Rheumatism and Arthritis - Symptoms, Causes and Its Control With Natural Home Remedies
In simple words, rheumatism is any condition that presents itself in the form of a swelling or inflammation and pain in the muscles, joints, tendons or tissue.
This is a very generalised term used to describe various problems that affect the joints and the tissues connecting it or the connective tissue.
Though this term is used in common speech it is hardly used nowadays in medical or technical literature as it does not specify any particular disorder.
The new medical terminology for Rheumatism is Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) which is a specific pain in the joints which can affect the joints of the arms and legs and make them inflamed, swollen and painful. RA is a severely debilitating disease and can reduce mobility and day to day functioning, if not managed well.
Rheumatism or Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can be mistaken for osteoarthritis but the essential difference is that in RA the lining of the joint is inflamed while in osteoarthritis the joints and ligaments undergo wear and tear.
RA if not treated can leave joints deformed due to the cartilage getting eroded leading to denuded bones but there is no permanent deformation in osteoarthritis.
RA has no permanent cure. Physical therapy to improve mobility of the affected joint, medicines to relieve the inflammation and slow down the damage to joints and reduce pain are normally advised. Some light exercises may also be prescribed.
Sometimes corrective surgery is undertaken in case the damage is severe.
However, weather affects the various rheumatic pains which increase in wet and cold weather and decrease as the climate becomes hot and dry.
Causes Of Rheumatism
Some of these are :
- The primary cause of rheumatism is the presence of toxin wastes in the blood. Foods like meat, refined sugar & cereals, white bread etc are the main culprits. These toxins collect around the joints and bones when the metabolism is low and cause rheumatism.
- Infections of the teeth and tonsils can also precipitate rheumatism.
- Hormonal imbalances
- Faulty gall bladder function
Some Ways To Get Relief From Rheumatism
- Take warm water enema to clear the bowels.
- Foment the affected joints/ body parts with hot packs. You can also take a hot tub bath, steam bath etc.
- Perform some light exercises, yoga, and pranayama.
- Stay away from cold and damp areas.
- Avoid meat, spices, tea & coffee, smoking, alcohol, white bread, refined cereals and sugar, sour things like pickles and sauces.
- Increase consumption of fresh vegetables & fruits, nuts & grains.
Arthritis too is a painful and inflamed condition of the muscles, involving one or more joints with swelling, redness, warmth and stiffness. It is a progressively degenerative disease. Though it has no cure it can be managed and controlled.
Arthritis mainly occurs in two forms - Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis affects the elderly while rheumatoid arthritis can affect any age group.
A form of arthritis called juvenile rheumatoid arthritis affects children below the age of 16 years.
Causes Of Arthritis
Some of them are :
- Injuries which can cause osteoarthritis apart from age-related causes.
- Metabolic disorders like excess uric acid production and low excretion causing a state of high uric acid concentration in the body predisposing factors to Gout - a form of arthritis.
- Heredity factors.
- Bacterial and viral infections affecting the joints.
- Issues with the immune system leading to autoimmunity causing inflammation of the joint & tissues surrounding it, as in rheumatoid arthritis.
- Obesity causing excess pressure on the joints.
- Sedentary lifestyle.
- Unhealthy fat and oil-rich diet.
Some Ways To Tackle Arthritis
- Stay warm. However, do not bandage the affected joint tightly as it will hamper the blood circulation around it.
- Take enough rest in a well-ventilated room when you have an acute attack.
- Taking a bath in seawater helps. The iodine content in the seawater maintains a healthy acid-alkali balance, removes toxic wastes, repairs the tissues. Iodine is absorbed through the skin thus correcting the imbalance in the body.
- Do yoga asanas, which will increase the blood flow around the joints due to the stretching movements. The joints will loosen up and the muscles will get toned and strong leading to less pain.
- Pranayama or yogic breathing will increase the oxygen intake to the tissues and blood thereby increasing the energy level and reducing the stress on the body due to the pain. This will aid in better sleep.
- Meditation reduces stress and will calm the mind thereby reducing the pain and healing the body.
The yoga asanas, pranayama and meditation can be practised by those suffering from rheumatism too.
Natural foods As Remedies In Rheumatism & Arthritis
Some natural foods that help in alleviating symptoms of rheumatism are :
Rub lemon juice on the affected joints regularly to relieve pain and swelling.
Drink the juice of 1 lemon mixed in a glass of water first thing in the morning. Lemon juice reduces the excess acidity blood and tissues due to which pain of the joints, muscles, tendons, etc is reduced.
Lemon juice water works very well in Gout as it increases alkalinity and hence aids in dissolving the uric acid crystals and facilitating its removal from the body.
Consume grapes early in the morning. They help in dissolving the uric acid crystals as they make the urine alkaline.
In a glass of water, add 25 gms dry amla and 50 gms jaggery. Boil this till 1/4 th water remains. Strain and drink twice a day. Avoid table salt.
- Take 1-2 tsp of potato juice before meals to remove the toxic wastes.
- Wash about 30 gms potato peels. Boil in 1/2 litre of water till 250 ml remains. Drink 2-3 times daily. The peels contain vital mineral salts.
Add some onion juice to mustard oil and massage on the affected joint for relief.
Take 5-10 drops of a fluid extract of celery seeds, in hot water before meals. It tones the kidneys and stomach.
The seeds can also be powdered and used as a condiment.
Boil 10 gms ginger powder in 100 ml water. Cool. Add honey or sugar to taste. Do daily.
Consume 4-5 walnuts daily and chew them well.
Massage the affected joint with neem oil. One can also take steam from boiling water in which some neem leaves have been added.
The hot leaves can be tied as a poultice for additional benefit.
METHI DANA (FENUGREEK SEEDS)
Soak 4 tsp fenugreek seeds in water at night. In the morning strain the water. Warm it and drink.
Tie the soaked seeds in a wet cloth & keep for sprouting. Once sprouted, eat them. Do not add salt or pepper. Do this every day.
- Massage garlic oil on the affected joint. It reduces inflammation and pain.
- Eat a few garlic cloves every day. Crush the garlic cloves and let them sit for about 10 minutes before consuming.
KARELA (BITTER GOURD)
- Apply juice of bitter gourd on the affected joint.
- Juice of leaves can also be applied.
- Drink 1 cup juice to which 1 tsp honey has been added for at least 3 months.
Heat 1-litre water. Stir in 4 tsp salt. Use this water to give hot fomentation to the affected joint.
TURMERIC, GINGER AND FENUGREEK
Mix equal quantities of turmeric powder, ginger powder and powdered fenugreek seeds. Take 1 tsp of this with water in the morning and 1 tsp at night. This is wonderful.
Consuming honey daily benefits by giving relief from pain.
- How I live successfully with Rheumatoid Arthritis
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The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or embarking on a new health regime.
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2012 Rajan Singh Jolly