Saturday, August 17, 2013

Best Ankle Braces For Arthritis

What is the cause of ankle arthritis? When the joint that connects the shin bone to the ankle bone gets worn, you may experience arthritis. It can cause swelling and pain in your ankle.

There can be several causes for the condition. The most common reason that people develop arthritis is due to a previous injury. For example, if you have sprained, dislocated, or fractured your ankle in the past you may have damaged the cartilage in it. A damaged cartilage can lead to arthritis.

If your injured ankle did not get the proper blood flow while it was healing, your bone may have been damaged. This can also cause arthritis. Infection can cause joint damage, and sometimes your genetic makeup can also cause you to develop the condition.

Too much weight on the joints can cause the joints to wear out more quickly. If you are overweight you are more likely to develop arthritis.

How do you know if you have ankle arthritis? Pain and swelling around the ankle joint is common. The duration and the level of pain varies depending on the individual. To be sure you have this condition you would really need to undergo a thorough examination from a medical professional.

There are 3 types of arthritis: Osteoartritis, Rheumatoid and Post-Traumatic Arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common and occurs from general wear and tear over the years. It is common in people after they have reached middle age. Ankle braces for ankle arthritis may help with the pain from arthritis.

How can ankle braces for ankle arthritis help? One way to treat your pain is to use a brace. You can choose from several types and styles of braces. Some of the best are: the Swede-O Thermoskin AFG Stabilizer, the Bioskin TriLok Foot & Ankle Control System, and the Dr. Bakst Magnetic Ankle Support.

Each of these braces helps to stabilize the ankle, reduce pain, and improve joint mobility. The best ankle brace for ankle arthritis may be the Swede-O thermoskin AFG Stabilizer. It is ideal for the treatment of arthritis because its heat therapy increases blood circulation and helps lessen your pain.

There are many braces for ankle arthritis to choose from, but the Swede-O Thermoskin is made to target arthritis pain. The Dr. Bakst Magnetic Support is $35.75. The Bioskin TriLok Foot and Ankle Control System is $55.95.

The Swede-O Thermoskin AFG Stabilizer is one of the least expensive braces for ankle arthritis at only $39.95. For arthritis pain, this brace may be the best value for your money.

The above prices have been referenced from

Effects of Rheumatoid Arthritis on the Body

Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition that causes chronic inflammation of the joints such as knees, hips, ankles and hands. It is accompanied by high levels of pain and can cause severe disability issues. More likely to strike women than men, the condition is commonly occurring in those over the age of 40 although it also affects much younger people. It affects about 1% of the population and can be dependent on a host of factors that include weight, environment, smoking and genetics.

Contrary to common belief, the affects of rheumatoid arthritis go beyond merely affecting joints and causing restrictions on a person's mobility. In fact the condition can have significant and widespread effects on the whole body. One such effect can be seen on skin with the development of rheumatoid nodules. These are lumps of tissues that can occur, usually under the skin in areas such as the fingers, forearms, elbows and heels. They can even occur in the lungs and heart or appear as ulcers.

Rheumatoid arthritis's effects on the body can be detected in the eyes as well. Inflammations in the eyes, especially in the white area, can turn the eye red and cause pain. Vision loss and an increase risk of Sjogren's syndrome are some of the other ways the disease can take its toll on the eyes. The heart and blood vessels are yet another set of organs that could be affected by this condition and thereby place people under heightened risk of cardiovascular diseases, heart attacks and stroke. Inflammation of blood vessels is another common complication that could also prove to be of a serious nature.

The effects of rheumatoid arthritis can also extend to blood cells. It can affect the body by lowering levels of red blood cells, causing a condition known as anemia, which in turn causes fatigue, accelerated heart beat, dizziness and insomnia. Lung problems are yet another way in which we can witness the effects of rheumatoid arthritis on the body. Inflammation of the lungs that can be attributed to the condition may cause pleuritis and fluid collection. Some complications that may arise as a result include collapsed lungs, infections and coughing up of blood. What is worse is the tendency for some rheumatoid arthritis medication to cause lung problems that could result in shortness of breath, cough and fever.

Most medication available for its treatment tends to suppress the immune system and this could in turn cause complications by increased disease and illness arising from a suppressed immune system.

Life can be difficult at best for those living with this condition. The constant pain coupled with the inability to move about freely and enjoy life as well as the pain and difficulty in getting the most basic chores done without pain or restrictions can, and often does, lead to high levels of depression in a significant percentage of people living with this condition. Thus rheumatoid arthritis doesn't only take a toll on a person's body; it also takes a toll on a person's mental health.

Rheumatoid Arthritis - Natural Remedies That Can Change Your Life

It's easy enough to realize that having rheumatoid arthritis can be life changing. The disease causes inflammation in your joints, causing pain and discomfort, and may also cause the joints to become disfigured. This results in a loss of flexibility and mobility in the joint, making you unable to move easily.

While this is one of the more well known symptoms of the disease, it is more than just a disease that attacks the joints of your body. Rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, is an autoimmune disorder - your own immune system is causing the damage to your body. RA may result in anemia, and can also affect your skin, lungs, kidneys and heart. Treatment can sometimes be difficult; some medicines that are effective in slowing the damage sometimes have negative side effects. Because of this, for some of those with the disease, natural remedies become more appealing that conventional drugs and medications.

Changing your lifestyle is one of the available rheumatoid arthritis natural remedies. This involves balancing moderate exercise to relieve stiffness with periods of rest. This will help maintain functionality and mobility of affected joints, as well as generally improving your health. However, if even moderate exercise causes you pain, you should stop exercising and consult with your doctor to find an exercise regimen that you can benefit from.

Changing your diet is another form of rheumatoid arthritis natural remedy. A variety of fasting programs and diets are available, with the goal of making your body healthier in order to combat the disease. Many of these diets have also begun to recommend consuming omega-3 fatty acids like that found in fish oil and fatty deep sea fish. Fish oil is also available in a number of supplements that a person with RA can take.

Aside from changing lifestyle and diet, you can also try herbal remedies. Herbs such as boswellia, devil's claw and horsetail are said to provide relief from the pain. Many times these herbs are available as teas, but may also be found in various food supplements used to treat RA.

There are many other options to treat rheumatoid arthritis with natural remedies. These can range from massage therapy, to meditative techniques, acupuncture and so on. Each have their advantages, though some do offer more immediate relief, and others offer more lasting relief. Many of them can be very effective, though they are best used in conjunction with conventional methods, or other alternative natural remedies. In this manner, you can combine treatments in order to receive better results.

A Simple Diet To Eliminate Arthritis Pain

Arthritis pain is no more than joint inflammation. However, it may appear in many different forms (more than one hundred types), and strikes millions in America. The actual causes of arthritis pain are relatively unknown, but it seems that as you age you become more susceptible to it.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, most treatment programs involve medication, rest, exercise, and means of avoiding joint pain.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, Aspirin is one of the major as well as the safest drugs for treating arthritis pain. For treating more serious cases, increased dosage of Aspirin is often recommended. However, Aspirin has undesirable side effects, such as nausea, stomach pain, and impaired hearing.

Other than Aspirin, medication to treat rheumatoid arthritis to reduce joint inflammation and pain includes non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), with brand names such as Motrin and Advil, among others. However, deaths had been linked to these drugs: development of bleeding ulcers, especially in elderly patients. As a result of these fatal side effects, these drugs usually carry strong warning labels of serious gastrointestinal toxicity, such as bleeding and ulceration, among others. However, many patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis simply ignore these warnings.

Another category of medication to treat rheumatoid problems and joint inflammation is the cortico-steroids. These drugs also cause major side effects, such as ulcers, hair growth over the face, bone loss, wasting of arm and leg muscles, mood changes, and kidney damage. These potentially dangerous drugs suppress the body's immune system.

Several long-term studies reported unfavorable findings of cortico-steroids. For example, in the United Kingdom, there was a study of over a 20-year span, indicating that one-third of the patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis were dead and the majority of the remaining patients became severely disabled due to their arthritis pain.

Do you have rheumatoid arthritis? Are you using medication to treat your arthritis pain? Do you have concern over the potentially hazardous side effects of arthritis medication? After all, all pharmaceutical drugs are toxic by nature. They may be able to alleviate your arthritis pain, while creating other new symptoms that have to be dealt with further down the road.

How about nutrition therapy as an alternative treatment for your arthritis pain?

The Chinese have accumulated thousands of years of medical wisdom. One of the most popular arthritis diets is the Dong's diet. The well-known Dong's diet is basically a "poor man's diet," focusing on a simple diet of fish, vegetables, and rice, with small amounts of chicken, to the exclusion of meat, fruits, and dairy products.

The Dong's diet, initiated by a San Francisco doctor, is founded on the concept that arthritis pain is no more than allergic reactions to certain foods.

An allergen is a substance that produces an antibody reaction within your body. This antibody reaction causes allergy symptoms manifested in joint pain. An allergen can be a frequently eaten food, or the additives or chemicals in any processed food (this is another legitimate reason why you should stay away from all processed and refined foods).

Nowadays, even doctors are accepting the concept of the close connection between joint pain and diets.

If you have rheumatoid arthritis and you don't want to take those potentially dangerous drugs, maybe it is time you considered changing your diet. As Dr. Dong said: "It's what you don't eat that counts."

What Holistic Treatment Can Do For Arthritis

With more than fifty million Americans live with one of the more than one hundred forms of arthritis asking yourself what holistic treatment can do for arthritis is a valid question. More than twenty million people suffer from such intense arthritis symptoms that they find themselves under the care of a physican. With a name that literally means an inflammation of the joints, the onset of arthritis typically stems from four causes including genetics, injury, infection, or just normal wear and tear. There's even a form of arthritis associated with presence of sexually transmitted diseases and infections.

Although arthritis is not just one single disease, many forms of the disorder work in cooperation with pain, inflammation, swelling, redness, limited motion, and catastrophic damage to the joints. Some of the most common forms of arthritis are:

  • Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis is the most common form of the disease in the United States.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: Often plague on women over the age of forty, rheumatoid arthritis has the potential to cause a fiery sensation in the joints as well as other organs like the eyes, lungs, heart, and skin.
  • Gout Arthritis: Frequently occurring in men forty years old and older, gout arthritis is caused by elevated blood levels of uric acid that forms crystals in the joints.
  • Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, and systemic infectious arthritis are other forms of the disease.

    What Holistic Treatment Can Do For Arthritis?

    Alternative treatments like massage therapy and ancient Chinese acupuncture have a lot of influence on alleviating the symptoms of arthritis. Over the years a number of complementary remedies have presented themselves in hopes of providing an answer for what holistic treatment can do for arthritis. Just take a look at what holistic treatment can do for arthritis pain relief:

    Accupressure: Daily accupressure treatments can improve blood circulation in arthritis sufferers.

    Acupuncture: Each pain inflicted area of the body has a connected acupuncture pressure point. Daily acupuncture treatments can be helpful for acute arthritis. Chronic sufferers may require treatments just a few times a month.

    Aromatherapy: Aromatherapy treatments can relieve pain by helping the body learn to heal itself. Aromatherapy includes oils like rosemary, lavender, ginger, juniper, chamomile, and eucalyptus. Therapy oils can be applied in numerous ways including mixing with bath water, wearing as a perfume, inhaling the vapors, or mixing the oils for a full body massage.

    Bodywork: Bodywork is another holistic treatment for arthritis that is used to restore more natural posture. A rigorous course of body massage and movement reeducation, bodywork has displayed evidence of recapturing some of the physical limitations brought on by arthritis. Bodywork also features lots of compassionate massaging, which is complimented for providing a big boost to the self-confidence of arthritis patients.

    Juice Therapy: It's no wonder Mom was always telling you finish all of your orange juice. For people with many forms of arthritis, lots of fruits juices that are rich in beta-carotene have demonstrated positive results of what holistic treatment can do for arthritis pain relief. Black cherry juice, in particular, is a solid choice for alleviating arthritis pain. Juices that promote positive results for arthritis are:

  • Carrot Juice

  • Potato Juice

  • Lemon Juice (just before bed)

  • Radish

  • Beet Juice
  • As you can see there are various forms of holistic treatments for arthritis that can provide those that suffer from arthritis symptoms and pain some much welcomed relief.

    Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis: Differences of Opinion?

    Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common inflammatory form of arthritis and affects approximately 2 million Americans. It is a chronic, autoimmune, systemic disease for which there is no known cure; however, it is capable of being put into remission.

    RA develops as a result of chronic inflammation involving the synovium- the lining of the joint- which results in damage to the joint. Damage can occur early in the disease and is irreversible.

    New diagnostic criteria formulated in 2010 by a combined effort of the American College of Rheumatology as well as the European League Against Rheumatism have helped establish parameters that allow for the detection of early disease.

    It is quite clear that early diagnosis and aggressive treatment results in improved functional outcome for patients with RA. Currently, the target or goal is remission. In fact, the "treat to target" approach is the new buzz word in rheumatology.

    Treatment approaches designed to effect remission vary depending upon the treating rheumatologist.

    Some arthritis specialists feel that a combination of disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDS) including drugs such as methotrexate, hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil), sulfasalazine (Azulfidine), and leflunomide (Arava) should be employed for at least six months before switching to biologic therapies.

    In most instances, methotrexate is the DMARD of choice and is started at a dose of 10-15 mgs per week and increased to about 20 mgs over an 8 week period. Folic acid is given in a dose of 1 mg per day to help counteract some of the untoward effects of methotrexate.

    While there is some data to support this approach, many other rheumatologists feel that six months is far too long to wait before initiation of biologic therapy.

    Most rheumatologists do agree that for patients with active disease, low doses of corticosteroids can act as a "bridge" until the disease is controlled.

    Biologic therapies are much more selective in their effects on RA. They are specifically designed to hit certain inflammatory proteins or cells that produce these inflammatory proteins.

    The difference between DMARDS and biologic therapies can be likened to the difference between a shotgun versus a rifle.

    As can be surmised, there is potential for side effects from both DMARDS as well as biologics. The use of either category of drug needs to be instituted and followed by a physician with much experience in their use.

    While much has been written about the potential hazards of biologic therapy, there has been relatively little attention paid to the potential hazards of combination DMARD therapy.

    It can be emphatically said that neither approach is side-effect free.

    Friday, August 16, 2013

    Rheumatoid Arthritis: Management Of This Disease

    Management of the rheumatoid arthritis is generally medical, but therapeutic approaches and measures as well as surgical interventions can minimize and slow the effects of the disease. The evaluation and treatments rendered in an ongoing manner. It is best for the disease to be managed from a multidisciplinary perspective approach, this means including the principal rheumatologist, orthopedic surgeon, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, orthotists and the social worker, for a more holistic approach.

    The management during the acute stage is primarily a medical perspective, characterised by frequent visits and even in-staying in the hospitals for increased rests, pain management and education. In the sub-acute phase, there will be more visits and treatments by the physiotherapists and occupational therapists, depending on the level of systemic and local effects of rheumatoid arthritis.

    During this stage, there is also a chance of the hand occupational therapist attending to the patient with the disease for splinting and mobilization of the affected finger and hand joints, if the patient is able tolerate. The benefits of physiotherapy and occupational therapy is positive, and often increases the general mobility and pain management of the joints, equating to a better quality of life.

    The drugs/pharmaceuticals that is often prescribed at this point in time include anti-inflammatories, painkillers, and hydrocortisone injections into the joint(s). There need to be careful management and monitoring of the effects of the abovementioned drugs when ministering to the patients, as some may have unpleasant side effects, but with safe administration, they are very effective.

    Is IV Vitamin Therapy Right for You?

    In recent years an intravenous vitamin drip known as The Myers Cocktail has become the latest health craze, and for good reason. The Myers Cocktail, along with similar IV vitamin therapies, has been used successfully to treat many ailments, as an immune system booster and as part of a normal health regime.

    Developed in the 1970s by physician John Myers, M.D. at John Hopkins University in Baltimore, the Myers Cocktail contains Vitamin C, zinc, magnesium, calcium, and all of the B vitamins diluted in water.

    Taking vitamins intravenously injects essential vitamins and nutrients directly into the blood stream, bypassing the digestive system and enabling quick absorption. Often when a person's body is sick or becoming sick the gut is already inflamed and makes oral absorption difficult and less efficient. Vitamin IVs allow efficient and quick absorption while boosting energy and hydrating the body. Intravenous administration of nutrients also allows for a much higher concentration to enter the body than can be achieved orally.

    People have a tendency to get sick during the winter months, and are in need of an immune system boost. This vitamin therapy gives them just the boost they need to prevent or fight illness, or for general nutrition.

    Benefits of IV Vitamin Therapy

    Chronic Fatigue and Adrenal Fatigue-Patients who suffer from tiredness, chronic fatigue or adrenal fatigue often are also suffering from nutritional and vitamin deficiency. IV vitamin therapy restores essential vitamins and nutrients to the body, which increases energy and repairs enzyme systems.

    Cancer-Research suggests that a high dosage of vitamin C has a negative effect on cancer cell growth. Vitamin C given intravenously supplies the body with higher levels of vitamin C and other nutrients than it would if taken orally. High levels of vitamin C helps boost the immune system by increasing lymphatic production and preventing cellular free radical damage. Vitamin C also helps patients to better tolerate chemotherapy by reducing the toxicity of radiation without lessening the cancer killing effects of the drug.

    Autoimmune conditions-The vitamins and nutrients found in IV vitamin therapy help in lowering inflammation in the body. Vitamin therapy can be extremely effective in treating common autoimmune conditions such as, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Sjorgren's Syndrome and scleroderma.

    Migraines-Migraine headaches are often linked to poor intestinal health, which causes the body to have poor mineral and vitamin absorption through the digestive system. Injecting the vitamins intravenously solves this problem by bypassing the digestive system and sending the nutrients directly into the blood stream. The high dosage of magnesium found in the cocktail helps to decrease the frequency and severity of migraines. Magnesium relaxes muscle contraction and dilates blood vessels, providing significant migraine relief.

    Detoxification-IV vitamin therapy is used as nutritional support during detoxification. When patients are on a detox diet, they are often limiting their food intake and therefore can't get nutrition into the body. A vitamin IV not only gets essential nutrients into the body, it helps the liver to dispose of toxins.

    For Athletes-Many athletes have found the benefit of using IV vitamin therapy as an energy boost for training leading up to a big game or event. It pumps the body full of highly concentrated nutrients for optimal performance.

    IV vitamin therapy has also been used to treat stress, low immune system function, seasonal allergies and dehydration by providing the body with essential vitamins and nutrients that often get depleted.
    The vitamin cocktail differs slightly based on each patient's condition, but it is mostly a standard mixture of vitamin C, zinc, selenium, magnesium, calcium and all of the B vitamins.

    Based on medical conditions, the frequency of each dosage of IV vitamin therapy varies from multiple times weekly to monthly or even quarterly. Each patient is different and therefore requires different protocols.

    In my practice, after a brief medical history assessment, a patient will spend 20 to 45 minutes in the IV room for a standard Myers cocktail. While they are hooked up to the IV bag, they enjoy a relaxing atmosphere with soft music, candles and comfortable seating. The experience is meant to be more of a relaxation technique than a medical procedure. As a result of the atmosphere and high levels of magnesium (a natural relaxant) patients often come away tired from the experience. After a nights sleep they wake up feeling fully rejuvenated and healthy.


    There are no significant side effects to IV vitamin therapy. However, patients suffering from liver or kidney disease need to use precaution when using this therapy. It is always advisable to speak with a medical practitioner about your medical history before beginning treatment.. This is why I perform a brief medical history assessment to see if there are any risk factors before administering IV vitamin therapy.

    Effective Arthritis Pain Relief - Tips And Treatments

    I got rid of my arthritis and arthritis pain forever by doing one single thing - read on. There is a little-known natural solution to curing oneself of arthritis pain that I discovered several years ago.

    Arthritic joints appear to be larger, are stiff and painful, and usually feel worse the more they are used. Arthritis is usually found in the joints of the fingers, feet, knees, hips, and spine. Unlike some other types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis is not systemic - it does not spread through the entire body.

    Joints are designed for normal and painless movement and are primarily supplied by the synovium and cartilage. Cartilage contains chondrocytes, water, proteoglycans and collagen; chondrocytes are the basic cartilage cells and are necessary for balance and function. The combination of the collagen meshwork and high water content tightly bound by proteoglycans creates a resilient, slippery pad in the joint, which resists the compression between bones during muscle movement.

    Aging cells may be a factor in the development of arthritis. It's generally thought that inflammation plays a minor role in osteoarthritis and is more likely to be a result, not a cause, of arthritis. As chondrocytes (the cells that make up cartilage) age, they lose their ability to make repairs and produce more cartilage; this process may play an important role in the development and progression of osteoarthritis.

    Nutrition experts say it takes a combination of supplements, that no one supplement can relieve arthritis pain, build cartilage, etc. Try massaging your fingers or other affected joints with coconut oil twice a day. One natural treatment method involves avoiding all inflammatory foods.

    If your osteoarthritis is affecting your load-bearing joints, keeping your weight within a normal range is important. Make smoothies with fruit only using a base of two bananas, adding a cup of frozen or fresh blueberries and mango chunks or substitute any other fruit and add an energy boost of two tablespoons of coconut oil; add one or two leaves of kale for another highly nutritional boost -- no one will ever know. Dried Montmorency tart cherries seem to be helpful for arthritis pain also.

    A study in Great Britain touted the beneficial effects of cod liver oil on osteoarthritis; relieving pain and stiffness, and reversing the destruction of joint cartilage within 24 hours. Watch your diet closely - load-bearing joints are affected by excessive weight; they are the hips, knees, feet and spine.

    I eat a diet of living foods (fruits, raw veggies, raw nuts and raw seeds) to relieve my arthritis pain and this should be tried for at least 30 days, thus eliminating any foods that might be culprits. If you're not already doing so, make a big effort to watch your diet.

    To be on the safe side always seek your doctor's advice before starting or changing your exercise program. Whatever you do, keep moving; don't sit when you can stand, don't stand when you can walk. For arthritic fingers, a good exercise is to put your finger tips together and press hard and release, then repeat several times. Use Taiji health balls, with the chimes, to strengthen the finger joints: hold two balls, move in a clockwise circle with your fingers to rotate them, then try counterclockwise and do throughout the day.

    Try to keep painful joint areas in motion, even in a limited manner. Keep a bedside basket of arthritic aids for arthritic hands (Theraputty, hand grips, Taiji chime balls, etc.) to be used at bedtime or while watching television. Stretching and warming up the joints should always be the first step in your exercise routine to make your joints more flexible.

    Be aware that the use of NSAIDs or Cox-2 inhibitors do not halt the progress of osteoarthritis and may even hasten the onset. If you're planning to take any of the non-prescription NSAIDS for arthritis, make sure you understand what bad effects they can have on the stomach, liver and/or kidneys and discuss this with your doctor. At the very least, understand what the side effects and adverse reactions are for any drug you take.

    Knowing more about arthritis and how it works will ultimately help contribute to your relief of arthritis pain. One should not only search for relief of arthritis pain but work on preventing it. Your treatment plan should include an anti-arthritis diet, exercise, and a positive mental attitude.

    How To Cure Psoriasis In 3 Months Or Less!

    Take it from a long time sufferer of Psoriasis. Don't you ever get tired of all the bull crap on How To Cure Psoriasis? Read my story first and then judge for yourself. First there's a few basic things you need to understand before I teach you how to cure psoriasis in less than 3 months.

    For as long as I can remember I've been searching for a Psoriasis cure all of my life. Other than a "temporary", but total disappearance of all traces of of Psoriasis on my body a few years ago, as far as I was concerned, there was no cure for Psoriasis. But wait... all of these years I've been approaching this all wrong, and so has everybody else including your narrow-minded doctor.

    The reason being, is that there will never be a cure for psoriasis until such time that a team of biologist are assigned the task of discovering why our killer T-cells are over-reacting, and creating a medication mild enough for every day use that will suppress the immune system without the risk of developing other diseases. Does this sound like a contradiction? It sure is!

    Rest assured that I speak and write from experience in addition to the extensive research I have done on the subject. Just so that you know, I'm not against doctors. I just feel that most doctors live in ignorance! Can you blame them? They've studied long and hard in their respective discipline to obtain their degrees, so in their minds, why should they listen to anyone else? How dare they ask me to "think" outside the box?

    They usually have a family like most of us, are busy with their personal lives, and heck it's not their problem... they've become indifferent and immune to people's complaints about their legitimate health problems... until it affects them personally! This added to the fact that they constantly live in fear of being sued.

    I've been a Psoriasis sufferer since the age of 22. I'm now 62, and I hope my story will inspire you not to waste too much time with this disease... as Psoriasis does worsen as you get older. Depriving yourself of everyday living, such as going swimming with your children to avoid embarrassment to them or yourself... things such as dating, wearing summer clothing, walking the beaches, always hiding and always conscious of people staring, making comments! Is it contagious? You know the feeling... being refused access to public swimming places because they fear you might catch another disease... so they say, and doing this for years, decades even... depriving yourself all of those little things that really count, which you could have done if only your doctor would have "thought" outside the box a little!

    Using useless prescribed creams and methods that just don't work, in the hope of a better life! But enough of that for now, as I'll continue my story after giving you some facts on Psoriasis which were never revealed to you. And, what you must do to NO LONGER HAVE TO LIVE WITH PSORIASIS! This doesn't mean that your Psoriasis is cured... it simply means that their will never be any visible traces of Psoriasis on your body... but better still, your Psoriasis will be controlled... in effect, the spread of it STOPPED!

    Let's begin with what Is Psoriasis? In short, Psoriasis is a chronic, autoimmune disease that appears on the skin. It occurs when the immune system sends out faulty signals that speed up the growth cycle of skin cells. I want you to think real hard on these two phrases... autoimmune disease and faulty signal!

    - Autoimmune disease? Disease is a little harsh. It's more like an unbalanced immune system (probably due to some form of toxin in your body which has yet to be identified).

    - A faulty signal! This is so very important to understand. Skin cells have a regular and natural growth cycle of about 24 days on average. In the case of Psoriasis, the growth cycle is much faster, hence not giving you enough time to shed your old skin, the new skin accumulating at the top causing inflammation and forming psoriatic plaques, before the old skin has had time to shed. What you have is a build-up of skin.

    Your skin has a very sophisticated defense mechanism, whereby every time it feels it's being invaded by some foreign, exterior toxin of some kind (many times a day), it signals the first cells of defense to stop these invaders by whichever way it has damaged and penetrated your skin, letting the natural growth cycle of new skin cells take it's course.

    The red inflammation you see on your skin is in fact that first line of defense, such as in an insect bite. If these guys can't do the job, then they call upon REAL killer cells (T-cells), to come and do the job. These killer cells have a built in memory system, recalling past infections... and should only react when this specific intruder is present, or when called upon by the first line of defense for some other toxin/intruder. The natural growth cycle of skin cells continues as if nothing ever happened.

    Again, the red inflammation you see around a cut, or wound, is that first line of defense busy working to heal the cut or wound and keeping out infections... and this is normal. Without inflammation, cuts and wounds would not heal and leave you open to serious infections. In the case of Psoriasis, rather than the first line of defense taking over and letting the growth cycle of new skin take it's course, it is the real killer cells that immediately jump into action and in doing so causes the growth cycle of new skin to be fast with the result being an abundance of skin which form those scaly, silver looking patches.

    Remember what I said about killer T-cells... they have a built-in memory system. When they are called upon to react for a particular infection, they will always respond for that particular infection thereafter. So when you first contracted Psoriasis and your killer T-cells reacted, that was it... it was forever embedded in their memory. So, in the case of Psoriasis, your immune system, rather than letting the first line of defense take it's role, it calls upon those killer T-cells, interferes with the normal growth cycle, and quickens the process for faster healing, hence causing an over abundance of new skin under the yet to be shed old skin.

    Psoriasis is not contagious. It commonly causes red, scaly patches to appear on the skin, although some patients have no dermatological symptoms. The scaly patches commonly caused by psoriasis, called psoriasis plaques, are areas of inflammation and excessive skin production. Skin rapidly accumulates at these sites which gives it a silvery-white appearance. Plaques frequently occur on the skin of the elbows and knees, but can affect any area including the scalp, palms of hands and soles of feet, and genitals.

    The disorder, as it is now called, is a chronic recurring condition that varies in severity from minor localized patches to complete body coverage. Fingernails and toenails are frequently affected (psoriatic nail dystrophy) and can be seen as an isolated symptom. Psoriasis can also cause inflammation of the joints, which is known as psoriatic arthritis.

    Psoriasis first appeared on my body, after a deep cut I sustained from a piece of chrome molding of a car. The cut was on the left forearm, close t the left elbow. At the time, I hadn't thought much of it, but was glad that the 2" long and deep cut had healed rather quickly. I was 22 at the time.

    A few months later, the itching began and I noticed flaking of skin where the cut had been. The more time went by, the more the flaking had moved towards the left elbow. Now I was constantly scratching and picking at my left elbow. The more I scratched, the more the flaking developed into full blown scales, silver in color, and all I had to do was just pick at the scales... and they would fall off. It was then that I was diagnosed with Psoriasis. I was told it was incurable and to learn to live with it. By the following year, Psoriasis had spread to both elbows and both knees... and a very small spot or plaque, on the right thigh.

    Fast Forward 3 Years...there is a point to all this. In 1974, I turned 25... and something I never expected happened. I was hospitalized for a growth on the left optic nerve. A growth called a pseudo tumor that just kept growing and slowly pushing my left eye out of its socket, causing extreme pain. I remained in that hospital (the Montreal Institute of Neurology), for approximately 90 days... but not without a series of many, many awkward tests involving a team of worldwide experts trying to determine the best approach to resolving my problem. One of the options was to drill a hole through my skull to try and get a biopsy of this growth. It was quickly ruled out because it being on the optic nerve, guaranteed complete blindness in the left eye and partial blindness in the right eye.

    The only alternative left was to put me on a certain medication, which at the time was considered extremely dangerous because of its side effects. One of their main concerns was sterility for the rest of my life, and extreme weakening of my immune system leaving me open to serious infections which would normally not occur... as if I cared at 25. I mean what were my options... blindness or no kids! I'm Introduced To Prednisone.

    Before I begin telling you of my experience on Prednisone, let me give you a brief description of this drug according to Wikipedia as of the writing of this report, some 35 years later.Prednisone is a synthetic corticosteroid drug that is particularly effective as an immunosuppressant, and affects virtually all of the immune system. It is used to treat certain inflammatory diseases and (at

    higher doses) cancer, but has significant adverse effects. Since it suppresses the immune system, it leaves patients more susceptible to infections.

    In fact, during an overnight stay at the hospital recently, I was put in a room with 6 other men who had prostate cancer. All f those men were receiving Prednisone as a treatment for their prostate cancer. Prednisone is a prodrug that is converted by the liver into prednisolone, which is the active drug and also a steroid.

    My treating physician sees no alternative but to put me on a high dosage beginning with 36 pills, then skipping a day, then down to 34 pills... and so on, always skipping a day in between. It worked! Not only did it suppress the growth on my optic nerve, but because it is an immunosuppressant, and hence suppressed those famous Real killer cells which causes Psoriasis... and all of my Psoriasis disappeared! Once of the Prednisone... and a few months down the road, the Psoriasis began to re-appear.

    Fast forward to 1979. My father passes away at 59... and I'm traumatized! This trauma triggers the mass sitting on my optic nerve again. Back on Prednisone, but this time on a smaller scale. Starting with 24 - 22 - 20 and so on. All of my Psoriasis disappears... and re-appears some months down the line after I stopped the treatment. Ironically, my treating physician, a top neurologist at the Montreal Institute of Neurology informs me that Prednisone is not as dangerous as they once thought!

    Fast forward to 1984. Low and behold, another trauma in my life... but this time because of a financial breakdown. On the point of losing my home etc., this trauma triggers my growth once again. Back on Prednisone on a smaller dose... 12 - 10 - 8... with the same results. After 1984, I never went back to Prednisone.

    Fast forward to 2005. It is a difficult time in my life... alone, jobless, living in a basement apartment with lots of humidity and at times mold. In addition I'm going through stressful times with my teenage son. By now, the Psoriasis on my right thigh has grown to the size of a small plate. This stressful situation is beginning to take its toll. Psoriasis has now appeared on my front left leg just above my ankle and is growing rapidly. It has also appeared on the calf of my right leg and growing rapidly.

    Fast forward to 2008 - 2009. Psoriasis has now spread to my lower back, my buttocks and in between the inner thighs and genitals. I'm living a nightmare. Early one morning in the fall of 2009, at about 5:00 A.M., I come to get out of bed and the moment my feet touch the floor, I feel excruciating pain in my feet and ankles. My feet, toes, ankles are swollen. In a panic I get to the hospital with just socks on, since I can't get my shoes on. After a few blood tests and a physical examination, I'm diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis brought on by my Psoriasis!

    I'm referred to a dermatologist who tells me he can't do anything for but prescribe cream. I politely tell him "you obviously know very little about psoriasis" and leave! The hospital had also referred me to a Rheumatologist who supposedly is the specialist for Psoriatic Arthritis. Unfortunately, I've been trying to see this specialist for over a year now. I'm hoping that he will put me on a maintenance level of Prednisone, but I'm not holding my breath...cause I don't particularly care what he says, and here's why!

    My research on Prednisone led me to a 21 page report prepared by Dr. Schein... so I will only outline what is pertinent to Psoriasis. I have only quoted what I feel is important to Psoriasis sufferers... what you must know before you decide to take this route, as I am about to:

    1. What is clear in my mind is this... that Prednisone does allow you to live free of Psoriasis.

    2. It is a fact that it can be taken on a maintenance level without too much concern.

    Description: Prednisone is the most commonly prescribed oral corticosteroid. The drug is metabolized in the liver to its active form, prednisolone. Prednisone is 4 times as potent as a glucocorticoid (also known as GC). So What Is Glucocorticoids? GCs are naturally occurring hormones that prevent or suppress inflammation and immune responses when administered at pharmacological doses. GCs are part of the feedback mechanism in the immune system that turns immune activity (inflammation) down. They are therefore used in medicine to treat diseases that are caused by an overactive immune system, such as in Psoriasis. They also interfere with some of the abnormal mechanisms in cancer cells, so they are used in high doses to treat cancer.

    Side Note: if it is the most commonly prescribed oral corticosteroid... then it cannot be that dangerous as my doctor once told me.

    Pharmacokinetics: Prednisone is rapidly absorbed across the GI membrane following oral administration. Peak effects can be observed after 1 - 2 hours. Systemic prednisone (meaning taken according to a specific prescribed dosage), is quickly distributed into the kidneys, intestines, skin, liver and muscle. Any excess... inactive as well as small portions of active are excreted in the urine.

    Dosage: Important... these recommended dosages are equivalent Glucocorticoid dosages. The following is the exact wording taken from the report which deals with Psoriasis. "For the treatment of rheumatic conditions such as arthritis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, severe psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, acute and subacute bursitis, acute non-specific tenosynovitis, acute gouty arthritis and gout, osteoarthritis, or epicondylitis".

    Oral Adult Dosage: Dosage is titrated (concentration is determined), to response. Usual dosage, however, is 5 - 30mg once daily.

    Side Effects: Granted, there are a lot of them... but, they are "more" there as a precaution. As I stated earlier, my

    doctor told me that prednisone is not as dangerous as once thought to be. You also have to pay attention to your pre-existing condition.There are over-the-counter drugs on the market, that people take every day, that have just as many side-effects and worse! I'll give you just one example here... ALEVE!

    There are also other oral drugs being prescribed for Psoriasis which are equally full of side-effects. I for one, consider Prednisone safer than most... but at least it works.

    Conclusion: Considering the amount of Prednisone I use to take, with no or little side effects, I truly believe that we Psoriasis sufferers... especially the ones who's Psoriasis has escalated to Psoriatic Arthritis should have the option to decide whether we want to take a little risk or not! It's up to you to question your doctor

    The Irony: I've come to realize that after a certain age, almost everybody either dies of cancer or heart failure whether their immune system is strong or not. One of the warnings of taking Prednisone is weakening your immune system and making you more susceptible to cancer. But yet, once you get cancer and you most likely will in later years... is they treat you with Prednisone, as in prostate cancer... the biggest killer of men next to heart failure. The same can be said for women with breast cancer. Isn't that ironic?

    Can it be that if you take Prednisone before cancer ever develops, that your chances of getting cancer are less?

    Alternatively: Now I'm about to reveal to you what happened to me between 1990 and 1992. If you recall, this was during the big commotion on this new supplement called "beta carotene". But not just any beta carotene, one specific expensive brand which is no longer available since certain "people" started saying that you could actually overdose on beta carotene... which turned out to be false. After being on this particular brand for about 3-4 months, all of my psoriasis had disappeared. Unfortunately, I never ordered enough and eventually the psoriasis came back.

    This taught me a very important lesson because, that particular brand of beta carotene was the equivalent of eating many pounds of carrots, lettuce, cabbage, and fruits such as apples in huge doses and all in one day. Obviously, this is physically impossible in it's natural form. But here is the key: it was a supplement consisting of massive amounts of vegetables and fruits with mainly carrots.

    Supplements are meant to be taken with your regular meals. However, the point being is that this beta carotene became your main massive intake of vegetables and fruits, which in turn restored the balance of your autoimmune system.

    In conclusion, in order to control your psoriasis and make it disappear for good, you need to restore the balance of your autoimmune system (safely suppressing those killer T-cells), via a proper alkaline diet consisting of mostly vegetables and fruits... and stay on it for the rest of your life.

    So you have a dumb doctor who won't put you on a maintenance dosage of prednisone... what can you do? You fear taking Prednisone or any other kind of medicine for Psoriasis. First, you begin by creating and follow a diet specifically tailored for people with Psoriasis.

    I suggest you visit this website for a look at the special link to a book with the perfect diets to follow. Next find a supplement consisting of mainly vegetables that will compliment your Psoriasis diet 10 fold, and stick with it. This will suppress your killer T-cells without any danger of lowering your auto immune system.

    Rheumatoid Arthritis Relief - Massage Therapy For Managing Arthritic Pain

    Massage therapy will not cure rheumatoid arthritis but it will definitely offer a rheumatoid arthritis pain relief and will lessen the stress associated with it.

    Why Massage Therapy

    Massage therapy is considered one of the popular alternative or complementary rheumatoid arthritis treatments because:

    - It lessens muscle tension so that stiffness and muscle pain is reduced.
    - It promotes better blood flow.
    - It improves joint movement and flexibility.
    - It reduces inflammation and the pain that goes along with it.
    - It is relaxing hence people don't feel stressed out.

    According to a recent study, massage therapy has helped to increase grip strength in the hands of people who suffer from arthritis. In a four week period, a massage was given once a week to participants in the study. In addition, the participants were asked to perform the same massage routine on a daily basis.

    Different Types of Massage Therapy

    There are different types of massage therapy used for managing arthritic pain. These are:

    1. Swedish Massage. Swedish massage is a whole body massage that involves the following techniques:

    • Effleurage where there is a gliding movement of the hands that is meant to relax the muscles and calm the nerves. The pressure used is light to medium.

    • Petrissage which involves kneading of the flesh.

    • Friction strokes which are supposed to attack deeper problem areas in the muscles. This technique involves the most pressure.

    • Vibration where parts of the body are gently shaken.

    • Tapotement is a tapping movement which can be done with cupped hands, using the side of the hands or by curling the hand into a loose fist.

    2. Myofascial Release. During a myofascial massage, the patient is massaged using long and stretching strokes. This approach releases tension in the fascia, the connective tissue surrounding the muscles.

    3. Trigger Point Therapy. In this approach, trigger points are identified then pressure is applied (using the fingers) so that they no longer cause pain to other parts of the body.

    4. Reflexology. Reflexology is similar to trigger point therapy in that they both use pressure to ease pain but the former is restricted to points in the hands and feet.

    5. Acupressure and Shiatsu. In acupressure and shiatsu, the fingers are used to apply pressure on specific regions of the body. They are similar to acupuncture in that they all "attack" the same points in the body to help release or control pain.

    6. Deep Tissue Massage. This approach attacks the areas beneath the surface muscles so strong pressure is usually applied.

    Massage therapy provides a safe rheumatoid arthritis relief and while it is true that it doesn't eliminate arthritis altogether, it improves quality of life by effectively managing the pain that comes along with it.

    You Can Cure Your Arthritis Hip Pain

    Arthritis is fairly common and patients experiencing arthritis hip pain are usually over the age of 50. The most common of hip arthritis types is osteoarthritis. This is basically when the cartilage of the hip joint wears away due to the arthritis and that leaves the bone bare inside the joint itself. Hip arthritis tends to run in families but people who are overweight and those who have suffered from traumatic injury near the hip joint are most likely to develop arthritis.

    If you aren't sure whether or not you have hip arthritis, determine if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

    繚 Pain
    繚 Poor range of motion
    繚 Hip stiffness
    繚 Limping while walking

    If you think you may have arthritis, don't feel like you have to keep dealing with the arthritis hip pain. There are several treatments to try and they don't have to include dangerous prescription medications with uncomfortable side effects.

    The first thing you could try if you're over your recommended weight is to lose a few pounds. This can drastically reduce the symptoms of hip arthritis and it's a natural and relatively easy treatment method if you think about it. It's also something you can do entirely on your own or with the help of close friends and family members.

    You could also try using a single crutch or walking cane to help take some of the pressure off of the arthritic joint. This isn't something you'd necessarily have to do for the long term and it will help to reduce the pain.

    Refrain from participating in any physical activity that seems to make your hips achy. Sprinting or stair stepping wouldn't be good exercises choices for you but you could try walking or swimming instead. Physical therapy can also help because it enables you to strengthen the surrounding muscles of the hip joint which can take some of the pressure off.

    In severe hip arthritis cases you may have to undergo hip replacement surgery or hip resurfacing surgery. These should only be used as last resorts. You should try all of the natural methods first to save money and avoid any kind of prescription drug use. Weight loss is the method that is used the least and yet it's really so simple. It doesn't make sense to stay overweight if losing weight could mean a lot less pain for you and more use of your hip joint. The excess weight is hard on all parts of your body and when it's lost, your body will thank you for it.

    You don't have to suffer from arthritis hip pain. If you think you may have arthritis in your hip try all of the natural methods first to see if they help. It could save you thousands in surgical costs.

    My Doctor Says the Bump on My Elbow is a Rheumatoid Nodule... What's That?

    Rheumatoid nodules are soft tissue lumps that occur in 20-30% of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. They may be found almost anywhere on the body, but are most often seen in areas where there are bony prominences. These include pressure points such as the elbow, back of the forearm, and knuckles of the hand. Sometimes they may occur on the back of the head or Achilles tendons.

    Nodules usually occur in chronic active cases of rheumatoid arthritis, and are commonly associated with more severe joint deformity and serious disease. People with rheumatoid nodules often have very high levels of rheumatoid factor in the blood.

    At a microscopic level, these nodules often contain the same types of cellular infiltrates as seen in the joints.

    Patients with very serious RA may have problems in other organ systems. These are referred to as extra-articular (outside the joint) manifestations. These extra-articular areas include the lungs, eyes, skin, heart, brain, and blood vessels. Nodules may vary in size during the course of the disease process. With increasing severity of disease, the nodules may increase in size and in number.

    Complications of rheumatoid nodules include a number of problems such as:

    o increased pain due to pressure phenomena

    o limited joint mobility due to size and location of the nodules

    o nerve damage due to location of nodules

    o ulceration of the nodule leading to infection

    o fistulas (draining channels) that connect the inside of the nodule to the skin surface. Fistulas can easily become infected.

    o infection

    Surgical removal is an option. Patients with rheumatoid nodules tend to heal more slowly than people without the disease. As a result, removal of nodules needs to be done carefully and the surgical wound monitored carefully for dehiscence (reopening). In particular, patients who are taking corticosteroids may be the ones who need to be monitored most carefully. Nodules may also reoccur, particularly if they are located in areas where there is repetitive pressure or trauma.
    Steroid injections into the nodule may reduce the size of the nodule.

    Thursday, August 15, 2013

    Discover Natural Remedies for Rheumatoid Arthritis

    At least four different scientific reviews concerning the effectiveness and safety of popular natural remedies for rheumatoid arthritis have been published since 2004. In search of natural healing rheumatoid arthritis sufferers have tried herbal remedies, nutritional supplements and alternative non-invasive therapies such as chiropractic care.

    According to figures compiled by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, a division of the National Institutes of Health, as many as 62% of all adults use some form of alternative therapy. 33% of them suffer from back pain, neck pain, joint pain or arthritis. These figures suggest that use of natural remedies for rheumatoid arthritis is common and it is the "common usage" that prompted the scientific reviews.

    Devil's Claw, Feverfew, Lei Gong Teng and Cat's Claw: Natural Healing Rheumatoid Arthritis?

    In 2005, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital reviewed the evidence concerning the safety and effectiveness of the botanicals Devil's Claw, Feverfew, lei gong teng and Cat's Claw. The results were as follows.

    Devil's Claw appears to have natural anti-inflammatory activity and there is evidence supporting its use in the treatment of chronic low back pain and osteoarthritis pain affecting the hip or knee.

    But, for effective natural healing rheumatoid arthritis sufferers may want to look elsewhere. Devil's Claw can interfere with several prescription medications including Ticlipidine and Warfarin. It increases the production of stomach acid and can aggravate conditions, such as peptic ulcers and acid reflux.

    Feverfew, lei gong teng and Cat's Claw have been used historically by native healers as natural remedies for rheumatoid arthritis, as well as other health conditions. According to the researchers at Massachusetts General, test tube results indicate that feverfew may be very active in modulating immune system responses, but "human studies have not proven it useful in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis". Adverse side effects of feverfew may include stomach upset and mouth ulcers.

    Apparently there is clinical evidence supporting the effectiveness of lei gong teng and Cat's Claw as natural remedies for rheumatoid arthritis. To quote the researchers, "Current experience...finds them to be efficacious in the treatment of RA." However, in their final conclusion they make this warning, "...many studies done to date are scientifically flawed. Further systematic and scientific inquiry into this topic is necessary to validate or refute the clinical claims."

    There are safe and natural remedies for rheumatoid arthritis, but both lei gong teng and Cat's Claw are accompanied by detrimental and sometimes dangerous side effects, which are detailed below.

    Unwanted Side Effects

    The majority of current research concerning lei gong teng focuses on its potential as a male contraceptive. Components have been found, even at low doses, to lower sperm counts and cause temporary infertility. Because of its immuno-suppressive activity, it can increase the risk of infection.

    Since immune system suppression and increased risk of infection are complications associated with prescription medications often used to treat the condition, when looking for natural healing rheumatoid arthritis sufferers may want to avoid lei gong teng, particularly if the reason behind the search is the risk associated with the use of immuno-suppressive drugs.

    Great caution should be practiced when using Cat's Claw. When collected randomly in a natural setting, the positive effects of the botanical can not be scientifically or medically guaranteed. Because there are at least two different "chemo-types" of the plant and numerous other plants known by the same name (some of which are toxic), chemical evaluation is necessary to determine its safety for human use.

    In some cases, even when the chemical composition has been confirmed, serious allergic reactions, including inflammation of the kidneys has occurred. In at least one case, kidney failure has occurred. If the wrong chemo-type is used loss of coordination, reduction of the speed and force of the heart beat and sedative effects similar to those of narcotics can occur.

    The safest chemo-type was originally marketed as an immune booster, while one of the other types has immuno-suppressive activity. It is unclear which chemo-type has been used in the research concerning its effectiveness as one of the natural remedies for rheumatoid arthritis, but it is likely that it was the least safe variety, since the most popular theory is that RA is caused by inappropriate immune system responses and immuno-suppressive drugs are a popular treatment choice.

    The Safest Natural Remedies for Rheumatoid Arthritis

    As with most people who search for natural healing, rheumatoid arthritis sufferers are surely looking for safe, effective alternatives, with no detrimental side effects. For many years, researchers have been studying the role that omega-3 fatty acids (a dietary component found in fatty fish and fish oils) play in rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory diseases.

    In March of 2007, researchers at the University of Adelaide in South Australia published laboratory results concerning the possible reasons behind the effectiveness of omega 3 fatty acids as natural remedies for rheumatoid arthritis, since clinical trials have consistently reported positive results with no detrimental side effects.

    The researchers began with the understanding that omega-6 fatty acids (found in large quantities in the average diet) increase the activity of immune system cells that cause inflammation. Their goal was to see if omega-3 fatty acids could block the inflammatory activity caused by an omega 6 fatty acid. Their conclusion was that EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids do, in fact, negate the immune system response to omega 6 fatty acids and thereby reduce or inhibit inflammation.

    The researchers concluded, "These results help fill the gaps in our knowledge regarding the mechanisms of action of n-3 PUFAs, thus allowing us to make specific recommendations for the use of n-3 PUFAs in the regulation of inflammatory diseases."

    In a meta-analysis, similar to the review of natural remedies for rheumatoid arthritis conducted in 2005, researchers in Canada reviewed clinical studies related to omega-3 fatty acid supplementation for joint pain. The results were published in May 2007. In brief, the analysis showed that patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis who received dietary supplementation of omega 3 fatty acids for 3-4 months reported a reduction in joint pain intensity, minutes of morning stiffness, number of painful or tender joints and the need for pain relieving drugs.

    The conclusion: "The results suggest that omega-3 PUFAs are an attractive adjunctive treatment for joint pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis."

    When searching for natural healing, rheumatoid arthritis sufferers can rest assured that omega-3 fatty acids are 100% natural (as long as the manufacturer of the product includes no additives or preservatives) and 100% safe (as long as the manufacturer distills and purifies the fish oil to remove contaminants).

    In general, people also find that they get many extra health benefits from fish oil, including improved ability to concentrate and a reduction in depressive feelings.

    To conclude, of all the natural remedies for rheumatoid arthritis, there is the most evidence supporting the safety and effectiveness of omega 3 fatty acids derived from the flesh of fatty fish.

    According to the University of Maryland Medical Center's website:

    "Most clinical studies investigating the use of omega-3 fatty acid supplements for inflammatory joint conditions have focused almost entirely on rheumatoid arthritis. Several articles reviewing the research in this area conclude that omega-3 fatty acid supplements reduce tenderness in joints, decrease morning stiffness, and allow for a reduction in the amount of medication needed for people with rheumatoid arthritis."

    They go on to state that:

    "....New Zealand green lipped mussel ( Perna canaliculus ), another potential source of omega-3 fatty acids, has been shown to reduce joint stiffness and pain..."

    We hope you've found this article on the natural remedies for rheumatoid arthritis informative.

    Arthritis Cure: The Amazing Healing Power Of A Therapeutic Fast

    If you are looking for a sure-fire arthritis cure through drug therapy or specialized diet alone, there is none. However, there is a way of bringing about the same results you may be searching for by completely natural means. I'm referring to therapeutic fasting. Through the medium of a supervised therapeutic fast you can jump-start a virtually unknown and unsuspected cleansing agent of nature - autolysis.

    How does autolysis relate to your desire to find an arthritis cure? Think about it. If you had a car that wasn't running well due to a lot of oil sludge buildup, what would you do? Clean it out, of course. The same principle applies to your body when you are stricken with arthritis. In order to begin the process of regenerating your body you must first clean out old mucus settlements, metal and mineral deposits, morbid cellular waste, excess carbonic and uric acids, calcium deposits in your joints and harmful bacteria. A therapeutic fast is the mechanism best suited to accomplish this.

    In most common forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, the body is heavily laden with carbonic and uric acid and excessive calcium deposition in joints or soft tissue structures. The underlying causes of this condition are usually poor nutrition, lack of relevant exercise, poor breathing, lack of adequate daily rest, low vitality, buildup of excessive bodily waste and stressful life pursuits. Until a strong and persistent effort is made to get rid of these factors your body will further deteriorate in direct proportion to the time it devotes to travelling the same path that led to development of your disease state.

    To begin the process of engineering an intelligently planned and executed natural arthritis cure that can last a lifetime, you will need to stimulate your body into breaking down and subsequently expelling toxic material that has served as a breeding ground for the development and steady growth of your symptom complex. It is deep within these hardened mucus pockets that inorganic minerals, metals, harmful bacteria, dead bodily tissue and other undesirable substances find refuge away from the body's normal channels of waste elimination. Simultaneous with this activity you will begin loosening, melting away and absorbing hardened calcium deposits into the blood, lymph or interstitial fluid between cells for use elsewhere in your body or to be eliminated.

    You may ask why your body undergoes this magical cleansing process. Your body engages autolysis in its frantic endeavor to locate sources of nourishment so that your cells can continue to feed. Each cell of your body - particularly your central nervous system, brain and heart muscle - must be supplied with a steady source of nutriment even though you are not physically feeding your body externally in any way.

    Autolysis usually kicks in at about the third or fourth day of a therapeutic fast. This is the point where your body realizes it's not being fed from any external source and it starts scavenging for any nutriment it can find stored in your body. It will look for sustenance in the blood, lymph, interstitial fluid, organs, glands, muscles, fatty tissue, within joints, inside tumors and other growths and wherever else it may find a source of available food.

    This accounts for the quickness with which many fasters who are afflicted with arthritis are able to once again use their joints without excessive pain or discomfort within a few weeks or months after undergoing a therapeutic fast. Much of the hardened organic and inorganic settlements in arthritic joints and soft tissue are broken down and successfully absorbed into the blood stream, lymph or interstitial fluid during the process of autolysis. This is how your body feeds itself during a therapeutic fast. The benefits you derive from this activity are greater joint mobility, removal of toxic waste material, natural and healthy weight loss and the beginning of what could be a new lease on life for you.

    This may not be what you had in mind as far as an arthritis cure is concerned. However, it is the way nature cures - by natural cleansing, subsequent tissue rebuilding and replacement and whole being healing.

    Prescription Medicine for Treating Arthritis Symptoms

    Two of the major symptoms of arthritis are pain and inflammation. This means that if you would like to successfully manage arthritis, taking care of pain and inflammation would be the best place to start. The good thing is that there are lots of drugs that can be bought over-the-counter or prescribed that deal specifically with these two major symptoms of arthritis.

    The drugs

    Here are the most common groups or families of drugs that are used to alleviate the symptoms of arthritis.

    1. Acetaminophen. This is a common pain killer; but if you want it in very high doses, you have to get a prescription in most countries. In small doses, the ones that you get over the counter, acetaminophen is able to relieve pain but is not able to counter inflammation.

    2. Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs). These drugs are usually the first line of drugs that are prescribed when one has arthritis. This is because they are able to relieve pain as well as counter inflammation.

    3. Narcotic pain killers. These are some of the strongest pain killers there are in the market. They are often the last line of pain killers that are given. This is because when used in large doses and over long periods of time, they could cause dependency. They relieve pain by acting directly on the receptors located on the nerve cells. They are very good in pain management but they do not reduce inflammation.

    4. Corticosteroids. These may be synthetic or natural steroids that act on the pain receptors. They are often injected into the joints to relieve inflammation. Due to the profound effect that this family of steroids has on other areas of the body, they are often not recommended for use over 4 times a year. They can also be taken orally in the management of rheumatoid arthritis.

    5. Hyaluronic Acid substitutes. This treatment is only for arthritis that affects the knees. The component of this drug is intended to replace the component that is involved in the nutrition and the lubrication of the joint.

    6. Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs. These drugs have been shown to reduce the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis profoundly. They have also been shown to slow down the progress of the disease. In most cases these days, once a doctor confirms rheumatoid arthritis, a patient is put on this class of drugs.

    Always Talk to a Doctor

    The most important thing to remember is that we all respond in different ways to different drugs. It is therefore very important to talk to a qualified doctor before starting on any treatment regimen. Above all, all of these drugs have some kind of side-effects. Good thing is that there are many natural drugs and treatments available these days that can prove to be a great help in keeping the arthritis symptoms at bay.

    What You Need To Know About Psoriatic Rheumatoid Arthritis

    If you are a psoriasis sufferer, you may have already thought of all the complications that could accompany this disorder. Psoriatic rheumatoid arthritis is probably the most troublesome of all the complications that you will encounter. Somewhere between 10% and 30% will develop this debilitating affliction. Your main joints are the ones that are most affected with possible involvement into some secondary joints. While the disorder can occur at any age level, it most commonly starts in the fourth decade of life with woman being affected more so than men.

    Trying to get out of bed or hold items or walk from a stationary position requires a great deal of effort. You will need to perform some stretching exercises to get the joints operating properly. Once in motion, leisure walks are a great therapy. As with all forms of arthritis, psoriatic rheumatoid arthritis will require a regimen of anti-inflammatory agents to help you get through the difficult times. The most common over the counter drugs used for this include acetaminophen, ibuprofen and good old-fashioned aspirin. Some buffering in stomach such as food or milk is well advised to guard against any gastrointestinal upset.

    If stronger agents are indicated, your doctor has a large selection of prescription drugs to choose from. Other non-steroidal drugs include celecoxib, meloxicam and ketorolac. Beyond these nsaid's as they are called we see the use of steroids such as cortisone and prednsione. Unfortunately all of the aforementioned agents do not protect the joints from further destruction. If your physician would like to use more aggressive therapy which will protect the joints, he or she can choose from two newer categories of drugs. The first is a class of DMARD's or disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs such as azathioprine or methotrexate and the second category of biologic agents known as biologic response modifiers. This second class includes agents such as etanercept and infliximab.

    As with everything in life, greater reward comes with greater risk. As such, these newer agents can bring much relief and joint protection but they also come with some serious side effects. That does not mean you should not try them if your physician feels they are right for you. You should consider all forms of therapy by learning about them, when deciding upon a course of action.

    While no drug, prescription or otherwise, is without side effects, the goal of any therapy is to control the symptoms, bring relief to the patient and increase the quality of their life while keeping the side effects to a minimum. Working with your physician to achieve these goals is something you can definitely do to control your psoriatic rheumatoid arthritis!

    How To Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Rheumatoid arthritis manifests itself in different ways. One person with rheumatoid arthritis may exhibit symptoms quite different from those seen in other patients. Because of this, a physician will usually observe the disease on a case-by-case basis and set his plan of treatment according to the individual patient situation. No single detailed plan of treatment can be laid out which will benefit every case. Certain medications may work wonders for one case but may not provide a cure for others and in many cases the more potent the medicines are, the more hazardous the accompanying side effects can be. The physician should use his wise judgment and weigh the benefits that will be gained from such medications against the hazards these render to the patient.

    This type of arthritis follows different stages. The early stage is often characterized by the destruction of the joint tissues. In the chronic stage, the patient retains and suffers the handicap brought by the early stage.

    Treatment therefore should be directed towards the prevention or reduction of any debilitating damage that usually occurs during the early stage of rheumatoid arthritis. Treatment should also include patient rehabilitation. This will enable restoration of the patient's lost functions damaged during the early stage of the disease.

    Experts have laid down a basic program that can help people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis especially during the early stages. Most often, this will benefit patients suffering either the severe or less severe form of rheumatoid arthritis. This program may even control the disease for a long period of time especially in less severe cases.

    1. A patient suffering from rheumatoid arthritis should avoid damaging the joints involved. He should avoid stressful activities and should take ample rest by reducing his activities in order to conserve his vitality. Rest is one vital regimen patients suffering from this disease should take.

    2. The patient should be able to adjust to his physical condition and should learn about the nature of his disease. He should be able to accept the disability that comes along with rheumatoid arthritis. Psychological adjustment will enable him to become reconciled with his handicap and should make him plan for his future and still become productive.

    3. Pain relief is very important in the management of rheumatoid arthritis. This is usually done by the use of dry heat to the affected parts of the body. Pain relievers such as aspirin are often used as well.

    4. Patients who are often taking aspirin to relieve the pain should be periodically checked for anemia. Aspirin can produce damaging effects on the blood-forming tissues that can result into anemia.

    5. Patients should undergo therapeutic exercises in order to keep the affected muscles in good condition and prevent or reduce deformity to the area. These will also help maintain the patient's vitality.

    6. People who are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis should maintain a well balanced diet. This will provide him the necessary nutrients in order to have good health and maintain his vitality as much as possible. His diet should include plenty of vegetables and fruits.

    Patients who are suffering from the more severe cases of rheumatoid arthritis and especially the progressive type should add more drastic program of treatment which should include:

    1. An intensive physical and occupational therapy.

    2. Some orthopedic devices such as splints can help prevent or reduce deformities.

    3. The use of more potent drugs can provide the necessary pain relief. These include the more powerful anti-inflammatory drugs and analgesics. Other medicines like corticosteroids, indomethacin and phenylbutazone can also be used.

    4. Orthopedic surgery may be performed in some selected cases in order to prevent devastating disability and deformities.

    The patient should still make himself useful and productive despite the incapacities caused by the disease. He should learn to accept the disabilities but at the same time understand that there is still a good life ahead despite these physical changes.

    Wednesday, August 14, 2013

    Back Pain & Rheumatoid Arthritis

    This form of arthritis can cause back pain. Your doctor will talk about it, but it may be obvious if you have R.A. This disease is a systemic one which causes joint inflammation. It is linked to autoimmune diseases or genetics. Inflammation of ligaments, bones and cartilage can cause destruction or reduced capability. Calcification occurs. This is abnormal hardening and it can cause swelling and joint stiffness. Your doctor considers symptoms first, then can offer a diagnosis.

    If a person has R.A., they may have an eating disorder such as anorexia, experience malaise, fatigue, subcutaneous modules (i.e. under the skin), a limited range of motion, pain and swollen joints, and rises in body temperature. Stiffness may occur while a person is awake. People with R.A. may show signs of crepitus, inflamed lymph nodes, pericarditis, leukopenia and splenomegaly. Pericarditis is the condition that causes swelling. With swelling, your back is usually affected. R.A. in itself causes stiffness of the joints and muscles and this can cause a lot of pain. Other sources can be from injury or infections.

    Doctors conduct tests to see if a person has R.A. These may include latex fixation, x-rays, gamma globulin, hematology (blood) and synovial fluid analysis test. If some of these tests show spacing between narrow joints, platelet or WBC or ESR increases, erosion of bones, increases in IgM and IgG and decrease of opaqueness and viscosity, then R.A. may be indicated. Management, interventions, stress reduction and many other treatments may be put into place. Heat and cold together with gold therapy can be used. Gold therapy is used to prevent in infections from reaching the inner central muscle layers and therefore, the walls of the heart.

    Skin and emotional care are also often prescribed. An arthritis foundation will provide a lot more information to help you to cope. Stress-reduction therapy may be prescribed by your doctor. Patients will also be taught to try and avoid infections, colds and fake remedies for R.A. The environment also plays a big part in R.A. You can reduce swelling, redness and pain by performing motion exercises and trying warm compresses or heat therapy. Start stretching exercises and avoid people who get your emotions up too far. Seek emotional and mental support if you have R.A. Try not to suppress your emotions too much as this leads to chemical imbalance and stress.

    Perhaps the practice of yoga will lead to a calmer environment. A few basic moves are easy to learn. Take care of your feet and skin. If you can control your R.A. then surgery may not be needed. R.A. can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome and we all need to use our hands so controlling that is critical. Pain may spread out from the carpal tunnel syndrome affected area to other parts of your body. Besides R.A., gouty arthritis can also cause back pain. Any form of arthritis limits movement, and this leads to damage in joints, cartilage, connective tissue, bones, muscles, etc. Back pain can soon follow.

    Joint Pain in Hands and Feet - 5 Treatments Your Doctor Won't Prescribe

    If you're currently suffering from joint pain in the hands and feet, it's quite common that your local practitioner will prescribe you one of the following non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs - pronounced "en-saids".

    NSIADs Generic Names:

    • Plaquenil

    • Neurontin

    • Paracetamol

    • Tylenol

    • Naproxen

    • Nabumetone

    • Naproxen

    • Ibuprofen

    Word of Caution:

    If you suffer from any kidney, liver or heart disorder and are on medication then taking any one of these is out of the question, as they can both intensify or diminish their effects, plus the longer you use NSAIDs, the severity and risks of developing any side-effects increases, so these are only to be used short-term.

    They can be useful for some, but for many and especially those who have high blood pressure will be particularly sensitive to this type of medication, so the pain will still intensify and remain constant, thus the next option your rheumatologist or osteopath will suggest will be to try steroids or have an anti-inflammatory injection.

    This is typical of medical practitioners in the West, who will only suggest more prescription techniques which pose more risk to your health than NSAIDs, and where research shows they are again for the short term and offer little long-term relief.

    5 Arthritis Treatments Your Doctor Won't Prescribe

    There are additional home treatments and practices you can undertake yourself however which pose no risk to your health, and offer long-term pain relief to this disease.

    1. Paraffin Bath

    In the U.S these can be purchased at Wally World or most drug stores, and are available also in Europe and online.

    Designed for feet and hands, you heat the bath at least a few hours before needing to use it. Be sure to add the paraffin as this is especially good for promoting circulation and the orange oil that comes with it adds a nice aroma to the experience.

    It also has the added advantage of removing dead skin and strengthening your nails.

    2. MSM & Glucosamine Complex Supplements

    These are essentially FDA registered homeopathic pain relievers, Eazol, JointKote and JointAdvance being the most popular in the U.S.

    They deliver no side-effects and are argued in some quarters to be just if not more effective at relieving pain than NSAIDs, while you can take them on a long-term basis without the risk of damaging any organs.

    They also contain magnesium which to date is proven to be far more effective at rebuilding bone density - by some 11% - than calcium supplements which are somewhat debatable.

    3. BLUE-EMU Cream

    BLUE-EMU is used for both skin disorders and as an anti-inflammatory. It also contains Glucosamine helps relieve joint problems.

    Rub a little on the joint when you start to feel the pain kick in. Consumer feedback suggests it really can have an instant effect.

    4. Low Compact Exercise

    Swimming is wonderful all-round and should definitely be part of your daily if not weekly therapy to strengthen the muscles around the joints, which will provide continual support and help relieve the pain naturally - for the long-term.

    If your feet are particularly difficult to walk on, try walking in warm water down your local swimming bath or dangling your legs over the side of the pool and gently moving them up and down for 30 minutes a time.

    This again will help circulate the blood and put your joints in much of a better shape for the day.

    5. Acupuncture of Hands and Feet

    Carpal Tunnel Syndrome occurs in the wrist when the median nerve becomes compressed due to inflammation of one of the tendons it passes by, causing numbness, tingling and wrist pain.

    Acupuncture alleviates this, as it can also help reduce inflammation in the feet where it increases blood flow to the foot and the lower leg, providing more mobility to the feet.


    Unlike NSAID's, these 5 methods for treating hand and foot arthritic conditions are:

    1. Completely safe, with absolutely no side-effects.

    2. Much more beneficial for you long-term.

    3. Will help the remission of the disease.

    4. A positive platform for going forward in life.

    5. A change to the norm and the activities that can be enjoyed with friends and family, where keeping your spirit high is crucial for fighting and defeating this disease.

    Is Silver Water - Colloidal Silver - for You?

    When - through the great LDN support group - I finally found an MD/ND who would write me a prescription for Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN), I informed him I was drinking at least a couple of quarts of Colloidal Silver water each day. The well meaning doctor admitted he was not familiar with this approach to MS but said that he was concerned with the "Heavy metal" aspect. Perhaps, I misunderstood? On what I thought was his informed advice, I quit drinking my "Silver Water."

    I believe that everything happens for a reason - even if we aren't sure what it is. My confirmation of this is found at Romans 8:28 of the Bible... "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."

    A good friend, in another state who is battling RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis), e-mailed to say she had ordered me a book to go along with the detoxification program I had started. She also mentioned that she wanted to begin using Colloidal Silver.

    When the prescription LDN had some negative side effects on me (migraines and heart rate drop) I stopped taking it. I hadn't resumed drinking my silver water. The Multiple Sclerosis continued to take its toll and I was now in a wheelchair. My RA friend's e-mail reminded me that both MS and Rheumatoid Arthritis are "Autoimmune diseases," as are many more. I contacted the owner of the company from which I had such great service when using Colloidal Silver.

    I explained why he had not heard from me for quite a while, told him what the doctor had said, and told him my friend would likely be in contact with him to buy a Colloidal Silver generator. The following is taken from his e-mail reply to me...

    Russ, I'm sure your doctor isn't aware of it but silver is not a heavy metal. It's a transitional metal and does no harm to mammalian tissue. It kills virus and bacteria and some single cell fungi only. It is completely safe at any amount of ingestion. Drink it with impunity.

    Was that good news or what? I have since placed easy to find links to the good company on my website and ordered some more silver electrodes from one of my own links. There is even a link for those who wish to become "Affiliates," who could use some extra income by directing others to Colloidal Silver information and to the company I use for CS related products.

    Persons doing battle with MS as I am, and those contending with health conditions including: Arthritis, AIDS, HIV, Candida, Ear Infections, Herpes, Lymes Disease and many more, would be wise to look into CS.

    Part of what you will find, is that silver has been known to cure disease and improve health for thousands of years. Since the conventional modern medical establishment knows very little about CS, it can only be sold as a supplement. The reason? Because silver cannot be patented, drug companies cannot profit from CS.

    Despite over 100,000 web pages on the Internet devoted to Colloidal Silver (most of which supporting CS use), many physicians maintain that CS is risky and is not of any real value.

    Could such doctors' advice have something to do with the fact that they cannot make any money off CS or healthy patients either? Especially when you consider that, before the drug companies took over the modern medical man's education, most physicians considered CS high-tech medicine. Silver was used it to treat gonorrhea, typhoid, streph throat, pneumonia, syphilis, influenza, to kill germs and known harmful bacteria before the drug houses had a law drawn up that states: Only a drug can cure disease.

    After his experiments with silver (in what is now called colloidal form), Henry Crookes stated, " I know of no microbe that is not killed in laboratory experiments in six minutes." (Crookes 1914) When penicillin and sulfa drugs became the state of the art, drug companies were well on their way to assuming their power and gaining their glory.

    On page 11 of his book, Colloidal Silver Today, Warren Jefferson states: "By 1970 the major pharmaceutical companies no longer produced CS and it was no longer listed in any medical treatment reference book."

    The FDA has said that, "The indiscriminate use of colloidal silver solutions has resulted in cases of argyria, a permanent blue-gray discoloration of the skin and deep tissues."

    In conclusion, I feel we should be discriminate as to how we use CS, where we obtain it, and not take our responsibility lightly if we make Colloidal Silver ourselves. I (for one) am just happy to be back - sipping my "Silver Water" - and smelling the roses:)

    Alternative Cures for Arthritis

    Arthritis causes health problems and disabilities in nearly 70 million Americans, or about one in every three adults, and the numbers are only on the rise. Arthritis symptoms can vary from mild to severe, sometimes even leading to disability. Approximately 17% of disability cases are caused by arthritis, resulting in enormous costs for the individual, their families, and the state.

    Arthritis is not a disease but a group of diseases whose common denominator is inflammation, stiffness, limited movement, pain, and destruction of the joints. Three out of 5 arthritis sufferers are under the age of 65, so arthritis is not just a disease of the elderly.

    The most common form is Osteoarthritis, which is also known as wear and tear arthritis". It is commonly thought of as by product of the aging process like gray hair, and wrinkles. Osteoarthritis starts usually in the middle age, long before the first symptoms are noticed. The cartilage that covers the bone starts to deteriorate, allowing bones to rub together. Bone spurs and cysts are common developments. During this degeneration process the muscles, tendons and ligaments may become strained, causing inflammation and pain. The main problem with Osteoarthritis is pain; inflammation is a problem in the later stages of arthritis. Sometimes there is no pain, but the affected joints loose range of motion and become stiff.

    Osteoarthritis appears in two general forms, primary and secondary. Primary osteoarthritis is the more common form, is a slow and progressive condition that usually strikes after the age of 45, affecting mostly the weight bearing joints of the knees and hips, as well as the lower back, neck, large toe and finger joints. It develops through placing excessive loads on a joint or when a reasonable load is placed on an inferior joint. The exact cause is yet to be determined, although heredity and obesity are risk factors.

    Secondary osteoarthritis appears usually as a result of trauma or injury to the joint (like a football injury or car accident), metabolic imbalances (gout or calcium deposits, iron overload, thyroid disease, or long term use of certain medications), joint infection, or even surgery. It strikes people younger than 45. Trauma appears to be the main reason for developing osteoarthritis. The trauma could be acute (accident) or chronic (recurring over time). Chronic trauma causes cumulative damage to the joint. The onset is usually felt as a little discomfort that becomes severe and debilitating over time. An unstable or loose joint because of a torn ligament would be an example of this. Repetitive impact loading is another form of chronic trauma. This involves a repetitive motion that traumatizes the joint tissue (baseball pitcher, drill operator, ballerina). Repetitive impact loading is one of the main causes of secondary osteoarthritis, especially in joints that are already suffering from abnormal alignment or that are used in ways that they shouldn't be. Not all-high stress activity damages joint tissues, most of them can. Osteoarthritis might also be the cause because of poor bone alignment, improperly formed joints, or they way you walk.

    Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis are often confused because of the similarity in their names. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes the body's immune system to attack its own tissues. It causes weakness, fatigue, fever, anemia, and other problems, including inflamed joints. Rheumatoid arthritis tends to strikes symmetrically, meaning it strikes both joints (left and right side of the body). It initially strikes between the ages of 25 and 50, versus Osteoarthritis usually after 45. RA often comes and goes without warning; OA develops gradually over several years. OA begins in one joint. RA symptoms are redness, warmth, and swelling, in OA these symptoms are unusual in the early stages. RA affects many or most joints like knees, knuckles, wrists, elbows, and shoulders. OA primarily affects joints of the hands, hips, feet and spine, only occasionally attacks other joints. RA causes an overall feeling of sickness and fatigue, as well as weight loss and fever; OA doesn't cause an overall feeling of sickness.

    It is the common consensus that arthritis is incurable, and can only be managed with pain and anti-inflammatory medication. This treatment plan will only mask the symptoms and will not address the underlying causes, so the disease can progress further. Also these drugs have serious side effects. Thousands of people die every year from adverse side effects of anti-inflammatory, acetaminophen, and steroids.

    Healthy cartilage needs 3 things; water for lubrication and nourishment, proteoglycans to attract and hold the water, and collagen to keep the proteoglycans in place.

    There are alternative treatment plans available to can be of great help to the arthritis sufferer.

    Food Link to arthritis, food allergies and intolerances could aggravate and cause arthritis. Keeping your body at an ideal weight, and supplying your body with all the nutrients it needs to rebuild muscle and bone tissue is important. Eating an alkalizing diet that includes fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein and complex carbohydrates, and cutting back on sugar and bad fats. Arthritis is a disease of an over acidic system. Practicing portion control and developing good eating habits will help you loose weight and maintain it, while feeling better and more energetic. Limit your purine intake, purines are found in organ meats, anchovies, and sardines. Excess purine levels in the blood lead to uric acid, which has been linked to Gout and arthritis. Alcohol increases also increases uric acid production. Intake of refined sugar has a negative impact on blood sugar balance, the immune system, and promotes inflammation. The family of nightshade of vegetables, like tomatoes, eggplants, potatoes, and peppers are the most common culprits to cause an arthritic condition.

    Increasing your water intake can be of great help. Many chronic health conditions are caused by chronic dehydration. You can eliminate many problems by just drinking more water.

    Supplementations can be of great benefit, if the right dosages and the right product are used. This will determine if the supplementation will be effective. The three most promising supplements for arthritis suffers are Glucosamine, chondroitin, and ASU.

    Glucosamine consists of glucose and the amino acid glutamine. It is an important part of the mucopolysaccharides, which provide structure to the bone, cartilage, skin, nails, hair, and other body tissue. Glucosamine is a major building block of the proteogylycans.

    The recommended dosage for Glucosamine HCL it is 1500 mg, or 1884 mg for Glucosamine sulfate once daily or twice divided into two equal doses. Glucosamine sulfate is the form used in most research. Glucosamine HCL is somewhat preferred, because Glucosamine sulfate needs to be stabilized with salt or potassium. This could lead to an unwanted rise in blood pressure, depending how much salt or potassium was added.

    Chondroitin works similar to the natural occurring chondroitin in the body's cartilage, it protects the old cartilage from premature breakdown and stimulates the synthesis of new cartilage.

    The recommended dosage for Chondroitin is 800 to 1200 mg once daily or twice divided into 2 equal doses.

    Glucosamine and Chondroitin taking together is preferred, because the work synergistically. They stimulate synthesis of new cartilage, while simultaneously controlling the cartilage destroying enzymes, and keeping the chondrocytes healthy. These supplements treating the disease on a cellular level, helping the body heal itself. While pain medications only mask the symptoms of the disease.

    ASU is a natural vegetable extract made from Avocado and Soybean oils. Avocado Soybean Unsaponifables has been a prescription treatment for osteoarthritis in France since the early 1990s. ASU differs from Glucosamine and Chondroitin, because it is a mixture of many different plant substances. ASU comes from the natural avocado and soybean oils; the supplements ratio is one part avocado to 2 parts soybean. The processing of ASU is very complex and expensive. ASU is even more complicated than making Glucosamine and Chondroitin. There are multiple active ingredients in ASU that need very careful handling to be purified and stabilized. Some companies are selling avocado and soy oils, and not the active ASU ingredients. Avocado and Soy oils do not contain the same active components, in the same quantities, as the highly processed, purified, and concentrated ingredients as in the valid products.

    Recommended dosage for ASU is 300 mg once daily.

    When buying any supplement, you have to make sure that it is of good quality. One way to ensure this is to buy products that adhere to Good Manufacturing Protocols. The box should have GMP stamped on it. The product could be inferior even if the label states that it is "laboratory tested". This could only refer to the raw material, which is really inconclusive, and many things can happen in the process of making a supplement. Only testing of the end product is an acceptable form of assuring accurate readings. Taking inferior products, ones that don't use quality ingredients, or products that are not manufactured with the proper controls, is simply a waste of time and money. Unfortunately this is the case with most products on the market today.

    Chondroitin is more expensive to manufacture than Glucosamine. As a result companies are more interest in profit than quality may try to skimp on chondroitin by providing less than is listed on the label; using dosages lower than those supported by research; substituting cheaper, less active, or inactive substances; obtaining chondroitin from companies that don't follow the strictest quality standards in processing.

    All three products are general safe. Glucosamine is safe for diabetics; it delivers the same of sugar as a grape. The majority of Glucosamine is manufactured from the shells of lobsters, shrimp and crab. The meat protein that causes the allergic reaction is not found in the shell. People with shellfish allergy should be careful and ask their doctor, or take Regenasure, the vegetarian form. There are no reports on adverse reactions. There is no evidence to support the danger contracting mad cows disease from Chondroitin. The bacteria would be killed during processing.

    Be aware of products that claim to be long lasting, time-released or control delivery. Glucosamine, Chondroitin and ASU are long lasting themselves. Also for best results, you want them to be released as quickly as possible.

    Double and triple strength products indicate that you need to take fewer tablets to achieve the same results. This basically means larger tablets, which is not a good idea for somebody that has a problem swallowing.

    Liquid supplements are usually not as stable as powders or capsules. There is no evidence that liquid absorbs better than capsules, in this particular case. It is possible that absorption is lower in liquid products. Stomach acid is important for proper absorption of glucosamine. The liquid products could dilute the acid, interfering with absorption. There is also a problem with poor taste, and drinking more water to mask it, again diluting the product.

    Be cautious of the word complex in Glucosamine/Chondroitin products. It generally means that other substances have been added, like manganese or

    Vitamin C. It could also mean that the product was diluted with N-acetylglucosamine. This could lead to a reduced effectiveness of the potency. Chondroitin complex usually means that inferior products are used, like MSM, hydrolyzed collagen, chicken cartilage, and related substances that are not Chondroitin. This reduces cost and brings more profit for the manufacturer, but hurts the consumer by providing them with an ineffective product.

    Avoid topical forms. Glucosamine and Chondroitin are completely useless if applied topically.

    Use caution if there is a money back guarantee. Most manufacturers make their money with shipping alone.

    Be cautious if something claims to be better than Glucosamine and Chondroitin, with the exception of ASU, there is nothing to support this claim scientifically.

    Avoid store brands. The FDA does not strictly regulate dietary supplements. There is no such thing as a "generic" supplement - there are only good or poor supplements. You are probably not getting the active ingredients you need in a store brand.

    Product quality remains as the most important barrier in using glucosamine/chondroitin and ASU supplements. When buying these products make sure to buy from a company that follows good manufacturing practices; buy products that have also been tested and recommended by independent laboratories.

    Other supplements that are beneficial include Vitamin C, Vitamin B 6, Vitamin E, Magnesium, Omega 3s, Selenium, Calcium and Boron.

    Exercise and Rest: You have to move to stay healthy. Exercise helps with circulation, venous and lymph return, waste elimination, tones your muscles and internal organs, and your joints. The cartilage in your joints has no blood supply, and depends on moving them to nourish them and remove waste products. Weight bearing exercise helps to keep your bones strong, and to prevent Osteoporosis. Yoga and stretching improves flexibility and lengthen muscles. Cardio exercises improve circulation and waste elimination. Exercise in itself releases feel good hormones in the body, and is beneficial for depression and mental well-being.

    It is important to get proper rest at night, so the body has a chance to recharge itself. Not giving your body a chance to rejuvenate will leave you feeling empty and depleted.

    Meditation and Relaxation: There is a link between stress and chronic health conditions. The more you focus on something, the bigger it will become. If you are in constant pain, you will focus on it and it will become your state of mind. This is understandable, but it will only bring you more pain. Learning relaxation methods like meditation, biofeedback, visualization among others, will help you release negative stress, and feel better.

    Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine: see health not only as an absence of disease, but as a harmonious state of body, mind and spirit. In Chinese medicine your health is determined by your ability to balance your yin and yang, the two opposing forces that make up everything in the universe. The vital energy of the body or qi is interrupted when yin and yang are out of balance, resulting in pain and disease. Establishing balance and harmony in the body will result in health.

    Ayurvedic: Ayurveda means "knowledge of life." It represents a complete philosophy of life and living. The client is guided on how to develop self-knowledge and learn how to correct imbalances to obtain health. The client will work on strengthening their prana (life force) by harmonizing their dosha or constitutional type. The treatments involve diet and nutrition, herbs, yoga exercises, meditation, massage, and breathing exercises.

    Chiropractic and Osteopathy: both modalities aim to bring the body back into alignment by adjusting the bones of the body. The nervous system is brought back into proper working order by restoring proper balance to the spinal column and joints, allowing nerve impulses to travel freely from the brain via the spinal column to all body parts. Impeded blood and nerve flow results in pain and disease, if not corrected.

    Herbs: Herb medicine and aromatherapy use plants, herbs and other natural substances to stimulate the body to return to the state of health. Though herbs are medicines, they tend to be much safer than chemical drugs for many reasons; they are less potent, more recognizable to the body, and usually used in combinations and potencies that minimize harmful side effects.

    Homeopathy: is based on the concept that "Likes cure likes." This means that medication should not be used to counteract symptoms, but to stimulate the body's own healing forces.

    Massage and Bodywork: are extremely beneficial for arthritis sufferers. Massage will improve circulation, lymph flow, waste elimination, provide relaxation for sore muscles and joints, and reduce stress and anxiety levels in the body.

    There are many different approaches to all things in life; learning to listen to your own intuition will help you find a treatment plan that is right for you. Practicing self-awareness and developing your intuition will guide you on your road back to well being. It usually takes years of wrong living to become ill, it will take some time to become healthy. A Turkish proverb says," No matter how long you have traveled down the wrong road, it is never too late to turn back."