Have you ever awakened in the morning to sore, stiff joints? Do lids that were once easy to remove now seem to stick tightly to the jars of their own will? Have you ever taken a simple fall to discover that it caused you to break a wrist or hip bone? If you answered yes to any of these questions you are probably one of the millions of people suffering from arthritis or osteoporosis. These diseases are common in today’s society and can cause slight pain and loss of height or severe, debilitating pain and ugly disfiguration. Do not worry as changing your diet and exercise patterns can prevent and help these diseases.
To understand how to prevent and treat arthritis and osteoporosis we must better understand how the diseases attack the body.
Osteoarthritis is an extremely common disease because it is a natural consequence of aging. Osteoarthritis has been found in the joints of Egyptian mummies, animals and even dinosaurs. Because of the incredible daily wear and tear of the joints, the cartilage between the joints gradually begins to degenerate which causes inflammation and pain. This disease becomes debilitating when it occurs in the weight bearing joints such as the knees, hips and spine.
Though osteoarthritis is considered a disease everyone will experience, some people never suffer from it. For example, people in Africa do excessive heavy work which puts extreme strain on the joints, yet they don’t get osteoarthritis. In trying to discover how the African people avoid this painful disease, scientists found that Africans who moved to America, began eating American food and changed to a more sedentary lifestyle also had osteoarthritis when they were older. So, osteoarthritis may not come just from old age, inadequate diet and exercise may also be a cause.
For a person suffering with osteoarthritis, a doctor will commonly recommend large doses of aspirin or non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen. These over-the-counter drugs do help ease the pain, but studies show that they may inhibit cartilage repair and actually speed up the damage to joint cartilage. These drugs may also cause ringing in the ears and gastric irritation. In this way they are not only covering up the problem, but helping to make matters worse. Luckily there are natural products which can relieve the pain by helping to solve the problem.
Vitamin E has the ability to inhibit the enzymes which commonly breakdown cartilage. It also stimulates the body to re-build damaged cartilage.
Vitamin C w/ Bioflavonoids is important to building bone material such as collagen. Studies show animals given high doses of vitamin C had less cartilage erosion than other animals. Flavonoids enhance collagen (bone material) strength and protect the joints from free radical damage.
SC Formula contains shark cartilage which is believed to help repair damaged human cartilage. Studies show shark cartilage eaten before meals reduced the pain for 50-60% of arthritic patients.
Morinda has been used by many people who report that it is helping to clear arthritis. The fruit stimulates tissue growth and repair.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. Antibodies develop against components of joint tissues and the body actually begins to destroy it’s own tissue, thinking it is an invader. People with rheumatoid arthritis not only experience joint stiffness and inflammation which can lead to severe joint pain, but they also have extreme fatigue, weakness and a low fevers.
Scientists studying rheumatoid arthritis feel it may be connected to abnormal bowel function. People with rheumatoid arthritis have been found to have increased intestinal permeability. Because of this intestinal condition, large particles of undigested food are able to escape into the blood stream. These particles settle into the tissues causing inflammation. Not only do these particles deposit in the joints, but they also go to other tissues such as the lungs, spleen and skin. Because the body is not prepared to use such large food particles, it sees the particles as invaders and prepares antibodies to fight them. Scientists believe the particles are so similar to the body tissues that antibodies are built against the particles and the body’s own tissues.
There are specific foods which have been shown to commonly cause this reaction in the body. What foods the body is “allergic” to will be different in each person, but dairy products, eggs, beef, wheat, corn and food additives are the leading allergens for rheumatoid arthritis. Doctors feel that 1/3 of all patients with rheumatoid arthritis have allergies to plants of the nightshade family such as potatoes, peppers, eggplants, tomatoes and tobacco.
One of the first steps in treating rheumatoid arthritis is to find the foods to which you are allergic and eliminate them from the diet. With doctor supervision, many patients go on week long fast. This gives the body time to eliminate particles currently causing the problem and patients often find relief of symptoms after fasting. After the fast, foods are slowly reintroduced to the diet. Careful attention is given to how the food affects the body. Foods that cause arthritic symptoms should be eliminated from the diet.
People with rheumatoid arthritis can also benefit from herbs which help clear toxins from the body, reduce inflammation and provide the nutrients and stimulation for bone growth.
JNT-Ease contains the following:
JNT-A is a combination designed to relieve the pain and inflammation of arthritis. Here are some of the herbs in JNT-A. Yucca reduces inflammation and and contains saponins which help the body to rebuild cartilage. Alfalfa provides other minerals important to bone growth. Capsicum gets blood moving, bringing nutrients to joints. Horsetail supplies silica that is essential to healthy bones.
Glucosamine Sulfate stimulates the body to rebuild damaged cartilage. This formula also contains – una de gato – an herbal anti-inflammatory.
Proactazyme helps the body have sufficient enzymes to break down food. Having enough enzymes is also important for the person with rheumatoid arthritis to clear the allergens which are causing inflammation. The body destroys these allergens by excreting enzymes on them.
Flax Seed Oil contains Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids which thin the blood and lower cholesterol. In this way flax seed oil can help people with rheumatoid arthritis who may have trouble clearing the allergens from the body because of high fat and cholesterol diets which lower circulation and impair immune system function. Flax seed oil also regulates cell functions such as nutrient intake and pain sensations, thereby providing the cartilage and joints with needed nutrients and relieving arthritic pain.
BON-C is a Chinese formula developed to help heal damaged cartilage and bones. It contains yarrow an anti-inflammatory herb. Plantain is a mucilant which stimulates the immune system and aids intestinal problems. Rehmannia brings down fevers and was used specifically by the Chinese to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Mullein soothes swollen joints.
Gout is a form of arthritis that has been known for many years as the disease of the rich man. Pictures show him with a chicken leg in one hand and his bare foot resting high on a pillow. Because the American diet is high in meat, gout now has become a disease for every man and woman.
Gout occurs when a person has an excess of uric acid in the blood stream. A person can have excess uric acid in the blood stream because of a metabolism defect, but more commonly a person has excess uric acid because of a diet high in proteins, specifically meats including organ meats. Meats contain purines which are converted into uric acid. When too much meat is consumed, the body is unable to handle the uric acid and it forms small crystals which deposit in the joints. These crystals cause irritation in the joints and the person will experience sudden, severe pain accompanied with swelling, redness and heat. Gout commonly affects only a single joint, usually the joint of the big toe, and the pain usually only lasts a few days, but those suffering with chronic gout will have damaged joints and uric acid deposits in all areas of cartilage. The excess uric acid may also cause kidney stones.
At the first symptoms of gout, the sufferer can help to stop the disease by eliminating or dramatically decreasing foods which stimulate uric acid production, such as fatty fish, meat and caffeine. Alcohol should also be eliminated from the diet as it inhibits uric acid secretion from the kidneys. On the other hand, celery seed increases the elimination of uric acid and may help gout sufferers.
The Facts about Osteoporosis
You may not be worried about osteoporosis because you have heard it is a disease women get when they are older and they don’t have enough calcium in their diets. Part of this belief is true, but there are more facts of which you should be aware. By learning the facts early, you can take the steps to prevent this disease.
Fact 1: Osteoporosis is not just a deficiency in calcium. When people have only a calcium shortage, they have a disease called osteomalacia. With osteoporosis there is a lack of calcium, but there is also a loss of other minerals as well as a decrease in other bone components such as collagen. To prevent or treat osteoporosis, supplementation should include calcium in combination with other minerals and vitamins.
Calcium with Magnesium & Vitamin D contains calcium which comes from bone meal and is easy to absorb. Magnesium, phosphorus and vitamin D all must be present for calcium to be properly used and they all work together to build bone, so they are found in this formula. Alfalfa is also included because it is high in trace minerals which are also important to bone strength.
Early supplementation with vitamins and minerals has been shown to decrease the risk of osteoporosis. Target Endurance Formula contains vitamins and minerals chelated to amino acids making them easier for the body to absorb.
Fact 2: Older women are the most likely to suffer with osteoporosis, but men and younger people of both sexes can also have osteoporosis.
To prevent bone loss because of hormonal changes, women can take a progesterone supplement. Pro-G-Yam is a cream which contains 5 mg of progesterone in an herbal base of wild yam, yucca, chamomile, ginkgo and horestail. Wild yam also contains a plant estrogen which has been shown to have estrogenic effects in women. Phyto-Soy also is high in plant estrogens and may prevent bone loss.
Fact 3: Certain foods in the diet can lead to osteoporosis. Diets high in protein, sodium, sugar and caffeine cause calcium to be excreted through the urine and the body must take it from the bones for other needs. People with osteoporosis should eliminate or drastically reduce these foods from their diets.