Saturday, August 31, 2013

Arthritis - Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms

Arthritis is a term that is used to describe the inflammation of a joint. Some of the characteristics of arthritis are pain, swelling, redness and warmth within the joints. Rheumatic arthritis is a type of chronic arthritis that affects both sides of the body such as wrists, hands or knees. It is the second most common form of arthritis and it can affect people at any age. Typically though, it's onset is around the middle years say between 30 and 50 years of age.


The exact cause of this condition is not yet known, but according to research, it is thought to be caused by three factors which are environmental, hormonal, and genetical. Research has shown that certain genes which are connected to the immune system are linked with rheumatoid arthritis. It is believed that something (stress, hormonal changes, or a viral infection) does trigger rheumatoid arthritis in people that has the genetic tendency to develop the condition. There is another school of thought that suggests that smoking may also be a root cause of this condition.


There are a number of symptoms which can sometimes be very unpredictable as can come and go. Some of the most common symptoms include Fatigue, Pain and Swelling of the joints, Stiffness of the joints (which occurs mostly in the mornings and after sitting for long periods of time), and The presence of bumps and nodules under the skin. Rheumatoid arthritis can affect people in different ways. For some, it develops and progresses rapidly. While for others, it develops for a limited period of time and then lapses into a remission stage which can last for months or even years. It can also develop gradually over several years before it becomes really unbearable for the sufferer.


Managing rheumatoid arthritis can be achieved with a balance of medication, exercises and rest. Although it is easier said than done, especially since the symptoms can sometimes come and go and there can occasionally be severe bouts of Flare-ups (When the inflammation of the joints becomes more painful and active, and the swelling and stiffness gets worse), it is still advised to stick to the treatment routine that was devised by your medical team so as to keep the condition under check. The treatment of this condition depend on several factors including medical history, age, severity, and the overall state of health of the sufferer. The medications used to relieve the symptoms include: Anti-inflammatory painkillers, Nacotic pain relievers, and Topical (creams and lotions) pain relievers. Extreme or severe cases of rheumatoid arthritis are treated with very strong medications called Disease-Modifying Anti-rheumatic Drugs (DMARDs), and or surgery - to correct damage done to the joints.

Fatigue Symptoms and Its Causes

Most adult persons have been bothered by a condition called fatigue at least once in the course of their lives. The most common fatigue symptom is the lack of strength of energy. However, the term, fatigue is usually used ordinarily and has quite a lot of meanings. Fatigue can also mean sleepiness or drowsiness, tiredness, lethargy, listlessness, malaise and also weakness, particularly muscular weakness.

There are times if it is hard for us to decipher and recognize what we are really feeling - whether we are tired, fatigued, weak or other debilitating conditions with other symptoms. Nevertheless, any kind of common symptoms and bring about conditions of fatigue may indicate that you may be suffering from serious medication conditions and prompts medical investigation.

Several medical conditions may be considered as the cause of fatigue. Other possible causes could also be identified by your physician. So it is highly advised to consult with a doctor about your particular variety of fatigue symptoms.

More often than not, fatigue is caused by these following conditions:

- Anxiety
- Overexertion
- Infections
- Pregnancy in women

Watch out for the medical conditions that commonly trigger various fatigue symptoms:

o Flu
o Hepatitis
o Mononucleosis
o Chronic infection
o Viral infection
o Urinary tract infection or UTI
o Abdominal infection
o Lung infection
o Rheumatoid arthritis
o Tooth abscess
o Endocarditis

Diseases that can also result to fatigue are the following:

o Certain types of Anemia
o Addison's disease
o Post viral syndrome
o Hypothyroidism

There are symptoms that seemingly indicate fatigue but can also be akin to other conditions:

o Drowsiness may be either a fatigue symptom or a sign that you were short of sleep the night before.
o Weakness can be a sign of fatigue, depending on two factors: physical or muscular weakness.
o Sleepiness
o Tiredness
o Malaise
o Listlessness
o Muscle Weakness

Many of the fatigue symptoms are individually triggered by certain possible causes. There are about 462 possible causes for drowsiness, 244 possible causes of malaise, 200 causes of lethargy, 1 cause of chronic fatigue syndrome, 4 causes of severe fatigue, 8 causes of extreme fatigue, 23 causes of lack of energy, 20 causes of excessive yawning, 2 causes of daytime drowsiness, 1 cause of daytime tiredness, 3 causes of general discomfort and 9 causes of feeling under the weather. The fatigue symptom, sedative effect's cause is already obvious.

You can undergo various diagnostic tests in order to determine fatigue. This would depend on your medical practitioner's professional advice, of course and you must select judiciously.

- Undergoing physical examinations, like taking of blood pressure while lying down and after arising quickly to an upright position. This is needed if you are probing into Addison disease as the cause of fatigue.

- Another physical examination is feeling lymph nodes to see there are an enlargement

- Undergoing abdominal examination to see if there is an enlargement with the spleen or liver.

You can undergo through many other medical examinations that would help diagnose your condition thoroughly and guide you on the best possible treatment of your fatigue.

Best Long Term Care For Rheumatoid Arthritis - An in Depth Analysis on What Works and What Doesn't

Long-term treatment for rheumatoid arthritis is critical for the people suffering from its symptoms of inflammation and pain. However, you can achieve the best long term care for rheumatoid arthritis if you are able to diagnose the symptoms at a very early stage and take the appropriate medical action and lifestyle changes. Find out the expert facts in this article.

Although, the genes play a very important role in the occurrence of rheumatoid arthritis, your lifestyle and diet habits also play a key role in the occurrence and progress of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

Once you're diagnosed positive, the long-term treatment for rheumatoid arthritis would consist of these 3 basic remedies: adequate rest, a well balanced exercise regimen and the regular use of anti-inflammatory drugs -- whether they are prescription based, over-the-counter or natural.

Even though prescription based and over-the-counter medications offer short-term relief from pain and inflammation, but they suffer from long-term side effects. On the other hand, natural alternatives provide effective pain relief and are free of any potential side effects on your health

However, you should discuss with your doctor in complete detail before you use natural remedies on a standalone basis or in combination as a part of the best long term care for rheumatoid arthritis.

The common prescription and over-the-counter medications used in the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are --

1) Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs -- they are very popular and the over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen and aspirin fall in this category. They are effective as a short-term relief from pain and inflammation, but they might lead to serious side effects like stomach problems, ulcers and gastrointestinal bleeding, if you take them in large doses and for extended periods of time.

2) Cox-2 inhibitors -- it works by inhibiting the action of the enzyme Cox-2, which causes inflammation and arthritis pain. They have earned a notorious name and bad publicity because of their fatal side effects in the form of heart attack and stroke.

To cite an example, Vioxx which is a Cox-2 inhibitor brand produced by Merck was temporarily taken off the market because of its fatal side effects. Due to these factors, people are increasingly looking towards natural alternatives for the long-term treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

3) Corticosteroids -- they also help to reduce inflammation and give relief in rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. However they are only suggested for use as a short-term treatment, because they cause adverse side effects like weight gain, high blood pressure, bruising, eye problems like cataract, diabetes, thinning of bones which might lead to osteoporosis, etc.

4) Natural remedies -- omega-3 fatty acids form the best long term care for rheumatoid arthritis because of their vital importance in overall health. They contain exceptional anti-inflammatory property. Besides that they also improve brain and cardiovascular health.

Besides that, Omega 3s are also free of any side effects. They have natural blood thinning properties. So, if you are taking blood thinner medications or anti-coagulants such as aspirin as a part of medical prescription for rheumatoid arthritis, you should talk to your doctor before using omega-3 supplements. This is to ensure that you do not end up taking a lot of blood thinners, because they could have potential side effects.

Research studies show that omega-3 fatty acid supplements help in a significant way to reduce tenderness and inflammation in joints, decrease morning joint stiffness and reduce the necessity of taking other prescription drugs to reduce inflammation and pain in rheumatoid arthritis.

Green lipped mussel found in New Zealand is another amazing source of omega-3 fatty acids. It has natural anti-inflammatory property and helps to reduce joint stiffness and pain, increase grip strength and enhances joint mobility in osteoarthritis patients.

To sum up, increasing the supplementation of Omega 3s in your diet through the use of omega-3 rich sources such as fish oil supplements can be the best long term care for rheumatoid arthritis. Omega-3 supplementation is very important, especially in the Western world because their diet is very deficient in Omega 3 fatty acids.

Rheumatoid Arthritis - 8 Questions That Can Lead To Early Detection

Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) often resemble other common illnesses, unfortunately it is also a primary reason for delay in diagnosis and treatment. Because early detection of RA is critical to maintaining a good quality of life, individuals are encouraged to recognize the unmistakable manifestations of RA and see their doctors, immediately.

A doctor's initial diagnosis of RA depends largely upon patient complaints, medical history, and findings during a physical exam.

To help with early detection of RA, apply these 8 defining questions to yourself:

Question (1): Who is more prone to the disease?

Answer: All persons are capable of developing RA at any age, however, statistics show that 75% of young female adults are more susceptible to the illness. RA often occurs in women of childbearing years, ranging from 25 to 45 years. Relatives of families diagnosed with the disease are also considered vulnerable to the disease.

Question (2): What is the cause of RA?

Answer: RA is thought to be an autoimmune disease, which means that the body mistakenly attacks its own cells, creating a hostile and weakened internal environment. Evidence also suggests a genetic predisposition to the illness, as well as a link to poorly managed bacterial infections.

Question (3): How is RA Characterised?

Answer: Of the many types of arthritic diseases, RA is the most serious form. It leads to severe crippling, chronic inflammation of the joints, systemic tissue damage and decreased function.

Question (4): What are the 4 classic symptoms of RA?

Answer: The most commonly reported symptoms are prolonged flu-like symptoms, specifically: i) morning stiffness, ii) joint pain, iii) muscle weakness, and iv) fatigue.

Question (5): How is RA different from common arthritic symptoms?

Answer: Rheumatoid arthritis is unlike osteoarthritis (arthritis), a degenerative disease that occurs naturally with aging and should not be confused with one the other. RA is a dysfunction of the immune system and if left untreated can become fatal.

Question (6): Why is past history of infections important?

Answer: Knowing your past medical history of infections is one important path to isolating RA. Persons infected with streptococcal pharyngitis (strep throat) or scarlet fever has an increased risk of developing RA. Studies still debate the link between the development of acute RA and streptococcal bacteria (group A streptococcus) in playing a toxic role in the start of autoimmune diseases.

Question (7): Does RA affect joints, only?

Answer: No. Organs and body systems are typically affected and often include the heart, lungs and kidneys.

Question (8): What is the most suspecting symptom of RA?

Answer: The hallmark of RA is its inflammatory response, characterised by thickening of the synovial membrane that lines the joints, and stiffening of the hands and feet. Additionally, the symmetrical involvement of joint pain (pain on both sides of the body) is considered another important marker of RA.

After reading these questions, discuss your concerns with your doctor. Early detection of rheumatoid arthritis means starting a healthcare program within two years of diagnosis for a better life and a promising prognosis.

Understanding Rheumatoid Arthritis

There are over one hundred different forms of arthritis, though most people are familiar with only a few of them. One of the most commonly heard terms is rheumatoid arthritis, which is an inflammatory disease that affects joints and causes them to become crooked and appear as if fingers are growing almost sideways. This type of arthritis affects over two million Americans every year.

While it's unknown exactly what causes rheumatoid arthritis, it is known that the condition damages the synovial tissue that connects bones and joints in the hands, feet, and anywhere else in the body where bending is allowed. With this condition, the synovial tissue, or membrane, losses its smooth surface and texture and begins to develop extra tissue that is called pannus. This formation causes an excess of enzymes that will eventually destroy surrounding cartilage, bone and other soft tissues associated with joints, and the result is painful.

Inflamed areas, especially in tendons, can cause shortening, and if tendons rupture, joint strength and stability is severely impaired. While in most cases, rheumatoid arthritis strikes older people, it is also found in those as young as twenty years old. Most cases of this type of arthritis develop between the ages of 20 and 45, though that's just the norm. In many scenarios, the condition runs in families, suggesting a strong genetic link.

Since many different types of arthritis mirror signs and symptoms, it's important to write down your symptoms, their duration, and the course of the symptoms as far as length of time you've been feeling them, in order to help your doctor determine which form of arthritis you may be suffering from. Most people don't realize they have developed rheumatoid arthritis because it starts off feeling like a flu bug.

However, eventually, multiple joints are affected, usually on one side of the body. The most common areas of attack are joints in the fingers, at the base of the fingers, wrist, elbows and knees. Ankle joints and bone joints of the feet may also be affected.

Many people who hit their forties feel morning stiffness that eases as the day progresses, but most types of arthritis also starts off that way. One of the best ways to distinguish normal aging and stiff joints from rheumatoid arthritis is experiencing warmth in the joint area.

Another indication that arthritis may be present is the appearance of reddened and swollen joints that feel tender and painful when touched. Flare-ups may last for several days, or several weeks, and may often grow worse in winter months.

Determining the course of treatment for rheumatoid arthritis depends on many different factors, such as symptoms and the stage of development of the disease. Taking an active part in the treatment of symptoms is one of the best things you can do if diagnosed with this type of arthritis.

Exercise and joint strengthening exercise throughout your life will help keep many forms of arthritis at bay, and mediations and other treatments may ease pain and swelling associated with rheumatoid arthritis. However, it's important for people to follow the course of action prescribed by a rheumatologist for optimum benefits.

A Review of a New TNF Inhibitor for the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Up until the 1980's, the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis was less than satisfactory. We used drugs such as gold salts, d-penicillamine, hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil), sulfa drugs, and even tetracycline-derived antibiotics. For some patients who responded to these measures, the results were gratifying. But all too often patients either didn't respond or they developed horrendous side effects.

Approximately, fifteen years ago, biologic drugs such as the TNF inhibitors, entered the arena and revolutionized out treatment approach to rheumatoid arthritis.

While there are many biologic therapies with different mechanisms of action, this article will focus on one drug, a TNF inhibitor called Cimzia. The TNF inhibitors work by either attaching to tumor necrosis factor or blocking its ability to bind to its receptor on a cell. This action essentially renders tumor necrosis factor incapable of producing inflammation.

We currently have five TNF inhibitors available. I have adapted some of this information from a recent article by Dr. Phil Mease that appeared in Medscape.

Cimzia (CMZ) is a pegylated anti-TNF drug. What this means is that a polyethylene glycol chain has been attached to the TNF antibody. This attachment is supposed to keep the drug in circulation longer and also to keep it at the site on inflammation longer. This lengthier stay is supposed to enhance the effectiveness of the drug. CMZ is given as a subcutaneous injection every 2 or 4 weeks. One benefit is that it doesn't sting as much as some of the earlier TNF inhibitors such as Enbrel or Humira.

The safety and effectiveness of Cimzia in adult patients with active RA were established in three large phase III clinical trials, in which CMZ was given along with methotrexate or by itself. These studies showed that CMZ reduced the signs and symptoms of active rheumatoid arthritis and prevented the progression of joint damage.

The studies also evaluated factors such as patient reported outcomes and quality of life measures. After all, what good is the science if the patient doesn't feel that the medicine has helped them be able to get their life back?

All the clinical trials were in agreement in regards to the following: CMZ, in combination with or without methotrexate, improved the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis as early as the first week of treatment. CMZ also prevented joint damage as early as 16 weeks. Patients reported significant improvements in quality of life measures. They also had significant relief of arthritis pain and fatigue, following treatment with CMZ.

The potential side effects of CMZ are exactly the same as with all other TNF inhibitors and these potential problems need to be discussed with the patient prior to prescribing the drug.

In our office we also go over a teaching schedule and have a patient sign an informed consent form.

Friday, August 30, 2013

What Do You Need to Know About Rheumatoid Arthritis

What is meant by Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a very commonly found form of arthritis. It is a disease that gets worsened over a period of time and leads to painful swelling and permanent damage in the joints of the body particularly the fingers, wrists, feet and ankle. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease i.e. a disease in which the body's immune system damages its own tissues. The injured tissues cause reddening, swelling and pain in the particular area. Apart from inflammatory joints, this disease can even hit one's internal organs such as lungs, eyes and heart. It is therefore a systemic ailment that often produces excruciating intolerable pain.

People prone to Rheumatoid Arthritis

Women especially between 20 to 60 years of age are more susceptible to develop Rheumatoid arthritis due to the innumerable hormonal alterations in their body because of various reasons. However, young and the old, anyone can be afflicted by this autoimmune systemic disease.

Symptoms and Causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Pain, irritation, stiffness, extreme weariness after doing day's work and even swelling of joints, mark the onset of arthritis. If the situation deteriorates gradually, it is definitely Rheumatoid arthritis.

Contrary to gradual development, in some cases the disease might just hit within few seconds with inflammation and fever.

The stiffness of joints and tiredness because of Rheumatoid arthritis is extreme and hampers the individual's daily activities. The problem may trouble more during winter season.

A burning pain in the joints (left or right hand, cartilage and bone etc.) that prolongs for six weeks or more at a stretch indicates Rheumatoid Arthritis. But if the pain travels to individual's sacroiliac joints of lower back or to the upper spine, the disease is other than this one

Factors that invoke the disease

No strict causes for Rheumatoid Arthritis have been discovered as yet. But investigations and experience have revealed many some constantly occurring or usual factors that have led to its development.

The individual with a family history of Rheumatoid Arthritis is greatly liable to be afflicted by it. But particularly what infested thing gets passed on from affected ancestors to the patient still needs to be explored.

Acute stress is supposed to be another reason behind Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Different viruses such as mononucleosis can cause Rheumatoid Arthritis. Other than this, infections like strep throat lead to the ailment.

Prevention and Cures

Diagnosis commences with some crucial tests. These tests determine the severity or the stage of rheumatoid arthritis for the individual. Once rheumatoid arthritis is confirmed, anti-rheumatic drugs are prescribed. Anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen etc. are prescribed initially and more often to those who are suffering from mild form of the disease. But when the case gets worse, disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs or DMARDs are given. Corticosteroids like prednisone, narcotics; chemotherapy drugs for instance Cytoxan; anti-organ rejection medicines such as cyclosporine are examples of DMARDs. Arava, Enbrel or Etanercept and Methotrexate are by and large recommended medicines to patients of Rheumatoid arthritis. But as many other antibiotics, these drugs too have numerous side-effects which should be borne in mind before advising them.
Besides medicines patients even find therapies like acupressure and acupuncture quite relieving. In many cases of Rheumatoid arthritis, patients also desire to go for a surgery.

Physiotherapy in Osteo Arthritis

Role of Physiotherapy in Arthritis

The word 'Arthritis' literally means joint inflammation. The warning signs of arthritis are pain, swelling, joint stiffness, difficulty in moving one or more joints. Arthritis can be a life changing event which can affect your personal, social and work life unless it is well understood and treated in time.

There are 127 different kind of arthritis. The most common types are Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is degenerative joint disease. It may be due to chronic wear and tear or due to injury.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which ones own immune system attacks cells in the joint capsule and associated chronic inflammation destroys cartilage, bone and ligaments, leading to deformity and disability. Physiotherapy plays a major role in treating both Osteo & Rheumatoid arthritis along with medicine or by itself.

Even though many other factors contribute the development of Osteo arthritis, the root cause may be deviation of normal body mechanics. By correcting the body mechanics the percentage of wear and tear can considerably reduced. Obesity, muscle wasting, poor muscle strength, prolonged standing and internal derangement of knee like ligament injury can also contribute to Osteo arthritis. Physiotherapist can assess these basic causes and helps to correct the pre disposing factors. If it is found and corrected early, Osteo arthritis can be controlled to a great extend. Some patients may need medicine along with Physiotherapy.

Major symptoms seen with Osteo arthritis are pain, restricted range of motion, swelling etc. Pain and swelling can be relieved with the use of hot packs or cold packs, Ultrasound therapy, laser therapy, use of TENS or interferential therapy, taping techniques etc. Range of motion and strengthening exercises can be given to achieve maximum functional independence at home and at work place.

Type of Exercise useful for Arthritic patients

1. Range of motion exercises: It helps to maintain normal joint movements and relieve stiffness. These are gentle stretching exercises which move each joint as far as possible in all directions. Normal daily house work or office work may not help to improve joint range of motion and are not a substitute for ROM exercise.

2. Strengthening Exercises: It helps to keep or increase the muscle strength, provide stability, support and protection to the joint, helps the joint to move more easily with less pain and helps to prevent deformity. Isometric, isotonic or isokinetic exercises can be used according to the condition of the patient. Isometric exercises involves tightening of muscle without joint movement which maintains muscle tone, prevents muscle wasting when joint range is impaired.

3. Endurance exercises: This helps to maintain cardiac fitness, ROM, to increase physical strength, to control body weight and to improve arthritic symptoms. Aerobic exercises like graded walking, use of bicycle or treadmill initially with the supervision of the physiotherapist may help to prevent complication.

How often people with arthritis should do Exercises?

ROM exercises can be done daily many times and should be done at least every other day. Strengthening exercises should be done every day unless you have severe pain or swelling in your joint and repeated daily.

Endurance exercises should be done 20 to 30 minutes at least 3 times a week unless you have severe pain or swelling in your joint. Before starting endurance exercises it is better to have a medical consultation to assess your medical fitness.

In case of rheumatoid arthritis prolonged medical treatment is required. Here Physiotherapy helps to maintain ROM, muscle strength and to prevent joint deformity. Once joint deformity is established the patient may develop severe ambulation problem. This can be prevented with medication and timely physiotherapy.

'Think positive about arthritis, Physiotherapist can guide you to lead a pain-free independent life'.

The Use Of Probiotic Supplements For Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis

It is not possible to diagnose the existence of rheumatoid arthritis beforehand. Although it is a hereditary disease, there are several factors, both environmental and biological, which may also trigger the onset of this debilitating disease. Similarly, the factors can be suppressed for sometime by the reversal of the relevant causes.

One of the most important and noteworthy causes of rheumatoid arthritis is the destruction of the gut bacteria which is healthy in a number of ways. Consuming too many antibiotics also leads to the disruption of friendly bacteria; emotional trauma is also one main cause. This is mainly due to the strong impact of stress on the gut. If these useful bacteria get imbalanced even once, it will take years to re-balance it. Furthermore, there must be something helpful and effective to fix this problem. If this re-balancing of gut bacteria takes place, it will initiate in lessening the symptoms and severity of rheumatoid arthritis. The only solution to fix this problem is to ensure intake of healthy bacteria through diet on a daily basis.

Foods containing live culture bacteria have healthy impact on the immune system of the body, which in turn prevents it from malfunctioning. Yoghurt containing live culture bacteria in it has a good deal of beneficial effects. There are an infinite number of sources which contain probiotics, and can also be artificially made by you without any difficulty. Thus, probiotics must be incorporated in your everyday diet. Dairy products are a good and easy source of probiotics. They can be consumed through yoghurt, kefir, and many other dairy products. Those who are not fond of dairy products can still get probiotic supplements through innumerable foods.

An important source of non-dairy probiotic supplement is available in most markets in the form of cultured coconut milk. Homemade cultured coconut milk, soy milk, and rice milk or fruit juice made from kefir grains is also a good source of probiotic supplements and as such, can be used for treating RA. Unpasteurised sauerkraut, sour pickles, vegetable ferments such as sour turnips, fermented radish, potato cheese are also healthy sources.

Probiotic food supplements are either made from an established culture which can be either bought or captured wild bacteria from the air such as sauerkraut, kim chee, sour pickles, other vegetable ferments, brines, and porridge. Thus, probiotic supplements are highly beneficial in balancing the gut flora and reversing the symptoms experienced by people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.

Celiac Disease & Asthma Appear to Be Linked - Ease Your Breathing Problems by Eating Gluten Free!

The author of this article has written it because their partner is celiac, and they have asthma. Ever woken up in the middle of the night and not been able to breathe? The thing with asthma is that while it is often hereditary, the onset in modern times often occurs earlier than for the preceding generation, again I have personal experience with this. I started experiencing hay-fever and asthma type symptoms about five years before my father did. I only made the celiac (wheat) / asthma connection a few years ago when after eating meat pies and pasties I found an increase in my mucous as well as an accompanying tightened chest.
I have read several blog entries where people with more severe forms of asthma have experienced a much greater asthma attack after ingesting gluten. While this is informative I believe that you the reader are more likely to be persuaded that a link exists by positive medical study results. That is why I have included the following information. The link between celiac disease and asthma has been as difficult to prove as finding the reason celiac disease exists. However some tangible evidence (statistical relationships) have been found.

The majority of articles suggest there is no link between celiac disease and asthma, while anecdotal evidence from celiacs suggests that their asthma increases dramatically after the ingestion of any gluten foods.   For instance, an article by Dr Pradeep Bhandari (Ref 1) says that "Celiac disease and Asthma tend to run in families and the tendency to get these diseases is inherited genetically. However, they are not inter-linked. The tendency to get celiac disease is inherited genetically. It mostly affects people of European descent. It is also more common in families with Diabetes or rheumatoid Arthritis. Something in the environment is necessary to trigger the celiac disease in those who are susceptible. Asthma tends to run in families. A person with a parent who has Asthma is three to six times more likely to develop Asthma than someone who doesn't have a parent with Asthma. But no single gene is responsible for Asthma. Instead, you may inherit a general predisposition to Asthma" Ref 1   However a 2005 study was performed on a population of 86 persons residing in the Maltese Islands in the Mediterranean Sea does suggest some correlation:  

MALTESE RESEARCH 2005 (Ref 2: Ellul P, Vassallo M, Montefort S)  

"Patients previously diagnosed to have CD (based on serological tests and duodenal biopsy) and attending a medical out-patient clinic answered a questionnaire designed to determine whether they had previously been diagnosed to have asthma or allergic rhinitis." Ref 2   "All 86 patients (age range 16-69 [median 43] years; 65 female) answered the questionnaire about CD and asthma. They constituted 21% of the 409 patients with CD in the Maltese islands included in a register kept for controlling free prescription of gluten-free foods." Ref 2   Of 86 respondents, 24 (27.8%; 21 female) had asthma, including 22 with known asthma and 2 with previously undiagnosed asthma; the frequency of asthma in CD patients was higher than that reported in the general Maltese population (11.1%; pThey conclude that their findings suggest that asthma and allergic rhinitis are more common in CD patients than in the general population in Malta. In patients with atopic diseases, index of suspicion for CD should be high.  

The above study clearly shows that asthma symptoms are more prevalent among those people who suffer from celiac disease. It looks like my pie story is gaining weight, all puns intended.

FINNISH study in 2001 (Ref 3: Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology)  

This study tested the postulate of whether TH1 and TH2 cells could co-exist. A correlation between these would suggest a correlation between celiac disease and asthma. "Background: Asthma is generally regarded as a disease with strong TH2-type cytokine expression, whereas in autoimmune disorders, such as celiac disease (CD), insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), TH1-type expression is seen. According to the cross-regulatory properties of TH1 and TH2 cells, one would assume that these diseases exist in different patient populations." Ref 3   "Objective: We sought to test the hypothesis that asthma could exist in children with TH1-type diseases, such as CD, IDDM, and RA. Methods: Comparison was made of the cumulative incidence of asthma in children with CD, IDDM, or RA by linking Finnish Medical Birth Register data on the whole 1987 birth cohort (n = 60,254 births) with the data of several national health registers to obtain information on the incidences of these diseases during the first 7 years of life." Ref 3   "Results: The cumulative incidence of asthma in children with CD (24.6%) or RA (10.0%) was significantly higher than in children without CD (3.4%) or RA (3.4%; P T

These data indicate that the TH1 and TH2 diseases can coexist, indicating a common environmental denominator behind the disease processes."  

IMPLICATIONS   While these two studies do not show a causal relationship (proof that one disease causes another), they do suggest that there is a strong correlation between the diseases. That means that if you have celiac disease there is a greater likelihood that you will have asthma. The main 'take home' point from this is that for people who are celiac, or gluten intolerant, and have asthma, that the removal of gluten from their diet is likely to decreases the incidence and severity of their asthma.

With global warming extending the hayfever season over the last several years, the last thing I need is gluten intolerance extending difficulty in breathing to all year round. If you are celiac  or gluten intolerant and asthmatic, this article may help you quit gluten.

Is it a Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptom?

A serious disease of the autoimmune system, rheumatoid arthritis mostly affects the joints. Nonetheless, since it is a systemic autoimmune disease, rheumatoid arthritis may also affect other body areas. Here are some of the other symptoms that can be linked with a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis.


One area that may be unfavorably affected due to rheumatoid arthritis is the heart. It is common for fluid to collect near the heart as a result of inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis. Although such symptoms are frequently fairly mild, this problem may potentially develop into something more serious.

If severe inflammation occurs, it can affect the heart muscle. Coronary arteries may swell, making the heart muscle work harder. The lungs might also be involved in rheumatoid arthritis. Similar to the heart muscle, fluid may collect around the lungs, and the lung tissue may stiffen. Rheumatoid arthritis related inflammation can make breathing difficult.


It is not uncommon for rheumatoid arthritis patients to report small nodules that are formed under the epidermis, as one other area that may be affected is the skin. The majority of the time, these small nodules are located in close proximity to a joint area. These skin nodules become most noticeable when a joint is flexed.

Purpura is another skin condition regularly associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Purpura are purplish patches on the skin which develop due to damage to blood vessels. Rheumatoid arthritis can make blood vessels develop damage, triggering them to rupture and bleed into the skin, a process known as vasculitis. Another skin problem associated with rheumatoid arthritis are skin ulcers; they appear because of vasculitic lesions.


Rheumatoid arthritis can severely affect the body's musculoskeletal structures. As inflammation strikes the joints, muscles can become shrunken and weak. This is called as atrophy. The hands are the area most vulnerable to atrophy.

Atrophy is the result of not using a muscle or set of muscles for an extensive period of time. Muscles joints affected by arthritis are prone to becoming the source of discomfort, pain, and swelling. In turn, the patient does not use the stricken muscles, and this causes atrophy.


The digestive tract is also affected. The most common effect is known as dry mouth, which is related to Sjogren's syndrome. Most digestive complaints associated with rheumatoid arthritis seem to come as a result of medications taken for it. Typical digestive conditions related to these medications comprise stomach ulcers and gastritis.

Worries Over New Arthritis 'Smart Drug' Monthly Injection

While the media currently feeds a frenzy of excitement regarding the new arthritis gene therapy drug known as Tocilizumab, Hundreds of thousands of rheumatoid arthritis sufferers are offered new hope in beating there debilitating condition.

The new drug is being heralded as a mile stone in rheumatoid arthritis treatment following a trial in which nearly half of patients on the medication found their condition did not get any worse. Tocilizumab, which will be sold under the brand name 'Actemra' works in conjunction with an existing treatment, methotrexate, and is administered monthly in hospital.

In the trial, taking methotrexate on its own only stopped symptoms in eight per cent of patients.Combined with Tocilizumab, 47 per cent of patients saw their condition halted. The drug is still under review in the UK by Nice ( National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) but is it expected to gain its UK marketing license in January 2009.

Nice caused some controversy recently by ruling that rheumatoid arthritis sufferers could not switch from one form of a pain relieving drug to another if the initial treatment did not work. There are fears that Tocilizumab - which could cost up to £10,000 per annum - may not become available on the NHS and if it does become available will it be available to the masses and not just the few.

Known side effects include diarrhea thalamic infarction, hypertension, hyperlipidaemia, vomiting, upper respiratory tract inflammation, ligament rupture, hypoaesthesia, headache, cholelithiasis. gastrointestinal bleeding, gastroenteritis, bronchitis, Pneumonia and a potentially serious bacterial skin infection called cellulitis. Concerns have also been expressed in regard of cholesterol levels apparently Tocilizumab is thought to raise LDL, which is bad cholesterol, & could put patients at risk of heart attack or stroke.

Study participants who took Tocilizumab also had a higher risk of serious infections compared to study participants who were treated with methotrexate alone or with a combination of a disease modifying anti-rheumatic drug and a placebo.

Reported problems with Tocilizumab in Japan,

Reported Tocilizumab problem on Oct 25, 2005. Male patient, 34 years of age, was treated with Tocilizumab. After the drug was administered, patient experienced the following problems/side effects: acidosis, alpha haemolytic streptococcal infection, bacteraemia, brain abscess, candidiasis, cerebral hemorrhage, dehydration, depressed level of consciousness, disseminated tuberculosis.

Dosage: unknown.
During the same period the patient was treated with Klaricid, Iscotin, Ethambutol, Hydrochloride, Rifadin & Pyrazinamide, following the medication the patient was hospitalized. Patient unfortunately died on 02/19/2006.

Another reported Tocilizumab problem was reported by a Physician from Japan on Nov 30, 2005. a female patient, 53 years old, was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and was treated with Tocilizumab. After the drug was administered the patient in question experienced the following side effects: condition aggravated, hyperlipidaemia, hypertension, thalamic infarction.

Tocilizumab dosage: unknown

During the same period the patient was treated with Methotrexate, Predonine, Diclofenac, Misoprostol, Nifedipine, Arotinolol, The patient was hospitalized but later recovered.

These are just a couple of incidents which have been reported, however many more can be found if you Google Tocilizumab, of course, as with any medication, problems will exist due to their toxicity. Tocilizumab may be an excellent treatment for some, but perhaps not so for others.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Taking Back Control With a Natural Protocol for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Last year, both my father and my mother's brother were diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, a debilitating autoimmune disorder where the immune system mistakenly attacks the tissues of the body, creating extensive inflammation, pain, fatigue, and a significant decrease in one's quality of life.

Their symptoms had doctors thinking everything from gout to Lyme's Disease, but eventually the increasing pain and systemic effect of the disease led doctors to diagnose and prescribe the standard pharmaceutical protocol for RA, which is a cocktail of chemotherapy drugs such as Methotrexate or Humira and is designed to inhibit the overactive immune system. The side effects of either drug are astounding - severe toxicity of the liver, lungs, and kidneys, headaches, mouth sores, internal bleeding, hair loss, low white blood cell count, and extreme fatigue are all associated with Methotrexate. Side effects for Humira include severe upper respiratory infection, lupus-like symptoms post-treatment, thus indicating lasting immune system inhibition, and most frightening of all, central nervous system disorders such as multiple sclerosis. This is on top of the steroidal and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs prescribed to manage the inflammation and pain, which we know come with their own side effects.

I don't know about you, but one look at these side effects would send me running to find natural methods to combat RA...and that is exactly what I did to help my dad and uncle.

After a few months on the drugs, they both experienced a decrease in the progression of the disease, but only slight changes in joint pain, and a new debilitating symptom - intense, overbearing fatigue. My uncle had been biking 20 miles at a clip several times a week at age 60 before he took the drugs designed to fight the disease, and, after taking them, he barely had the energy to get up in the morning. My father, at 58, was experiencing the same fatigue, and constant, unrelenting pain in the saddle joint of his left thumb which stopped him from riding his Harley, his passion, because he could not squeeze the clutch handle without excruciating pain.

Being a Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified health Counselor, and an Internationally Certified Aromatherapist, I had an idea of where to start looking for natural methods to manage the disease. I learned that there are several factors that play a role in creating an environment where this disease can manifest. One is free radical damage. Free radicals are molecular combinations of oxygen and other atoms that "kidnap" electrons from healthy cells in our bodies. The removal of this electron causes oxidative damage where the robbed cells essentially rust. This causes degeneration of the body's tissues, inflammation, and a state of acidosis. This is why anti-oxidants are so important in our diet. As we age, our body stops producing as many free-radical fighters and thus the oxidative damage will grow continually worse and lead to numerous "age-related" conditions. Acidosis was another factor I found to play a crucial role in RA. Acidosis is a condition where the body's pH has become too acidic and leads to a very unhealthy internal state. Acidosis creates an environment for many diseases as well as autoimmune disorders. Diet plays a major role in this - the consumption of natural, whole, fresh foods helps to stabilize pH.

So, after much research, I came up with a protocol of my own for my uncle and father:

First, 4-6 ounces of NingXia Red daily. NingXia Red is an essential-oil enhanced, whole-fruit puree supplemental drink comprised mostly of Lycium Barbarum (a specific wolfberry fruit) which has amazing, clinically tested antioxidant powers. According to testing developed by Tufts University, the wolfberry has the highest levels of naturally occurring S-ORAC (Super-Oxide Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) - thus it has an unsurpassed ability to fight free-radical damage in the body. This unique fruit boasts an nutritional profile usually unheard of in fruit which includes 15% protein by weight, 17 trace elements, 4 major minerals including calcium and potassium, 6 essential fatty acids, 18 amino acids, the highest vitamin C content of any fruit or vegetable, as well as zeazanthin, polyphenols and beta carotein - all of which balance Ph in the body. The wolfberry even contains a natural anti-inflammatory called beta-sitosterol!

Second, therapeutic-grade essential oils. My uncle chose to use essential oils consistently in his daily life to replace other toxic household products, while my father used one oil specifically blended to decrease pain and heal tissue. It is called PanAway and is a blend of clove, helichrysum, wintergreen and peppermint essential oils. (Note that not all essential oils are medicinal quality -the oils I recommended to them are currently used in Beth Israel Medical Center in NYC and the Cleveland Clinic.)

Third, daily supplementation of MSM. MSM is a truly a miracle substance! It is a naturally occurring mineral derivative of sulfur and has an amazing ability to eliminate pain and inflammation - naturally. The form of MSM they took is called Sulfurzyme and it is a blend of MSM and dried wolfberry powder.

As a result, my father is back on his motorcycle and my Uncle Bob, after exactly 8 weeks of a committed regimen of my recommendations, was able to wean completely off his medications! Both of their stories are amazing and I am on a personal mission to spread the word to other arthritis suffers. There is an answer and it is free of debilitating side effects!

How to Stop Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain!

Having a debilitating physical condition is bad enough, but it's even worse when doctors don't even know the real cause of the illness. Welcome to the delemma faced by two million sufferers of Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis(R.A.) is a painful condition that can fully impact your quality of life and your lifestyle because it effects the joints. Doctors are still baffled by the causes but they do know that it is an auto immune system disease. So basically with Rheumatoid Arthritis the bodies auto immune system (which is the gatekeeper for all of the foreign substances that can enter your body) ) breaks down! When this occurs, it cannot defend and drive away the viruses and bacteria.

Those who suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis have an immune system which is constantly under attack; can't ward off the intruders and eventually malfunctions as a result. Even otherwise normal parts of the body are prey and are vulnerable to this takeover.

The main symptoms come from the tissue area that surrounds the joints,( usually in the feet or hands) and there is considerable inflammation which causes a varying degree of pain. In the course of this tissue attack, the joint region is open to further destruction and degeneration.

Joints are a meeting place where two bones converge. They rotate around each other. The different parts include the cartilage, which provides a smooth surface and allows the bones to move around without friction. And surrounding the cartilage is a membrane called the synovium, which produces a thick oil-like substance that lubricates the joint.

The joint itself is supported by a wrapping of ligaments which hold the bones in place and keep them moving in the right direction. For sufferers of Rheumatoid Arthritis, the bodies immune system attacks the healthy tissue of the joints. Fluids enter along with antibodies and defense cells and the joint starts to swell; stiffen and cause pain! After a while there can be permanent decay and degeneration which could cause disfigurement if left untreated.

So, what do you do to treat Rheumatoid Arthritis and how do you stop R.A.'s onslaught?

Since the causes are still unknown it's hard to say that you can prevent it, but knowing the effects of the disease can help you to treat the symptoms that start with the breakdown of the joint itself.

Recently, the use of an all natural substance called cetylmyristoleate (CMO) has proven to be very effective. Cetylmyristoleate (CMO) is a waxy/ gooey substance which is taken orally, that lubricates the membrane of the synovium, thus restoring some of the lost fluidity of the joint. This relieves the swelling; inflammation and pain and also assists in a broader range of motion.

Can we stop Rheumatoid Arthritis?.... probably not! - but we can ease the pain and suffering by regenerating parts of the joint region. We can start by using cetylmyristoleate(CMO) on a regular basis.

How Do I Know I Have Arthritis?

There are pain syndromes like fibromyalgia and arthritis-related disorders, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, that involve every part of the body. There are relatively mild forms of tendinitis (as in 'tennis elbow') and bursitis to crippling systemic forms, such as rheumatoid arthritis. There are forms of the disease, such as gout, which almost nobody connects with this condition, and there are other conditions - like osteoarthritis, the misnamed 'wear and tear' arthritis - that a good many people think is the only form of the disease.

How do you know if you have arthritis? While symptoms and severity vary from person to person, the most common symptoms are: pain, swelling, stiffness, tenderness, redness and warmth. Osteoarthritis is characterized by progressive stiffness without swelling, chills or fever.

Rheumatoid arthritis is the painful swelling, inflammation and stiffness in the fingers, arms, legs and wrists, which are prevalent on both sides of the body and are usually worse in the morning. Children with on-off fever, loss of appetite, weight loss and a blotchy rash on the arms and legs might have juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. You should call the doctor if symptoms appear suddenly, or if they are accompanied by a fever or rash.

There are several common misconceptions about arthritis. Myth # 1 is that every day is the same for patients. In reality, this form of chronic pain comes and goes, which makes it difficult for diagnosis. Myth # 2 is that only older people have arthritis. However, in some cases, even children have this type of pain. Myth # 3 is that arthritis is caused by cold, wet weather or a poor diet.

In reality, there are no easy cause-and-effect connections, but contributing factors include: age, weight, anatomy, infection of the joint and trauma. Lastly, some believe that joint replacement surgery (arthroplasty) should be avoided for as long as possible. Yet the surgery has helped millions of Americans and is seen as a viable option when exercise, physical therapy and medication fail.

For treatment, Methotrexate slows the progression of rheumatoid arthritis and restores some function. For osteoarthritis sufferers, NSAIDs like ibuprofen are good at relieving short term pain and stiffness. Disease modifiers like Methotrexate, Leflunomide, Adalimumab, Etanercept or Infliximab can help long term effects and reduce joint damage.

For people with gout, NSAIDs, Corticosteroids, Allopurinol and Probenecid are effective drugs. Be sure to see your doctor if you have been suffering with any symptom of chronic pain.

How to Fight Rheumatoid Arthritis

There are over two million people in the US with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). Those who suffer with it experience pain and inflammation in their joints, accompanied by swelling, stiffness, fever and fatigue. If left untreated, it can progress to total dysfunction of the joints. Relief does appear to be close at hand, with a new generation of treatments being trialed today.

The disease affects most people from middle age, but some children and young adults can face earlier onset (Juvenile Arthritis). Unlike Ankylosing Spondylitis, it affects double or more women than men. Rheumatoid arthritis usually affects both sides of the body, which is called having symmetrical symptoms. This means if a person has it in one knee, they will have it in the other as well. It commonly affects the wrists and finger joints, but can be in any part of the body.

Some symptoms that aren't in the joints are anemia, a decrease in the production of red blood cells, muscular neck pain and dry eyes and mouth and, in some rare cases, inflamed blood vessels and lining of the lungs or heart. Some people will have shorter flair ups of RA that last a month or two, while others can have longer periods with severe symptoms for years on end.

The longer Rheumatoid Arthritis is actively causing symptoms, it is also causing more irreparable damage and disability to its victims. Osteoporosis is more prominent in long-term sufferers, which often means their bones will fracture very easily. Muscles that are used to support the joints are either weakened or suffer from over-use, causing referred pain and disability. As Rheumatoid Arthritis starts causing its damage very early on, rapid diagnosis is becoming prominently important.

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a disease that affects the immune system, causing the body to turn against itself and attack healthy joint tissue. No specific cause has been identified, but it is believed that genetics, environment, hormones and stress levels can all have an impact. It is diagnosed with a combination of a physical examination of the joints, reflexes, muscle stability and appearance of the skin, a blood test for white blood cell count and an x-ray that will show up any long-term joint damage.

Some patients may require surgery. This would not be a first option for most people and is usually joint replacement or tendon reconstruction surgery. Otherwise, treatment focuses on the right medication, regular rest, regular, appropriate exercise, healthy eating, increased awareness and psychological support. The aim is to take away the pain, eliminate swelling, discontinue or disable tissue destruction, maintain flexibility and minimize fatigue and stress factors.

In the past, the only treatments available for Rheumatoid Arthritis were aspirin, paracetamol and anti-inflammatory drugs that often contain steroids. Specialists would wait until the disease progressed to more advanced stages before prescribing anything more powerful. As it is now known that the damage is started much earlier on in its course, stronger treatments and combinations are recommended to try to halt the progression and, hopefully, avoid disability later in life.

One powerful form of treatment is the Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), which reduce pain and decrease inflammation. They can cause side effects such as an upset stomach, peptic ulcers, excessive bleeding and renal failure and a patient cannot drink any alcohol due to the extra strain they can place on the liver. Some examples are Ibuprofen, Ketoprofen and Naproxen. These are also used to treat Ankylosing Spondylitis, Juvenile Arthritis and Psoriasis.

Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) are also a common treatment and are known to reduce pain in swollen joints and retard joint damage. They can take between a few weeks or a few months to work and there are also side effects to consider.

Taking DMARDs can heighten the infection risk, cause loss of hair and possibly cause damage to the liver or kidneys. Methotrexate is a well-known DMARD and is administered orally or injected. It has been found especially effective when combined with the new generation treatment, ENBREL.

There have been countless medicines produced over the years in hope of helping those with Rheumatoid Arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Juvenile Arthritis and Psoriasis, but it is these new drugs that appear to possibly be on the track to providing relief.

Biologic response modifiers are the current Rheumatic Arthritis drugs that have been showing great promise for patients. Clinical trials that have been underway have produced data which suggests they reduce inflammation and slow the progression of the disease and the damage it causes.

ENBREL (aka etanercept) works by stopping the over production of the body's cytokines, which is the protein the immune system has been using to kill the healthy joint tissue. It is usually administered with a fortnightly injection.

The drug is a Tumor Necrosis Factor Inhibitor. RA sufferers are known to have too much TNFa being produced (as do those with Ankylosing Spondylitis, Juvenile Arthritis and Psoriasis) and when ENBREL and TNFa blocker protein reduces the cytokine levels, patients feel remarkable improvements.

The main side effect of taking ENBREL is a weakening of the immune system, so infections could potentially be fatal. It is for this reason doctors have to apply very strict screening for trail admissions, as anyone with an already compromised immunity can not possibly take it.

ENBREL's more minor side effects could be a sore, burning in the throat and/or a rash where the needle entered and/or a blocked, runny nose. Otherwise it is proving itself to possibly be the new revolutionary treatment to stop the progression of the disease.

Over the past twenty years or so, a large amount of research has been done on Rheumatoid Arthritis. Through experts increased awareness of how the immune system works and the role of genetics and human biology, RA treatments are being viewed with new and excited eyes.

Scientists are finding that combinations of treatments are better than one alone, such as ENBREL and methotrexate, which can noticeably slow damage to joints. The aim for all involved in the search for the answer is to continue helping victims by relieving their pain, reducing inflammation and swelling, slow or stop damage to joints and restore their ability to function every day.

This can be achieved with ongoing monitoring of medication, lifestyle and side effect management. If the need for surgery can be avoided or delayed, this is definitely a step in the right direction.

Disclaimer: The information presented here should not be interpreted as or substituted for medical advice. Please talk to a qualified professional for more information about Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Rheumatoid arthritis - a systemic disease of connective tissue, mainly affecting small joints of the type of erosive and destructive polyarthritis of unknown etiology with a complex autoimmune pathogenesis.

Causes of the disease on this day are unknown. Indirect data, such as increasing the number of white blood cell count and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) indicate the infectious nature of the process. It is believed that the disease develops as a result of infection, which causes a compromised immune system in genetically susceptible individuals, with formation of so-called. immune complexes (of the antibodies, viruses, etc..), which are deposited in tissues and lead to joint damage. But the ineffectiveness of antibiotic treatment of RA is likely to indicate the incorrectness of this assumption.

The disease is characterized by high disability (70%), which comes pretty early. The main causes of death from the disease are infectious complications and renal failure.

Treatment focuses primarily on relieving pain, slowing disease progression and restore damaged by surgery. Early detection of disease with the help of modern tools can significantly reduce the harm that can be inflicted joints and other tissues.

For the first time may occur after heavy physical exertion, emotional shock, fatigue, hormonal changes during the period, the impact of adverse factors or infection.


Rheumatoid arthritis is distributed worldwide and it affects all ethnic groups. Prevalence of 0,5-1% (up 5% in the elderly) ratio M: F = 1:3 peak of illness onset - 30-35 years


As with most autoimmune diseases, there are 3 main factors:

1. Hereditary susceptibility to autoimmunity.

2. Infection factor Hypothetical triggers of rheumatic diseases

Paramyxovirus - viruses, mumps, measles, respiratory syncytial infection

Hepatitis B virus

Herpes virus - herpes simplex viruses, herpes zoster, cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus (much higher in the synovial fluid of RA patients

Retroviruses - T-lymphotropic virus

3. Start-up factor (hypothermia, insolation, intoxication, mutagenic drugs, endocrinopathy, stress, etc.). For women, duration of breast-feeding reduces the risk of RA. Breastfeeding for 24 months or more reduces the risk of developing RA by half.

The course of disease

Rheumatoid arthritis progresses in three stages. In the first stage, the swelling of the synovial bags causing pain, heat and swelling around the joints. The second stage is the rapid cell division that leads to compaction of the synovial membrane. In the third stage, the inflamed cells release an enzyme that attacks the bones and cartilage, which often leads to deformation of the affected joints, increasing pain and loss of motor functions.

Typically, the disease progresses slowly at first, with the gradual deployment of clinical symptoms for several months or years, much less - subacute or acute. In about 2 / 3 of cases fever occurs, and the rest - a mono-or oligoarticular form, and articular syndrome often has no clinical specificity, which greatly complicates the differential diagnosis. Articular syndrome is characterized by morning stiffness for more than 30 minutes and similar expressions in the second half of the night - symptoms of "stiff gloves", "corset"; ongoing spontaneous pain in the joints, increasing during active movements. The disappearance of the stiffness depends on the activity of the process: the more activity, the greater the duration of restraint. For the joint syndrome in rheumatoid arthritis is characterized by monotony, the duration, preservation of residual effects after treatment.

There may be prodromal clinical symptoms (mild transient pain, pain relationship with meteorological conditions, autonomic dysfunction). Distinguish "joint damage" and "joints exception." Rheumatoid arthritis is often combined with other joint diseases - osteoarthritis, rheumatism, systemic connective tissue diseases.

Allocate the following options for the clinical course of rheumatoid arthritis:

The classic version of the (symmetric defeat both small and large joints

Mono-or oligoarthritis, mainly affecting the large joints, most often the knee. Severe disease onset and reversibility of all manifestations during 1-1,5 months (arthralgias are migratory in nature, radiographic changes are absent, anti-inflammatory drugs offer relatively positive effect in the latter there are all the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis).


Diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) - For a long time there was no specific test that would unambiguously confirm the presence of the disease. Currently, diagnosis of disease based on biochemical analysis of blood, changes in the joints are visible on x-rays, and the use of basic clinical markers, but also in conjunction with the general clinical manifestations - fever, malaise, and weight loss

In the analysis of blood examined ESR, rheumatoid factor, platelet count, etc. The most advanced analysis is the titer of antibodies to cyclic citrulline-containing peptides - ACCP, anti-CCP, anti-CCP. The specificity of this indicator is 90%, while it is present in 79% of sera from patients with RA.

Diagnostically important clinical features are the lack of discoloration of the skin over the inflamed joints, the development of tenosynovitis flexors or extensors of the fingers and the formation of amyotrophy, typical strains of brushes, so-called "rheumatoid wrist.

The criteria for poor prognosis are:

1. Early damage of large joints and the appearance of rheumatoid nodules
2. swollen lymph nodes
3. involvement of new joints in the subsequent exacerbation;
4. systemic disease;
5. persistent disease activity with no remission for over a year;
6. persistent increase in the ESR;
7. early appearance (within the first year) and high titers of rheumatoid factor
8. early (up to four months), radiographic changes in the affected joints - a rapid progression of destructive changes;
9. Detection of antinuclear antibodies and LE-cells
10. Carrier antigens HLA-DR4


Rheumatoid arthritis can begin at any joint, but most often starts from small joints in the fingers, hands and wrists. Typically, joint damage is symmetric, for example if the sore joint on his right hand, then ill be the same joint on the left. The more joints afflicted the more advanced stages of disease.

Other common symptoms include:

Morning stiffness. Generally, the longer the constraint, the disease activity.
Flu-like symptoms, including low heat.
Pain during prolonged sitting
Outbreaks of disease activity are accompanied by remission.
Muscle pain
Loss of appetite, depression, weight loss, anemia, cold and / or sweaty palms and feet
Violation of glands near the eyes and mouth, causing insufficient production of tears and saliva.


In the presence of infection need the appropriate antibacterial therapy. In the absence of bright extra-articular manifestations (eg, high fevers, Felty's syndrome or polynervopathy) treatment of joint syndrome begin with the selection of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). At the same time in the most inflamed joints injected corticosteroids. An important point in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis is the prevention of osteoporosis - restoration of the calcium balance in the direction of increasing its absorption in the intestine and reduced the excretion. Sources of calcium are dairy products (especially cheese, which contains from 600 to 1000 mg of calcium per 100 g of the product, as well as cheese, to a lesser degree of cottage cheese, milk, sour cream), almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts, etc., and calcium supplements in combination with vitamin D or its active metabolite.

Importance in the treatment is therapeutic exercise, aimed at maintaining maximum joint mobility and maintaining muscle mass.

Physiotherapy (electrophoresis of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, hydrocortisone phonophoresis) and spa treatment. With persistent mono-and oligoarthritis includes introduction of isotopes of gold, yttrium, etc., With persistent strains of joints is carried out reconstructive surgery.

Modern Therapy

Systemic drug therapy involves the use of four classes of drugs:

1. nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs),
2. basic drugs
3. glucocorticosteroids (GCS)
4. biological agents.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
NSAIDs remain the first line of therapeutic agents that are directed primarily to the relief of acute manifestations of the disease, as well as ensuring stable clinical and laboratory remission.

In the acute phase of illness use of NSAIDs, corticosteroids, pulse therapy with corticosteroids or in combination with cytotoxic immunosuppressive agents.

Current NSAIDs have a marked anti-inflammatory effect which is caused by inhibition of the activity of cyclooxygenase (COX) - a key enzyme of arachidonic acid metabolism. Of particular interest is the discovery of two isoforms of COX, which are identified as COX-1 and COX-2 and play different roles in regulating the synthesis of prostaglandins (PG). Proved that NSAIDs inhibit the activity of COX isoforms, but their anti-inflammatory activity is due to inhibition of COX-2.

Most of the known NSAIDs inhibit primarily COX-1 activity, which explains the appearance of complications such as gastropathy, renal failure, encephalopathy, hepatotoxicity.

Thus, depending on the nature of blocking COX, NSAIDs are divided into selective and nonselective COX-2 inhibitors.

Representatives of the selective COX-2 inhibitors are meloxicam, nimesulide, celecoxib. These drugs have minimal side effects and retain high anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity. COX-2 inhibitors can be used in all programs of the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, which require the use of NSAIDs. Meloxicam (Movalis) in the early treatment of inflammatory activity assigned to 15 mg / day and subsequently transferred to 7.5 mg / day as maintenance therapy. Nimesulide is assigned a dose of 100 mg twice a day.

Celecoxib (Celebrex) - a specific inhibitor of COX-2 - is assigned to 100-200 mg twice a day. Selection for the elderly dosage of the drug is not required. However, patients with body weight below the median (50 kg) it is desirable to begin treatment with the lowest recommended dose.

You should avoid combining two or more NSAIDs, because of their effectiveness remain unchanged, and the risk of side effects increases.

Basic Preparations

Basic drugs continue to play a pivotal role in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, but now there has been a new approach to their destination. In contrast to the well-known tactic of gradual treatment of rheumatoid arthritis ("principle of the pyramid"), is now advocated early aggressive treatment of basic drugs immediately after diagnosis, the purpose of which - changed the flow of rheumatoid arthritis and remission maintenance. The reason for this are the lack of early rheumatoid arthritis deformities, osteopenia, and severe complications, formed by autoimmune mechanisms, the high likelihood of remission.

The main drugs of basic therapy of rheumatoid arthritis include: methotrexate, sulfasalazine, gold preparations, D-penicillamine,. By means of the reserve include cyclophosphamide, azathioprine, cyclosporine A. The new group consisted of the following drugs: Remicade.

Ineffective for 1.5-3 months of basic drugs should be replaced or used in combination with corticosteroids in low doses, thus reducing the activity of rheumatoid arthritis before the start of the first. Six months - a critical period, no later than that should be adjusted effective basic therapy.

The best preparation for the start of basic therapy in severe rheumatoid arthritis and RF-positivity, presence of extraarticular manifestations of methotrexate is considered - cytotoxic immunosuppressive agent, which is well tolerated for prolonged use and has fewer side effects than other drugs of this group.

In the treatment of basic drugs carefully monitored the activity of the disease and side effects.


A new approach is the use of high doses of corticosteroids (pulse therapy) in combination with slow acting tools that can improve the efficiency of the latter; combinations of methotrexate with salts of gold, sulfasalazine, as well as a selective immunosuppressive agent cyclosporin A.

With a high degree of inflammatory activity are used corticosteroids, and in cases of systemic manifestations of rheumatoid arthritis a form of pulse therapy is used. Corticosteroids only or in combination with cytostatic drugs - cyclophosphamide. SCS is also used as supporting anti-inflammatory therapy after failure of other medicines.

In some cases, corticosteroids are used as local therapy. The indications for their use are: mostly mono-or oligoarthritis of large joints,

Biological agents

In rheumatoid arthritis the synovial membrane, for unclear reasons, secrete a large amount of the enzyme glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase that also destroys the disulfide bonds in the cell membrane. In this case, there is "leakage" of proteolytic enzymes from the cell lysosomes, which cause damage to surrounding bones and cartilage. The body responds to this by making cytokines, among which also has a tumor necrosis factor -the A TNF. Cascade of these reactions in cells are triggered by cytokines, further aggravating the symptoms of the disease. Chronic rheumatoid inflammation associated with TNF-α, often causing damage to the cartilage and joints, leading to physical disability.

The treatment uses a monoclonal antibody to the cytokine TNF-the A, which is effective with high affinity in binding to TNF, both in its soluble and transmembrane forms resulting in neutralizing activity of TNF.

During the progression of rheumatoid arthritis, Joint damage in patients with rheumatoid arthritis is observed as a narrowing of the joint space between bones and erosion of bone in the articular space. Clinical trials of monoclonal antibody showed its use as a slow erosion and narrowing of the space between the bones.

Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Life-threatening Condition?

Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common inflammatory form of arthritis and affects approximately two million Americans. It is an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune diseases are characterized by abnormal function of the immune system. For whatever reason (and that reason is still unknown), the immune system attacks healthy tissue. In rheumatoid arthritis, joint tissues such as ligaments, tendons, and muscles, are attacked and become inflamed. Symptoms that develop include painful, swollen, tender joints. The small joints in the hands and feet are the most commonly affected. Other prominent symptoms include fatigue and stiffness.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic disease meaning it attacks many different organ systems. One organ system that can be affected are the blood vessels. This inflammation of blood vessels is called vasculitis. It is especially dangerous because vessels carry blood throughout the body: to the brain, lungs, skin, kidneys, and heart. "Shutdown" of organs occurs. Why? As the inflammation of the blood vessels progresses, the blood vessels are no longer able to transport blood.

Vasculitis due to rheumatoid arthritis can lead to heart attack and stroke. (Roman MJ, et al. Preclinical Carotid Atherosclerosis in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Annals Int Med 2006; 144: 249-256)

A sidebar to this is the eye involvement that can occur. Inflammation of the sclera- the white part of the eye- can lead to blindness as a result of perforation or hemorrhage.

An interesting side light to this is that several studies provide evidence that long-term smoking contributes to the immune system's malfunctioning. This most likely explains why smoking is associated with increased severity of the disease. This is also why smoking and rheumatoid arthritis make a terrible combination. Smoking causes premature atherosclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis does also.

If untreated, rheumatoid arthritis significantly shortens life span by an average seven to eight years. It increases the risk for heart attack and stroke. Sixty percent of untreated patients are disabled and dependent on others to take care of them within 10 years.
One other factor that contributes to the shortened lifespan is the increased incidence of lymphoma that occurs in patients with RA.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Arthritis Treatment With Miraculous Homeopathy!

When it comes to any type of pain, it is really hard to bear. One can bear anything and live life happily but when it is pain, all happiness seems to go haywire and person perceives only misery through any experience. That is why when patients come to us with the severe joint pains (arthritis), we often tend to cater them as a priority. Rather, arthritis is one of the faculties I can say that busts a myth about homeopathy, that homeopathy does not act fast enough to relieve the pain of arthritis. Rather, when aptly applied the principle of homeopathy, remedy found relieves arthritic pain more rapidly than even the best of analgesic.

Whether it is rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, homeopathic treatment as with any other disease revolves around the signs, symptoms, and constitution of the patient. Miasmatic background must be understood by the homeopathic doctors before they prescribe to such patients.

What homeopaths need to know about arthritis of the patient?

The patient's history is of paramount importance when it comes to arthritis. The patients must describe-

(1) Since when the pain has started

(2) What is the nature of pain (throbbing, dull, aching, excruciating etc)

(3) Does anything aggravate the pain?

(4) Does anything ameliorate (lessen) the pain?

(5) In what position does the patient feel comfortable?

(6) Is there anything characteristic about the pain?

(7) Are there any concomitant symptoms along with arthritis?

The above mentioned points are just about the arthritis. But to understand the totality of symptoms, doctor must ask the patient about his mental symptoms or behavioral tendencies, his emotional vulnerability, his psychological and intellectual built up, other physical symptoms, and all the things you feel you need to understand the patient fully.

It may seem the tedious job initially but after one gets accustomed to the art of case-taking, one can easily navigate through these questions and perceive what is important to us. Homeopathic treatment revolves around these questions and answers to be frank. And that's why homeopathy is a life-long learning process. With every new case, we tend to comprehend some special features of our vast material medica that we use for treating the sick. Surely it's an amazing experience to match the disease symptoms with drug symptoms or do self-proving in order to completely understand what is described in material medica.

Arthritis is one of the problems that revolve around all three miasms, psora, syphilis, and sycosis. But with good history taking skills, and differentiating ability, one can find perfect simillimum in order to attain perfect cure. Certainly with homeopathic remedies, arthritis patients can find pain relief, reversal of bone pathology, halting the progress of disease, and consistently improve the condition with an overall well-being.

Debilitating Disease Arthritis and the Treatments of Arthritis Symptoms and Anxiety

Inflammation in the bone joints and its associated part is commonly referred as the Arthritis. The term "arthritis" looks in singular number though, it comprises of more than chronic 150 disorders of the rheumatoid disease. All these disorders take the full toll of the human life. Some time it confined the human body from his daily activities. At these points of time people search for the treatment for the arthritis symptoms and the anxiety.

The main symptoms of arthritis are the inflammation of various joints, stiffness, and swelling associated with redness and warmth. Due to all these symptoms people have the restrictive movements for long time. Tenderness of the joints can be present along with the temperature. The many forms of arthritis can involve symptoms affecting various organs of the body that do not directly involve the joints. Symptoms in some patients can also include non-specific fever, weight loss, fatigue and feeling unwell and the patients are bound to have the arthritis best treatment in order to suppressing the pain and inflammation in the joints.

The disease arthritis is commonly of three kinds. These are Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis and the Gout. There is some more type of arthritis along all these. These are Fibromyalgia, infectious arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and lupus.

Osteoarthritis is the most common among all the arthritis that are found among the people. More than 21 million people suffer from the disease Osteoarthritis. The most common reason behind Osteoarthritis is the repetitive movement of a particular organ. Osteoarthritis mainly affects the cartilages. Cartilages provide with the cushion for the bone-joint to avoid friction during the time of the movement. Cartilages are being decayed off by the invasion of the osteoarthritis.

In many cases what happen that a number of childhood injuries may turn into the Osteoarthritis. Low back relief is the major concern for the people who are affected with this. Osteoarthritis is a disease that affects joints in the body. It can involve any joint, but usually concerns hands and weight-bearing joints such as hips, knees, feet and spine.

Rheumatoid arthritis is the most deadly among all the arthritis. Generally it is know as the autoimmune disease. With rheumatoid arthritis, the antibodies attack the membranes around the joints that cause swelling, pain and stiffness. In some cases, rheumatoid arthritis can cause deformity. Rheumatoid arthritis also causes inflammation of the sheaths around the tendons, the one that join muscles to bones.

Coping with arthritis and its associated symptoms can be minimized with the proper arthritis vitamin supplements and the dietary changes and the some physical work out.

Senior Citizens Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, and Arthritis - Causes and Treatments

"Arthritis" does not mean only that someone has stiff, aching joints. Many types of arthritis exist, each with its own symptoms and treatments. Most types are chronic, meaning that they can be a source of discomfort for an extended period of time. Arthritis can afflict joints almost anywhere in the body and may cause changes you can see and feel, including swelling, warmth, and redness in the joints. It can last for a short time but be very painful or continue for a long time with less pronounced results while still damaging the joints.

Arthritis is extremely common in the United States, especially among senior citizens. Still, there are many steps they and those providing care for the elderly can take to relieve the different types of arthritis. The most common types in this population are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout.


Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis in senior citizens and begins when cartilage, the type of tissue that pads joints, begins to wear away. This can eventually cause all the cartilage between bones to wear away, forming painful rubbing of bones against each other. This type of arthritis is most common in the hands, neck, lower back, knees, and hips.

Symptoms of OA can range from stiffness and mild pain that accompanies exercise or bending to severe pain in the joints even in times of physical rest. OA can also cause stiffness during times in which you haven't used specific joints in a while, like when you're on a long car ride, but this stiffness usually goes away when you move your joints again. OA can eventually lead to problems moving joints and sometimes to developing a disability if the areas affected are the back, knees, or hips.

Aging is often the greatest risk factor for developing OA. Other factors depend on the area of the body afflicted-for instance, OA in the hands or hips may be caused by genetic factors; OA in the knees may be caused by being overweight; and injuries or overuse of joints in the knees, hips, and hands may lead to OA.

Rheumatoid arthritis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) differs from OA in that it's an autoimmune disease, meaning that your immune system attacks and damages the lining of a joint as if it were an injury or disease. RA leads to inflammation of the joints, which causes pain, stiffness and swelling, sometimes in multiple joints at once. It may be severe enough to prevent you from moving a certain joint. Senior citizens with RA may often experience fatigue or fever. You can develop RA at any age, and it's more common in women. 

RA can afflict almost any joint in the body and is often symmetrical, meaning that if you have RA in a specific joint on one side of your body, you probably experience RA in the same joint on the other side of your body. RA can damage not only joints, but also the heart, muscles, blood vessels, nervous system, and eyes.


Senior citizens with gout experience the most severe pain relative to many other arthritis patients. An attack begins when uric acid crystals form in the connective tissue or joint spaces, leading to swelling, stiffness, redness, heat, and pain in the joint. Attacks often follow eating foods like shellfish, liver, dried beans, peas, anchovies, or gravy. Drinking alcohol, being overweight, and taking certain medications may worsen the symptoms. In senior citizens, using certain medications to lower blood pressure may also be a risk factor for a gout attack.

Gout is most common in the big toe, but it can occur in other joints such as the ankle, elbow, knee, wrist, hand, or other toes. Swelling may cause discoloration and tenderness due to skin stretching tightly around the joint. If you see a doctor during an attack, he or she may take a sample of fluid from the affected joint.

Other forms of arthritis.

Other forms include psoriatic arthritis  in patients who have psoriasis; ankylosing spondylitis, which mainly affects the spine; reactive arthritis, which occurs as a reaction to another illness in the body; and arthritis in the temporomandibular joint, the point at which the jaw attaches to the skull.

Arthritis Symptoms and Warning Signs.

Senior citizens and those providing their elder care should look out for the following symptoms as they may be indications of arthritis:

  • lasting joint pain

  • swelling in a joint

  • stiffness in a joint

  • tenderness or pain when touching a joint

  • difficulty in using or moving a joint normally

  • warmth and redness in a joint

Any of these symptoms lasting longer than two weeks should be addressed by a physician. If you experience a fever, feel physically ill, have a suddenly swollen joint, or have problems using a joint, a doctor should be contacted sooner. You will have to answer questions and go through a physical exam. Before suggesting treatment options, your doctor may want to run lab tests and take X-rays.

Arthritis Treatment.

Some common treatment options exist even though each type of arthritis is treatedsomewhat differently. Rest, exercise, eating a healthy diet, and becoming educated about the right way to use and protect the joints are key to minimizing the effects of arthritis. Proper shoes and a cane can minimize pain the feet, knees, and hips while walking, and some technology exists for helping open jars or bottles, turn doorknobs more easily, and otherwise improve quality of life in senior citizens with arthritis. 

Additionally, some medications can lower the pain and swelling. Acetaminophen (in Tylenol) and some NSAIDs are sold over-the-counter and can ease pain. Other NSAIDs must be prescribed. It is important for senior citizens and those providing their in home care to pay attention to the warnings on both prescribed and over-the-counter drugs and to ask a doctor about how to properly and best use over-the-counter medicine to treat arthritis. The FDA also has information about many medications.

Some treatment options are specialized for individual types of arthritis.

Osteoarthritis Treatment.

There are medicines to help senior citizens with pain associated with OA, and rest and exercise may ease movement in the joints. Managing weight is also important. If one experiences OA in the knees, a doctor can provide shots in the knee joint, which can help to move it without as much pain. Surgery may also be an option to repair or replace damaged joints in senior citizens.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatments.

Treatment can diminish the pain and swelling associated with RA and cause joint damage to slow down or stop. One will feel better overall, and it will be easier to move around. On top of pain and anti-inflammatory medications, a doctor might prescribe DMARDs, which are anti-rheumatic drugs that can slow damage from RA. Corticosteroids, including prednisone, can minimize swelling while waiting for DMARDs to kick in. Additionally, biogenic response modifiers block the damage inflicted by the immune system and help people with mild to moderate RA when other treatments have failed to work properly.

Gout Treatment.

If you've gone through a gout attack, talk to a doctor to discuss possible causes and future prevention of attacks. Work together with your doctor and other elder care providers to plan and execute a plan for prevention. Commonly, NSAIDs or corticosteroids are recommended for an acute attack. This treatment diminishes swelling, allowing you to feel better fairly shortly after treatment. Usually, the attack fully stops within a few days. If one has experienced multiple attacks, a doctor may be able to prescribe medication to prevent further attacks.

Exercise can help Arthritis.

In addition to taking the proper medication and allowing your joints to rest, exercise can help senior citizens to stay in shape, maintain strong muscles, and control symptoms of arthritis. Daily exercise like walking or swimming keeps joints moving while lessening pain and strengthening the muscles around joints. Before starting any new exercise program, it is important to discuss options with your physician. 

Three types of exercise are the best for senior citizens with arthritis:

  • Range-of-motion exercises reduce stiffness, improve flexibility, and keep joints moving. Activities like dancing fit into this category.

  • Strengthening exercises strengthen muscles, which improves support and protection to your joints. Weight training fits into this category.

  • Aerobic or endurance exercises improve health in the heart and arteries, prevent weight gain, improve how your body works overall, and may decrease swelling in some joints. Riding a bike fits into this category.

Other things to do to manage Arthritis.

On top of exercise and weight control, a number of other methods may help senior citizens ease the pain around joints. Applying heat or cold to joints, soaking in a warm tub, or swimming in a heated pool may help you feel better and move your joints more easily.

Surgery may be an option when damage has become disabling or when other treatment options have not adequately diminished pain. With surgery, joints can be repaired or replaced with artificial ones. Commonly, arthritic knees and hips are replaced.

Unproven remedies.

Many senior citizens with arthritis try treatments that have not been tested or proven to help. Some are harmful, like snake venom, while others are harmless yet unhelpful, like copper bracelets.

Here are a few ways to determine whether a treatment is unproven:

  • The remedy is said to work for all types of arthritis and other diseases

  • Scientific support is from only one research study

  • The label doesn't include directions or warnings of use

Areas for further research.

Studies suggest that acupuncture could ease OA pain in some senior citizens. Dietary supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin are also under investigation and may reduce OA pain. More research is needed to determine whether these types of treatments actually work to reduce symptoms and damage to joints.

Talk to your doctor and others involved in your elder care.

Try not to make light of your symptoms by telling yourself that joint pain or stiffness is simply caused by aging normally. Your doctor and other elder care providers can discuss possible treatment options with you to safely minimize your pain and stiffness and prevent more serious joint damage.

Arthritis Treatment - How to Reduce Your Arthritis Pain and Stiffness to Manageable Level

The word arthritis means inflammation of the joints. Arthritis is a crippling condition associated with the inflammation of a muscle joint. The inflammation is often caused by the rubbing of the bones. There are two main types of arthritis:

Osteoarthritis is caused by degeneration of the cartilage in the joints (the cartilage between the bones wears away). Osteoarthritis usually affects older people although it can develop in a younger person, especially where joints have been damaged by injury.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) a systemic disease caused by abnormality in the body's immune system making it to work improperly and therefore leading to inflammation of the joints. It is an autoimmune disease of the joints (usually).

However, you can learn to live with this disease without permitting it to rule your life. To ease the pain while continuing your daily life, here are some things you can do. Arthritis can be managed through medication, regular exercise (preferably walking), rest, weight-management, nutrition, or in some cases, surgery. Arthritis is a chronic disease that lasts for a long time and possibly for the rest of one's life. Treatments will probably change over time and medication may be adjusted.

Positive mental outlook and the support of family are essential for performance of daily activities. Stay focused on the positive things in life.

Try to maintain your social life, laugh with your friends, and keep doing the things you do daily.

Keep joints warm at night to avoid morning stiffness.

Practice deep breathing in addition to a regular exercise program. Exercise alleviates arthritis symptoms and improves strength and flexibility. In addition, exercise helps prevent weight gain which makes arthritis pain worse.

Oily fish is a good source of Vitamins A and D as well as being rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids have the power to lessen inflammation in the body, as well as lessen the pain associated with arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis patients usually report improvement in joint pains and inflammation when taking fish oil supplements.

Honey is useful in arthritic and rheumatic pains when combined with apple cider. Use the cider vinegar and honey treatment for arthritis and also apply cider vinegar externally to painful joints. This entails drinking a glass of water with two teaspoons of cider vinegar and two teaspoons of honey three times a day.

Raw potato extract is a traditional remedy that has been used for centuries. Wash a medium size potato but do not peel. Be sure it has no green patches. Cut it into thin slices. Lay the slices in a bowl, cover with water and cover the bowl. Leave overnight. Drink the water in the morning.

Calcium supplements can also help some cases of arthritis. If you prefer not to take supplements you can take calcium in dietary form.

Glucosamine in combination with chondroitin is a supplement that can help lubricate joints while reducing inflammation and pain in some cases.

Add several teaspoonfuls of ginger to vegetables, salads or beverages daily.

Garlic and turmeric both have anti inflammatory properties and can be included in your diet in generous quantities.

Eat grapes regularly as grape skins contain resveratrol. Resveratrol deactivates the Cox-2 enzyme, which produces inflammation at the site of injury or pain.

Regular diet of bananas, which are rich in potassium and vitamin B6, can be helpful in treating rheumatoid arthritis flare up. Eat only bananas for up to 3 days. Bananas should be ripe, i.e. starting to show brown spots on the skin.

Practice deep breathing in addition to a regular exercise program. Exercise alleviates arthritis symptoms and improves strength and flexibility. In addition, exercise helps prevent weight gain which makes arthritis pain worse.

The following foods are known to make arthritis worse and should be avoided. You may have to cut them all out of your diet for at least 4 days and then reintroduce them one by one to feel the effects:

Sugar, caffeine, red meat, dairy products, citrus fruits, corn (maize), wheat, salt, artificial sweeteners and other food additives.

Take Control:

Arthritis may limit some of the things you do, but it does not have to control your life. One way to reduce your pain is to build your life around wellness, not pain or sickness. Think of pain as a signal to take positive action rather than an ordeal you have to endure. This means thinking positive thoughts, having a sense of humor (i.e. you can joke about your disability), eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly (e.g. walking), enjoying activities with friends and family, taking your medication properly and practicing relaxation.

Exercise and Arthritis:

For a long time, it was thought that people with arthritis should not exercise because it would damage their joints. Now doctors and therapists know that people with arthritis can improve their health and fitness through exercise without hurting their joints. Along with medicine, rest, acupressure, relaxation techniques and regular exercise can keep your joints in working order so that you can continue your daily activities. Everyone should exercise regularly. But if you have arthritis, it is a must. Exercise enhances the muscles around your joints and reduces the pain in your body. It also acts like lubrication for the joints in your body. It also may help prevent further joint damage. If your joints hurt, you may not feel like exercising. However, if you do not exercise, your joints can become even more stiff and painful. Exercise is beneficial because it keeps your muscles, bones and joints healthy. Be sure, however, that you only exercise within your body's limits.