extended periods of stretching open the mouth can cause pain in the TMJ region. Moreover, chronic diseases like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis also affects the joints in the temporomandibular region.

Early diagnosis of the cause of the TMJ syndrome is essential in developing the most effective pain management strategies. During assessment, you will be able to observe the different signs and symptoms of this disorder. Management of TMJ treatment would depend on the proper conduct of initial assessment. Signs and symptoms you might recognize are pain in the facial and jaw muscles, pain when opening the mouth to chew, talk, or yawn; joint pain that begins from the ear and radiates to somewhere else in the skull and headaches or migraines. Other signs and symptoms to be aware of is tinnitus or ringing in the ears, popping sound when there is jaw movement, swelling of the face, locked jaw, difficulty swallowing, headache, dizziness and nausea. See your doctor immediately when you experience any of these symptoms. Early diagnosis can lead to prompt delivery of the TMJ treatment and better prognosis for the patient. Talk with doctor on preventive measures that will aid in lessening the recurrence of this condition.

If it is proven to be caused by chronic illnesses, necessary adjustments to your treatment regime would be appropriate. There might even be a need to assess for bone density and bone loss and take necessary supplements as part of your treatment. If the probable cause is due to badmouth habits like occasional chewing of gums, teeth grinding and teeth clenching, the doctor might be able to help you by lecturing you on the effects of teeth grinding and having you use a mouth guard when you sleep. Pain management as part of TMJ treatment would also include the use of sedatives whenever necessary, facial massage, heat compress, and appropriate facial exercise. If you are considering availing of complementary forms of treatment, it is best to go through with it your doctor. There are several therapeutic regimens that have been substantial researches and clinical trials proving their effectiveness for managing pain. Everyone has their own preference and the decision to avail of complementary and alternative forms is personal.

To conclude, if you experience facial pain somewhere in the temporomandibular area and is affecting your speech and diet, it is best to contact your healthcare provider and receive immediate help. Early recognition of signs and symptoms helps in early diagnosis and proper layout of TMJ treatment; thus, resulting to better prognosis. You can work with your doctor in laying out the regimen for managing your pain. Therapy could be contemporary, complementary, or holistic depending on your choice, but best if done with your doctor's guidance.

Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Knee

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic type of inflammation that occurs symmetrically, affecting key joints of the body such as hands, knees, ankles, feet, hips, elbows and shoulders. The condition is more likely to affect women than men and is common in those who are aged 40 and above, though it can most certainly occur in much younger persons as well. It is blamed for a number of symptoms that include joint swelling and pain, stiffness and types of deformity. Rheumatoid arthritis in the knee can be particularly painful and cause severe restrictions to one's freedom of movement. Although there is no known cure as yet, the condition can still be managed to a fair degree.

Before we discuss rheumatoid arthritis of the knee let us look at this particular joint which is very important when it comes to mobility. Around the ends of the bones is the cartilage and this prevents the bones from rubbing against each other. Between the two cartilages of the particular bones is a small pouch that is covered with a thin tissue known as synovium and this secretes a liquid that helps keep the joint lubricated. When the synovium is affected as a result of the rheumatoid arthritis condition, the functions of the various parts that make up the knee get affected and fail to function as they should.

Common symptoms of this disease's effects on the knee include pain, swelling and inflammation, stiffness, a warm feeling around the knee, fever, flu symptoms and fatigue. While the exact cause for the disease in general and its effects on the knee are unknown even as of now, it is widely believed that genetics and living environments play a part in who is affected by it and who is not. Rheumatoid arthritis of the knee is diagnosed based on symptoms pretty much along the lines of general rheumatoid arthritis. Blood tests and X rays to verify the damage to joint are also used in the diagnostic process for this condition. A test of the fluid between the joints can also help diagnose the condition as a high level of inflammatory material therein will indicate rheumatoid arthritis affecting the said joint.

There are a few time tested treatments available for rheumatoid arthritis of the knee. Common types of medication include aspirins, acetaminophen (or Tylenol) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Most of these treatments are targeted at the pain as there is no cure to completely eradicate the condition. Regular exercises targeting the health of the joints can also be recommended as a practice to keep the condition in check. Excess weight can meanwhile compound the condition as the excess weight places a disproportionate stress and pressure on them. As such it is best to maintain a weight that is recommended for your height or to reduce weight via a suitable diet plan in case you are overweight.

In a worst case scenario where damage to the joints is severe, a replacement procedure may be required. This last resort surgery can be expected to produce a successful outcome thanks to modern day advances in procedures of the sort.

Characteristics of Fibromyalgia Treatments

Fibromyalgia is a serious neurological condition that causes pain in the musculoskeletal system. People who suffer from fibromyalgia also feel pain in the tendons, ligaments and the areas of the joints. Another characteristic of fibromyalgia is a pronounced state of fatigue that takes over the entire body. The symptoms of fibromyalgia resemble those of rheumatoid arthritis and due to this fact, fibromyalgia may be misdiagnosed. However, unlike people with physical illnesses, the people with fibromyalgia seem to be in perfect health. Although the pain reported by people with fibromyalgia is present, it occurs on the premises of abnormal brain activity. People who suffer from fibromyalgia have a very sensitive nervous system and a low tolerance to external stimuli. Increased nervous excitability is considered to be the cause of the intense, recidivating pain experienced by people with fibromyalgia.

Statistics indicate that more than 3.7 million Americans are diagnosed with fibromyalgia. This is a disturbing fact, as modern medicine hasn't yet discovered a specific cure for this type of neurological disorder. In fact, although scientists have established a connection between abnormal brain activity and the symptoms of fibromyalgia, the exact causes responsible for the development of the disorder remain unknown. In present, fibromyalgia treatments are solely focused on ameliorating its symptoms, instead of overcoming its causes. Although most fibromyalgia treatments can ease the muscular pain and discomfort characteristic to all people with the disorder, these symptoms seem to reoccur on a regular time bases. This is due to the fact that fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder and therefore it needs ongoing treatment.

Fibromyalgia treatments mostly consist of painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs (used solely for their analgesic properties). However, apart from intense pain, many people with fibromyalgia complain about having trouble sleeping and feel a pronounced state of fatigue throughout the whole body. Therefore, in some particular cases, fibromyalgia treatments may include sedatives in order to correct the patients' sleeping problems.

As a consequence of the fact that modern medicine is unable to trace the actual causes of the disorder, the symptoms of fibromyalgia can only be corrected by prescribing a certain treatment for each individual symptom. Therefore, the majority of fibromyalgia treatments consist of many types of medicines that target different aspects of the disorder.

Other physical symptoms of fibromyalgia are: migraines, lack of concentration, body weakness, decrease of the short-term memory, accelerated heart rate, nausea, abdominal pain and bloating, vomiting and diarrhea. When patients are confronted with these symptoms, the fibromyalgia treatment includes medicines appropriate for each particular problem. Fibromyalgia can even cause depression and in this case the fibromyalgia treatment will include anti-depressives.

The multitude of fibromyalgia symptoms requires a multitude of fibromyalgia treatments. Due to this fact, many people who follow ongoing medication either develop increased tolerance to drugs and need higher doses (especially in the case of analgesics and sedatives), or they start feeling even worse than before due to the side-effects of the fibromyalgia treatment.

However, there are other forms of fibromyalgia treatments that can relief the symptoms of the condition without relying on drugs. These fibromyalgia treatments involve kineto-therapy and massage therapy. By stimulating the trigger points on the body (the places where the pain is the most intense) and through the means of therapeutic massages, the muscular pain and fatigue can be diminished. Medical experts strongly recommend these forms of therapy instead of ongoing fibromyalgia treatments that involve drugs.

Lupus Arthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis - Similarities and Differences

A lot of people fail to make a distinction between lupus arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Both of these are autoimmune diseases in which the body sets upon itself and causes itself harm. So, where does one draw the line?

Medical experts all agree that proper diagnosis and differentiation of these diseases is not an easy task. The clinical symptoms and laboratory abnormalities of both diseases tend to overlap.

Similarities of Lupus Arthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Lupus arthritis and RA incidence is differentiated by having more women being afflicted than men. They are both classified as multi-systemic diseases as they can affect and damage many organs.

Like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus attacks and damages the blood vessels. Both diseases also affect the normal function of the immune system, resulting in damaged tissues.

Differences Between Lupus Arthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) or lupus is a complex disease whose true cause is still unknown. It affects many parts of the body including the joints, skin, and internal organs. A person usually develops a rash in the shape of a butterfly on the cheeks and across the bridge of the nose.

Other symptoms of individuals with SLE include fatigue, hair loss, inflammation of the kidney, mouth sores and loss of appetite. This disease does not usually affect the spine and neck.

Similarly, the cause of rheumatoid arthritis is also unknown. The disease attacks the wrists, fingers, knees, feet and ankles. It is usually manifested by the onset of fatigue and weakness, and morning stiffness that lasts for more than an hour. Patients afflicted of this disease also complain of widespread muscle ache and progressive loss of appetite.

Patients suffering from lupus arthritis experience joint pain which is not associated with actual damage to the joint itself. There are also some cases where lupus patients don't experience swelling of the joints. This swollen lining is referred to as synovium.

However, lupus results to a more pronounced pain than that of rheumatoid arthritis. The symptoms of RA occur symmetrically, as an additive polyarthritis, with sequential addition of involved joints. On the other hand, lupus arthritis is a typical migratory arthritis, or episodic arthritis typical of gout.

Treatment of Lupus Arthritis

A person can suffer from both lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. When a person suffering from lupus starts manifesting rheumatoid-like symptoms, treatment for RA should be applied instead.

The good news about lupus arthritis is that it is treatable. This clinical symptom of SLE can be properly managed and treated when treatment plan is strictly followed. This disease is usually treated with NSAIDs including aspirin and ibuprofen. If those medications don't yield positive results, your doctor may prescribe anti-malarial agents and corticosteroids.

Doctors may also prescribe RA treatment forms such as methotrexate, sulfasalazine. In severe cases, more powerful treatment forms are adopted to control joint inflammation. These medications play an integral part in treating lupus arthritis, but it is by far not the only treatment. Supportive physical and occupational therapy complete the effective treatment plan for lupus arthritis.

Living With Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is also known as median neuropathy as it involves the median nerve of the upper limb. It occurs due to compression of the median nerve when it passes through the "carpal tunnel" in the wrist. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the most common "entrapment neuropathy".

Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs more frequently in people whose job involves use of hands and wrists. A common cause is typing on a computer keyboards for many hours over a long period of time. It may also be caused due to other works like painting, writing, sewing, use of hand tools especially vibrating tools, sports like handball and tennis. Another cause may be forms of arthritis, autoimmune diseases like systemic sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, excess growth hormone in body, obesity, dialysis etc.

Carpal tunnel syndrome often presents with pain, tingling or numbness in thumb, index finger, middle finger and half of the ring finger and parts of the palm below these fingers. Pain and paresthesias sometimes may extend up to the elbow or even in upper arm. The symptoms are often worse at night. Also there may be complaints of weakness like weak grip or trouble in carrying bags and fine movements of finger. In severe forms, there may be even wasting of the muscles at the base of the thumb (called "thenar muscles").

Treatment of this neuropathy depends on the cause. Treatment is often necessary as untreated Carpal Tunnel Syndrome may result in permanent damage to median nerve distal to carpal tunnel and resulting in permanent symptoms not amenable to therapy. If Carpal Tunnel Syndrome occurs secondary to some other medical disorder, treating it often reverses the carpal tunnel syndrome. For example, in hypothyroid patients, treatment with levothyroxine often results in alleviation of symptoms of carpal tunnel. Similarly treatment of Rheumatoid arthritis with immunomodulator drugs often relieves the problem.

If the problem is due to improper pattern of hand use, then the treatment is mainly giving rest to the wrist by avoiding the precipitating factors. Neutral Position wrist splints are often tried. Patient may be given NSAID (like Iburprofen) for pain, and in severe cases, steroid injection in wrist may also be given. Local steroid injection reduces the swelling and thus eases the pressure on the nerve. Similarly anesthetic injection may be given to alleviate pain.

Surgery is done if the medical treatment fails to alleviate the symptoms and the problem persists or if patient presents with wasting/weakness of the thenar muscles of the hand. In surgery, the transverse carpal ligament is divided to enlarge the tunnel and create more room for the nerve. Surgery is often successful, but in certain cases it may not completely alleviate the symptoms if the compression has been severe and prolonged and permanent damage to nerve has occurred.

Health Benefits of Turmeric

If you have ever eaten a curry, no doubt you will have consumed some of the spice turmeric. More importantly, you will have benefited from its properties. Now while you may have heard of turmeric, you may not be aware of its many health benefits.

This bright yellow spice has a multitude of health benefits. It has been used in Chinese herbal medicine for over 2,500 years and it is said to alleviate: Indigestion, Stomach Ulcers, Cancer, Alzheimer's disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis and more.

And why should you care and read on? Well, not only do the above conditions affect many, they could affect you at some point!

And if they do, how are you going to continue to do what you love?

How will you continue to work at a high level?

How will you continue to provide for your family?

Health Benefits of Turmeric

Good health is one of the most important things that should never be taken for granted. One of the main reasons for poor health is a lack of knowledge of what is good for you.

So keep reading... and I hope you may take something away from this post. Lets look at one of the most common conditions that affect many people, especially as they get older:

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Rheumatoid Arthritis is an inflammatory disease that affects joints all over the body. Over time this can lead to both loss of movement and deformity. I have seen my Grandmother suffer with this condition to such an extent that she is now housebound 24 hours a day. My mother has recently mentioned that she has been feeling some symptoms in her hands.

Although treatment is available, it needs to be ongoing and although a cure does not exist, there are substances that can aid in prevention, such as turmeric.

Curcumin, the plant that turmeric derives from is an extremely powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants get rid of free radicals, which are basically responsible for damaging all the healthy cells in our body. Early studies by the University of Arizona have found that if taken prior to the onset of inflammation, as opposed to after, the results are much more effective.

Alzheimer's disease

Another disease that not only affects us as we get older, but can destroy families is Alzheimer's disease. Research has shown that in India, where turmeric is used in high quantities, the rate of Alzheimer's disease sufferers is low among those with a high consumption of turmeric in their diets. It is not a cure, but it is said to maybe aid prevention.

Health Benefits of Turmeric

In Japan where I live, Turmeric capsules and drinks have long been thought of as a hangover cure. If you consume some turmeric before you go have a few drinks, then the next day can be slightly less awful. I can attest to this.

One simple use is to rub the powder it into chicken or lean meant prior to cooking. Add to some fried onions or other stir-fried veggies. Add it to homemade pickles and chutneys; not only will this add to the coloring, but the health benefits will be spiced up.

Health Benefits of Turmeric

The 'health benefits of turmeric' are side to increase 8-fold if used with green tea. You can take a capsule with your green tea, or a capsule that contains both green tea and turmeric extract. If you would like more information on how to use it, then please ask me below:)

To your health

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Arthritis is a Nutritional Deficiency Disease & Can be Reversed Using Arthritis Herbal Treatments

What Is Arthritis?

Arthritis is a devastating, painful and degenerative disease of the joints that affects over 75% of all people over the age of 65. In the U.S. alone it is estimated that there are between 37 to 50 million people who suffer with some degree of arthritis.

The vast majority of arthritis sufferers have osteoarthritis which is a chronic, aggressive joint disease. This disease causes cartilage and other joint tissue to deteriorate. Cartilage begins to wear down, and slowly deteriorates to the point to which the surrounding bones begin to rub against each other making a cracking or grating noise. Severe pain and swelling often result, as well as limited movement of the joint.

When compared to arthritis herbal treatments and natural supplements, many doctors prescribe medication to ease the pain and this only serves to make the disease even worse. In fact cortisone (and other steroids) can actually speed up the rate of loss of cartilage. It gets worse - temporary pain relief without rebuilding the joint allows you to move the joint which in turn causes more pain and damage - a lose, lose situation!

There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, and each has its own characteristic symptoms and its own course. Depending on the specific condition and how severe it is, arthritis can interfere with even the most ordinary activities, such as walking, dressing or bathing.

Most medical doctors will tell you that the causes are multiple and unknown, however the truth is that it is caused by a complex of nutritional deficiencies - which can of course be reversed in many cases.

Note - in the case of Rheumatoid arthritis the cause is most likely to be an infection by a bacteria and in addition to the natural and herbal arthritis treatments listed here, a simple antibiotic treatment such as minocycline prescribed by your doctor will help.

At the same time, bone spurs begin to appear at the same joints - all signs of a calcium deficiency and also an early warning signal of osteoporosis.

Prevention - A Natural Remedy for Arthritis

In addition to arthritis herbal treatments and supplements, a healthy lifestyle is essential as a natural remedy and for the prevention of arthritis. Following a few basic steps is an important part of providing a natural remedy. Here's what you can do right NOW:

o Make sure you have a well balanced diet with plenty of green leafy vegetables, fresh fruit, eggs and dairy products - these contain minerals, vitamins and amino acids essential for health.

o Exercise - particularly 'weight-bearing exercises' - many studies all agree that a small amount of regular weight bearing exercise can assist.

o Reduce the amount of meat, processed foods and carbonated drinks in your diet - these are all high in phosphorous and this causes calcium to be lost.

o Stop smoking and reduce your intake of alcohol, caffeine and sugar - they limit your absorption of nutrients.

o Supplement - you need to supplement with a good source of calcium and other minerals along with vitamins and essential fatty acids.
You will make progress by supplementing with all 90 Essential Nutrients and an additional liquid calcium/magnesium supplement.

o Arthritis herbal treatments and cartilage supplements like glucosamine & chondroitin are required to assist with repair and rebuilding of the cartilage.

Arthritis Herbal Treatments & Supplements

To treat and reverse arthritis you need to follow the prevention guidelines and use arthritis herbal treatments and supplements.

You cannot expect natural cures for arthritis to take a few days. The disease is progressive and degenerative and has been present for quite some time - however the good news is that these treatments work. The process will take from between two weeks to three months (2 to 3 months if you are older and/or suffer any problems with absorption)or don't take these nutrients in adequate amounts.

Arthritis Health Supplements:

o Minerals - supplement with a good source of calcium and minerals. Liquid is always best and only in a form which is organic and highly absorbable (plant derived colloidal minerals); minerals required include copper, magnesium, selenium and zinc and many trace minerals such as manganese and boron - plant derived colloidal minerals are the best source

o Highly Absorbable Multi-Vitamins - Vitamins B6, D and E are required to build strong bones and vitamins C and E are required to build bone matrix and joints.

o Essential fatty acids from fish oil are also important for reducing the inflammation and rebuilding the fluid used to cushion the joints.

o Amino acids are involved in the construction of collagen and cartilage and you can find them in the multi-vitamin supplements we recommend.

o Liquid calcium/magnesium supplements are required for the support of healthy bones and joints - liquids are always more absorbable than tablets.

o For pain relief, Cetyl Myristoleate Cream - a natural cream produced from essential fatty acids has been clinically proven to relieve pain and improve mobility.

Natural Pain Relief and Repair of Damaged Cartilage

o Two other arthritis supplements involved in rebuilding cartilage are glucosamine and chondroitin.

Clinical studies around the world have shown that supplements containing glucosamine and chondroitin provide a natural remedy for arthritis and help the body build and repair damaged or eroded cartilage as well as reduce pain and inflammation. Gelatin is a natural form of collagen and when combined with glucosamine will be much more effective than glucosamine on its own.

o MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) & CM (Cetyl Myristoleate) - these two arthritis herbal treatments have shown in clinical and scientific trials to promote the repair of cartilage, relief of joint pain and related discomfort and significantly improve the mobility people suffering arthritis.

Pain relief and freedom of movement is a fundamental part of the natural remedy and cure for arthritis. Ease of movement is essential to keep the joint healthy and in time, the vitamin, mineral and cartilage arthritis herbal treatments and supplements will actually rebuild and repair the damage. A Win-Win situation!