Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Effect of Smoking in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients


Most of us know that smoking would lead to lung cancer. Not just lung cancer, but also, various other cardiovascular diseases as well. Apart from these two life threatening complications, smoking has been proven to be a risk factor for rheumatoid arthritis. This very factor has led to many clinical studies to establish the connection between this chronic autoimmune disorder and smoking.

Ironically, it is not known to date, what causes smoking to increase the risk of rheumatoid arthritis, neither it is clear why even treatment in patients is affected if they are smoking during the course of it.

Rheumatoid Factor in Smokers: The Journal of Rheumatology published a report in its March, 2000 issue regarding the effect of smoking in rheumatoid arthritis patients. This report was the theory proposed by Dr. Frederick Wolfe, a specialist in Rheumatology and this also details the results of his research. The smoking effect was studied on the clinical, radiographic and laboratory fronts in the patients.

According to Dr. Wolfe's theory, the effect of smoking can be clearly studied provided the rheumatoid factor in these patients was studied separately.

Rheumatoid factor is not present in all the people. These are antibodies that bind themselves to other antibodies and trigger an autoimmune response. This factor is not present in all the people. Mostly aging people (about 20 percent) are known to contain elevated levels of this antibody that is responsible for a rheumatoid arthritis attack.

According to Dr. Wolfe, this factor would definitely have to be more in smokers and less in non-smokers to prove that smoking is a major risk factor of rheumatoid arthritis.

The Research Objectives: The prime objectives of Dr.Wolfe's study-

- determine elevated rheumatoid factor levels in smokers
- determining the quantitative effect of smoking

As part of the study, 640 patients who have been suffering from rheumatoid arthritis patients (consisting of both men and women) were taken into consideration.

Among the 640 patients, while 18 percent of them were current smokers, 28 percent were found to be past smokers.

The study found that smoking rheumatoid arthritis patients had a higher rheumatoid factor when compared to their non-smoking counterparts.

Also, the rheumatoid factor was found to be increasing in smokers of longer durations.

These elevated rheumatoid factor levels were increasing or elevated irrespective of the gender.

Thus, smoking definitely proves to have a negative impact on rheumatoid arthritis patients.

Effect of Smoking While Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis: Not just increasing the risks of arthritis, but smoking can also diminish the benefits and effects of treatment in rheumatoid arthritis patients.

The 2011 January issue of the American College of Rheumatology's journal, Arthritis and Rheumatism has published the results of a ten year long study which suggests that smoking can lessen the impact of drugs like methotrexate inhibitors of Tumour Necrosis Factors in Rheumatoid Arthritis sufferers.

As part of the study, 1430 patients were studied at the Karolinska Institute of Stockholm, Sweden.

The study revealed that patients who smoked while on treatment were having either diminished effects of the drugs or were not responding to them. At the same time patients who smoked in their past and have given it up were not affected in any way.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has estimated that around 0.8 percent of the adults across the world, aged over 15 are victims of this dreadful autoimmune disorder which leads to severe joint swelling and degeneration along with pain. Even the healthiest of persons with no vices whatsoever can be affected by this arthritis condition.

Thus, it is better to avoid any external risk elements (like smoking) that can trigger this disease.

Some Natural Ways to Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis


Rheumatoid arthritis is a serious form of arthritis where the immune system which is supposed to defend the body, actually starts to attack it. It is more serious than say osteoarthritis simply because in addition to the standard joint pain and swelling, rheumatoid arthritis can also cause anemia, poor circulation and debilitating fatigue.

The best natural treatments for rheumatoid arthritis are the same as osteoarthritis, however with more emphasis being placed on diet. Here is a look at a few that have proven to be particularly helpful.

Heat Application

Whether it be electric blankets, heating pads or hot packs, applying heat to painful joints can offer substantial relief. One method of heat application that has shown to be particularly helpful is hot baths, especially when infused with essential oils such as rosemary and eucalyptus.

Cold Application

At the other end of the spectrum is the application of cold. This is most effective and appropriate when your joints are really inflamed. A cold pack or bag of peas compressed against the area can bring much needed relief in a short period of time. This is due to the fact that the cold reduces the swelling fast and also stimulates the nerve endings which acts as a distraction against deeper joint aches and pains.

Vegetarian Diet

Recent studies have shown that people with rheumatoid arthritis showed significant improvement after just 30 days of switching to a vegetarian diet. This diet also excluded eggs, dairy, gluten, caffeine, alcohol, salt and refined sugar.

Going vegetarian may seem like a daunting prospect if you are a heavy meat eater however being vegetarian is not about just eating vegetables / salads. There are lots of beautiful tasting, hearty dishes that can be prepared. If you are interested in this just do a search online for vegetarian recipes. You will find plenty.

However, if vegetarianism is not an option for you, the next best thing is to really tune into your body after you eat. This will give you some insight into which particular foods seem to flare up your symptoms. You can then decide whether or not to reduce or exclude these foods from your diet.

These are just a few things you can do to treat your rheumatoid arthritis naturally. I know this is an awful condition to have to deal with (my Mother has it) and my heart goes out to you. Just keep an open mind and keep trying new things until you have got enough 'things that help' in your back pocket that you can draw on as needed.

Hot and Cold Therapy for Arthritis


Arthritis affects the joints, causing stiffness and pain. While there are a number of treatments you can do at home, hot and cold therapy is one of the easiest and definitely one of the safest arthritis treatments used to relieve the painful symptoms. Doctors often recommend hot and/or cold therapy to reduce inflammation and relieve aching joints. Trying hot and cold therapy is the only way to find out if this treatment will work for you. You can then work with hot and cold to find the particular combination to treat your specific symptoms of arthritis.

This therapy works to improve the body's own healing abilities. Heat allows dilation of the blood vessels. This in turn promotes circulation, resulting to reduced spasm of the muscles and increased oxygenation. Heat also defers the sensation of pain. Dry heat, such as lamps and pads, can be used as well as moist heat through hot baths, or wash cloths soaked in hot water.

According to the American College of Rheumatology, 5 to 10-minute ice massages applied to a painful area within the first 48 hours of pain onset can help relieve pain while heat should be used for pains that last longer than 48 hours.

When using heat therapy, you have to be careful with the heat being applied to prevent burning the skin. You want it hot, but not hot enough to be uncomfortable. You will find the temperature that your body can tolerate by testing gradually starting at lower temperatures and gradually increasing the temperature. Heat therapy can work well if done just before exercising. In between the exercise, heat packs can also be applied. Moist heat therapy can be done to provide additional relief from pain in arthritis. Other types of heat therapy includes heat patches, belts, hot packs, heated pools, moist heating pads, warm baths, showers, whirlpools, hot tubs, and warm towels or cloth that can be heated through the microwave. Also, many people with arthritis find soaking in hot baths and saunas effective relief for arthritis pain. Heat packs applied to arthritic joints at least twice daily has been proven to relieve pain and stiffness.

While heat opens blood vessels, cold constricts the blood vessels. Cold therapy can work on swollen parts of the body by producing a dulling and numbing effect and also reducing the swelling of inflamed joints. Ice packs are most effective during arthritis flares and can be effective when applied over joints. The cooling sensation of the skin above the affected areas lessens spasm of the underlying muscles, which improves the threshold of pain. Cold packs can easily be done by filling zip-lock baggies with water and placing them on the freezer to chill. For some people with arthritis, cold therapy may be enough to completely ease pain. However, many people choose to alternate hot and cold therapy.

Have You These Symptoms of Knee Tendonitis?


Knee tendonitis

The knee joint comprises not only bones but also several tendons and muscles. Under increased tension brought on by physical activity or trauma these tendons may become inflamed, torn or degraded. When this occurs it is said that one has knee tendonitis. It seem a classic case of dammed if you do dammed if you don't as active individuals are the ones most at risk due to the increased tension on the knee as a result of their active life style.

There are various types of knee tendonitis such as Patella tendonitis (Jumper's Knee), quadriceps tendonitis and Illiotibial band friction syndrome, the most common of which being Patella tendonitis. Patella tendonitis / jumper's knee occur as a result of excessive usage of the knee joint or increased tension brought on by physical activities such as running and jumping. Other contributory factors include aging, rheumatoid arthritis which is known to degrade cartilage and cause inflammation at multiple body joints.

Symptoms

Symptoms vary according to degree of inflammation and the particular tendons involved. The most common symptom is pain, the degree and frequency of pain indicates the severity of the problem. In mild cases the pain occurs before the undertaking of any physical activity. As the problem progresses pain will occur during activities such as running and brisk walking. The problem is most severe when pain is consistent and simple activities like kneeling or climbing stairs become quite intimidating. The other common symptom is swelling around the joint. If degradation of cartilage occurs then one may hear a grinding or popping sound when flexing the knee.

Treatment

Treatment of knee tendonitis is dependent on the severity of the problem. A physician will carry out certain physical examination to determine the severity of the problem and thus develop an ideal treatment plan. In some cases an MRI or an ultra sound may be required to properly diagnose the problem.

For individuals who experience mild cases of knee tendonitis treatment is pretty straight forward, it involves taking a break from activities that increases tension on the knee and the consumption of non steroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen. In some cases the application the application of ice packs will do the same job as the anti-inflammatory medication. When symptoms no longer persist it is advised that one take up a squatting and stretching to strengthen quadriceps and calf muscles as this will help to reduce ones risk of a recurring problem.

In moderate cases it is advised that with the aforementioned treatment method one restrict the movement of the knee joint. If conditions persist then a steroidal injection might be required. In severe cases it is advised that one take an extensive break from sports related activities, at least 3 months in addition to the aforementioned treatment methods. If conditions persist then surgery though a last resort might be required.

While it is good to know about treating this problem it is even better to know how to stop it from recurring or even happening in the first place. Warming up before any physical activity goes a long way in reducing the risk of knee tendonitis, as it improves circulation and gets the body in a state to withstand high stress / tension activity. As previously mentioned regular stretching and squatting is also a useful preventative method. Also wearing proper footwear that offer some leg supports whilst may not be the most fashionable also helps.

Gluten Allergy - Celiac and Gluten Intolerance Symptoms


Celiac disease is a digestive disorder. Once thought to be a rare condition affecting only children, it is now known to be more common, affecting as many as two million Americans alone. It is a genetic disease and those with a close family member with a gluten allergy are at increased risk of it. For some individuals, the disease is latent until triggered by an event such as pregnancy, childbirth, surgery or extreme stress.

In a nutshell, individuals with this condition have a gluten intolerance. If they are exposed to gluten, it triggers an allergic reaction in which the body attacks itself, damaging and sometimes destroying the villi that line the small intestines.

Symptoms of a gluten allergy are much like those experienced with other food allergies, but can vary widely between individuals. Digestive problems are common with celiac disease, especially in infants and children. They may include abdominal pain and bloating, vomiting, constipation, chronic diarrhea or pale, fatty, or foul-smelling stools. Weight loss is common in children as a result of these symptoms. Gluten intolerance may also lead to defects in growth and development.

In adults, symptoms may be more varied. Many symptoms can be attributed to other conditions, which is why it may not be diagnosed right away. Symptoms may include bone and joint pain, arthritis, unexplained iron-deficient anemia, fatigue, bone loss or osteoporosis, seizures, tingling or numbness in the extremities, canker sores or dermatitis herpetaformis, an itchy skin rash. Women may also experience reproductive problems such as missed menstrual periods, miscarriages or infertility.

Left untreated, gluten intolerance can lead to more serious symptoms. Because the body's response to a gluten allergy is to attack the villi of the small intestine, the body has a decreased ability to absorb nutrients from food. This can lead to malnutrition. Liver diseases or digestive cancers can also result.

Many people with celiac disease have other conditions in which the body attacks itself. These may include Type 1 diabetes, autoimmune thyroid disease, autoimmune liver disease, rheumatoid arthritis, Addison's disease or Sjogren's syndrome. These conditions may bring additional symptoms.

Symptoms of these conditions may include frequent urination, vision disturbances or problems, slow healing time, weight loss or gain, jaundice, joint stiffness, muscle weakness or fatigue, irritability or increased occurrence of infections. Many of these conditions have similar symptoms to gluten intolerance, which may mask the underlying gluten allergy.

Because of the varied symptoms that come with celiac disease and the probability of more serious conditions also being present, you should talk to your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms on a regular basis. A food journal may be helpful in diagnosing the condition if you can link gluten with symptoms. Keep in mind that gluten, while generally found in food, is also sometimes found in places you might not expect, including vitamins, medicines and lip balms.

To confirm a diagnosis of a gluten allergy, your doctor may run blood tests or order an intestinal biopsy. The blood tests look for specific antibodies which elevate in patients with gluten intolerance. If blood tests indicate celiac disease, the biopsy is generally done to confirm the diagnosis. The doctor will remove small pieces from the small intestine to look for villi damage.

Friday, October 4, 2013

What Are the Symptoms of Thyroiditis?


Thyroiditis is actually a broad expression that describes inflammation in the thyroid gland. Thyroiditis symptoms incorporate a selection of unique conditions which all trigger thyroidal inflammation and, consequently, leads to a variety of clinical presentations. For instance, Hashimoto's thyroiditis is regarded as the most frequent cause of hypothyroidism in North America. Postpartum thyroiditis, that causes temporary thyrotoxicosis (excessive thyroid hormone concentrations within the bloodstream) followed by temporary hypothyroidism, is a very common trigger of thyroid conditions following the birth of a child. Sub acute thyroiditis certainly is the principal reason for pain and discomfort in the thyroid gland. It may also be observed in individuals using the medications interferon and amiodarone.

The various clinical signs and symptoms

There aren't any symptoms which are entirely unique. In the event the thyroiditis brings about gradual and long-term thyroid cellular deterioration and destruction, ultimately causing a drop in thyroid hormonal levels in the bloodstream, the actual signs or symptoms will be those of hypothyroidism. Common hypothyroid symptoms comprise of tiredness, an increase in weight, bowel irregularity, dried-out skin, depressive disorders as well as below average physical exercise endurance. This is frequently the scenario for patients with Hashimoto's thyroiditis. When the condition brings about accelerated thyroid cellular deterioration and destruction, the actual thyroid hormone which is held in the particular gland escapes, raising thyroid hormonal levels in the bloodstream, and then results in signs and symptoms of thyrotoxicosis, which can be very much like hyperthyroidism. These types of signs and symptoms frequently consist of anxiousness, sleeping disorders, heart palpitations (rapid heartbeat) exhaustion, weight reduction, and also becoming easily irritated. It is observed in individuals with the toxic stage of subacute, painless and post-partum thyroiditis. The signs and symptoms of thyrotoxicosis and hyperthyroidism are exactly the same because raised quantities of thyroid hormones in the bloodstream bring about both of those health conditions. Thyrotoxicosis is the expression used with thyroiditis for the reason that the gland isn't overactive. In subacute, painless and post-partum thyroiditis, the thyroid gland frequently ends up being exhausted of thyroid hormone while the duration of inflammation persists, resulting in a drop in thyroid hormonal levels in the bloodstream and signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism. Discomfort in the thyroid gland may be observed in individuals suffering with subacute thyroiditis.

What can cause the condition?

Thyroiditis is actually brought on by an attack on the thyroid gland, leading to inflammation and destruction of the thyroid gland cellular material. Antibodies which invade the thyroid bring about nearly all kinds of thyroiditis. As a result, thyroiditis is generally an autoimmune condition, comparable to juvenile diabetes and also rheumatoid arthritis. Nobody understands precisely why specific individuals manufacture thyroid antibodies, however this has a tendency to run in families. It may also be brought on by infection, say for example a virus or perhaps bacterias, which often operate in much the same way as the antibodies to result in inflammation within the gland. Ultimately, medications that include interferon and amiodarone, also can harm thyroid gland cellular material and trigger symptoms.

What's the clinical course?

The path of the condition is determined by the particular type. Hashimoto's thyroiditis - Individuals typically present with hypothyroidism, that is in most cases irreversible. Painless and post-partum thyroiditis - These types of conditions offer a similar experience and also keep to the same exact standard clinical course of thyrotoxicosis followed by hypothyroidism. Really the only distinction between them is the fact that post-partum thyroiditis arises following the birth of a child whilst painless thyroiditis only occurs in individuals not associated with a pregnancy. Not every patient displays evidence of undergoing the two stages; in the region of one third of sufferers will develop both stages, whilst one third of individuals would have just a thyrotoxic or hypothyroid phase. The thyrotoxic phase can last for between one and three months and it is related to signs and symptoms which includes anxiousness, sleeping disorders, heart palpitations (rapid heartbeat) exhaustion, weight-loss, and also becoming easily irritated. The hypothyroid stage generally takes place one to three months following the thyrotoxic stage and can continue for as long as nine to twelve months. Prevalent signs and symptoms consist of exhaustion, excess weight, irregular bowel movements, dried-out skin, depressive disorders and below average physical exercise endurance. The majority of sufferers (~80%) should have their particular thyroid function return to normalcy within Twelve to Eighteen months from the start of their symptoms.

Exactly how is it treated?

Treatment methods vary depending on the kind of symptoms and also the clinical presentation of the condition. Thyrotoxicosis - Beta blockers to reduce heart palpitations and minimize shakes and tremors can be beneficial. When symptoms get better, the medicine is tapered off because the thyrotoxic stage is temporary. Antithyroid medicines aren't employed for the thyrotoxic stage of any sort considering that the thyroid is not overactive. Hypothyroidism - Treatment solutions are started with thyroid hormone replacement for hypothyroidism as a result of Hashimoto's thyroiditis In individuals that are symptomatic with the hypothyroid stage of subacute, painless and post-partum thyroiditis - thyroid hormonal treatment is in addition suggested. In the event the hypothyroidism in these latter conditions is slight and the individual has very few, if any, signs and symptoms, then simply no therapy might be required. If thyroid hormone treatments are started in individuals with subacute, painless and post-partum thyroiditis, therapy needs to be ongoing for about Six to Twelve months and after that tapered to ascertain if thyroid gland hormone is needed on a permanent basis. Thyroidal discomfort - The discomfort related to subacute thyroiditis in most cases may be controlled with minor anti-inflamatory medicines for instance aspirin or ibuprofen. In some instances, the discomfort may be extreme and call for steroid treatment solutions with prednisone.

Subacute thyroiditis - This adheres to the exact same clinical course as painless and post-partum thyroiditis, except for the signs and symptoms of thyroidal pain. The thyroidal discomfort in individuals with subacute thyroiditis generally adheres to the very same time-frame of the thyrotoxic stage (1-3 months). Even so, not every patient with thyroidal discomfort inevitably has thyrotoxicosis. As mentioned with painless and post-partum thyroiditis, resolution of all the thyroidal irregularities after Twelve to Eighteen months is observed in the majority of individuals (~95%). Recurrence of subacute thyroiditis is uncommon. Drug-induced and radiation thyroiditis - Both thyrotoxicosis and hypothyroidism could be observed in these kind of conditions. The thyrotoxicosis is generally short-lived. Drug-induced hypothyroidism frequently resolves with the stopping of the substance, whilst the hypothyroidism in connection with radiation thyroiditis is normally irreversible. Acute/Infectious Thyroiditis Symptoms range from Thyroidal pain, wide spread illness, painless enlargement of the thyroid as well as hypothyroidism. The particular signs and symptoms in most cases resolve as soon as the infection goes away.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms and Treatments


Any kind of joint disorders definitely need certain medications and some medically indicated procedures to relieve muscle aches. But these kinds of interventions would never suffice to fully treat rheumatoid arthritis since there is still a need to know more things when it comes to its treatment. More importantly, experts must find accurate ways in dealing with this condition since it is believed to be a risk factor of cardiovascular diseases.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammation that affects various organs and tissues but mainly on the synovial joints. Pain is more likely to be experienced by someone having this condition as well as swelling on the affected part. Stiffness is also possible. In some cases, joints tend to lose their functions most especially if left untreated.

Experts have confirmed that this disease is a hereditary type. This means that it can run from generation to generation. Its causes may be due to the combination of some genes and other factors triggering the disease. The most common individuals who are unlucky to acquire this disorder are those having the human leukocyte antigen or HLA. This group of people have higher chances of developing rheumatoid arthritis compared to those who never acquired that particular gene.

There are instances when the symptoms of this disease can be intermittent or recurrent but it is typically reliant on the degree of inflammation. Sometimes, the disease only attacks the sufferer if the tissues are inflamed. The most common symptoms include: swelling in one or more joints, lack of appetite, body weakness, mild hyperthermia, severe pain in one more joints and morning stiffness.

Knowing that rheumatoid arthritis is considered to be a systemic type of disease, it is very important for everyone to fathom that the joints are not the only parts that can be affected. In fact, there are cases where other vital organs can be perturbed as well. To exemplify, this disease can also cause an inflammation to the glands located in the mouth and eyes leading to the dryness of the affected organ.

Today, the study of determining more causative agents of this condition conducted by several health care professionals is still underway. Nevertheless, it may only be a matter of time before the most accurate treatment can be discovered. Experts also concluded that an aberrant increase of uric acid is not the only triggering factor of rheumatoid arthritis. Other agents leading to this disease may also include: excessive intake of alcoholic beverages, dehydration, fever, surgical procedures and the adverse reactions of some medications.

Knowing that some causes occur during the activities of daily living, it is imperative for a person to do lifestyle modifications to dwindle the chances of developing this disorder. Such measures include: switching to a healthy diet, consistent physical exercises, moderate drinking of alcoholic drinks and parrying too much activities that are strenuous.

The bad news is that there hasn't been any type of drug or procedure that can completely cure rheumatoid arthritis. Nonetheless, certain drugs are available which can at least suppress the attack. By preventing the exacerbation of this disease, one could fully improve his or her quality of life.

There are also drugs that can prevent the attack of rheumatoid arthritis. However, many of these medications can have major adverse reactions so it is important for physicians to prescribe those that have lesser side effects only. Other forms of treatment can include: sufficient rest, physical therapy, good nutrition and some drugs to suppress the immune system.

Finally, it is always important to consult with your doctor if you are experiencing another episode of rheumatoid arthritis. That way, the doctor can immediately find a way to manage it.

Arthritis: Knee Pain and Joint Pain Most Common Symptoms


Do you Suffer from Aching Bones and Stiff Joints?

Arthritis is a condition in which the joints of the body become inflamed. Knee pain, joint pain and knotted or inflamed joints are common symptoms of arthritis which range from mild to extreme. People who suffer from arthritis may find their movement becomes limited by aching bones and stiff and sore joints. Arthritis is most commonly found in the hands, mostly affecting the fingers and wrists, but also occurs in the knee joints.

The word itself "arthritis" literally means inflammation of the joints from the Greek word 'arthron' meaning "joint" and the Latin word "itis," meaning "inflammation".

What to expect from Arthritis

While some of the most common complaints from arthritis sufferers are painful knees and joints, other joints to be affected by arthritis, the hips, finger joints, thumb joints and lower spine. Shoulders, elbows, wrists, ankles, and toe joints are less commonly affected.

Arthritis Care UK estimates that there are close to 10 million people in the U.K. alone that suffer from one form or another of arthritis. This makes it one of the most widely spread conditions in the UK. Seeing as arthritis affects so many people, let's take a closer look at what exactly it is.

Symptoms of arthritis vary in strength and severity; they can often start off mild and become stronger as the condition develops. Knee pain and joint pain may start to develop especially before or during weather fluctuations. Pain may develop in the joints of the wrists, knuckles, fingers, ankles and toes. Shoulders may become stiff first thing in the morning and also give rise to pain. Movement may become limited in the hips and other affected areas.

Knee Pain and Joint Pain - Possible Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis

In rheumatoid arthritis, knee joints can become inflamed and swollen, resulting in pain, joint stiffness and in extreme cases, reduced movement or even loss of joint function. Rheumatoid arthritis affects the elbows, knees, shoulders and hip joints. All of these joints contain a special lubricating fluid called synovial fluid. The fluid of the joints comes under attack from the body's own immune system. Painful and inflamed joints are often symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis that may lead to discomfort and can often making movement painful.

Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms tend to develop gradually, over a period of several weeks and tend to be more common in women than men and usually starts between the ages of 40-60. The word 'rheumatoid' comes from the Gk. rheuma meaning "stream, current, a flowing," as this condition affects the fluid in joints.

Bones become Worn Away in Oseotoarthritis

One of the most common forms of arthritis is osteoarthritis and is caused by a wearing away of the joints, most specifically, the cartilage at the end of the knee and hip joints. Other joints such as the fingers, thumbs and lower spine may also be affected. These are predominantly the weight-bearing joints. The word 'osteon' comes from the Greek language and means 'bone'.

What actually happens to the cartilage when someone has osteoarthritis is that it can become rough and brittle, it literally gets worn down. Sometimes the underlying bone tries to compensate for the additional load on the cartilage and bony growths can occur at the outer edges, making the joint appear knotted and thick. Over time, the affected joints can become stiff and inflamed, leading to pain and often immobility.

There are natural health products that may be of benefit in alleviating the suffering and symptoms of arthritis.

Age and Age Related Change


1. Brain: Memory and Alzheimer's Disease

Many people become anxious about developing memory impairments as they transition into being senior citizens and begin to worry that forgetting details is the first sign of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Confusion and loss of memory were thought to be inevitable parts of aging in the past, but we now know that people can still be able and alert despite aging. Senior citizens and those responsible for providing their elder care should be aware of these changes in memory and work to prevent, identify, and treat them.

Over the past several years, researchers have been looking at a type of cognitive change known as mild cognitive impairment (MCI). This is separate from cognitive changes related to aging and often progresses to AD over some years. Senior citizens with amnestic MCI have a specific memory difficulty and have ongoing problems with memory, but they do not develop other losses seen in AD like confusion, attention problems, and problems with language.

2. Bones and Joints

As we age, our bones and movable joints are subject to wear and tear. The most common conditions among senior citizens in this area of the body are as follows:

Osteoporosis. This is a disease that causes bones mainly in the hips, backbone, and wrists to weaken to the point of breaking easily. As people, especially women, age into their 40s and 50s, bones start to weaken, and the outer shell of the bone gets thinner.

Arthritis. This is not one type of disease; there are many types of arthritis, and each has different symptoms and treatments. In general, arthritis can become a problem in most any joint in the body. Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type in senior citizens. It begins when cartilage begins to wear away, and at its worst, all the cartilage in a joint is worn away, causing bare bones to painfully rub against each other. Conversely, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease. People with RA have immune systems that attack the lining of their joints as if it were an injury or disease. It leads to inflammation in the joints, causing pain, swelling, and stiffness for hours.

Consuming enough calcium and vitamin D and including regular weight-bearing exercise in your lifestyle are extremely important in preventing weak bones in senior citizens. Methods of improving quality of life and reducing the symptoms of osteoarthritis include weight loss and exercises in light resistance and flexibility. In rheumatoid arthritis, the most effective treatment is drug therapy to modify the immune system response and decrease joint damage.

3. Eyes and Ears: Eyesight and Hearing Changes with Age

Eyesight usually declines around age 40, and cataracts and macular degeneration may develop around age 60. Hearing weakens with age.

Sight:

Presbyopia. This is a gradual loss of ability to see objects close to you or read small print. This condition is normal in senior citizens, and a usual treatment is simply to get a pair of reading glasses.

Cataracts. These are areas of cloudiness in the lens of the eye that cause loss of sight. Generally, these form slowly without symptoms, and some remain small and do not interfere with vision. Others may grow large or dense, harming vision. Cataract surgery, which is very safe and common, can be very helpful.

Glaucoma. This is a result of fluid inside the eye causing too much pressure. Gradually, this pressure can damage the optic nerve, leading to loss of vision and blindness. Often, senior citizens with glaucoma lack early symptoms of pain or pressure, but annual eye exams that include dilating your pupils can protect you from developing this disease.

Retinal disorders. These disorders are some of the most common causes of blindness in the United States. The most prevalent among senior citizens is age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which affects the area of the retina that provides sharp central vision. Treatment of AMD includes photodynamic therapy, which uses a drug and a strong light to delay the progress of the disorder. Another common retinal disorder is a degenerative disease that affects vision and is called diabetic retinopathy. It is important that senior citizens seek appropriate medical care, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and have frequent follow-ups to help reduce its prevalence.

Two new drugs, ranibizumab (Lucentis) and bevacizumab (Avastin), are now being used to treat neovascular macular degeneration in senior citizens.

Hearing:

Presbycusis. This is slowly progressing hearing loss caused by aging.

Tinnitus. This is a ringing, roaring, or other noise that may come with hearing loss. It may be caused by loud noise, hearing loss, some medicines, and other health problems like allergies or problems in the heart and blood vessels.

4. Digestive and Metabolic.

Gastrointestinal problems are more common in senior citizens. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) fails to close properly, causing the contents of the stomach to leak back-or reflux-into the esophagus. If this sensation of heartburn happens more than two times per week, it may be considered to be GERD, which can lead to more serious health risks.

Many senior citizens are pre-diabetic, which raises their risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

5. Urogenital.

Incontinence. This is the term for loss of bladder control, from mild leaking to uncontrollable wetting, that is very common in senior citizens. It is not caused by aging alone; factors causing it may be urinary tract infections, vaginal infection or irritation, constipation, or certain medicines. Many cases of incontinence can be controlled or cured with treatment, so it is important to talk to a doctor or another involved in your elder care about this.

Benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH). The urethra, which passes urine, is surrounded by the prostate gland. Since the prostate gland grows with age, it may begin to squeeze the urethra. Tumors in the prostate may also contribute to this problem. This growth or unrelated infections may cause problems with passing urine. Some men experience this symptom in their 30s or 40s, whereas others do not notice this until a later age.

Prostate cancer. This is the second most common type of cancer in men in the United States. Frequent check-ups are important in identifying and treating this disease.

6. Dental: gingivitis, periodontitis, loss of teeth.

Tooth decay can occur regardless of age as long as you have natural teeth. It ruins the enamel that covers and protects the teeth. Plaque forms when you neglect your teeth and bacteria clings to them, forming a sticky, colorless film that can lead to cavities and tooth decay. Another factor in causing tooth decay is gum disease. Using a fluoride toothpaste can help protect your teeth, as it is just as helpful for senior citizens as it is for children.

Gum diseases. These are sometimes called periodontal or gingival diseases, and they are infections that harm the gum and bone holding the teeth in place. If plaque stays on the teeth for too long, it forms tartar, which brushing doesn't clean and which continues to damage the teeth. When plaque and tartar remain on the teeth, gingivitis is formed. Gingivitis can form areas in which your gums lift away from your teeth, forming easily infected pockets. This is called periodontitis, which, if not properly treated, can ruin the bones, gums, and tissue supporting the teeth. It could even loosen your teeth in time, warranting removal of those teeth.

7. Skin Care for the Elderly.

Staying out of the sun is the easiest and least expensive way of avoiding skin damage. Sunlight is the main cause of our changing appearance as we age-including wrinkles, age spots, and dryness. Smoking can also increase the number of visible wrinkles because the chemicals in cigarettes damage elastin proteins in the skin. Skin changes with age; for example, you sweat less as you get older, leading to more dryness. Skin also loses fat, causing it to appear less smooth. Still, senior citizens can take steps to protect themselves from the sun's harmful effects.

Dry skin. This appears mainly on the lower legs, elbows, and forearms and affects many senior citizens. Skin may feel rough, scaly, and itchy. This could be aggravated by low humidity, which can be worsened by overheating in the winter and air conditioning in the summer. Dryness is also caused by the loss of sweat and oil glands that accompanies aging. Other things that may lead to dry skin are overusing soaps, antiperspirants, perfumes, and hot baths or dehydration, sun exposure, smoking, and stress.

Skin cancer. This is the most common kind of cancer in the United States. Three types of skin cancer are the most prevalent. These include basal cell carcinomas, the most common, which grow slowly and rarely spread; squamous cell carcinomas, which seldom spread but do so more often than basal cell carcinomas; and the most dangerous common skin cancer, melanoma, which can (often fatally) spread to other organs.

Shingles. This affects nerves, causing pain and blisters in senior citizens. It is caused by the same virus that afflicts people with chickenpox. After you recover from chickenpox, the virus remains in some of your nerve cells and, for reasons unknown, can become active again rather than remaining inactive. This regained activity produces shingles.

Senior citizens with shingles feel sick with a rash on their body or face. Shingles targets older people rather than children, and about 20 percent of people who have had chickenpox as children will develop shingles after the age of 50.

8. Functional Abilities.

Senior citizens often suffer from injuries caused by falling. This may be caused by other changes, including loss of sight, hearing, muscle strength, coordination, or reflexes. Diabetes, heart disease, or complications with your circulation or nervous system may negatively affect balance, and some medicines can cause dizziness. Any of these could cause a senior citizen to be more prone to falling.

As with most problems experienced by senior citizens, the better you take care of yourself, the less prone you will be to falling. A test called a bone mineral density test can tell you how strong your bones are. If necessary, your doctor can use the results of this test to prescribe medications that will make your bones stronger and less likely to break.

A Rheumatoid Arthritis Cure Uncovered


Just what is the most beneficial rheumatoid arthritis cure? RA is considered the most common autoimmune conditions on earth. It has an effect on around 1% of the world's people. Thrice as many women are usually afflicted as men. It may possibly come about at ages young and old yet is most frequent to start out in between the age groups of 40-50 year old. Frequently it's going to alter the synovial joints of the body through destruction and inflammation. This ends up in soreness and also rigidity of the joints. It is actually a systemic autoimmune disease and so in addition to joints it can possibly change the lungs, pleura, pericardium and sclera. The ideal rheumatoid arthritis cure is one that will not merely address the symptoms but the source of the problem.

To understand how effective a rheumatoid arthritis cure is, we need to understand the underlying cause of this autoimmune disease. Normally our immune system serves to protect us from foreign substances, it is the bodies first line of defense. The body will often attack these foreign substances to destroy or remove them from the body. In an autoimmune disease like RA the immune system has become over sensitive and starts attacking its own cells and tissue. It is this over reactive immune response that results in the myriad of symptoms experience in RA. A true RA cure will address this over active immune system and not just treat the symptoms.

An incorrect rheumatoid arthritis cure is aimed at symptomatic relief. And while this is a good short term strategy, it does little for the true underlying cause of the disease. With the use of drugs you may even suppress all your symptoms and falsely think that you are better. But the moment you stop taking your drugs, the symptoms will come straight back because you have done nothing to stop the root cause of the problem. So what could an effective rheumatoid arthritis cure be?

Diet is usually touted to be a effective place to start for autoimmune diseases plus a rheumatoid arthritis cure. Even though several mainstream providers may giggle at the thought of using eating plan to take care of an autoimmune disease, anecdotal data is turning up. The advantage of attempting purely natural treatments is they can have simply no unpleasant side effects. Every substance or prescription medication you add straight into your system has got unintended effects. I believe there is absolutely no problems in seeking a non-drug technique just like diet and simply tracking your symptoms. There are a few general foodstuff that happen to be proven to trigger autoimmune responses and increase inflammation. Additionally, there are several foods that will deliver the body with nutritional requirements that combat inflammation.

The benefit of approaching your rheumatoid arthritis cure originating from a natural stand point is that you simply will be handling the true reason behind your complaint. You simply won't just be giving a quick term solution and covering up the symptoms. Your symptoms will go away if the true cause has been cared for. Wouldn't you want to take control of your health and gain back control of your system through using a real rheumatoid arthritis cure.

What Is Uveitis - Learn About Causes Of Uveitis, Symptoms And Cure


Uveitis- An Overview

Uvea or the uveal tract is the middle layer of the eye that is located between the sclera and the retina which supplies most of the blood to the retina. The uvea encompasses the iris, the choroid of the eye, and the ciliary body. The condition of inflammation or the irritation and swelling up of the uvea is called as uveitis.

There are several kinds -Anterior, Intermediate, Panuveitic Forms and Posterior Uveitis. The extremely common type that is found is Anterior Uveitis. It is the condition of inflammation of the front part of the eye which is called as iris and hence it is referred to as Uveitis and Iritis as well.

Causes of Uveitis

Statistics provide that around 10% of the blindness in USA is because of Uveitis. Uveitis is commonly seen in young and middle aged individuals. Uveitis can be caused by several causes such as autoimmune diseases like psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, infections or exposure to toxins. Blindness can develop if uveitis is left untreated. There are other causes for Uveitis like diseases that can damage the immunity system of our body such as tuberculosis, AIDS, Syphilis, Herpes etc, Cancers like Lymphoma and severe injuries to the eye also cause Uveitis.

Symptoms of Uveitis

Mostly all the symptoms of Uveitis are associated with eventual loss of vision. Hazy and blurred eyesight, severe pain in the eye, photosensitivity or sensitivity to light, Blood shot eyes, constriction of pupils and changes in the color of the eye are the major symptoms of uveitis and Iritis. However it is essential to observe that the children with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis or Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis generally do not tend to have any Uveitis symptoms until vision loss occurs.

Uveitis Treatments

Treatment for Iritis is rather simple in cases of mild implications. The patient will be prescribed eye drops or steroid drops to control the immune system, these drops also help in dilating the pupils and bringing down the muscular spasms to control pain to some extent. The patient will be asked to wear dark glasses for the protection of the eye. Oral steroids may also be prescribed as a treatment option for uveitis. If Uveitis is caused because of some body infection, strong anti-inflammatory medications called corticosteroids and antibiotics may be prescribed to the patients.

It is necessary that you hurry without delay to an ophthalmologist who is specialized in treating uveitis. It is also essential to go for regular eye checkups to protect and prevent your eyes from uveitis attacks.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Understanding Arthritis


At present, there are approximately 37 million Americans who are unduly suffering from the pains brought about by arthritis and other rheumatic diseases. But what exactly is arthritis and why is this troublesome disease so painful to bear?

Arthritis refers to a wide range of joint problems, which bring about pain, swelling and stiffness. In layman's terms, arthritis simply means the inflammation of a joint. While this disease can strike virtually anyone regardless of age, arthritis is more common among older people.

There are many types of arthritis. At present, there are approximately 100 different types of arthritis and each one has its own set of symptoms. As to what triggers the onset of most of these, no one really knows. However, there seems to be an apparent connection between them and heredity, hormonal imbalance and/or other immune system problems. Among the most widely known forms of arthritis, which affect the majority of the population, are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout and lupus.

- Rheumatoid arthritis is primarily brought about by the inflammation of the membrane lining the joints. Its symptoms include pain, stiffness and swelling in multiple joints and strikes the hands, wrists and feet. This type of arthritis is not an inevitable component of the aging process and is noticeably most common in women aged between 30 and 40.

- Osteoarthritis, on the other hand, is caused by the breakdown of the joint cartilages as brought about by old age. As we age, it is inevitable that the cartilages will eventually be worn away causing the bones to rub against each other. This constant friction aggravates the joints and leads to the hardening of the bones beneath the cartilages and the formation of bone spurs around the affected joints. Osteoarthritis commonly manifests in the fingers, hips and knees.

- Gout develops when the body fails to metabolize purines (naturally occurring chemicals found in certain foods such as liver, kidney and anchovies). In cases of gout, uric acid crystals begin to accumulate in the affected joints bringing about the onset of burning pain, stiffness and swelling. Gout commonly affects the big toes, ankle, knees, wrists and elbows and was observed to be more common in men than in women. This disease commonly affects overweight and physically inactive men over the age of 35.

- Lupus. If gout is more prevalent in men, lupus tends to affect women more than their male counterparts. It is a unique medical condition wherein the body's own immune system attacks the body's healthy cells. Among the symptoms of this disease are joint pains, mouth sores and fatigue.

The advent of arthritis may be impossible to avoid. The best that anyone can do is try to prevent the onset of undue pain which accompanies the disease. This can be done by following these simple suggestions:

- Adopt a regular exercise routine. Regular exercise may help relieve or prevent arthritic pains. Moderate physical activities strengthen the muscles around the joints, help nourish the joint cartilages and facilitate the elimination of metabolic wastes. However, it is best to avoid repeated jarring activities such as high-impact aerobic exercises. These can only aggravate the pain.

- Try to maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight puts on more stress on the joints. Maintaining a healthy weight, on the other hand, can help retard the onset and progress of arthritis.

Shoulder Arthritis - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment


The shoulder is comprised of two joints, one is located at the point where the clavicle or collarbone meets the shoulder bone (acromion) and the other is the junction of the upper arm bone (humerus) and the shoulder blade (scapula). These areas are known as the AC joint and glenohumeral joint respectively.

Both joints are subject to arthritis. Your treating physician must assess where the pain is coming from and which area is affected by the arthritis in order to properly treat your condition.

Types and Causes of Shoulder Arthritis

There are three different types of arthritis that affects the shoulder. These include:

1. Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that is often referred to as the 'wear and tear' arthritis. Osteoarthritis annihilates the outer covering of the bone known as articular cartilage. People over the age of 50 are generally more susceptible to this kind of arthritis.

2. Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory condition that affects the joint lining, known as the synovium. This type of arthritis may affect people of all ages and typically impacts multiple joints on both sides of the body.

3. Post traumatic arthritis

As a result of injury, such as a dislocation or fracture of the shoulder, post traumatic arthritis may develop. This is also a common form of arthritis that occurs after an individual experiences a rotator cuff tear.

General Symptoms of Shoulder Arthritis

The common symptoms of shoulder arthritis include pain that progressively worsens over time. The pain can be aggravated as activity occurs and often affects individuals at night when they are resting due to the activities carried out through the day.

Limited range of motion typically occurs in all forms of arthritis due to the pain that ensues over time. As the disease progresses shoulder pain and restricted range of motion my increase.

Treatment Options for Shoulder Arthritis

Both non-surgical and surgical treatment options are available for shoulder arthritis depending on how progressive the condition is. Non-surgical treatment consists of resting the shoulder, applying moist heat, undergoing physical therapy, taking anti-inflammatories, applying ice two to three times per day and even taking dietary supplements.

When non-surgical options do not provide relief, surgery may be offered as a form of remedy. The most common surgical procedure is joint replacement, which has predominantly excellent results.

Your doctor can help you decide which treatment option is best for you and your condition. Surgical or non-surgical treatments do provide some form of relief from pain and motion restoration.

The Values of Physical Fitness While Living With Early Symptoms of Arthritis and Poor Circulation


How does a person who suffers day in and day out with arthritic pain and poor circulation better themselves through physical fitness? It is no surprise that the very act of exercise itself can help to regenerate and revitalize the body. It is more surprising that more people are realizing the importance of physical exercise and are making good efforts to change themselves for the best.

In this article I will list some components of physical fitness exercises for the shoulders. I will cover other parts of the body like elbows, neck, legs, hips, and feet in other articles.

In this article I will help you explore some shoulder routines combined with some great nutrition ideas that will give you a good start in the right direction to better yourself. In addition I will cover some thoughts on all natural supplements that combined with a good diet and exercise regimen may help any person who wants to go to the "Old Home Gym" or "Public Gym" to take control of their lives.

Component #1

Its all in the mind.

The first component of physical fitness starts in the mind. You have to decide to change. I realized early on that no matter what I read or how much I envied another persons achievements I had a need to make that determination for myself. I was determined to make the difference.

Motivation

Be your own self motivator. Nobody is going to make you do anything. We are left to the basics of our human nature that is our ability to choose. Read books or search the Internet. There is a lot out there to learn. So choose wisely!

Component #2

The Shoulder?

Here is a quick anatomy lesson on the shoulder for those like me (till I researched it) didn't know or understand how this body part works.

In the human anatomy the shoulder joint comprises the part of the body where the humerus (a long bone in the arm or forelimb that runs from the shoulder to the elbow) attaches to the scapula (connects the arm bone to the collar bone). The shoulder is the group of structures in the region of the joint. It is made up of three bones, the collarbone, shoulder blade, and the upper arm bone as well as associated muscles, ligaments and tendons.

There are two kinds of cartilage in the joint. The first type is the white cartilage on the ends of the bones called (Articular Cartilage) which allows the bone to glide and move on each other. When this type of cartilage starts to wear out (a process called arthritis) the joints become painful and stiff.

The second type of cartilage in the shoulder is the Labrum. This type is distinctly different from the Articular Cartilage in which it is more fibrous or rigid on the ends of the ball and socket. Also, this cartilage is only found around the socket where it is attached.

The shoulder must be flexible for the wide range of motion required in the arms and hands and also strong enough to allow for actions such as lifting, pushing and pulling. All these are part of a good physical fitness routine.

So what causes the cartilage to deteriorate? (aka Osteoarthritis)

Usually age is a big factor. However age is not the only contributor. Other culprits are excessive weight which puts stress on joints.There is also joint overuse, joint injury or stress, and family history. Other possible causes are genetic or developmental abnormalities in the structure of the joint which can cause excess wear and tear.

If you have any genetic or family history of inherited abnormalities in your cartilage structure, seek a physical fitness test from your doctor to determine early symptoms of arthritis. He will give the right advice on the right methods of physical fitness that will work for you.

Component #3

What shoulder fitness routine do I start with?

It has been my experience in weight training that simplest way is usually always the best way. You need to develop a physical fitness program that works for you if you are to properly train your shoulders. The basics of shoulder training is one that requires a person to be conscious of every movement as well as develop a regimen that will consistently challenge oneself to push onward. In all honesty if you get bored you're going to quite!

Keep it fresh and exciting! Change up the routines I list here to keep your body in a state where it will not adapt to just one technique.

Start with 1, then 2, then 3.....

I recommend starting with three (3) separate shoulder exercises for obtaining maximum results.

Start with 3-4 sets of either "machine shoulder press" or "dumbbell presses". I recommend doing between 8-10 repetitions on each set. If you are a beginner use a light weight that gives you some resistance. If you use to light of a resistance you are simply cheating yourself.

Remember Component #1? "It's all in the mind." If you don't get motivated to see results our nature is to just get by with the easiest possible route.

Be careful not to start out with more weight than you can handle as you might injure yourself. Slowly advance in weight as your strength increases. Each set will look as follows:


  • Start by raising the weight above your head and palms out. DO NOT lock the elbows! By locking your elbows you risk hyper extending them causing injury.

  • Next lower the weight till your closed fist is parallel with your chest.

  • Repeat exercise 2-3 more times till completed. Rest 1-2 minutes.

Another type of shoulder exercise is the "side lateral raise". In this exercise I recommend using dumbbells for this exercise. Each set will look as follows:


  • Do 3-4 sets of 8 repetitions with moderately light weight. This isolates the shoulder caps or sides. Don't feel bad if you look over at the guy or gal next you and they are lifting a lot more then you. You will get there soon if you keep up the exercise.Start by holding the dumbbells with palms facing your legs.

  • Raise the dumbbell laterally so your arms are stretched outwardly (palms facing downward at this point) Hold for approximately 2 seconds. Squeeze at the top of the motion, then lower to the starting point.

  • Repeat exercise till 2-3 more times till completed. Rest 1-2 minutes.

The last type of shoulder exercise strengthens the rear deltoid muscle. This normally does not get a lot of attention. Most people forget to even include this part of the shoulder in their fitness routine. So if you get to this point and you are completely wiped out you can stop. However, if you're like me I want to make sure I get all my areas covered. So keep going. Each set will look as follows with 3-4 sets with 8-10 repetitions.


  • Start in a bent over position about a 45 degree angle. Bend the knees slightly to help support and balance yourself. Use light weight dumbbells for this exercise. Be careful not to lock your knees, keep them bent through the entire exercise to avoid stressing the lower back muscles.

  • Your palms should be facing each other and your arms hanging towards the floor. Look up, and with a slow motion raise your elbows just above the ridge of your back (90 degree angle at the elbow).

  • Lower back to starting position.

  • Repeat exercise till 2-3 more times till completed. Rest 1-2 minutes.

That's It! Congratulations! You just finished your first step towards bettering yourself in the physical fitness arena. If you continue to exercise you will strengthen bones, and muscles as well as help circulation in your limbs.

So what does poor circulation and the value of physical fitness have in common?

When we exercise our heart begins to pump blood through our body. The muscles that surround our skeletal structure require great amounts of blood and oxygen. I have experience poor circulation first hand. Many years ago I had an allergic reaction to a medication that was given to me. The doctors after many different tests concluded that I had an allergic reaction to penicillin.

I was in the hospital for four days. At that time a nurse had me get out of bed and walk around. I did not understand the implications but I immediately understood why. My legs would not could not move! I was dumbfounded! I struggled to walk even the shortest distance. During my four day stay at the hospital my muscles developed atrophy. It took several walks before I gained my strength back.

What I am getting at is that when we exercise our bodies we cause this awesome machine to do what it was intended to do. To get good circulation you must make your heart work harder. When you exercise with weights or cardiovascular exercise like running or jogging you force blood and oxygen into the muscles and therefor helping with circulation.

Now I do not suffer from any disease like type 2 diabetes. Nor do I suffer from any arthritis. But I understand now the the full benefits of making the most out of most types of physical fitness programs. Mine is just one of personal preference. So if you suffer from poor circulation due to type 2 diabetes or perhaps you have pain from arthritis in your joints don't fret.

Natural Treatment of Migratory Arthritis Using Homeopathy


The natural treatment of migratory arthritis by the use of homeopathic medicines, takes into consideration all of your symptoms. This should happen with all treatments of all conditions, as you are connected to every part.

When one part is affected, all will be to some extent. The medical model of separating each system for treatment means that it is very easy to have conflicting drugs.

Migratory arthritis means what is says - your arthritis moves around your body. There is no fixed place for it to anchor itself. It may alternate legs. It may be in a foot one day, the opposite elbow the next. There is no fixed pattern.

In homeopathic terms, this comes under the heading of 'changeable symptoms'. Which also means that it probably won't.be just the arthritis that changes - all systems will be prone to a changeable nature. Such as constipation alternating with diarrhoea.

And your moods. They may change from weepy to irritable in minutes. This is so reminiscent of children, but not exclusively.

Homeopathic treatment works by raising the level of your immune system. It does this either by searching for the cause of the problem, often expressed as having 'never been well since' (childbirth, accident, drug, vaccine, shock, fright, grief, injury, abuse, etc). Or by matching your symptoms to those of the most appropriate homeopathic medicine. Preferably both, that that's not always possible.

The homeopathic medicine Pulsatilla is one of the common home prescribing medicines. It is also one of the most common medicines with changeable symptoms - moods as well as physical symptoms.

Pulsatilla is certainly one of the top medicines for the natural treatment of migratory arthritis. Other strong symptoms, related to the limbs, of this medicine include:


  • pains are worse on first motion, better from continued movement

  • pains are better for cold, worse for heat

  • tensive pain lets go with a snap

  • pain is worse for letting the affected limb hang down

  • heat of feet, must uncover at night


Dangers of Dehydration - And The Importance of Kidney Cleansing


The human body is composed of 75 percent water and 25 percent solid matter. To provide nourishment, eliminate waste and regulate all the functions in the body, we need water. Most modern societies, however, no longer stress the importance of drinking water as the most important "nutrient" among all nutrients. Entire population groups are substituting water with tea, coffee, alcohol and other manufactured beverages. Many people don't realize that the natural thirst signal of the body is a sign that it requires pure, plain drinking water. Instead, they opt for other beverages in the belief that this would satisfy the body's water requirements. This is a false belief.

It is true that beverages such as tea, coffee, wine, beer, soft drinks and juices contain water but they also contain caffeine, alcohol, sugar, artificial sweeteners or other chemicals that act as strong dehydrators. The more you drink these beverages, the more dehydrated you become because the effects they create in the body are exactly opposite to the ones that are produced by water. Caffeine containing beverages, for example, trigger stress responses that have strong diuretic effects (causing increased urination, at first). Beverages with added sugar drastically raise blood sugar levels, which uses up large quantities of cellular water, too. Regular consumption of such beverages results in chronic dehydration, which is a common factor in every toxicity crisis.

There is no practical or rational reason to treat an illness (toxicity crisis) with synthetic drugs or even with natural medications and methods unless the body's need for hydration has been met first. Drugs and other forms of medical intervention can be dangerous for the human physiology largely because of their dehydrating effects. Most patients today are suffering from 'thirst disease', a progressive state of dehydration in certain areas of the body. Unable to remove toxins from these parts due to insufficient water supply, the body is faced with the consequences of their destructive effects. The lack of recognition of the most basic aspects of water metabolism in our body can be held responsible for seeing a disease when it really is the body's urgent cry for water.

Recognizing Dehydration

Those who have lived for many years without proper water intake are the most likely to succumb to the build-up of toxins in the body. Chronic disease is always accompanied by dehydration and, in many cases, caused by dehydration. The longer a person lives on a low water ration and/or on a high ration of stimulating beverages or foods, the more severe and long lasting is the toxicity crisis. Heart disease, obesity, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, stomach ulcers, hypertension, cancer, MS, Alzheimer's, and many other chronic forms of disease are precipitated by years of "body drought." Infectious agents such as bacteria and viruses cannot thrive in a well-hydrated body. Drinking enough water is therefore one of the most important preventives for any disease.

People who do not drink enough water or unduly deplete their body's water reserves through overstimulation for a period of time gradually lower the ratio of the volume of water that exists inside the cells to the ratio of volume of water that is found outside the cells. Under dehydrated conditions, the cells may lose up to 28% or more of their water volume. This certainly undermines all cellular activities, whether they occur in skin cells, stomach cells, liver cells, kidney cells or heart cells. Whenever there is cellular dehydration, metabolic waste products are retained, causing symptoms that resemble disease but in truth are nothing but signs of disturbed water metabolism. Since more and more water begins to accumulate outside the cells, the dehydration may not be apparent to the afflicted person; he may in fact notice that he retains water, leading to swelling of his legs, feet, arms and face. Also his kidneys may begin to hold on to water, markedly reducing urinary secretion and causing retention of harmful waste material. Even the enzymes and proteins living in the dehydrated cells become so inefficient that they are no longer able to recognize the dehydrated state of the body; they fail to set off the 'thirst alarm'.

Demetria, a 53-year-old Greek woman consulted me to find relief for a painful condition of gallbladder disease. Her skin was dark gray, indicating a high concentration of toxins in her liver and throughout her body. Seeing how dehydrated (and swollen) her body was, I offered her a glass of water. She said: "I never drink water, it makes me sick!" I told her that her natural thirst signals no longer worked because of cellular dehydration and that without drinking water her body could not return to balance. Any water she would drink would instantly be used to remove some of the toxins lurking in her stomach, giving rise to nausea. In her case, any other therapy than drinking water would have been a waste of time and money.

A dehydrated person may also suffer from lack of energy. Due to the shortage of water inside the cell the normal osmotic flow of water through the cell membrane becomes disrupted or severely disturbed. Like in a stream, the movement of water into the cells generates "hydroelectric" energy, which is subsequently stored in form of ATP molecules (the main source of cellular energy). Normally, the water we drink keeps the cell volume balanced and the salt we eat maintains the balanced volume of water that is held outside the cells and in circulation; this generates the right osmotic pressure necessary for cellular nourishment and energy production. During dehydration, this basic process is undermined.

The Pain Connection

Another major indicator of dehydration in the body is pain. In response to increasing water shortage, the brain activates and stores the important neurotransmitter histamine, which directs certain subordinate water regulators to redistribute the amount of water that is in circulation. This system helps move water to areas where it is needed for basic metabolic activity and survival (from drought). When histamine and its subordinate regulators for water intake and distribution come across pain-sensing nerves in the body, they cause strong and continual pain. These pain signals, as they manifest, for example, in rheumatoid arthritis, angina, dyspepsia, low back problems, neuralgia, migraine, and hangover headaches, etc., are necessary to alert the person to attend to the problem of general or local dehydration.

Taking analgesics or other pain relieving medications such as antihistamines or antacids can cause irreversible damage in the body. They not only fail to address the real problem (which may be dehydration) but they also cut the connection between the neurotransmitter histamine and its subordinate regulators such as vasopressin, Renin-Angiotensin (RA), prostaglandin (PG), and kinins. Although the action of the pain killing drugs can relieve local pain for a while, they nevertheless stop the body from knowing the priority areas for water distribution, adding confusion to all its functions. Antihistamines -- also known as allergy drugs - effectively prevent the body's histamines from ensuring balanced water distribution.

In addition to jeopardizing the water regulating mechanisms, after reaching a certain pain threshold, painkillers become ineffective because the brain takes over as a direct center for monitoring pain perpetuation (unless of course the body is hydrated again). If the body produces pain out of its own accord (not caused through an injury), this should first be interpreted as a cry for water. The use of painkillers, which suppress this cardinal signal of chronic and local dehydration in the body and which "short circuit" its emergency routes, sabotages waste elimination and sows the seeds of chronic illness.

There is enough documentation to show that these drugs can have fatal side effects. They can cause gastrointestinal bleeding, killing thousands each year. Yet the body's natural pain signals are perfectly normal responses to an abnormal situation, which may be simple dehydration. In the case that a pain is simply unbearable, the use of painkillers, however, may be unavoidable. At the same time, the pain-afflicted person should drink plenty of fresh water and discontinue all energy-depleting factors, as these tend to have a strongly dehydrating effect.

'Body Drought' - the Strongest Form of Stress

Our brain, working round the clock, requires more water than any other part of the body. Under normal conditions, it contains about twenty percent of all the blood that circulates through the body. It is estimated that brain cells consist of 85 percent water. Their energy requirements are not only met by metabolizing glucose (simple sugar), but also by generating "hydroelectric" energy from the water drive through cell osmosis. The brain depends greatly on this self-generated source of energy to maintain its complex processes and efficiency.

Water deficiency in the brain tissue cut downs its energy supply and thereby depresses many of its vital functions - hence the word depression. With a low level of brain energy, we are unable to meet our personal and social challenges and subsequently succumb to fear, anxiety, anger and other emotional problems. We may feel drained, lethargic, stressed and depressed. The chronic fatigue syndrome, which is commonly known as M.E., is mainly a symptom of progressive brain dehydration and subsequent retention of metabolic toxins in the brain. The syndrome may disappear on its own when the afflicted person stops stimulating the brain with caffeine, tobacco, drugs, animal products, etc., and begins a consequent program of re-hydrating the body.

The Stress Response

When dehydrated, the body has to put up the fight of a lifetime -- similar to the one experienced in a "fight or flight" situation. The body meets a crisis situation by mobilizing several powerful hormones, including adrenalin, endorphins, cortisone, prolactin, vasopressin, and Renin-Angiotensin (RA).

Endorphins, for example, help us to withstand pain and stress and allow the body to continue most of its functions. Cortisone orders the mobilisation of stored energies and essential raw materials to supply the body with energy and basic nutrients during the crisis. In other words, this hormone allows the body to literally feed off itself. This in itself is a very stressful and damaging situation for the body and is expressed by such emotions as, "I can't cope anymore" or, "I feel this is eating at me." Many patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis, MS or other degenerative diseases take cortisone drugs, which often give them a boost of energy and morale for a relatively short period of time.

The 'success' of the drug, however, only lasts as long as there are still reserves left in the body that can be mobilized for energy and nutrient distribution. Once the body has used up its emergency reserves the organism can barely function anymore and the symptoms of disease become worse than ever.

Constriction of blood vessels

When the cells in the body are under-supplied with water, the brain's pituitary gland produces the neurotransmitter vasopressin, a hormone that has the property of constricting blood vessels in areas where there is cellular dehydration. During dehydration, the quantity of water in the bloodstream is reduced. Vasopressin, as its name suggests, squeezes the vascular system, i.e., the capillaries and arteries, to reduce their fluid volume. This maneuver is necessary to continue having enough pressure to allow for a steady filtration of water into the cells. This gives vasopressin a hypertensive property. High blood pressure is a common experience among people who are dehydrated. A similar situation occurs in the liver's bile ducts, which begin to constrict in response to restricted availability of water. Gallstone formation is a direct result of dehydration.

A person who drinks alcohol suppresses the secretion of vasopressin and thereby increases cellular dehydration (if alcohol consumption is excessive, cellular dehydration may reach dangerously high levels). To survive the body "drought," the body has to secrete ever more stress hormones, among them the addictive endorphins. With regular consumption of alcohol, meaning every day for several years, dehydration increases even further and endorphin production becomes an addictive habit. This may lead to alcoholism, a disease that has devastating consequences on a person's personal and social life.

Water Retention and Kidney Damage

The Renin-Angiotensin (RA) system is activated when there is a water shortage in the body. This system is used to direct the body to hold on to water wherever possible. It instructs the kidneys to inhibit urination and tightens the capillaries and the vascular system, particularly in areas that are not as vital as the brain and the heart muscles. At the same time, it stimulates an increase in the absorption of sodium (salt), which helps the body to retain water. Unless the body returns to its normal level of hydration, the RA system remains activated. But this also means that the pressure of the blood against the walls of the blood vessels remains abnormally high, causing the damage that is known as cardiovascular disease.

Hypertension and the retention of urine in the kidneys lead to kidney damage. Conventional treatments for this condition consist mostly of diuretic (urine forming) drugs and restricted salt consumption. Both may have severe drawbacks. Diuretic drugs, which are used to normalize the blood pressure, as well as reduced salt intake strongly undermine the body's emergency efforts to save the little water it has left for cell functions. The resulting stress response causes a further increase in dehydration and the vicious cycle is complete. There are so many kidney replacements made today that result from chronic dehydration, caused by something as simple as not drinking enough water or overstimulation of the nervous system.

The Caffeine and Alcohol Drama

The caffeine contained in such beverages as tea, coffee, cacao or colas not only stimulates the central nervous system and immune system but also acts as a strong diuretic. For every cup of coffee or tea you drink you relinquish approximately three cups of water, which the body cannot afford to give up without suffering damage. The caffeine containing cola beverages work in a similar way. Caffeine, being a nerve toxin, stimulates the body's stress hormones and triggers a strong immune response that may give a person the (false) impression that his level of energy and vitality has suddenly increased. To remove the nerve toxin caffeine, the body has to come up with extra water, which it takes from its cells. Hence there is an occurrence of cellular dehydration.

Caffeine, which is a major component in most soft drinks, removes water from the body faster than the body can absorb it again, thereby generating constant thirst. People, who frequently take soft drinks, can never really quench their thirst because their bodies continually and increasingly run out of cellular water. There are college students who drink as many as 10-14 cans of cola a day. Eventually, they confuse their bodies' never-ending thirst signal with hunger and they begin to overeat, causing swelling and excessive weight gain. Apart from its diuretic action and its addictive effects on the brain, regular caffeine intake overstimulates the heart muscles, causing exhaustion and heart disease.

Alcohol has a similar diuretic effect as caffeine containing beverages. For every glass of beer, for example, the body is forced to sacrifice about three glasses of water. A hangover results when due to alcohol abuse the brain suffers severe dehydration. If this occurs repeatedly, a large number of brain cells become damaged and die. Many important brain functions slow down or become depressed. Recovery is possible to a certain extent if alcohol consumption is discontinued.

Kidney Stones

The main functions of the kidneys are to keep the blood pure and healthy and maintain proper fluid balance in the body. To accomplish this difficult feat, the kidneys constantly monitor normal blood volume and filter from the blood the right quantity of urine to keep it balanced. There are many influences that can disrupt this mechanism and cause congestion in the kidneys. They include overstimulation, dehydration, fatigue, overeating, gallstones, blood pressure disturbance, medical or narcotic drugs, vitamins, digestive disorders, etc. When the kidneys are incapable of sufficiently separating the urine from the blood, part of the urine continues to circulate throughout the body, depositing urinary waste products in the blood vessels, joints, tissues, and organs. Skin diseases, strong body odor, sweating of palms and feet, water retention, intestinal swelling, high blood pressure, etc. are all signs of toxic blood caused by crystals and stones in the kidneys.

Stones in the kidneys begin as tiny crystals and can eventually become as large as an egg. The tiny crystals are too small to be detected by X-rays and since they do not cause pain, they are rarely noticed yet they are big enough to block the flow of liquid through the tiny kidney tubules. Crystals or stones are formed in the kidneys when urinary constituents, which normally in solution, are precipitated. Precipitation occurs when these particles occur in excessive amounts or when urine becomes too concentrated. The crystal particles or stones are usually full of sharp angles, which may cut and wear away the inner surface of the urinary canal (ureter) during their passage from the kidneys to the bladder. This causes severe pain in the loins or lower back. There may even be blood in the urine, pain running down the legs, numbness in the thighs and a difficulty in passing urine.

Most crystals or stones originate in the kidneys, although some may also be formed in the bladder. If a large stone enters a ureter, urine flow becomes obstructed. This can lead to serious complications, such as kidney infection or kidney failure.

Why The Need For A Kidney Cleanse?

The kidneys make a tremendous effort in trying to keep the body clear of toxic substances such as lead, cadmium, mercury and other impassable pollutants. They also maintain fluid and electrolyte balance and regulate the pressure from the heart that forces the blood through their filtering system. Kidney stones greatly impair this ability, which consequently increases the amounts of heavy metals and raises the body's general level of toxicity. This can lead to infection, high blood pressure, heart disease, brain disorders, cancer and many other diseases.

The following signs indicate the presence of crystals and stones in the kidneys or bladder: A dark or whitish color under the eyes; puffy or swollen eyes, particularly in the morning; deep wrinkles under and around the eyes; tiny whitish, tan-colored or dark lumps under the eyes, which can be felt or made visible when stretching the skin outwards towards the cheekbones; overlapping of the skin of the upper eyelid; chronic pain in the lower back; swelling of feet and legs; constant fear or anxiety. There are a number of herbs that can effectively dissolve kidney stones within a period of 20-30 days. Whether someone has been diagnosed as having kidney stones or not, doing a kidney cleanse once or twice a year produces tremendous curative and preventive benefits. The kidney cleanse not only improves physical health but also reduces stress, fear and anxieties.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Diagnosis


Rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis is accomplished by conducting a number of tests and matching a patient to established criteria as rheumatoid arthritis manifests on something of a spectrum.

RA Diagnosis: Blood Testing

If a patient is thought to possibly have RA, a number of blood tests may be ordered to look at different variables that might indicate compromised immunity, the presence of certain antibodies and also to help isolate other illnesses that the patient may have that can produce RA-like symptoms.

One test that is done is to check for an antibody known as Rheumatoid Factor or RF. An elevated rheumatoid factor may be found in several autoimmune diseases such as Sjš╣╣gren's syndrome. About 80% test positive for RF but a negative test result does not exclude the possibility of RA; it simply places the arthritis in a category called seronegative rheumatoid arthritis.

Testing for RF is only a part of rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis since up to 1 in 10 healthy people display elevated rheumatoid factor.
As RA progresses, it is common to see the patient begin to come up positive for RF in later tests.

More specific testing has been developing which checks for certain antibodies more indicative of RA. The most recent tests are much more sensitive and specific. Additional tests are often administered in order to rule out other possible causes of the arthritis.

RA Diagnosis Criteria

Recently, new criteria for rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis were collaboratively put into effect by professional rheumatology bodies in Europe and the US.
RA diagnosis is established by scoring the patient on a scale of 1-10. 6 or above is a definite RA diagnosis.

The scoring takes into account the patient's joint health (which joints and how many are affected), serology (rheumatoid factor, anti-citrullinated protein antibody presence), length of time the patient is experiencing the arthritis and acute phase reactants.

Clinical RA Diagnosis

Physicians will typically look for the involvement of several joints and stiffness joints in the mornings as potential indicators of the presence of RA. Further, the patient is likely to be tested for elevated rheumatoid factor as well as possibly undergoing more recently developed tests prior to deciding upon RA treatment

RA Differential Diagnosis

The symptoms of RA are similar to the symptoms of several other diseases. For this reason it is necessary to isolate factor specific to RA to establish a diagnosis. Some of the diseases that can look like RA are:

Osteoarthritis (see: Osteoarthritis vs Rheumatoid Arthritis)
Lupus
Lyme Disease
Hepatitis C

And several others. Doctors will typically order several tests in order to come closer to (or move further away from) a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Arthritis Treatment Options


Think the only thing you can do to help your arthritis is to take pain medications? Think your arthritis is only going to get worse as you get older? With today's medical advances, there are a wide range of arthritis treatment options available to those suffering from the condition.

Depending on the form of arthritis you suffer, doctors can prescribe medicine that can ease your pain, as well as actually keeping the disease from progressing.

For mild arthritis pain, most people generally start by treating their symptoms themselves using over-the-counter medications. There are a wide variety of creams, liniments, patches and oral anti-inflammatory and analgesics to choose from. Arthritis creams generally contain some combination of menthol, capsaicin and salicylate.

When applied to the painful area, these creams or liniments can relieve the aches and pains. However, these creams are temporary and must be reapplied often. The medicine in some of these creams can also be purchased in a patch form that gives a concentrated, continuous release of medicine so you don't have to reapply as often.

Oral analgesics, such as acetaminophen, are medicines taken by mouth that can help to reduce the pain of arthritis. Doctors often also recommend non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID's), such as ibuprofen or naproxen, as an arthritis treatment to help reduce the inflammation and fever associated with arthritis.

For more severe arthritis pain, you may need to see your doctor for a stronger form of arthritis treatment. For the aches and pains of osteoarthritis, which results from the normal aging process, your doctor can prescribe prescription strength NSAID, or even a narcotic pain medication if he feels your level of pain warrants it.

For some suffering from osteoarthritis, joint replacement surgery is an option your doctor may suggest. Most often joint replacement surgeries replace the joints in the knees and hips with plastic or metal joints.

Although this procedure is considered a major surgery and a successful recovery requires intense therapy, many are well pleased with the results of joint replacement when they find they can return to their normal activities with little or no arthritis pain.

For those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, which results from the body's immune system turning on the body and destroying the cartilage that cushions the joints, there are several prescription medications available.

For this condition, your doctor may prescribe an immunosuppressant medicine or a disease modifying anti-rheumatic drug, both of which can help slow the progression of the disease. These are also several new rheumatoid arthritis treatments which have been very successful in decreasing the symptoms of the condition.

These medicines, called biologics, generally come in an injectable form and are injected either once weekly or every other week. These medicines have been proven in clinical trials to help improve physical function as well as keeping joint damage from becoming worse in patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.

From mild to severe arthritis, there are arthritis treatment available for all. While some medicines simply relieve arthritis pain, some can actually help keep the condition from becoming worse.

If you suffer from the pain of arthritis, see your doctor to find an arthritis treatment that is right for you.

Homeopathic Pain Relief Formulas For Arthritis Pain


Homeopathic pain relief formulas are the one hundred percent natural, safe, and the most powerful anti-inflammatory agents on the market today.

They also acts as highly effective lubricants in joints, muscles and other tissues. Homeopathic pain relief formulas are also immune system modulators, which can be effective against auto-immune conditions.

All of these characteristics contribute to its ability to act as an analgesic by removing the source of pain (inflamed and irritated tissues) so that there is no pain impulse; hence Homeopathic pain relief formulas are most effective for easing all types of arthritic pain.

Ingredients of Homeopathic pain relief formulas

White Willow Bark (Salix species) is the main and most important ingredient of most all FDA registered all natural homeopathic pain formulations.

The Chinese have used the bark of the stately white willow tree (Salix alba) as a medicine for centuries because of its ability to reduce fever and relieve pain.

Native Indians of the North American continent used the bark of the indigenous willow trees as a medicine to relieve pain and lower fever.

The white willow contains salicin, which when used as an active ingredient is converted by the body into salicylic acid

The first aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) was made from an herb, meadowsweet, containing the similar salicin. All aspirin is now chemically synthesized, and it is no wonder that the bark of the white willow is often referred to as "herbal aspirin".

Another ingredient in most homeopathic pain relief formulas is Boswellia, also known as boswellin or "Indian frankincense" The boswellic acids contained in the gummy like resin from the bark of the Boswellia serrata tree that grows in the dry hills of India, have been used for centuries by traditional Indian healers for its anti-inflammatory properties.

Modern preparations made from a purified extract of this resin and packaged in pill or cream form are used to reduce inflammation associated with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Unlike conventional NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen, the accepted treatments for joint inflammation, Boswellia is not known to cause stomach irritation.

How do homeopathic pain relief formulas work?

Prostaglandins are hormone like compounds in the human body that cause aches, pain, and inflammation.

The salicylic acid in white willow bark lowers the body's levels of prostaglandins. While it may take longer to begin acting than aspirin, its effect last longer, and, unlike aspirin, it does not cause stomach bleeding or other known adverse effects.

Specifically, white willow bark helps to relieve acute and chronic arthritic pains because of its power to lower prostaglandin levels in the human body. Some arthritis sufferers taking white willow bark have experienced reduced swelling and inflammation, and eventually increased mobility, in the back, knees, hips, and other joints.

Added to the above is the anti-inflammatory properties of Boswellia, actively ease osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.

What is a Rheumatoid Arthritis Diagnosis?


If you are experiencing joint pain or inflammation of the joints, maybe both, then you could be suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Unlike osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis is an auto immune disease. Please go and visit your doctor as soon as you can and let him know your symptoms. Your doctor can then get a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis, which usually means a blood test.

This can be complicated. Blood tests look for a "rheumatoid factor" which means that antibodies are stored in the joint fluid (also known as synovial fluid). However, this might not be conclusive - around 80% of people suffering from this disease have this "rheumatoid factor" in their blood. Another test is an "ESR" or "sed" rate test which is also a blood test and counts how fast red blood cells drop to the bottom of a glass tube containing your blood. This test is also not 100% conclusive, unfortunately.

Logically, though, if you have one of these blood test for rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis and it is positive and you are also having symptoms of rheumatism, then it is no doubt a safe assumption that you do have the disease. Then, it is important to act quickly because the sooner treatment begins, the better off you are. Although at the moment there is no cure for any form of arthritis, much can be done to alleviate the pain and inconvenience it causes.

Here are some main rheumatoid arthritis symptoms:

Your joints can become swollen or inflamed - even if it is just the joint on your little finger, for example.
There may be general stiffness, for example in the mornings when you get out of bed.
Pain is associated with this disease.
You may also experience lack of sleep.
Fatigue.

If you are diagnosed, then rest assured that there are many options to help you cope with this disease. Your doctor can be a great help as he can walk you through your options and suggest medications which would be the best for you. There are also alternative ways to help ease pain, from taking apple cider vinegar and honey to choosing a diet which is more alkaline.

Today it is easy to do your own research online, in health stores and bookshops. The more you know about this condition and the options, the better off you are.

If you are having any of the above symptoms, please go to your doctor at once and get a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis.

Managing Rheumatoid Arthritis


Managing Rheumatoid Arthritis can be difficult since it is a disease in which the immune system actually attacks certain joints in the body, rather than function normally by attacking foreign bacteria or viruses. Rheumatoid Arthritis pain occurs mostly around the joints of the hands and feet, however it can also spread to the wrists, elbows, and knees. It can be serious for many people who must learn how to manage Rheumatoid Arthritis pain and discomfort.

There is no truly known reason as to what causes this type of disease, but some doctors think that it might be due to a virus that affects the Synovium of the Immune System. In such cases as this, an inflammatory reaction can cause destruction in all of the nerves within a particular joint. The symptoms of this disease come and go depending upon how severely damaged these nerves are.

However, if there is no inflammation occurring then the Arthritis is in a dormant state, but if the joints are inflamed then of course, the disease is very active with recurring remission periods. When the RA is active, symptoms can include:

-Fatigue

-A loss of energy

-Lack of appetite

-Low fever

-Muscle and joint aches and stiffness (With the muscle and joint stiffness being the most severe in the morning as well as after prolonged periods of inactivity).

Managing Rheumatoid Arthritis effectively depends on using the right treatments for each patient. Treatments for this disease are as diverse as the symptoms of the patients themselves. For example, the pain of Rheumatoid Arthritis can be maintained with over-the-counter drugs such as Aleve, or Tylenol and prescription treatments, like steroids. There is also the reduction of joint stress through different kinds of therapy, and surgical procedures that can be performed as well.

Although, it is understood that a lot of patients may not be able to afford many different methods for helpful treatments of their Arthritis. In those cases, there are a number of other options available, which are more practical and less expensive. For joint pain, some patients can purchase certain creams such as Ben-Gay, or Capsacin to shrink the inflamed joints and ease pain. Some people find they can control periods in their Arthritis inflammation by eliminating as much stress in their lives as possible. There are also some herbal remedies that patients can consider using such as Boswellia, Equisetum, or (horsetail), Devil's Claw, or Borage Seed Oil.

Lastly, while some of these methods have been officially proven successful for treating the symptoms of RA, there are patients who use alternative methods for relieving their pain. These include acupuncture, message, mineral baths, meditation, and hypnosis. All of these treatments for managing Rheumatoid Arthritis have been tried by many patients and have been shown to help to some degree.