Saturday, August 10, 2013

Stop Arthritis Pain - Make Wiser Food Choices!

The pain associated with arthritis can definitely be very intense. What's worse is that every time your arthritis flares up, your normal range of motion can be limited to a significant degree. As a result, you cannot do all the things you used to do before arthritis took over a great part of your life.

There are many different forms of arthritis, the most common of which includes rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and gout. Contrary to popular belief, arthritis can be managed quite successfully. All you need to do is enlist the aid of certain medications formulated specifically to deal with the symptoms of the disease and adopt some healthy lifestyle changes. Be free from the ties that bind you with arthritis and live life the way you used to! Here are some surefire strategies that can help you deal with arthritis:

o Keep excess weight off! Those extra pounds just add stress to your already inflamed joints so you better do something about it! Eat a well-balanced diet and make sure that you have enough of the nutrients needed to reduce the pain associated with arthritis. Getting enough vitamin C will help your body repair damaged tissue while substantial amounts of vitamin D will help your body absorb calcium, protect your bones and prevent bone loss. And don't forget to get enough calcium - it will help strengthen your bones.

o Give those joints some work out! To reduce arthritis flare ups, you need to adopt a moderate exercise routine. This may help you increase your flexibility and stability and may also aid in strengthening your joints. However, people with rheumatoid arthritis should refrain from exercising during flare-ups to prevent further damage. A word of caution - you should only exercise to the point where you feel mild discomfort. Do not over-exercise!

o Sleep it off! You should be getting enough sleep - it would be great if you can put in 8 to 10 hours of sleep every night.

What you put in your mouth has a great deal to do with your arthritis. Eat the wrong kinds of foods and you are sure to suffer from the consequences of your actions. Eat the right kinds of foods and you'll be spared from the pain. There's just no getting around it - your diet can determine your fate! To help you in dealing with your problem, here is a list of some of the foods that can be your ally in your fight against arthritis.

Bananas - These golden fruits enjoy the status of being one of nature's "perfect foods". Bananas are better known for being one of the richest sources of potassium but do you know that they are excellent arthritis fighters as well? Bananas contain high amounts of vitamin B6, folate and vitamin C - some of the nutrients needed to keep your joints and bones healthy. They are also a great source of soluble fiber so they can play an important part in your weight loss efforts as well!

Green Pepper - Vitamin C can be of great help in controlling the symptoms of arthritis but if you are not very fond of eating citrus fruits, you can reach out for a green pepper instead. A single green pepper can provide you with 176% of your daily needs for vitamin C while the red and yellow varieties can provide you with more than twice that amount! And not only that - sweet peppers are also known as excellent sources of vitamin B6 and folate.

Salmon - Salmon is one of the richest sources of omega-3 fatty acids, also known as the "healthy fats". It also contains calcium, vitamin D and folate - some of the nutrients that help in the fight against arthritis.

Shrimp - The mighty shrimp can be one of your best bets in conquering arthritis pains. You can get about 30% of your recommended daily amount for vitamin D in just three ounces of cooked shrimps. That's much more than what you can get in a cup of milk! Shrimps also contain essential omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C, iron and vitamin B12.

If you are serious in your desire to control your arthritis, be sure to include these wonder foods in your diet. They can sure help you a lot!

Pain Relief - How to Tell If You Have Fibromyalgia? Nurse's Guide

Years ago, after much suffering, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Even though I was a nurse, I suffered along with everyone else I knew who'd been diagnosed with it and sought various natural methods of pain relief. But through a sheer stroke of luck I cured myself! I no longer suffer from fibromyalgia and many years have passed now.

Fibromyalgia, also called fibromyositis and fibrositis, is a condition which causes long-term pain throughout the body and in the tender points (not trigger points) in joints, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues. Sufferers also can have fatigue, morning stiffness, sleep problems, headaches, numbness in the hands and feet, depression, and anxiety, which may or may not be due to all the symptoms they have.

Fibromyalgia can also coexist with other conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.

Although the cause of this disorder is unknown there are all sorts of expert guesses as to the cause including physical or emotional trauma that may play a part in the development and abnormal pain transmission responses.

It's been theorized that sleep disturbances, which are common in fibromyalgia patients, may actually cause the condition or that maybe the cause is waking patients up. In my case I would wake up for two hours between 2 A.M. and 4 A.M. every night and be wide awake.

This disturbance wreaked havoc with my daily activities because I don't think my endorphins were getting released properly. The endorphin release to repair the body and initiate healing happens around 2 A.M.

Another one of the theories is that the disorder may occur with changes in skeletal muscle metabolism, which may be caused by a diminished blood flow causing chronic fatigue and weakness similar to chronic fatigue syndrome.

Others experts have guessed that it might be a virus that has initiated fibromyalgia or even that it's inherited. But I don't believe any of that.

Although women and men have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia it's more common among women especially in the 20 through 50 years old age group.

Fibromyalgia pain can sometimes be confused with arthritic pain. But it doesn't have the deformity of joints as seen in arthritis.

The pain can be described best as deep-aching pain, like mine was, or radiating, burning or shooting pain and can be severe at times. The pain can be present during the night when one wakes up or throughout the day to various degrees. This pain can drive people to find all sorts of methods, treatments and therapies to try to get pain relief usually with no pain relief.

Pain can get better or worse throughout the day. As well as mild generalized pain through the body I noticed severe pain in specific areas such as my quadriceps muscle that I used while driving making long distance driving impossible. My upper arm would ache so bad that I thought I would keel over.

People complain of back pain, lower back pain, chest pain, muscle pain, joint pain etc. And usually try pain medications and various other pain pills which don't work.

Your doctor can diagnose fibromyalgia by pressing on your tender points.

The doctor will want to know how long you've been enduring the widespread pain and/or pain and tenderness in 11or more of the 18 tender points. If it's been more than three months it would be considered chronic and would help make the diagnosis. The tender points are located in fibrous tissue or muscles of the neck, shoulder, rib cage, chest, thighs, knees, lower back, arms and buttocks.

When the doctor presses on these points they may or may not hurt. So it's fairly easy to diagnose except the doctor has to determine if there are any other disease present that is causing your pain. So he/she may do some other tests to rule out infections, thyroid problems, rheumatoid arthritis, sleep disorders, cancer and other conditions.

Besides sleeping problems, muscle aches or joint aches or general body aching and fatigue, there can be facial muscle pain or aching. And a reduction in exercise is common. I found it difficult to walk more than 20 minutes at a time without severe aching and fatigue.

Fibromyalgia has been a common problem for many years. In some pain sufferers the symptoms may get better then return out of the blue.

I suffered with fibromyalgia along with arthritis and many other ailments and sought pain relief until I changed my diet due to breast cancer, which I cured naturally. Changing my diet was the key to getting rid of fibromyalgia and many years later I still no longer suffer from it.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms

Since arthritis is a general medical terminology covering more than hundred different diseases of the joint, the word 'rheumatism' was probably used in the past when referring it to a non-specific joint disease.

Be that as it may, one thing is for sure, and that is that, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease where the body's own immune system attacks itself. Though medical knowledge till now is rather limited about the abnormal immune system response, it has at least been established that cells of the immune system travel freely all over the body through the bloodstream resulting a non-localized disease condition. The manifestation thus starts with one joint first, then spreading to other joints. Instances of sudden inflammation and pain in different joints simultaneously are not uncommon though.

What Are The Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms

As another significant characteristic of autoimmune disease, rheumatoid arthritis tend to be associated with systemic symptoms, i.e. symptoms appearing throughout the body or the system. These include mild fever, loss of appetite, fatigue and malaise. Medically speaking, these are manifestations of cell discontent when they are (wrongly?) activated.

Some of the usual symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are given below.

o Swollen, painful, tender and stiff joints are usually associated with rheumatoid arthritis. They are more or less symmetrically affected, i.e. the same joints on both sides and all over the body like the hands, elbows, knees, hands and the wrists.

o Joint stiffness in the morning or after long periods of lethargy. The stiffness may last about an hour or may take several hours to go.

o Bumps or nodules appearing over the pressure points in the body like the knuckles, elbows, spine and lower leg bones. They may range in size from a pea to a mothball and develop in around one-third of people having rheumatoid arthritis.

o Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms usually affect both sides of the body at the same time. Sometimes, three sets of joints are affected at a time.

o Low fever, fatigue, loss of appetite and malaise are the most common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

How to differentiate between the symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis and Osteoarthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Since rheumatoid arthritis is caused by the whole-body immune reaction to a problem that is localized, it can affect any joint/joints irrespective of the fact that they are weight-bearing or not. Also, it usually affects the smaller joints like the hands, balls of the feet, wrists or elbows. But there are quite a few exceptions to this.

o Rheumatoid arthritis usually affects the same type of joints on both sides of the body as is it is caused by the chemicals that are flowing through the bloodstream.

o People suffering from rheumatoid arthritis symptoms may feel stiffness all through the day on account of the swelling of the joints.

o Rheumatoid arthritis patients may feel fatigue, and loss of appetite. There might be other problems all over the body as well.

Arthritis and Colloidal Gold

Arthritis is characterized by joint's stiffness and swelling combined with joint inflammation. Various forms of arthritis include osteoarthritis, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, reactive arthritis, temporomandibular joint arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and Ankylosing spondolysis. Almost all forms of arthritis are chronic in nature. Though sings and symptoms produced by some forms of arthritis are mild in nature, arthritis could lead to gradual damage of joints. One may experience uncommon conditions such as redness, warmth and swollen joints as effects of certain forms of arthritis.

Stiffness of joints, swelling of joints and persistent joint pain are main common symptoms of the arthritis. Some people may experience difficulty in joint movements, tenderness and pain and redness and warmth surrounding joints.

Different forms and varying symptoms makes it difficult to treat or cure the arthritis. Certain pain relieving medications and steroid injections are used commonly for treatment of arthritis. Arthritis treatment is aimed and reducing pain and inflammation of the joints. Usually physicians prescribe combination of NSAIDs and DMARDs. Generally, arthritis condition subsides with medication. However, certain severe cares may require surgeries such as joint replacements.

Though the traditional medications used for arthritis treatment have produced positive results, it may not be possible for every person to tolerate with such medications as these medications can produce certain adverse side effects. To overcome this possibility researches are going on for natural remedies and alternative therapies.

Weak body immune system, lack of nutritious diet (minerals, vitamins etc) is considered as the main factor which can contribute towards occurrence of health abnormalities. To avoid such health disorders we must ensure adequate quantity of vitamins and minerals in our daily diet. Liquid supplements such as colloidal gold have the properties to enhance the body immune system and regulating hormonal balances. Most importantly, colloidal gold being obtained from pure natural element (gold) does not produce any side effects. Though gold was known since ancient times, it was considered only as precious metal. The medicinal properties of the gold came to light only during last century. Researches have shown that colloidal gold has the property to kill bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms that could develop diseases. Colloidal gold and other dietary supplements are not medications but surely can be used as complementary therapy for preventing or treating various diseases including arthritis.

Arthritis Treatment: How to Treat Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis (PA)is one of the most common forms of inflammatory arthritis. Like its not so distant cousin, rheumatoid arthritis, PA is a systemic autoimmune driven form of arthritis. It is most common in people who have an extensive amount of psoriasis. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, between 10 per cent and 30 per cent of people with psoriasis will develop PA. Interestingly, patients may develop the arthritis before they have clinical psoriasis.

Most patients with psoriatic arthritis, if joint symptoms are minimal, usually see a dermatologist before realizing they have PA. Symptoms include swelling, heat, redness, and pain involving not only the joints but the entheses (tendon attachments into the bone) as well. In addition, tendon sheaths in the fingers and toes can swell, causing what is termed a "sausage" digit. Stiffness in the morning is usually present.

Patients with PA can have variants of the disease. Some patients have more involvement of the spine than others. PA is typically non-symmetric as opposed to rheumatoid arthritis which tends to be symmetric in presentation. It is this asymmetry that can be useful for suspecting the diagnosis.

In addition to the typical rash of psoriasis, patients may have nail pitting or lifting up of the finger or toenail.

Like other autoimmune forms of arthritis, there is a systemic component to this disease. In particular, patients with PA can develop eye inflammation.

Imaging procedures such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can help confirm the diagnosis. Specific changes at the entheses are characteristic of PA.

Treatment starts with making the diagnosis. Diseases that can be confused with PA are rheumatoid arthritis, gout (the serum uric acid can be elevated in patients with PA), fibromyalgia, pseudogout, ankylosing spondylitis, sarcoidosis, Lyme disease, and Reiter's disease.

The aims of proper therapy are to slow down the progress of the disease and restore function. A combination of an anti-inflammatory drug and a disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD) is the usual starting point of treatment. While methotrexate is the DMARD of choice for rheumatoid arthritis, it may not work quite as well in PA. Options include sulfasalazine (Azulfidine), leflunomide (Arava), and hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil).

In patients who do not respond within eight to twelve weeks, biologic therapy using a TNF inhibitor is the next logical step. Among the options here are etanercept (Enbrel), infliximab (Remicade), adalimumab (Humira), and golimumab (Simponi).

Patients with a single inflamed joint or tendon may respond to steroid injection.

Knee Arthritis Treatment

What you need to know about arthritis of the knee.

The most common form of arthritis in the knee:

The most active type of arthritis in the knee is osteoarthritis. This is where the disease causes a gradual deterioration of the cartilage in the joint, resulting in swelling, sometimes excruciating pain and loss of mobility.

The most likely affected:

Most at risk are women over 50 who are overweight. A hereditary link also seems to be a factor, plus men or women who have experienced fracture to the bone near the joint, a ligament injury or a meniscus tear.

Symptoms associated with knee arthritis:

There is no typical progression of pain as this disease worsens. Weather can play a key factor so cold symptoms can be particularly difficultly in winter months, while summer days can be remarkably easy on the knees but that doesn't mean the arthritis is in remission.

Time is the key factor in measuring its progress along with constant monitoring through x-rays and blood tests.

Most reported symptoms:

  • Bow legs or knock-knees.

  • Discomfort when active.

  • Restricted movement.

  • Joint inflammation.

  • A sensation which feels like the joint might "pop out".

There are three ways to treat knee arthritis, you can treat the symptoms, have surgery or you can treat the cause - which ideally will fix if not put the disease in to remission.

Treatments for the symptoms of arthritis in the knee:

First things first and that's to go and get a physical examination and an x-ray. A second evaluation is also not a bad idea also as early stages of osteoarthritis can often go undiagnosed.

Each case should be valued on its own merit, so do not interpret this article as a definitive guide for treating arthritis in this region, it merely serves to highlight the practices that patients and practitioners generally follow today.


You won't find this endorsed on but acupuncture has to be one of the fastest and more effective methods for acute and serious cases of osteoarthritis, yet it can still be practiced on less damaged joints.

Prof Dr Anton Jayasuriya's methods while often frowned upon in the West, is an art of acupuncture which dates back centuries and is reported to provide instant and permanent relief.

It can reduce the swelling, relieve a patient from pain by up to 80% and provide almost sudden mobility.

Four needles are inserted in to specific stress points - not just points of acupuncture - to a certain depth, then heated till they glow piping red, then gently and swiftly removed one by one.

This practice is repeated 2 to 3 times a day until the swelling has all but disappeared and the pain has relinquished.

Once the course of treatment is complete it is stated to be permanent.

Soothing oils and warming pads are then used by the patient at home to complete the treatment.

Acupuncture does not treat the deterioration of the joint directly, but rather the pain inflammation and lack of movement - the symptoms.

Anti-Inflamatory Prescription Drugs

These have provided the earliest breakthrough in the West for an initial pain release but the effects these have on your body now that they've been on the market for more than two decades, are coming to light.

Prolonged usage of theses NSAID's as they're known have shown to have a debilitating effect on the liver, kidneys and heart, so before deciding to take a quick fix for the inflammation and pain, make sure you lay out what initial health problems you may have with your doctor so the prescription won't conflict with your current medication.

Physical Therapy & Relaxation

Physical therapy and controlled periods of relaxation both help strengthen the muscle around the joint, lightening its burden and reducing the stress.

Meditation, sleep and hypnotherapy are all forms of relaxation that can reduce the amount of pain you're experiencing in your knee and exercise will prevent atrophy of the leg muscles.

Arthritis Surgery

If the disease has simply become unbearable in pain and has left you almost immobile, then surgery today is the last resort.

a) Knee Osteotomy

This is effectively for only young patients who have caught the disease early on and have had a total knee replacement.

b) An Unicompartmental Knee Replacement

Or simply known as a partial knee replacement, this again is for a small surgical replacement of the knee when the disease is limited and this is more common among middle to elderly aged patients.

c) Total Knee Replacement

Now that the joint can no longer function the will be the last resort where a plastic and metal implant is fitted in to the knee.

Treatments to Influence Remission of Arthritis in the Knee

a) Biologically Injected Medications

Cortisone injections which ooze the pain and reduce the swelling are much safer and more beneficial than NSAID's, and while they won't influence remission, you can safely take additional joint supplements without any side-effects that can help treat this disease.

b) Joint Supplements and Non-Prescription Treatments

Glucosamine is still lacking in research data, but it is showing signs that it may help the remission process of arthritis in the knee.

Additional non-prescription natural treatments include active compounds found in Capsaicun, Tonkat Ali, Omega 3 Acids and Reishi.

These ingredients not only treat inflammation effectively, they also naturally help block the pain signals being sent from the joint to the brain.

More importantly they assist in rebuilding the cartilage.

Now dry and deteriorated from this disease, these are just some of the ingredients when taken regularly in high concentrations that can help the cartilage function better.

Cod liver oil tablets have for years been used to free up stiff joints for mild arthritis of the knees, but now research over the last decade has given birth to new supplements that not just treat the symptoms but fight it.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Rheumatoid Arthritis - Signs and Symptoms

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic and systematic disorder that principally affects the joints leading to an inflammatory synovistis. This condition can lead to the destruction of the articular cartilage and ankylosis of the joints. Apart from the joints, this disorder can also affect body tissues and organs.

This condition can also produce diffuse inflammation in the lungs, the pericardium, the pleura and the sclera. Although the exact causes of this disease are yet to be identified, autoimmunity is said to be a major contributor to the progression of the disease. No age is immune to this disease although the onset is often between the ages of 40 and 50.

Signs of rheumatoid arthritis include inflammation and swelling of the affected joints. The joints will also feel warm, painful and stiff especially in the morning or after a prolonged period of inactivity. Increased stiffness particularly early in the morning is a prominent feature of the inflammatory disease and may last for more than an hour. Gentle movements normally help to relieve the symptoms in the early stages of the disease. This disorder normally affects the joints in a fairly symmetrical fashion.

Diagnosis of this condition is chiefly on signs and symptoms but also blood tests and x-rays can be used. Other medical imaging techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasound can also be used during diagnosis. Diagnosis and management of this disease is done by a rheumatologist; an expert in the diseases of joints and connective tissues. Rheumatoid arthritis is treated using anti-rheumatic medication. Cortisone therapy can also help to relieve the symptoms but may not effective for long term use.

Swollen Joints - Most Outstanding Symptoms of Psoriatic Arthritis

Causing substantial amounts of pain to psoriatic arthritis sufferers, swelling in the joints is one of the most obvious symptoms related to this condition. Besides being painful, this swelling also leads to patchy skin. Since psoriatic arthritis is related to psoriasis and therefore can be responsible for other health problems throughout the body, including issues in the scalp, knees, and elbows and the appearance of lesions on the fingers and toenails. Swollen fingers and swollen toes are also commonly seen in psoriatic arthritis sufferers.

Causes Not Fully Understood

Although researchers have come to believe that contracting psoriatic arthritis seems to be linked to a person's living environment and their genes, the specific causes of psoriatic arthritis are still not fully understood by doctors. It is important for an individual who begins to notice symptoms commonly associated with psoriatic arthritis to visit their doctor and find out whether or not their symptoms are indeed related to this disease.

Diagnosing psoriatic arthritis can be done by a doctor after they have conducted a physical examination that could involve taking x-rays and doing blood tests. Doing these tests will allow the doctor conducting them to determine with more certainty whether or not they are being caused by psoriatic arthritis or some other disorder. It is always better to visit your doctor as soon as possible so that you can begin to treat your symptoms properly.

The nails, joints, and skin are usually affected in a negative way by psoriatic arthritis. Even though this type of arthritis will not cause swelling in every joint of the body, you can expect that a large number of joints will become red, get hot, and ache. This can also occur in the feet, knees, and ankles.

Psoriatic arthritis can cause a finger or toe to swell up so much that is begins to look like a little sausage. This, though, is a less obvious symptom than stiffening in the joints. This stiffening is most commonly experienced with more severity in the mornings. Other outstanding symptoms include a stiff neck, stiff buttocks, stiff lower neck, and inflamed spine.

If a doctor does diagnose you with psoriatic arthritis, you will have several different treatment options available to you. Some are simple self-help treatments while others involve taking medication that has been specially designed to treat psoriatic arthritis.

Remember that there are other negative symptoms that psoriatic arthritis can cause apart from swelling of the joint; acne can form, nails can change, tendonitis can occur, and the lungs, eyes, and aorta can swell.

Managing Arthritis Pain - Calcium and Vitamins

Arthritis is a complex disorder that comprises more than 100 distinct conditions and can affect people at any stage of life. Two of the most common forms are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. These two forms have very different causes, risk factors, and effects on the body. The most common symptom in both is persistent joint pain. The joint pain of arthritis can appear as hip pain, knee pain, hand pain, or wrist pain, as well as joint pain in other areas of the body.

For most people arthritis pain and inflammation cannot be avoided as the body ages. Joints naturally degenerate over time. Fortunately, arthritis can be managed through a combination of vitamins, medication, exercise, rest, weight-management, nutrition, and, in some cases, surgery. Arthritis is a chronic disease that will be with you for a long time and possibly for the rest of your life. Your treatments will probably change over time and medication may be adjusted. Having a positive mental outlook and the support of family and friends will help you live with arthritis and be able to continue to perform your daily activities.

Before going any further, it is important that you remember to discuss any and all vitamins and supplements with your doctor before adding anything to your diet. Though it is not common, some vitamins and supplements can have adverse reactions with medications you may already be taking. Do not stop taking any prescribed medications without first talking to your doctor.

As an alternative to getting your RDA through diet, many people now take vitamin supplements. The following list of vitamins are known to be especially beneficial to arthritis sufferers:

Vitamin B5 - When grouped together B vitamins work at their peak, B5 specifically being good for reducing swelling.

Vitamin B3 - This vitamin reduces tissue swelling and dilates small arteries, improved grip strength and joint mobility and increasing blood flow. Note that Vitamin B3 is NOT advised for persons with high blood pressure, gout or sliver disorders.

Vitamin B6 - Another B that reduces tissue swelling. B-6 shrinks the synovial membranes that line the weight-bearing surfaces of the joints. It thus helps to control pain and to restore mobility in the elbows, shoulders, knees and other joints.

Vitamin B12 - This vitamin aids in multiple functions. It helps with cell formation, digestion, myelin production, nerve protection.

Vitamin C - This vitamin acts as an anti-inflammatory, relieving pain, and rids the body of free radicals. In addition to reducing inflammation, vitamin C also helps form collagen, the protein "glue" that holds cells together. Collagen is especially important in connective tissue to insure healthy ligaments, cartilage, tendons and the joints themselves.

Vitamin E - This is a strong antioxidant that protects joints from free radicals while increases joint flexibility.

Vitamin K - This vitamin assists with mineral deposit into the bone matrix.

Selenium and Zinc- The antioxidant nutrients such as selenium and zinc might also be effective because of their ability to stop free radical damage to joint linings that in turn causes the accumulation of fluids, swelling and associated pain.

Chondroitin - the key structural component in cartilage and plays an important role in the maintenance of joint cartilage.

These guidelines will help you evaluate supplements to relieve arthritis symptoms. If used under the guidance of your physician, you may find a dietary supplement to compliment your current arthritis therapy regimen. You just need the right information to help you separate potentially useful supplements from the rest.

Copyright 2006

What Other Diseases Masquerade as Rheumatoid Arthritis? Part 1 - The Non-Infectious Group

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis and affects more than 2 million Americans. The diagnosis is not easy to make in many instances. There are more than 100 different kinds of arthritis. Most of them involve inflammation. When a patient goes to a rheumatologist to get a diagnosis, there is a process of elimination in order to arrive at the proper diagnosis. This process of elimination is called "differential diagnosis."

Differential diagnosis can be a difficult undertaking because so many forms of arthritis, particularly inflammatory forms of arthritis look alike. Generally it is helpful to divide the differential diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis into two groups. The first group are the non-infectious diseases to consider and the second group are the infection-related conditions.

Since the discussion is rather long I have chosen to divide the article into two parts.

The following is a partial list of forms of inflammatory arthritis that can be seen and must be considered when evaluating a patient with inflammatory symptoms of arthritis and are not infection related.

RA is an autoimmune chronic inflammatory disease, primarily involving the peripheral joints (hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, hips, knees, ankles, and feet). It can also affect non joint structures such as the lung, eye, skin, and cardiovascular system.

RA may start slowly with nonspecific symptoms, including fatigue, malaise (feeling "blah"), appetite loss, low-grade fever, weight loss, and vague joint pains, or it may have an explosive onset with inflammation involving multiple joints. The joint symptoms usually occur bilaterally- both sides of the body equally involved- and symmetric. Erosions- damage to the joint- can be seen with x-ray. In about 80% of cases, elevated levels of rheumatoid factor (RF) or anti-cyclic citrullinated antibodies (anti-CCP) are present in the blood. There appears to be a correlation between the presence of anti-CCP antibodies and erosions.

Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) occurs in children under the age of 16. Three forms of JRA exist, including oligoarticular (1-4 joints), polyarticular (more than 4 joints), and systemic-onset or Still's disease. The latter condition is associated with systemic symptoms -- including fever and rash in addition to joint disease.

Polyarticular JRA has similar characteristics to adult RA. It causes about 30% of cases of JRA. Most children with polyarticular JRA are negative for RF and their prognosis is usually good.

Approximately 20% of polyarticular JRA patients have elevated RF, and these patients are at risk for chronic, progressive joint damage.

Eye involvement in the form of inflammation- called uveitis- is a common finding in oligoarticular JRA, especially in patients who are positive for anti-nuclear antibody (ANA), a blood test that is often used to screen for autoimmune disease. Uveitis may not cause symptoms so careful screening should be performed in these patients.

SLE is an inflammatory, chronic, autoimmune disorder that can involve the skin, joints, kidneys, central nervous system, and blood vessel walls. Patients may present with 1 or more of the following: butterfly-shaped rash on the face, affecting the cheeks; rash on other parts of the body; sensitivity to sunlight; mouth sores; joint inflammation; fluid around the lungs, heart, or other organs; kidney abnormalities; low white blood cell count, low red blood cell count, or low platelet count; nerve or brain inflammation; positive results of a blood test for ANA; positive results of a blood test for antibodies to double-stranded DNA or other antibodies.

Patients with lupus can have significant inflammatory arthritis. As a result, lupus can be difficult to distinguish from RA, especially if other features of lupus are not present. Clues that favor a diagnosis of RA over lupus in a patient presenting with arthritis affecting multiple joints include lack of lupus features, erosions (joint damage) seen on x-rays, and elevations of RF and anti-CCP antibodies.

Polymyositis (PM) and dermatomyositis (DM) are types of inflammatory muscle disease. These conditions typically present with bilateral (both sides involved) large muscle weakness. In the case of DM, rash is present. Diagnosis consists of finding the following: elevation of muscle enzyme levels in the blood [the two enzymes that are measured are creatine kinase (CPK) and aldolase], signs and symptoms, electromyograph (EMG)- an electrical test- alteration, and a positive muscle biopsy.

In addition, in many cases abnormal antibodies specific for inflammatory muscle disease can be elevated.

In both PM and DM, inflammatory arthritis can be present and can look like RA. Both inflammatory muscle disease and RA can affect the lungs. In RA, muscle function will usually be normal. Also, in PM and DM, erosive joint disease is unlikely. RF and anti-CCP antibodies are typically elevated in RA but not PM or DM.

SAs -- psoriatic arthritis, reactive arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and enteropathic arthritis -- are a category of diseases that cause systemic inflammation, and preferentially attack parts of the spine and other joints where tendons attach to bones. They also can cause pain and stiffness in the neck, upper and lower back, tendonitis, bursitis, heel pain, and fatigue. They are termed "seronegative" types of arthritis. The term 'seronegative' means that testing for rheumatoid factor is negative. Symptoms of adult SAs include:

o Back and/or joint pain;

o Morning stiffness;

o Tenderness near bones;

o Sores on the skin;

o Inflammation of the joints on both sides of the body;

o Skin or mouth ulcers;

o Rash on the bottom of the feet; and

o Eye inflammation.

Occasionally, arthritis similar to that seen in RA can be present. Careful history and physical examination can often distinguish between these conditions, especially if an obvious disease that is promoting inflammation is present (psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease, etc.). In addition, RA rarely affects the DIP joints- the last row of finger joints. If these joints are involved with inflammatory arthritis, the diagnosis of an SA is possible. (Note of caution: a condition known as inflammatory erosive nodal osteoarthritis can also affect the DIP joints). RF and anti-CCP antibodies are negative in SAs, although, rarely, in cases of psoriatic arthritis there may be elevations of RF and anti-CCP antibodies.

Gout is caused by deposits of monosodium urate (uric acid) crystals into a joint. Gouty arthritis is acute in onset, very painful, with signs of significant inflammation on exam (red, warm, swollen joints). Gout can affect almost any joint in the body, but typically affects cooler areas including the toes, feet, ankles, knees, and hands. Diagnosis is made by drawing fluid from an inflamed joint and analyzing the fluid. Demonstrating monosodium urate crystals in the joint fluid is diagnostic, although finding elevated serum levels of uric acid can also be helpful.

In most cases, gout is an acute single joint disease that is easy to distinguish from RA. However, in some cases, chronic erosive joint inflammation where multiple joints are involved can develop. And, in cases where tophi (deposits of uric acid) are present, it can be difficult to distinguish from erosive RA. However, crystal analysis of joints or tophi and blood tests should be helpful in distinguishing gout from RA.

Calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease (CPPD), also known as pseudogout, is a disease is caused by deposits of calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate crystals in a joint. The presence of these crystals in the joints leads to significant inflammation. Establishing the diagnosis includes using:

o Detailed medical history;

o Withdrawing fluid from a joint to check for crystals;

o Joint x-rays to show crystals deposition in the cartilage (chondrocalcinosis); and

o Blood tests to rule out other diseases (e.g., RA or osteoarthritis).

In most cases, CPPD arthritis presents with single joint inflammation. In some cases, CPPD disease can present with chronic symmetric multiple joint erosive arthritis similar to RA. RA and CPPD disease can usually be told apart by joint aspiration demonstrating calcium pyrophosphate crystals, and by blood tests, including RF and anti-CCP antibodies, which are usually negative in CCPD arthritis. A complicating feature is that RA and CPPD can coexist!

Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory joint disorder. The majority of patients with this disease have lung disease, with eye and skin disease being the next most frequent signs of disease. Although the diagnosis of sarcoidosis can be made on clinical and x-ray presentation alone, sometimes the use of tissue biopsy with the demonstration of "noncaseating granulomas" is necessary for diagnosis.

Arthritis is present in 15% of patients with sarcoidosis, and in rare cases can be the only sign of disease. In acute sarcoid arthritis, joint disease is usually of rapid onset. It is symmetric involving the ankles, although knees, wrists, and hands can be involved. In most cases of acute disease, lung and skin disease are also present. Chronic sarcoid arthritis can be difficult to distinguish from RA. Although RA-specific blood tests, such as RF and anti-CCP antibodies, can be helpful in distinguishing RA from sarcoidosis, in some cases a biopsy of joint tissue may be required for diagnosis.

Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR) is a disease that leads to inflammation of tendons, muscles, ligaments, and tissues around the joints. It presents with large muscle pain, aching, morning stiffness, fatigue, and in some cases, fever. It can be associated with temporal arteritis (TA), also known as giant-cell arteritis, which is a related but more serious condition in which inflammation of large blood vessels can lead to blindness and aneurysms. Also, a peculiar syndrome where use of the arms and legs leads to cramping because of insufficient blood flow (limb claudication) can occur. PMR is diagnosed when the clinical picture is present along with elevated markers of inflammation (ESR and/or CRP). If temporal arteritis is suspected (headache, vision changes, limb claudication), biopsy of a temporal artery may be necessary to demonstrate inflammation of blood vessels.

PMR and TA can present with symmetric inflammatory arthritis similar to RA. These diseases can usually be distinguished by blood testing. In addition, headaches, vision changes, and large muscle pain are uncommon in RA, and if these are present, PMR and/or TA should be considered.

In part 2 of this article, I will discuss infectious diseases that need to be considered in the differential diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. When RA is suspected, it is critical to consult with an expert rheumatologist.

7 Major Differences Between Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Arthritis is a very painful condition that affects millions and millions of Americans every year. There are many different types of arthritis including psoriatic arthritis, gout, septic arthritis, scleroderma, osteoarthritis, gonococcal arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Arthritis of all types is a condition that affects the body's joints. A joint is defined as the location where two bones in the body come together. People suffering from arthritis experience joint inflammation that may occur in one bodily joint or many joints.

Two types of arthritis that are commonly discussed include osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. You may be wondering what some of the major differences are between these two conditions. Here are seven major differences between osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

  1. Osteoarthritis is more common than Rheumatoid Arthritis. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), OA affects around 27 million American adults 25 years and older. The Arthritis Foundation reports that RA affects about 1.5 million people in the United States.

  2. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition caused by the wearing of bodily joints over time. RA is an autoimmune disease that occurs when a person's immune system attacks the body's joints.

  3. Typically people experience OA when they get older. RA can strike a person at any point in life. When it occurs in children, it is sometimes called juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

  4. RA can occur quite quickly whereas OA tends to have a more gradual progression over the course of many years.

  5. RA tends to strike in a more symmetrical manner where a person might experience inflammation and pain in both hands or both feet. In contrast, OA can easily affect only one joint in the body.

  6. Both types of arthritis cause a sense of stiffness in the morning. While the morning stiffness may lessen as the day goes on for those with OA, people with RA are more likely to experience this stiffness for a longer period of time during and throughout the day.

  7. Rheumatoid arthritis is often accompanied with other symptoms which include overall tiredness and malaise, whereas the discomfort associated with osteoarthritis is specific to the joint that is affected.

Arthritis of any type is painful and challenging. Treatment most typically aims to help reduce discomfort, aid physical functioning and if possible, to prevent additional damage to bodily joints.

A thorough physical examination by a trained health care professional like a board certified orthopedic physician is advisable if you think you might be suffering from any type of arthritis including osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.

Permanent Solution To Cure Arthritis

Arthritis is a disorder of the joints. The word "arthritis" is a Greek Words "Arthon" which means joint and "Itis", which means inflammation.

That goes to mean that arthritis is the inflammation of joints which a lot of people will experience in their life time. There are hundred types of joint disorder and they are all related. This means everyone will experience joint pain at some time of their life but you may not know when it will be your turn.

Arthritis is usually characterized by pain, swelling and stiffness which can lead to deformity. Sometimes it can also be called rheumatism which is a term use commonly to describe aches and pains in muscles and joints.

A joint is where two bones meet. There are immobile and mobile joints. Immobile joints are referred to as inflexible and semi-inflexible joint of the body. These joints does not move much as they have no cavity, e.g. head and spinal cord.

Mobile joints are the flexible joints of the body; for example the shoulder, knee, waist, toe, finger, etc. They all have a cavity.

There are different type of Arthritis:

1. Osteoarthritis is the most common type that almost everyone will experience at some point of their lives. This is because it is a degeneration or wearing out of joint due to old age, over-exertion or injury. This type of arthritis affects the mobile joints of the body and can be due to wear and tear, heredity or excessive stress on dislocated joint, not properly healed injured joint and overweight that put extra weight on those hips and knees.

Those who stand for longer hours every day are prone to pain on the knees. And those whose occupation requires lifting heavy objects are prone to waist pain which is usually called lumbago.

2. Rheumatoid Arthritis
This is an inflammation of the same joints on the two sides of the body e.g. say you experience a pain in the right knee or shoulder on one side, it will still be showing up at the other side. The pain or symptoms tend to come and go. This is more common between the age of 25 and 55. Infants can also experience this type of arthritis.

This type is usually caused by viruses that live in the body for a long time undetected and never treated. It can be cause by immune-deficiency syndrome, a situation where the anti-bodies that was suppose to fight against foreign agents begin to attack the tissues of the joint which cause inflammation and pain.

Early Signs Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Pain and stiffness in one or two joints like the hands and feet and the pain come and go. It is usually worst in the morning and wears off during the day. As this progress, the pain and inflammation becomes more painful and starts to spread to other parts of the body such as the elbows, knees, hips, waist, ankles, shoulders and neck. It can make the person weak, tired, feverish and pale plus the eyes become dry due to a reduction in tears. The mouth also becomes dry due to reduction of salivary fluid and lack of appetite which can be followed by weight loss.

How To Eradicate Arthritis Pain

To treat arthritis and eradicate the pain, the aims are:
1. To strengthen the bones
2. Repair damaged joint tissues e.g. the cartilage
3. Strengthen the immune system against bacteria and viruses
4. Eradicate the pain symptoms

To achieve these aims, diet is very important. Processed or refined food and drinks like sugar, cold foods, biscuits and ice-cream or coffee must be avoided. Smoking and alcohol of all kinds must be avoided.

Take plenty of water upon rising up daily and use fruits for breakfast. Fruits and certain vegetables can help mops off uric acids deposited from the joints and help in the healing process.

Get the right bone supplements that can repair damaged cartilage (the damaging of the cartilage is what results in deformity or folding of body due to arthritis) and strengthen the immune system against bacteria and viruses.

Food Allergy or Intolerances - Symptoms in Adults and Children

The symptoms, frequency and severity of food allergies differ from person to person. A mildly allergy can show itself as a skin condition such as eczema, respiratory conditions such as hay fever, a slightly runny nose or sneezing, but there is a very wide range of symptoms that can be caused by allergies.

Common symptoms of food or other allergies or intolerances in children include:

· sniffling and a postnasal drip, inflammation of the nasal passages,

· dark circles under they eyes (what is often called the allergic shiner),

· puffiness under the eyes,

· restlessness,

· fatigue,

· poor sleep,

· headaches,

· behavioral issues, such as:

o irritability,

o hyperactivity,

o poor concentration, and

· pickiness with food.

However the range of symptoms that can accompany a food allergies or intolerances is much broader than the symptoms in the list of common symptoms in children above. They symptoms can affect every system of the body.

Gastrointestinal system

· bloating and flatulence

· coeliac disease

· constipation and or diarrhea

· Crohn' disease and ulcerative colitis

· gall bladder pain

· gastric ulcers

· gastrointestinal bleeding

· heartburn

· indigestion

· infantile colic and colitis

· mouth ulcers

· mucous in stools

· nausea and vomiting

· pains or cramp

· spastic colon

Skin, eyes and ears

· acne

· conjunctivitis

· dark circles under the eyes

· dermatitis

· ear infections

· eczema

· eye pain

· hearing loss

· hives

· itching and skin rashes

· Meniere's disease

· noises in the ears

· periods of blurred vision

· psoriasis

· sensitivity to light

· skin reddening

· tearing

· temporary refractive changes

Respiratory system

· asthma

· chronic rhinitis

· coughing

· frequent colds

· hay fever

· mouth breathing

· nosebleeds

· postnasal drip

· sinusitis

· stuffy nose

· wheezing

Cardiovascular system

· angina

· high blood pressure

· irregular heart beat

· low blood pressure

· rapid pulse

Urinary system

· bed wetting

· frequent night urination

· painful or difficult urination

· some kidney diseases

Musculoskeletal system

· arthritis

· joint pain

· muscle aches and pains

· muscle cramps

· muscle spasms

· muscle weakness

Cerebral conditions

· anger

· confusion

· crying without apparent cause

· decrease in coordination

· decreased attention span

· decreased memory

· difficulty with concentration

· dizzy spells

· drowsiness but insomnia

· feeling 'spacey' or 'unreal'

· feeling 'foggy' headed

· frustration

· headaches

· hyperactivity

· irritability

· learning difficulties

· mood swings

· nervousness

· poor concentration

· poor decision making

· restlessness

· sleeps to little or sleeps to much

· tension-fatigue syndrome

Some health professionals also include the following as having a food allergy or intolerance component associated with them.

· anxiety

· delusions

· depression

· epilepsy

· hallucinations

· schizophrenia and other serious mental conditions


· abnormal body odour

· excessive sweating

· general weakness

· aggravation of diabetes

· hypoglycaemia

· night-sweating

· overweight

· underweight

There is indeed a great range of symptoms - so it is important that you are able to eliminate food and chemical allergies or intolerances as being at the base of your problems. There are a number of different feature which should make you suspect a food allergy or intolerance. These are outlined below.

· Fluctuating symptoms - that come and go and do not seem to be related to any particular environmental factor may be caused by eating a particular food of which you are intolerant. The fact that they symptoms may be there one day and not the next, and yet the offending food has been eaten on both days, is not reason to assume that the condition is not due to eating a particular food. What this indicates is that you are fluctuating back and forth across a 'symptom threshold'.

· Fatigue. If you have a food allergy or intolerance you will be excessively tired and the tiredness is one that is not relieved by rest. You will often feel worst in the beginning of the day and then gradually pick up as they day progresses (or visa versa). But the energy level doesn't pick up to the level that is considered ideal. Sometimes you will feel so tired that you will need to go to rest or go to bed during the day. You may also be able to actually track down a period in your lives when the fatigue started. This may be with the onset of a bout of the flu or glandular fever or after an operation or period of high stress or during pregnancy and so forth.

· Mental and psychological symptoms are also very common with food allergies and intolerances. Many people who have spent years on antidepressants, anti- anxiety drugs and other mind altering medication have symptoms such as irritability, depression, anxiety and tension that are directly related to food allergies or intolerances.

· Weight fluctuations (sometimes many pounds or kilos in 24 hours), often also associated with fluid retention, can be directly caused by food intolerance. Weight problems often indicate food intolerances either directly or perhaps as a result of the metabolic effects of the ingestion of the offending food or because a food addiction can occur, resulting in binging on excessive amounts of carbohydrates.

· Muscle and joint aches and pains are a common sign that you have a food allergy or intolerance and although this can be associated with nutrient deficiencies (magnesium or vitamin B6, for example) they often respond to the removal of the offending food. Inflammatory arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis is often associated with food intolerances (particularly to wheat and milk).

· Bouts of a racing pulse or an abnormal heat beat are associated with food intolerances as well as certain vitamin and mineral deficiencies (especially vitamin B1, B6, magnesium and potassium).

· Low blood sugar or reactive hypoglycaemia is often food related. In this situation the blood sugar can drop to the point where fatigue, anxiety, lethargy, palpitations, cold sweats, faintness, dizziness, headaches, hunger, aggression and irritability can all begin to set in (although they don't necessarily all occur).

· Intestinal symptoms such as diarrhea and constipation which are found in irritable bowel syndrome are often caused by food intolerance. Sometimes severe and longstanding constipation can be caused by allergies or intolerances to wheat, other grains and dairy products.

· Food addictions and or cravings can be a part of the food intolerance picture. There can be withdrawal symptoms caused by the allergic condition - this makes you feel less well and that feeling is made better by eating the offending food or chemical.

It can be seen from this article that food allergies and intolerances can be at the base of many diseases and common condition. To find out what you can do about food allergies and intolerances and how you can deal with many health problems get your copy of Safe Colon Cleansing from my website. Use the links in my bio to get there.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

How to Treat your Arthritis Naturally

How to Treat your Arthritis Naturally

Arthritis is pain in the fingers, knees, elbows, hips jaw-any place in
the body where there is a joint between bones. It can be very painful. This
because joints are surrounded by many nerves and the nerves are needed to make
the complicated joints work properly. There are many forms of arthritis like
Osteoarthritis or Rheumatoid; to name just two, but we are not going into that
now. What we are looking at here is natural remedies.

A lot of arthritis sufferers very often turn to natural herbal remedies
and botanical methods to gain release from their symptoms. But do these
natural alternatives do what they promise? Can you find relief from herbal
supplements? There are many herbs and such like that has shown some promise in
helping treat the symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis and we will just look at a
few of them:.

Thunder god vine

A supplement that is derived from a perennial vine that is
native to Asia, also in areas of China, Korea, and Japan. The root is peeled
away to make this herbal supplement and is by tradition, been used to treat
autoimmune illnesses and inflammatory conditions. It has been find by research
that thunder god vine does indeed contain anti-inflammatory activity, and some
immune-boosting activity has also been discovered. One clinical trial carried
out at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center found that roughly
80 per cent of those patients who were given a high dose of the plant
supplement found that their Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms got better
considerably. However, researchers have found that this and other studies are
too small to prove the true efficacy of this plant-derived supplement.


To take away the pain of gout, eat 6-8 cherries per day. They can be
tinned, frozen or fresh. This is a Japanese treatment, which they have used
for centuries. They also boil the cherries down into a syrup which makes a
strong sweet drink. The cherry is a very good source of magnesium (which is a
natural painkiller) and potassium. The potassium acts as a diuretic, reducing
inflammation by ridding tissue of fluid.

Dandelion leaves

One of the best remedies for treating arthritic conditions probably
grows right in your backyard: fresh young dandelion leaves. Because of the
high vitamin A and C content, when eaten raw in salads, these greens help the
body to repair damaged tissues and help the liver clear toxins out of the
blood. European herbalists have used these anti-pain dandelion recipes for
many years. Older leaves should be steam or sauté - like spinach, this is
because they are too tough to eat raw. You can also improve the taste by
cooking with garlic or add olive oil for a tasty dish. Dandelion can also be
made into a tea: Steep, just 1 teaspoon of dried leaves or 3 teaspoons of
fresh leaves in 1 cup of boiling water. Or make a coffee-like, but
bitter-tasting, beverage by boiling, and then straining, 4 ounces of fresh
root in 2 pints of water. Taken daily, this is a good guard against winter

Desert devil Devil's-claw

An ominous-sounding cure - comes from the Kalahari Desert of South
Africa. For at least 250 years, the Hottentots, Bantus, and Bushmen (all
native tribes of this region) have treated arthritis pain with this large
claw-like fruit that can trap and injure livestock. The tribesmen's favourite
method is to draw an extract from the root and brew it into a tea.
Alternatively, devil's-claw can be dried, powdered, and taken in tablet form.
Recent French and German studies found that the pain-relief of devil's-claw is
similar to that of cortisone. The root acts mainly as an anti-inflammatory, an
effect of harpagoside, its active ingredient. Preparations using the whole
plant work even better because it contains additional compounds, such as
flavonoids, that enhance the anti-inflammatory effect. Devil's-claw is
available in many forms through most mailorder herb companies and health food


The British, known for their fondness for sweets, swear by crude
blackstrap molasses dissolved in water. When taken every morning, they say
this preparation eases and even eliminates pain in the joints. This is some
feat in England! (Cold, damp climates usually aggravate a case of arthritis.)
The molasses is an excellent source of minerals, including iron, potassium,
and magnesium. It is also a concentrated sweet. So it is important to rinse
your mouth out or brush your teeth after using this treatment. Otherwise, you
may be trading one pain (arthritis) for another - a toothache!

Cooper bracelets

This does vindicate old wives. Until recently, Western doctors dismissed
as folklore the idea of wearing copper bracelets as a way of treating
arthritis. Indeed, there are many doctors who are still sceptical. Researchers
in Australia, however, have found that copper, when coupled with aspirin, is
more effective than aspirin alone in treating the pain of arthritis. Since
many substances are absorbed through the skin, there may be some truth in this
old wives' tale. Cooper bracelets are available all over the net.


Ginger is very effective in the treatment of arthritis and a host of
other ailments. Recent medical research in Holland has indicated that this,
too, is much more than just myth. Eating ginger does, according to the Dutch
doctors, help alleviate arthritis pain. Use the ginger with anything...soups,
sauces, or salads.

Bee Stings

An arthritis therapy that may sound more like a punishment was used
2,000 years ago by Hippocrates - bee stings. Once considered to be the leading
cure for rheumatism, arthritis, and gout, bee stings were used for centuries
by ancient Europeans.Based on this traditional therapy, scientists in
Switzerland, France, Germany, and Great Britain devised a treatment that
employed a series of injections of the venom- using either a hypodermic needle
or a live bee! The bee venom, like many noxious substances, stimulates the
immune system to release inflammatory substances. This is known as the counter
irritation theory.

Saint Hildegard's Ointment

Hildegard was a mystic from 12th century Germany whose wisdom still
holds true to day. She said " Detoxify, purify, and regenerate the whole
organism." Hildegard's recipe for an arthritis ointment was to take 4 parts
vermouth, 2 parts deer fat, and 2 parts deer marrow, and mix it into a salve.
This ointment was massaged on the painful joints while the sufferer sat in
front of an elmwood fire. The warmth of the fire and the stimulation of blood
flow from the massage were really the important parts of the treatment. So if
you cannot get your hands on any deer fat. goose fat is a much better option
and is available all over the net. To get rid of the rheumatic toxins that
caused pain, Hildegard prescribed eating fragrant, raw quince. The fruit can
be cooked in water or wine, baked in a cake or pie, or made into jellies and
candy ( this is popular today during holiday seasons). Hildegard's advice to
gout sufferers was to slowly chew (before breakfast) 1 to 3 teaspoons of
celery seed powder mixed with spices such as rue, cloves, and saxifrage. For a
better taste, the celery powder can be sprinkled on bread with quince jelly.
Celery is a diuretic, and the loss of excess fluid can reduce the inflammation
associated with the arthritis. Rue contains ruin, which can strengthen blood
vessels (preventing them from leaking fluid into tissue and thus preventing
inflammation).Warning: Don't use rue during pregnancy. It can bring on

Aloe Vera

Aloe, by its self does not cure or heal anything; it is the
beneficial effects of over 200 different nutritional constituents and the way
they react to help reduce inflammation and pain which promote healing. Aloe
Vera gives a great boost to the immune system and energy levels. So, In other
words.....Aloe Vera provides the body with the right agents to take care of
itself and to restore and repair body functions and the body's own healing

Many people think that because they are taking an herbal supplement or
botanical-based drug therapy, there will be no side effects. The truth is that
herbal supplements can be quite powerful and can have strong side effects.
Many if not most of all conventional drug therapies are derived from plants
and herbs.

The bad news is that there is not enough sufficient research to
conclusively prove the efficacy of many of these herbal supplements and
botanical-based drugs. Before you try any herbal supplement, it is
important that you discuss its use with your doctor.

Is Your Arthritis Pain Caused by A Yeast Infection?

Arthritis is described by the Arthritis Foundation as a "chronic, systemic, inflammatory disorder of unknown etiology." Which means they have no clue what causes it.

The stats from arthritis are staggering, as it's a major disability in North America, targeting 1 in 4 adults. It cost 86.2 billion to treat in 1997, stats which have only grown since.

It is a crippling and painful disease that can cause fear induced paralysis, due to the fear of the pain that moving causes.

An article published by 19 doctors in The Townsend Letter for Doctors in January of '95 states that systemic yeast infections can mimic symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis.

Food allergies caused by yeast have been linked to arthritis by Dr. D. Adamo and others. The foods that you're allergic to cause your body to produce IgE and IgG antibodies. When this happens for years, it gradually wears out the immune system and as a result the allergens in your food are no longer completely removed.

When these allergens do enter the system, they congregate around the joints and clump into the cells, damaging them. The immune system tries to fight them off, but due to being worn out from years of fighting, it is unable to cope. The ensuing inflammation causes further damage and leads to arthritis.

Yeast and other fungi can also deposit mycotoxins into your joints, further damaging them and worsening your arthritis.

To beat your arthritis, and get back the flexibility and mobility you had when you were younger, check with your health care provider and see if a systemic yeast infection is causing your arthritis symptoms.

Find Relief For Psoriatic Arthritis Symptoms

Psoriatic arthritis (PA) is a disease that happens to some individuals that suffer from the skin problem psoriasis. It affects the joints of the body similar to rheumatoid arthritis, usually in a milder way. Psoriatic arthritis symptoms are characteristic of both the problems with joints and skin, there can also be other psoriatic arthritis symptoms too. During this present time there is no known cure for the arthritis or even psoriasis, however, numerous treatments exist for helping with the symptoms. It must be remembered that it is a chronic disease and can lead to other complications in health if not managed appropriately.

The most common psoriatic arthritis symptoms affect the tips of the fingers or toes. However approximately 20 percent may experience problems with the spine. A very rare type of PA is names 'psoriatic arthritis mutilans' and focuses on the joints resulting in more severe destruction.

The skin condition called psoriasis presents as scaly and rough usually on the parts of the knees, elbows and scalp. The scaly areas are red or silvery gray in their color. Of the people who experience the skin condition psoriasis, which is approximately 30 million people in America, about 8 percent of them will experience psoriatic arthritis symptoms.

The condition evenly affects men and women and in general occurs between the ages of 30 to 50 years old. In about fifteen percent of people the onset of PA can happen before the appearance of psoriasis. Usually the progression of psoriatic arthritis symptoms is mild in most and will only affect a few joints.

Modern medicine does not have a cure for arthritis associated with psoriasis. The approach of treatment is usually individualized for the person's symptoms, to achieve the best possible outcome. The disease can vary from individual to individual with variance on factor such as remission and flare ups, so these facts must be taken into consideration. Every individual is different and an approach to treatment should be tailored to your individual requirements.

Treatment focuses on reducing the psoriatic arthritis symptoms of inflamed joints, pain and further degeneration. An approach of almost treating two separate disorders, the arthritis and psoriasis, is often the best way to approach it. Topical and oral medications are used for the skin such as antibiotics. It is important to prevent secondary skin infection in people with psoriasis due to skin irritation. There is some discussion of UV light therapy, obtained naturally from the sun or artificially as being beneficial for the rash. It is certainly an avenue worth exploring.

The psoriatic arthritis symptoms of the joints are treated like any other forms of arthritis with aspirin, anti-arthritis drugs and other medications. Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs as they are commonly referred to, are used to manage pain and swelling of the joints. There are a whole range of natural substances that have been shown to be helpful in inflammation. High doses of fish oil have a strong anti-inflammatory effect. The use of curcumin which is a derivative of the root turmeric has been showing good anti-inflammatory responses in the body, along with the long time used devils claw or cats claw herb.

Birth Control Methods and Their Effects on Women With Chronic Health Conditions

The most important thing for you, if you have a chronic condition, is to have an understanding of birth control methods and how they can affect your health. Some of these methods can present specific concerns for certain rheumatic conditions. If you have antiphospholipid syndrome or antiphospholipid antibodies in your blood, lupus or RA, here is what is known about the concerns and the appropriate birth control methods.

Antiphospholipid antibodies and antiphospholipid syndrome: APL or antiphospholipid antibodies are proteins that affect the balance in the blood between clotting and bleeding and are a risk factor for blood clots. APS or antiphospholipid syndrome, is an autoimmune disorder that is characterized by antiphospholipid antibodies, blood clotting, and miscarriages and the syndrome can happen alone or with lupus, even though you have the antibodies you may not have lupus.

If you have antiphospholipid antibodies you are more likely to develop blood clots if you have another risk factor for blood clotting such as a severe illness, surgery, prolonged bed rest, malignancy, or pregnancy or it can be a lifestyle risk factor such as smoking or using combination contraceptives. That's why this second risk factor can be one of the variants in the blood that makes clotting possible. When you have lupus and antiphospholipid antibodies you are more likely to have other medical risk factors for a stroke or heart attack, like migraines, atherosclerosis or clogged arteries, or elevated cholesterol levels.

Contraceptives with estrogen are know to increase the risk of blood clots and when you have moderate to high antiphospholipid antibodies you should stay away from combination hormonal contraceptives. If you have low or borderline levels of the antiphospholipid antibodies, it may depend on whether you have had other risk factors for blood clots, to determine if you should stay clear from the combination hormonal contraceptives. Progesterone-only contraception is a good alternative for you if you have antiphospholipid antibodies and are unable to safely take estrogen. This method is also an effective way to decrease the heavy menstrual flow if you are on blood-thinning medications like warfarin, also known as Coumadin, which is often used to treat APS, Antiphospholipid syndrome.

Systemic lupus erythematosus: It was thought for many years that estrogen increased disease activity in lupus. This assumption was based on the findings in laboratory animals, and the fact that lupus is found mostly in women, 4 out of 5 people with lupus are women, and the reports of birth control pills and pregnancy where women said their lupus got worse. There are early reports that suggested there was an increase risk of lupus flares with the use of contraceptives containing estrogen. But, there are more recent studies that were better-designed, using large numbers of participants and standardized methods of measuring flares that found that estrogen-containing contraceptives are safe in some women with lupus.

And there were two randomized clinical trials published at the end of 2005 that found combination birth control pills don't significantly increase the risk of flares in women with inactive or stable, moderate lupus. The Safety of Estrogens in Lupus Erythematosus National Assessment, or SELENA, trial included 183 women with inactive or stable, moderate lupus and compared the effects of a standard combination birth control pill with the effects of an inactive placebo pill. Women who had active lupus, a history of blood clots, or antiphospholipid antibodies couldn't take participant in the study and the number and severity of the lupus flares showed no difference in the two groups. There was another study of 162 women with stable mild-to-moderate lupus that also found no adverse effects on flare rates whether the women used a combination pill, a progesterone-only pill or a copper IUD.

Based on these studies, it would appear that combination pills are safe for you if you have inactive or stable, moderate lupus and don't have antiphospholipid antibodies. Remember, though, that you may not even be able to tell how active your lupus is and often lupus activity can only be detected through blood test or other tests. So if you have lupus and you want to use a combination pill, your rheumatologist must be involved in the decision making. Since about 1/3 of the women with lupus have antiphospholipid antibodies, you have lupus you should be screened for the antibodies before starting a combination birth control pill.

It seems that it would be smart for you if you have lupus to avoid the contraceptive patch, Ortho Evra, given the recent FDA warning that it increases the risk of blood clots above that of combination pills. There's also the birth control pills that contain drospirenone, Yasmin, Yaz, that are more likely to elevate blood levels of potassium, an important consideration for you if you have lupus-related kidney problems. The safety of IUDs, if you are taking immunosuppressive drugs to treat your lupus, is not certain, because the drugs and the IUDs can raise the risk of infection. If you have active lupus, barrier methods or progesterone-only contraceptives are your options. Depo-Provera injections may be a problem if you are taking corticosteroids, because both the Depo-Provera and the corticosteroids increase the risk of bone loss.

Rheumatoid arthritis: There are some who believe that if you have RA you might actually benefit from treatment with estrogen-containing birth control pills because your symptoms improve during pregnancy. But, there's little research into using the pill to treat RA and research does suggest that women with RA have normal estrogen levels but lower than normal androgen levels, so hormonal therapy attempts have focused on supplementing androgens (androgens are primarily male sex hormones, but women have small amounts of them), with mixed results and no clear benefit. Postmenopausal estrogen therapy has also been studied in women with RA but showed no effect on the activity of the RA, and although there are no grounds for saying that combination hormonal contraceptives reduce the activity in Ra, there's no evidence that suggest their use would make a flare more likely to happen. Combination pills or the patch, may be effective and convenient for you if you have RA, but there is a concern that the risk of blood clots from the patch is higher than the risk from the pill. Inserting a vaginal ring or a diaphragm may be difficult if you have severe RA and like with lupus, it's not sure how safe IUDs are if you are taking immunosuppressive drugs such as ethotrexate, corticosteroids, or cyclosporine to treat their RA. There are no studies that have addressed this question specifically with newer RA medicines such as the biologics, among them Enbrel, Remicade and Humira.

There are other concerns as well and they are the hormone containing contraceptives can interact with other medicines, and this can reduce your medicine's effectiveness or increase its side effects. Some of these medicines are used to treat arthritis and related conditions. Some anticonvulsants like anti-seizure medications that are used to treat seizures, headaches, or chronic pain disorders may decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills. There are also, corticosteroids, warfin, and cyclosporine that can interact with the contraceptives even though the interactions are weak. Other medications that are used to treat other health conditions, some antibiotics, may also interact with hormone containing contraceptives and if you are using one of these contraceptives you should always remind your doctor of that fact when your doctor prescribes you new medications.

When you have rheumatic conditions and you have to stay in bed for a while, maybe because of a flare-up of the condition, or after surgery you should stop using combination birth control pills, the patch and the vaginal ring. Also, and especially if you have antiphospholipid antibodies, your doctor should give you low doses of a blood-thinning medicine. If you are planning elective surgery, you should talk to your doctor about stopping you combination hormonal contraceptive two months in advance, because estrogen's effects on blood clotting takes up to six weeks to reverse.

There are so many different types of birth control available to you today that if you have a rheumatic condition you can choose a safe and effective method. There are also many factors that have to be taken into consideration and it's essential that you, your gynecologist, and your rheumatologist work together to decide which of these methods is best for you.

Rheumatoid Arthritis - Massages and Hydrotherapy For Pain Relief

Massages are known worldwide known for their multiple benefits. Depending on the receiver's need, massages can enhance muscle performance or relieve the deep tension that occurs mainly because of the stress. Recommended by doctors, massages have a strong therapeutic power and are integrated in the recovering process of many patients whether they suffer from osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis or need relief from an accident's post trauma.

The Swedish massage is being used worldwide where the patient receives because of the strokes used in it joint and tension relief. Having involved a rather gentle style with rubbing, tapping and kneading of the muscles, the Swedish massage is ideal for minimizing rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and because of that it is often prescribed in the rheumatoid arthritis treatments.

The deep tissue massage is a variation of the Swedish massage in which is more pressure applied to the tissues so that the massage effect will be felt on the deeper layer of muscles as well. Involving the use of fingertips and sometimes the elbows, the result of the deep tissue massage is stress relief and deep relaxation. However, more gentle massages like craniosacral therapy will also have as result the desired profound relief.

Hydrotherapy is an alternative for exercise therapy that can be painful for people that suffer from arthritis or osteoporosis and can not benefit from relieving pain and improving mobility because mobility causes pain to people having this autoimmune disease. Hydrotherapy offers the benefits of improving the body functions without putting stress on the joints or other body parts that are in pain because of the disease. Being especially useful for treating joint pain and stiffness, the common rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, hydrotherapy is a great way for patients to learn what exercises are helpful for their disease. The major benefit of the hydrotherapy is that patients do the exercises in warm water where the gravitational forces on the body are reduced and the joint mobility is considerably increased; also because of the water jets, the blood flow is increased as well improving the effective mobility in the entire body.

For people with osteoarthritis, hydrotherapy has been proved to be effective as well by improving the physical function and general health in the knees of the patients. Also, the benefit of having physical exercises impact free and with easier joint movement is a huge plus for people with osteoarthritis.

Combined with a healthy rheumatoid arthritis diet or a nourishing osteoarthritis diet, massages and therapies, especially hydrotherapy will help the suffering people of this disease make progress in recovering and get rid of the arthritis joint pain or knee pain and lack of strength. And for less pain in the joints, don't forget adding Omega 3 in your daily meals that will surely minimize your pain and joints inflammation!

Things To Know About Uveitis

Not a lot of people come across the term uveitis as it is quite a rare condition. However, awareness should be raised about it as it can hit anyone, even children. What is uveitis? It is the swelling and irritation of the uvea. The middle layer of the eye, the uvea is found right in the centre, in between the sclera and the retina;it functions as the supplier of blood to the latter.

Uveitis is rather uncommon and those who suffer from it are mostly middle-aged; however, 10% of those afflicted with the disease are, in fact, children. When left untreated, vision loss is a distinct possibility on account of the scars that develop on the retina and choroid. Uveitis can actually lead to other eye diseases such as cataract, glaucoma and macular oedema.

Most of the time, what caused uveitis in a person is not identified; it can even be idiopathic, occurring unexpectedly. There are, however, some factors that could increase the risk of developing the disease. For instance, if a person has autoimmune disorders such as psoriasis or rheumatoid arthritis, then he or she is more prone to developing uveitis. Diseases that weaken the immune system, such as AIDS or cancer, can also affect the eye, hence the higher risk for uveitis. Other possible factors that may lead to the condition are eye infections and injuries.

Uveitis symptoms include blurred or cloudy vision, pain and redness in the eye, headaches caused by hypersensitivity to light, a change in the colour of the iris, loss of peripheral vision, and pupils that do not dilate or constrict. However, in case of juvenile onset of uveitis stemming from rheumatoid or idiopathic arthritis, the children usually do not experience any symptoms and their uveitis is not detected until they've already lost their eyesight.

Uveitis treatments may come in the form of steroids to deal with the irritation. In the presence of an infection, antibiotics would also be in order. When the uveitis has become chronic, the patient would usually have to go through immunosuppressant therapy.

The key to overcoming uveitis is swift and correct treatment. If you observe yourself or a loved one displaying any of the abovementioned symptoms, make an appointment with an eye doctor right away. In case of a positive diagnosis, make sure that you are treated by a physician who specialises in uveitis, preferably an ocular immunologist trained to treat with immunosuppressant medication.

Even if you feel that your eyes are perfectly healthy, it's best to make a habit of regularly going for an eye check-up. After all, early detection of any disease gives you much a better chance of defeating it.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Early Symptoms of MS - Things to Look Out For

Early symptoms of MS usually appear between the ages of 20 and 40. The onset of multiple sclerosis can be dramatic or can be so mild that a person does not recognize the symptoms until much later when the disease is far more advanced. The problem with many of the early symptoms is that they are common to many conditions, so it is difficult to determine what may be early symptoms of MS or another disease or condition.

The following is a brief outline what may be early symptoms of MS. These are the symptoms reported by ms sufferers that they experienced early on at the onset of their disease.

Fatigue is a major symptom of MS but since fatigue is present in so many disease processes, and in fact in our fast paced busy life styles it may not be recognized as one of the early symptoms of MS until paired with other symptoms. Fatigue for the MS individual may be insidious and may not resolve with rest. It may seem that no matter what you do you are always exhausted and run down.

Uncharacteristic clumsiness is a hallmark sign of MS, with a difficulty maintaining balance, tripping or falling. This clumsiness can cause a person to knock things over or frequently drop things as well. Unexplained weakness is another common early symptom of MS usually affecting both the arms and legs.

Verbal skills can also be affected early on, with slurring of words or being unable to come up with the right words to say being common. This symptom will often be discounted to other things or will not be severe and dismissed altogether. Along with this is the inability to concentrate, and although these particular symptoms maybe mild and not a warning flag of something wrong, they will cause considerable frustration for the person afflicted.

Depression is another hallmark sign of MS but since depression can have so many other causes or stand alone on its own it is often missed as part of a diagnosis.

Other early symptoms of MS include Urinary incontinence and visual disturbances such as blurring or eye pain. Visual disturbances in fact are usually one of the signs that send many individuals into the doctor first. Usually this symptom along with numbness or falling will be the warning signals that alert a doctor to look for MS.

My Grandmother Had Arthritis - Will I Get It?

There are several different types of arthritis, but the three most common are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout. Heredity may play a part in all three, but there are a few things you can do to minimize the risk and/or damage they cause.

Te first thing you need to do is find out what type(s) of arthritis you're at risk for. Mitigating the risks differ between the three types, as does treatment. If you can no longer find out from your family, you may be able to get more information by talking to your doctor. The doctor also needs to be aware of your family history.


What it is: This is usually considered a metabolic disorder as well as a form of arthritis. It is caused by uric acid crystals in your joints, usually striking the right big toe first. It is extremely painful, walking may be difficult or impossible. Uric acid is a waste product from purine, a substance found in most proteins. It is usually filtered out by the kidneys, but if there is a lot or the kidneys have been damaged, it circulates through the blood. As it does so, it clumps together in crystals.

What you can do: Moderating the amount and type of protein you consume is a good place to start. Organ meat is the highest in purine, making it the least desirable type of protein. There are lists on-line of which foods contain what amount of purine. Dehydration and some medications can also cause the painful problem, including aspirin.


What it is: Most of the time, this is caused by general wear and tear on your joints or by injuries. However, if your grandmother had it, chances are good you will develop it as well. This is even more likely if you're female. The cartilage in the joints start to wear out and bits of it may break off. This can cause pain and swelling. Osteoarthritis can strike any joint, including the vertebrae. If it gets bad enough, joint replacement may be required.

What you can do: Your doctor may suggest you start taking calcium supplements to prevent or put off onset. It's also a good idea to take care of your joints. Watch repetitive injury problems, wear shoes that will provide cushioning as well as support and try not to do high impact activities. If you choose to do the latter, ask your coach or your doctor how to mitigate this impact to prevent damage.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

What is it: RA is an auto-immune disorder. Your body's immune system doesn't recognize the joints as part of the body and attack. It can strike any joint and at any age, child or adult. Usually, the smaller joints are attacked first, though all are at risk.

What you can do: Early, aggressive treatment is the best way to mitigate the damage this disease can cause. Symptoms include pain in the joints, red and puffy hands, swelling in joints that is painful to the touch, fever and weight loss. Other symptoms may also occur.

Arthritis Relief With Tea Tree Oil

The stretch "arthritis" is used to refer to lone or more of a assemble of ended 100 rheumatic diseases. Quite often, arthritis is caused by the wear of cartilage in the joints. Symptoms of all of these diseases include bind, stiffness and swelling of the joints, and can affect other parts of the body such as other bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments.

Tea tree smear with oil is very skilled pro arthritis as it is able to infiltrate and desensitize irritated nerve endings. For relief from bind caused by the various painful afflictions (rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and that.), bring together 18 drops of tea tree smear with oil with 1/8 cup of almond smear with oil. Put in a dark bottle and shake previous to applying it topically two to four era a time as a massage smear with oil.

Putting 2-3 drops of tea tree smear with oil into a lukewarm bath is furthermore a splendid way to alleviate the establishment bind associated with arthritis.

Inside order to energy further than just relieving arthritis symptoms, it is valuable to get on to dietary changes. Changing the type of smear with oil in the diet to lone rich in omega-3 full of fat acids suppresses the stirring with the intention of the body makes. Omega-3 full of fat acids switch rancid the enzymes with the intention of break down establishment cartilage, and are found primarily in greasy fish such as sardines, salmon and cod liver smear with oil. Omega-6 full of fat acids are found mostly in sow seed oils such as sundown primrose and sunflower smear with oil, and can furthermore be inflicted with a clear effect in relieving arthritis symptoms.

Foods with the intention of are rich in omega-3 full of fat acids are:

* canola smear with oil (the smear with oil and margarine)
* salmon smear with oil
* cod liver smear with oil (mmm yum :)
* soybean smear with oil
* soybeans
* walnut smear with oil
* walnuts
* avocado smear with oil
* fresh avocado.

Foods to dodge:

Try replacing much of the red meat you consume with greasy fish. Red meat is furthermore a skilled source of iron, so be guaranteed to munch lots of dark conservational blossoming vegetables and other foods rich in iron so as not to be deficient.

* alcohol
* tea
* coffee
* saturated fats
* processed foods
* fried and grilled foods

You cannot expect to heal arthritis through dietary changes but, in conjunction with using tea tree smear with oil, the aptly foods can alleviate many of the awkward flareups.

To your shape!

Discover The Difference Between Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis And Learn About Remedies

Here we look at the difference between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as the similarities. The exact cause of osteoarthritis is unknown, but it often accompanies aging. Likewise, the exact cause of rheumatoid arthritis is unknown, although there are several theories.

Most people over the age of 60 have some degree of osteoarthritis, but the severity of the condition varies greatly. Rheumatoid arthritis can develop at any age, but there may be periods of remission when no symptoms are felt.

In both diseases and other less common forms of arthritis, joint pain is the primary symptom. The difference between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis joint pain is one of the factors that doctors use for diagnosis. In osteoarthritis, there may be pain in only one joint -- for instance, the left knee. In rheumatoid arthritis, pain occurs in the same joint on both sides of the body; in other words, both knees would be painful.

The cause of osteoarthritis pain is a gradual wearing away or thinning of the cartilage cushions that prevent the bones of a joint from rubbing together and acts as a kind of shock absorber. Injury or over use can cause damage to the cartilage and may lead to osteoarthritis. As the cartilage wears away, inflammation or swelling can occur.

In rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation and pain occurs before the cartilage cushions are damaged. In fact, chronic inflammation in the joints can lead to damage of the cartilage and increased pain.

Looking for the cause of osteoarthritis, researchers have identified several factors that increase a person's risk of developing the condition. They are obesity, heredity and joint injury or overuse. One difference between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis is that, other than heredity, no risk factors have been identified.

Being overweight or obese increases the stress on the joints in the knees, hips and ankles and so increases the likelihood of osteoarthritis. In a similar fashion, being overweight may aggravate rheumatoid arthritis, but does not increase the likelihood of developing the condition.

Joint injury or overuse does not play a role in rheumatoid arthritis, although some activities are more likely to increase pain, while others, such as swimming may improve joint mobility.

Heredity or genetics is likely to play a role in many diseases. As a cause of osteoarthritis, genetic abnormalities of the joints often lead to osteoarthritis in later life. For example, those people with scoliosis of the spine often develop osteoarthritis. In rheumatoid arthritis, the role of genetics is unknown, but it does seem to "run in families".

One major difference between osteoarthrits and rheumatoid arthritis is that RA can affect other parts of the body, while osteoarthritis only affects the joints. In rheumatoid arthritis, something triggers the immune system to attack otherwise healthy joints. In some cases, the immune system also attacks the skin, eyes, lungs, blood vessels, heart or nerves.

There also may be a difference between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis treatment. For example, drugs that suppress the immune system are sometimes prescribed for RA, but would not be helpful in osteoarthritis. On the other hand, anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed for both conditions.

Natural products with anti-inflammatory activity, such as fish oil or omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to relieve pain in many people and are not accompanied by the negative side effects associated with long term use of anti-inflammatory drugs.

Pubmed, a prestigious service of the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health has a study published from the Department of Immunology and Rheumatology, Instituto Nacional de la Nutrición Salvador Zubirán, in Mexico City, Mexico, in which they conclude: "Treatment with omega-3 fatty acids has been associated with improvement in some outcome measures in rheumatoid arthritis."

Although fish oil should be a top choice for someone looking for a potent natural anti-inflammatory, most people in the Western world have never heard of another one known as the New Zealand green lipped mussel. On the University of Maryland's Medical Website they reveal:

"....New Zealand green lipped mussel ( Perna canaliculus ), another potential source of omega-3 fatty acids, has been shown to reduce joint stiffness and pain, increase grip strength, and enhance walking pace in a small group of people with osteoarthritis."

In addition, since the cause of osteoarthrits pain, and to a certain extent the cause of rheumatoid arthritis pain, is deterioration of the cartilage cushions, supplements that are rich sources of omega 3 fatty acids are now the chosen remedy for many people with arthritis, regardless if it's rheumatoid or osteoarthritis.

Omega 3 fatty acids also come with the added benefit of improving heart and brain health.

However, people already using other blood thinners need to tell their doctor if they wish to add omega 3 oils to their diet.

A Key to Solving Auto-Immune Diseases Like Rheumatoid Arthritis

A Thomsonian Naturopathic Doctor's View of a Common Sense Way Out of the Autoimmune Disease Mess

I am a Thomsonian Naturopathic doctor and follower of Dr Samuel Thomson (the founder 1822). He believed as I have learned from his teachings and my experience that all diseases are actually simple to explain. That the more you complicate disease and medical techniques the more that people are removed from the healing process. One of the results is what you see today in these auto-immune disease epidemic nightmares.

When I was looking at autoimmune diseases in 2004 there were at that time 65 and everyone was shocked at the high number. Sadly these diseases have nearly tripled in that short period of time and today I believe the number is close to 150. But this is not the true number as anyone of those autoimmune diseases can have any number of sub-diseases with their own symptoms. Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) for example, has about 100 sub-diseases.

Autoimmune diseases like RA are a disease where your immune system does not recognize you and attacks you as though you were something foreign. Here is a comparison that shows just how crazy this really is. Imagine, that in your city one day for no apparent reason the police department starts shooting at the employees of the water department, crazy huh?

Modern medicine's answer seems like a good idea, suppress or control the immune system. But wait a minute that is like answering your city's problem by taking away the policemen's guns. This is unrealistic; because like your immune system the police have a vital service to perform. Shouldn't the realistic solution be to find out why your immune system is attacking you in the first place, why the confusion?

Let me see if I can make something clear for everyone so it is easier to understand. When each cell is created by your body it gets an identifying signature a code that says it is part of you and do not attack me. You might say it is like the license plate on your car. Well, when your immune system senses this code it automatically knows that this is you and do not attack. Modern medical science calls this code a major histocompatibility complex (MHC).

As long as you have been alive your immune system has checked each of the trillions of cells in your body two times a day. The question is why, after checking the identification of your cells successfully all your life, does your immune system suddenly attack as in RA? What has happened to these cells of your body such as those in your joints that it once protected and now attacks?

Naturopaths like myself, believe that RA and all other autoimmune diseases are a symptom of a modern lifestyle and genetic weaknesses. Making the pain or symptoms go away without addressing the underlying root of the immune confusion will give your body cause and effect to bring you another autoimmune disease. And so it is, someone with an auto-immune disease tends to get another auto-immune disease and possibly more. It is like the child's game where you knock the peg down with a hammer and another one pops up.

What is needed to prevent the immune system from making these errors? Simply eliminate from the body those things that are causing the immunity confusion. These are things that never have and never will be naturally accepted or beneficial to the human body or mind.

Objective Autoimmune Disease Causes

There are combinations of toxins in everyone's bodies today that have never been there in all of human history. Our bodies were never designed to carry them nor do we have any use for them. Some of them are objectively toxic in nature like the heavy metals aluminum, cadmium, lead, mercury and thallium. Then you have the industrial chemicals that include hydrazine, herbicides, preservatives, dyes, plastics, bisphenol A and rubber products that are released in the environment and they number somewhere close to 85,000 thanks to the EPA and the FDA.

Note (In 2005, researchers from the Environmental Working Group found something very frightening: a cocktail of 287 pollutants - PFOA's, pesticides, dioxins, flame retardants -- in the fetal-cord blood of newborn infants from around the country).

Medical Drugs That Can Cause Autoimmune Diseases

It has been known for some time that medical drugs can trigger an autoimmune disease. Now it has been found that many medical drugs are the direct cause of various autoimmune diseases.

The Prescription Drugs

Alferon N, Allopurinol, Atenolol, Atorvastatin, captopril, Carbamazepine, chlorpromazine, Chlorthalidone, cimetidine, Ethosuximide, gold salts, griseofulvin, Hydralazine, Hydrochlorothiazide, Infergen, Inerferon Alfa, Interferons, Interleukins, Intron A, Isoniazid, Levodopa, Lithium, Lovastatin, Mesantoin, Methimazole, Methyldopa, Methylsergide, Metoprolol, Minocycline, Minoxidil, Nitrofurantoin, Ophthalmic timolol, Oral contraceptives, P-aminobenzoic, PegIntron, Penicillamine, Penicillin, Perphenazine, Phenylbutazone, Phenytoin, Pravostatin, Primidone, Procainamide, Propylthiouracil, Quinidine, Simvastatin, sulfasalazine, sulfonamides, streptomycin, Sulfonamide antimicrobials, Tetracyclines, Tiotropium Bromide inhaler, Trimethadione, Tumor Necrosis factor, Valproic acid.

Why would a medical drug that you take for your health cause you to become sick? Basically medicine is not made to help you to become healthier. Medical drugs are developed to suppress your symptoms. You would never take a pharmaceutical drug to feel healthier as you would a vitamin or herbal supplement.

Mercury in Medicine

Of course everyone knows the dangers of mercury, but modern medicine insists on putting mercury in just about everything they give us and the FDA allows them to, why? Because mercury is cheap and it works to suppress your symptoms even though over the long haul it poisons us all. How dangerous is mercury? It is the second most dangerous element on the planet next to plutonium.

Yet mercury is even found in over the counter medical drugs (OCMD) such as topical antiseptics, stimulant laxatives, diaper rash ointments (yes for babies), eye drops, nose sprays, Preparation H, Calomel body powders and talc, Mercurochrome, Merthiolate, Laxatives containing Calomel, Psoriasis ointments, Calamine lotions, Contact lens solutions and Vaginal gels - especially those that are contraceptives. And of course mercury is highly suspect as a cause in all these new autoimmune diseases and the alteration of our children's behavior such as ADD, ADHD and Autism. Easy to see why we have health problems, isn't it?

Why is the FDA afraid to do what is right and pull mercury out of all of these products? Because the use of mercury is so cheap and the pressure is high in the drug industry to leave it that way.

"Lawsuit to Force FDA to Comply With Law and Ban Mercury" (News of the Day 11/13/2006)

The lawsuit, originally filed in August 2006, asks the court to force the FDA to comply with existing law and regulations and provide proof of the safety and efficacy of mercury in drugs. The suit was filed because the FDA failed to answer issues raised.

Mercury is found in at least 45 different prescribed or over-the-counter drugs, including eye ointments, nasal sprays, and vaccines, most importantly, flu vaccines administered to children and pregnant women.

In a 1999 internal email, obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request, an FDA official wrote that the agency's failure to evaluate the cumulative amount of mercury in medicine "...will raise questions about FDA being 'asleep at the switch' for decades by allowing a potentially hazardous compound to remain...and not forcing manufacturers to exclude it from new products...."

In a second email, the same official wrote: "...the greatest point of vulnerability on this issue is that the systematic the FDA could have been done years ago and on an ongoing basis."

Citizen Filed Petition, Aug 4, 2004, by CoMeD representatives

FDA Sued Over Mercury in Medicines, News of the Day, 11/13/2006

Subjective Autoimmune Disease Causes

Would you be surprised to learn that something subjective like losing a loved one or getting a divorce can trigger an autoimmune disease just liked mercury can. To eliminate these and others you need to address the whole person which takes work and willingness on the part of the patient.

Your Genetic Weaknesses and Autoimmune Diseases

The genetic connection to autoimmune diseases are well established but very few people are aware of the Naturopathic Medical view of genetics and disease. A chain is the perfect object to use as an example of genetic weaknesses. There is a very old saying that goes like this, "a chain is only as strong as its weakest link". So, there is no chain that does not have a weak link and that link can be found by exerting enough stress on the chain to break that link.

Now imagine each organ in your body alphabetically beginning with your adrenals down to your veins is a link in a chain. This chain of organs has a weak genetic link somewhere you just need to apply enough stress (through diet, toxicity and lifestyle) on the organ chain to find the weak link. Knowing you have a weak link how would you protect yourself from getting a disease in that organ? The answer is as simple as the cure for all disease. Simply do not put stress on your genetic chain with your lifestyle.

Those people whose genetic chain is already broken need to reverse what they have been doing all their life. This will take the stress off of the weak organ and give it a chance to recover. By doing the opposite I mean cleansing, detoxing, no refined foods, lots of produce, live juices and lifestyle adjustments.

One of the miracles of the human body is the replacement of each and every cell and organ over an 8 year period. To take advantage of this process you give your body everything it needs to do this to the optimum level. In other words treating your body just as I said above with the best cleansing, detoxing and the most nutritious foods, herbs, supplements and lifestyle adjustments to get the most from this building process.

Specifically What Can You Do?

Naturopaths believe disease and ill health attack you from five different areas of your life. One, what you bring into your body via food, water, air. Two, what is not eliminated; the toxins that build up encouraging the disease to start. Three, a lack of movement and exercise cause poor blood flow encouraging toxic buildup, low oxygen and poor nutrition to cells. Four, the stressful people and situations in the work place and at home. Five, a poor spiritual foundation, no belief in higher power. To reverse auto-immune diseases like RA and bring good health, the above five areas are addressed at the same time with rigorous cleansing, detoxing and lifestyle changes

Few people today realize how intensively healing and powerful Naturopathic medical treatments really are. They think of using a few herbs for this and that disease, drinking an herb tea, do a few yoga stretches etc. Which is as weak as it sounds and is also very far from the truth.

The truth is that Naturopathic Medical therapies are intense, invasive and rigorous. Juice fasting, colon, liver and kidney cleansing and detoxing, cold sheet treatments, hydro therapy, caster oil packs and blood cleansing using substantial doses of herbs, etc. All of these treatments plus making permanent changes in your lifestyle and more are part of Naturopathic Medicine's treatments to undo RA and all auto-immune diseases. Anyone who gives these techniques their complete attention and focus will see RA and any disease including cancer disappear into their past.

I know, I used the above techniques on myself against a life threatening disease twenty years ago and they wiped my health slate clean as when I was a boy. I am 65 now; healthy and strong as a horse with zero diseases and zero medications.