Saturday, September 28, 2013

Managing Rheumatoid Arthritis - Five Steps to Manage RA Pain

To avoid preventable joint strain and added rheumatoid arthritis discomfort, try to follow these five useful steps. Remember, Rheumatoid Arthritis is an incurable disease, its not going to disappear, its not going to get better However, it can be managed effectively.

Step One: Mobilize every joint throughout its complete pain-free range of movement at least one time a day

This will help you keep liberty of movement in your joints. The volume you're able to Mobilize every joint devoid of rheumatoid arthritis pain may change daily be careful not to do too much. Keep activities gradual and smooth abrupt jerking or bending can cause pain your joints.

Steer clear of leaving your joints in the same position for a lengthy amount of time. Don't allow your joints the possibility to grow to be rigid, keep them mobile. After writing or doing handiwork, loosen your hold every 10 to 15 minutes, or as soon as your hand feels tired. On lengthy car journeys, exit the car, relax and walk about at least each hour. During watching tv, stand up and move around every half an hour.

Step Two: Try to understand and have respect for your rheumatoid arthritis discomfort

Understand the differences involving the common soreness of rheumatoid arthritis and the tenderness from overworking a joint. By knowing the movement that overworked a joint, you can keep away from continuing that motion. Pain that remains for more than an hour following an activity may suggest that the activity was too demanding. Consider ways that you can change the activity.

Exert yourself at a steady, careful pace and steer clear of hurrying. Rest before you become tired or in pain. Switch between easier or more difficult activities all through the day. And make use of occasional relaxation breaks.

Step Three: Use sensible body mechanics

The way you posture your body greatly changes how much stress you place on your joints. True body mechanics enable you to use your body more effectively and save energy. When you're sitting down, the correct height for a working surface is 2 inches lower than your cocked elbow.

If you type at a computer for extended lengths of time and your chair doesn't boast arms, think about using wrist or forearm supports. An angled working area for reading and writing is more helpful on your neckline. When you're standing, the height of your working area should allow you to work in comfort without lowering the head. To pick up objects from the floor,lower yourself by bending your knees and hips.

Hold weighty items close to your body, sustaining the load on your forearms, and keep up good balance. Poor posture creates uneven load distribution and can stress your ligaments and muscles.

Step Four: Be sensible how you use your hands

You use your fingers in several daily pastimes. Demanding positions and techniques may intensify the threat of pain. You can complete most tasks in more helpful ways with the aim to put a reduced amount of deforming pressures on your joints.

Keep away from situations that bend your other fingers in the direction of your little finger. As an example, steer clear of tasks that need stressful or lengthy gripping or clamping. Finger movements should be in the direction of your thumb when feasible. Avoid forming a clenched fist. Use utensils with ergonomically formed handles, that yield them more helpful to clutch.

Step Five: Make use of the strongest joint available for the task

Save your less strong joints for the particular tasks which only they can carry out. During the day, choose large joints. For example, hold objects with your palm wide open, distributing the burden equally above your forearm. Slide items across a counter instead of lifting them. When opening cabinets or weighty doors, use a strap that you can draw with your wrist or forearm to lower strains on your fingers.

Over The Counter Or Prescription - What's The Best Arthritis Medication For You?

The number of people that suffer from arthritis continues to grow each year and research continues to not only find the cause but also to find more effective treatments. The pain from arthritis is caused by many different reasons, including inflammation of the tissues that line the joints, the tendons, or ligaments around the joints, and muscle strain. It is something that is very wide-ranging and includes things such as rheumatoid arthritis and even gout.

As of now, medical science has yet to find a cure to arthritis, but there are several treatment methods available to alleviate the symptoms, the most common of which is pain. Most arthritis medication prescribed is over the counter pain relievers and each year, billions of dollars are spent on over-the-counter joint pain selections that offer a wide-range of brand names, methods of treatment, and varying dosages. NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are the most common arthritis medications, available in most drugstore shelves, supermarket, and even discount or convenient stores. Prescription medications are also widely available as a therapy option that is often used to treat arthritis. While drugs may be the first type of treatment that might come to mind, there are other ways with which to treat pain from arthritis and they don't often involve a visit to the doctor.

So which arthritis medications are right for you? Since individual response to a specific medication can vary and because possible side effects are a factor, finding the most effective medication or combination of medications can be a more difficult process than one would expect. There are now over a 100 medications and drugs being used in the treatment of arthritis and patients should regularly review their regimen of prescription medications with their doctor on a regular basis.

Sometimes arthritis medications are shouldn't be given to specific patients and all medications have potential benefits and risks. Although much of conventional anti-arthritis medications are palliative, that is, they treat the symptoms, much of the newer research, and the therapies that hopefully will emerge, may provide much more substantial relief and perhaps even cure.

Because rheumatoid arthritis medications are known to have side effects, some quite serious, there is a growing interest in alternative therapies and often, natural arthritis medications are a great deal less expensive than their pharmaceutical counterparts. Professionals in the medical field believe there aren't any cures for arthritis and its symptoms, however many experts in natural therapy have contrasting beliefs.

Over the years, more and more people are becoming aware of the power that natural ingredients and treatments possess in not only treating joint pain, but also an infinite number of medical concerns. Natural arthritis medications instead of prescription medications are an option many individuals are taking in to consideration. Natural anti-inflammatory botanicals, nutritional supplements and herbal remedies may be considered as alternative therapies for rheumatoid arthritis. However, even natural medications can still interact with your current prescriptions, other natural drugs you are taking, or any medical condition.

Since great advances have been made over recent years in the diagnosis and treatment of arthritis, it is no longer expected that a diagnosis indicates a lifetime of pain and misery with little relief. The more one knows about the causes, prevention and treatment of pain, the better the chances of an early recovery.

Trigger Finger and Trigger Finger Release Surgery

Trigger finger, called stenosing tenosynovitis by doctors, is a condition where the finger tends to get locked in place when you are bending it toward the palm. Most of the time, your family doctor will examine you and note the problematic symptoms. This condition is more common among people with rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes. The doctor usually refers you to an orthopedic hand specialist when the finger gets stuck or clicks and is not able to straighten.

The symptoms of trigger finger occur without injury most of the time, or they may follow a period of heavy hand usage. A tender lump can develop in your palm and there may be swelling. The main symptom is inability to straighten the finger without pain and the finger will catch or pop. The stiffness of trigger finger tends to worsen after periods of inactivity and many find that it is worse in the mornings.

Often times, trigger fingers can be treated with a steroid injection in the office. If the finger continues to catch or lock after a steroid injection, the treatment for this condition becomes surgery to open up the flexor tendon sheath in order to eliminate the catching or locking.

What Do I Need to Do Before Trigger Finger Release Surgery?

Before you undergo this procedure, your orthopedic hand specialist will discuss with you exactly what will happen before, during, and after the procedure. You can prepare yourself by asking questions to help you be well informed so you can go ahead with the consent for surgery and sign the necessary forms. The operation is done under local or regional anesthesia, which means you will be awake and alert during trigger finger release surgery. Your hand will be totally numb, however, allowing your surgeon to operate painlessly.

What is Involved with Surgery?

Once the anesthetic has taken effect, your orthopedic hand specialist will make a 2cm incision into the palm of your hand so he or she can get to the tendon. The surgeon then will release the tendon by making a small incision in the first annular pulley of the tendon sheath. Once this has occurred, you may be asked to move your fingers and to make a fist. Don't worry, because of the anesthesia, this won't hurt. Once the doctor is sure the tendon is properly released, he will close the incision and cover the wound area with a bandage.

What Can I Expect After the Trigger Finger Release Surgery?

It may take several hours before the feeling comes back in your hand so you must be careful not to bump or knock the area. You may need to take pain medication for a few days following this operation as well.

If you have general anesthesia, you will need to rest in a recovery room until the effects of it have worn off. The nurse or doctor will give you follow-up care advice and a follow-up appointment. You will need to keep your dressing and stitches clean and dry for around ten days and then they will be removed. It usually takes about three or four weeks to fully recover from trigger finger release surgery, so it is important that you follow your orthopedic specialist's advice during this time.

Natural Supplements For Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a serious and often crippling condition. While it usually strikes in middle age this disease can also attack young people and leads to stiff, aching or damaged joints. Natural supplements for rheumatoid arthritis can alleviate many of the symptoms of arthritis and even help the body repair damage done to joints.

A condition referred to as a systemic inflammatory disorder Rheumatoid arthritis can affect any part of the body, but usually attacks the joints destroying cartilage. Supplements containing specific vitamins, minerals, and herbs can restore cartilage, reduce inflammation, and increase the flexibility of joints.

An important natural herbal supplement for Rheumatoid arthritis is powdered freeze-dried tissue taken for a type of mollusca called the Green lipped mussel found in New Zealand. Research has found that Green lipped mussel powder inhibits inflammation in the body. Due to this anti-inflammatory element supplements containing this powder are also useful in treating other similar conditions such as psoriasis, and asthma.

Another good supplement for reducing the inflammation and increasing mobility of the joint are Omega-3 fatty acids. Essential fatty acids are an important factor in the diet since the body needs these to function properly. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in salmon, tuna and other seafood, but natural supplements can provide a concentrated daily amount. Researchers have found Omega-3 fatty acids specifically reduced inflammation in joints as well diminished the risk of heart disease and cancer.

Natural supplements for Rheumatoid arthritis will also usually contain essential vitamins and minerals. A deficiency in manganese, copper, and selenium are thought to accelerate the damage done to joints by conditions like arthritis. Vitamin compounds such as the B-6, and B-12 can help relieve the effects of stress and boost the immune system. These supplements offer natural relief from the damage and pain caused by Rheumatoid arthritis.

Why You Need a Blood Test For Rheumatoid Arthritis

There is a wealth of information available out there about rheumatoid arthritis and you can start you search online or go through medical books. You can find all sorts of helpful information about how this ailment is treated and even find alternative treatments. You can even go as far as diagnosing yourself to check if you are showing the symptoms of RA. But it's always safe to check for accuracy and validity which is why getting a blood test for rheumatoid arthritis is necessary.

Getting Tested

There are different kinds of blood tests for RA and the results can give you information that can be very useful for diagnostic evaluation and especially recommendations on how it can be treated. What the blood test does is that it finds the disease in your system and affirms if you do in fact have rheumatoid arthritis. Through these blood tests you can get an accurate diagnosis because having these tests are crucial indicators to find out about a patient's condition.

Blood Test Types

The are four different types of blood tests performed for those who want to know the source of their symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Here are some helpful descriptions of each of them.

The first type of blood test is called Erythrocite Sedimentation Rate or ESR which determines how much inflammation you have in your body. This test is performed by letting the blood flow downwards and the rate at which it falls determines the inflammation. The faster blood flows down, the higher the inflammation. The healthier you are the slower your blood falls. Using this type of test pinpoints where in your body is the inflammation. This test is not only limited to determine rheumatoid arthritis but it helps in all types of diagnosis.

C-Reactive Protein is the second type of blood test to check for rheumatoid arthritis. This test is almost similar to ESR in that it can be a helpful diagnostic tool and detects irritation in your body.

The next test is called Rheumatoid Factor test which is effective 70%- 90% of the time for rheumatoid arthritis patients. The only big issue about this test is that it only detects rheumatoid arthritis on the severe level.

The last test is Plasma Velocity which is fast replacing the ESR method. The best feature of this test is that it uses fewer variables that can affect the result. This means it is more accurate because it gives a closer look on the blood plasma protein content.

The Importance of Blood Testing

A physician will perform more than one type of blood test to their patient in order to get a clearer diagnosis. These tests have been proven effective and necessary for rheumatoid arthritis patients. It has been a standard procedure being done in most hospitals and laboratories as a helpful aid for doctors to determine the source of a patient's symptoms.

Before going through a blood test or any kind of procedure is to get some information on how to prepare for it. It is the duty of every medical technician to give you specific instructions on preparing yourself for a blood test for rheumatoid arthritis and it is your job to follow them precisely for your own benefit.

Symptoms of Candida - Find Out If You Need a Yeast Infection Remedy

Before discussing the symptoms of candida, it is important to learn what candida is. Candida is yeast that lives in all of us. For the most part it stays in rhythm with the body. There are times when it grows significantly and becomes a problem. Candida or yeast infections occur when your immune system becomes compromised. It can also get bad when you take antibiotics or steroids. Another thing that can cause yeast infections is eating too much sugars and carbohydrates. Diabetes can cause candida to grow out of hand. You can also get this if you are experiencing too much stress. Changes in your hormones that are caused by pregnancy, puberty, or menopause may also cause yeast infections.

Candida Symptoms

Candida lives in the genital regions, mouth, intestinal tract and throat. It can manifest itself as thrush in the mouth. They symptoms of thrush are sores and a white coating in the mouth. It will be difficult to eat since it is painful.

Other symptoms of candida include:

繚 Migraines

繚 Anxiety

繚 Vaginitis

繚 Diarrhea

繚 Constipation

繚 Itching

繚 Abdominal gas

繚 Bloating of the abdomen

繚 Rectal itching

繚 Acne

繚 Headaches

繚 Sore throat

繚 Chronic pain

繚 Irritability

繚 Learning difficulties

繚 Muscle weakness,

繚 Earaches

繚 Poor memory

Thrush and athlete's foot can also be a sign of candida.

Overgrowth of Yeast Leads to Illnesses

Too much yeast in your system can be a factor in different diseases and illness that you may suffer from. It is believed that too much yeast can cause asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, crohns, muscle and joint pain, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, pms, chronic fatigue syndrome, alcoholism, anxiety disorders, and many more. You may control how bad these illnesses are by controlling the amount of yeast in your body.

Controlling Symptoms of Candida

Taking antibiotics can lead to yeast infections. This is especially true of vaginal yeast infections. By controlling how much antibiotics you take, you can control candida. You also need to eat a healthy diet. Stay away from sugary foods and carbohydrates. Too much of these foods will cause symptoms of candida. Eating eggs, meat and most vegetables will keep the symptoms of candida away. Watch the type of clothes you wear. Tight jeans that are worn all the time can lead to candida. Make sure you change out of wet clothes immediately. Candida likes to grow in wet areas. Try to wear cotton panties and be careful how often you wear pantyhose and tights.

Remedies for Candida

There are many home remedies that you can use to treat yeast infections. One of the best is bathing in vinegar water. If you have a vaginal yeast infection you may want to try filling the tub with water and adding a cup of vinegar to it. Soak in the tub for twenty minutes.

Yogurt is another way to treat candida. If you eat plenty of yogurt you may be able to stop candida from starting. If you do get symptoms of candida you can try dipping a tampon in yogurt and inserting it into your vagina. Do this twice a day. Once in the morning and once at night is sufficient.

Garlic, honey and tea tree oil will also help you with the symptoms of candida.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Symptoms and Causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis

The causes of arthritis oftentimes are hard to determine as there are numerous factors which contribute to the growth of this disease. Arthritis includes breakdown of cartilages. Cartilage usually protects the joints, permitting for smooth movement. Also cartilages absorb shocks when pressure is applied on the joints, for example when you walk. And without the standard quantity of cartilage, bones rub together, which causes pain, stiffness and swelling.

You may have the joint swelling for a range of reasons, including:

* Infection

* Broken bone

* Common "wear and tear" of joints

* An autoimmune disease

Often, the swelling goes away after injury heals, disease is cured, or infection had been cleared. With few diseases and injuries, the swelling doesn't go away or the destruction results in deformity and long-term pain. When this occurs, you have persistent arthritis. Osteoarthritis is a most common kind and is more probable to take place as you age. Risk factor for osteoarthritis includes:

* Earlier injury in the affected joint

* Being overweight

* Using affected joint in some repetitive action which puts stress on joint (ballet dancers, construction workers, baseball players all are at risk)

Arthritis may occur in women and men of all ages. Other cause or types of this disease includes:

* Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (children)

* Rheumatoid arthritis (adults)

* Systemic lupus erythematosus

* Scleroderma

* Gout

* Ankylosing spondylitis

* Psoriatic arthritis

* Reiter's syndromes

* Adult Still's diseases

* Gonococcal

* Other bacterial infections

* Tertiary Lyme diseases

* Fungal infections like blastomycosis

If you have R.A., you may experience:

· Joint swelling

· Joint pain

· Stiffness, particularly in morning

· Redness of skin around the joint

· Warmth over the joint

· Reduced ability of moving the joint

Self-destructive resistant response of the R.A may be because of a mixture of an environmental trigger and genetic susceptibility. Changing hormones also may play a significant role in the disease, probably in response to infection of atmosphere.

More than one genetic material has been associated to the risks of R.A. Particular genes may add to the probability of a person increasing the disease, and can also partly decide how severe his condition is. Though, since not all individual with a genetic tendency to R.A. in reality have this disease, other factor must be important.

A particular environmental trigger is not found, but few researches suggest that infections by a bacterium or virus lead to R.A. in people hereditarily susceptible. That doesn't mean that R.A. is infectious. People with R.A. seem having more antibodies in synovial fluids in their joint, signifying that there can be a contamination. Low levels of the hormones of adrenal gland are widespread in people with R.A., but how the hormones interact with environmental and genetic factors is unidentified. Changes hormone may contribute to a progression of R.A.

R.A. may occur separately of other conditions; however its causes and the relationship with other disease are not well known. A different approach of the chronic arthritis may sometimes build up in R.A... It also is possible that infection or other environmental trigger exist which may cause R.A. in people who previously have a genetic material for the disease.There are numerous ways in which R.A. patients can get relief from symptoms of this disease.

My Arthritis is Killing Me - It Must be Springtime

It turns out that patients with rheumatoid arthritis appear to have higher disease activity during the spring season relative to the fall season, based on subjective and objective disease measures.

To determine whether a seasonal fluctuation in disease severity exists among patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), researchers examined data from 1,665 patients with RA who participated in a large, observational cohort study conducted in Japan from October 2000 to April 2005. The majority of the patients (81.7%) were female, the mean age of the patients was 57.2 years, and the mean disease duration was 9.9 years.

Ten criteria were used to assess disease activity, including objective, subjective, patient-assessed, and physician-assessed measures. Evaluations were made each spring and fall during the study period.

The results showed higher disease activity in the spring for almost all measures.

In addition to clinical measures of disease, laboratory measures of disease activity including the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (sed rate), C-reactive protein, and rheumatoid factor were also significantly elevated in the spring compared with the fall.

The implications of the research are difficult to fully establish. However, it is clear that examining patients during different times of the year may lead to different results. Seasonal variations in symptoms should be taken into account when planning changes in treatment. Patients with RA should be warned about the possible seasonal variations that can occur.

(N. Iikuni, A. Nakajima, E. Inoue, E. Tanaka, H. Okamoto, M. Hara, T. Tomatsu, N. Kamatani and H. Yamanaka. What's in season for rheumatoid arthritis patients? Seasonal fluctuations in disease activity. Rheumatology. January 2007).

Arthritis Joint Pain - Ayurvedic Remedies and Treatments That Work

About 80% of the world population is within the clutches of the ailment called arthritis. Arthritis is characterized by joint inflammation. It is a chronic disorder making mobility, day to day activities and life altogether quite difficult. Pain or arthralgia is the ruling symptom of arthritis, and there is not a single arthritis patient who would not complain of aching joints. Arthritis causes the joints to wear out. To understand the cause of the pain, we have to cast a glance at the structure and functioning of a joint in human body.

A joint is surrounded by a protective cover called capsule. Two bone heads meeting at a joint turn on each other, and the muscles around the joint contract and relax, thereby collectively facilitating movement of the joints. The joint cavity is filled with synovial fluid which acts as a lubricating agent and absorbs the external jerks or shocks. The point where the bone heads meet, cartilages occur. Cartilages play a vital role in inhibiting friction between bones, and provide a padded surface for the free and smooth movement of bones. When the cartilages get damaged or wear out due to factors like aging, obesity, they can no more check bone friction. The bones get rubbed against each other, and may even get eroded to form spur like outgrowths called osteophytes.

The result is an inflamed and painful joint. Aging is a major factor causing arthritis. With age, the cartilages become weak, can no more resist day to day wear and tear, and start flaking. This degeneration leads to loss of cartilage and exposure of bones to friction. If body weight increases, that too can lead to painful joints. The cartilages wear out under the load of the extra body weight, causing arthritis. Apart from the above two factors, heredity, past history of traumatic joint injury or infection, may in course of time, lead to painful joints. Cartilage degeneration is the leading cause of joint pain; but also accumulation of fluids and uric acid crystals within joints can cause arthritis joint pain. Joint pain may even occur when the body's own immune system start consuming the healthy tissues at the joint. This is true in case of rheumatoid arthritis. Knee, hip, shoulder, ankle, wrist and even spine are the joints vulnerable to the attack of arthritis.


1. Excruciating pain at the joints
2. Swelling
3. Stiffness
4. Redness of skin
5. Deformity in the joint area
6. Crepitus or a cracking sound while moving affected joint
7. Constipation
8. Colitis

Rumatone Gold Capsule and Oil are ayurvedic remedies for reducing arthritis joint pain and inflammation. These herbal supplements and massage oil are clinically formulated to ease pain and discomfort associated with arthritis. Rumatone Gold is widely used and trusted ayurvedic remedy to get relief from arthritis symptoms.

Chronic Urticaria and Angioedema - What's the Difference?

Urticaria & Angioedema are classified as autoimmune disease's very much like Rheumatoid arthritis (immune cells attack the body's own healthy tissues). The resulting flares or attacks in there most aggressive form are also very similar to Rheumatoid Arthritis in as much as they all have systemic effects (i.e. affecting the entire body).

Urticaria & Angioedema can be both acute or chronic, the two may develop individually or as is often the case simultaneously. Recurrent episodes of one or both these conditions for less than six weeks would be considered acute, whereas longer lasting attacks (over six weeks) are considered to be chronic. Both Angioedema and Urticaria are often viewed as varying manifestations of the same pathogenic process.

Post capillary inflammation results in fluid leakage and edema in both of the conditions, the difference being that with Urticaria the release of histamine is localized to the top layer of the skin or the dermis, however the condition known as Angioedema involves vessels in the layers below the dermis (top layer)

Angioedema, & Urticaria, are classified as allergic reactions, hereditary, or idiopathic (no apparent or obvious reason). Symptoms of Urticaria range from small bumps (hives) which resemble nettle rash to defined weal's and welts which can cover only parts of the body or in many cases the whole body. These weal's often grow in size connecting with neighbouring weal's

Symptoms of Angioedema are usually restricted to the head are, severe swelling often occurs around the mouth, eyes and lips, this swelling can at times be so bad that the sufferer may look disfigured and unrecognisable, other complications attributed to Angioedema range from dysphonia or dysphagia to respiratory distress, complete airway obstruction, and death in a very limited amount of cases.


Angioedema, & Urticaria has no racial predilection.


Women tend to be more predisposed to Angioedema, & Urticaria than men.


Persons who are predisposed have an increase in frequency of attacks after adolescence, with the peak of there condition occurring after they reach around 30 years of age.

Medications used to treat both conditions currently include Antihistamine (histamine blockers), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), biological response modifiers, and corticosteroids. Other medicines that are designed to manage one's own immune system (called Immuno-suppressants) can also be used to fight severe chronic conditions.

Patients should always consult with their doctor about the choice of medication or exercise programmes. Medicines must be used with caution and patients should always tell their doctors about any changes that occur.

Arthritis Symptoms, Causes and Treatments That You Should Know

Arthritis is a chronic disease of the joint, causing joint inflammation and sharp pain at the joint. Wearing out of joint cartilages due to factors like aging, obesity, hormonal imbalance, heredity, past history of bone infection or injury, is the leading cause of arthritis. Once the cartilages wear out getting weakened by age and losing power to repair them selves after daily wear and tear or crumble under the load of excessive body weight, the two bone heads at a joint are exposed to friction. Friction between the bones causes them to get eroded in to osteophytes or pointed spur like outgrowths, and also may damage surrounding tissues.

The result is inflammation of joint or arthritis. Shoulder, neck, back, wrist, ankle and the major weight bearing joints such as knee and hip are prone to the attack of arthritis. Among the numerous kinds of arthritis, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the commonest. Osteoarthritis is seen in aged people, and is caused due to wearing out of cartilages. Rheumatoid arthritis attacks young people. It is a disorder in which the immune system mistakenly invades healthy tissues and organs. Gout is another form of arthritis that holds the third position in terms of attacking humans. It is caused by the accumulation of uric acid crystals within a joint.


1. Pain at the joints
2. Swollen joints
3. Stiffness of muscles around the joint
4. Redness of skin surrounding the affected joint
5. Crepitus or a grating sound while moving affected joint
6. Joint deformity
7. Bumps or nodules
8. Limited range of motion
9. Fever
10. Anemia
11. Colitis
12. Constipation


Arthritis cannot be cured completely, but it is possible to stop the progression of the disease or check or suppress the symptoms in many ways. Here we will learn about the ways to treat arthritis.

1. Proper diagnosis is the first step towards controlling the disorder. A thorough physical examination, medical history, laboratory tests, medical imaging techniques like X-rays, arthrography, thermal imaging cameras are the major diagnostic tools to detect arthritis. The laboratory tests associated with arthritis diagnosis include rheumatoid factor tests, C-reactive protein tests, erythrocyte sedimentation rate tests, anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibody test, antinuclear antibodies test, complete blood count test, uric acid test, joint fluid analysis etc.

2. Once the diagnosis is done, the next step of treatment involves the usage of medicines to keep the disorder under check. Analgesics or pain killers like acetaminophen, codeine, hydrocodone are often used for pain relief. Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs are also often used. They not only lessen pain, but also swelling, redness and warmth. The common forms of NSAIDs include ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, aspirin, ketoprofen, celecoxib, etodolac, salsalate etc. Disease modifying drug or DMARD also prevents further worsening of arthritic conditions. The commonly used DMARDs are methotrexate azathioprine, prednisone etc. corticosteroid injections even heal to some extent the inflammatory conditions.

3. If the joint pain becomes too torturing, then one can even go for joint replacement surgery.

USMLE Step 1 Exam - Everything You Need To Know About Rheumatoid Arthritis

The USMLE Step 1 exam is going to test your ability to understand the basic sciences, but as we move forward the exam is become more and more clinical in nature, so it is essential that you learn how to combine the basic sciences with the clinical side of medicine. When it comes to Rheumatoid Arthritis on the Step 1 exam, there are a few important things you have to understand, namely: Main signs and symptoms, clinical findings, lab findings, and finally when and which medications to use to help you patient.

Here are the main topics we are going to cover to ensure your USMLE Step 1 theory for rheumatoid arthritis is covered completely:

1. The main signs and symptoms

2. The main extra-articular signs and symptoms

3. The expected lab findings of RA

4. The steps to proper management for RA

5. Important complications you must be aware of relating to RA

The Main Signs and Symptoms:

  • Morning stiffness that lasts more than 1hr for at least 6 weeks

  • Swelling of the wrists, PIP, or MCP joints for at least 6 weeks

  • Symmetric joint swelling for at least 6 week

  • Swelling of at least 3 joints for at least 6 weeks

Deformities involving the PIP and DIP joints include "Boutonniere deformity" and "Swan-Neck deformity". The Boutonniere deformity is flexion of the PIP and extension of the DIP, while the Swan-Neck deformity is PIP extension with DIP flexion.

The Main extra-articular signs and symptoms

  • Rheumatoid nodules (subcutaneous nodules)

  • Caplan syndrome (rheumatoid nodules in the lungs)

  • Tendon and ligament damage

The expected lab findings of RA:

  • Rheumatoid Factor is increased

  • Anemia is usually found

  • ESR is increased (due to inflammatory process)

  • X-ray may show bony erosions

  • Synovial fluid analysis looking at white blood cell count (should be elevated)

The steps to proper management of RA:

We used to keep NSAIDs as the drug of choice, but now we stick to using Methotrexate as the first line management. Here are the steps to proper management:

  • Use methotrexate for 1 week, then add prednisone for 1 week (using prednisone subsequently for flare-ups)

  • If your patient cannot use methotrexate, we can give them hydroxychloroquine instead, which is an anti-malarial. This drug has the ability to cause retinopathies, so we have to ensure they get regular eye exams.

Important complications you must be aware of in RA:

  • An extension of the inflamed synovium into the popliteal space can cause a Baker's cyst, which presents with a swollen, tender, and painful calf

  • Prior to any surgical procedure, it is important to rule out a subluxation of the atlantoaxial joint, which can accidentally be hyperextended during intubation and potentially lead to post-operative paralysis.

Understanding and following the high-yield rheumatoid arthritis information above will ensure you cover all the RA information you need for your USMLE Step 1 exam.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Morton's Neuroma Differential Diagnosis - Distinguishing From Other Conditions With Similar Symptoms

Morton's neuroma is a common condition that affects the third space between the toes. The condition is also referred to as interdigital neuroma. This painful foot condition is due to enlargement of the nerve of the foot.

There are a number of conditions that can be mistaken for neuroma. Read on to learn about the differential diagnosis of Morton's neuroma.

A stress fracture may be mistaken for neuroma. This is actually a small crack in the bone that can develop from overuse or can also be from weakening of the bone by conditions such as osteoporosis. Symptoms of stress fractures are pain, swelling, tenderness on a specific spot, and continued pain at rest as the fracture damage progresses.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome occurs from abnormal pressure on a nerve in the foot. Usually, the symptoms are vague pain in the sole of the foot, burning, or tingling sensation. The pain gets worse with activities such as walking long distances or standing for long periods. It is occasionally mistaken for Morton's neuroma because the pain and tingling may also occur on the toes.

Peripheral neuropathy, like Morton's neuroma, is due to nerve problems. In neuropathy, the pain is described as tingling or burning. There can be extreme sensitivity to touch, lack of coordination, or muscle weakness. The pain may also spread upward to the legs.

A ganglion is also another differential diagnosis for neuroma. This is like a balloon that arises under the skin. Although often seen on the wrist, the cyst also frequently develops on the foot. In contrast to neuroma, a ganglion cyst may have a noticeable lump. If the cyst is touching a nerve, this causes burning or tingling sensations.

Arthritis of the feet may occasionally be mistaken for neuroma. Osteoarthritis is wear and tear arthritis, resulting to swelling, inflammation, and pain. Some people with rheumatoid arthritis may also have pain in the heels because of plantar fasctiis. The symptoms may also appear in several joints on both feet. The toes may also begin to stiffen. To differentiate arthritis, range of motion tests or x-rays may be done.

Another very common condition that leads to foot pain is bursitis. Again, this may also be mistaken for Morton's neuroma. A bursitis is inflammation of the bursal sac, which contains fluid to lubricate and reduce friction between two surfaces in the body. With bursitis, the top of the toes can be very tender, red, and slightly swollen. Most of the time, pain is relieved when the shoes are removed.

The various differential diagnoses of neuroma must be carefully considered to exclude these other common conditions of the feet. When a definitive diagnosis of Morton's neuroma is made, conservative management can be tried from three months to one year.

Rheumatoid Arthritis - What It Is

Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory, chronic disease that affects multiple joints. Some of the common characteristics includes periods of inflammation/exacerbation then remission. Usually the small joints are affected first, with a symmetrical joint involvement e.g. right and left fingers simultaneously etc.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Disease Process

Synovial membrane thickens, becoming increasingly vascularised and filled with inflammatory cells. This build up of tissue is very aggressive, and can cause:
- erosion of cartilage and subchondral bone
- infiltrates tendon sheaths and disrupts its mechanisms, limiting gliding effect, and can lead to tendon rupture
- goes into the space of connective tissues
- nerve compressions of the sensory or motor nerve especially in tight compartments

This results in pain, joint instability, contractures, weakness of the muscles and even deformity or subluxation. There is usually a varying degrees and levels of damage, pain and functional levels. The perception and actual damage can determine the ultimate function and mobility of each individual. Patients with better pain tolerance and education and hope usually end up with better results and function.

Phases Of Rheumatoid Arthritis Disease

There are three phases of rheumatoid arthritis: acute, sub-acute and chronic. Their characteristics are:

Acute: lots of inflammation, swelling, pain in joints, elevated temperature
Sub-acute: lesser activity and easier to be controlled by medication, more stable but demonstrates that disease is progressing
Chronic: during this stage, the disease is no longer active, but at this point there will be residual biomechanical problems in the joint will cause pain, instability or stiffness

Rheumatoid Arthritis, Linked to Food Allergy & Intolerances

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory joint disease (Autoimmune disease) that is characterised by daily pain, stiffness and fatigue which, in turn, limits activities of daily living. Rheumatoid arthritis, a crippling disease that affects approximately 2-3% of the world's population, and usually starts between the ages of 20-40 years and is more common in women, affecting them 3 times more often than men. Some forms of the disease can occur in children. Rheumatoid arthritis affects about 1 percent of our population and at least two million Americans have definite or classical rheumatoid arthritis. It is a much more devastating illness than previously appreciated.

Rheumatoid arthritis occurs in all races and ethnic groups. Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory illness that affects the joints and because it is "systemic" (affecting the entire body), it can affect other parts of the body as well. Rheumatoid arthritis treatment includes painkillers and medicines to reduce inflammation and prevent the disease's progression.

Medications include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), biological response modifiers, and corticosteroids. Non-drug treatments include physical therapy; modified exercise programs; devices such as canes, special shoes, and splints (rigid supports that keep a part of the body from moving while it heals); and lifestyle changes--such as balancing activity with rest, eating a healthy diet, and reducing stress.

Medicines that manage your immune system (called Immuno-suppressants) can also be used to fight RA. When you have RA, your immune system is out of control.

Patients with these diseases have antibodies in their blood which target their own body tissues, where they can be associated with inflammation.

Commonly affected joints include those in the hands, wrists, feet, ankles, elbows, shoulders, hips, knees and neck. Rheumatoid arthritis varies from person to person, but most cases are chronic, meaning they never go away. Some people have mild or moderate disease, with flares (periods of worsening symptoms) and remissions.

Rheumatoid arthritis is also considered a risk factor for a condition called osteoporosis in which a portion of bone loses its blood supply and begins to die. In RA, multiple joints are usually, but not always, affected in a symmetrical pattern (affecting both sides of the body at the same time, for example both hands might be affected).

Patients should always consult with their doctor about the choice of medication. Medicines must be used carefully and patients should tell their doctors about any changes that occur. Patients may not notice that their rheumatoid arthritis is affecting their spinal cord because this disease also causes arthritis in the fingers, hands, and hips at the same time.

Painful arthritis in some joints can in some cases mask the symptoms of further damage, such as spinal cord compression.

Many foods are known to help one's RA, while many others will actually contribute to the disease or trigger the symptoms, there are far to many to list here, however one of the most important foods to cut out of your diet, would be white flower, and anything made with white flour.

Rheumatoid Arthritis linked to food allergy & intolerance's

Bad foods for arthritis tend to contain chemicals called inflammatory prostaglandins, which can be directly responsible for triggering some arthritis conditions. Rheumatoid arthritis in particular is closely linked to food allergy & intolerance's. Most sufferers have been shown to greatly improve when they cut out certain foods or restrict their diet, which eliminates the foods to which they are allergic.

Foods all Arthritics should avoid;

2.Fat & all fatty foods
3.Fried food
4.Additives and preservatives

Foods which should be treated with caution;

The foods which cause the most confusion amongst nutritionists and arthritis professionals are those referred to as from the 'nightshade family'

1.Potatoes (especially when green and sprouting)
2.Tomatoes (especially when green)
3.Hot peppers
4.Sweet peppers

Good and beneficial foods;

1.Brown rice
2.Sweet potatoes
6.Oily fish

This is just a small list of good and bad foods, which are known to influence arthritis. Diet and natural treatments for arthritis are not necessarily the fastest remedies. This is because they sometimes have to cure a basic imbalance in the body which may take up to a few weeks, however natural practices do actually tackle the underlying contributing factor of one's RA and not just the symptoms.

Some natural arthritis treatment recommend a short period of fasting for a day or two, even for healthy people. There have been claims that fasting is effective to treat many conditions, arthritis being one of them.

Natural practices could be the answer to one's RA,and shouldn't be discounted.

Coping With the Pain of Ankle Arthritis

Patients who suffer from "ankle arthritis" are actually dealing with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis which has settled in the ankle joints. A lot of pressure is put on ankle joints, because they bear the brunt of the entire weight of the body. When you pile all of your weight on sore joints and take a step, there's bound to be pain. What's worse, ankle joints are ball joints which rotate in all directions, so the cartilage will deteriorate even faster than in other joints.

Ankle Pain Stemming from Other Causes

Never just assume that any pain you have in your ankles and feet is being caused by arthritis. These pains can be caused by many different things, including lower back and hip problems. Before just shrugging your shoulders and thinking, "Its only arthritis", make an appointment with your doctor for an exam. Only then will he be able to tell what's causing your infirmity.

The rarer diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis can be made by taking a simple blood test. If you are diagnosed with the more common osteoarthritis, it may mean that you'll be facing a regimen of intensive treatments for the rest of your life.

Sprained ankles are fairly common and cause sufferers a lot of pain, even more so that an actual break. To treat a sprain, doctors will prescribe 'RICE'. No, not the stuff you eat. In this case RICE means:
o Rest - and give your ankle a chance to heal.
o Ice Compression - use cold compresses to reduce inflammation and pain.
o Elevation - keep the leg raised to lessen swelling and pain.

You may be able to tell if you have ankle arthritis by watching for the following symptoms:
o Recurring pains without a reason
o Swelling and stiffness suddenly occurring
o Pain remedies won't stop the pain and stiffness
o A big toe that's very painful and wants to turn to the side
o Bunions that hurt badly even when not being touched

When a person first develops ankle arthritis, simple OTC pain medications will probably be all the treatment needed. The disease is incurable, though, and will progress over time. It may get to a stage where your doctor wants to treat the condition much more aggressively.

If you've tried everything looking for relief from arthritis pain, you may want to do what many others have done, and try some form of home remedy. Doctors and the FDA frown on such practices as herbal medicines and yoga, but there are a lot of people who swear by the treatments claiming they have stopped the progression of the disease and even caused some improvement.

Osteoarthritis - Definition, Signs, and Symptoms

Osteoarthritis is a group of diseases and mechanical abnormalities that involve degradation of the joints. Sometimes, the degradation can include articular cartilage as well as the subchondral bone that is next to the joint. This condition is the most common form of arthritis and it is also referred to as degenerative arthritis or degenerative joint disease. This disease normally affects the hands, the feet and the spine. It also affects the large bearing joints such as the knees and the hips.

Clinical symptoms of this condition include pain, sharp ache or a burning sensation in the affected muscles and tendons. Other symptoms are stiffness, inflammation and a creaking or a crackling noise when you move or touch the affected joint. You may also experience muscle spasm as well as contractions in the tendons.

Osteoarthritis can lead to loss of cartilage; a protein matrix that lubricates and cushions the joints. When the bone surfaces are less protected as a result of loss of cartilage, the subchondral bone may be exposed and damaged. The re-growths may lead to a proliferation of ivory-like dense reactive bone in the central areas of the cartilage loss. This process is referred to as eburnation.

Although this condition is as a result of trauma, heredity has also been linked as another cause. This disease often affects several members of the same family. Recent studies show high prevalence of the disease among siblings especially identical twins. Sixty percent of osteoarthritis is said to be as a result of genetic factors. Available treatments for this condition include manual therapy, exercise and medications.

What Is Voice Box Arthritis?

Most people think rheumatoid arthritis affects only the small joints of the hands of feet. However, any joints in the body that contain cartilage and synovial fluid are targets for the disease.

Small joints in the voice box can be affected by arthritis. The larynx, or voice box, actually contains joints, called cricoarytenoid joints, that move the vocal cords to produce sound. If these joints become inflamed, which causes pain, then the vocal cords are not in the correct position to produce clear sound. As with other joints affected by rheumatoid arthritis, joint erosions and rheumatoid nodules also can be found, which may cause further damage. If these joints are affected to the point that they become fixed in place unable to move, there can be difficulty breathing. This constitutes a medical emergency.

About 25% of rheumatoid arthritis patients experience the symptoms above, plus a sense of fullness in the throat when swallowing or speaking, as well as occasional pain in the ears. There are small bones in the ear that are responsible for sound conduction. These bones, called ossicles, also have joints. When rheumatoid arthritis inflames or erodes those joints, they become less mobile.

Rheumatoid arthritis patients who have larynx or ear involvement as described above should have an ear, nose and throat specialist involved in their care, along with a rheumatologist. Ear, nose and throat specialists have special scopes to examine the throat and ears to make a correct diagnosis. If you have any of these symptoms and are bewildered by them, get to your doctor quickly.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

What is Spondyloarthropathy?

If you are experiencing joint pain for the first time and have seen a rheumatologist for the first time, you may have received a diagnosis of spondyloarthropathy or spondyloarthrosis. What is it? What type of arthritis do you have?

Your doctor may have given you a vague description or may have said you have some symptoms but they don't quite fit other arthritis diagnoses. That is the case with spondyloarthropathy, usually called undifferentiated spondyloarthropathy. You have some symptoms that fit an arthritis diagnosis, but those symptoms aren't severe enough or in enough parts of your body to allow your doctor to make another diagnosis. The symptoms are enough, however, to allow your doctor to make the diagnosis of spondyloarthropathy.

This diagnosis is often a starting point for patients. As you work with your doctor and he or she gets to know you and your symptoms better, he or she may change your diagnosis. As your symptoms develop, he or she may also change your diagnosis. The results of your lab tests and imaging tests may also affect your diagnosis. It often takes several visits to the doctor and many tests before an arthritis diagnosis is confirmed. This is especially true of a seronegative diagnosis, where no positive results are found in your blood and your diagnosis is made on symptoms and physical changes.

A diagnosis of spondyloarthropathy often is changed later on to a diagnosis of one of the spondyloarthritis diseases, including ankylosing spondylitis, psoriac arthritis, or several others. Symptoms of spondyloarthropathy may also be similar to rheumatoid arthritis and your diagnosis may be changed to this later on as well.

Some people with this diagnosis never develop more advanced symptoms and they continue to be treated for undifferentiated spondyloarthropathy. Symptoms are usually chronic and regular, but are not severe. Treatment involves conservative medication, plus pain management techniques including plenty of rest, regular exercise, and energy conservation techniques.

Receiving this diagnosis may be frustrating, but remember that accurate medical management of arthritis takes time and patience. For more information on spondyloarthropathy and the spondylitis family of arthritic diseases, visit the Spondylitis Association of America at

Rheumatoid Arthritis - And an Astonishing Way to Heal It

Rheumatoid arthritis can be painful and debilitating, depending on your general state of health.

It is a chronic, systemic inflammatory disorder that mostly affects your joints. Inflammation with the usual soreness, swelling and lack of mobility is the common symptom. And joint cartilage can be destroyed as the disease progresses.

Rheumatoid arthritis can also effect your lungs, heart, pleura and skin.

Medical treatment is typically just managing the pain. But help may be available to you from an unusual source. And it may not cost you anything, except a bit of time.

Diet is all important in your overall health. And yet, the typical western diet is full of pit holes, even if you think it's healthy.

I'm not referring to the typical diet of the 21st century, of fast food, junk food, soft drinks and micro waving everything. I'm sure no-one in their wildest dreams considers this a healthy diet.

No, I'm talking about how dairy is considered the best source of calcium, how animal protein is considered the best source of protein, how a cooked meal is considered the height of a good diet, how cereal and bread are considered nutritious breakfast foods.

In many Asian countries, dairy is not a food for humans. It just isn't produced.

And in these countries, arthritis in any form just isn't a problem. It hardly exists.

So, if you consume any dairy product (milk, cheese, yoghurt, butter, cream) either on its own or as an ingredient in the processed food you purchase, then the chances are that this is causing your rheumatoid arthritis. It may take a month or so for the symptoms to diminish, after you stop consumption of dairy. And maybe longer for them to go altogether, but isn't it worth a try?

But, I love dairy, I hear you cry. And I agree, old habits can be difficult to dispose.

Let's look at some alternatives. Soy is not one of them. Western soy is probably a worse option, for different reasons. Eastern soy is always fermented and that is healthy. Unfermented, western soy is not.

But oat milk or almond milk make excellent substitutes for milk. Personally I dislike rice milk, but others love it.

Margarine is again a less healthy option than butter. Try using coconut oil preferably, or olive oil.

An alternative to cream can be quite creative. Blending cashew nuts with honey is delicious and looks a bit like cream. Experiment with different nuts. I don't think there is an alternative to yogurt or cheese, not one that I know of. So you might have to forgo those while you experiment with your dairy fast.

What about calcium, I hear you ask? Surely I need dairy for the calcium?

That is one huge myth. Agreed dairy is very rich in calcium and all those nutrients needed for healthy, but GROWING bones, in baby COWS. If you are an adult, you were weaned some time ago. Which means you can no longer digest and utilise milk. And if you are not a cow (or goat or sheep, or whatever the milk comes from), then dairy is not your best food.

So what is the best source of calcium and all the associated nutrients to help it digest properly? You're going to be amazed. Because it's green, leafy vegetables. Like spinach, broccoli, silver beet and the like. And blue green algae.

And nuts and seeds.

Dairy tends to give a lot of people mucus. That's a good indication it's not a healthy food.

Even raw milk, considered far healthier than pasteurised, is not the right food for an adult human.

Try it. What do you have to lose? If, after a month you notice the symptoms of your rheumatoid arthritis are less, then life looks rosy for your future.

And you do get used to new habits, in time.

Do you now see why the western diet is so bad for your health?

How Can I Treat Arthritis Without Surgery?

Arthritis is a combination of disorders which mainly affects the muscles along the joints. The ligaments and tendons close to the joints get inflamed and the person may suffer from extreme pain due to arthritis. Sometimes, the inflammation is severe and the people find it difficult to move the joints. The main cause for arthritis is damage to the joints which can be caused either by external injury or infection. The slippery movement of bones along the joints is hindered due to wear and tear along the joints and the person suffers from pain. Some of the symptoms of arthritis are inability to walk, feeling tiredness, weight loss, fever, muscles aches and difficulty at joints.

People suffering from arthritis are asked to manage their routine and lifestyle to prevent pain to treat arthritis without surgery. In certain cases when the patient suffers from extreme pain, it may result in a condition where you will have to go for surgery to prevent pain and but even surgery does not ensures a complete solution to the condition.

Amazingly the popular system of medicines does not provide any sure shot solution to treat arthritis without surgery. The popular system of medicine recognizes more than 100 different types of conditions in arthritis and in the popular system of medicines doctors experiment the effect of different treatments on the patient to find out which treatment could get the best solution. Many patients who are not aware of the magical properties of herbal remedies silently suffer the pain as the prescription medicines are not only too harsh on body but it also causes many chemical reactions which can further deteriorate the condition. The prescription drugs and painkiller even have severe side effects such as dullness, pain, stomach disorders, inflammation and even sleepiness and even after taking it you may not get the desired treatment for arthritis without surgery.

Alternative method helps to treat arthritis without surgery and one of the best treatments in alternative system of medicines is Rumatone Gold capsule which is time tested remedy to treat arthritis without surgery and it has proved efficiency in many cases. The remedy Rumatone Gold capsule can completely treat arthritis without surgery if it is taken properly and regularly as per the instructions given by experts. It is surprising that many people do not believe in alternative method of treatments, although, it provides a low cost cure for various chronic condition.

The herbal remedies are natural products which contain complex components prepared by nature, and when you take these remedies it provides nutrition to the body to cure the inflammation and pain. Rumatone Gold capsule and oil can give relief from pain and also help you to manage the condition. These products provide you the effect which helps to treat arthritis without surgery. These products help to improve the symptoms of arthritis and improve the overall living style of the person. These products are old remedies to cure the symptoms of different types of arthritis and it does not have any side effect.

Gout Symptoms - Is It Gout Or Something Else?

There are a few conditions that can produce results similar, with slight differences, to gout symptoms. Gout is a form of arthritis so you may have a form of arthritis such as Rheumatoid arthritis, also known as RA, or Osteoarthritis. You could also have an infection of the joint, with swelling and redness which would require antibiotics. Knowing the differences will help you find a remedy for your gout attack. Gout affects the joints, just like the more familiar forms of arthritis.

The most common joint for gout symptoms is the big toe, (called Podagra), which is where 50% of people get it, but it can attack other joints also such as your knees, fingers, wrists and ankles.

The most common gout symptoms are extreme pain and tenderness, redness (could be purplish as well, resembling an infection), swelling and warmth. It differs from the other forms of arthritis mentioned above in that the symptoms come on rapidly and usually at night when your body temperature is lower and you are not moving around. The pain can be so intense that even the weight of a bed sheet can cause terrible pain and discomfort. It will usually last a few hours and then start to dissipate over the next few days or weeks.

Some people don't get the common symptoms like those above. Some develop nodules, called tophi, on their ears, hands, knees or elbows. These are painless deposits of uric acid crystals. You could also develop tophi in your kidneys, resulting in stones. High fever and fatigue are other signs. Fatigue is a common complaint in arthritis sufferers.

The only way to know for sure if to have tests done by a doctor.

Blood tests: Research has found that while some conditions such as hyperuricemia (an abnormally high level of uric acid in the blood) is a classic sign of gout, it only appears in roughly half of the people that develop gout. Some people with hyperuricemia never develop gout.

Synovial fluid: is fluid that normally cleans out your joints. Checking for MSU crystals in your synovial fluid or tophi if you have those would be the best way to tell if it is gout or another condition.

Turmeric Health Benefits

Turmeric health benefits have been receiving a lot of attention in recent years.

Many studies have investigated and continue to explore turmeric's wide array of health-improving powers, including its anti-inflammatory effects and even the promising science behind the turmeric cancer connection.

One of the most notable turmeric health benefits was pointed out when it was shown that people in India have a significantly lower incidence of Alzheimer's disease than many Western populations. Scientists say that the neuroprotective effects of turmeric's active ingredient, curcumin, may be to thank.

Turmeric Health Benefits - Anti-cancer properties

-Cancer of the mouth showed inhibited activity when a curcumin preparation was applied to the site of the tumor. This effect was amplified with the inclusion of green tea extract.
-Liver cancer growth was suppressed and cancer cells underwent cell death more readily with orally administered curcumin.
-Mantle cell lymphoma patients who were curcumin demonstrated a notable delay in tumor growth.
-Non small cell lung cancer patients showed an improved responsiveness to a particular form of chemotherapy.
-Squamous cell carcinoma patients experienced inhibited tumor growth and increase in apoptosis (cell death) with curcumin treatment.
-Colon cancer growth was retarted and polyp formation inhibited with oral curcumin dosing in rodents.

Turmeric Health Benefits - Cardiovascular Support

-Vascular damage by way of c-reactive protein (a cell-damaging protein) was buffered by curcumin administration, which completely blocked CRP's deleterious effect on endothelial cells.

-LDL cholesterol may potentially be lowered with high-dose oral curcumin supplementation.

-Atherosclerosis was significantly decreased in animal models with curcumin administration.

-High homocysteine levels, which disrupt proper endothelial function, were not lowered with curcumin administration. However, it was found that the damaging effects of elevated homocysteine on endothelial function were reduced.

-Turmeric Health Benefits - Anti-Inflammatory

-Turmeric is a powerful COX-2 inhibitor. The COX-2 enzyme is responsible for inflammation and pain and many NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) target this same enzyme.

-Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms including morning stiffness, swelling of the joints and movement endurance were greatly improved with oral curcumin dosing.

-There may be extensive turmeric health benefits multiple myeloma sufferers because curcumin inhibits constitutive and IL-6-inducible STAT3 phosphorylation in multiple myeloma cells in humans.

-Psoriasis patients may also benefit from curcumin supplementation by blocking the signal that produces -psoriasis with a topical skin cream that can be used to both prevent and treat plaques.

It is clear that there are many turmeric health benefits which range from anti-inflammatory to neuroprotective and everywhere in between, and while more research is welcomed to determine promising new uses for the active ingredient curcumin, studies have already demonstrated and condoned the use of this remarkably safe and powerful addition to anybody's supplementation regimen.

Will Anatrin Help in Dealing With Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia Syndrome is a musculoskeletal pain and fatigue disorder often confused with arthritis and chronic fatigue syndrome. There is no universally accepted cure for fibromyalgia, although some physicians have claimed success in finding cures. Improvements in the treatment of fibromyalgia have resulted from a continued focus on the condition, and these treatments range from addressing symptoms with the use of prescription drugs to alternative and complementary medicine.

This article reviews Anatrin, a natural supplement that can be used to help in addressing some of issues confronting Fibromyalgia patients. This deals with the nutritional deficiencies commonly seen in fibromyalgia patients, effectively replacing the critical nutrients lost by the many physical and psychological stressors caused by this syndrome.

Over time, many supplements, including Anatrin, have been developed to help treat diseases which arise out of, or result in, a deficiency in the diet, or are a result of stress on the body.

Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterized by muscle pain, tenderness and fatigue. It is considered to be an arthritis related condition in some quarters, however it is important to note that while arthritis causes inflammation and damage to joints and other body tissues, fibromyalgia does not. Its cause is as yet unknown, which means properly targeted treatment with drugs is not yet possible.

Given that, it could be that the best approach is to supplement a balanced diet with Anatrin. This can help in heal muscles weakened by the syndrome while providing much needed respite.

The primary signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia often resemble those of another condition, rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Like arthritis, fibromyalgia also presents with pain, stiffness, fatigue. However, fibromyalgia sufferers usually present secondary symptoms that are not muscle or joint related. Listed below are the most typical primary and secondary symptoms:

  • sleep disturbances,

  • morning stiffness,

  • headaches,

  • irritable bowel syndrome,

  • painful menstrual periods,

  • numbness or tingling of the extremities,

  • restless legs syndrome,

  • temperature sensitivity,

  • cognitive and memory problems (sometimes referred to as "fibro fog"), or

  • a variety of other symptoms.

What is inside Anatrin

Anatrin is rich in a many minerals and salts which can assist the bodyin dealing with fibromyalgia. Magnesium is a key component of Anatrin, and this is to restores levels reduced by the condition. Also in Anatrin is ginger root extract which can help the muscles affected to heal. Melatonin helps in restoring sleep cycles to enable the patient to rest more easily.

Each capsule of Anatrin contains:

  • Magnesium for the resolution of common fibromyalgia symptoms.

  • Ascorbigen and Broccoli Powder: Ascorbigen is one of the most common medicinal compounds, called indoles, released when cruciferous vegetables are cooked. These types of indoles can induce Phase I detoxification in the liver. As well, these chemical constituents promote significant reductions of physical impairment.

  • Rhodiola rosea Extract for treating functional fatigue and mild cognitive decline. The compounds in this plant have also been shown to increase ATP production

  • Ginger root Extract for the relief of pain. Ginger is considered equally effective as an adjunct treatment, showing additional relief over conventional medication alone

  • A number of clinical studies have supported 5-HTP's role in the production of serotonin in patients with fibromyalgia

  • Melatonin is a naturally produced biochemical that is secreted from the pineal gland at the base of the brain, which controls circadian rhythms and plays a major role in sleep cycles. Numerous studies have shown a link between melatonin levels in patients with fibromyalgia

  • Malic acid is a naturally occurring chemical found most notably in apple juice. It helps improve absorption of some nutrients like magnesium, as well working to reduce pain and tenderness of pressure points

Please check with the manufacturer on exact details of components details and references.

Need to have this supplement

Dietary supplements such as Anatrin have emerged as a real treatment option. Because the cause is unknown the best anyone can do is treat the symptoms. Tests using Anatrin have shown improvements of muscles and joints can be achieved. This is potentially a real fillip for fibromyalgia sufferers, as Anatrin could offer a ray of hope in the treatment of fibromyalgia. If you are at all unsure please consult your health professional.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

What Causes Morning Back Pain?

Many people wake up to back pain every morning. Morning back pain generally wears off in a few minutes but serves as a highly unpleasant introduction to your day.

A number of things can cause stiffness and soreness in your back upon waking. Some common causes are muscle rigidity and joint problems.

Muscles in the Morning

Muscles require motion for flexibility. As a muscle contracts and relaxes, blood is pulled in and pushed out. This pump action allows blood whose nutrients and oxygen have been expended, along with metabolic waste products like lactic acid, to be flushed from the muscle and pulls fresh blood in to nourish the muscle and provide it with oxygen that it can convert to energy.

This is why people warm up before rigorous physical activity; muscles literally need to be warmed by fresh blood. After remaining for the most part in static positions throughout the night, your muscles become rigid. They don't have what they need to do work, so those first few movements of the day can not only be painful, but can create muscle strains.

If you have sore, stiff muscles when you wake, the process of getting out of bed should be a gentle one. While still laying down, slowly begin to stretch your arms and legs. Move your neck from side to side. Rather than pulling yourself up from bed, try rolling out of bed by swinging your legs off the edge, rolling to your stomach and slowly bringing yourself upright. Continue to stretch for a few minutes once you're out of bed. See for a list of morning stretches that will help relieve muscle stiffness.

Joints in the Morning

People who have joint pain and stiffness in the morning may have a form of arthritis. Joint stiffness and pain that is worst in the morning is a symptom of rheumatoid arthritis, which involves inflammation of the joint.

People with rheumatoid arthritis have an excess of fluids surrounding their joints. Joints, much like muscles, depend on motion to push fluids out and pull them in. Inactivity causes fluids to pool around joints. For those with rheumatoid arthritis, the pain they usually feel from inflammation is exacerbated by inactivity.

People with arthritic morning pain should focus on range of motion stretching exercises. These simply involve moving your joints through their ranges of motion. It is important to move slowly and not exceed your range; this could lead to further pain and inflammation. Fish oil supplementation is now believed to help reduce morning stiffness if taken for at least three months.

Joint and muscle pain in the morning can also indicate harmful sleeping position and a mattress that does not support the body sufficiently. It is best to avoid sleeping on your stomach altogether, and to put a pillow between your knees if you sleep on your side. Your mattress should be firm enough to hold your spine and other joints in alignment.

For many people, simple stretching in the morning is enough to either eliminate or significantly reduce morning back pain. If you have severe joint stiffness in the morning, it is necessary to seek medical treatment as this is a sign of rheumatoid arthritis. Pay attention to where your pain is located and how long it lasts. This will help you to identify and resolve the causes of your morning back pain.

Getting Rid of Rheumatoid Arthritis Naturally

Many people with a chronic problem of rheumatoid arthritis know only too well that they cannot stay without using formulas to check the progress of this debilitating disease. Yet they also respect the wisdom of using natural remedies. Natural solutions have the ability to draw from nature the beauty and soothing quality of its elements. They come unchanged and have no side effects, which is more than can be said about pharmaceutical products.

Before we look at a few of these remedies, let us see what we are avoiding in pharmaceutical products. After all, someone could ask what it is we are afraid of in these other products.

The matter is rather simple. Take aspirin for example. It is a very good reliever of pain and it even calms down swelling of joints in rheumatoid arthritis. You could ask why with such a pain killer of world repute and with an equally strong anti-inflammatory effect should have to worry anybody. It is true. It will not cause heart trouble of mess up lung tissue like some of the steroid based medicines. But with continued use, it will cause you bleeding in the gastrointestinal region.

So, do you still want to know what is on offer naturally?

- The Devil's claw: so called from the appearance of hooks on the fruit of this plant, it has been used for longer than Christianity has existed. The people of South Africa have used it to treat rheumatoid arthritis, pancreas trouble, skin conditions and even fever. It has been proven to contain harpagosides and the painkilling ingredient, vioxx.

- Fatty acids (the omega-3): our bodies are not producers of omega-3 fatty acids but they need it. There have been studies to test the validity of the claim that these have any assistance to offer the rheumatoid arthritis patient. From salmon fish and other cold water fish, they are found in oil and have a way of dissuading persistent swelling. Since most fish now have traces of mercury, you can obtain your supply of omega -3 fatty acids in oil extracted, screened for chemicals and packed as capsules.

- Boswellia: the herb is a native of India and it is acidic in component structure. It works as an inhibitor to swelling. What's more, it brings on no irritation. It ihas been packaged as a pill now which should be easy to obtain and use. The extended use of this by rheumatoid arthritis patients should be abserved by a doctor.

- Gamma-linolenic acid: this one is found to be contained in borage oil, evening (primose) oils and black currant seed oil. It works like omega-3 fatty acids as an anti-inflammatory.

When you choose your medication, remember to consider your age, extent of joint damage and whether other treatments have worked before.

The Truth About Rheumatoid Arthritis Cures

Has a cure for rheumatoid arthritis finally been found? A quick look around the internet finds scores of over-the-counter medications guaranteed to bring relief! Keep looking and you'll find more prescription medicines, new medical procedures, announcements of new surgical procedures and natural herb supplements than you can imagine.

All claim to effectively treat RA. Some use the term "miraculous." Among them are a $50,000-per-innoculation under development by scientists at England's Newcastle University. A custom vaccine will be individually engineered for each patient.

Such a rheumatoid arthritis cure will have to halt what RA does - turning the sufferer's immune system against his or her own body, attacking the patient's joints. If the vaccine is approved, technicians will harvest white blood cells from each patient. Cells will be "reprogrammed" by therapy that includes a patented cocktail of Vitamin D, steroids and other compounds. The altered cells will be injected into one of the patient's arthritis-inflamed joints - with the expectation that the altered white blood cells will suppress the immune system's attacks on the sufferer's own body.

If it works, a historic rheumatoid arthritis cure will come in a single dose. The target date for use on humans is 2013.

But will such a rheumatoid arthritis treatment work? Or will it destroy patients' immune systems, making them susceptible to infection? If it does work, will its effectiveness wear off, requiring additional $50,000 treatments?

And who will this shot help? Only those who haven't developed full-blown RA yet? Or just those with mild cases? Will the effect only be localized - requiring expensive vaccinations to every affected joint? Will it work for patients with advanced cases? Will there be side effects?

While the prospect is exciting, RA sufferers have heard it all before. There are so many rheumatoid arthritis cures and treatments out there that it's easy to get cynical. Physicians state bluntly that there's no cure. But they may also suggest ideas that have worked for others.

One is to put up a high fence and sunbathe au natural in your own back yard. Preposterous? No, rheumatoid arthritis responds well to sunshine! When sunlight falls on your bare skin, your body creates its own vitamin D, which works far better than any health food supplement or daily multivitamin.

Fifteen minutes in the sun three times weekly gives most patients a potent dose of vitamin D. Will more sunshine help? The best advice is to take it slowly - five minutes at a time for the first week, extending to 20 minutes until you have a nice "base tan." Then you may find yourself sunbathing for an hour or more at a time. Some rheumatoid arthritis patients say the treatment is addictive! Plus, it's free!

Other rheumatoid arthritis treatments include regular doses of omega-3 fatty acid, gamma-linolenic acid and Boswellia. Similar success is reported with glucosamine chondroitin, ginger, magnesium, copper supplements, beta-carotene rich foods, vegetarian diets, curcumin, green tea extract, guggul, lyprinol, folic acid as well as large doses of vitamin B6, C, and E.

Some sufferers say their condition eased when they quit smoking, cut back on coffee... and drank small "doses" of alcohol! The bottom line? Until scientists announce a miracle cure, the rheumatoid arthritis sufferer needs to keep reading, keep experimenting to find what works - and avoid feelings of being overwhelmed. There is hope!

Do You Have an Autoimmune Disease?

How can i manage my life now that I have been diagnosed with autoimmune disease?. Although there is no cure, you can treat your symptoms and learn to manage your disease, so you can still enjoy life. It is important, though, to see a doctor who specializes in these types of diseases.

Autoimmune diseases are disorders in which the body's immune system reacts against itself and produces antibodies to attack its own healthy cells and tissue. Autoimmune disorders can be directed mainly at one part of the body, such as the thyroid gland or the pancreas, or they can spread widely throughout the body, as in the case of diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus.


Symptoms vary depending on which autoimmune disease you have, the most common that is shared among the autoimmune disorders are joint pain and fatigue.

RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis) joint pain, joint deformities, muscle pain, weakness, fatigue, and weight loss.

MS(multiple sclerosis) numbness and tingling in the extremeties, difficulty with balance and coordination, problems with walking or speaking, tremors, and even paralysis.

Lupus - joint pain, swelling, skin rashes, fatigue, sensitivity to sun, purple fingers or toes from cold or stress, and swelling in the legs or around the eyes.

Type1 Diabetes elevated blood sugar, fatigue, increased thirst and urination, nausea, vomiting, increased appetite, and weight loss

Graves Disease(overactive thyroid) insomnia, irritability, unexplained weight loss, weakness, bulging eyes,shaky hands, brittle hair.

Hashimotos Thyroiditis (under-active) tiredness, cold sensitivity, weight gain, weakness, tough skin, constipation, and depression

Ulcerative Colitis - diarrhea, abdominal pain, fatigue, weight loss, loss of appetite, rectal bleeding, skin lesions, and joint pain.

Who is at risk?

Autoimmune diseases tend to run in families, with women more likely than men to develop an autoimmune disorder.


There is no cure however with treatment you can still lead a full life. Treatments depend on which autoimmune disorders you have but range from antiinflamatories, insulin, and synthetic thyroid pills.

How do I know if I have an autoimmune disease?

If you suspect you may have an autoimmune disorder the doctor will likely start out conducting a physical exam and taking your personal and family medical history. Test may be run to rule out other conditions.

There is no definitive diagnostic test for autoimmune disorders for the most part. Blood tests, x-rays, ct scans, or MRI's may help in determining some of the autoimmune disorders.

Should I see a doctor and when?

If you experience any of the symptoms of an autoimmune disorders it is wise to see the doctor as soon as possible. Putting it off only runs the risk of having symptoms worsen or do permanent damage to your body.

Chest Arthritis in Women - Treating Inflamed Cartilage Attached to Breast Bone

Unlike the common symptoms of osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis where it occurs in the knee, hip, feet, hands and fingers - these two types of the disease can also flare up in the chest.

Both women and men can develop chest arthritis but for women it can be particularly uncomfortable.

When it spreads to the breast bone, simple functions like breathing, coughing, sneezing and laughing cause the lungs to press against this bone which creates pressure against the inflamed region.

Some women describe the feeling as similar to being given a bear hug, while lying down on ones side may provoke the same lung restricting pain.

However, if this restrictive feeling is just starting to affect you and you haven't been diagnosed as of yet, you could well be experiencing Costochondritis.

This is not incurable and may go away after a few weeks or months, but the symptoms are very similar, but this time it's just a temporary inflammation of the cartilage of the breast and ribs that are causing the chest pain.

If unfortunately this isn't the case and the cartilage attached to the breast bone continues to flare up then there are a combination of treatments that may work for you:

Treating Arthritis in the Chest:

1. Minocycline

This is in fact used to treat severe cases of rheumatoid arthritis, but sometimes when breathing can become so restricted that it becomes life threatening, then Minocycline may be prescribed to treat osteoarthritis in the chest.

Some patients may go on using this indefinitely, so bear in mind it is an NSAID and there will be risks involved if used long-term, but for short term-term it may provide the relief you need.

2. Cortisone injection

A steroid injection into the swollen cartilage to reduce the inflammation may provide the relief you need if it's flared up.

You may only need this once or not, impossible to tell with this disease.

3. Tylenol Extra Strength

Supposedly, this is one of the few NSAID's that work well for chest arthritis.

Celebrex was also once touted as an effective NSAID, but this has now been taken off the shelf due to the inherent health risks patients experienced, so be careful using any NSAID long-term.

4. FDA homeopathic pain relievers

If the pain isn't too unbearable then FDA homeopathic natural supplements are as good if not better than most NSAIDs, plus they're completely safe and are used long-term.

The common ingredients now most people are familiar with are Glucosamine Complex, Chondroitin Sulfate and MSM.

They work on three fronts.

They alleviate the swelling, reduce the pain and help re-build bone density.

Differential Diagnosis of Gout - What Causes The Joint Pain?

The differential diagnosis of patients presenting with joint pain is extensive, ranging from mild sprain, joint dislocation, trauma, malignancy, infection, and some life-threatening autoimmune diseases.

Joint pains that caused by physical activities are very obvious and easy to be diagnosed. Examples of this kind of injury are sprained ankle, joint separation, ligament sprain, torn cartilage and torn cartilage. Usually, this kind of pain is immediate and the patient can vividly remember the physical activity that causes the pain at the joint. These kinds of traumatic condition can happen to people of all ages.

Other causes of joint paint that usually affect people of older age are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the result of mechanical degradation of the joints due the years or wear and tear. It usually happens to those who were physically active during their younger years, such as sportsman or those who work in hard labour jobs.

One the other hand, rheumatoid arthritis is form of autoimmune disease where the abnormal immune system attacks the tissues around the joints and causes inflammation and pain. The actual cause of rheumatoid arthritis is still unknown, some say it is because of viral or bacterial infections, some say it is because of genetically inherited abnormalities. Extensive researches are still taking place around the world to find out the answer to this mysterious illness that affects a huge number of elderly population.

Although these 2 types of arthritis have very different causes, but they share certain similar symptoms that make them easy to be ruled out in the differential diagnosis of gout. Both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis usually develop the pain over a long period of time and they usually affect joints of both sides of the body such as in the feet, hands. These kinds of arthritis usually attack multiple joints at the same time and the pain develops gradually.

Another more common cause of joint pain in the modern day is gouty arthritis which is more commonly known as gout. Gout attack is a type of inflammation that is caused by the formation of urate crystals inside a particular joint due to long term exposure to hyperuricemia. Many times, gout is mistaken as one of the above mention arthritis conditions, especially when the patient get the gout attack for the very first time.

Differential diagnosis of gout is very straight forward and easy, here are some of the unique properties of gout that differentiate it from other causes of joint inflammation.

  • Suddenly occurrence of intense pain

  • The attack starts in the middle of the night when the victim is sleeping

  • It usually attack one side of the joints

  • 90% of the gout attacks happen at big toe

  • If blood test is conducted, it usually shows a high blood serum uric acid level that is beyond healthy range

Although Gout is easy to be diagnosed, but it is not easy to get rid this awful devil. Those gout drugs and pain killers can only temporarily control the gouty inflammation, none of them can remove the root cause of gout, which is the urate crystal.

It is commonly known among the gout patients that gout pain is the worst and most unbearable pain in their life. Instead of wasting your money on those expensive tests involved in the differential diagnosis of gout, you should spend some time to understand the actual cause of gout and remove the root once and for all.

Joint Pain Relief For the Obese

How much do you know about rheumatism?

You probably know it's related to pain in the joints. Yes, joints are only one affected area. Therefore, rheumatism is a broad term that also includes inflammation of bones, muscles, tendons and even internal organs. But let's focus only on joint pain with you here.

What Causes Joint Pain?

The two most common causes of joint pain are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Other factors can be sprain, fracture, gout in the big toes, septic arthritis or polyarthritis.

Let's take a closer look at osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis (OA)

It's a condition where spurs grow and cartilage degenerates in the joints, leading to joint pain. It's also known as "wear-and-tear" arthritis. Some symptoms are:

-- The stiffness in the joints disappears within 30 minutes from the time the patient wakes up but aggravates later in the day after repetitive use or after a prolonged inactivity.

-- Starts with one joint.

-- Often happens in large joints or joints related to knee and hip.

-- An affected joint tends to look a little larger than normal. This is due to abnormal growth of the bone next to damaged cartilage.

-- More common than rheumatoid arthritis.

-- Slow and gradual pain.

-- Usually affects older people.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

This is an autoimmune disorder due to the malfunction of certain immune cells in the patient's body which attacks the joints. Hence, he'll encounter the following symptoms:

-- Morning stiffness lasts more than 30 minutes.

-- Warmth, swelling and pain often begins with the small joints of hands and wrists near the palm or the small joints of toes.

-- Affected joints are usually symmetrical such as the same joints on both hands.

-- Can also trigger fever, fatigue, depression, loss of appetite, dry eyes and chest pain.

-- Can lead to joint deformities.

How does Obesity Worsen the Condition?

Although doctors have yet to prove if obesity causes rheumatism, they believe excess weight certainly doesn't help the patients. In fact, they believe obesity will increase the risk of both OA and RA.

That's because the excess weight will add more pressure on the inflamed joints, aggravating the pain, especially in the affected joint areas around knees, spinal cord and hip.

Currently, there are no cures for OA and RA but the treatments can help to relieve pain and improve joint movement so that patients can still go about their daily tasks.

The treatment often comes as a program - medications, physical and occupational therapy, reduction of joint stress and sometimes surgery. But if a patient is also obese, weight loss will inevitably become part of the program.

Right Exercise can Help Obese OA / RA Patient

1. Flexibility exercises help to maintain or improve the flexibility in affected joints and surrounding muscles. This contributes to better posture, reduced risk of injuries and improved function.

2. Strengthening exercises are more vigorous to work muscles a bit harder. Stronger muscles can better support the joints and cushion the shock impact to the painful joint. They also assist in better function and reduce bone loss due to inactivity, inflammatory arthritis and use of certain medications such as corticosteroids.

3. Aerobic exercises such as walking and swimming are good for weight control as they work off the excess fats and replace with useful muscles. For even better fat-burning results, you can engage in anaerobic exercises like strength training. But you must consult your doctor and make sure to have a certified trainer to guide you along such high-intensity exercises that can cause injuries pretty easily.

4. Body awareness exercises improve posture, balance, joint position awareness, coordination and relaxation. This is especially important as the patient's sense of balance and coordination may be impaired due to the illness.

Natural Arthritis Diet for Pain Relief

Stay away from acidic stuff like coffee, tea, sugar and alcohol. You should also cut down on intake of meat and seafood since these are high in cholesterol, saturated fats, salt and toxins. For best results, I suggest you include these natural vegetarian foods as a significant part of your diet:

a) Fruits - avocado

b) Vegetables - spirulina, wheat grass products, carrots, seaweeds, sprouts

c) Whole grains - millet, wheat, brown rice, barley and oats

d) Nuts - pecans

e) Soy and seeds - flaxseed, pumpkin and sesame

This natural diet serves to help you maintain a healthy weight. According to the Arthritis Foundation, for every pound of weight lost, there is a four-pound reduction in the load exerted on the knee for each step taken. Simply put, the less heavy you are, the less pain you suffer.

Last but not least, whether you're suffering from rheumatism or not, sticking to a healthy diet and regular exercise regime are always essential.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Rheumatoid Arthritis, Is It An Autoimmune Mystery

Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that attacks the entire body as well as the joints. Until now, it is still unclear what causes this disfiguring disease but many of the finest medical minds believe that this is an autoimmune disease. By autoimmune, it means a disease wherein the body's immune system attacks its own tissue. Instead of protecting its own body from disease, it ferociously attacks itself as if it were the enemy.

The true nature of rheumatoid arthritis is still unknown but it is certain that it begins with inflammation and progresses into tissue damage. The hands and wrists are generally the areas commonly attacked by rheumatoid arthritis although the knees, balls of the feet and spine can also be affected. Even the heart doesn't escape rheumatoid arthritis. If left untreated this type of arthritis can be life threatening and can go beyond joints and can damage further the muscles, bones and skin near the affected joints. Inflammation can occur in the membranes encasing the heart and lungs. The spleen can enlarge and anemia can develop. Complications such as these make rheumatoid arthritis life threatening.

Rheumatoid arthritis affects people who are mostly at the prime of their life but this doesn't mean that other age groups are not affected by this disease. Both men and women are equally affected although more women than men get symptoms that necessitate medical attention. There are only about 20 percent of people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis that recover completely. About 60 percent of people with rheumatoid arthritis experience disease flare up that leads to death over the years. The remaining percentage of patients with rheumatoid arthritis suffer irreversible joint damage. Luckily, this disease eventually burns itself out.

Since rheumatoid arthritis is believed to be an autoimmune disease, the key to its treatment is immunosuppressive therapy. Doctors treat rheumatoid arthritis by suppressing the immune system but only to the point of diminishing symptoms but never go beyond the point where the individual becomes susceptible to infection.

Inflammation is the enemy in rheumatoid arthritis and to combat this, doctors usually prescribe aspirin and aspirin like drugs since these drugs are powerful painkillers and anti-inflammatories. These types of drugs are usually sufficient for most rheumatoid arthritis patients and it has been observed that about twenty-five percent of patients taking these relatively simple medications recover completely.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs, although good painkillers and anti-inflammatories, are usually no better compared with aspirin. NSAIDs also have some accompanying serious side effects.

For more severe cases of rheumatoid arthritis, corticosteroids are usually prescribed. These are more potent anti-inflammatory hormones with accompanying severe side effects including drug dependency. These types of drugs although effective in treating the more serious cases of rheumatoid arthritis, increase a person's susceptibility to infection and delay wound healing.

An alternative therapy to rheumatoid arthritis is diet, although this hasn't been proven effective yet but its possibility is not ignored. Studies are done to come up with the right diet to combat rheumatoid arthritis.

It has been observed in some rheumatoid arthritis sufferers that their disease becomes less too intense when they incorporated fish oils in their diet. Fish oil may reduce the symptoms of arthritis but it is still best to check with your doctor before taking any fish oil supplements as these can have adverse reactions with any medications you are currently taking like aspirin.