Arthritis has reached epidemic proportions, striking an estimated one in three adults in the United States. Tino Mantella, President of the Arthritis Foundation, says “Arthritis is the number one cause of disability and affects more people than ever imagined.” Although we associate arthritis with aging, almost two-thirds of people suffering from arthritis have not yet reached the age of 65. In many instances there are natural treatments that stop arthritis or can be effective in lessening the condition and its pain, even when mainstream drugs and treatments have failed.
What is arthritis?
The word arthritis literally means joint inflammation (arthr=joint, itis=inflammation). Arthritis can be debilitating and severely impact a person’s life. It is a degenerative disease affecting the joints that causes pain and limits mobility. Depending on the type of arthritis, the joints can lose their flexibility in different ways. For example, loss of flexibility could be due to inflammation, loss of cartilage elasticity, a lack of synovial fluid, autoimmunity (when the body attacks itself), or an infection. Although uncommon, juveniles and young adults may are also affected.
Osteoarthritis and Aging
Osteoarthritis, is the most common type of arthritis and is associated with aging. However, osteoarthritis can also occur after an injury. This type of arthritis involves cartilage losing its elasticity. Cartilage acts as a shock absorber and when it becomes damaged, tendons and ligaments stretch. This can become pronounced enough that the bones of the joint rub against each other, causing severe pain. The onset of osteoarthritis is gradual. Besides pain, other symptoms include stiffness, especially in the morning, and loss of flexibility.
Rheumatoid Arthritis and Auto-Immune Conditions
Rheumatoid arthritis is believed to be an autoimmune response. This type of arthritis involves the attack of the synovium (the synovial membrane) which causes swelling, inflammation, and pain. Deformity can occur if left untreated. Although this type of arthritis is also associated with age, in rare instances, it can affect young adults and children. There are three types of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA):
- Pauciarticular JRA is the most common and mildest form. With this type of arthritis, the child experiences pain in a maximum of four joints.
- Polyarticular JRA is more severe and affects five or more joints. Polyarticular JRA can worsen in time.
- Systemic JRA is the least common but it can be the most serious. Many joints are affected and it can also spread to the organs.
A child with JRA may experience intermittent fevers, anemia and poor appetite, which can result in weight loss.
Septic Arthritis and Infection
Septic arthritis (infectious arthritis) is caused by an infection in the synovial fluid and joint tissues. Fever, inflammation, and swelling, may be present.
How arthritis affects people
Arthritis affects people differently. Most find that they have “good” and “bad” days. In most instances, a person need not give up an active lifestyle. With the proper exercise and natural remedies, arthritis can be controlled or eliminated, and its impact on the person’s life can be minimized.
Natural help for arthritis sufferers
If you have arthritis, what you eat is very important. Raw fruits and vegetables, together with foods containing Omega 3 fatty acids should be the main focus. Foods rich in Omega 3s include sardines, herring, trout, tuna and salmon. Fatty foods such as red meats should be avoided. Eating a healthy and well balanced diet is crucial for a person with arthritis. Keep in mind that excess weight puts additional pressure on the affected joints. Many have found relief from arthritis simply by forsaking unhealthy foods and shedding those unwanted pounds.
Bones and joints can degenerate due to a deficiency in vitamins and minerals. A best quality full spectrum multivitamin and mineral supplement will help to give joints the necessary nutrients to maintain themselves. Minerals are as important as vitamins because they are the building blocks of enzymes that are necessary in the utilization of vitamins. Good digestion is critical for the proper absorption of vitamins and minerals.
Natural remedies for arthritis
Mounting an attack against arthritis on every front will bring the best results. Here are highly effective natural remedies that address swelling, pain, infection, inflammation and digestion:
*Colloidal gold can reduce inflammation and relieve arthritis pain. Regular consumption of colloidal gold has been reported to increase flexibility in arthritic joints.
*Colloidal silver can be an excellent agent in the treatment of septic arthritis. Colloidal silver effectively kills pathogens, even those becoming resistant to antibiotics. It helps to repair bones, tissues, and nerves.
*Organic sulfur helps the body form connective tissue. It is effective in reducing the swelling that leads to arthritic pain.
*Glucosamine and chondroitin are two molecules that compose the cartilage found in joints. They can aid the process of cartilage repair, thereby reducing inflammation, swelling, and pain.
*Collagen supports joint elasticity and restores cartilage. Vitamin C is necessary for collagen formation.
*Silica is vital for bone formation and connective tissue. Silica helps to maintain healthy joints and eases the pain of arthritis.
*Digestive enzymes help to break up fibrin and scar tissue that may be associated with arthritis.
*Herbs such as boswellia, cayenne, devil’s claw, horsetail, licorice root, turmeric, white willow, and yucca, are also effective in relieving arthritis symptoms.
*Hot castor oil packs applied to the affected joints also bring relief.
Several juices are effective in treating arthritis. These include potato, black cherry, and beet juices. People with rheumatoid arthritis should include juices that are high in anti-inflammatory nutrients such as beta-carotene (found in parsley, broccoli and spinach) and copper (found in carrots, apples, and ginger).
Lastly, exercise is very important in order to maintain flexibility and mobility. Moderate exercise strengthens the muscles around the joints and increases mobility, flexibility, and endurance. Water exercises are highly recommended for people with arthritis. Other forms of recommended exercise are walking, yoga, or even playing a round of golf.