Natural Cures for Arthritis
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
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
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
"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.
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.
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 is a source of collagen. One of the
functions of collagen is to assist the body in the regeneration healthy
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
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
contains whitewillow bark and curcumin, natural anti-inflammatories, to
help alleviate pain and swelling.
Read: Arthritis and Back Pain (the water connection)