Natural Cures for Arthritis

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Many people throughout the whole world suffer from arthritis. At times the pain that arises from inflamed joints can be quite unbearable. Most arthritis is caused by the wear and tear of joints over along period of time (osteoarthritis). It is characterized in its early stages by stiffness in the morning and occasional cracking joints, but if left unchecked can leave the sufferer in crippling pain. The other type of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis and is an autoimmune deficiency, where the immune system attacks the healthy cartilage, believing it to be a foreign invader. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Aspirin or Ibuprofen are generally available to provide pain relief from arthritis, but their effectiveness is countered by harsh side effects, usually damaging the stomach lining of the patient in the form of stomach ulcers, leading to hospitalization and in severe cases death. Tinnitus can also occur. Furthermore, although they relieve the painful symptoms, it has been found that they inhibit cartilage regeneration. Therefore, use of these drugs over a period of time can only lead to a worsening of the arthritis.

Work has been carried out to try to find suitable natural remedies for inflamed joints. The main benefit of the natural remedies is that side effects are negligible or non-existent. Here are the best natural anti-inflammatory alternatives, plus some advice on good lifestyle practice, explaining how they combat the rigors of arthritis.

Ginger extract, sometime referred to a Zinaxin, is a natural anti-inflammatory substance. It works by removing potentially damaging oxidizing agents from within the body (i.e. it is an antioxidant). Like the majority of natural remedies it has no side effects, and so can be taken without worry.

Willow has been used to ease the pain of arthritis for many years now. It can be traced back as far as the ancient Greeks, who used to mash up the leaves with a little wine, and apply it to a sore back. In more modern times willow bark has been sold as part of a prepared remedy. It is in fact a naturally occurring form of aspirin, but with far fewer side effects.

If you do not do so already, you should consider taking cod liver oil on a daily basis. It helps to strengthen the bones, and the fatty acids that it contains prevent the cartilage from breaking up, thus avoiding inflamed joints.

There is a chemical in our bodies called glucosamine, a sugar much like glucose. This helps to prevent arthritis by keeping the joint tissue and surrounding fluid very gelatinous, hence well lubricated. Unfortunately, as we get older the amount of glucosamine in our bodies begins to decrease, meaning we aren’t as effective at looking after our joints. Help is at hand though, because glucosamine sulphate can be bought in either a tablet or cream form, and works tremendously well.

 

Sufferers of arthritis should bear in mind lifestyle factors can play an important role in pain levels. Take daily exercise, involving the use of joints that are affected. This helps to strengthen the joint, and keep it lubricated. Inactivity will only stiffen the joint and make the pain far worse the next time it is used. It is important to remember not to overdo it though; a little exercise everyday is fine.

Try to avoid those foods that can adversely affect inflamed joints. In the main this means avoiding vegetables of the nightshade family (tomatoes, potatoes, aubergine, and capsicum). It can benefit some sufferers to cut back on dairy products and red meat as well. Eat lots of fruit and vegetables (except those previously mentioned), oily fish and wholemeal products. It is essential to include plenty of vitamin C in your diet, because it is a component of collagen, which constitutes part of your joint protecting cartilage. As well as a reduction in arthritic pain, you’ll also find that your diet has become a lot healthier.

Many victims of arthritis are now turning to alternative natural remedies, and finding they can live free of pain, and not suffer any side effects from their medication. You should seriously consider it too!

"The Arthritis Cure"

Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are two natural substances that are found in normal joint tissue and have produced tremendous results in reducing the pain and discomfort caused by arthritis. These two substances are the foundation for the natural arthritis program recommended by Jason Theodosakis, M.D., M.S., M.P.H. in his best selling book "The Arthritis Cure". According to Dr. Theodosakis, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, when taken in supplemental form, have been shown to reverse damage in joint cartilage, are extensively used and studied throughout the world and are proven effective in the treatment of osteoarthritis since 1959.

What kinds of treatments are available for Arthritis?

Most conventional physicians today treat arthritis with drugs designed to minimize inflammation and attempt to control or manage pain. A Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug (NSAID) will most likely be prescribed. Available over-the-counter drugs include ibuprofen, Motrin, Naprosyn, Clinoril and others.

Although these NSAIDs are affective in managing the effects of Arthritis, they do not come without considerable risks and/or side effects of their own. They are rapidly becoming a concern in the medical and health communities

Studies show that NSAIDs deteriorate the lining of the gastrointestinal tract. According to the National Institute of Health, consistent use of NSAIDs over prolonged time periods increase the incidence of hospitalization for stomach ulcers by six and a half times.

The most serious problem from taking NSAIDs is their degenerating effect on cartilage; NSAIDs actually prevent the growth of collagen in the joints.

When researchers added aspirin to normal and osteoarthritic cartilage cultures from animals and humans, they found that the synthesis of proteoglycans (the water absorbing cells in cartilage) slows down significantly. The doses used in lab-dish cultures equaled the usual doses taken by arthritic sufferers for pain. This means that aspirin, when taken internally prevents cartilage from repairing itself- and speeds up the progression of osteoarthritis! In similar experiments with animal cultures, other NSAIDs inhibited cartilage synthesis.

In an ironic twist of medical fate, the only NSAID that stimulates proteoglycans is benoxaprofen, now banned for causing liver and kidney damage related deaths.

Further potential damage caused by the use of NSAIDs is nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, constipation, memory loss, inability to concentrate and allergic reactions.

What is a pain sufferer to do?

A growing number of very exciting studies pouring forth from research centers and hospitals in Europe and Asia have forced health practitioners look at specific nutrients that many feel can reverse arthritis. These nutrients have been shown in studies to provide the raw materials for cartilage regeneration. The names of these three nutritional supplements are glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate and gelatin.

GLUCOSAMINE

Glusosamine is made of glucose, the sugar that the body burns for fuel, and an amino acid called glutamine. Glucosamine is an important part of the mucopolysachiarides, which provide structure to the bone, cartilage, skin, nails, hair, and other body tissues. It is a major building block of the water- loving proteoglycans, one of the substances that cartilage needs in order to thrive. Without these water-attracting molecules in place, there is cartilage damage. With cartilage losing its ability to absorb shock, it becomes more susceptible to cracking, fissuring, and possibly wearing through completely.

Glucosamine is an all-natural source that helps relieve arthritis symptoms and reconstruct cartilage health by forming the proteoglycans that healthy cartilage must have.

CHONDROITIN SULFATE

The second nutrient that works synergistically with glucosamine to enhance cartilage health and bring further relief of pain is chondroitin sulfate. Also called the "water magnet" or "liquid magnet", this supplement draws in precious depleted fluid, while protecting existing cartilage from premature breakdown. This function is crucial because the more fluid that flows into cartilage, the more shock absorbent it will become; like a dehydrated sponge that you pour water over, the cartilage becomes more cushioned.

GELATIN

Gelatin is a source of collagen. One of the functions of collagen is to assist the body in the regeneration healthy collagen fibers.

Studies in Europe now show that gelatin provides building blocks of cartilage; effectively providing nutritional support required for cartilage regeneration. Cartilage is largely made of collagen fibers. The entire structure flexibility and strength of cartilage is due to collagen fibers. The absence of collagen fibers to hold cartilage in place as buffers would result in bones grinding against each other.

A study published in Therapiewoche by Adam ET. Al. (1991), using randomized double-blinded crossover trial of 52 patients with hip or knee osteoarthritis, found that gelatin supplements improved symptoms related to joint pain compared to a placebo.

Another study in 1994 by Beuker and Rosenfeld, using a randomized blinded, placebo-controlled trial of 92 geriatric patients, found that gelatin appears to have a significantly positive affect on joint health by reducing the sensation of pain and enhancing mobility compared to a placebo.

While I do not usually recommend specific products, I must say that my research of the different products on the market lead me to this one: On the cutting edge of research, the ARTHRITIS ASSIST™ supplement contains a unique blend of these three extraordinary nutrients: glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate and gelatin. Working together synergistically, they have been known to alleviate pain and swelling, and studies have shown that they provide the raw materials for cartilage regeneration, thereby helping to reduce the pain associated with arthritis over long periods of time. In addition ARTHRITIS ASSIST™ contains whitewillow bark and curcumin, natural anti-inflammatories, to help alleviate pain and swelling.

Read: Arthritis and Back Pain (the water connection)

Read: Rheumatoid Arthritis                           Fitness

 
               

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