Saturday, July 6, 2013

Can Fish Oil Pills Relieve Arthritis?

If you are suffering from arthritis, fish oil pills may just be your magic pills Arthritis is a group of medical conditions caused by damage to the joints. It is a disease rampant among people over 55. Arthritis can limit the movements of your joints. Arthritis comes in many forms. There's rheumatoid arthritis, which is characterized with inflammation and pain. Then there's osteoarthritis, which is caused by damage to cartilages in the joints. A lot of people suffer from this musculoskeletal condition without safe and effective treatment. But there just might be a magic pill for arthritis. Several studies have shown that fish oils are good for arthritis. Trials done on people suffering from arthritis proved that twelve weeks of fish oil intake already reduces pain, inflammation, and stiffness of the joints. Fish oil pills contain Omega-3 fatty acids, elements that can help in joint aches, pains, and other muscular and joint conditions such as arthritis and rheumatism, among many others. One type of Omega-3 fatty acid, EPA or eicosapentaenoic acid, is directly associated with relief from arthritis and its symptoms.

Aside from bringing benefits to the brain and other parts of the body, EPA doubles as an anti-inflammatory agent. It helps relieve inflammation, a symptom of rheumatoid arthritis. Fish oil can also protect the cartilages from severe damages, which makes it a great treatment for osteoarthritis. There are other treatment options for arthritis. Popular medications used for arthritis are NSAIDs or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. But there are some controversies regarding the safety of NSAIDs. Some health experts are concerned about the side effects of these medications, especially when taken in excess. That's why an alternative treatment for arthritis is highly necessary. It's a good thing that we can turn to fish oil pills. They are safer to take. They are natural substances that do not contain harmful substances as long as they are taken from the right types of fish and placed through purification processes.

Good-quality supplements can treat arthritis without causing any unpleasant and unexpected effects. They are also easily absorbed by the body. The EPA content of these supplements come in a form that is easily recognized by the body. Fish oil also has preventive action, which means that it not only treats arthritis but prevents it and its symptoms. But another big reason why they are great treatment for arthritis is that taking them is like hitting many birds with one stone. They won't just treat your arthritis; it will also bring even more valuable benefits to your body. It can bring a full array of other health benefits.

It can help with your heart health, cognitive health, and has been associated with benefits to digestion, skin, vision, and a lot more. Your body can revel in all the great benefits of fish oil pills, especially if you choose the right types. So there you have it, as a consumer, it is recommended that you look for pharmaceutical-grade, molecularly distilled fish oil pills made from certain fish species.

Arthritis Treatment: How to Use Biomarkers to Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis

Wouldn't it be great to have a blood test that could predict how to treat a patient with rheumatoid arthritis?

Well, perhaps there may be soon.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis. It is a systemic autoimmune condition that not only leads to joint destruction but to internal organ damage as well if not optimally treated.

One area of science that has gotten a lot of funding in RA is biomarker research. Biomarkers are tissue markers that have predictive value. The have been used to predict disease susceptibility, disease activity, and even potential response to treatment.

There are different categories of biomarkers. The first category is the antibody. These are proteins the body produces that are directed against abnormal proteins.

There are two examples. The first is rheumatoid factor. This is an antibody that is present in the blood of 80 per cent of people with RA. Rheumatoid factor is associated with increased amounts of disease early but is less predictive later in the course of illness. Also, rheumatoid factor can be found to be elevated in other disease conditions such as syphilis, sarcoidosis, leprosy, and bacterial endocarditis (heart infection).

Another biomarker antibody is anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide or anti-CCP. It is more specific for RA than rheumatoid factor and is also predictive of more disease severity and a worse prognosis. Patients with anti-CCP must be treated aggressively.

There are inflammatory biomarkers that are also helpful in treating patients. The old time-honored test is the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) or sed rate. The ESR correlates with disease activity but is not very specific. It can be elevated in many other disease states.

The C-reactive protein or CRP correlates with disease activity and response to treatment much more quickly than the ESR does.

There are two other lesser known inflammatory biomarkers. One is interferon. The higher the level of this substance, the more likely it is the patients will respond to biologic treatment with anti-tumor necrosis drugs.

Interleukin 1 receptor antagonist is another inflammatory marker. Again, the higher the level of this marker is, the greater the likelihood of response to anti-TNF treatment.

Biomarker levels do more than predict disease severity and possible response to treatment with certain drugs. They also correlate, in many instances, with likelihood for disability as well as x-ray progression of disease.

While some feel that blood biomarkers can predict response to different categories of drugs, these theories remain to be proven.

Velvet Antler For Arthritis - Does it Really Work?

For several centuries and in various cultures throughout the world, the use of Velvet Antler persists as an extremely popular natural healing method. In some countries - notably Japan, China, Korea, and Russia - It is widely used for its anti-inflammatory properties and ability to improve the immune system.

What is Velvet Antler?

Velvet antler is literally a type of antler that is collected only once per year from a particular elk that inhabits various farms in different parts of the world. Once annually, the male elk sheds a set of antlers. During springtime, the velvet is regularly gathered by elk breeders which are then later sent to appropriate laboratories.

Note that annual antler shedding is a natural phenomenon, and there is no need to worry that animals are harmed in the process. In fact, the procedure has been approved by animal rights activists all over the world. Because it is produced yearly in various farms, it makes for a great renewable resource for arthritic patients.

Treatment For Rheumatoid Arthritis

Velvet Antler has been proven to be particularly effective in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, a condition characterized by the weakening of the immune system which gradually leads to inflammation and other related problems.

Scientific studies have documented the presence of fatty acids, collagen, trace mineral, amino acids, and functional proteins in Velvet Antler. In combination, these essential elements provide a powerful remedy for rheumatoid arthritis as well as a number of other diseases. To date, very few prescription drugs actually cure rheumatoid arthritis without giving rise to some severe side effects and related complications. This is why Velvet Antler, with its natural curative properties, is a generally popular option.

Treatment For Osteoarthritis

In addition to curing rheumatoid arthritis, Velvet Antler has also been known to relieve the symptoms of osteoarthritis. It's chemical components, namely Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids, glycosamino glycans, calcium, and various others, have been scientifically proven to reduce inflammation within the human body.

In particular, Velvet Antler contains an abundance of Chrondoitin, a chemical that strengthens the proteoglycan molecules which support the cartilage of animals and humans alike. Because of this, it can be used to effectively restore joint function among osteoarthritis patients.

Medical Research and Scientific Studies

In addition to the various user testimonies attesting to the efficiency of Velvet Antler, scientific research continues to uncover more benefits of the product. In fact, recent studies indicate that the full potential of the product has yet to be harnessed.

To date, various experimentations are currently being done to develop a new medicine based on Velvet Antler with the primary aim of healing both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, but without the harmful and potentially life-threatening side effects of currently available medications.

There are now a number of pharmaceutically available products that are based on Velvet Antler. Users of such products claim that these are indeed effective in relieving inflammation and joint pain. More importantly, these users have not detected any side effects such as heart palpitation, severe mood swings, and others.

Arthritis and It's Treatment

Arthritis is a group of more than 100 diseases that cause pain, swelling, and damage to a person's joints and the surrounding tissues. It is a widespread and serious condition that affects nearly 70 million Americans, or one in three adults. The disease is a complex disorder that includes more than 100 different conditions, it can affect people at any stage of life.

It's often misunderstood, largely due to misconceptions, misinformation, and myths which persist. Arthritis is the inflammation of a joint, usually accompanied by pain, stiffness and swelling. It is a term that is used to describe inflammation of the joints. The disease is the number one cause of disability in the United States. It is a huge problem that does not have a good medical solution, as any sufferer knows.

Rheumatoid Arthritis:

This is an autoimmune disease that causes the joints and the tissue around the joints to become inflamed. Rheumatoid is marked by being tender to touch with warm, swollen and stiff joints. It can also cause inflammation of the tissue around the joints, as well as in other organs in the body. The symptoms: Did you know that low back pain is one of the earliest symptoms of arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common serious inflammatory form of the disease.


There are over a hundred different types of arthritis joint pain but the most common are osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and gout. There are two main types of osteoarthritis, those that develop as a part of older age, and those cases that develop in connection with other disorders or conditions. Osteoporosis and Rheumatoid Arthritis are the two most common types.

Degenerative joint disease results from inflammation in the joints and is generally divided into two types degenerative and inflammatory according to the source of that irritation. All types of the disease share the common findings of inflammation, joint destruction, and soft tissue changes that cause pain and limited movement. If left undiagnosed and untreated, many types can cause irreversible damage to the joints, bones, and organs.


Treatment plans usually combine several forms of treatment and vary depending on the type of arthritis and the patient. Treatment may vary depending on the severity of the condition. Treatment often includes physical therapy as a method to keep joints and muscles toned and working, and as a pain reliever. Treatment options include: Anti-Inflammatory Medications: These medications can help treat the pain, and also help decrease inflammation and swelling around the joints. Treatment is a cornerstone of therapy of any form of arthritis, is physical therapy and occupational therapy to maintain joint mobility and range of motion. An effective treatment plan for the disease can help manage the pain.


I hope you find the information and article I have written useful to you in some way. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. Any medical information published in this article is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care professional.

Arthritis Treatment Using Natural Medicines

There are two main players who have shown themselves to be very popular in natural arthritis treatment, these are glucosamine and fish oil.


Like other tissue in the body, joint cartilage is built and repaired using nutrients. For joint cartilage, one of the most useful nutrients is glucosamine sulfate. It can help to repair cartilage that has been damaged by long term wear.
Glucosamine is one of the building blocks of healthy cartilage, used by the body to give the joint cartilage strength and also to carry moisture which is important to allow full normal joint mobility.

Glucosamine sulphate has been tested in clinical trials and found to assist in the management of osteoarthritis helping to reduce joint swelling, pain and inflammation, and increasing joint mobility. Unlike some treatments that mask the joint pain, glucosamine can help to maintain cartilage health while moderating the arthritic pain.

Clinical trials with glucosamine sulphate have generally used a dose of 1500 mg a day, divided into 3 doses. Patience is required when first taking glucosamine as it usually takes 4 to 6 weeks to feel any benefit from the supplement.

Glucosamine - is it suitable for everyone?

It is important to talk to your doctor or pharmacist before using glucosamine. This is especially important if you have diabetes. You should not take glucosamine if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Glucosamine is derived from seafood; therefore it should not be taken if you are allergic to seafood or fish.


Chondroitin sulphate is derived from shark cartilage and is another substance that plays a part in your body's manufacture of cartilage. Chondroitin is sometimes added to supplements that contain glucosamine and is not usually available by itself. Chondroitin has been as widely researched as glucosamine, but some people find that they have a greater improvement in symptoms when they take a supplement with chondroitin in it.

You should not take chondroitin if you are pregnant, planning to be pregnant or after pregnancy while breastfeeding. You also not take chondroitin if you are allergic to seafood or fish.

Fish Oil

Fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, substances that can be used by the body to help reduce inflammation. Fish oil has been widely used to provide temporary relief from the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. A number of studies have consistently found that fish oil is especially effective in reducing morning stiffness and the number of tender joints in people with rheumatoid arthritis, and may help improve the effectiveness of prescribed arthritis medication.

It is also a good idea to increase the amount of fish they eat. When you increase the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet, it is important to reduce the amount of omega-6 fatty acids as omega-6 has the opposite effect as omega-3 in the body and actually encourages inflammation.
Foods that are high in omega-6 fatty acids (and therefore should be avoided) include:

  • Nuts - almonds, brazil, cashews, peanuts, pecans, pine nuts, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds

  • Oils and spreads - made from sunflower, safflower, peanut, sesame, and other vegetable oils. Instead, use olive oil, olive oil spreads, canola oil and canola oil spreads

How much Fish Oil do I Take?

The Arthritis Foundation suggests 2 to 3 x 1g (1000mg) capsules of fish oil a day is usually enough to assist in managing arthritis if you are also eating fish. If you are not eating fish you may increase the dosage and take 5 to 6 1g capsules a day. Always discuss your requirements with a health care professional.

It is also recommended to take vitamin E supplements of around 400 - 800mg a day. The vitamin E protects the omega-3 fatty acids fro oxidization so they can work properly in your body.

Is Fish Oil Suitable for Everyone?

If you have rheumatoid arthritis and you are interested in taking a fish oil supplement, you should first talk to your doctor. This is very important if you are taking any other medicines, and especially if you are taking any blood-thinning medicines (such as warfarin or heparin).

You should not take any natural medicine while pregnant or breastfeeding without first talking to your doctor or obstetrician.

Doctor...Why Does Arthritis Cause Fatigue?

Fatigue is extremely common in patients who have arthritis. While it is a common complaint in patients who have "bread and butter" types of arthritis like osteoarthritis, it is even more common in patients who have inflammatory disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. Fatigue is often a sign of a flare of disease.

Another condition often accompanied by fatigue is fibromyalgia.

There are many factors that may be responsible for fatigue.

Sometimes it is the body's method for dealing with a chronic painful condition. The body craves rest because it uses so much energy to combat the pain.

Another common reason is that arthritis often interrupts sleep. Not only is it more difficult to get to sleep but patients will wake up during the night, they will have difficulty falling back to sleep, and they will awaken early in the morning. This early morning awakening may also signal the presence of depression which is also a common problem in patients who have arthritis. Depression is also a cause of fatigue in patients with arthritis.

A corollary to this is stress. Stress not only aggravates the pain of arthritis; it can also aggravate fatigue.

Patients with more serious types of disease may have anemia which compounds the fatigue problem.

Medications can also contribute to fatigue. For instance some patients who are on methotrexate often report a "washed-out" feeling that occurs for one to two days after taking their methotrexate dose.

Fatigue has a major impact on the life of a person with arthritis. It causes daytime sleepiness, difficulty concentrating, and limits interpersonal relationships. Participating in all types of activities becomes more difficult. Also, some people fall into a nasty cycle of feeling tired, taking a nap during the day, which prevents them from getting to sleep that night.

So what can be done?

The most important thing is to get the arthritis under good control. That often improves fatigue by itself. Effective medications often make a big difference!

Correcting anemia is another action step. Sometimes the anemia will correct itself when the disease is controlled. Other times iron deficiency or other problems need to be addressed.

Improving the quality of sleep can help. Changing to a mattress made of memory foam is reported by some patients to be useful.

Getting into a regular sleep cycle is a good idea. Avoid large meals and caffeinated beverages before going to sleep. Sounds like common sense but too many people don't follow common sense rules1

Medicines that adversely affect sleep like prednisone and hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) should be taken in the morning rather than in the evening.

A nice hot bath or shower before going to bed sometimes is helpful. Using warm moist heating pads is also a nice thing to try. Getting into a regular relaxing routine that consists of reading, listening to soft music, etc. can also ensure good quality sleep.

Regular exercise is another contributor to good quality sleep. Lack of exercise often causes fatigue. Regular exercise provides more energy, increases stamina, and improves sleep.

Stress reduction is an obvious benefit.

Eating a well-balanced diet can also contribute to less fatigue.

Patients should try to avoid prescription sleeping pills if possible. Herbal remedies may be useful though.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Is There a Natural Cure For Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Many people wonder if there is a natural cure for rheumatoid arthritis. Most doctors will tell patients who have been diagnosed with the disease that there is no proven cure for arthritis. What they mean is that modern medicine has been unable to come up with any cure for this condition. The question that many people ask then is whether there is a cure to be found in natural treatments.

Modern medicine has yet to determine the exact cause of RA. Without this information, they are unable to formulate an effective cure. There have however been some instances where people have found natural cures for arthritis. In all of these cases, the cure had something to do with their diet.

Treatment with Foods

The most promising natural treatment seems to involve seafood. Fish, in particular, seems to be particularly effective at curing arthritis. Some people discovered that when they added fish to their regular diets, their arthritis symptoms lessened. They continued to improve with continuous intake of fish. Eventually, people realized that it was the fish oils in the fish that was treating their arthritis problems.

Studies have since shown that there is a scientific basis behind this form of natural treatment for RA. The answer lies in the omega fatty acids in fish oils as well as other trace elements. These help to address the inflammation caused by arthritis and also the joint degeneration.

In some cases, conventional anti-inflammatory drugs have proven to be ineffective. In such cases, natural supplements derived from fish oils have been effective. In particular, omega-3 fatty acids have been particularly effective at combating rheumatoid arthritis. It works through reducing the effects of inflammatory agents.

Problems with Natural Treatments

While natural treatments do appear to have some potential, they still cannot be considered cures. Rheumatoid arthritis results in damage to the joints and surrounding tissues. Modern medicines have been unable to reverse this damage, and the body is unable to heal it on its own. Natural treatments have also proven to be ineffective at doing so. Thus while natural treatments are useful in treating rheumatoid arthritis, they have not yet reached the level of cures.

Still Useful

While natural treatments for rheumatoid arthritis cannot cure the condition, they should still be taken into consideration. Modern medicines have often proven to be relatively ineffective at treating rheumatoid arthritis. In such cases, people often despair of ever finding any help for their condition. When this happens, they should be made aware of the existence of natural treatments. These treatments are relatively inexpensive, and have often proven to be very effective.

For those who do not wish to consume supplements, simple diet adjustments have been known to work as well. Many fish such as salmon are known to contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. By including fish in their daily diets, patients have been able to greatly improve their arthritis symptoms.

It can therefore be said that there is no proven natural cure for rheumatoid arthritis. However, natural cures should not be simply dismissed, as many doctors are wont to do. So, if you find that modern medicines have no effect on your rheumatoid arthritis, you should seriously consider using natural treatments to control the condition.

Simple Steps To Cure Arthritis Naturally

People who suffer from arthritis often discover that conventional medical treatments for this condition either simply do not work or have side effects that put their joint health at risk, leaving them to wonder if there may be a natural cure for arthritis.

Arthritis is not a curable condition. However, there are natural treatments that have been proven to be effective in reducing the inflammation and pain of this condition, slowing the progression of the disease and in some circumstances even help heal the joints. The following alternative treatments are so effective that many arthritis sufferers feel that one or more of these treatments when used regularly, are almost as good as a cure!

Heat And Cold Therapy

Alternating hot and cold packs on the affected joints can provide almost instant relief for the pain and swelling of arthritis. This therapy is especially helpful when one first begins exercises for arthritis, because they allow you to exercise for short periods with no or little pain as well as reduce swelling, allowing for more range of movement.


Most people who suffer from arthritis can't think of anything more painful than increasing their exercise. However, when done right and regularly, exercise can improve muscles around those painful joints which overtime can result in a better range of movement and less pain. Arthritis exercises should include stretching exercises, resistance training and cardiovascular exercise.


Diet is probably the most effective natural treatment for arthritis. If you are overweight, losing weight will take stress off those arthritic joints, relieving a good deal of pain and discomfort and making movement easier. Even if you are not overweight, certain dietary changes can aid in reducing the symptoms of this condition, along with eating healthy foods that naturally reduce inflammation. Eating hot peppers that contain capsaicin will provide your body with a natural pain killer and taking a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar can help dissolve hard deposits in the joints.

One of the best dietary changes you can make is taking an effective supplement that contains omega-3 fatty acids. Fish oil and green lipped mussel supplements both provide natural relief for those effective joints. Green lipped mussel supplements also contain chondroitin and glucosamine which not only help to lubricate painful joints but may also repair the damaged cartilage, resulting in actually improving your condition.

Following the above steps makes a powerful natural treatment for this condition that can reduce inflammation and swelling, relieve pain and increase your range of movement without any of the side effects you find with drugs.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment

Rheumatoid arthritis treatment aims to accomplish several things:

-Reduce systemic inflammation
-Reduce symptom severity and duration
-Modification of the disease process
-Improve general health
-Send the disease into remission

While RA treatment should deal aggressively with the causes of the disease and seek to treat them first and foremost, the patient is certainly entitled to relief from the sometimes debilitating symptoms of RA.

RA Treatment of Symptoms

For mild to medium RA symptoms such as joint pain and stiffness, various supplements and over the counter medications can be used with good results. Both anti-inflammatory drugs and pain relievers can help treat rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.

Non-steroid anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) such as naproxen and ibuprofen are quite effective for low-grade symptoms but their continued use is not advised as they have a number of potentially serious side-effects such as stomach bleeding.

Several other pain relievers are available both over the counter and by prescription such as opiodes (hydrocodone, oxycodone, etc.) for more serious pain.

RA Treatment via Surgery

The part of the joint that becomes inflamed by RA is the synovial membrane and surgery is sometimes indicated. The purpose of the surgery is to extract the inflamed synovial fluid which helps preserve the joints. The synovia has a discolored appearance which is indicative of inflammation and is sometimes used as a diagnostic tool to check for RA. This surgery is particularly useful when RA is still relatively undeveloped and has a success rate of about 50%.

Rheumatoid arthritis treatment by means of surgery is usually performed on knees, elbows, ankles, shoulders and feet. The surgery requires the cartilage to still be intact and physical therapy is required afterwards.

RA Treatment With Other Methods

There are many other therapies that an individual can employ to ease RA. Diet and exercise, for example, can essentially reverse much of the symptomatic portion of the disease. Specifically, a highly anti-inflammatory diet that avoids grains and often dairy and is high in protein and high-quality fat. This diet is popularly known as the paleo diet and has significant implications for sufferers of inflammatory diseases.

Light use of medical marijuana and alcohol have been endorsed by RA patients as ameliorative.

Exercise and a low-stress lifestyle can improve general health and immunity substantially and thus help the body help itself. However, it should be noted that too much exercise with insufficient recovery periods can actually have an inflammatory effect.

Certain supplements can be useful for RA patients. Fish oil is a highly anti-inflammatory supplement that is very safe even in large doses as it is essentially a food. Patients with active inflammatory processes often see fantastic improvement with high dose (several grams a day) of high-quality fish oil.

Further, MSM, glucosamine and chondroitin are anecdotally reputed to have joint supportive properties although the scientific literature is conflicting.

One rather fascinating supplement that this author has used for non-RA joint pain is Cissus Quadrangularis. This is a fairly new supplement on the market and studies indicate that it is rather safe. It is highly anti-inflammatory and has a powerful analgesic (pain-relieving) effect on joint pain.

Rheumatoid arthritis treatment can take many forms depending on the rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and progression of the disease but it all starts with the patient taking control of diet and exercise.

Rheumatism and Arthritis - What's the Difference?

Rheumatism and arthritis are two bone and muscle diseases that people refer to almost interchangeably. Generally speaking, most people do not really see the difference. After all, both diseases manifest the same symptoms of recurring pain in joints and muscles. While both conditions can sometimes be unbearably painful and afflict older men and women, they are in fact different.

Rheumatism does not refer to a single disease or condition, but to over a 100 conditions based on the location and characteristics of the symptoms. For many years, rheumatism was the generic term used to describe various painful medical conditions related to bones, muscles, joints and tendons, until doctors began to use the term arthritis to describe joint-related ailments.

By definition, arthritis is a disease of the bone joints, where two or more bones come together and connect. When joints begin to show signs of redness, tenderness, and sensitivity to pain, then you are likely to be experiencing arthritis. Rheumatism, on the other hand, affects not just joints, but also bones, ligaments and other vital organs of the body, including heart, lungs, kidneys, and liver. In this context, all arthritis types are forms of rheumatism, while rheumatism is not always arthritis.

The cure and treatment for different types of arthritis or rheumatism depends on certain conditions. Doctors underscore the need for specific treatment for specific cases of arthritis and rheumatism. After all, the different types of arthritis and rheumatism are triggered by many factors, including food, allergens, genetics, and obesity. Among the most common types of rheumatic diseases are ankylosing spondylitis, fibromyalgia, lupus, scleroderma, polymyositis, dermatomyositis, polymyalgia rheumatica, bursitis, tendinitis, vasculitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and complex regional pain syndrome.

On the other hand, the most common cases of arthritis, an ailment characterized by joint related pain, stiffness, inflammation and damage, are rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, juvenile arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, reactive arthritis, infectious arthritis, gout and pseudogout. Just like rheumatism, each type of arthritis requires a separate and distinct treatment. Despite these distinctions, people continue to use the terms interchangeably. Such a lack of knowledge has potentially painful, if not dangerous, consequences for arthritic and rheumatic sufferers, whose best chances to stop the progression of both diseases are when they are just starting to manifest the painful symptoms.

Arthritis and rheumatism inflict the most pain on people who fail to recognize the cause of their affliction and, therefore, are unable to immediately follow the doctor's advice to control both diseases through a balanced, low-uric acid and high-fiber diet, regular exercise, and medication.

Doctor - Does Fish Oil Help Arthritis?

Fish oil has been touted as a remedy for a number of conditions.

Data from at least a few randomized double-controlled studies have demonstrated a beneficial effect of dietary fish oil in rheumatoid arthritis In fact, more than nine studies overall have shown statistically significant reductions in the number of tender joints. In many of these studies, patients were able to lower the amount of non steroidal anti-inflammatory medications and corticosteroids. One study suggested that combining fish oil with olive oil may enhance the anti-inflammatory effects of fish oil. (Kremer J, et al Dietary fish oil and olive oil supplementation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Clinical and immunologic effects. Arthritis Rheum 1990; 33:810-820).

Fish oil works by reducing inflammation. Scant evidence indicates it may retard progression of rheumatoid arthritis... although the effect, if it exists, is relatively mild.

Fish oil is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids which can reduce inflammation. Fish oil also lowers triglycerides and reduces blood pressure therefore protecting against cardiovascular disease as well. This is noteworthy because of the known increase in cardiovascular risk, patients with rheumatoid arthritis have.

It is difficult to get therapeutic amounts of fish oil by eating fish alone. Supplements are advised.

The type of fish oil is important. The oil should be derived from cold-water fish such salmon, cod, mackerel, halibut, tuna, and herring.

Fish oil comes in a variety of preparations. The most common is gel caps. Each gel cap should contain at least thirty per cent EPA/DHA, which are the active compounds. For rheumatoid arthritis about 2.6 grams of fish oil containing 1.6 grams of EPA should be taken twice a day.

A few words of caution. Patients on anticoagulant therapy with warfarin may notice their clotting times will bounce around. Pregnant woman may want to avoid eating cold water fish because of the danger of mercury toxicity. On a lighter note, burps often have a fishy taste and odor.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Rheumatoid Arthritis Tips For Living

There are tons of rheumatoid arthritis tips out there, but which ones really work?

Is it possible to maintain your quality of life after a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis?

Can you still complete your favorite hobbies and necessary tasks with rheumatoid arthritis?

Consider the answers to the questions in addition to the following rheumatoid arthritis tips:

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is a particularly painful inflammatory disease that can also limit mobility by producing stiff, swollen joints.

Considered an autoimmune disease, rheumatoid arthritis can be painful and may potentially create a problem in your life.

However, if you have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, there is hope available. There are many medications on the market that are capable of controlling the symptoms of this autoimmune disease.

Furthermore, there are many non-medical tips that will allow you to control your disease without any extra medications.

Tips For Controlling Rheumatoid Arthritis

If you have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, know that this is not a sentence for the rest of your life.

Although this medical condition can be quite serious, proper treatment will allow you to continue on with your daily activities and beloved hobbies.

You may want to invest in certain items that will allow you to complete certain tasks with assistance, you can enjoy living.

If you have problems performing certain tasks (including opening jars and holding certain cooking utensils), consider purchasing special tools that will allow you to be able to perform the task a great deal easier.

Watching your diet is a huge way to help your condition of rheumatoid arthritis

Quite often, having any additional weight can make your condition a great deal worse, as more weight and pressure is placed on your joint.

If you are interested in increasing your mobility, you may need to look into healthier eating practices.

Many individuals suffering from rheumatoid arthritis found that they can control many of the symptoms by altering their diet to exclude certain foods.

Although studies are still being performed, many individuals have found excluding gluten wheat from their diet has made a huge difference in their condition.

Another way to control your condition is to routinely exercise . Many doctors will recommend that you begin a work out regimen and will be able to assist you with performing the correct exercises.

Although you should certainly not overdo any of the prescribed exercises, having a work out regimen in place will allow you to routinely use your joints.

When your joints are not used, they are more likely to become sore and stiff.

Your joints are much like hinges on a door. When a door is not properly used, the hinges are more likely to open slowly and require a great deal of strength to properly move.

One widely recommended work out routine for individuals with rheumatoid arthritis is water exercises. These exercises take place in a pool, which is incredibly easy on the joints.

Since water has no impact, you do not have to jar your body and joints as if you were working out on terra firma.

Treating Arthritis and Related Conditions Through Drugs

Drug treatment is usually the preferred "traditional" method of managing arthritis. Considerations need to be made regarding each person's individual reactions to side effects and contraindications of various arthritis drugs. With this in mind, acquiring knowledge of the many arthritis drugs available, and working with your doctor to find the most complimentary combination of medications possible can help you make an informed decision.

NSAIDs / COX-2 Inhibitors

Of all arthritis medications, NSAIDs (non-steriodal anti-inflammatory drugs) are one of the most popular and widely prescribed. Three types of NSAIDS include:

  • salicylates - acetylated drugs (aspirin), non-acetylated ones like salsalate (Disalcid), choline magnesium trisalicylate (Trilisate), and magnesium salicylate (Doan's Pills, Novasal).

  • traditional NSAIDs

  • Cox-2 selective inhibitors

NSAIDs function by impeding cyclooxygenase (a COX enzyme) activity. COX enzymes like COX-1, which keep tissues healthy and COX-2, which have to do with inflammation pathways, are both affected by NSAIDs. Research undertaken in the development of NSAIDs has also led to the discovery of COX-2 selective inhibitors.

The Most Commonly Used NSAIDs Include:

  • Ansaid (Flurbiprofen)

  • Arthrotec (Diclofenac/Misoprostol)

  • Cataflam (Diclofenac potassium)

  • Clinoril (Sulindac)

  • Daypro (Oxaprozin)

  • Dolobid (Diflunisal)

  • Feldene (Piroxicam)

  • Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil)

  • Indocin (Indomethacin)

  • Ketoprofen (Orudis, Oruvail)

  • Lodine (Etodolac)

  • Meclomen (Meclofenamate)

  • Mobic (Meloxicam)

  • Nalfon (Fenoprofen)

  • Naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve)

  • Ponstel (Mefanamic Acid)

  • Relafen (Nabumetone)

  • Tolectin (Tolmetin)

  • Voltaren (Dicolfenac Sodium)

COX-2 Selective Inhibitors include:

  • Celebrex (Celecoxib)

  • Vioxx (Rofecoxib) - pulled out of the market

  • Bextra (Valdecoxib) - pulled out of the market


A class of "slow-acting anti-rheumatic drugs" are referred to as DMARDS (Disease-Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs). These type of medications, also known as 'second-line agents", take several weeks and sometimes even months, for their healing effects to take hold. Despite the length of treatment, research has evidence that DMARDs are effective in treating rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis, particularly when the diseases are diagnosed in its early stages. DMARDS has been known to halt the development of arthritis and arrest joint impairment.

There are several kinds of DMARDs:

  • Arava (Leflunomide)

  • Auranofin (Ridaura, Oral Gold)

  • Azulfidine (Sulfasalazine)

  • Mycophenolate (CellCept).0

  • Myochrysine (Injectable Gold)

  • Cyclosporine (Neoral,Sandimmune)

  • Cytoxan (Cyclophosphamide)

  • Imuran (Azathioprine)

  • Leukeran (Chlorambucil)

  • Methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall)

  • Minocin (Minocycline)

  • Penicillamine (Cuprimine, Depen)

  • Plaquenil (Hydroxychloroquine)

Corticosteroids (Steroids)

For fast acting swelling and inflammation relief, powerful steroids like corticosteroids or glucocorticoids are often used. Closely mimicking the behaviour of cortisol, a hormone secreted at the cortex of adrenal glands, steroid dosage is prescribed based on the type of rheumatoid condition and treatment objective.

Steroids keep joint and organ inflammation in check, particularly with rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, polymyalgia rheumatica and vasculitis. Unfortunately, because of its potency, long term steroid use can cause grave side effects, especially in high dosages. Administering corticosteroids like Triamcinolone (Kenalog) for a limited period of time, intravenously or via injections, can precipitate relief from chronic joint symptoms.

Some Corticosteroids Medications:

  • Betamethasone (Celestone)

  • Cortisone (Cortone)

  • Dexamethasone (Decadron)

  • Hydrocortisone (Cortef)

  • Methylprednisolone (Medrol)

  • Prednisolone (Prelone)

  • Prednisone (Deltasone)

Analgesics - The Painkillers

Pain is a controlling factor in arthritis. Alleviating pain symptoms play a vital role in the management of the disease. To achieve this, analgesics like Acetaminophen (Tylenol) are prescribed as painkillers. For the relief of severe pain, doctors prescribe stronger narcotic analgesic drugs. Analgesics can help control pain, however they cannot rid joints of arthritic inflammation.

Different Narcotic Drugs For Severe Pain:

  • Codeine (Tylenol#3)

  • Darvocet (Propoxyphene/Acetaminophen)

  • Darvon (Propoxyphene)

  • Duragesic (Fentanyl Skin Patch)

  • Hydromorphone (Palladone)(no longer on market)

  • Morphine Sulphate (MS Contin)

  • Oxycodone (OxyContin)

  • Percocet (Oxycodone/Acetaminophen)

  • Percodan ( Oxycodone/ Aspirin)

  • Talwin NX (Pentazocine/Naloxone)

  • Ultracet (Tramadol/Acetaminophen)

  • Ultram (Tramadol)

  • Vicodin (Hydrocodone/Acetaminophen)

Biologics: Biologic Response Modifiers (BRMs)

When the body's immune system is impaired in some way, the ability to combat disease or infection is aversely affected. Biologic Response Modifiers, or BRMs can invigorate and re-establish the body's immunity response. BMRs are naturally derived from living organisms, not manufactured in laboratories. Some of the most common and widely used BMR drugs and their functions include:

  • Enbrel (etanercept), Remicade (infliximab) and Humira (adalimumab) - intercept TNF-alpha, one of the most prevalent cytokines in rheumatoid arthritis. These BMRs act to constrain TNF-alpa, reduce inflammation and minimize joint impairment.

  • Kineret (anakinra) - an IL-1 antagonist and selective blocker, which can be used singly or combined with other DMARDs. This BMR works against an excess of interleukin-1 (IL-1), a protein prevalent in rheumatoid arthritis. This action slows inflammation and pain symptoms.

  • Orencia (abatacept) - the first T-cell co-stimulation modulator recommended for the management of rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.

  • Rituxan - considered the world's most popular drug in the treatment of cancer, Rituxan selectively works against CD20-positive B-cells. This medication was approved by the FDA in early 2006, and administered with methotrexate to inhibit symptoms of moderate-to-severe rheumatoid arthritis in adults. Rituxan is normally prescribed for arthritis sufferers exhibiting negative symptom response from anti-TNF drug treatments.

Fibromyalgia Solutions

There are many medications used for the management of Fibromyalgia, although no drug specific to the condition has been approved by the FDA. At present, doctors prescribe related drug treatments to treat symptoms of the disease. It may be heartening to note, however, that drugs are currently being developed for the exclusive treatment of Fibromyalgia.

Gout Treatment

Considered to be among the most severely painful forms of arthritis, Gout treatment involves proper medication and a regulated diet. People suffering from this disease require pain killers, anti-inflammatory agents,and drugs to correct the accompanying metabolic dysfunction that results in serious attacks of Gout due to excessive amounts of uric acid in the blood.

Drugs used for Gout:

  • Analgesics or painkillers - like Acetaminophen (Tylenol).

  • NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like indomethacin (Indocin) - reduces inflammation.

  • Colchicine - averts and lessens incidences of Gout attacks.

  • Corticosteroids - fights against inflammation.

  • Probenecid (Benemid, Probalan) - lowers uric acid levels in the blood.

  • ColBenemid (Col-Probenecid and Proben-C) - relieves gout symptoms.

  • Allopurinol (Zyloprim) - reduces uric acid levels and inhibits its production.

  • Losartan (Cozaar, Hyzaar) - although not a gout drug, it is antihypertensive in nature and works to contain uric acid levels

  • Fenofibrate (Tricor) - also not a gout drug but acts to reduce lipids to aid in lowering uric acid levels.

Osteoporosis Medication

Osteroporosis is characterized by frail and brittle bones, especially in older people. However, it may also strike long-term users of corticosteroids. To treat this disease, various drug regimens may be prescribed, including estrogens, parathyroid hormones, bone formation agents, bisphosphonates, and selective receptor molecules. These medications can allay bone degeneration, assist in bone growth, and lower the risks of fractures.

Osteoporosis drugs include:

  • Actonel (Risedronate)

  • Boniva (Ibandronate)

  • Didronel (Etidronate)

  • Estrogens (Hormone Therapy)

  • Evista (Raloxifene)

  • Forteo (Teriparatide)

  • Fosamax (Alendronate)

  • Miacalcin (Calcitonin)

Laser Comb - Should You Consider and Include As Part of Your Hair Loss Treatment?

Low level laser therapy usually abbreviated 'LLLT' refers to the application of red-beam or near infrared lasers to treat a variety of medical conditions. Low level laser therapy is also known as cool laser, software laser or therapeutic laser therapy.

The effectiveness of laser therapy depends on the intensity, color of the light (wavelength) and total energy delivered. 'LLLT' usually have wave length in the range of 600 to 1000 nanometer and power ranging from 5 to 500 'milliwatts'.

This technique has been used to speed up wound healing, relieve pain, nerve regeneration, skin diseases and a variety of 'musculo' skeletal conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. It has been used to treat hair loss with limited success. Some dermatologist believe this technique enable low-level laser to penetrate deeply into the tissues and provide 'photobiostimulation' effect.

Hair that falls out and is not replaced by any new hairs leads to increased appearance of bald spots or thinning. Proponents of such technique believe laser promotes healthy hair growth and accelerate the increase of hair shaft diameter of miniaturized hair affected by genetic male and female pattern hair loss in some patients.

The light source or photon release energy when it make contact with the skin. The light particle energy disperse on the skin is absorbed by the micro molecules within the cells. These micro molecules are called 'mitochondria' and is made up of complex tiny membrane enclosed structure that exists in the cells.

'Mitochondria' are also known as factory or powerhouse of the cells because they produce the energy required to trigger various cellular and physiological functions, some of which associated with pain relief, cell rejuvenation and healing of injuries.

These factories are mainly responsible for providing most of the required chemical compound to convert energy for the cells (ATP). ATP is the chemical responsible for energy release within cells. Lasers are believed to trigger the conversion of ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) to ADP (Adenosine Diphosphate) resulting in the releasing of energy which thereafter trigger cellular metabolic changes.

The light source can be directly expose to the scalp by means of positioning of a portable mechanical device equipped with light source such as a hand-held laser comb. Some dermatologist believe such device may help to energize hair and increase the blood circulation around the base of the papilla which in turn stimulates the scalp cells to accelerate hair growth. As a result, hair will flourish and becomes thicker, stronger and healthier.

Is low-level laser therapy as that used in laser comb truly effective in stimulating hair re-growth as claimed by some? After all there are various factors that contributes to thinning of hair thus it is not likely that this type of treatment alone could deliver the expected results.

Skeptics claimed that there is not enough scientific evidence to prove that low-level laser therapy prevents hair loss or restores lost hair. Some experts point out that the low-level power of the laser produced by laser comb is not able to penetrate deep enough into the skin to reach the hair follicles. Thus many dermatologist conclude hair regrowth using laser comb is simply not effective or useless.

Proponents of 'LLLT' high lighted the fact that FDA gave the clearance on the marketing of hand-held laser comb such as the 'HairMax' and this prove that hair loss treatment using light therapy is not a scam or useless.

Those who suffered more progressive balding problem may have difficulty getting obvious positive results with laser comb. Hair regrowth takes time therefore ongoing use of it for at half a year is recommended before its visible effectiveness can be determined.

If you do not suffer from any abnormal hair loss problem or experiencing mild hair lost condition then the laser comb can be use as good preventive tool to give your hair additional better chance of not falling out prematurely. After all there is no unwanted side effects and therefore no harm in trying it.

Laser comb can be use as preventive or complimentary treatment measure to increase the density and volume of hair as well as to normalize the scalp.

In summary a multi-pronged approach involving a combination of hair loss treatments will give you a strong fighting chance to deal with balding. A holistic treatment should preferably include a well balance nutrition diet, adopting basic hair care, scalp massage, achieving hormone balance, using FDA approved medication such as 'Propecia' and 'Monoxidil' and maintaining overall healthy life style.

Arthritis Treatment - Glucosamine Arthritis Solution Revealed

The Glucosamine arthritis craze has been one of the contentious issues on arthritis treatment. Glucosamine, sometimes taken in combination with chondroitin, has been widely promoted as a dietary supplement for osteoarthritis.

Since the launch of the book "The Arthritis Cure" in 1997, physicians, pharmacists, and sufferers of arthritis have all been asked about glucosamine.

We have heard varying testimonials and opinions about the efficacy of glucosamine as an alternative treatment for the disease. The word 'cure' in the title of the book has even raised a lot of debate on the real effects of glucosamine.

Glucosamine Arthritis Treatment Claims

Glucosamine is naturally found in high concentrations in our joints. Medical experts have theorized that glucosamine stimulates the formation of cartilage and is essential for joint repair.

In an experiment done on animals, oral glucosamine had beneficial effects on inflammation, mechanical arthritis, and immunological-reactive arthritis.

Glucosamine arthritis alternative treatment is usually a combination with chondroitin. The latter is also found in the cartilage. There are numerous claims that it promotes the formation of substances in the cartilage that are lost due to osteoarthritis.

Glucosamine for Arthritis

The curative characteristics of glucosamine are different from NSAIDs or COX-2 drugs as it is natural. It promotes and maintains healthy cartilage, tendons and other connective tissues in the body.
This is done by glucosamine by acting as building block for these materials. Glucosamine also inhibits the production of enzymes that destroy the cartilage.

A depleted level of glucosamine and chondroitin induces the development of arthritis, particularly osteoarthritis. This debilitating disease is characterized by a breakdown in the "shock absorbers" of the joints. This is particularly pronounced in the weight bearing joints in the hips and knee.

Most medical experts believe that glucosamine is not a cure for arthritis. They, however, agree that it will do wonders for arthritis and joint pain. Glucosamine heals the joints and not merely relieve the pain of arthritis patients.

These curative characteristics of glucosamine give relief and beneficial effects to patients that last longer than NSAIDs and COX-2 drugs. Further, glucosamine continues to provide relief by protecting the joints by preventing further damage to the cartilage, tendons and other connective tissues.

In contrast, there were studies conducted that indicated that NSAIDs and COX-2 drugs can actually have harmful side effects. Prolonged use of these drugs was found to have harmful effects of breaking down the joints. This results to a more painful and worse case of arthritis.

Who Should Not Take Glucosamine

Persons who are considering glucosamine arthritis treatment should take note of these recommendations. Since glucosamine is an amino sugar, it should be taken with caution by individual with diabetes as it might contribute to insulin resistance.

People who are allergic to seafood should first consult their doctors before taking glucosamine sulphate as it is made from crustacean shells.

Taking this supplement may also lead to gastrointestinal problems, sleepiness, headaches and skin reactions.

Medical Expert Recommendation

It is a general consensus among health experts that arthritis treatment with glucosamine may lessen pain in some patients. Doctors now are open to the option of glucosamine as a supplement to regular treatment of arthritis. They, however, advise patients to buy only high quality glucosamine supplement from reputable sources if they opt to try the glucosamine arthritis treatment.

Arthritis Treatment: Injection Therapy for Osteoarthritis of the Knee

The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis (OA). It affects almost 30 million Americans and the incidence is expected to rise with the graying of the Baby Boomers.

OA is a disease that affects the hyaline articular cartilage of joints. The exact mechanism of disease development is still being researched but there appears to be a trigger that causes a metabolic abnormality to occur. Cells, called chondrocytes, inside the cartilage begin to elaborate destructive enzymes which cause the surrounding matrix to degrade. In addition, inflammatory changes involving the synovium- the lining of the joint- contribute to further cartilage damage.

OA affects primarily weight-bearing joints such as the neck, low back, hips, and knees. I will focus on the knee.

Treatment for OA of the knee is primarily symptomatic. This involves the use of exercise, weight loss if indicated, patient education, analgesic medications, non-steroidal-anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) - either oral as well as topical, and injections.

The most common type of injection given for OA of the knee is a corticosteroid ("cortisone") injection. These are effective for reducing pain short-term and also helping to improve quadriceps muscle strength by reducing the inhibition of quadriceps reflex due to the presence of inflammation and swelling. Usually fluid is withdrawn from a swollen joint at the time of corticosteroid injection.

Corticosteroid injections are usually given to patients who are already taking oral medications such as NSAIDS. These injections may be given as often as three times a year. More often and they can actually cause more cartilage damage.

The second type of injection is hyaluronic acid. These types of injections are often referred to as viscosupplements since they are used to reduce pain but also provide a lubricating quality as well. Some preparations are derived from rooster combs and others are synthetically manufactured. There are many different formulations available. Despite claims that one product is superior to others, there is no concrete data that one preparation is superior to others.

These injections are often used as a last-ditch effort to help patients avoid having to undergo knee replacement surgery. As with corticosteroid injection, withdrawal of joint fluid always precedes injection of the viscosupplement.

Whether the injection is corticosteroid or hyaluronic acid, each needs to be administered using ultrasound needle guidance in order to ensure proper delivery of the medication to the joint space. Reports of inadequate response to these preparations probably are more related to poor injection technique rather than to the shortcoming of the medication.

Rheumatoid Arthritis - The Role of Nutrition and Vitamin C

Rheumatoid Arthritis is considered an autoimmune disease that affects nearly 1 in 100 people. Joints can become painfully inflamed, swollen, deformed and destroyed by the disease. People diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis will be in lifelong treatment. Certain medications, diet, physical therapy, exercise and sometimes surgery can postpone the damaging effects of rheumatoid arthritis.

Doctors don't know exactly what causes rheumatoid arthritis, but they believe that it is the body's immune system attacking healthy tissues instead of damaged ones. This is why it is considered to be an autoimmune disorder. It can strike at any age and is slightly more common in women than in men. There is not a known prevention of RA, but research has shown that people who are active, have a healthy diet high in vitamin C, and who do not smoke are up to three times less likely to develop RA.

Nutrition plays several important roles in treating rheumatoid arthritis. Vitamin C in particular has received a lot of attention in research on treating RA. This disease seems to be triggered by infection. The immune system overreacts to the infection and starts attacking joints. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that calms and strengthens the immune system at the same time. It is believed that vitamin C, when kept at optimal levels, can control the onset of rheumatoid arthritis attacks.

Vitamin C is also a powerful tool for controlling inflammation. It specifically fights the tenascin-C molecules that get into joints and trigger the immune system to activate. Tenascin-C molecules are also thought to be responsible for sustaining inflammation. People who suffer from RA often have elevated levels of this molecule in their joints. Recent studies are focusing on controlling the molecular switch that activates the immune system and sends it into attack mode. Although there is no cure for RA at this time, researchers are optimistic about vitamin C's role in preventing and treating the disease.

Vitamin C plays a major role in collagen synthesis, which can help keep your joints healthy. Vitamin D, calcium, and magnesium supplements also fight inflammation, increase blood flow to joints, and can even relieve painful symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Keeping your joints as healthy as possible is the first step in preventing and treating RA. One way to tell if your body is not producing enough collagen is to check your gums. This is the easiest place to check your connective tissue health. If they are red, swollen, or bleed when you floss or brush, then you may have low levels of vitamin C, vitamin D, calcium or magnesium. Proper levels of these vitamins and supplements support connective tissues, such as bones, joints and gums, all over your body.

It is important to take care when supplementing with vitamins and supplements. Before you buy vitamins, talk to your doctor about dosages that are right for you and your condition. Higher or lower than normal vitamin C levels can actually worsen symptoms in osteoarthritis patients, so you will need to be monitored by a physician if this is the case for you. When you buy vitamins, choose the best vitamin C that you can find to ensure proper absorption.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Doctor... What's the Best Treatment for Arthritis?

Regardless of the type of arthritis, the goals of arthritis treatment are similar.

These include the following:

o Relieve pain/inflammation

o Minimize risks of therapy

o Retard disease progression

o Provide patient education

o Prevent work disability

o Enhance quality of life and functional independence

While the goals are similar they are achieved using different approaches depending on the diagnosis. The effective management includes a combination of conventional medicines, effective alternative treatments, changes in diet and food, rest, exercise, lifestyle changes (e.g., weight loss if needed), and joint protection.

Factors involved in decision making include the diagnosis, the severity of disease, and the patient's response to previous therapies.

The decision making doesn't end there either. As a patient is followed over time, things change. What initially was felt to be an effective arthritis treatment may no longer be effective...and side-effects may occur.

Additions and deletions of medications need to be considered. Drug interactions with other therapies are a concern.

Co-morbid conditions (other medical illnesses) enter into the equation. Newer therapies, when they arrive, may change the picture.

Patient preference, when it can be accommodated, should also be considered. And this dovetails with a patient's lifestyle... The right therapy for a working man of 35 may not be the right therapy for a retired woman of 80. The correct arthritis treatment for a hard-driving executive may not be ideal for a laid back person who wants to use as many natural remedies as possible.

Finally, the ever-changing landscape of insurance issues plays a role... in my opinion, way too big a role in decision making. In fact, I feel patients should not- not ever- make a decision to see a rheumatologist based on whether the physician "participates in their insurance plan" or not. The reason is that insurance plans do not pay a good physician what they are worth. If you value your health enough to get better, to feel less pain, to avoid crippling, then you owe it to yourself to see the best specialist, not the cheapest, and not just the one who "participates in your insurance plan."

What Therapeutic Treatments Help Neuropathy

Neuropathy is a general term denoting disturbances in the normal functioning of the peripheral nerves. The causes of neuropathy are varied and so is the treatment. Many a times, the neuropathy is almost irreversible and the treatment is mainly focused on preventing further progression of the nerve damage and other supportive measures to prevent any complications due to neuropathy.

Neuropathies due to nutritional deficiencies are mainly treated with the replenishment of the deficient nutrient. Neuropathies due to deficiency of vitamins like cobalamin, thiamine, pyridoxine, niacin are treated by giving the vitamin supplementation orally or by intramuscular injection of the vitamin if deficiency is due to defective absorption of vitamins from the diet. Treatment may or may not completely reverse the neuropathy and alleviate the symptoms and in many cases there is some permanent damage to nerves and persistent symptoms despite therapy. Recently neuropathy due to copper deficiency has also been discovered. It too is treated with oral copper salts or intravenous injection of copper salts. Again the response is variable and may take many months.

Entrapment neuropathies like carpal tunnel syndrome, radial neuropathy, meralgia paraesthetica, etc are treated based on specific cause and the nerve involved. Carpal tunnel syndrome treatment varies from medical approaches like NSAID (like Ibuprofen), local injection of steroids in wrist, and avoiding aggravating factors like typing in wrong positions, use of hand tools etc. If symptoms not alleviated by this approach, then surgery is also an option and is most often curative if no permanent damage to nerve has already occurred. Again, each neuropathy is unique and treatment is variable.

The treatment of neuropathies secondary to other diseases is the treatment of the primary disease causing the neuropathy. If neuropathy is due to Myxedema, caused by lack of thyroid hormone, then treatment is replacing the thyroid hormone. Treatment of Diabetic Neuropathy is mainly supportive. In diabetic neuropathies, some forms like Mononeuropathies are reversible but most are irreversible. Strict control of blood glucose levels to slow the further progression is of paramount importance. Other treatment is based on the symptoms, like pain is managed with NSAID and many other drugs. Similarly the neuropathy associated with Rheumatoid Arthritis often responds to the treatment of Rheumatoid arthritis (with immunomodulators).

Treatment of neuropathy due to food allergy is avoiding the allergen food item causing neuropathy. Neuropathy may also be due to toxic effect of certain drugs like Chloroquine, Phenytoin, anti-Cancer drugs and numerous others. Treatment in this case is mainly discontinuation of the drug or dose reduction. There may be some specific treatment in certain cases, like neuropathy due to isoniazid can usually be prevented by giving pyridoxine along with it.

Living With Rheumatoid Arthritis - How to Deal With Pain Without Drugs?

Rheumatoid arthritis is not caused by aging, instead this condition is caused when your immune system starts to attack your joints for an unknown reason. When your immune system attacks these areas inflammation results, and this causes pain, problems with joint movement and function, tissue and bone damage, deformities, and even fatigue and a higher temperature. This fever affects the entire body, not just the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis can be extremely painful, and affects all ages and ethnic backgrounds. Because of the pain, which can be debilitating at times, many people take narcotic pain medications or other drugs to become more comfortable and increase their movement ability. It is possible to manage the pain of this condition without harmful drugs though, and using alternative methods can be just as effective at relieving your symptoms and pain as anything your doctor can prescribe. In addition there are no risky side effects or mental dullness that pain medication may include with drug free treatments.

One very effective technique that can help with rheumatoid arthritis involves the use of heat and cold compresses or packs. Applying heat or cold to the joints that are affected can give you some relief, and the choice will depend on whether the pain is acute or chronic. A general guideline is that cold compresses and ice packs will work best if you suffer from acute pain, while chronic pain will usually respond better to a heat pack or compresses. Another step that can help minimize your discomfort is to exercise as much as you can within your specific physical limitations. If you do not use the joints then they will start to stiffen up, increasing the pain every time you move them. Exercises for range of motion in each joint will prevent this, and help decrease your pain in the long term.

If you have rheumatoid arthritis it is important that you stay positive and upbeat as much as possible. Your mental attitude plays a big part in the pain you experience, and depression can cause pain to be felt more severely. If you start to feel down or have negative thoughts make a conscious effort to reverse this thinking pattern and try to look at any positive things in your life. Laughter is an excellent way to minimize pain from rheumatoid arthritis, and this has been scientifically proven regardless of the cause of the pain. When you laugh your brain releases chemicals which minimize the pain impulses and improve your mood, making the pain seem much more manageable. Fill your life with people who make you laugh and help you stay in a positive frame of mind. Other treatments that do not involve drugs can include massage, acupuncture, relaxation techniques and training, electrical stimulation which increases the natural endorphins released by your brain, topical applications which will decrease the pain sensitivity of the nerves, and others.

Warm Mouse, Heated Keyboard - Infrared Heat USB Hand Warmer Therapy For Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a debilitating, chronic disease affecting millions of people throughout the world.  It is considered a crippling, inflammatory disease affecting joints and surrounding tissue most commonly associated with the hands and feet, producing joint pain, swelling and stiffness.  There is no known cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis, and there's a long list of treatment options involving medications and surgery. 

Alternative treatments show some promise using different oils and exercises.  But the greatest relief has been documented by Rheumatoid Arthritis patients using infrared heat.   Far infrared ray (FIR) is a natural deep healing source of warmth penetrating deep through the skin's layers to the muscle tissue -- even as deeply as the bones -- improving circulation and reducing inflamed tissues and joints.  This radiant heat is the deep warmth one feels from sunlight without the harmful UV rays of the sun.  It's been used as a healer for hundreds, if not thousands of years by Eastern Cultures.  And, now Rheumatoid Arthritis sufferers can benefit from its healthy effects by using  a variety of products and devices.

Natural Rheumatoid Arthritis treatments using  far infrared ray (FIR) have been made using infrared heat saunas, lamps, massagers, heating pads, space heaters and computer devices. The results for Rheumatoid Arthritis patients using FIR are positive.  For example, the debilitating disease can cripple a person making it difficult to walk.  After infrared sauna treatments some Rheumatoid Arthritis patients report more free movement and joint flexibility.  Same holds true for using the computer.  Arthritis patients report a reduction of hand pain and the ability to work longer hours using the computer when infrared heated computer devices are used. 

Infrared heat computer products are cost-effective and energy-efficient.  They are made using a low 5v carbon fiber heating element for the USB port on the computer.  The low 5v heating element is safe for the computer and its users and produces a steady flow of deep healing warmth.  Compared to the high cost of some infrared heaters, infrared heat computer products are available for less than $20 each.  This therapeutic relief is available for people who suffer from debilitating diseases in the comfort of their home or office.

The most common infrared heated computer devices include a warm computer mouse, warm mouse pad, warm keyboard pad and mouse hand warmer blanket. The USB hand warmers can be used separately or in combination with one another.  Each of the products when used alone assist computer users with cold hand pain.  Greater results are achieved when the infrared heat computer items are used in combination with one another.

If you or someone you know suffers from Rheumatoid Arthritis when using the computer, infrared heat can help relax the mouse hand and keep computer hands warm. Infrared heat is known to improve blood circulation to the affected areas by helping to reduce inflamed tissue surrounding stiff joints.  About 20-30 minutes of infrared heat therapy daily shows positive results.  Plug in when computing, and use the computer to work for you, not harm you.

For more information about the positive results of using infrared heat USB hand warmers, visit the Learning Center at

How to Understand Rheumatoid Arthritis & Osteoarthritis - Chronic Pain and Treatment Strategies

The previous two articles in this series analyzed and discussed rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in some detail. The link between chronic pain and RA was analyzed and the progression of the RA chronic pain complex was revealed. Particular attention was paid to small joint pain, usually involving the neck, hands, and feet in the early stages of the disorder, then spreading as the disease takes hold and progresses. The progression of chronic, often acute pain affecting the larger joints, to include the upper, middle, and lower back, hip and knee pain, and even leg pain, usually expressed as sciatica, was discussed. As discussed in "Understanding Rheumatoid Arthritis - Dealing With Chronic Pain Associated With RA Part I & II," RA is a chronic and systemic disorder, widespread throughout the body, and without cure. In this article we will discuss the differences between rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and an often misdiagnosed, misunderstood "cousin," osteoarthritis (OA). We will discuss diagnostic features distinguishing the two disorders, the symptoms of RA versus OA, and some treatment variations and similarities. The very different outcomes, or prognoses, as well as certain strategies for confronting the two conditions head on will also be explored. Finally, strategies for alleviating, and in some cases eliminating, the chronic pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis will be offered. Chronic pain treatment strategies, to include treatment for neck pain, back pain, hip and knee pain, and sciatica, will be compared and analyzed.

As noted above, rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic, systemic disorder. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease occurring when the individual's immune system doesn't work properly or malfunctions. Rheumatoid arthritis causes chronic, often acute pain, stiffness and swelling, and progresses from small joint involvement, to large joint involvement, and ultimately to multiple organ consequences. Chronic pain associated with RA is usually the result of an inflammation of the synovial membrane, synovitis. The inflammation of the synovial membrane leads to friction, the friction leads to joint degeneration, which leads to more inflammation, which leads to more friction and joint degeneration. As the disease progresses, and begins to affect other organ systems, the result is usually total disability. The exact cause of rheumatoid arthritis has not been established. Many experts believe that RA may be the result of genetics, environment, and/or a number of other factors to include hormones and the body's reaction or response to stress. Onset of RA typically occurs in women between the ages of 30 and 50 years of age. However, rheumatoid arthritis has been known to strike the very young, men, and certain ethnic groups, to include a disproportionately high number of Native Americans. RA is also seen in higher numbers among smokers. Rheumatoid arthritis is generally not attributed to such things as aging, trauma and injury or obesity. Beginning with small joint pain and stiffness, the disorder culminates in deformity and chronic, often acute, back pain, hip and knee pain, and sciatica.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is generally considered an age-progressive phenomenon. Sometimes called the "wear and tear" disorder, OA may also be attributed to injury, trauma, stress, and/or obesity. Osteoarthritis typically expresses with joint pain, stiffness, and loss of function and did decrease in the range of motion. Unlike rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis generally affects weight bearing joints, particularly the spine, the pelvis or hips, and the knees. Chronic back pain, particularly of the lower back, and leg pain (sciatica) are quite common. However, OA may also be present in the neck, the hands, particularly the finger joints, and even the big toe. Osteoarthritis generally worsens later in the day or after considerable activity. Alternately, rheumatoid arthritis is generally known for morning stiffness or stiffness occurring as the result of a lack of activity or after periods of prolonged inactivity.

Significantly, while as many as 1.5 million individuals in the United States have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, over 20 million people have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis. While diagnosis for osteoarthritis is usually established with the use of x-rays, in some cases CAT scans, rheumatoid arthritis usually takes a more comprehensive battery of diagnostic tests to properly diagnose. RA sufferers may require extensive blood tests, x-rays, CAT scans, and in some cases even an MRI to properly diagnose the disorder. The very different symptoms of the two disorders, one systemic and the other a "wear and tear" disorder, are evident in the laboratory and radiographically (x-rays).

Treatment strategies for RA and OA are often remarkably similar. Although RA requires pharmacological intervention, generally in the form of disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs or DMARDs, to reduce stiffness and chronic pain, as well to inhibit joint damage, this should not be the only treatment strategy employed. DMARDs often take weeks, even months to build up in the bloodstream and fully take effect, so NSAIDs are often used synergistically, and as a stop-gap until DMARDs are effective. Osteoarthritis, on the other hand, may also be treated by NSAIDs. However, ibuprofen and acetaminophen are routinely prescribed for pain associated with osteoarthritis.

In addition to medication, both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are responsive to physical therapy and ice to reduce inflammation and swelling. Individuals suffering from RA or OA typically respond well to exercise. Exercise is particularly effective for RA sufferers in order to offset periods of inactivity and the stiffness associated with a sedentary lifestyle or simply the stiffness related to characteristic morning stiffness. Osteoarthritis, on the other hand, responds well to exercise for different reasons. Individuals affected by OA, a typically age-progressive, trauma, and stress related phenomenon, respond quite well to strengthening of the musculoskeletal system, particularly the core muscles responsible for posture and overall strength. As muscles atrophy, deterioration of the bones, particularly the vertebrae and weight-bearing joints, is quite common, leading to "wear and tear" and an exacerbation of the overall condition and subsequent degeneration. The degeneration leads to a constellation of chronic pain symptoms, to include neck pain, back pain, and sciatica.

Ultimately, while etiology or cause of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are quite different, symptoms, such as swelling, inflammation, stiffness, and chronic pain are characteristic of both conditions. Individuals suffering from RA and OA are affected by a progressive disorder, both leading to total disability if not properly treated. Individuals diagnosed with osteoarthritis, because of the very nature of the disorder, have a much better chance of alleviating and even eliminating the long-term effects. RA is, by its very nature, more problematic. That being said, individuals suffering from rheumatoid arthritis may take control of the outcome, their prognosis, by engaging in an aggressive, holistic treatment strategy, one typically designed to treat the symptoms, since etiology is still unclear. In both instances, medication, ice for inflammation, swelling, and to reduce pain, and a medically approved, individualized program of stretching and exercise should be commenced as soon as possible. Chronic pain associated with both conditions should be taken as a warning to do something, rather than to do nothing. To do nothing will exacerbate either condition, leading to further degeneration and the progression of both disorders and their symptoms, to include chronic pain in the form of joint pain, neck pain, back pain, and/or sciatica.

Therapy Pain Relief for Arthritic Feet With Microwavable Slippers

Arthritis is a chronic condition which causes inflammation and pain in the joints, including the many joints found in the feet. The two types of arthritis are osteoarthritis arthritis which is usually associated with age and wear and tear on the joints, and rheumatoid arthritis which is an autoimmune disease that attacks the cartilage and tissue surrounding the joints. Many doctors recommend both heat and cold treatments to help reduce inflammation and ease the pain and stiffness that comes with arthritis. A wheat bag or heat pad is a convenient method of applying heat therapy and can be easily heated in a microwave. They may also be frozen and used as cold compress.

Heat therapy with wheat filled microwavable slippers can reduce the pain of arthritis in the feet by increasing circulation and relaxing muscles.

Heat Therapy for Osteoarthritis

Nearly 70 per cent of people over 70 years of age suffer from osteoarthritis, although it is fairly rare in people under the age of 50. Arthritis of the feet can seriously impact an individual's mobility, but self treatment with heated slippers can ease pain and improve mobility for many arthritis suffers. There is no cure for osteoarthritis and medical treatment is limited to medications that relieve pain and inflammation. Those who have severe inflammation may get greater relief from a combination of over the counter analgesics and heat therapy such as using a pair of microwave slippers.

Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis can strike people of any age although it most often presents in people in their thirties. In the U.K. the prevalence of the disease is estimated at between 0.5 and 1.5% of the population. This is a degenerative disease which in addition to attacking the joints, can effect organs and cause serious medical problems. People with rheumatoid arthritis should be under a doctor's care, but can treat the symptoms with heat therapy which can greatly reduce pain and improve mobility.

Using Microwavable Slippers for Heat Therapy

Most doctors recommend elevating the feet and legs to reduce the swelling of arthritis. With this in mind, it can be difficult to use most heat pads or hot water bottles to fully cover the feet during these instances. Microwavable slippers are designed to be comfortable and can stay in place for prolonged treatment. It only takes a couple of minutes to microwave these heat therapy slippers, but remember to turn them around half way through the process if your microwave doesn't turn correctly.

The application of heat is used to reduce pain, lessen muscle spasms and diminish joint stiffness. Heat therapy works by adding energy to the painful area which increases the metabolism of all types of cells. Applying heat causes the blood vessels to dilate which increases blood flow. Heat decreases muscle spasm through reducing tension in muscle trigger points and the muscle tendon unit is more able to relax and stretch since the heat decreases the thickness of the collagen in these muscles. If the heat is applied over enough time, the muscle and tendons relax and stretch more readily. This can reduce pain and stiffness in joints. The sensation of heat acts to reduce the transmission of pain signals and can trick the brain into ignoring soreness.
Self Treatment with Heat Therapy

Although there is no time limit on heat therapy, the maximum results are usually obtained in about 8 to 10 minutes. Since there are no drug interactions or side effects from heat therapy, over the counter analgesics or prescription anti-inflammatory medication can be used to reduce any swelling associated with the disease. However, heat therapy is less expensive than prescription pain medications and in many cases provides better relief. Arthritic feet suffers should test different combinations of treatment to see what works best for them.

Arthritis foot pain can be disabling, but microwavable slippers can help relieve pain and keep patients mobile. Heat therapy is recognized by medical professionals as one of the most effective treatments for relief of arthritis pain and doctors recommend that patients use it in conjunction with other medical treatments. Slippers also come in a range of styles and sizes so that everyone will find a slipper that fits them well.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Easy Uric Acid Cure - How to Eliminate Uric Acid Gout in 2 Hours With Bicarbonate of Soda

Here, you'll discover a simple uric acid cure using bicarbonate of soda. When suffering from gout many folks first thoughts are drug-based treatments. But something as simple as a bicarbonate of soda drink can eliminate the pain and symptoms of gout pretty quickly. More and more sufferers are turning to natural treatments to eliminate their gout symptoms.

The benefits of using bicarbonate of soda as an easy uric acid cure are that it can help;

(1) dissolve uric acid crystals
(2) reduce pain
(3) make uric acid more soluble and easier to excrete
(4) increase body fluid volume which helps the kidneys do their job more effectively
(5) boost urine pH which helps reduce the risk of uric acid kidney stone formation

But before I show you your uric acid cure in detail, let's quickly go over what causes your gout symptoms of redness, swelling, heat, inflammation and extreme pain. These are actually caused by crystals which have formed in your joints; most usually the big toe, although other joints can be affected. They are so painful because the crystals are in the form of tiny 'needles', which can be clearly seen under the microscope.

The crystals themselves are formed out of excess uric acid in your bloodstream which your kidneys have been unable to process properly. Uric acid is a byproduct of the breakdown of natural purines in your body cells and food. Purines are chemical compounds that play an important role in providing our protein and energy needs. Normally, your kidneys then process and flush excess uric acid out of your body via urine. But sometimes this doesn't happen properly and you end up with excess acid in your blood, hence the crystals and a gout attack.

And because many gout victims suffer really nasty side effects using mainstream drug-based treatment, they are turning more and more to natural gout remedies that don't have these side effects and are way cheaper too. These are things like dietary changes (remember purines!), herbs, natural supplements, particular fruits and berries such as cherries and strawberries, etc.

One natural remedy that many folks don't know about is bicarbonate of soda. When mixed with water and taken over a period of time, it can relieve the symptoms quite quickly; in as little as 2 hours depending on the severity of the gout attack.

Here's how to take your uric acid cure...

Add half a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda to 8 ounces of water (a typical 8 oz glass). Make sure to mix thoroughly. Stick to the following schedule: Drink a glass just before going to bed; a glass immediately on getting up in the morning; a glass every 2 to 4 hours in between meals. Do not take more than 4 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda per day, i.e. 8 glasses per day. Continue with this regimen until the symptoms disappear.

Since bicarbonate of soda is high in sodium, you need to reduce your salt intake (salt and diet). And if you suffer from hypertension, keep checking your blood pressure. If it rises, stop the treatment immediately. In any case, seek your doctor's advice before starting the course.

Now many folks have found this uric acid cure to be very effective. However, it's used simply to eliminate the symptoms of an actual gout attack, it cannot prevent your gout returning. And recurring gout has to be avoided at all costs since -- apart from the excruciating pain -- it can cause you permanent joint damage and kidney problems down the line. So it isn't enough just to keep treating the symptoms when they occur, you need to prevent them from returning ever again.