Saturday, September 14, 2013

Who Are You Without Your Disease?

"Who are you without your disease? What makes you more than just your disease? How have you adapted these aspects of your life so they're not completely overcome by your illnesses?"

I came across this question yesterday on a web site, and I just knew I had to respond, so here goes.

I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in 2008. I have had times where I could hardly walk, and with the help of the medical systems, there are times when I live a fairly normal life. For quite some time prior to last year I really wouldn't have known how to answer the question "who are you without your disease?" When you're shuffling down the street, virtually everyone you know asks if you're okay and "what's going on?" You answer "I have RA" and you very much get into "a man with a disease" mode.

Last year my father told me a story about a woman with MS who would tell anyone that asked her a similar question "I have MS." One day, someone looked her in the eye and said "you don't have MS, MS has you." Alarm bells went off in my head. This was a message for me too. I was traveling through life with my dis-ease as my driver, RA was defining my life. Did it really have to be that way? I didn't think so. P.S. That woman with MS is now training for a marathon.

Who am I without my disease?

Today, that question is very easy for me to answer. I am a man that has experienced dis-ease and am now doing my part to eliminate dis-ease from our society.

A lofty goal you might suggest? Hear me out. If not me, then who? If not now, then when? There are a lot of people that have this same goal, whether they've consciously thought about it or not.

Since being diagnosed, I have read a lot and experienced many different Eastern and Western treatment options. My belief system suggests that our human body is meant to heal and if we give it the environment to heal, it has an amazing ability to heal itself. When we cut our finger or break a bone, the body jumps into healing mode and we're good as new in a short time.

In a swimming pool that is balanced, algae won't grow. It is well documented scientifically that in a human body that is balanced, dis-ease won't manifest itself either. But when stresses and other factors start to affect our bodies, we begin to take the system out of balance and we create an environment that gets out of balance for healing.

There are so many things that we can do to help eliminate stressors from our body, including the obvious two of diet and exercise. But I happen to believe the most important thing we can do is to simply LIVE OUR LIFE, truly live it. I live my life under 5 principles, each of which has been a title for a blog post:

1. Expect synchronicity -

2. Examine limiting beliefs -

3. Speak your authentic truth -

4. Love vs Fear, you have a choice -

5. Get off the sidelines -

I blog regularly suggesting that many people are living their lives trying to please other people rather than pleasing themselves, or living their life full of regrets. I believe that if people are taking steps toward fulfilling their dreams, however small or large the dream may be, that they start to bring their swimming pool back into balance, bringing their body into a state where dis-ease cannot manifest itself.

I believe that our only limitations to achieving our dreams are the self-limiting beliefs we impose upon ourselves.

I believe that our body gives us signs when it is in stress and that if we listen to and deal with the signs when they first appear, we can bring our bodies back into balance, before dis-ease manifests.

I believe that if everyone chose to live their best life now (thanks to my friend Priya for that phrase), we could eliminate the onset of new dis-ease.

I believe in miracles, having read and heard of many stories where people have received their diagnosis and said "that's not going to work for me", then their symptoms have disappeared at some point in the future. I know this isn't always the case, but I believe in miracles just the same.

I believe that if one person hears my story and makes the change to bring their life into balance for them, then I'll have made a difference, moving society one step closer to the elimination of dis-ease.

I sometimes find myself thinking of my onset of dis-ease as a blessing. That may sound crazy, but it served as a massive wake-up call for me. And if it hadn't happened, I probably never would have taken the time to understand my own self-sabotaging and limiting beliefs.

I have a lot of beliefs and a lot of dreams. And I'm taking steps to achieve them every day.

Who am I without my dis-ease? I almost forgot I had it.

If you want to help build a community of those who wish to eliminate dis-ease, share this story with friends. If you'd like to make sure you don't miss a blog, sign up for our newsletter.

Namaste, Ken

Foods That Can Alleviate Stiff and Painful Joints

If a person is suffering from stiff and painful joints, there could be several reasons for it. It could be due to arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis. If a person is active in physical sports, it can also cause pain and stiffness in the joints. According to the Director of Allergy Medical UK, people suffering from stiff and painful joints due to arthritis, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can get rid of the pain and stiffness by eating certain types of food and avoiding other types.

One of the main causes of stiff and painful joints among young adults is the posture while sitting and sleeping and wearing high heels every day. Also, eating unhealthy food can cause the joints to become painful and stiff, something that not many people are aware of.

A leading holistic nutritional chiropractor in the United States, Dr. Grady Deal claims that when a person consumes unhealthy food, it causes toxic chemicals to accumulate in the body. It is these toxic chemicals that cause the pain and stiffness. The toxins cause tightening of the muscles due to which the person experiences muscle spasms. Once spasms set in, the joints are pulled out of their normal alignment. In addition, eating unhealthy food can also result in edema, swelling of the joints and water retention. When this occurs, pressure is exerted on the nerves resulting in pain in the joints and subsequent stiffness.

Hence, any food that is considered to be toxic to the body should be removed from the diet. Dr. Deal claims that things such as chocolates, alcohol, dairy products, coffee, foods containing MSG and non-prescription medications are the leading cause of toxicity in the body. So, a person should be careful about consuming food from fast food restaurants and also drinking sweetened carbonated drinks. Instead the person should be looking to consume foods that are rich in calcium, such as kale, figs, yogurt, salmon and broccoli. It is recommended that a person should increase their intake of fresh vegetables. When consuming foods like sandwiches and burgers, adding lots of lettuce and tomatoes can make them healthier. Also, instead of having French fries, the person can opt for fresh green salad or diced fresh vegetables. Another way to make the food more joint-friendly is by increasing the intake of Omega-3 essential fatty acids. These acids are present in fish, such as salmon and mackerel. If a person is suffering from osteoarthritis, it is best to increase the intake of Vitamin C, according to Arthritis Today.

By carefully selecting foods and eating small and frequent meals throughout the day, a person will notice a significant improvement in the condition of their joints.

Arthritis Treatment: New Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment Guidelines for 2012

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis affecting between approximately two million Americans. It is a systemic, chronic, autoimmune driven disorder that affects not only joints but internal organs as well. The disease has been associated with a significant mortality causing people affected by the disease to die 7-10 years before people who do not have RA. Also, it is associated with significant morbidity, meaning patients will suffer a loss of independence as well as the ability to continue to pursue gainful employment.

A prior set of guidelines from the American College of Rheumatology in 2008 laid out treatment recommendations and guidelines for starting and switching medications.

However, these guidelines were formulated before complete knowledge as to the effect of newer drugs on disease course was fully appreciated. Those of us in practice, of course, felt these guidelines were antiquated even as they were released.

The newer guidelines deal with new discoveries and also make recommendations about how to use biologic drugs in high risk patients. As a result, I think these guidelines do make more sense and support the treatment approach that most private practitioners already follow.

The key point that the authors made was that low disease activity or even remission should be the goal of treatment. This is a critical point. It is now possible to get most patients with RA into remission.

One of the major changes from the 2008 guidelines was the emphasis on more aggressive treatment in patients with early RA that is - the first 6 months of disease onset. The recommended change to more intensive early therapy is necessary since more aggressive early treatment can provide better outcomes.

It's no secret that early diagnosis and treatment makes a huge difference in patient outcome.

Since joint damage in RA is irreversible, prevention of damage is an important goal. In addition to the obvious joint issues, preservation of physical function and health-related quality of life is important in order to limit the likelihood of disability.

To that end, they recommend early institution of disease modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD) therapy, drugs that slow the rate of progression of RA. Examples would be medicines like methotrexate and hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil). Biologic drugs should be added quickly if DMARD therapy does not appear to be working effectively. Biologic drugs include the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors adalimumab (Humira), certolizumab pegol (Cimzia), etanercept (Enbrel), golimumab (Simponi), or infliximab (Remicade). Non TNF biologics include abatacept (Orencia), tocilizumab (Actemra), or rituximab (Rituxan).

One other point: Biologics should not be combined since there is no increase in efficacy but there is an increase in side effects.

Finally, when I consider how far we've come with our approach to RA since I began practice in 1981, the difference is both astounding as well as gratifying.

Natural Ways to Treat Pain and Inflammation

Is your body suffering the effects of inflammation?

Inflammation can be the cause of multiple health problems and is most easily described as "a fire within". It is the body's protective response to harmful agents such as allergens, different irritants, obesity, poor diet and lifestyle or disease due to bacteria or virus. Think of it as the body's way of removing harmful agents. Inflammation is typically seen on the outside of the body as a red, swollen, hot area (where an injury or bite might have occurred). This redness, swelling and heat is an indication of the body's defenses killing the invaders.

Is your pain sending you a message?

Inside the body inflammation is often experienced as pain. Like a smoke signal, pain is the body's way of telling you have a problem or a "fire within". Examples of inflammation that cause pain include rheumatoid arthritis,  injuries, nerve damage, neuropathies or joint problems. Inflammation can also cause pain such as headaches/migraines or digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome.

So how do I safely extinguish inflammation and treat pain naturally?

It is an unfortunate fact that people rely heavily on pain medications, often with little relief. Sadly, these drugs can cause side effects which produce a whole range of other problems such as a bleeding gut. So what can you do to decrease your pain and how do you know which natural products really work? Without the time and energy to do extensive research and without trying multiple products to see what works best for you, finding a suitable, good quality, reliable product that actually works, can be difficult. Fortunately trained natural health practitioners, have easy access to this knowledge and can help you sort out what really works. Here are just a few herbs with remarkable healing properties (which have traditionally been used for years), which science has now proven to be effective for pain relief. 

* Turmeric has strong anti-inflammatory properties and is particularly useful in treating arthritic and rheumatic symptoms such as pain and swelling. 

* Boswellia is useful for all types of pain and boasts analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anti-rheumatic effects. Pain from traumatic injuries and arthritic pain, responds particularly well to boswellia.

* Ginger is a a fabulous herb for arthritis and also heals the gut.

* High dose EPA found in fish oil, has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and is used for the treatment of not only pain but also the heart, skin and blood pressure.

What dietary changes will help me heal?

The latest research tells us that diet has an enormous impact on inflammation. Your first priority should be to reduce gluten containing foods. Gluten frequently bypasses the tight protective junctions of your small intestine, is reabsorbed back into the blood stream and starts the cascade of inflammation. Also don't forget about reducing other inflammatory foods such as sugary and processed foods, bad fats, colourants and flavourings. Eat more nuts, fish, olive oil and don't forget those fabulous spices.

Pain and inflammation can destroy your quality of life - don't let this happen to you! Safe, scientifically proven natural supplements and an anti-inflammatory diet will help you feel fabulous again.

Wrist Arthritis - What Could it Be?

Arthritis of the wrist may not sound like a big deal... until you need to open a door, type on your computer, or shake hands. Then you realize how much a role your wrist plays in these simple activities.

The wrist is like many other joints. It's enclosed in a synovial membrane. It consists of the ends of the radius and ulna- two long bones- that articulate with a row of eight carpal bones. The carpal bones in the wrist also articulate with the metacarpal bones of the hand. The entire wrist complex is stabilized by tendons and ligaments and encased in a synovial membrane.

When arthritis develops, the wrist complex is affected by inflammation of the synovial membrane as well as by any other problem that causes the cartilage that surrounds all the bones in the wrist to wear away.

While wrist pain may occur as the first sign of a problem, the inability to perform simple activities of daily living follows shortly.

The pain may be dull initially but then becomes sharper and more constant.

Grip strength diminishes. Inflammation progresses, then there may be pressure on the other structures that pass through the wrist such as the median nerve. This leads to carpal tunnel syndrome.

The treatment of wrist arthritis is dependent on the cause. Forms of arthritis that commonly affect the wrist include rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, gout, and pseudogout. When inflammatory forms of arthritis affect the wrist, there is wearing away of cartilage as well as damage to the supporting structures. Wearing away of the cartilage leads to misalignment and deformity as well as wrist dysfunction. Swelling and fluid accumulation may occur.

When wrist arthritis occurs, there is a benefit in that wrist involvement by arthritis generally is often a tip off to diagnosis. For instance, rheumatoid arthritis is one of the more common forms of arthritis that affect the wrist. By allowing an earlier diagnosis, early intervention can lead to remission.

Physical therapy and specific exercise may be beneficial as are splinting and anti-inflammatory medicines. Sometimes, injection with glucocorticoids may be necessary.

In advanced cases, surgery may be necessary. Surgical procedures include excision arthroplasty where the end of the ulna bone is removed. This often helps with some forms of arthritis since it allows more freedom of movement.

Joint fusion and joint replacement may be called for in extreme cases. Wrist replacement currently lasts about ten to fifteen years depending on the amount of activity.

Friday, September 13, 2013

How To Avoid Problems In Treating Arthritis With Arava

The internet is a great source of information on all topics and Googling Arava will through up many results - some positive, some negative. There are a huge number of reviews online by users and professionals alike - some reviewing experiences, knowledge or promoting the product itself.

Where do you go to get reliable information about Arava online?

How reliable is the information online about Arava or any other drug for that matter? There are a number of respected medical sites that review many drugs on an impartial, professional basis. The reviews are generally done by qualified professionals, be they doctors, pharmacists or other health specialists. You should also remember that for a drug to be marketed in the US, it has to pass stringent tests and research trials before being granted FDA approval, and details on that approval are available on the FDA website.

Because of the problems caused by living with rheumatoid arthritis, most people with the condition will at some stage be taking medication of one description or another to deal with the pain and reduce swelling associated with the condition. Medication for rheumatoid arthritis can be divided into two categories:

1. Symptom Relievers. Used to help relieve pain and swelling, these include the following:

  • Tylenol®*

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin and ibuprofen

  • COX-2 inhibitor NSAIDs

2. Disease Modifiers. These drugs, known as disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), not only help relieve pain and swelling, but they also help slow the progression of RA.

Arava slows the progression of rheumatoid arthritis and because of this is classified as a DMARD. Arava helps relieve the pain and swelling in the joints caused by rheumatoid arthritis. So, while there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, it is possible you can do something to help prevent it from getting worse.

There are issues with Arava around loading dose levels in patients, particularly those at risk of hematologic or hepatic toxicity. Managing the initial loading dosage is something you should take very seriously and consult with your doctor.

So why are there Negative reviews of Arava online and what should I do about it?

The negative publicity you will find online about Arava is related to the potential side effects of using Arava. In the past there have been situations where Arava was used incorrectly and this has lead to problems.

This is the manufacturer's own warnings in relation to the use of Arava:

"Pregnancy must be excluded before the start of treatment with Arava. Arava is contraindicated in pregnant women, or women of childbearing potential who are not using reliable contraception. (see contraindications and warnings). Pregnancy must be avoided during Arava treatment or prior to the completion of the drug elimination procedure after Arava treatment."

As with many treatments, there are a number of conditions that are incompatible with Arava. If you are considering using treatment with Arava, make sure you undergo thorough medical examination so that you make sure you don't have any of the conditions that could cause you issues. You may not even know you have them so it si best to get checked out first and keep those risks as low as possible. Also make sure you are regularly checked by your doctor.

Other common complaints or side effects include skin problems such as dermatitis, acne and rashes, respiratory problems such as cough, pneumonia and respiratory infections or endocrine deficiencies related to the thyroid and the pancreatic functions. Arava, like most drugs, have these issues and it is important that you understand the risks associated with using it. That information is freely available online or from your medical professional.

So make sure you understand the risks, and weigh them up against the potential benefits - make sure you take the advice of a trusted professional and keep your risk factors to a minimum.

Can Fish Oil Pills Relieve Arthritis?

If you are suffering from arthritis, fish oil pills may just be your magic pills Arthritis is a group of medical conditions caused by damage to the joints. It is a disease rampant among people over 55. Arthritis can limit the movements of your joints. Arthritis comes in many forms. There's rheumatoid arthritis, which is characterized with inflammation and pain. Then there's osteoarthritis, which is caused by damage to cartilages in the joints. A lot of people suffer from this musculoskeletal condition without safe and effective treatment. But there just might be a magic pill for arthritis. Several studies have shown that fish oils are good for arthritis. Trials done on people suffering from arthritis proved that twelve weeks of fish oil intake already reduces pain, inflammation, and stiffness of the joints. Fish oil pills contain Omega-3 fatty acids, elements that can help in joint aches, pains, and other muscular and joint conditions such as arthritis and rheumatism, among many others. One type of Omega-3 fatty acid, EPA or eicosapentaenoic acid, is directly associated with relief from arthritis and its symptoms.

Aside from bringing benefits to the brain and other parts of the body, EPA doubles as an anti-inflammatory agent. It helps relieve inflammation, a symptom of rheumatoid arthritis. Fish oil can also protect the cartilages from severe damages, which makes it a great treatment for osteoarthritis. There are other treatment options for arthritis. Popular medications used for arthritis are NSAIDs or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. But there are some controversies regarding the safety of NSAIDs. Some health experts are concerned about the side effects of these medications, especially when taken in excess. That's why an alternative treatment for arthritis is highly necessary. It's a good thing that we can turn to fish oil pills. They are safer to take. They are natural substances that do not contain harmful substances as long as they are taken from the right types of fish and placed through purification processes.

Good-quality supplements can treat arthritis without causing any unpleasant and unexpected effects. They are also easily absorbed by the body. The EPA content of these supplements come in a form that is easily recognized by the body. Fish oil also has preventive action, which means that it not only treats arthritis but prevents it and its symptoms. But another big reason why they are great treatment for arthritis is that taking them is like hitting many birds with one stone. They won't just treat your arthritis; it will also bring even more valuable benefits to your body. It can bring a full array of other health benefits.

It can help with your heart health, cognitive health, and has been associated with benefits to digestion, skin, vision, and a lot more. Your body can revel in all the great benefits of fish oil pills, especially if you choose the right types. So there you have it, as a consumer, it is recommended that you look for pharmaceutical-grade, molecularly distilled fish oil pills made from certain fish species.

Vitamin B: Arthritis Cure?

Vitamin B is not only essential if you suffer from arthritis, but it is also vital for general health. It is involved in hundreds of bodily functions. Amongst other benefits, it is involved in energy production, a healthy nervous system, good skin, hormone production and balance and prostaglandin production- a function that makes it key in controlling the inflammation in arthritis. Another key link is its involvement in keeping homocysteine levels under control. Homocysteine plays a vital role in your general health. Let us look at the different types of vitamin B and how it will benefit you if you suffer from arthritis:

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)

For about 60 years now, it is known that a vitamin B5 deficiency in animals causes osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. When animals deficient in B5 received supplements, their arthritis improved and their inflammation levels (ESR levels) dropped. Since then, it has been confirmed that people with rheumatoid arthritis are nearly always lacking in B5. Studies show that when deficient patients receive B5 injections, their symptoms improve in about seven days. When the injections stop, their symptoms return. Also, when rheumatoid arthritis patients received 500mg of pantothenic acid four times a day, they experience a reduction in morning stiffness and pain after about two months.

So how does it work to improve your joint pain? There are a few theories as to how exactly it works, but the one that makes the most sense is that B5 is required for the body to make its own corticosteroids. That will explain why it improves rheumatoid arthritis. As for its benefits for osteoarthritis, it might improve the body's calcium balance. Calcium is essential for joint health. You could probably benefit by taking about 500-1000mg per day for a trial period of two months.

Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide)

Vitamin B3, also known as niacin or niacinamide, has been used to successfully treat arthritis for many years. Its beneficial effect for arthritis was discovered when niacin was used to treat schizophrenia and cholesterol. Patients receiving this treatment reported improvements in their arthritis. More recent studies conclusively show that B3 supplementation reduces inflammation and improved range of motion. Most patients supplementing with B3 are able to reduce their pain medication. Vit B3 is also very effective in controlling high cholesterol. Note that the niacin form of B3 causes a blushing and a feeling of pins and needles. This reaction is normal and actually shows the power of this nutrient. If the blushing reaction is too severe, you can opt for the niacinamide form, which doesn't cause blushing. Some companies also have a non-blushing form of niacin. Taking more than 2000mg of any B3 is pushing the limit. Take between 500mg-100mg vitamin B3 for arthritis and cholesterol.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

Vitamin B6 benefits arthritis patients by controlling pain and improving joint mobility. It works by shrinking the synovial membranes of weight bearing joints. It is also involved in the production of anti-inflammatory prostaglandins. Studies have found that when the body is an inflammatory state, as with rheumatoid arthritis, the body uses up more B6 and overall levels drop. This indicates that the body uses this nutrient to fight inflammation. B6 is also used very successfully to treat carpal tunnel syndrome. Often, surgery is avoided after sustained B6 supplementation. 50mg can be taken to improve joint pain.

Folic Acid and Vitamin B12

In a study of 26 people that suffered from osteoarthritis in their hands, most patients showed less pain in their hand joints after supplementing with a combination of folic acid and vitamin B12. The study reported that the patients experienced no side-effects like those associated with taking pain medication. You probable need about 200mcg of folic acid and 10mcg of B12 to benefit the most.

Yellow Toe Nails - Common Causes

Yellow is such a cheerful color, isn't it? Red is too aggressive, blue too depressing, orange too rowdy, green too moldy, and purple is just too...purple. But yellow is the color of sunshine, the hearts of daisies, and little baby chicks. It's as if happiness had been simmered in a big pot until everything else was drained out except for a big ol' pool of yellow.

As nice as the color can be though, there are some things that we definitely don't want to be yellow. Like toenails, for instance. Toenails really do best when they're a nice, healthy sort of pinkish color. But certain things can make your toenails turn yellow, which may be one of the only times you find the color rather depressing.

Fungal infections of the toenail are probably the most common cause of yellow nail discoloration, although they can also turn yellow because of diabetes, psoriasis (it can affect the nail bed and make the nail appear yellow or yellowish-pink), chronic leg swelling caused by problems with the lymphatic system (lymphedema) and even staining from nail polish.

Your yellow nails may involve other symptoms as well, depending on what's causing your yellowed nails. Fungal infections often also make the nail thickened and brittle, and you may notice debris collecting under the nail. Toenails that are housing fungal intruders also tend to emit an unpleasant odor.

Diabetes has many symptoms, including an increase in thirst, urination, extreme hunger, fatigue, unexplained loss of weight, a tingling sensation or loss of feeling (numbness) in your extremities (hands and feet), blurry vision, or wounds that are slow to heal.

Psoriasis sometimes also involves patches of irritated skin (usually reddish, or silvery and flaky) on other parts of your body. Your nails may also develop pits or dents in the surface and may come away from the nail bed, or you may even develop psoriatic arthritis, which can feel a lot like rheumatoid arthritis.

Lymphedema's main symptom is actually chronic swelling in your entire leg (or arm), including your toes or fingers. It usually happens in just one leg or arm, but can occur in both at the same time. Your affected leg will also probably feel heavy, tight, achy, may be harder to move around, and may have thick and hard skin. Legs affected by lymphedema also tend to develop infections more easily.

Yellow may be your podiatrist's favorite color, but he or she knows that yellow toenails aren't necessarily something to be happy about. When you go in to see him or her about your unusually cheerful toenails, your podiatrist will need to ask you about your symptoms. He or she will ask you about the color and texture of your toenail, as well as other qualities, such as pain, brittleness, and possible deformities or ridges. You'll also want to tell your podiatrist if you have any other symptoms like those described above, or others.

Diagnostic tests may be used, such as nail scraping (to test for fungal infection) or other tests to determine the cause of your yellow toenails.

As always, treatment depends on the cause of your symptoms. Fungal infections are usually treated by using topical or oral anti-fungal medications, and if the infection is severe, the nail may need to be removed in order to apply the medication directly to the nail bed.

Psoriasis, diabetes and lymphedema aren't curable conditions. (Which may make even yellow seem sad.) Fortunately, many treatments are available to make life as comfortable for you as possible, and to preserve your health. For instance, psoriasis can be treated using topical medications, phototherapy (applying ultraviolet or other light to the skin), or other medications taken orally, by injection, or infusion.

Diabetes will need to be treated comprehensively by a team of medical professionals. The most important goal is to keep your blood sugar under control. Doing so will help prevent damage to your nerves and blood vessels. Regular visits with your doctors (including your podiatrist) and following your doctors' instructions will help keep you in the best health possible.

Treating lymphedema revolves around reducing the swelling in your leg. This may involve special exercises, massages, wrapping your leg, pneumatic compression (wearing a sleeve that that's intermittently inflated), and compression stockings.

With proper treatment, you should find an improvement in your health and your outlook in life. And yellow should once again seem like the most cheerful of all colors.

Can Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Really Help Fibromyalgia Symptoms?

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is often used to teach Fibromyalgia and other chronic pain sufferers how to cope with their illnesses. It is said to help treat many conditions and diseases like FM, back pain, rheumatoid arthritis and cancer. It helps determine how well a patient manages their pain and teaches them how to take control of it. Depression plays a key role in the inability to be proactive in our treatment. So, our state of mind is very important when it comes to getting better.

Studies show that when FM patients effectively deal with the particular symptoms and over-lapping conditions of their illness and of their lives, they feel better. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) increases a patients' belief in their own power to cope with the things they face and helps them develop ways for dealing with depression and stressful situations.

The goal of CBT is to make patients aware of self-defeating behaviors and emotions so that they can be changed consciously. Healthy, positive thoughts and emotions supersede the negative, resulting in a powerful influence on your life and lessening your pain. Over time, the idea that you are helpless against the pain goes away and, instead, you learn that you can manage the pain. Many studies show an improved quality of life and overall reduction in average pain scores.

Cognitive behavioral therapy has shown to be as beneficial as anti-depressant medications for patients with depression. In one large study there were considerably higher results of reaction and remission from depression when cognitive behavior therapy was used in addition to anti-depressant medications than when either method was used alone. CBT is used to change the patients negative feelings and social withdrawal.

Cognitive therapy is very helpful in defining and setting limits (something I know I have a problem with) and is vitally important for FM patients. Many "Fibromytes" live their lives in extremes. We push ourselves too far and suddenly we break-down. This reverses the way we view ourselves, we become demoralized, feel worthless, and give up our power to cope with the simplest tasks. One important goal of cognitive therapy is to help us find a middle ground. Patients learn to prioritize their responsibilities, and drop some of the less important tasks or delegate them to others. My biggest problem is just saying "NO". I want to please everyone and prove to them and myself that I can do whatever is asked of me. When I reach my limits and cannot complete a task, I tend to go through a period of self-loathing. Learning to say "NO" and other coping skills can ultimately lead to a more manageable life. We can learn to view ourselves and others in a better light.

CBT is also a useful treatment for anxiety disorders, including phobias, panic attacks, and obsessive-compulsive disorders. In CBT, patients learn to be aware of and change negative thinking patterns. It is a way to gain conscious control over unwanted thoughts or feelings which are, as a rule, connected to anxiety. Those of us who suffer from panic attacks learn our bodies' negative responses and actions during an attack and CBT helps us find ways to counteract the reason for the attacks. CBT can also help improve quality of sleep so we can hopefully reduce some of our medications.

Cognitive therapy requires approximately six to twenty sessions that last one hour. The cognitive therapy program may involve keeping a diary to look at all aspects of your daily activities, coping skills and mind-set. This helps you learn what changes need to be made, limits that need to be set and a way to organize and prioritize activities. Many of these things contribute to stress and can make your pain better or worse. Setting limits keeps us from getting discouraged and helps us learn to take each task one step at a time. CBT also helps us confront negative thoughts and emotions and we are taught how to reverse them. It all boils down to self-perception: self-loathing, worthlessness, helplessness, hopelessness, negative self-talk, believing that other people view us the same way. CBT helps us reverse those thought processes so we can pick ourselves up and keep going. Patients will learn to find things we once enjoyed doing and make the time to do them with the help of learning how to schedule activities without being overwhelmed.

As we know accomplishing too much too soon can often cause a relapse of symptoms. We should respect these relapses and slow down. We should not consider them a sign of failure. That's just how Fibromyalgia works. Don't be so hard on yourself!

Getting to Know Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptom

Are you concerned about identifying a rheumatoid arthritis symptom? Maybe you should be. Rheumatoid arthritis is after all, a common condition that affects the joints. There are other kinds of arthritis. This one in particular affects the lining of the joints. In time the disease may destroy the joint tissues and seriously hamper movement. What symptoms of the disease should you watch out for?

Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms

Common sense will tell you that the most obvious symptoms will be felt and seen in the joints. Swelling in varying degrees will be obvious. This symptom is typically accompanied by stiffness and pain especially when the joints are moved or touched. All joints from the fingers to the shoulders may be visited by this condition. In very rare cases, organs may be affected too.

The disease has other symptoms beyond joint swelling. Some who have it may develop nodules or differently sized bumps in various areas of the body. Many individuals also experience symptoms similar to flu. They may suffer from fever, fatigue, weight loss and a lack of appetite.

Each particular rheumatoid arthritis symptom develops slowly. Symptoms may also come and disappear. When one suffers from symptoms, this is typically known as a flare up episode. The symptoms may then subside only to reappear again at another time. When the symptoms are present, movement becomes painful. Thorough damage of the joints can be permanently disabling.

Disease Causes

Experts have not fully determined the causes of rheumatoid arthritis. Symptoms however may develop in you if you are genetically predisposed to the disease. There is also some indication that lifestyle factors such as smoking may contribute to the condition. Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the immune system mistakenly moves against the tissues of the joint linings. Those who are at a higher risk of getting the disease are people over 40.

Solutions to Rheumatoid Arthritis

Since the disease causes are not fully understood, there is no current cure for the condition. Doctors however still recommend some form of treatment. Certain medications can help reduce the symptoms, slow down damage and stop total disability. Some possible medications include NSAIDs, DMARDs, steroids and immunosuppresants. In some cases, the disease can be so severe that surgery is required.

Aside from medical treatment, one may also be advised to change some habits. A healthy diet is often a must. This is usually paired with regular exercise. You may have to ask your doctor though for specific food and exercises that you may safely eat and use. Smoking, drinking and too much stress are to be avoided. In other words, the best way to personally deal with the condition is to live a clean, healthy and calm life.

A rheumatoid arthritis symptom is something to worry about. This doesn't mean though that you can forget about leading a normal life. Your world doesn't have to end because of rheumatoid arthritis. As long as you follow your doctor's advice, you can deal with your condition effectively.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Arthritis Relief and Your Diet

Arthritis affects more than 40 million Americans and is referred to as the

most common chronic disease in people over 40.
Doctors believe there are over 100 different forms of arthritis, all sharing

one main characteristic: they all cause joint inflammation.
What can you do to relieve the symptoms of arthritis? A lot.
There is a great deal of debate in the medical world about the effects of overall

diet on arthritis and using diet toward alleviating the condition.
Doctors have known for a long time that diet affects gout, a specific type

of arthritic condition, however the jury remained out for a long time on other

common types of arthritis such as rheumatoid and osteoarthritis.
What is known however, is that overall dietary health is important and does

come into play. Weight and nutrition are two factors that play a role in arthritic

Being overweight can affect certain arthritic conditions, forcing some joints

to carry more of a load. This added weight stresses the joints, causing overuse

or more wear to components, and pain, especially in the knees.
If you suffer from arthritis make sure you eat good foods and get help from

healthcare providers to create and follow a well-balanced dietary plan.
To begin with, here are some vitamins, minerals, foods, supplements and herbal

applications to consider.
Vitamins that have shown to reduce tissue swelling or provide relief include

Vitamins B5, B6, B12, the antioxidant vitamins C and E, and vitamin K, which

improves bone health.
Several independent studies have found that rheumatoid arthritis patients given

increased doses of zinc showed marginal improvement.
Other minerals to consider include Boron, Calcium, Magnesium, Manganese (not

to be taken with calcium), Copper, Germanium and Sulfur.
The National Institutes of Health is studying the food supplements, glucosamine

and chondroitin, for use in relieving symptoms of pain and stiffness for some

persons with osteoarthritis.
Patients with osteoarthritis taking blood-thinners should be careful taking

chondroitin as it can increase the blood-thinning and cause excessive bleeding.

Fish oil supplements have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.

Increasing dietary fish intake or fish oil capsules (omega 3 capsules) can relieve

inflammatory conditions like arthritis.
For more information, see Omega

3 Fats
Glutathione is an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties and can be

safely boosted by consuming its precursors available in the supplements, N-Acetyl-Cysteine

(NAC) or undenatured whey protein.
For more information, see Glutathione.
Quercetin is also known to help reduce inflammation, while Type II Collagen

plays a role in growth and repair of joints, articular cartilage and connective

Because of the risk in overdosing, one should be discouraged from taking doses

of vitamins that are higher than recommended without a physician's direction.

Some vitamins and minerals can actually worsen certain conditions, and the

concentration that can be attained through vitamins can be dangerous. It is

always better to increase in vitamin or mineral intake through your normal diet.

Foods To Avoid
There are many factors to consider with regards to arthritic diets and nutritional

healing, and each factor may not apply to each individual.
For example, certain people are allergic to specific foods, and these allergies

can indeed worsen arthritic conditions. The best way to approach the situation

is to examine each arthritic condition and tailor one's approach based upon

the specifics.
Ingesting foods that contain sodium nitrate or tartrazine can inflame rheumatoid

arthritis, while ingesting foods containing a substance called hydrazine can

contribute to an arthritic condition connected to lupus.
Black walnuts can cause flare-ups in people a rare type of arthritis called

Behcet's Disease.
With osteoarthritis, deterioration of cartilage is a concern. Since there is

some evidence that Vitamin A, contributes to cartilage deterioration, those

with osteoarthritis should avoid large doses of it.
Although clinical proof is not available, anecdotal evidence suggests that

in the case of fibromyalgia, eliminating wheat, dairy, citrus, sugar, aspartame

(Nutrasweet), alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco can provide relief.
Many nutritionists and naturopaths suggest that those suffering with rheumatoid

arthritis avoid dairy products all together, as they seem to exacerbate rheumatoid

arthritis flare-ups.
The report "I

Cured My Arthritis You Can Too" suggests that white flour aggravates

arthritis symptoms.
Disclaimer: The information here is not provided by medical professionals and

is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Please consult your physician

before beginning any course of treatment.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms That You Should Not Ignore

Everyone feels a little worn out every now and again, especially when overextending or being under an undue amount of stress. Some people, however, become prey to an overwhelming fatigue that comes on with no extenuating circumstances. This excessive weariness may be accompanied by a low-grade fever and stiffness. These could be indicators of early rheumatoid arthritis symptoms that should checked by a doctor.

While some people also experience unexplained weight loss and numbness in their hands, these are not the prominent symptoms. The biggest telltale sign of rheumatoid arthritis is joint pain. The joints are usually very painful, swollen and stiff. The pain usually affects the joints on the same side of the body in the hands, wrists, ankles, knees and elbows. There is also typical a pattern of the disease which causes more than three sets of joints to be affected at once.

People who suffer with rheumatoid arthritis symptoms struggle with debilitating pain that makes it difficult to accomplish simple, everyday tasks. Normal activities, such as buttoning a blouse or unscrewing a bottle top can be extremely difficult or nearly impossible, depending on the severity of the condition. It is very hard for rheumatoid arthritis patients to carry out their everyday activities without some kind of medical or lifestyle intervention.

Rheumatoid arthritis is more than just a condition that causes chronic pain, joint and muscle stiffness. It is an autoimmune disease that causes the body to attack itself and can cause systemic symptoms. A number of patients report having rheumatoid nodules or bumps over such areas as their knuckles, elbows or spine. These bumps can range in size, from the size of a pea to an average size plum.

If these symptoms are not detected and treated, the disease can progress aggressively and destroy joint tissue as well as ligaments, tendons and other parts of the body. The disease can be very serious, as it can cause organ damage in very advanced cases and rare instances. People who experience excruciating, symmetrical joint pain should definitely seek medical attention to find out the cause.

Some autoimmune diseases, including lupus, have some symptoms that are similar to rheumatoid arthritis, so it is important to get a clear diagnosis through imaging and blood tests. Most common symptoms are marked by symmetrical joint pain on both sides of the body and can have a crippling affect on one's quality of life. People who experience these symptoms should give the doctors a complete symptom history and get properly tested for a clear diagnosis.

Some Of The Main Psoriatic Arthritis Symptoms To Watch Out For

What Is Psoriatic Arthritis?

Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that develops in some people who experience the skin condition psoriasis. The skin is in a constant process of regeneration, and completely replaces itself over the course of a month. New skin cells form underneath the outer layer of older skin, which then sloughs off to expose the newer skin.

Psoriasis develops when the regeneration process occurs too quickly- the new skin cells develop faster than they should and the old skin is not shed quick enough. This causes scaly red patches of skin to form, known as plaques, which can become very sore and itchy. These psoriasis plaques are usually found in localized patches on the knees, elbows, buttocks or head but can be found anywhere on the body and can occasionally cover a wider area.

Psoriatic arthritis generally only develops in psoriasis sufferers, although this does not mean that psoriasis sufferers will automatically develop the condition, nor does it mean that those with the most severe psoriasis symptoms will develop more severe forms of psoriatic arthritis. The condition occurs in around five to ten percent of people with psoriasis. In addition, around fifteen percent of people develop psoriatic arthritis before experiencing the symptoms of psoriasis.

Different Types of Psoriatic Arthritis and Their Symptoms

There are five different types of psoriatic arthritis, and each type has its own symptoms and treatment.

Symmetric arthritis; this affects the same joints in pairs, on each side of the body; for example both knee joints will be affected. The symptoms resemble a milder form of rheumatoid arthritis, although it can occur in more severe forms and cause deformity to the joints. Symmetrical arthritis is the second most common form of psoriatic arthritis and tends to cause more severe psoriasis symptoms.

Asymmetric arthritis; this tends to affect only a few joints, generally less than five, and joints are affected individually rather than in pairs. Although any joint can be affected, it is most common on the fingers and toes, and can cause a swelling in fingers known as 'sausage digits'. Asymmetrical arthritis is one of the most common forms of psoriatic arthritis, and is milder and less progressive than other types.

Digital Interphalangeal Predominant (DIP) arthritis; this affects the last joint in the toes and fingers, and can be mistaken for osteoarthritis.

Arthritis mutilans; this is a rare form of psoriatic arthritis, affecting fewer than 5% of sufferers, but can be severe. It can destroy cartilage and bone tissue, and can cause deformity to the hands, feet or spine. It generally occurs in flare ups and subsequent remissions, which are reflected in the symptoms of psoriasis.

Spondylitis; this is an inflammation of the spinal joints and discs, and can be very severe, resulting in spinal deformities if not treated. It can also affect the joints and ligaments in the arms and legs. The predominant symptoms include stiffness in the back and neck joints, tenderness and inflammation.

People with psoriatic arthritis may develop more than one of these types and can show symptoms of several at any one time, which can make diagnosis of one single type more difficult. There are also other types of arthritis that sufferers of psoriasis are at risk of developing; these are gout, which causes sudden inflammation in the toes, feet or hands, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and Reiter's Syndrome, which causes arthritis as well as inflammation of the urethra and eyes.

Other Psoriatic Arthritis Symptoms

In addition to the above symptoms, there are several more which can indicate the presence of the condition;

  • Swelling, throbbing, redness and stiffness in the affected joints, particularly first thing in the morning or after a period of rest

  • Reduced range of movement in the affected joints of digits

  • Swelling to the fingers or toes, as the joints and connective tissues become inflamed

  • General tiredness

  • Changes in finger and toe nails; nails may become thicker or become 'pitted' in appearance

These symptoms can be mild or more severe and can flare up and die down in a similar manner to the symptoms of psoriasis, and the two conditions can even mirror each other at times. Psoriatic arthritis occurs more frequently in the finger and toe joints, particularly the end joints, but can affect any joint in the body.

Although there is no cure for psoriatic arthritis, there are many treatments available to relieve the symptoms and avoid further damage to the joints.

Testing For Food Allergies - Self Diagnosis

There are several ways to check for food allergies on one's own. One is with the Coca test, based on Dr. Coca's observation that a person's pulse rate increases after eating a food to which he or she is allergic. The test consists of taking your pulse before eating and every 30 minutes after that for up to 2 hours.

Normally, the average person's pulse is between 70 and 80 beats per minute. After eating a food to which one is allergic, however, the pulse can increase significantly to a count that's 20 or even 40 beats above the normal level.

Another effective diagnostic measure that can be self-administered is the elimination test. Here, suspected allergy-producing foods are eliminated from the diet for 4 days. Every 5th day one of the foods is added back in to see if an allergic reaction occurs. So, if, for example, wheat is eliminated, on the 5th day a bowl of cracked wheat can be eaten. (Bread should not be used for this purpose because the person might be reacting to the yeast, sugar or additives.)

Recording Symptoms

It is helpful to keep a food diary to isolate those chemicals and foods that make you ill. Ask yourself, "Do I get bloated? Tired? Headaches?" Even is symptoms are not immediate, write them down. If you are allergic to a food, patterns will begin to emerge. A wide array of symptoms can occur depending upon which systems are most affected:

Adrenal System Reactions: Low energy or chronic fatigue is a common reaction, with immune dysfunction being at the most severe end of the spectrum. Another possibility is obesity, which can stem from a tendency to overeat in response to low glucose levels. A hypoglycemic person eats to raise the blood sugar and overcome inertia and exercise too little because not enough energy is available.

Central Nervous System Reactions: Brain allergies occur when molecules, breathed in or eaten, leave the blood and enter the brain. These foreign substances can interfere with enzymes and lead to any number of reactions - diminished concentration, impaired thinking, spaciness, anxiety, headaches, aggressive or antisocial behavior, depression, rapid mood swings, insomnia, hallucinations or episodic memory loss.

Many children experience hyperactivity or fatigue from allergens. Even serious psychotic problems can result; it is estimated that for over 90% of schizophrenics, food or chemical intolerances are contributory factors to their conditions. Unfortunately many allergic reactions, and many psychological problems compounded by allergic reactions, are mistaken for purely psychological.

Skin Problems: Some people experience rashes, or skin redness, discoloration, roughness or inflammation.

Respiratory System Problems: There may be wheezing or shortness of breath, asthma or bronchitis.

Cardiovascular Symptoms: These include heart pounding, rapid or skipped beats, flushing, pallor, tingling, redness or blueness of the hands and faintness.

Gastrointestinal Symptoms: Numerous symptoms include dry mouth, burping, flatulence, bloating, canker sores, stinging tongue, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, abdominal pain, rectal itching and indigestion.

Other Problems: Other annoying, uncomfortable symptoms are muscle aches and joint pain, ringing in the ears and frequent urination.

Unless corrected, subclinical signs can turn into disease states. Most people mask their symptoms with medication instead of addressing the cause of the problem. They do not realize that seemingly divers conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, asthma, migraines, irritably bowel syndrome, adult onset diabetes and skin disease, can have food and chemical allergies as an underlying cause.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms and Risk Factors

Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition that many people in Arizona must live with every day. The debilitating part of rheumatoid arthritis is that it affects so many active adults here in Anthem and Surprise, affecting everything from their golf game to their home lives. Understanding what rheumatoid arthritis is and what the risk factors for this chronic condition are an important step to understanding the diagnosis and pain management treatment.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), by definition, is a "chronic inflammatory disorder that most typically affects the small joints in your hands and feet." According to the Mayo Clinic, rheumatoid arthritis is unlike the wear-and-tear damage of osteoarthritis because if affects the lining of your joints, causing a painful swelling that can eventually result in bone erosion and joint deformity.

We have seen many cases in Arizona where arthritis has affected an individual so strongly, that certain appendages will begin to take on a deformed appearance, most notably the fingers and toes.

Like many other forms of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis occurs when your body literally attacks itself. It's a condition that causes your own immune system to mistakenly attack your body's tissues. Ultimately, the attacking of tissues can lead to high fevers and extreme fatigue because your body is undergoing a small civil war. It can be a very exhausting condition because your body is never fully at rest.

Some of the symptoms of RA can be initial joint pain, joint swelling, and joints that are tender to the touch. Your hands and feet might become red and puffy, and you might notice some bumps beneath the skin on your arms. These bumps are known to pain doctors as rheumatoid nodules. You might also see a fever, feel fatigued, have morning stiffness that lasts through the morning into the afternoons, and might see some weight loss to the amount of energy your body is producing during that 'civil war.'

So, how do you know if you're at risk for rheumatoid arthritis? There are some risk factors that you should discuss with your pain doctor. Those risk factors include your sex; women are more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis then are men. Your age is also a factor, as adults between the ages of 40 to 60 seem to develop the symptoms more frequently than other age groups. If a member of your family has battle rheumatoid arthritis, chances are you will be facing it as well.

Finally, smoking has been found to link directly with RA risk. However ironically, moderate drinking has been found to lessen your risk. This could be due to the fact that alcohol has been shown to suppress the activities of the immune system, thus limiting the immune system's ability to attack itself.

Arthritis Trigger Finger - What is it and What Can You Do About It?

Stenosing tenosynovitis is more commonly known as trigger finger arthritis. There is a misconception that the trigger finger is the pointer or index finger when it comes to this kind of arthritis. This is because the index finger is particularly used in pulling the trigger of a gun. But the truth is arthritis trigger finger can occur in any finger of the hand.

What Is It?

Trigger finger is actually a "snapping" or "popping" of a finger of the hand as it is closed or opened. The snapping is the reason why it was called trigger finger in the first place. This condition is more commonly found in the index, middle and ring fingers. And the snapping is readily heard upon attempting to flex the fingers while making a firm grip. There is a sudden stuttering of the digit as it closes then snaps close instead of the usual smooth way.

Sometimes, the affected finger cannot anymore stretch back into position and there is a locking in that position so that the other hand will have to help it towards extension. Upon extension, another snap is heard. Pain accompanies the snapping, leading the patient to the doctor.

The popping of the finger is the hallmark of trigger finger and is usually worse in the morning upon getting up. But as the condition worsens, the popping becomes more regular. In the worst scenario, the bump or swollen part of the tendon may lock in place so that it gets stuck there.

What Causes Trigger Finger?

So how do we get this condition? Actually, trigger finger is an inflammation of the tendon that pulls the finger to a closed position upon flexion. It may also be caused by scarring in the same tendon. Most of the time, it comes in isolated cases. In this particular case, though, trigger finger comes with other symptoms within the hand that accompanies rheumatoid arthritis in the area.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an abnormal condition that is caused by wear and tear or overuse. So prolonged use of the fingers can eventually lead to micro-injuries that may later on swell and lead to trigger finger. Aside from this, rheumatoid arthritis has been found to be a hereditary condition where it runs in families. Therefore, adding wear-and-tear may trigger it onset or exacerbate the already-present condition.

In 2005, it has been found that most of the patients with rheumatoid arthritis come with symptoms of swelling around the tendons of the palm, later on leading to trigger finger. The onset of this condition is gradual and is more commonly seen in women with the fourth finger being the most commonly involved. Studies also prove that trigger finger does not come from heavy use but with light constant use of the area.

How Can It Be Treated?

If we do get trigger finger, what can we do treat it? There are home remedies available for the treatment of this condition and for most types of arthritis in general. Doing passive stretching of the hand and fingers toward extension is a good way to prevent the formation of adhesions in the area and to improve blood circulation as well. Putting ice intermittently in the area for 15 minutes or more actually lessens the swelling that goes with inflammation. The most important is activity modification where the movements that causes more symptoms should be avoided altogether.

But of course in most instances, trigger finger cannot be treated by home remedies alone. Doctors prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs that are very helpful for the healing of the part involved. Usually, drugs like ibuprofen, diclofenac and naproxen are given to patients. The fastest relief is the injection of a local cortisone around the affected tendon.

Splinting the area is also a solution to prevent usage of the tendons. This will prevent the worsening of the inflammation.

There are cases when even after 2 cortisone injections, there is no relief for the patient. This is when surgery is required to remove the scarred or inflamed tissues. Almost half the number of patients respond to cortisone injection. Those who don't resort to surgery. Although with little risk, there are cases that recur after the operation. But this is only done if the rest of the treatment therapy have been tried but were not successful.

If you feel that you are starting to show symptoms of arthritis trigger finger, do not panic. Consulting the doctor is still the best remedy. It is better to catch the condition while it is still beginning. The later you go to a doctor, the more likely that you are going to undergo surgery. So don't be scared, see your orthopedic doctor right away.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Rheumatoid Arthritis

A shooting pain in the knee. A burning sensation in the hand. Before you know it, you have rheumatoid arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammation of the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks normal tissues as if they were invading antibodies. Rheumatoid arthritis also causes inflammation of the tissues around the joints and other organs of the body. The hands and feet are the most affected areas of rheumatoid arthritis although it can also affect any joint lined by a membrane. Rheumatoid arthritis is referred to as a systematic illness and sometimes called rheumatoid disease.

Rheumatoid arthritis manifests itself over a period of a few months. However, for some, the disease appears overnight. Accelerated onset of rheumatoid arthritis does not mean the individual is at greater risk of the progression of the disease. Rheumatoid arthritis can lasts for years without symptoms. But rheumatoid arthritis is an illness that progresses and has the potential to cause joint destrution and functional disability. Usually, patients suffer cycles from severe to light symptoms. In terms of statistics, rheumatoid arthritis is three times more common in women than in men. It also besets people of all races equally. Rheumatoid arthritis can begin at any age but most often start in the early forties.

What causes rheumatoid arthritis? The truth is, its cause is still unknown. Viruses, bacteria, and fungi have long been suspected but none has been proven to be the cause. The cause of rheumatoid arthritis has been the focus of different research activities. There are some scientists who believe that the tendency to develop rheumatoid arthritis may be genetically inherited while others believe that certain factors in the environment might elicit the immune system to attack the body's own tissue components. This attack results to the inflammation in various organs such as lungs or eyes.

Researchers have also found that environmental factors may also play a role in the cause of rheumatoid arthritis. In fact, scientists reported that smoking tobacco increases risk in the development of rheumatoid arthritis.

The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis depend on the degree of tissue inflammation. Rheumatoid arthritis is said to be active if the body tissues are inflammed. When the tissue inflammation subsides, rheumatoid arthritis is said to be in remission. Remissions may happen spontaneously or with treatment and can last for weeks, months, even years. During active rheumatoid arthritis, symptoms are felt. Symptoms may include fatigue, lack of appetite, low grade fever, and muscles and joint aches. Muscles and joint stiffness are usually felt during mornings and after a period of inactivity. During relapses (from inactivity to activity) of rheumatoid arthritis, joints become red, swollen, painful, and tender. This happens because the tissue lining of the joints become inflamed which results in the excess production of joint fluids.

Multiple joints are usually inflamed in symmetrical pattern and the joints of both hands and wrists are often affected. Simple tasks such as turning the door knob and opening the jars can be painful. Rheumatoid arthritis can also affect the joint responsible for the tightening of vocal cords to change the tone of the voice although rarely. But when this happens, it can cause hoarseness of the voice.

As mentioned before, rheumatoid arthritis is a systematic disease which can affect organs and areas of the body other than the joints. Sjorgen's syndrome is the inflammation of the glands of the eyes and mouth which causes dryness. Rheumatoid inflammation of the lung lining can cause chest pains because the lung tissue itself is inflamed and nodules of inflammation also develop within the lungs. Rheumatoid arthritis can also reduce the number of red blood cells which can result to anemia and white blood cells which can result to increase risk of infections. A rare, serious complication of rheumatoid arthritis is blood vessel inflammation which can impair blood supply to tissues and lead to death of tissues.

A rheumatologist is a doctor who specializes in arthritis and other related diseases. The rheumatologist reviews the history of symptoms, examines the joints, and the other parts of the body for the inflammation. The diagnosis is usually based on the pattern of symptoms, the distribution of the inflamed joints, and the blood and x-rays obtained.

Until now, there is no known cure for rheumatoid arthritis. Reducing joint inflammation and pain, maximizing joint function, and preventing joint destruction is the current goal in treating rheumatoid arthritis. Early medical intervention has been found to improve outcomes in treatment. Optimal treatment includes combination of medications, joint strengthening exercises, joint protection, and patient education. Treatment is customized according to many factors such as disease activity, types of joints involved, general health, age, and occupation. But treatment is most successful when there is close cooperation between the doctor and the patient.


Note: This article may be freely reproduced as long as the AUTHOR'S resource box at the bottom of this article is included and and all links must be Active/Linkable with no syntax changes.


Oregano Oil - A Great Remedy For Arthritis

Arthritis is a chronic condition that is characterized by the inflammation of the joint usually accompanied with pain and loss of mobility. It is the most common musculoskeletal disease in the world and it mostly affects those who are 55 years old and above. There are many types of arthritis but the most common are rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and gouty arthritis.

This condition is usually treated by following a controlled diet, application of special medications and specific joint exercises or physical therapy. The typical medication give to arthritis sufferers are NSAIDs or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve the pain. They can be injected directly to the joint to obtain temporary pain relief. There are different forms of therapy used to increase the flexibility of the joints and muscles. These include hydrotherapy, relaxation therapy and mobilization therapy. It is commonly believed that this condition is incurable therefore these medical interventions aim only to reduce the effects of the condition but not to totally cure it.

However, there is an organic substance which was found to have longer positive effects when tested with patients who have arthritis. This is oregano oil, sourced from the Mediterranean wild oregano plant Origanum vulgare.

In the past centuries, this wild plant was used by the ancient Greeks for treating their common maladies such as skin diseases, respiratory ailments and digestive problems. Modern science has found that the essential oil taken from the leaves of this plant contains many beneficial substances that make it effective as an antimicrobial agent. It has plenty of phytochemicals, phenols and flavonoids, chief of which are carvacrol and thymol. There are also significant amounts of minerals, vitamins and important trace elements. No wonder, it is now being used in alternative medicine as an anti fungal, anti parasitic, anti bacterial and anti viral agent.

It is the carvacrol content of oregano oil that makes it effective for arthritis treatment. Scientists have found that this particular agent has effective anti inflammatory properties. In addition, it is also an effective substance that can reduce pain. This is perfect for arthritic patients since these are the two most serious conditions that they suffer. One of the studies has found that its pain relieving capability can be compared to morphine.

In this regard, oregano oil is one of the best treatments for arthritis for the simple reason that it is the best source of carvacrol. The true Mediterranean oregano oil has about 60% to 80% of carvacrol.

When To Seek Out An Arthritis Doctor

Dealing with the pain and difficulties arthritis can create is not a fun prospect. Many people, however, fear they are over-reacting if they choose to seek out assistance from an arthritis doctor. The simple fact of the matter is that arthritis can be a pretty debilitating condition, so professional advice might just be in order.

While there is no known cure for any of the forms of arthritis, there are measures an arthritis doctor can take to help lessen the pain and reduce the swelling. A good doctor can even take steps to help prevent permanent damage if the form of arthritis present is one that can create it.

Since arthritis has many forms and the symptoms and eventual effects can vary greatly, it's a very good idea to seek out an arthritis doctor at least for an initial diagnosis. Osteoarthritis, for example, can damage cartilage beyond use. Rheumatoid can even hurt the eyes and lungs, in addition to damaging joints. With these things in mind, seeking out medical advice is simply a smart thing to do.

Here are some things to watch for to help you decide if an arthritis doctor visit is in order. Major symptoms of arthritis include such things as painful, swollen joints, fevers, redness in the affected area, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, creaking joints, loss of moment and so on. If any of these symptoms are present, and persistent, finding a doctor to check it out is important.

While an arthritis doctor won't be able to cure the disease, he or she will be able to confirm its presence and type. This process will likely take a while as there isn't a single test for arthritis. Even still, it's important to stick with the process to find out if arthritis is the cause of the pain and what type is present if arthritis is the culprit.

Once an arthritis doctor confirms a diagnosis, he or she will be able to help with managing the disease. Since there is no cure, management is the best the medical profession can offer, but this is often enough to help a person feel better and get on with their lives. What doctors tend to do in these cases is treat each symptom as it arises with a mind toward preventing permanent injury from the condition.

Treatments an arthritis doctor might consider are such things as anti-inflammatory drugs, painkillers, mild exercise to keep movement possible, injections and so on. Surgery in cases where deformities have occurred is sometimes a possibility, too. In general, these doctors will seek the least invasive treatment that might have an impact first. If these treatments aren't effective, they'll work up to other possibilities.

While not everyone with the disease needs to see an arthritis doctor for regular treatments, the truth is it's not a bad idea to seek out medical advice for at the very least initial diagnosis. Anyone dealing with the pain of arthritis, even in its mildest forms, really should know what they are dealing with and the potential impacts of the type. This is where an arthritis doctor can be a vital.

Getting to the Bottom of a Rheumatoid Arthritis Natural Remedy

A rheumatoid arthritis natural remedy works by treating the cause and rebuilding the joint with natural supplements. The cause of Rheumatoid arthritis has been identified many years ago and successfully treated using a simple antibiotic. However while doctors continue to debate this treatment, everyday people continue to suffer.

According to naturopath, physician, health and longevity expert and veterinarian Dr Joel Wallach in his book, 'Let's Play Doctor', "This disease has been recognized and eliminated by the veterinary industry".

Dr Wallach contends that the cause of the disease isn't a problem with your immune system - it's caused by a foreign organism such as a bacteria or a virus attacking the joint capsule membrane and the tendon sheaths of the fingers and toes. And this then triggers the normal immune system response which involves inflammation, heat around the joint, sickness and fever.
To first begin treating the infection - most likely a pleuro-pneumonia or similar organism that causes upper respiratory infection and pneumonitis - you need to discuss options with your health care professional. One suggestion is an older antibiotic such as minocycline as it has few side-affects than its modern counterparts.

You should discuss minocycline treatment with your health care practitioner - and if they're not interested, then you can always go an get another opinion.

The facts are that a significant number of people in a number of scientific studies have shown improvement during and after treatment with minocycline - one this is one treatment option you shouldn't ignore just because your doctor has never heard of it.

The process of rebuilding the joint and providing a rheumatoid arthritis natural remedy involves supplementation with the building blocks of the bone, joint and joint capsule.

The ideal supplements for bone and joint health are:

o All 90 Essential Nutrients - a multi-nutrient supplement plan involving minerals, vitamins, amino acids and essential fatty acids.

o Supplements containing glucosamine & chondroitin improve lubrication of the joint, may ease pain and improve the repair process

o An effective pain relief cream - such as Cetyl Myristoleate cream which is scientifically proven to reduce pain &inflammation and improve mobility

Just to recap, for supplements to help with a rheumatoid arthritis natural remedy, start with the 90 Essential Nutrients the body needs to achieve good health.

This involves 60 minerals, 16 vitamins, 12 amino acids and essential fatty acids (which will also help with natural pain relief).

The addition of specific supplements that support healthy bones & joints such as glucosamine/chondroitin and a natural pain relief remedy will also assist.

One other thing to consider in any rheumatoid arthritis natural remedy - especially if you are taking some type of antibiotic to treat the infection - is that you need to make sure that your 'gut flora' - the good bacteria that help you break down and absorb nutrients - are healthy. This will also maximize the effectiveness of the supplement nutrients.

In this case it is recommended that you consume foods that are high in these organisms - such as natural yoghurt with acidophilus or take a supplement that contains high amounts of this 'good bacteria'.

The use of a digestive enzyme product will also assist the absorption of the nutrients in the supplements and from food and may greatly assist relief and recovery.

Here's a summary of the things we've covered in this article:

1. A rheumatoid arthritis natural remedy is achieved by treating the likely cause - most likely a bacterial infection - with a safe antibiotic such as minocycline

2. Supplementing with the 90 essential nutrients, glucosamine, chondroitin and CM will help the body rebuild the joint as well as provide pain relief and reduce the inflammation

3. Consider the use of digestive enzymes to improve absorption of the nutrients

Three Natural Remedies For Treating Osteo Or Rheumatoid Arthritis

When it comes to the treatment of either osteo or rheumatoid arthritis generally a doctor will prescribe medication to help relieve the symptoms associated with these diseases. However, the problem with many prescription medications is that they cause unwanted side effects in the users. Instead it is worth considering using natural remedies for Arthritis of which there are many available.

In fact in this article we are going to take a look at just some of the kinds of natural remedies available for helping to treat arthritis. So in the future you may find yourself having far less pain and joint stiffness and swelling to contend with.

Natural Remedy 1 - Fish Oil

This contains the Omega 3 fatty acid and which contains properties that can help to reduce the inflammation caused by this disease. This type of natural remedy should especially be used by those people who suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis. However, you must make sure that the type of fish oil supplement you take is one that has been molecularly distilled. This will ensure that all the impurities in the original fish oil such as mercury; lead and PCB's have been removed.

Natural Remedy 2 - Alfalfa (Medicavo Sativa)

This particular remedy contains large amounts of minerals like potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and calcium all of these have a neutralizing effect on the blood. Plus you will find that it works wonders at helping to remove toxins from the body as well. However, as this particular remedy contains amino acid it is recommended that it only be taken in tea form and three to four cups can be drunk each day for a period of two weeks. Then you need to stop drinking the tea for a week before then drinking it again for two weeks. Again this particular remedy contains properties that along with reducing stiffnes to the joints improve their flexibility.

Natural Remedy 3 - Garlic

For many centuries now this has proven a very effective natural remedy for many diseases and infections. The garlic contains a substance known as allicin which has anti inflammatory properties and so helps again to bring down the swelling and reduce the pain felt. Although you should really take it in its natural form if you don't want to end up with garlic breath then make sure that the garlic tablets you take do contain allicin so they should be the kind where the oil has been extracted from the garlic.

Types of Juvenile Arthritis

Juvenile arthritis, also known as juvenile chronic arthritis, childhood arthritis and juvenile idiopathic arthritis, has five different subtypes, or classifications, depending on the symptoms found within the first six months of diagnosis. These classifications are pauciarticular, polyarticular, systemic onset, spondyloarthropathy and psoriatic juvenile arthritis. Juvenile arthritis was once referred to as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis but the 'rheumatoid' was dropped as part of the name because it leads people to believe this disease is similar to rheumatoid arthritis in adults, which it is very different from in terms of symptoms, course of the disease and future outlook of the disease.

Pauciarticular juvenile arthritis affects less than four joints, usually the ankle, knee, elbow, or wrist and is the most common type of juvenile arthritis. This particular subtype affects around 45% of children diagnosed with juvenile arthritis, very few of which develop general, or body-wide, symptoms. Pauciarticular juvenile arthritis sufferers rarely experience bone growth problems or deformed joints, which may be associated with other types of juvenile arthritis. Some children with juvenile arthritis develop inflammation of the eye, known as uveitis, which can lead to blindness if it isn't treated promptly. Pauciarticular juvenile arthritis will sometimes disappear within a few years, but many children will experience cycles of remission and flares for the rest of their life.

Polyarticular juvenile arthritis affects about 40% of children diagnosed with juvenile arthritis and it affects more girls than boys. This subtype of juvenile arthritis affects children with a huge age gap and it is rarely first diagnosed between age three and ten. Polyarticular juvenile arthritis affects at least five joints at the same time, usually the small joints of the hands and feet, although the knee has been known to be affected as well. When the knee is affected by juvenile arthritis, the bones in the leg will begin to grow at different rates and one leg will become longer than the other. This can lead to arthritis in the hip or spine, which around half of all children diagnosed with this subtype of juvenile arthritis will develop. Polyarticular juvenile arthritis presents with general symptoms, such as decreased appetite, slight fever and a slight rash. Polyarticular juvenile arthritis is usually most severe in children who were primarily diagnosed after age 10 and they may test positive for rheumatoid factor. This is a marker found in other autoimmune disorders, including adult rheumatoid arthritis. If a child does test positive for this marker, they are more likely to develop deformed joints and many doctors consider this subtype of juvenile arthritis adult rheumatoid arthritis that occurs at an early age.

Systemic onset juvenile arthritis is sometimes called Still disease after the doctor who first described it. This subtype of juvenile arthritis occurs in approximately 10% of juvenile arthritis patients and affects boys and girls equally. Primary diagnosis is usually made between 5 and 10 years of age and may be difficult to diagnose accurately because the initial symptoms do not affect the joints. The initial symptoms are usually found with some type of infection, high fever, swollen lymph nodes, rash, loss of appetite and subsequent weight loss. Occasionally children with this subtype of juvenile arthritis will develop more serious complications, inflammation of the sac surrounding the heart (pericarditis), inflammation of the heart itself (myocarditis) and inflammation of the tissue lining the chest cavity and lungs (pleuritis). However, systemic onset juvenile arthritis rarely includes inflammation of the eye as seen in pauciarticular juvenile arthritis. When arthritis symptoms do begin to appear, often later in the course of this disease, they usually affect the wrists or ankles. Many of the children diagnosed with systemic onset juvenile arthritis will experience cycles of remissions and flares of the systemic symptoms throughout their childhood. Systemic onset juvenile arthritis sufferers will go on to develop polyarticular juvenile arthritis.

The final two subtypes of juvenile arthritis, spondyloarthropathy and psoriatic juvenile arthritis are rare. Spondyloarthropathy usually affects boys over the age of eight. It begins in the knees and ankles, slowly moving to include the lower spine and hips. Sometimes uveitis occurs, but resolves on its own. Psoriatic juvenile arthritis affects less than four joints in the beginning, but soon advances to other joints. The toes, hips, spine and fingers are the main joints affected by this subtype of juvenile arthritis. Children with this subtype of juvenile arthritis often suffer from psoriasis and have pits or ridges on their fingernails. This arthritis often disables the child.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Disability Attorney Notes - How Important Are Independent Medical Exams?

The number of cases where the Court has ruled in favor of the plaintiff against a long-term disability insurance company who has failed to order an independent medical examination (IME) has risen over the last 10 years. For this reason, it is becoming more common to see long-term disability insurance plans ordering IMEs as a way to demonstrate the thoroughness and care with which they have processed claims. This is all the more important when a disability insurance company knows that its decision will be considered under the arbitrary and capricious standard of review.

Blackwell vs. Unum provides an opportunity to investigate the role independent medical examinations can play in a court's decision. Paul Blackwell had been the Vice president of Quality Management at Beverly Enterprises, Inc. when he filed for long-term disability benefits from the Unum policy he participated in at Beverly. His job had required extensive travel between Beverly's over 550 facilities across the United States.

At the time of his application for long-term disability benefits, Blackwell had been diagnosed with osteoarthritis. He had not responded to treatments of Vioxx and presented evidence that he was suffering from a well confirmed case of disabling arthritis. The claims handler asked Unum's Vice-president and Medical Director to conduct a paper review of Blackwell's medical records.

He found that the records failed to support Blackwell's inability to continue work as a vice president of quality management. He recommended that the claims handler order an IME and a functional capacity evaluation (FCE) to guarantee a full and fair review of Blackwell's claim.

The claims handler followed through on this recommendation. The IME took 62 minutes to complete. During this physical exam, the doctor found only mild symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Blackwell failed to show significant joint mobility issues. He had no difficulty writing or filling out the intake forms. When he prepared the IME report, the doctor made it clear that he had considered whether Blackwell qualified for temporary disability. He concluded that the medical evidence just didn't support room and toward arthritis severe enough to warrant even temporary disability.

The claims handler also arranged for an FCE. This test showed that Blackwell still have the ability to handle medium-level low lifts and mid-lifts, as well as the ability to lift light objects. This finding put into question whether his physician had imposed realistic limitations on his activities. The FCE also found that Blackwell could walk, kneel, reach to the immediate right or left, finger, push or pull a cart weighing 40 lbs., and carry 20 lbs. frequently. He could stoop, crouch, handle, climb stairs, sit and stand on an occasional basis. The FCE raced only one question. Was Blackwell able to sustain any of these activities over a sustained period of time? One observation suggested that there was a possibility that Blackwell would not be able to do so. The person giving the test observed that Blackwell needed to change his sitting position every 2 or 3 minutes.

These two pieces of information would contribute to the proof, under the arbitrary and capricious standard of review, that Unum had taken its time to do a thorough investigation into Blackwell's claim. Unum had reviewed the initial claim, and when it failed to supply all the information needed, the claims handler had requested the necessary medical records from Blackwell's healthcare providers. Only then was an in-house clinical review ordered.

Unum's top in-house physician sent a copy of his report to Blackwell's primary care physician to review and input. He went on to recommend the IME and FCE. It wasn't until Unum had made every reasonable effort to make sure that Blackwell's file had the evidence needed to determine whether he met the specifications of the policy for receiving benefits, that the disability insurance plan rejected his claim.

In this case, the IME and the FCE among other evidence in the administrative record proved an insurmountable obstacle for the disability attorney representing Blackwell. He was unable to prove that Unum had made a biased decision.

  • When it seemed that the restrictions imposed by Blackwell's primary care physician were excessive, the file was sent to someone with more expertise.

  • When it appeared that Blackwell had filled out the Attending Physician Statement, Unum contacted his physician to find out why.

  • The doctor performing the review of Blackwell's medical record made careful notes responding to the observations made by Blackwell's rheumatologist.

  • When Unum ordered the FCE, it provided the list of restrictions and limitations that his physician had recommended on the attending physician statement, all the medical records Unum had obtained, his employer's official job description and Blackwell's own description of the physical requirements of his job.

So how important are independent medical examinations? They can be a very important factor to consider in whether it is worth pursuing a wrongful denial of disability benefits claim. Any long-term disability attorney needs to be sure that they have a complete picture of the disability insurance plan's review process, especially if the plan that is the administrator with discretion.

The Real Truth on How to Cure or Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that leads to the chronic inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissues. It is an auto immune disease where the body's cells are attacked by its own immune system. Rheumatoid arthritis patients may not experience any symptoms for a long period even though it lasts for years.

Chronic rheumatoid arthritis can cause permanent joint destruction and deformity. The exact cause of this rheumatoid arthritis is not clearly understood but it is known to affect people of all ages. It is suspected that environmental factors or infections trigger the immune system of the body.

Symptoms and signs of rheumatoid arthritis:

Depending on the degree of inflammation, the symptoms may come and go. The intensity of the disease varies depending on the degree of inflammation. The disease is active when the body tissues are active and the disease is inactive (in remission) when the inflammation subsides. When the disease is active, symptoms include the following:

  • Loss of energy and appetite

  • Fatigue

  • Muscle and joint aches

  • Low grade fever

  • Stiffness of joints (more noticeable in the morning)

Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis:

There is no cure for this disease. But the treatment plan involves reducing the pain and inflammation of the joints, maximizing the functionality of the joints, and preventing joint destruction and deformity. Treatment for arthritis involves usage of various medications, rest, exercise to strengthen the joints, and educating the patient about the disease.

The arthritis treatment usually entails a combination of drug therapy and non drug therapies that will control the inflammation of the joint and minimize joint damage. In some case, surgery may be required.

Also the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis should be tailored to individual patients needs. This includes the severity of the condition, effectiveness of particular therapies, side effects etc. Also if the person suffering from rheumatoid arthritis is suffering from any other ailments, then the treatment plan should be planned in a different manner. This usually happens with patients who suffer from kidney related problems.

Medications that are used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis includes:

  1. NSAID's which helps to reduce pain and inflammation of the joints. It does not reduce the long term effects of this disease. The side effects of these drugs should be weighed before it is taken.

  2. Disease modifying anti rheumatic drugs reduces inflammation, prevents damage to joints, preserve joint structure and functions and helps the patients to do their daily activities with ease.

  3. Biologic agents target the cells of the immune system, joints, secretions of the joints etc that causes inflammation and joint destruction. Since these fights with the immune system of the body, it should be used cautiously with patients who suffer from infections.

  4. Steroids have strong anti-inflammatory properties which has the potential to provide quick relief to rheumatoid symptoms.

Apart from medications, non pharmacological treatment for arthritis includes:

  1. Educating and counseling the patients about the disease. This will help the patient to understand about the disease and cope up with the challenges of the disease.

  2. Fatigue is a common symptom that is associated with rheumatoid arthritis. The inflamed joints should be given enough rest. This does not mean that physical fitness should be avoided.

  3. Exercise can help the patients to prevent and reverse the effects rheumatoid arthritis creates on the patient which includes loss of joint motion, loss of muscle strength, weakness, and contractions, reduces joint stability etc.

  4. Physical therapy like the application of heat or cold, ultrasound, passive and active exercises, finger splinting, relaxation techniques etc can help reduce pain and inflammation in patients with arthritis.

  5. Nutrition and dietary therapy will help patients suffering from this disease to adequate amount of nutrition and calories.

The use of both medications and other physical therapies provide some relief to patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. The best treatment plan should be first identified and then followed.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Diet - Delayed Food Sensitivities

Is there a rheumatoid arthritis diet that can lessen the symptoms or even cure rheumatoid arthritis? For many people the answer is yes.

One study published in the medical journal "Lancet" found that 37% of their study participants (who all had rheumatoid arthritis) had food sensitivities that were one of the causes of their arthritis. The list of problem foods was different for each person. But when these individually determined foods were eliminated from their diets, they all felt much better.

For about a third of people with RA, this type of individually tailored rheumatoid arthritis diet can make the difference between suffering with a challenging illness and enjoying good health.

This is because delayed food sensitivities are one of the underlying causes of rheumatoid arthritis. They are not the same as classical food allergies, which usually cause symptoms immediately or within a few hours. Instead, delayed food sensitivities usually take between 24-36 hours for symptoms to occur. This delay can make it hard to track the connection between eating a problem food and worsening of arthritis symptoms, especially if a problem food is a regular part of your diet.

To make the problem worse, normal allergy tests are not a reliable way to test for these sensitivities either.

Luckily, however, there are ways to test for delayed food hypersensitivities.

One way is a blood test called the ALCAT test.

Another way is eliminating all your suspected problem foods for a week and then selectively reintroducing them into your diet, no more than one each 24 hours. When the foods causing delayed sensitivities are removed from the diet, the body goes through a withdrawal period, similar to a drug withdrawal period. It becomes hypersensitive to those foods. If you reintroduce any of these problem foods into your diet during this time, the reaction tends to be quicker and more noticeable than any other time. This is a great aid in getting accurate test results.

It takes about 7 days to eliminate all traces of a given food from your body after you stop eating it. That is why the elimination phase lasts a week. The hypersensitivity period begins at this point, so that is why the testing by reintroduction begins then. This hypersensitivity period can last for week to months, so don't worry about missing it if you have a long list of foods you have eliminated that need to be tested.

If you do react to something you test, go back to your safe foods for a few days until your symptoms have calmed down again. The fewer symptoms you are having when you test, the easier it is get clear results when you test a new food. You need these clear results to create you're the exact rheumatoid arthritis diet you need to heal.

If delayed food sensitivities are a problem for you, then identifying your problem foods and eliminated all of them from your diet, will make a huge difference in how you feel.

There is no one rheumatoid arthritis diet out there that works for everyone, but this type of individually tailored rheumatoid arthritis diet can work miracles if you do happen to have delayed food sensitivities.