- Alternative & Natural Medicine
Natural Anti-inflammatory Remedies for Arthritis
Natural Anti-inflammatory Remedies for Arthritis is a continuation from the hub Anti-Inflammatory Herbs for Arthritis that revealed a list of herbs that can assist with the pain and swelling of arthritis. There were numerous comments on the first hub that offered natural remedies for arthritis that are working for individuals; hence I decided to compose this hub to provide more information on finding remedies for the arthritic pain and swelling.
CDC Statistics reveal that there are over 100 different types of arthritis that affect an estimate of 46 million people a year in the United States alone. Estimates reveal that approximately 1 out of every 5 Americans have been told by a doctor that they are suffering from some form of arthritis; it can occur at any age, and more women are affected than men.
So to avoid boring you with duplicate information, Natural Anti-inflammatory Remedies for Arthritis is going to touch lightly on anti-inflammatory nutrition and foods that were not listed on the first hub, vitamins and supplements, but not herbs. If you have not read, Anti-Inflammatory Herbs for Arthritis, I suggest that you might want to read it once you finish with this hub.
What Causes Arthritis?
Naturopathy ( also known as naturopathic medicine or natural medicine) has two areas of focus: one is empowering people to make lifestyle changes necessary to improve overall health and the other is taking or doing things that supports the body’s own healing abilities. Naturopathic remedies for the pain and stiffness of arthritis can include dietary changes, vitamins and supplements, injections, hydrotherapy, and or herbal medicines. Naturopathy in its modern form is not totally new.
Its history can be traced back to the 18th century where hydrotherapy (water therapy) was popular in Germany and natural cures based on food, air, light, water, and herbs were being developed in Austria. A German immigrant founded the first American School of Naturopathy in 1902. For some reason history states that there was a decline in naturopathic medicine between the 1920s thru 1950s; however, I’m not sure what statistics this was based on. If I had to guess, it would be probably because this was during the industrial revolution in which people began working for industries and having access to doctors that leaned more toward prescription drugs.
Natural Anti-inflammatory Remedies for Arthritis and Naturopathy Treatments
Nutrition - Make Dietary Changes
Probably one of the most important and the easiest ways to start fighting against arthritis is to make changes within one’s diet. Eastern medicine practitioners have always advocated choosing a diet that is high in green leafy vegetables, contains fruits that are rich in anti-oxidants, and has sources of lean protein. Such dietary changes can provide the proper nutrients needed to repair damaged joint tissue and eliminate foods that can damage joint tissue.
The Journal of Neurological and Orthopedic Medical Surgery posted an article in 1993 by researchers that stated the nightshades plant family (includes tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers, and tobacco) should be removed for the diets of arthritis sufferers. Researchers stated that the nightshade foods contain alkaloids (a plant constituent called solanine) that may interfere with joint repair and increase inflammation in “sensitive” individuals.
- Eat almonds, artichoke, barley, blackberries, black currants, black mission figs, celery, cherries, gelatin, kale, lettuce, limes, millet, mustard greens, olive oil, pineapple, and turnip greens.
- Avoid foods that aggravate arthritis such as sugar, dairy products, refined foods, fried foods, junk food, caffeine, spinach, asparagus, rhubarb, and the nightshade family (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers, and tobacco).
- Eliminate food sensitivities from the diet. Keep a journal of food intakes to determine foods that might be contributing to inflammation.
- Drink 1/2 ounce of water per pound of body weight daily (i.e., a 150 lb person would drink 75 oz of water).
Please note that western doctors will agree that changing to a healthier diet is good for anyone; however, many will agree with April Chang-Miller, MD, a Mayo Clinic rheumatologist that states there are no scientific evidence that proves one food or another affects joint inflammation and pain. The above list is based on alternative health practitioners and arthritis sufferers. This is an example of how important it is for an individual to learn and know what helps or hurts your body. Again, one way to accomplish this would be by keeping a food journal for a few months and notating what was eaten and whether or not different foods aggravated arthritis.
More on Arthritis and Diet
More about Naturopathy Medicine
Naturopathy, or naturopathic medicine, is a system of medicine based on the healing power of nature.
- Health Center | What is Naturopathy
Naturopathy is a form of alternative medicine based on the idea that the body has an innate capacity to fight disease and heal itself.
- American Association of Naturopathic Physicians
The most comprehensive directory of Complementary and Alternative Health Professionals in the United States and Canada.
Develop an Exercise RoutineClick thumbnail to view full-size
Benefits of Exercise for Arthritis Sufferers
According to the WebMD’s Osteoarthritis Health Center a tailored exercise program for an individual’s specific type of arthritis can help to relieve pain, fatigue, and assist in preserving joint structure and function. Exercise can assist in improving mobility, muscle strength, overall physical conditioning, and help to lose and or maintain a healthy weight.
Exercises should be geared around 3 types of exercise, which are range of motion, strengthening, and endurance. The benefits of such exercises are:
- Assists in maintaining normal joint movement
- Increases muscle flexibility and strength
- Supports sustaining weight to reduce pressure on joints
- Assists in keeping bone and cartilage tissue strong and healthy
- Improves endurance and cardiovascular fitness
Nutrilite Vitamins and Supplements
Vitamins and Supplements Regimen
As you know from the numerous warnings prescription drugs are harmful to the body. An individual might be taking a prescription drug to assist the heart only to have side effects that damages the liver or some other vital organ.
No, I am not totally against prescription drugs if all else has failed; however, I do advocate that one should seek a natural pathway to healing whenever possible. As I've stated previously, my ideal doctor is one that has knowledge of both western and eastern medicines that offers the best alternatives for their patients.
Of course, it’s best to consult with a naturopathic or alternative medicine practitioner to get a specific vitamin and supplement regimen created for your specific needs. However, the below list from Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum of the Dr. Oz show will most likely be the foundation of such a regimen.
Always begin with a good daily multi-nutrient vitamin supplement that consists of:
- Vitamin A—Take 10,000 IUs daily.
- Vitamin B-5—Take 12.5 mg daily.
- Vitamin B-6—Take 50 mg daily.
- Vitamin C—Take 1-2 grams daily.
- Vitamin E—Take 400-800 IUs daily.
- Selenium—Take 200 mcg daily.
- Zinc—Take 45 mg daily.
In addition an individual should include:
- Omega 3s or Essential fatty acids (flaxseed or fish oil)—Take 1-2 tbsp daily.
- Glucosamine sulfate—Take 500 mg 3 times daily or 750 mg 2 times daily. Glucosamine sulfate is believed to rebuild the cartilage in joints.
- Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) —Take 2,500 mg daily.
- Women should take calcium every day as a preventive measure and or to assist with osteoporosis that is present.
Most doctors agree that within about six weeks, an individual should notice some improvement of symptoms. And again, depending on your practitioner and or doctor there maybe additional natural remedies suggested along with this basic vitamin and supplement regimen.
Additional Natural Anti-inflammatory Remedies for Arthritis
Natural Remedies that Has Worked for Others
I felt that it might be useful to include a section for miscellaneous information that I've learned while researching remedies for arthritis. Some of the suggestions have come from other readers that are either sufferers of arthritis or know someone that does.
Sea cucumber is not actually a cucumber nor is it a vegetable. It is a marine life that is related to the starfish and sea urchins family. This animal is known as trepang throughout Asia and is known to be high in anti-oxidants as well as having anti-aging agents.
Sea Cucumber has been used to ease joint pains and arthritic conditions, it is believed that its rich mucopolysaccharides (mainly chondroitin sulfate), acts as a cartilage builder and often lacking in people with arthritis and connective tissue disorders.
Modern researchers theorize that Sea Cucumbers improve the balance of prostaglandins (hormone-like substances that act as chemical messengers in many bodily functions), which regulate the inflammatory process and are beneficial for musculo-skeletal inflammatory diseases.
For centuries the combination of honey and cinnamon has been used in Eastern medicine. For arthritis apply a paste made of these two ingredients and massage slowly on the affected body parts.
Honey and apple cider vinegar can be mixed and used as a cleansing drink to help relief joint pain as well. Prepare a tonic by mixing two teaspoons of vinegar and two teaspoons of raw honey into a glass of warm water and drink 3 times daily. It is believed that this detox drink works by eliminating body toxins, inhibiting bacteria, and helping the body to maintain its vital acid-alkaline balance.
Vitamins and Supplements
Scientific studies has revealed that pomegranate has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. A study conducted in 2005 at Case Western Reserve University reported that pomegranate slowed the progression of osteoarthritis. It was concluded that consumption of the pomegranate fruit extract may assist in protecting cartilage from the adverse effect of Interleukin-1b (a pro-inflammatory protein molecule that plays a role in cartilage degradation) and to slow the deterioration and destruction of human cartilage.
Borage oil can be found within a supplement form. The recommended dosage of GLA is 360 mg daily. The active ingredient, GLA can be found in evening primrose and black currant seed oil supplements. An individual may experience a GLA deficiency as a result of aging, glucose intolerance, dietary fat intake, and other problems or reasons unknown.
Borage oil is an omega-6 fatty acid, and is one of the few oils containing gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) (makes prostaglandins of the one series). These prostaglandins are hormone-like substances that are anti-inflammatory and counteract the pain-producing, inflammatory, vaso-constrictive properties of the two series.
DMSO or (dimethyl sulfoxide) & MSM or (Methylsulfonylmethane) are two compounds that have been reported as being a magic bullet for treating arthritis pain and or inflammation; however, both are very controversial based on my findings. MSM is organic sulfur that is found in all living organisms. MSM is a sulfur compound that can be found in fresh fruits and vegetables, milk, fish and grains, but quickly destroyed when foods are processed. Critics states it’s just a form of DMSO and individuals should be leery of its claims.
DMSO is formed as a by-product of wood pulp processing and used for anything from a prescription drug to antifreeze to prescription drugs. The medical grade of DMSO is used to protect human tissue (stems cells, or bone marrow) when frozen storage; and is approved by the FDA as drug called Rimso that is used for some bladder conditions.
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Many of the natural remedies for arthritis may not work for everyone. That is the beauty of using natural alternatives, if something does not work then you can simply move on to another alternative that might be a better fit to your body’s needs.
As stated on Anti-Inflammatory Herbs for Arthritis, my dad unfortunately suffered with rheumatoid arthritis and died from being over medicated on prescription drugs for years. Since some forms of arthritis can possibly be hereditary or genetic my sister and I started studying and researching natural alternatives for this disease. We both have always been prone to seeking natural alternatives, however, for me our dad’s death was a ‘rude wake-up call’ to just how harmful prescription drugs can be. So my thoughts are now that if I can find something naturopathic to remedy aches and pains of the body that will be my first preferred step.
Disclaimer: This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Before engaging in any complementary medical technique, including the use of natural or herbal remedies, you should do your own research, and then consult your present physician. If your doctor does not believe in alternative medicines and you would like to give them a try then find a reputable doctor familiar with alternative medicines that can assist you in deciding what treatments might meet your specific needs.
add'l info on Arthritis
- Arthritis-Foods That Trigger Symptoms - Alternative Medicine
Some arthritis suffers might find relief from their symptoms by keeping a food diary.
- Arthritis Foundation | Symptoms Treatments | Prevention Tips | Pain Relief Advice
more Info on Naturopathic Medicine
- The 6-Week Arthritis Cure | The Dr. Oz Show
Don't want to be one of the over 16,500 Americans who unnecessarily die yearly from arthritis medications? Although these medications can sometimes be helpful, natural remedies have been shown to be...
- Naturopathic Medicine for Arthritis - altMD.com Article
Naturopathic medicine offers a natural way to soothe the pain, inflammation, and related symptoms of arthritis while addressing the root cause of t...