Saturday, August 24, 2013

Rheumatoid Arthritis - The Shocking Truth About How It Starts

Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most baffling and feared of all human ailments. Perhaps this is due, in large part, to the many conflicting hypotheses and theorems that abound throughout the medical field about this dreaded disorder. Each day we hear of new and often conflicting discoveries that supposedly shed light on why certain people are more susceptible to contracting this ailment than others. All of this uncertainty tends to create an atmosphere of fear and distrust toward anyone claiming to have yet another 'cure.'

In recent years there have been two widely disseminated theories about rheumatoid arthritis. On the one hand, medical researchers have claimed there is a definite connection between heredity and the likelihood of someone developing it. On the other hand, a number of medical doctors have expressed their belief that this and other forms of arthritis can be traced to a rogue virus or other micro-organism. As well-meaning as these theories may be, there is another position that deserves critical evaluation.

Rheumatoid arthritis is primarily caused by a lack of biochemical sodium reserves in the body. I'm not referring to the table salt variety that the human body cannot metabolize efficiently. When the body's organic sodium reserves are low a number of physiological changes begin to occur. Acid stomach, chronic constipation, joint swelling, calcification and bone spurs, excessive flatulence and stiff joints - any trained observer will recognize these symptoms as manifestations of arthritis. Although hereditary factors or rogue viral strains may not be present, low sodium reserves are detected in over 90% of such cases when these symptoms are evident.

Among other important functions, the body uses different combinations of organic sodium to neutralize excess systemic acids, to help remove metabolic waste products from cells and to keep calcium in solution so that it doesn't precipitate in the joints and soft tissues. This is basic biochemistry that anyone suffering from any arthritic affliction should know. It stands to reason that if organic sodium is the primary element the body utilizes to keep calcium in solution, one would certainly want to ensure that his or her organic sodium reserves were kept well stocked at all times.

As sensible as this may be, the lack of knowledge on this subject is what causes so much needless suffering in our society. During the eleven years I spent studying with world-renowned natural health advocate, lecturer and practitioner, Bernard Jensen, DC, ND, PhD, at his Hidden Valley Health Ranch, in Escondido, California, I personally witnessed the power of organic sodium to reverse various forms of arthritis - even in advanced stages. I came to know, without a doubt, that rheumatoid arthritis can be managed and, in many cases, reversed at virtually any age. This can happen provided there is an understanding of the vital role organic sodium plays in any serious effort to recover from rheumatoid arthritis.

Arthritis In Hands: Symptoms And Treatment Options

Arthritis in hands is quite common, however the affected areas are usually at the palm end of the thumb, the knuckles and joints in your fingers. This form of arthritis is usually known as osteoarthritis, and can affect the hips and knees as well as the hands.

Swelling or stiffness in the fingers is most commonly associated with this and this may reduce as time passes. The symptoms of arthritis in hands often flare up when you have had to constantly use your hands, this may be through a typing job, or maybe even sending text messages.

Many people think that cracking your fingers can cause arthritis but this is not the case. It usually starts because of repetitive actions.

Some of the symptoms of arthritis in hands are:

Slight pain in the fingers,
Short periods of stiffness, this may improve during the day.
Difficulty in moving your fingers.

Some people with arthritis in the hands may not have noticeable symptoms. This can be as a result of arthritis developing at a slower rate than usual.

If you suffer from osteoarthritis, there are some natural treatments readily available. These can include:

Red pepper, this food has many medicinal properties. It is thought to aid the circulatory system when applied to the skin, also it may help to ease the pains that you may be experiencing.

Cayenne pepper, this acts as red pepper does, you can apply this externally as I mentioned above or you can consume this pepper with foods. If you consume this it can acts as a stimulant thus aiding the heart, it may strengthen the arteries and act as natural pain relief.

Ginger, this is present in many foods. Many old wives tales include the use of ginger for common ailments such as sickness. Ginger has anti-inflammatory like properties. Research has concluded that ginger may significantly reduce the pains and swelling of arthritis.

Garlic, aids blood flow in the body, it has been proven to be very effective in reducing inflammation caused by arthritis.

Some people have found that 10 minutes of slowly massaging the hands can help keep the symptoms at bay.

By incorporating these into your daily diet you may reduce some if not all of your symptoms. If these changes are not easily done then you may find tea infused with ginger, whilst this is only one of the herbs that may help it could ease your particular symptoms.

If you suffer with arthritis and you are having trouble coping with the pains, seek advice from your doctor or other health professional they will be able to advise you on the best course of action.

Arthritis in hands is very common, the symptoms can be dealt with effectively although there is no cure as of yet. If your symptoms are getting worse or the pain is becoming unbearable then your doctor may suggest regular consumption of an anti inflammatory or pain relief. If you require more information on the symptoms of arthritis your doctor or other health professional will be happy to help.

Acupuncture and the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis

If you suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis, there is a very good chance that acupuncture can help you find relief from the pain and swelling associated with arthritis. Since pain is the primary complaint of people suffering from arthritis, acupuncture is recognized as effective form of pain control. Acupuncture is useful for treating other symptoms caused by arthritis and as a way to restore balance and health. Let's take a look at how we help in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and how acupuncture accomplishes this.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is classified as an auto-immune dis-ease. When RA occurs, the body's immune system mistakenly attacks the membrane (cartilage) surrounding the joints causing pain, inflammation and stiffness in the joints. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, and a general feeling of malaise. Unlike other forms of arthritis, RA affects joints symmetrically - if one finger or wrist is affected, the other one will be as well.

Acupuncture decreases the pain by stimulating the release of various neurotransmitters in the brain. One of these is endorphins, sometimes referred to as the body's own natural opiates. Endorphins inhibit the perception of pain and are similar to morphine, which is used in Western medicine. And while the medications often prescribed for this condition have many side effects, there are none with acupuncture. Simply, the placement of tiny sterile stainless steel needles at specific locations stimulate the release of these chemicals, and this effectively blocks the transmission of pain signals to the brain. There is a misconception amongst the populace who think that acupuncture works on nerves, or that needles are inserted into nerves. Acupuncture works indirectly on the nervous system to produce this natural effect. The needles are inserted into muscle/soft tissue. Often, the muscles and tendon sheaths develop hard knots called trigger points, that are responsible for chronic pain. These trigger points can be reactive and tender and are often found in the belly of the muscles and around the joints themselves.

Acupuncture and moxibustion increase the circulation of qi, blood, and lymph, thus also decreasing the cycle of inflammation. Rheumatoid arthritis is characterized by inflammation, (pain, heat, swelling and redness) in and around joints. Inflammation fluctuates do to internal and external environment factors... Acupuncture is also useful in treating osteoarthritis, the gradual eroding away of cartilage in joints and the deposit of bony osteophytes on bone and in the joints as well. Acupuncture works indirectly to influence the endocrine system. It stimulates the adrenals to produce natural steroidal compounds which inhibit inflammation and they stimulate the parathyroid gland to help balance calcium deposits. Chinese herbal formula's have also been found to be extremely useful as well.

Stress, emotional states, lack of exercise and improper diet can exacerbate symptoms. Each person is evaluated on a case by case issue. Some people have mild symptoms that can be acute, while others have a more chronic profile.

By making healthy lifestyle changes and getting competent treatments by a trained acupuncturist, you can manage this and live a relatively pain free and mobile existence.

An Introduction To Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is the second major type of arthritis - exceeded in number of cases only by osteoarthritis. It is a very serious ailment caused by inflammation of the joints. The pain associated with the disease is at times so severe that it almost completely disables sufferers. It affects women more often than men.

Rheumatoid arthritis advances in three stages starting with painful swelling and stiffness of the joints. In the second stage the pain aggravates and the bones and cartilage are severely affected thereby restricting the movement of the person altogether. By this time the diseases becomes chronic and just defies all treatment.

It is in your best interest to immediately consult a doctor as soon as you have pain in the joints. This means that don't wait for any other symptom appear. Also, you should never try treating the disease by taking over the counter medicines. Chances are that you may aggravate the ailment.

It is important that you ask your doctor to diagnose whether you are actually afflicted with Rheumatoid arthritis and if so, start taking the treatment that he prescribes. If you go by your doctor's advice you can save yourself a lot of damage by reducing the severity of the attack of the disease. Any delay in diagnosing and treating the disease may aggravate to an extent that you may have to undergo surgery. This will not only entail great pain, but also require huge costs of treatment.

Besides seeking a doctor's advice early, you may take general precautions like protecting your affected areas from stress of exertion. You should also try to reduce your weight if you are obese. Also contact your physiotherapist. Seek his or her advice about certain kind of exercises that may be specific to your kind of rheumatoid arthritis and take these exercises regularly as per the expert's advice.

Raynaud's Syndrome - Prevent Symptoms Naturally

Raynaud's (ray-NOHZ) syndrome is a condition in which poor circulation in the fingers and toes results in discomfort and numbness. It is visibly noticeable by the blanching of the skin. It occurs more frequently in women than men. No known cure exists, but preventive measures through nutrition, stress management, and common sense can help reduce episodes of the syndrome.

Be Aware of Triggers

The exact cause is unknown, but the symptoms usually arise when there is exposure to low temperatures, such as being in the cold out-of-doors or in an overly air-conditioned environment. It can occur when you hold an uncomfortably cold object, such as an ice cold soda can, even on a hot day. Raynaud's can also be caused by stress, or triggered by some drugs, for example, beta blockers used to treat high blood pressure. Sometimes it is associated with other diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. Usually it does not result in permanent damage, but over time damage to the tissues may occur.

Natural Preventative Methods

Try these suggestions to prevent Raynaud's symptoms:

  • Wear warm clothing and cover up. Undershirts and pant liners made of cotton, silk or nylon that are worn right next to your skin work well. They trap your body heat but are not too warm to wear indoors. Warm up your body by putting on your hat and gloves before you head out into the cold. Remember that most of your body heat is lost through the head so wear a warm hat that covers your ears, or earmuffs.

  • Stop smoking. Nicotine constricts the arteries.

  • Avoid caffeine. It can contribute to the problem.

  • Learn stress management techniques. Dr. Andrew Weil suggests using his Relaxing Breath Exercise. (This technique is good to learn as a stress reliever even if you don't suffer from Raynaud's syndrome.)

  • Use warming, pungent spices that stimulate circulation of energy and blood, moving energy upwards and outwards to the extremities of the body. For example, use herbs and spices, such as spearmint (not the gum, but the actual sprigs or in tea), rosemary, cinnamon bark, cloves, fresh and dried ginger root, black pepper, cayenne, other hot peppers, basil, and nutmeg.  You might like to get some organic ginger tea to have on hand for an easy-to-make option.

  • Eat pungent foods that help with circulation to the extremities such as scallions, garlic, onions, and mustard greens.

  • Ayurvedic medicine expert, Vasant Lad, suggests making a tea by combining eight ounces of water with 1/2 teaspoon dry ginger, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and a pinch of ground cloves. Simply boil for five minutes, cool, and stir.

  • Life Extension Foundation suggests taking 120 mg of ginkgo biloba extract once daily.

Learn to anticipate situations that bring on your Raynaud's episodes. For example, if you are going to be outside watching a parade for hours, potentially standing in the wind on a cold, shady sidewalk, dress warmly and enjoy some hot ginger tea before you set out. To prevent numb fingers while waiting for the tow truck to rescue you and your broken down car, cover up as best you can, stay out of the wind, and try to calm yourself with deep breathing and meditation.

Raynaud's syndrome may not be curable, but you can certainly eliminate some attacks with planning. Try smiling and relaxing when episodes do occur, and hopefully, your frigid finger tips and toes will soon return to normal.

Copyright © 2009, Ruth S. Sheets. All rights reserved. 

Natural Solutions to Arthritis (Including Rheumatoid Arthritis)

If you suffer from this dreadful conditions you may be concerned or even panicking. You may be plagued by images of disability and inability to pursue your favorite interests and activities. This is what I was told years ago, when I was first diagnosed with the disease. I was told that anti-inflammatory drugs would be the only solutions. At the time traditional medicine was quite ill-equipped to deal with this complex condition, so I refused to ingest drugs which would give me more side-effects than real relief from the symptoms (pain, stiffness initially and then some swelling with severe pain).

I was very lucky, in that, by mere chance, I was introduced to homeopathy. My then boss was also a registered Homeopath and happened to suggest a few remedies to me for a different condition, which were very effective. My interest in this alternative type of treatment was peaked and I quickly made an appointment with a highly-recommended Practical Homeopath (not a Classical Homeopath). She not only resolved my other complaint (skin-related), but my pain, stiffness and swelling disappeared almost overnight. Some of the symptoms occasionally returned and I was therefore prescribed slight remedy variations. I am proud to state that to this day I can function perfectly, I run, I hike, I play tennis without any pain nor stiffness. I no longer have any swelling of any type. And, above all, without any side-effects but rather an overall improvement in my health.

Homeopathy can be prescribed for specific symptoms or for an overall set of symptoms (the latter is always more effective, hence a careful study of the patient is necessary before prescribing a remedy). In my case, Staphisagria, Folliculinum and Lachesis were extremely effective, in this exact order. Homeopathy and the way it works with your body can only experienced and it's hard to explain. My advice is to go to a Practical Homeopath (registered) and not a Classical Homeopath; however, the latter can help if the former is not available in your area.

You can, of course, self-medicate if you have some knowledge of how homeopathy works. However, the guidance of a registered Practical Homeopath will help you find the right remedy much more quickly and effectively.

Friday, August 23, 2013

How to Cure MRSA - 1 Solid Tip to Cure MRSA Symptoms

Turmeric or curcuma longa is a natural antioxidant herb. The active ingredients are curcuminoids, which includes curcumin. Curcumin is a yellow pigment. This may relieve Rheumatoid Arthritis if taken orally. Found in powder form it is used mainly in cooking.

Benefits of Turmeric

Tumeric is a very much used ingredient in Indian cuisine. For thousands of years it has benefited the indian communities unknowingly. Turmeric helps to treat dyspepsia, abdominal pain and as recently realized, MRSA. India has some of the worlds least sanitary living conditions and yet still has very few cases of MRSA. Hand washing and the use of antibacterial products are almost unheard of in some areas yet MRSA, in any form, is very rare.

Recent studies have proven that the natural attributes of turmeric works wonders in the fortifying and prevention of a MRSA outbreak. The best thing of all is that it is so readily available for cooking and even in the form of pills or concentrated powders.

It also helps with kidney inflammation,liver and gall bladder problems. Bronchitis,and other respiratory infections can be treated with it also. Many have mistaken MRSA infection for spider bites or just plain old pimples and have soon realized their mistake after the area has become inflamed and filled with puss that refused all treatment. It leaves a hole in your body when lanced or squeezed and is very painful.

Now here is an over the counter remedy that assists you in avoiding this painful experience. MRSA boils appear anywhere on the body, from your genitals to the top of your head. Now you can avoid buying expensive medication that does not work and finally get one that does.

Is Meat Bad for Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Meat and Rheumatoid Arthritis

I am a previous sufferer of Rheumatoid Arthritis so I know how horrible the disease can be and how difficult life becomes during those terrible years. I explain in my natural cure for rheumatoid arthritis book how to go about eliminating the underlying cause of the disease by taking out of your diet the foods that are most offensive to the digestive system and overall inflammation in the body. One of the worst offenders is meat.

Most people love meat and consider it the main part of every meal. They also believe it is essential to the diet to be healthy and strong, providing beneficial protein, iron, energy and nutrients. The truth is, meat is not essential to human wellbeing whatsoever and any positive benefits it offers can be easily obtained from plant sources, without all the negative side effects that meat holds.

There are many downsides to meat from the point of view of an RA sufferer:

Meat, including fish, is very high in fat as a percentage of calories.

Animal meat contains no dietary fiber. Our healthy bacteria need to eat plant fiber, whilst unwanted pathogens thrive on animal waste. In addition, fiber is key for steady, regular stools that are easy to pass. I've found that it makes no sense to have a substantial part of my meal that contains no dietary fiber when I've found fiber such a key component to getting well.

Carbohydrates are easier to digest than meat, thus relieving workload off a stomach that is currently under stress.

Proteins are acid-forming since they are composed entirely of amino acids. (More on amino acids below). The most acidifying for the body are the sulfur-containing amino acids which break down to sulfuric acid. These sulfur-containing amino acids are most abundant in animal products like meat, chicken, fish and eggs. In fact, meat contains 4 times the amount of the highly acidifying sulfur-containing amino acids than any vegetable-based protein. You might remember from chemistry in school that to neutralize an acid you need a base. The body neutralizes the acids from these animal products using the most effective base that it has - calcium. The calcium gets withdrawn from the bones and is used to offset these acids. Through this process the bones are weakened, resulting in osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.

There are also several valid arguments put forward by others, which are non-specific to RA, but worth knowing also for your overall health and wellbeing:

Animal proteins (including all animal products like milk, cheese and all dairy products) are linked to other chronic diseases, including the top 3 killers of Heart Disease, Cancer and Diabetes. (By the way, the fourth biggest killer in the US behind these is prescription medicine, and that is taking the medicine as prescribed!) By eliminating all animal-based foods from his diet for 4 days my Dad was able to reduce his blood pressure from 160/110 to 127/78. This kind of express improvement is unheard of in Western medicine, yet entirely predictable and repeatable when you understand the effects of foods on the body. Why eat something that contributes to other diseases when you're already dealing with a damn tough condition already? Animal proteins develop fat cells on the body, by creating store houses for the over acidity that the body is trying to cope with. The fat you eat is fat you keep.

Animal foods are high in cholesterol. Nobody wants that in their bloodstream. There is zero cholesterol in plant-based foods.

Animal products contain uric acid, the excess of which is behind arthritic conditions like gout. There is an incredible testimonial in my book Natural Cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis book about a man with gout who followed the program and eliminated all pain in 1 week.

Not eating animal foods is the single biggest thing that can be done to help the environment (a whole book called 'Diet for the New America' is all about this. It's got to do with the amount of land and resources required to produce animal food vs. the tiny fraction required to produce the equivalent calories via plant-based foods). If everyone only ate plant-based foods our world would be an extraordinarily different place.

A plant-based diet is non-violent, upholding the Commandment of 'thou shall not kill'.

Meat tastes bad. Seriously! Try eating it without ketchup, without mustard, without salt or any seasoning whatsoever. Just a plain bit of animal muscle without seasoning. Good luck.

It's worth noting that I have no pre-existing prejudice towards eating meat. I grew up on a farm where steak was on my plate at least once a day. In fact, I was very reluctant to stop eating meat and I only did so once I reviewed the truth about meat and observed the benefits that a meat-free diet had on my body.

Everyone is concerned about getting another source of protein. Westerners seem to have a love affair with protein that borders on obsession. The truth is, protein is just a combination of building blocks called 'Amino Acids' which combine together in various permutations to create various forms of proteins. Think of this in exactly the same way that all words in the English language are put together from various combinations of letters of the alphabet. There are 20 different amino acids that are the building blocks for protein. Plants (and some bacteria) can manufacture all of these amino acids and therefore make 'complete' proteins. However, humans can only manufacture 12 of the amino acids without food, so we require the other 8 in our diet. These 8 amino acids are called 'essential' amino acids, referring to 'essential to our diet'. Plants contain these 8 essential amino acids in abundance.

Obviously, feel free to keep eating meat if you want, I'm not your Mother. I can't tell you what to do, but the evidence is strong towards omitting it and I'd be omitting it soon. Does now sound like a good time? I don't expect you will cure yourself of Rheumatoid Arthritis if you keep meat in your diet. Nor, for that matter, dairy products...but that's another story (or Ezine Article!).

Doctor - I Have Symptoms of Pain and Swelling in My Hands and Feet - What Could It Be?

While there are multiple causes of swelling and pain in the hands and feet, arthritis is probably the most common cause.

The term "arthritis" is derived from the Greek and means "joint inflammation". It refers to more than 100 different diseases that can cause pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joints. Joints are where the ends of long bones connect and interact. The end of each bone inside a joint has a thin layer of cartilage and is held in place by ligaments, tendons, and muscles. A joint is lined with synovial tissue (synovium) that helps to nourish the joint. It is the synovium that often becomes inflamed in arthritis.

Arthritis may also affect other supporting structures around joints such as the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones. Some serious forms of arthritis can affect internal organs.

The common symptoms of arthritis are due to inflammation (swelling, heat, redness, pain):

o Swelling in one or more joints

o Stiffness in the joints in the morning or with prolonged inactivity

o Joint pain or tenderness

o Restricted mobility in the joints

o Warmth or redness

Diagnosing arthritis can be difficult because some symptoms are often common to many different diseases. A rheumatologist will first do a complete physical exam, looking for clues. The eyes, ears, nose, throat, heart, lungs, and other parts of the body will be examined along with the joints. Lab tests and imaging procedures such as x-ray, ultrasound, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may also be ordered.

The most common forms of arthritis are:

Osteoarthritis (OA) is also referred to as degenerative joint disease. This is the most common type of arthritis. When it affects the hands, it can cause painful swelling in the last row (Heberden's nodes) and middle row (Bouchards nodes) of finger joints. In the feet it will affect the toe joints as well as the mid-foot. This disease affects cartilage, the tissue that cushions and protects the ends of bones in a joint. With osteoarthritis, the cartilage starts to wear away prematurely. The swelling of the fingers and toes may lead to bony deformity.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease; the body's immune system (defense mechanism against infection) attacks normal tissues. This autoimmune reaction causes inflammation of the synovium. RA symptoms include pain, stiffness, swelling, rapid loss of joint function, and crippling. When severe, rheumatoid arthritis can also affect internal organs. This is the type of arthritis that most commonly causes severe inflammation in the hands and feet.

Rheumatoid arthritis tends to be symmetric- one side of the bodt being affected just like the other.

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disease characterized by generalized aches and pains. The pain is accompanied by stiffness that is worst in the morning but tends to last all day long. Patients may have localized tender points occurring in the muscles and tendons, particularly in the neck, spine, shoulders, and hips. These tender points are called trigger points. Fatigue and sleep disturbances may also occur. There is subjective swelling along with pain in the hands and feet.

Gout and pseudogout are inflammatory forms of arthritis due to deposits of crystals in joints and other body tissues. Uric acid is the culprit in gout and calcium pyrophosphate is the villain in pseudogout. Both diseases cause painful attacks of arthritis affecting the hands and feet.

Infectious arthritis is a type of arthritis caused by either bacteria or viruses. A relatively common form of infectious arthritis is Lyme disease. Infectious forms of arthritis can cause swelling and pain in the hands and feet. A diagnosis is often difficult to establish. Antibiotics will often be used to treat bacterial infectious arthritis.

Reactive arthritis is an autoimmune arthritis that develops after a person has an infection in the urinary tract or intestine. This problem is often referred to as Reiter's disease. People who have this disease often have eye inflammation (iritis), rashes, and mouth sores. Inflammatory arthritis involving the hands and feet leading to a toe or finger that looks like a sausage (dactylitis) is common.

Psoriatic arthritis. Some people who have psoriasis also have arthritis. This disease often affects the hands and feet. It is usually asymmetric. It also causes deformity of the fingernails and toenails (onycholysis) that is often misdiagnosed as a fungal problem. Sometimes the spine- neck and low back-can be affected. As with Reiter's disease, dactylitis often occurs.

Systemic lupus erythematosus is another autoimmune disease. Lupus can affect many organ systems including the joints, skin, kidneys, lungs, blood vessels, heart, and brain. This is a cause of swelling and pain involving the hands and feet.

Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is the most common type of arthritis affecting children. It leads to pain, stiffness, swelling, and loss of function in the joints. A patient can also have rashes and fevers with this disease. Hands, wrists, ankles, and feet are often affected.

Polymyalgia rheumatica. Symptoms include pain, aching, and morning stiffness in the shoulders, hips, thighs, and neck. It is sometimes the first sign of giant cell arteritis, an inflammatory disease of the arteries characterized by headaches, scalp tenderness, weakness, weight loss, and fever. The hands and feet may be affected although less often than other joints. The erythrocyte sedimentation rate (sed rate), a blood test that measures inflammation, is often greatly elevated.

Bursitis is inflammation of the bursae- the small, fluid-filled sacs that help cushion joints. The inflammation may accompany arthritis in the joint or injury or infection of the bursae. Bursitis produces pain and tenderness and may limit the movement of joints.

Tendinitis is inflammation of tendons (the fibrous cords of tissue that connect muscles to bones) caused by overuse, injury, or arthritis. Tendinitis produces pain and tenderness and may restrict movement of joints.

Not all conditions that cause symptoms of pain and swelling in the hands and feet are due to arthritis. Here are some non-arthritis causes...

Polycythemia vera (PV) is a disorder that is due to excessive production of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Some patients with PV will not have any symptoms at all, but many will experience easy bruising or bleeding with minimal trauma. Also, the blood may become thick, causing it to clot in tiny blood vessels. If clotting does occur in the small blood vessels of the fingers and toes, a patient may experience numbness or burning. Swelling and pain in the hands and feet may also occur.

Some medical conditions cause edema...swelling of the hands, ankles, feet, face, abdomen, or other areas of the body. Swelling is most often seen in the hands, in the feet, or around the eyes. The swelling often causes pain.

Edema is due to excessive fluid accumulation. It can be caused by abnormal kidney function, chronic kidney disease, congestive heart failure, varicose veins, phlebitis, protein or thiamine deficiency, sodium retention, or cancer.

Other reasons for edema are pregnancy, standing for prolonged periods of time, premenstrual syndrome, oral contraceptives, an injury (sprain), hypothyroidism (low thyroid), anemia, adrenal disease, deficiencies of potassium and B vitamins, or allergic reactions.

The cause of the edema needs to be determined. Diagnoses such as congestive heart disease, kidney disease, or liver disease should be ruled out.

Insect stings can lead to swelling and pain in the hands and feet. The same type of reaction may occur with medications, such as penicillin or sulfa. This is referred to as serum sickness.

Acromegaly is a disease where a tumor in the pituitary gland causes an overproduction of growth hormone. This leads to swelling and pain in the hands and feet.

Frostbite is another cause of swelling and pain in the hands and feet.

Blood clots in the veins are another cause of swelling and pain in the limbs. This rarely affects the upper extremities (arms). If it does, diseases associated with clotting abnormalities should be suspected.

Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (causalgia) is an unusual disorder that leads to swelling and pain in an affected limb. Generally it occurs in an arm or a leg, rarely both at the same time. The preceding event is usually some type of trauma.

A Cure For Arthritis That Really Works

It has been known for years by many seasoned medical professionals that prescription medications to reverse or relieve the symptoms of arthritis only mask the problem. The answer of course is to fix the underlying cause of the condition and reverse the effects altogether.

First we must understand what a crippling arthritic condition really is. A crippling arthritic condition is the deterioration of joint tissue resulting in pain, swelling, discomfort, and immobility. Whether it be Osteo, RA, or Gouty etc, it basically functions the same way. The deterioration of the joint area is usually the result of enzymes eating away at the joint/cartilage over a period of time.


A. In many cases it is believed that an individuals ability to develop such conditions is within the genetics of the body.

B. An injury to the joint or effected area could be somewhat the catalyst in weakening the cartilage/tissue and enabling the area to be more prone to arthritis.

C. A mineral/nutrient deficiency slows the bodys ability to repair itself, and whether inherited or not, arthritis develops.

I myself was diagnosed with RA in 2001. I began to seek out every possible way to cure my condition. I would wake up with my hands swollen, fingers curled, and burning pain. Actually, the pain medicine and naproxen began to not do much at all. Maybe we build a tolerance to it over a period of time. I dont know. But I couldnt live with the thought of never playing the piano, guitar, or other things I enjoyed. Thanks to an older doctor who believes in "old fashion cures for what ail you", I found a cure that worked for me. Thanks to him, I am able to share this with you.

I actually found two natural cures. The one I used in the beginning was a supplement that contained glucosamine, along with a t-spoon of flax seed oil daily, and colloidal silver. I was doing so fine in feeling I was totally cured, that I stopped taking the daily supplements, along with everything else. When the arhtritis began to return, I couldn't find the supplement. I tried so many glucosamine supplements and none had the same effect as the first did. So this is what lead me to the real cure.


Keep in mind that my condition returned after I stopped taking the supplements. So if you are looking for a permanent cure that will rid you of arthritis, then lets move on.

The method I used to rid my life of arthritis for good, is a combination of techniques from a great program I found. It has been 7 years and the arthritis is gone. The best way to cure your arthritis is with a good working program you can do at home. It combines a little of the above mentioned formula along with a system a lady came up with. She has helped me so much! I can't thank her enough! There are many out there. If you search the internet, you will find a program you can use. Some take longer than others, and some don't work at all. However, if you want a system for a cure for arthritis that really works, see my blog link and I'll guide you right to her.

Immediate, and long lasting relief can be realised with the information I am sharing here. It has worked for me. I would advise you to follow my blog link and we will walk you through to a cure for arthritis that really works. Cure arthritis now!

Understanding Psoriatic Arthritis

It is estimated that about 2 percent of all the Caucasian population in the United States suffer from a skin disease called psoriasis. An area of inflammation that appears raised, red and scaly characterizes psoriasis. The areas commonly affected with psoriasis are the scalp, tips of elbows and knees. This could also appear around the areas of the anus and genital areas. It is observed that 10 percent of people with psoriasis develop the associated joint disease commonly known as psoriatic arthritis. Additionally, about 30 percent of people with psoriasis also have psoriatic arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis similarly exhibits the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. However, this type of arthritis is related with the psoriasis of adjacent skin and nails. The symptoms of psoriatic arthritis are clinically similar with rheumatoid arthritis sans the rheumatoid nodules. Psoriatic arthritis often exhibits mild and irregular flare-ups with very little chances of developing into a crippling form of arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis doesn't have sexual predilection as this equally affects both male and female between the ages 30 and 35.

Heredity plays an important role in a person's predisposition to psoriatic arthritis. Yet, psoriatic arthritis starts when there is streptococcal infection, or trauma. Most often a psoriatic lesion paves the way for the development of the arthritic component. Joint and skin lesions often come back concurrently once the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis have come out completely. Symptoms include swelling, warmth, tenderness and limited movement. Psoriatic arthritis may affect a single joint or this can affect several joints in symmetrical manner. This is commonly seen in hand joints in association with psoriasis of the nails. The affected nails may appear discolored more often yellowish in appearance with pitting, traverse ridge and keratosis. The nail may be entire destroyed by the disease. During the later stages of psoriatic arthritis, patients may experience low back pain and spondylitis. Frequently, a psoriatic lesion is often found near the affected joint. Sometimes, these lesions may be hidden in such as the areas in the scalp and navel.

Most often, doctors give a diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis to patients with psoriatic lesions and are suffering from inflammatory arthritis. Diagnosis is often backed up by X-ray results and blood tests. Psoriatic arthritis should be differentiated from gout by synovial fluid examination. Psoriatic arthritis lesions should not show any white crystals like gout does. Furthermore, it should be differentiated from septic arthritis by culturing synovial fluid for microorganisms.

Finally, patients with mild psoriatic arthritis should minimize mobility though complete bed rest. Heat therapy or hot baths will also be beneficial. Inflammatory drugs will help ease the inflammation. Patients with this type of arthritis should be reassured by the doctor that the psoriatic plaques are not contagious because these might keep him from going out with people. People around patients with psoriatic plaques should not show signs of repulsion, as these will only trigger the patient's fear of being rejected. Skin care products are important and the patient should learn how to apply these medications to the skin correctly. However, these skin care products do have side effects and the doctor should be able to explain all these to the patient. The patient should take adequate rest and properly protect the affected joints. Moderate and regular exposure to the sun is also beneficial to patients with psoriatic arthritis.

Effects of Rheumatoid Arthritis on the Body

Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition that causes chronic inflammation of the joints such as knees, hips, ankles and hands. It is accompanied by high levels of pain and can cause severe disability issues. More likely to strike women than men, the condition is commonly occurring in those over the age of 40 although it also affects much younger people. It affects about 1% of the population and can be dependent on a host of factors that include weight, environment, smoking and genetics.

Contrary to common belief, the affects of rheumatoid arthritis go beyond merely affecting joints and causing restrictions on a person's mobility. In fact the condition can have significant and widespread effects on the whole body. One such effect can be seen on skin with the development of rheumatoid nodules. These are lumps of tissues that can occur, usually under the skin in areas such as the fingers, forearms, elbows and heels. They can even occur in the lungs and heart or appear as ulcers.

Rheumatoid arthritis's effects on the body can be detected in the eyes as well. Inflammations in the eyes, especially in the white area, can turn the eye red and cause pain. Vision loss and an increase risk of Sjogren's syndrome are some of the other ways the disease can take its toll on the eyes. The heart and blood vessels are yet another set of organs that could be affected by this condition and thereby place people under heightened risk of cardiovascular diseases, heart attacks and stroke. Inflammation of blood vessels is another common complication that could also prove to be of a serious nature.

The effects of rheumatoid arthritis can also extend to blood cells. It can affect the body by lowering levels of red blood cells, causing a condition known as anemia, which in turn causes fatigue, accelerated heart beat, dizziness and insomnia. Lung problems are yet another way in which we can witness the effects of rheumatoid arthritis on the body. Inflammation of the lungs that can be attributed to the condition may cause pleuritis and fluid collection. Some complications that may arise as a result include collapsed lungs, infections and coughing up of blood. What is worse is the tendency for some rheumatoid arthritis medication to cause lung problems that could result in shortness of breath, cough and fever.

Most medication available for its treatment tends to suppress the immune system and this could in turn cause complications by increased disease and illness arising from a suppressed immune system.

Life can be difficult at best for those living with this condition. The constant pain coupled with the inability to move about freely and enjoy life as well as the pain and difficulty in getting the most basic chores done without pain or restrictions can, and often does, lead to high levels of depression in a significant percentage of people living with this condition. Thus rheumatoid arthritis doesn't only take a toll on a person's body; it also takes a toll on a person's mental health.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms That Can Challenge Your Lifestyle

Identifying the common symptoms for rheumatoid arthritis is the first step in learning more about this disease. Rheumatoid Arthritis is an auto immune disease, which is characterized by inflammation in the lining of the joints and only affects 1 to 2 percent of the population. This disease often begins with middle aged individuals and is more common in women than men; however, don't be fooled... RA can also develop in children and young adults.

Early symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis can be difficult to assess, because the symptoms may go in and out of remission providing a challenge for your healthcare provider. Keeping a journal of symptoms may help your doctor to better diagnose the symptoms you are experiencing.

Symptoms for RA can differ from individual to individual, and there is no single test for diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis. The most common complaint heard by medical practitioners is the daily joint pain and the significant level of pain, both of which can adversely impact your quality of life and ability to take care of even the most basic daily tasks.

You may often experience significant stiffness in the morning, in and around the joints, lasting for more than thirty minutes, swelling in the wrists, knuckles, or the individual finger joints. You may also experience a feeling of warmth over the inflamed joints. RA can affect many other joints, such as the jaw, elbows, shoulders, feet and ankles.

RA occurs in a symmetrical pattern, for example if the right knee is affected, then the left knee will be affected also. Although it is quite common for an individual to be more inflamed and affected than another. Extreme fatigue, weight loss, fever, swollen, red and warm joints and an overall feeling of malaise are common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

There is no cure, however, the common goal is to reduce inflammation, relieve pain, stop or slow down joint damage and improve the ability to function on a daily basis. There are many exciting new advances in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

So there is simply no reason not to seek treatment. If you believe that you are experiencing some of the common symptoms of RA, then set up an appointment with your healthcare provider and discuss your symptoms. Early and aggressive treatment is the best plan of attack when attempting to get hold of this disease.

Learning more about the common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis is the most important step to take to learn more about this crippling disease. Cliché yes, but it is so true...knowledge is power!

Remedies For Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis, an autoimmune disorder, is a disease where a person's own body attacks itself, causing widespread tissue damage. Reactions, sometimes referred to as flare ups, can be caused by a variety of reasons. A person can have a reaction to the stress in their life, infection or even an injury. The traditional treatment for autoimmune diseases, such as arthritis is immunosuppressing medicines. But these medications can be toxic if used for an extended period of time. If at all possible try to use drugs that are not as strong to avoid dependency. Also if you use these drugs for too long, the body will build up a resistance, making them far less successful. Also if a person becomes accustomed to these type of treatments, they will be far less likely to find relief with a natural treatment.

Changes in a person's lifestyle can help boost the immunity, and there are many strategies that will help with the control of the symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Some of the natural remedies and suggestions for the control of the symptoms of an autoimmune disorder are; Eat a diet that is high in carbohydrates, and low in protein. This is accomplished by minimizing the consumption of animal products such as red meat and processed foods. Eliminate all milk and milk containing products. This includes the commercial foods that include milk as an ingredient.

Polyunsaturated oils, such as vegetable oil, vegetable shortening and margarine. Partially hydrogenated oils should be avoided in any form.Caffeine and tobacco are also on the list of substances that can cause a flare up.

A good practice is to increase the intake of omega 3 fatty acids, this can be accomplished by adding more walnuts, freshly prepared flax seeds and fish that are found in colder waters. A fish oil supplement is a good choice for persons who do not like the foods that are naturally high in omega 3.If a person controls the diet in this fashion the symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis can possibly be lessened without medications.

Aerobic exercise such as swimming are good for persons with Rheumatoid Arthritis. The water lessens the stress on painful joints. psychological therapy, hypnotherapy and visualization are good for the emotion stresses in a persons life. Eliminate the following foods for 8 weeks, then add them back one by one, this will allow you to find the specific triggers for your symptoms.

1. sugars, all but natural sugars in certain fruit, 2. citrus fruit, 3. soy, wheat and corn.

Fever few is an herb that has shown success in treating the symptoms, as have the following anti inflammatory herbs; turmeric, and ginger. With the proper treatments, you may find your symptoms becoming fewer and less severe.

Gout FAQ No 6: Who Gets Gout?

Who Gets Gout?

Predominantly middle-aged men, however, it is becoming more frequent to see men in their late 20s and earlier 30s challenged with the symptoms of gouty arthritis. Due to this increase of this painful form of rheumatoid arthritis, the pharmaceutical companies have been working to produce new gout medications for the skyrocketing demand.

Gout is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis in men over 40. Men have higher levels of uric acid in their blood than women but women can also get gout, generally after menopause, which occurs around age 50. Also, gout is usually thought to be hereditary and that it occurs most often in overweight men over 30 who drink beer, wine and alcohol in general.

Lead poisoning or toxicity causes saturnine gout, which affects the kidneys and there are some autoimmune conditions can predispose a person to gout. Uric acid gout is also listed as a possible side effect of certain medications, including diuretics, aspirin, cyclosporine, and levodopa,and various other therapies, including pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy. Symptoms of gout may even come about as a response to an illness such as cancer.

Chronic gout attacks in the atypical gout sufferer can be triggered by a broad range of events. Stress, emotional trauma or anger can cause a gout attack. Binge eating and/or drinking is one of the common gout causes, and similarly so will a sudden/crash diet. Injuries as slight as a stubbed toe or twisted ankle can bring on a flare-up and damaged or stressed joints will succumb to an attack quite easily and repeatedly.

Whether the genetic component for gout is as strong a factor as is widely believed. Who gets gout depends more on lifestyle related habits and choices, as are so many other conditions, illnesses and diseases. What causes gout is the over abundance of uric acid in the bloodstream and that can happen to anyone of almost any age. The reason that it happens more often to middle-aged men is because of the poor health habits that men more often exhibit that do women. Metabolic acidic wastes, including uric acid, accumulate for decades before they become a problem.

Frequently men reach the age of 45 and have their fist gout attack, then start to look gout cures; gout medications, gout remedies, natural gout treatments, etc. This is usually in vain however, due to the accumulation of toxic acid wastes in the tissues and the ingrained lifetime habits. Those conditions and habits continue and therefore, so do the symptoms of gout. Preventing gout is the answer to gout pain relief.

The underlying cause of gout is found in the overall acidic condition or acidosis of the whole body, and finding a natural treatment for gout is the better long-term solution. Cherry juice for gout is one of many and is the most well-known and most popular.

Common Signs and Symptoms of Arthritis

There are several types of arthritis, the most common of which are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is also sometimes called degenerative joint disease, and it is associated with aging. The primary underlying cause of osteoarthritis is wear and tear on the joints, which naturally occurs with the aging process.Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation of and damage to the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis commonly appears in middle age, and is far more prevalent in women than in men. There is no correlation between certain ethnic or racial groups and the prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis, and it can also affect children and young adults.Clearly, the most common identifiable sign of arthritis is chronic pain in the affected region. Arthritis is frequently associated with pain and stiffness in joints, especially joints that have been injured in the past. Pain and stiffness may be most noticeable after being immobile for a period of time, such as after sleeping.

Swelling is also a very common symptom of all forms of arthritis.Arthritis frequently causes hip pain, knee pain, wrist pain, and pain, stiffness, and swelling in the finger joints. Another common symptom that can aid in the proper diagnosis of arthritis is a warm sensation around the affected area. A key indicator is the presence of symptoms in the same joints on both the left and right sides of the body. For example, if the same symptoms are affecting both wrists, it is a likely indication that arthritis may be the cause. A decreased ability to move the joint may occur in relation to the pain and stiffness caused by arthritis. Arthritis, particularly rheumatoid arthritis, may also cause a general feeling of fatigue throughout the entire body. In some cases, a fever may be present.In severe cases, joint deformity may occur. With advanced progression of arthritis, a patient's range of motion can be significantly affected, possibly leading to the necessary use of a mobility aid, such as a cane. Symptoms associated with this degenerative disease that are persistent over a period of several months should be evaluated immediately.

Early diagnosis and treatment are helpful in slowing the progression of arthritis and ensuring a better, longer lasting fulfilled life for patients.Physical therapy and other natural and homeopathic remedies can greatly improve the symptoms of arthritis and help to slow the progression of the disease. Because arthritis affects the joints of the body, which are made up of ligaments and cartilage, certain herbal and mineral formulations can help to improve the elasticity of the ligaments and lubrication of the joint, improving comfort and reducing pain caused by damage to the area.Visit your health professional at your first concern that you may be suffering from arthritis. A proper diagnosis is the first step to formulating a treatment plan that will have you living life to the fullest, free of pain, for as long as possible.

Arthritis Pain Relief and Treatments

Arthritis is commonly associated with old age. Arthritis pain is an important cause of loss of mobility in your pet as it is in humans. Arthritis is caused by: inflammation, the process that causes the redness and swelling in your joints; damage to joint tissues caused by the disease process or from wear and tear; muscle strain caused by overworked muscles attempting to protect your joints from painful movements; fatigue caused by the disease process of arthritis, which can make your pain seem worse and harder to handle - so the pain varies. The pain is one of the most prevalent medical problems in the world today and it afflicts tens of millions of people worldwide. Arthritis is often caused by an accumulation of toxic buildup in the joints, muscles and fluids.

There is a widespread and strongly held belief that arthritis pain is influenced by the weather; however, scientific studies have found no consistent association with that belief. Medicines like TYLENOL Arthritis Pain, is available in bottles containing 24, 50, 100, 125, or 150 mg caplets or bottles containing 20, 40, or 80 mg gel tabs at most food, drug, and mass merchandise stores. When taken according to directions, TYLENOL Arthritis Pain is effective for the temporary relief of the minor pain of arthritis, and the temporary relief of minor aches and pains associated with the common cold, headache, toothache, muscular aches, backache, for the pain of premenstrual or menstrual cramps and for the reduction of fever.


Symptoms usually develop over time rather than suddenly.  Symptoms such as morning stiffness and swelling should be present for at least six weeks before the diagnosis is considered.  Symptoms of psoriatic arthritis are nail abnormalities, skin lesions, joint swelling and joint pain.  Symptoms of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis are joint stiffness, limited range of motion, high fever with chills, low grade fever, slow growth rate, rheumatoid rash, and rheumatoid nodules, chest pain, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, eye pain and red eyes. If you see any of these symptoms in your child seek medical advice immediately the faster the disease is identified the faster the doctor can prescribe a treatment.


Relief can be had from a patch and medications.

Q: What are the benefits of applying SALONPAS Pain Relief Patch or SALONPAS Arthritis Pain instead of taking a pill?

A: The patch is a clinically proven, FDA-approved option for OTC pain relief that doesn't have to be swallowed.

Q: How soon should I expect relief when using the patch?

A: Pain relief generally occurs within one hour of patch application, but in some individual cases, pain relief may take longer about 2-3 hours after applying the patch it's really according to how bad the pain is when the patch is applied.


You've seen it on television and in magazine ads -- over-the-counter treatments for minor arthritis pain. Treatments are aimed at relieving pain associated with the disease, but with severe joint damage, constant pain may be unavoidable at that stage of the disease. Recognizing early osteoarthritis symptoms leads to early treatment. Early diagnosis and treatment help manage knee osteoarthritis symptoms. There are specific symptoms and distinguishing characteristics which determine the diagnosis and course of treatment. It is pain that the patient notices, pain which brings the patient to the doctor and pain which will dictate the treatment that the doctor chooses. As treatment for rheumatoid arthritis improves, severe disability and life threatening complications appear to be decreasing.


Generally arthritis pain is commonly associated with old age. It is a chronic pain that comes and goes and sometimes is constant.  The pain is caused by inflammation in the body as the bones rub against each other due to eroded cartilage.  Arthritis is a tough disease to treat and some types of arthritis, including those of back pain, continue to deteriorate. Arthritis pain is the most common source of chronic pain. The pain occurs because our joints suffer natural wear and tear through the years, they are less able to maintain the supportive cartilage matrix surrounding the joints and bones. Before taking any type of arthritis medications please consult your doctor.

MS Early Symptoms - It's Important to Catch MS Early

Many of the early symptoms of MS are so subtle that the person who is experiencing them does not realize that they have any significance at all. In fact for the most part people tend to dismiss them as not worth worrying about and do not bother to go see their doctor for a diagnosis. By doing this they allow the disease to progress unabated for far longer than it should and cause more damage before it is caught.

Early symptoms of MS that most people tend to ignore and dismiss as nothing to worry about are the feelings of numbness and tingling in their legs and arms. The typical thought is that this is a result of the way they were sitting or laying down and that the limb has "gone to sleep". If this symptom goes away quickly they may be right but if it lasts for hours and continues to reoccur then it can be the first signs of the onset of multiple sclerosis.

These early symptoms of MS can also lead to the person experiencing temporary stiffness or even paralysis of one or more extremities from individual fingers or toes to entire arms or legs. They may also have episodes of poor balance or lack of coordination where they normally have perfect scores in both areas. Instances of muscle spasms know as spasticity are an indicator that there is a problem that should be tested for.

Cognitive difficulties can be one of the early symptoms of MS, but may be so subtle that it is not noticed or is easily dismissed. Problems with the thought process of connecting a thought to the right words while a person is talking is a classic symptom. Having difficulties remembering what you are supposed to be doing at a particular time or during the day can also be an indicator although this can be a sign of many other issues. Slurred speech for someone who is normally well spoken and has good diction can be an indicator that something is going on in the speech center of their brain.

While many of these symptoms are mild and easy to dismiss, it is far better to go see your physician and get tested to make sure that they are not the precursor to something more serious. Multiple sclerosis is not curable at this time but with early detection the damage it does can be kept to a minimum allowing the patient to live a long and productive life.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms - How To Recognize The Signs And Symptoms Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease which typically attacks the small joints of the body. These include the fingers, wrists, elbows, ankles, and feet. In some more serious cases, it can attack internal organs such as the heart and lungs. It is a serious, chronic, and debilitating disease which, if left untreated, can cause significant deformity to the joints and severe disability.

Rheumatoid arthritis affects mostly woman, and usually begins between the ages of 30 and 50. Children and men can be affected as well, although women make up 70% of the cases. However, in men, its attacks are often more severe and less responsive to treatment.

The symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis are often confused for other diseases, and it can take several years for a diagnosis to be made. No single blood test gives the diagnosis. Rather, diagnosis is made after an overall assessment of indicators is completed by the doctor, usually a rheumatologist.

Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms include flu-like symptoms, including low grade fever, muscle aches, loss of appetite, and in some cases, sweating in the hands and feet. At this stage most sufferers dismiss these as symptoms of a flu virus. However, within a short time, in some cases overnight, one or more joints will become swollen, red, painful and hot to the touch. Usually, RA attacks the joints symmetrically. That means that if your right hand is affected, your left hand is also affected simultaneously.

Other symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis include stiffness in some of the joints upon awakening, and lasting for an hour or more. Prolonged sitting often aggravate the stiffness. Weight loss, depression and extreme fatigue are also reported.

Diagnosis of Rheumatoid arthritis usually requires blood tests for inflammatory markers, x-rays or bone scans of the affected joints and a thorough clinical exam including specific assessments of all of the joints, whether they are sore or not at the time of the exam.

Once Rheumatoid arthritis is diagnosed, there are several treatment options. Most of the rheumatologists today tend to treat the disease at its onset with aggressive treatments, regardless of the severity of the disease. In the past, doctors would begin with more of a 'wait and see' approach. They would give aspirin or acetaminophen to help with the pain. However, it has recently been shown that joint destruction can continue even without pain or swelling.

While every treatment plan is unique, most doctors prescribe a NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) such as ibuprofen, mobicox, or celebrex, along with methotrexate to begin. If the swelling and pain is especially severe, prednisone, a corticosteroid with strong anti-inflammatory properties may be prescribed for a short period. Long term treatment with prednisone is often avoided due to its significant side effects. Cases which remain unresponsive to conventional treatment sometimes require the newest arsenal in treatment: 'biologics.' Biologics inside cells in an attempt to interrupt the inflammation process where it begins.

"Flares" or exacerbations of symptoms still occur for most RA sufferers from time to time. While rheumatoid arthritis cannot be cured, the pain, swelling and associated symptoms can often be successfully managed. Lifestyle changes and medications are often enough to keep the symptoms under control.

Arthritis research is ongoing, finding newer and better ways to treat the disease, and patients have reason to be optimistic for the possibility of a pain free future.

Be Alert to Hallux Valgus Deformity Symptoms

Be alert to hallux valgus deformity symptoms. Just as you would be alert to symptoms of some other disorder or illness, you should pay careful attention to anything out of the ordinary with your feet or toes. We tend to forget about our feet and toes, until it's time for another trip to our favorite nail salon to make sure our feet look pretty. We forget that our feet bear the burden of our whole body whenever we are upright off the bed or couch. Once we are walking, our feet are carrying a heavy load. This makes learning the symptoms of this foot disorder a smart, pro-active move. This is especially so if you are a woman and you wear shoes that you know don't really give your toes enough room. If there is a history of bunions in your family, then you must be even more alert.

The symptoms of hallux valgus show up in a variety of ways, but the most obvious way is the leaning of the big toe toward the other toes. If you notice that your big toe isn't quite straight and seems to be curving toward the toe next to it, you need to become proactive right away. Don't take the chance of thinking that you are just imagining things because of your tight shoes, and that all you have to do is kick them off and then you won't see any signs of leaning. If you wear tight shoes often, that leaning will become a permanent condition.

If you have any kind of pain in the metatarsophalangeal joint, which is at the base of the big toe, then you are experiencing another symptom of hallux valgus deformity. Pain in this big toe joint, along with the turning of your big toe toward the others, no matter how slight, is a serious, almost foolproof indication of the development of a bunion.

Redness in this toe area and swelling are additional symptoms that go along with the hallux valgus, although these symptoms could also be caused by other problems, such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, or hopefully something more minor, such as damage to the skin or tendons. So, in and of themselves, redness and swelling could indicate one of the above mentioned problems. The most important symptoms that indicates hallux valgus deformity is the turning of your toe and pain in the metatarsophalangeal joint. Unfortunately, since hallux valgus deformity is a progressive disorder, it will get worse if you do not become proactive right away. This fact increases the importance of finding out what is really causing your symptoms. Find out if the redness and swelling are from hallux valgus, or from one the other other conditions mentioned above, each of which would also required immediate medical attention, as well.

The genetic factor for bunions is not always emphasized enough, due to the necessary emphasis on tight shoes. Heredity plays a part when certain kinds of bone structure in the feet, such as flat feet, are inherited. So, it's important to not forget that you are at greater risk if other people in your family suffer from this foot disorder. In this case, you must be even more vigilant and pay attention to any symptoms of hallux valgus deformity you notice.

Diagnosis and Pathogenesis of Gout

Gout is a common type of arthritis that causes inflammation, swelling and pain of the joints. The disease is caused by the accumulation of uric crystals at the level of the joints and muscular tissues. In many cases, the underlying cause of gout is high serum uric acid concentration. Uric acid is a substance synthesized during the body's purine metabolism, having no physiological importance inside the organism. In fact, uric acid is a waste product excreted by the kidneys through urine. High serum uric acid levels are the result of either overproduction or inappropriate excretion of uric acid. The great majority of gout cases are caused by under-excretion of uric acid, as a consequence of renal dysfunctions.

Although hyperucemia (high levels of serum uric acid) is considered to be directly related with the development of gout, the disease isn't always caused by this factor. For instance, people may develop gout even on the premises of normal serum uric acid levels, while many people with hyperucemia don't actually develop gout. Although the symptoms of gout closely resemble the clinical manifestation of rheumatoid arthritis, there doesn't seem to be a connection between these two disorders.

Gout is generally diagnosed upon patients' clinical manifestations. However, in order to confirm the diagnosis, doctors often perform additional tests, such as blood analyses or tissue examinations under the microscope. The process of diagnosing gout involves revealing traces of uric acid accumulation at the level of the joints and soft tissues. Gout sufferers usually have serum uric acid levels above the average of 7 mg per dL. Although hyperucemia isn't always the primary cause of gout, people affected by the disease generally have elevated serum uric acid concentrations.

Gout is often the result of uric acid overproduction, facilitated by food regimens that contain high levels of purines. However, sometimes the body' overproduction of uric acid is the consequence of physiological abnormalities. Recently conducted experiments have identified various physiological dysfunctions in people diagnosed with gout, such as abnormal activity of the enzymes that control purine synthesis. Gout is considered to have a pronounced genetic character and it can often be seen in people who have a family history of the disease.

In some cases, gout occurs due to under-excretion of uric acid. This waste product is eliminated by the kidneys, through urine, or by the gastrointestinal tract, through stools. However, the primary cause for the under-excretion of uric acid is abnormal activity of the kidneys. Thus, people with kidney disorders are exposed to a high risk of developing gout.

The symptoms of gout are generally episodic and they often involve intense pain in the joints. Pain attacks tend to intensify at night and they may last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. The medical treatment of gout generally acts on two levels: it normalizes serum uric acid levels and relieves gout attacks. In order to ameliorate pain attacks, doctors usually prescribe gout sufferers non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, colchinide or injections with corticosteroids. Medications such as probenecid, sulfinpyrazone and allopurinol are usually used in the treatment of gout for preventing the recurrence of pain attacks. Corroborated with an appropriate diet and lifestyle improvements, medical treatments available today can in time overcome gout, also minimizing the chances of relapse.

How to Deal With Children Having Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

While rheumatoid arthritis strikes older adults at around the age of 75, there is a type of rheumatoid arthritis that is seen in children. Children have the possibility to be affected with most diseases concerning the skeletal function and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is one of those. Addressing concerns about this disorder is important because childhood is the stage where growth and development is most crucial. It affects both females and males and can be diagnosed in children as young as 6 years old. Like rheumatoid arthritis for adults, JRA is a lasting disease which affects the joints of the body.

How can we detect JRA?

There are several types of this disease. Most children with the first type of JRA present signs and symptoms such as having alternating high fever and episodes with normal temperature, the appearance of rashes, swelling of lymph nodes, and enlargement of some organs of the body such as the liver and spleen. The joints are also involved and the symptoms may last for about 6 to 12 months. The second type of JRA is divided into two, one affecting girls and the other affecting boys. Most girls experience inflammation of the uveal tract of the eye which is usually painful and may lead to visual impairment or even blindness. The type affecting boys cause arthritis which is prevalent in their lower extremities. The third type of JRA affects four or more joints. This is somewhat similar to the rheumatoid arthritis which is found in adults. Signs and symptoms include fever, body pain, fatigue, weight loss, anemia, poor growth and development, and enlargement of the organs of the body. JRA can be very painful to the children and can make them irritable. It is important that parents know about these signs and symptoms in order to help their children cope better with this disease.

What are the usual treatments for JRA?

While rheumatoid arthritis cannot be cured and the treatments are only to delay its progress, the prognosis for children with JRA is positive. Treatment includes the use of non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and other medications to reduce the swelling and relieve pain. Methotrexate, a drug proven to relieve patients of joint pain and swelling, is also used when symptoms are more aggressive. Usually, there is the same treatment for adults and JRA.

Another important aspect of treatment is nutrition. Foods rich in vitamins, protein, and iron are recommended because it helps the body repair and build tissues. According to researches, food intake with higher amount of carbohydrates is not recommended since it only worsens the swelling that is common among children with JRA. However, since it is a crucial time for growth and development, carbohydrates cannot be eliminated from the diet. The solution for this dilemma is by preparing diet which has low carbohydrate content. Instead of serving food rich in carbohydrates, foods rich in protein and fats are given. Low carbohydrate fruits and vegetables such as apple, orange, pear, banana, pineapple, cabbage, carrots, cucumber, onion, and squash are ideal. Protein reduces inflammation and can be found in beef, chicken, fish and eggs. In addition, fish oil which is rich in omega 3 can also help lessen inflammation. These products are readily available in the market. When included to the child's diet daily, it can have favorable effects.

Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Begin in the Intestine?

It's not widely known, but the results of numerous clinical trials over the last 30 years have pointed to an intriguing connection between rheumatoid arthritis and the intestines. As long ago as the 1940s, Charles de Coti-Marsh in his pioneering research into the causes and treatment of arthritis declared 'the disease begins in the bowel.' Nowadays there is increasing evidence that he was right.

Unfortunately, the connection between arthritis and diet has historically been downplayed, with nutrition never quite making the grade as an object of scientific study. More recently, however, the development of nutritional biochemistry. immunology and pharmacology, as well as ever increasing scientific data on free-radical disease, antioxidants, prostaglandins, and flavonoids have lifted the subject of nutrition out of the realm of anecdotal uncertainty into the province of credible science.

In Joints and Arthritic Disease (2002), Dr Gail Darlington references a number of research projects, for example a study by O'Farrelly which took small intestinal biopsies from 93 patients with rheumatic arthritis (RA) and compared them to those of a control group. The conclusion was that the gut may play a part in the immunopathogenesis of certain cases of RA.

The combination of the development of certain types of gut flora and an increased permeability of the intestine (allowing potentially harmful bacterial antigens into the blood stream) seems to be the key issue. Darlington notes that 'RA patients untreated by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have normal gastrointestinal permeability, but patients on NSAIDs and perhaps also on disease modifying antirheumatic drugs show increased permeability. Such increased permeability may allow food or bacterial antigens to be absorbed in greater quantities than usual, overwhelming normal gut defences and, possibly producing symptoms of RA.'

What that means is that dietary manipulation could, in theory, reduce gastrointestinal permeability, with reduced absorption bacterial antigens - and perhaps treat one of the causes of rheumatoid arthritis. Despite these findings, and others like them, making dietary changes in order to treat arthritis is considered to be 'alternative', in other words unacceptable to the majority of the orthodox medical community.

Does rheumatoid arthritis begin in the intestine? Quite possibly - there is some evidence to support the theory. However, 'alternative' theories rarely attract commercial interests, which is of course the prime source of research funding. It therefore remains to be seen whether complementary and alternative therapies will ever achieve the status of 'proven' as required by Western science.

Elizabeth Hartland,
Nutritional Therapist,
The Arthritic Association

Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment and Cure

Most people, especially doctors, will tell you that there is no cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis. Yet, what if I were to tell you that scientific studies conducted over the past 30 years have shown that hundreds - YES hundreds - of people have been able to get off all medications and control their pain and inflammation using only dietary methods alone?

Well not only have I studied the scientific literature and seen these papers first hand, but I have used what I have learned and applied it to myself to completely eliminate my own Rheumatoid Arthritis. I want to share with you below the essential things that need to happen if you are to ever eliminate Rheumatoid Arthritis to restore faith to those who are suffering and who are seeking some serious results.

1. Believe that it can be done.

If you remain skeptical about there being a cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis then you will never be able to overcome the disease. Faith is required that this is possible, and faith is gained by seeing others who have done it.

2. Discipline is required

Nothing of great value is ever achieved without effort. However, we have two types of pain in our lives - the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. I know which one I prefer, and I'm sure most people would opt for the pain of discipline also if they were thoroughly convinced of the effectiveness of an alternative path.

3. A diet change is required

Although overly-academic people will tell you there is little to no link between RA and diet they should be ignored like any ill-informed person should. Rheumatologists are not taught nutrition and rarely does a Rheumatologist ever actually know anything about the disease first-hand. After suffering for 5 years with RA, I know that it's like a living hell and that most people with RA would do anything it takes to cure the disease if only they had the right information.

Well, a dietary change is required because Rheumatoid Arthritis stems from an underlying poor digestive system. A 'leaky gut', a depleted intestinal mucosa, an overgrowth of candida and 'bad bacteria' and and over acidic body all contribute to the autoimmune attack on the joints. This is coupled with food sensitivities, meaning that several foods will cause a worsening of symptoms for sufferers of RA. If you don't believe me, don't eat for 3 days. Just drink vegetable juice (cucumber and celery only) and watch most of your pain disappear. I'm not kidding.

4. Animal products cause the most pain

Food sensitivities tend to trigger an autoimmune response up to 48 hours after eating. Thus, it is tough to work out which foods are causing the inflammation in each person. However, as a general rule, animal products tend to cause the most long-term problems for RA sufferers because animal products cause each of the intestinal disorders outlined in bullet point 3.

In addition to animal products, cereals and soy products are also recorded as being the most common allergens for people with Rheumatoid Arthritis.

5. The best diet is a low-fat, sugar-free, plant-based diet with lots of leafy greens

What does this kind of diet look like? Buckwheat, Quinoa, Amaranth, Brown Rice, Sweet Potatoes and Lentils and Beans of all types. These heal the intestinal environment. Leafy greens such as Romaine Lettuce, mixed greens, baby spinach and so on are extremely alkalising and detoxing for the body and also aid in the digestive process when eaten with the meal (taking pressure off an already compromised gut).

6. It takes time

It took me 2 months of eating like this to get of my 20mg/week of Methotrexate and I've been drug free ever since. As long as I eat as per above I get no joint inflammation and my CRP blood reading reads less that 3mg (well inside normal limits) month on month. If you have had RA for more than 10 years it might take longer. The body can only heal at the pace that nature allows - but healing is healing, and when you're inflicted with RA then healing is not a word you hear very often so you take what you can get.

Clint Paddison

Previous Sufferer and author of the ultimate Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment 'Clint's Cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis'

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

New Insight Into Overcoming Fibromyalgia

People living with chronic pain and fatigue often think that they have fibromyalgia. Whether or not they have fibromyalgia, this article will provide some insight into an over diagnosed condition that may not be as disabling as you might think.

Fibromyalgia is a chronic, non-inflammatory, diffuse musculoskeletal pain disorder, characterized by fatigue and tenderness at specific multiple locations. It is a neurochemical imbalance causing hypersensitivity in the nervous system that amplifies pain. The exact cause of fibromyalgia is still unknown. However, based on my clinical experience in treating patients with fibromyalgia, there is a strong correlation between the combination of a sedentary lifestyle, obesity and unresolved soft tissue injuries.

The typical patient, who was misdiagnosed with fibromyalgia, has been living with soft tissue pain either in the neck, back, pelvic area or hips. After years of chronic pain, this patient became withdrawn and detached from normal living. And the only way to ease the pain is to spend most of the time sitting or lying down.

What are the criteria for fibromyalgia? Many symptoms of fibromyalgia overlap with various rheumatologic, auto-immune and neuromuscular conditions including myofascial pain syndrome. These symptoms include widespread body aches and pains, morning stiffness and chronic headaches. Rheumatoid arthritis, anklosing spondylitis, multiple sclerosis and severe degenerative spinal arthritis can replicate symptoms of fibromyalgia during the exacerbation period. Stress, anxiety and the weather can influence these conditions and their associated symptoms of aches, pains, stiffness, joint swelling, low energy and fatigue.

To be certain of fibromyalgia, all blood work and muscle enzyme levels must be normal. All gastro-intestinal and rheumatologic disorders must be ruled out. Subjective aching and stiffness associated with fibromyalgia normally last more than three months. Finally, fibromyalgia has specific multiple tender points that are distributed above and below the waist on both sides of the body.

It is beyond the scope of this article for me to explain the complex neurological interactions between nociceptive pain, somatic sensory and the limbic system. With fibromyalgia there is hypersensitivity among the neural receptors in these systems that increase pain.

Nociception deals with pain. Think of it as an electrical circuit primary for pain sensation. A mechanical, thermal or chemical stimulus with the right intensity is required to produce pain. Burning from fire or sulphuric acid or pricking with a sharp object normally causes pain. Somatic sensory is a system that mainly deals with tactile, movement and mobility. It is a circuit that senses movement, mobility, touch, pressure and vibration in the skins, muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints. Somatic sensory also deals with pain but to a lesser degree. The limbic system is a circuit for sexual arousal, pleasure and various other psychological emotions.

In fibromyalgia there is a short circuit among nociceptive pain, somatic sensory and the limbic system. The threshold for the pain stimuli is lowered due to cross-wiring within these three neurological systems. The pain threshold floodgate is now opened for new businesses and everyone is welcome. Stimuli within the somatic sensory and limbic systems are welcomed to produce and amplify pain. Gentle pressure or even a light touch on the soft tissues can produce pain while mental stress and anxiety can also cause physical pain.

If you are correctly diagnosed with fibromyalgia, it is not as disabling as you might think. Normalizing the pain, somatic sensory and emotional hypersensitivity is the key in treating fibromyalgia and other chronic pain syndrome.

Time has changed. People are taking more control of their health. No one should become withdrawn and inactive from normal living as a result of fibromyalgia. If the form of treatments that you're getting is not helping you, then try something different. It's never too late to regain your life from fibromyalgia.

Foods that Promote Inflammation

"The more severe the pain or illness, the more severe will be the necessary changes. These may involve breaking bad habits, or acquiring some new and better ones." -Peter McWilliams

You are not helpless in your fight against inflammation! Your diet plays a major role in activating or suppressing a protein called cytokines that causes inflammation. I can't stress this enough. For that and other reasons that will be discussed shortly, I would like you to start thinking in terms of: "Is what I'm swallowing making me healthier or sicker?" There is little if any neutral ground. It is as if everything that you swallow is sending a signal to your immune system to either cause more inflammation or less.

The following are groups of foods that you should avoid because they send a signal to your body to produce more inflammatory cytokines. They are also toxic to your body in multiple ways, polluting the internal terrain of the body and promoting inflammation.

Most Meat, Except Oily Fish

We often hear the phrase "all things in moderation". Meat, especially red meat, is an exception to this rule. Even what most would consider a "moderate" amount of red meat can produce an intolerable number of cytokines and bring on autoimmune symptoms.

For some, the "low-carb craze" has meant an increase in meat consumption. If eating the low-carb way means that you are eating a lot of meat, you are making your autoimmune condition worse. Protein from meat raises the levels of the toxins uric acid and urea in the blood. The body pumps excessive amounts of water into the kidneys to help flush out these toxins. The result of a high animal-based protein diet is very quick water "weight loss". The downside of this "weight loss" is that it causes the body to lose essential minerals. Mineral deficiencies cause autoimmunity. A better protein choice comes from vegetable-based proteins. These proteins improve mineral retention in the body.

One doctor has reported that within two weeks of his lupus patients not eating meat, most showed significant improvement in their skin lesions.

The Swank Diet calls for giving up red meat for one year. Then, after the first year, allowing yourself four ounces of red meat per week. This diet has made a significant improvement in the lives of people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Dr. Swank studied more than 150 of his patients with MS for a thirty-four year period of time. Those who followed the diet died at the rate of 5%, while patients not following his diet had a death rate of about 85% during the same time period.

However, reducing meat intake isn't just about living longer, it is about living well! This recommendation is for everyone, not just those whose collection of autoimmune symptoms are called lupus or MS. No matter where in your body cytokines gather or what they are attacking, eating red meat will increase their numbers. The way that meat is prepared also makes a difference. Charbroiled and grilled meats of any kind are much worse for you and should be completely avoided.

Fish is the exception to the meat rule. Fish does not raise cytokine levels. It actually reduces them. The problem is that much of our fish is contaminated with toxic mercury. Unless you are sure that your fish source is mercury free, you should limit your fish intake to one serving per week and use fish oil supplements instead. Some people will even be sensitive to one contaminated serving of fish. Check your local health food stores for fish farmed in "mercury-free" tested water. Additionally, salmon is a fish that is readily available and least likely to be mercury contaminated.

Egg Yolks

Egg yolks and dairy products are high in arachidonic acid. This is the same substance that makes meats so inflammatory. If you are going to eat eggs, you should only eat the whites. On a food label, eggs can be listed as albumin, globulin, ovamucin, or vitellin.

Dairy Products

"...countries with the highest dairy consumption, such as the United States and Sweden, because of their high animal protein diets, have the highest rates of osteoporosis, a disease involving the weakening and potential breaking of bones."
-Richard Schwartz, Ph.D.

Research published in the Lancet Medical Journal described a small group of patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) in Norway. For four years, they experienced substantial improvement by excluding milk and wheat from their diets. Reintroducing these foods into their diets caused a significant rise in the patients' cytokine levels along with an increase in pain.

Besides increasing cytokines, milk further aggravates asthma because of its casein content. When the protein of another animal is introduced into the human body, the immune system responds with an allergic reaction. Casein is a milk protein. Eating casein causes your body to produce histamines, which result in excess mucus production.

Those with CFS and asthma are not alone in their sensitivity to milk. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, July 30, 1992, studies suggest that a certain milk protein is responsible for the onset of diabetes because patients produce antibodies to cow milk proteins.

Milk's vices are many. As strange as it may sound, the digestion of milk proteins can create an addictive substance that acts like endorphins, our own personal narcotics. The same can be true of gluten and wheat. These endorphins have the ability to disrupt brain chemistry and cause addiction.

I am sorry, but this has to be said: Last year, the average liter of milk in America contained 323 million pus cells. Sick and infected cows have cell counts above 200 million. A count of 323 million is not even healthy by dairy industry standards. Drinking pus is a bad idea for anyone. It is a terrible idea for someone with a tendency towards immune dysfunction.


Gluten is a component of grains such as wheat, oats, barley, and rye. Besides being inflammatory, doctors have reported a higher than average number of people with autoimmune disorders are allergic to gluten. They suggest complete avoidance for at least one month to see if benefits will occur.

Studies have also shown that wheat and corn can irritate patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis and raise cytokine production in the colon and rectum of those with celiac disease.

Corn, Corn Oil, Corn Syrup (Fructose)

Corn, besides promoting cytokines, has been called the leading cause of chronic food addiction in this century. To give you an idea of how powerful the addiction can be, all cigarettes made in the U.S. since World War I have contained added sugars, usually from corn. Do you think the cigarette companies chose corn syrup for the great taste it adds to their products?

Corn syrup (fructose) is cheap and twice as sweet as cane sugar. In 1994, the average person ate 83 pounds of fructose. Corn syrup causes an increase in blood lactic acid, especially in people with diabetes. Fructose from corn syrup inhibits copper metabolism and decreases mineral availability, two factors in autoimmunity. Fructose also breaks down into a substance that weakens your body's natural anti-inflammatory molecules. The body does not metabolize fructose the same as other sugars. Fructose converts to fat more than any other sugar. Corn fructose certainly isn't the diabetic-friendly and harmless sugar substitute that it is advertised to be.

Studies have shown that corn can irritate patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and the National Fibromyalgia Association (NFA) suggests corn should be avoided because it can aggravate Fibromyalgia.

Remember that if corn products can increase cytokine levels in those with RA and Fibromyalgia, it can increase cytokine levels for anyone.


We Americans are eating an average of 153 pounds of sugar a year. Refined white sugar makes
it more difficult for your body to absorb vitamins and minerals, a major contributor to the cause of autoimmunity. Sugar also suppresses immune function, leaving us open to infection. Just eight tablespoons of sugar, which is the equivalent to the sugar in less than one 12-ounce can of soda, can reduce the ability of your immune system to kill germs by up to 40%.

Like salt, sugar is dehydrating to the body. Dehydration increases histamine, which can
worsen asthma and any other autoimmune disease because histamine increases cytokine production. As recommend by the National Fibromyalgia Association (NFA), sugars should be avoided because they can worsen the condition. Sugar feeds Lyme-causing bacteria and Candida yeast, the significance of which will be discussed later. Eating sugar also causes an insulin surge, which contributes to chronic inflammation.

Honey is sugar. It may be "all natural", but it is still sugar. It is higher in calories than table sugar and can be contaminated by pesticides. Consuming "all natural" delicious tasting pesticides is not what you want to be doing.

A good non-toxic substitute for sugar is the nutritional supplement stevia. Stevia has been used by millions of people without reported side effects. In Japan, stevia sweetened products represent 41% of the market share of sweet substances consumed.

Stevia is an herb originally from Paraguay. South Americans use it as a sweetener and also for medicinal purposes. This herb is anywhere from 30 to 100 times sweeter than sugar. Stevia does not affect the blood sugar levels of most diabetics. Stevia also does not feed fungus in the intestines like sugars do.

Stevia has a strong, sweet flavor that can overwhelm a recipe, so it should be used sparingly. Because you only use such a small amount at a time, recipes must be adjusted for the lack of bulk. Stevia can often be purchased with helpful inulin added to it for bulk. Also, cakes and cookies sweetened with stevia do not brown as much as their sugar-sweetened counterparts.

Flour/Processed Foods

For you simple carbohydrate-lovers (addicts), the next sentence is going to be one of the most painful ones in the book. If you want to get rid of cytokine inflammation, you must give up processed foods and junk foods. They tend to be full of everything you shouldn't eat. This list includes most breakfast cereals, muffins, breads, crackers, cookies, and doughnuts.

White flour contains alloxan, which is the chemical used to make flour look clean and white. Alloxan destroys the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. It does so by initiating free radical damage to the DNA in the pancreas. Researchers believe that some people have weak defenses to free radicals in these beta cells. Alloxan is so potent that researchers who study diabetes use it to give diabetes to lab animals. While not everyone who eats white breads and processed foods will get diabetes, the connection is clear: Alloxan causes diabetes in those genetically susceptible to the disease.

The Nightshade Family

Vegetables in the nightshade family include white potatoes, tomatoes, all peppers, cherries, tobacco, and eggplants. Research indicates that these vegetables produce pain and inflammation in arthritis patients and aggravate Fibromyalgia according to the National Fibromyalgia Association (NFA). However, not everyone will be sensitive to nightshade foods. The only way to know for sure is to avoid them for a period of weeks then reintroduce them into your diet.

Everyone should avoid tobacco, which is a toxic member of the nightshade family, permanently.


Despite being inflammatory, coffee has had its medicinal purposes. My own ancestors used it to treat asthma. I have friends outside the U.S., who are still dependent upon coffee to treat asthma. Certain caffeine-type chemicals in coffee have been proven effective at stimulating bronchial dilation in people diagnosed with specific types of asthma. Some modern day asthma medications are even made from chemicals in the caffeine family.

For those using coffee as a natural asthma medication, you should keep in mind that caffeine is a toxic chemical. Its purpose in plant life is to act as an insecticide. In people, caffeine suppresses the enzymes needed for memory making. It also raises both blood sugar and insulin levels, causing cytokine production and aggravating diabetes.

Simply drinking decaffeinated coffee isn't the answer either. Women who drink more than one cup a day of decaffeinated coffee are considered at a much higher risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. The theory is that chemically decaffeinated products are causing the increased risk of autoimmunity. If you are going to drink decaffeinated coffee anyway, be sure that it uses a non-chemical based decaffeinating method and that the coffee was organically grown. Those who do not drink organic coffee, are exposed to too many man-made pesticides.


The wine industry has America convinced that a glass or two a day is good for your heart. However, John Folts, Ph.D of the University of Wisconsin, has done studies, which show that to receive those heart-healthy benefits, you would have to consume enough wine to be declared legally drunk. Grape juice is a healthier alternative. Dr. Folt's study also found that only ten to twelve ounces of purple grape juice was associated with lower blood clotting, thus a lower risk of heart disease than promised by red wine.

Besides being pro-inflammatory and addictive, alcohol breaks down to a toxin in the body called aldehyde. Toxins are dangerous chemicals that the liver does not recognize as useful. Toxins attack and destroy cells and attract germs. Aldehyde accumulates in the brain, spinal cord, joints, muscles and tissues, where it causes muscle weakness, irritation, and pain.


"Within each of us lies the power of our consent to health and sickness ... It is we who control these, and not another."
-Richard Bach

It is up to us as individuals to read labels and avoid those foods that are causing inflammation in the body and making us sick. With many of these foods, because you consume them on a daily basis, you don't even recognize they are causing you symptoms. Unless you totally give them up for a month or so, you won't know how these inflammatory foods have been affecting you.