Arthritis & Rheumatism-Treatments
Arthritis is the inflammation involving the joints. I is characterized by pain of varying proportions and can affect any joint. Stiffness is also a common complaint that may become worse during cold weather. Pain can also be more pronounced during exertion.
Bone growths and spurs may also form in joints that are affected thus increasing pain and impeding movement.
Arthritis literally means joint inflammation. However, this term is used to describe so many disorders including rheumatic conditions that causes pain, stiffness and swelling in the joints and if left untreated, this can result in irreversible damage to the joints in question.
Some common forms of arthritis are as follows:
- Ankylosing Spondylitis (or Rigid spine)
- Juvenile arthritis
- Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Osteoarthritis (which usually afflicts the elderly)
- Infectious arthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Psoriatic arthritis
Gout is usually due to an accumulation of metabolic acid in the body; namely uric acid. We need a balanced pH in our body to maintain good health and this can be maintained by paying more attention to the foods we eat and our lifestyle habits in general.
It is recommended that people who suffer from gout to reduce their intake of:
- Purine containing foods ( Crab, Duck, Goose, Halibut, Ham, Kidney beans, Lamb, Lentils, Lima beans, Lobster, Asparagus, Bacon, Beef, Bluefish, Bouillon, Calf tongue, Carp, Cauliflower, Chicken, Anchovies, Kidneys, Sardines, Liver, Brain, Chicken soup, Codfish,Mushrooms, Mutton, Navy beans, Oatmeal, Oysters, Peas, Perch, Pork, Rabbit, Salmon, Sheep, Shellfish, Snapper, Spinach, Tripe, Trout, Tuna, Turkey, Veal, Venison, Gravies, Sweetbreads)
It is also recommended that one drinks plenty of water (2-3 litres per day).
Some herbs and foods to help reduce uric acid in our bodies are follows:
- Celery seed
- Nettle leaf
- Gravel Root
- Chlorophyll (to help promote detoxification and alkalise the body)
Supplements for Arthritis and Rheumatism
Eating sulfur-containing foods has beneficial uses in these conditions because sulfur is needed for the repairing and rebuilding of bone, cartilage and connective tissue. It also helps enhance calcium absorption. Some sulfur-containing foods include garlic, asparagus, eggs and onions.
Consuming foods rich in amino acid histidine such as rice, wheat and rye will help remove excess metals from our bodies as many people with arthritus commonly have high levels of copper and iron in their systems. Eating fresh pineapple is also useful because it contains bromelain, an enzyme which is useful in reducing inflammation and has the added benefit of improving digestive processes as well. Cayenne pepper helps relieve pain as it includes capsaicin that can be used both topically or taken internally as a supplement.
Taking Omega 3 supplements (either fish oil or flaxseed) will help reduce inflammation too and has added benefits of being cardioprotective (protect the heart) too. Other supplements and herbs that can assist in arthritis include:
- Glucosamine sulfate with Chondroitin
- Rose Hip Capsules which contain a high content of Vitamin C which which is an important substance in connective tissue
- Cat's Claw
- Willow bark
- Devil's claw
Lifestyle is also an important factor in helping remedy arthritis. These guidelines are recommended:
- Reduce fat intake in our diet
- Reduce intake of dairy products, red meat
- Avoid/minimise coffee and caffeine, tobacco, sugar, salt
- Avoid the deadly nightshade vegetables (peppers, eggplant, tomatoes'0 as these can add to pain and discomfort
- Get regular moderate exercise (Swimming is great as these do not further provide stress to the joints)
- Try to avoid taking iron supplements as these have been suspected as contributory to pain, swelling and joint destruction; opt to get iron from food sources instead. These include blackstrap molasses, brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, fish, lima beans and peas
- Make sure one gets enough boron from diet (plums, red grapes, apples, avocados, pears).