Saturday, September 28, 2013

Lupus Arthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis - Similarities and Differences

A lot of people fail to make a distinction between lupus arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Both of these are autoimmune diseases in which the body sets upon itself and causes itself harm. So, where does one draw the line?

Medical experts all agree that proper diagnosis and differentiation of these diseases is not an easy task. The clinical symptoms and laboratory abnormalities of both diseases tend to overlap.

Similarities of Lupus Arthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Lupus arthritis and RA incidence is differentiated by having more women being afflicted than men. They are both classified as multi-systemic diseases as they can affect and damage many organs.

Like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus attacks and damages the blood vessels. Both diseases also affect the normal function of the immune system, resulting in damaged tissues.

Differences Between Lupus Arthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) or lupus is a complex disease whose true cause is still unknown. It affects many parts of the body including the joints, skin, and internal organs. A person usually develops a rash in the shape of a butterfly on the cheeks and across the bridge of the nose.

Other symptoms of individuals with SLE include fatigue, hair loss, inflammation of the kidney, mouth sores and loss of appetite. This disease does not usually affect the spine and neck.

Similarly, the cause of rheumatoid arthritis is also unknown. The disease attacks the wrists, fingers, knees, feet and ankles. It is usually manifested by the onset of fatigue and weakness, and morning stiffness that lasts for more than an hour. Patients afflicted of this disease also complain of widespread muscle ache and progressive loss of appetite.

Patients suffering from lupus arthritis experience joint pain which is not associated with actual damage to the joint itself. There are also some cases where lupus patients don't experience swelling of the joints. This swollen lining is referred to as synovium.

However, lupus results to a more pronounced pain than that of rheumatoid arthritis. The symptoms of RA occur symmetrically, as an additive polyarthritis, with sequential addition of involved joints. On the other hand, lupus arthritis is a typical migratory arthritis, or episodic arthritis typical of gout.

Treatment of Lupus Arthritis

A person can suffer from both lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. When a person suffering from lupus starts manifesting rheumatoid-like symptoms, treatment for RA should be applied instead.

The good news about lupus arthritis is that it is treatable. This clinical symptom of SLE can be properly managed and treated when treatment plan is strictly followed. This disease is usually treated with NSAIDs including aspirin and ibuprofen. If those medications don't yield positive results, your doctor may prescribe anti-malarial agents and corticosteroids.

Doctors may also prescribe RA treatment forms such as methotrexate, sulfasalazine. In severe cases, more powerful treatment forms are adopted to control joint inflammation. These medications play an integral part in treating lupus arthritis, but it is by far not the only treatment. Supportive physical and occupational therapy complete the effective treatment plan for lupus arthritis.

Rheumatoid or Osteo-Arthritis Misery, Which Is Worse?

46-million people have "arthritis", a term that encompasses some 100 conditions and afflictions - including fibromyalgia, Lyme disease, gout, and my sub-category if you will, Lupus (SLE). Today we're talking about two of the most common and potentially miserable, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Osteoarthritis (OA). Which one is worse?

Well, first off, it's a trick question, isn't it? It is absurd to even entertain the premise that one is worse than the other - ask anyone who suffers from either of them. They both have the potential to be devastating, and to being linked with heart disease and diabetes. Perhaps a better question would be: What is the difference between the two?

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a condition which afflicts more than 1-million Americans. In RA the body's own immune system attacks the membrane that lines the joints, eventually causing the destruction of the joint unless stopped. In addition to pain, swelling and inflammation are well-known hallmarks of RA.

Osteoarthritis is far more prevalent, affecting 27-million Americans. With OA it is the joint's cartilage that is broken down. When this happens, that tough "shock absorber" is damaged and wears away; bone can come in contact with bone, resulting in the stiffness and pain so notorious with OA.

We're going to briefly touch on a couple of things I would really like to bring to your attention:

It is not uncommon for a person to have heart disease and/or diabetes in addition to arthritis.
25 percent of people with both heart disease and arthritis do not exercise regularly or choose to have an active lifestyle.
Arthritis is currently the number one cause of disability for a woman, and number two for a man.
Losing weight to help with diabetes management or with heart-health can also help with managing arthritis.
There is a connection between gum disease and arthritis.
The same omega-3 fatty acids that are found in salmon, for example, and connected with being good to your heart, can also help the inflammation caused by arthritis.

Though one is neither better nor worse than the other, there are things that both can benefit from:

Become an active partner with your doctor in managing your health.
Pain, swelling, stiffness, redness, fatigue - these are messages from your body. Pay attention.
Educate yourself. There are so many wonderful organizations and foundations dedicated to your health and promoting education about arthritis in all its forms. Don't know where to start? Ask your doctor, do an internet search - just enter the type of arthritis you want to investigate, hit enter, and prepare to be provided with many, many places to start reading.
Do eat heart-healthy; it will help with your arthritis, too. This includes the things I'm sure that you already associate with being good to yourself like limiting your sodium intake, eating a diet that is varied and includes colorful fruits and vegetables, lean meats, choosing vegetable oils over trans fats, etc. If you're stuck, ask your doctor, check out the library or bookstore, or again, use the internet.
Don't get stuck on the term 'diet' - just be good to yourself in your choices, embrace being kind to yourself by what you choose to put into your body. Remember, if you lose unnecessary weight, not only will your heart benefit, but so will your joints. And so, by the way, will a body affected by diabetes.

Well, we've touched upon some important information here. Please do follow-up by getting active in your own treatment and educating yourself - what you do and don't do can have a dramatic effect on your comfort and the pace at which your arthritis progresses. Next time we'll continue our series of articles on arthritis, Is Arthritis Hereditary?

穢 2010 Kathryn Jensen
Reader is granted permission to download, copy, distribute

Canine Rheumatoid Arthritis - Valuable Tips For Protecting Your Dog

Canine rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that affects dogs of all ages, unlike osteoarthritis that usually affects older dogs. Since it is an autoimmune disease, this type of canine arthritis comprises the body's initial reaction to fight off canine distemper virus affecting other tissues as well, such as joints and cartilages.

Although it is just one way of the dog's body to fight off viruses, in some cases the tendency of the immune system is that even the healthy joints are affected. This process eventually causes inflammation which eventually leads to joint damage.

Preventing canine rheumatoid arthritis is not an exact science, but veterinarians have discovered a few methods to lower your pet's risk. Here's how:

Omega 3 Fatty Acids and Vitamin C

Just like humans, dogs also need the right nutrients to maintain the normal processes of their bodies. Vets say that providing dogs with Omega 3-enriched foods will help lower the risk of developing canine rheumatoid arthritis.

Experts suggest that if Omega 3 fatty acids has great impact in humans particularly in lowering their risks in developing rheumatoid arthritis, dogs can exhibit the same effect. Hence, it is best to include foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids in your dog's diet, such as fish. You can also use fish oils and add them into your dog's meals.

Also, try to find dog foods that are rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C may not be able to cure canine rheumatoid arthritis but it can help prevent the rapid deterioration or destruction of the joints as caused by the body's autoimmune response against certain viruses.

Stop Weight Gain

Some dog owners are fond of seeing their dogs fat or overweight. As much as you would want them to stay adorable, obesity in dogs can trigger the progression of canine rheumatoid arthritis.

The idea is that even if this particular type of canine arthritis is commonly caused by the over-reaction of the immune system, destruction of the joints are still evident. Hence, excess weight can cause the pain and discomfort brought about by the disease.

Extra weight will always put added stress on your dog's joints. Such pressure can wear down the joints in your dog's knees leading to arthritis.

Regular walking and playing with your dog will provide him the best exercise he needs.

Use Dietary Supplements

Just like in humans, supplements can promote better health in dogs, especially when it comes to their bones' health. Try to enhance your dog's diet with Chondroitin Sulphate and Glucosamine Sulphate. These supplements help in inhibiting the weakening and destruction of joints and cartilages in a dog's skeletal system. These supplements increase the lubrication at the cartilages through liquid extraction to the joint.

Also, try to improve your dog's diet by adding up some nutrients to their usual food. Cut up some vegetables or blend in some fruits in your dog's meal for added supplements. Just keep in mind not to add up onions or mushrooms as these can be very deadly for dogs.

Treat the Pain

It is a well-known fact that canine rheumatoid arthritis can not totally be prevented. However, if the disease is already present, the main treatment you should administer is to control the pain or relieve your dog from such discomfort.

Pain relievers are the most common types of medications administered in dogs with rheumatoid arthritis. However, dog owners should be wary of using such medications because of the possible adverse effects on their pets. Just like in humans, medicines can also aggravate or trigger some effects, such as stomach irritation, nausea, vomiting, or may even cause liver and kidney problems.

Cooperating with your veterinarian to come up with the appropriate medication or treatment for your dog can ease the pain that your pet is going through. Keep in mind as well that the extra little thing that you can do for your dog, such as providing him nice, comfy quarters can help the discomfort he is experiencing with canine rheumatoid arthritis.

Arthritis Treatment - Prednizone and Its Side Effects

Prednisone is a generic, very inexpensive, and commonly used medicine in arthritis treatment.

The diseases for which corticosteroids are most often used are rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, psoriatic arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatica and temporal arteritis, polymyositis and dermatomyositis, gout and pseudogout, sarcoidosis, and the arthritis accompanying inflammatory bowel disease.

Ordinarily, endocrine glands in the body are responsible for the fine tuning of organ function. These glands elaborate hormones, all of which have specific regulatory tasks. Various feedback loops exert tight control over this very elaborate and complicated system.

One of the endocrine organs, the adrenal glands is responsible for the production of glucocorticoids.

Glucocorticoids have many "jobs" including maintenance of blood pressure, as well as sugar, protein, and fat metabolism, stress response, and effects on inflammation.

Glucocorticoids manufactured by the adrenal glands are called endogenous steroids- meaning they are made by the body. They also can be divided into anabolic or catabolic. Simply put, anabolic steroids build tissue such as muscle while catabolic hormones break down tissue.

Steroids can also be administered from outside the body either by mouth, intramuscularly or intravenously. These steroids are called exogenous. The administration of exogenous steroids chronically reduces the ability of the adrenal glands to manufacture glucocorticoids because the normal feedback loop has been broken.

With the inability of the adrenal glands to increase steroid production in the face of stress producers such as injury, infection, and surgery, a patient can go into shock.

Getting back to prednisone, the primary catabolic glucocorticoid, the odds of the adrenal glands being suppressed increase as the dose of exogenous steroid exceeds the average daily equivalent output of the adrenal glands which is about 5.0-7.5 mg prednisone. Other factors that constrain the ability of the adrenals to perform are if therapy continues for more than a few weeks or months, if doses are given late in the day or in divided doses throughout the day, or if long-acting corticosteroid preparations are used.

Patients who require high doses of prednisone (more than 20 mgs a day) for extended periods of time always develop side-effects.

Taking steroids on an alternate day (every other day) schedule reduces the chance of adrenal insufficiency but does not eliminate it.

Other side-effects include:

Elevated blood sugar and diabetes
Elevated cholesterol and triglycerides
Fluid retention
Increased blood pressure
Electrolyte abnormalities such as low potassium serum levels
Hardening of the arteries
Hirsutism (abnormal hair distribution)
Easy bruising
Thinning of the skin
Cataracts and glaucoma
Purple striae (stretch marks)
Poor wound healing
Muscle wasting
Susceptibility to infection and masking of infection leading to sepsis and death
Avascular necrosis (dead bone)
Inflammation of the pancreas
Stomach ulcers (particularly if used with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)

Obviously, patients must be counseled as to the relative risks and benefits, and the lowest possible steroid dose should be used.

Who Are You Without Your Disease?

"Who are you without your disease? What makes you more than just your disease? How have you adapted these aspects of your life so they're not completely overcome by your illnesses?"

I came across this question yesterday on a web site, and I just knew I had to respond, so here goes.

I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in 2008. I have had times where I could hardly walk, and with the help of the medical systems, there are times when I live a fairly normal life. For quite some time prior to last year I really wouldn't have known how to answer the question "who are you without your disease?" When you're shuffling down the street, virtually everyone you know asks if you're okay and "what's going on?" You answer "I have RA" and you very much get into "a man with a disease" mode.

Last year my father told me a story about a woman with MS who would tell anyone that asked her a similar question "I have MS." One day, someone looked her in the eye and said "you don't have MS, MS has you." Alarm bells went off in my head. This was a message for me too. I was traveling through life with my dis-ease as my driver, RA was defining my life. Did it really have to be that way? I didn't think so. P.S. That woman with MS is now training for a marathon.

Who am I without my disease?

Today, that question is very easy for me to answer. I am a man that has experienced dis-ease and am now doing my part to eliminate dis-ease from our society.

A lofty goal you might suggest? Hear me out. If not me, then who? If not now, then when? There are a lot of people that have this same goal, whether they've consciously thought about it or not.

Since being diagnosed, I have read a lot and experienced many different Eastern and Western treatment options. My belief system suggests that our human body is meant to heal and if we give it the environment to heal, it has an amazing ability to heal itself. When we cut our finger or break a bone, the body jumps into healing mode and we're good as new in a short time.

In a swimming pool that is balanced, algae won't grow. It is well documented scientifically that in a human body that is balanced, dis-ease won't manifest itself either. But when stresses and other factors start to affect our bodies, we begin to take the system out of balance and we create an environment that gets out of balance for healing.

There are so many things that we can do to help eliminate stressors from our body, including the obvious two of diet and exercise. But I happen to believe the most important thing we can do is to simply LIVE OUR LIFE, truly live it. I live my life under 5 principles, each of which has been a title for a blog post:

1. Expect synchronicity -

2. Examine limiting beliefs -

3. Speak your authentic truth -

4. Love vs Fear, you have a choice -

5. Get off the sidelines -

I blog regularly suggesting that many people are living their lives trying to please other people rather than pleasing themselves, or living their life full of regrets. I believe that if people are taking steps toward fulfilling their dreams, however small or large the dream may be, that they start to bring their swimming pool back into balance, bringing their body into a state where dis-ease cannot manifest itself.

I believe that our only limitations to achieving our dreams are the self-limiting beliefs we impose upon ourselves.

I believe that our body gives us signs when it is in stress and that if we listen to and deal with the signs when they first appear, we can bring our bodies back into balance, before dis-ease manifests.

I believe that if everyone chose to live their best life now (thanks to my friend Priya for that phrase), we could eliminate the onset of new dis-ease.

I believe in miracles, having read and heard of many stories where people have received their diagnosis and said "that's not going to work for me", then their symptoms have disappeared at some point in the future. I know this isn't always the case, but I believe in miracles just the same.

I believe that if one person hears my story and makes the change to bring their life into balance for them, then I'll have made a difference, moving society one step closer to the elimination of dis-ease.

I sometimes find myself thinking of my onset of dis-ease as a blessing. That may sound crazy, but it served as a massive wake-up call for me. And if it hadn't happened, I probably never would have taken the time to understand my own self-sabotaging and limiting beliefs.

I have a lot of beliefs and a lot of dreams. And I'm taking steps to achieve them every day.

Who am I without my dis-ease? I almost forgot I had it.

If you want to help build a community of those who wish to eliminate dis-ease, share this story with friends. If you'd like to make sure you don't miss a blog, sign up for our newsletter.

Namaste, Ken

Natural Arthritis Treatment For Joint Pain Relief

Arthritis is a joint disorder affecting the musculoskeletal system of our body. An arthritic joint is inflamed, very painful, stiff, swollen, warm and tender. The joints are actually the union or meeting junction of two or more bone heads. The joints of our body bear the weight of our body even while we are sitting and support the entire body structure. Therefore joints are prone to much wear and tear. When arthritis invades a joint, not only the bone heads but also the adjoining tissues, muscles, ligaments and tendons are affected, making mobility painful and in some cases impossible.

Therefore arthritis may be the cause of disability for many. Arthritis may be of a hundred types, of which osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout are most widespread. Osteoarthritis occurs due to friction between bone heads at the wearing out or loss of cartilage cushions that could have otherwise protected the bone heads from friction. Rheumatoid arthritis is the result of a misdirected immune system attacking healthy joints and tissues. Gout results from metabolic malfunctioning and crystallization of uric acid in joint cavity and between bones. Some causes of arthritis may be listed as follows:

1. Lack of exercise
2. Wrong diet
3. Dehydration
4. Sedentary lifestyle
5. Obesity
6. Degeneration of cartilages
7. Natural aging of joints
8. Joint injury or bone fracture
9. Joint infection
10. Faulty joint alignment
11. Heredity
12. Lack of vitamins
13. Over-active immune system
14. Metabolic disorders.

Natural Arthritis Joint Pain Relief

1. Prickly ash tea effectively eases arthritis joint pain by improving blood circulation.

2. A cup of hot ginger tea daily alleviates arthritis joint pain and inflammation.

3. A cup of tea made from nettle leaves or root sufficiently heals arthritis joint pain.

4. Heating pad or warm, damp towel application relaxes muscles and does away with stiffness and pain.

5. Rubbing ice cubes wrapped on fabric on joints reduces pain and swelling.

6. Massaging aching joint with camphorated mustard oil or coconut oil gives much relief from pain. Olive oil, castor oil, hot vinegar or warm paraffin may also be used for massaging.

7. Application of peppermint oil on aching joints gives much relief.

8. Soaking in warm bath water in tub or adding Epsom salt to bath water also lessens arthritis joint pain.

9. Taking walk in sun without any sunscreen is perhaps the easiest way to treat arthritis joint pain naturally.

10. Practicing gentle stretching around stiff joints as many times as possible through out the day keeps arthritis pain at bay.

11. Intake of alkaline juices like carrot, celery and red beet dissolve that deposits in and around joints, relieving pain.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Inflammation - The Link Between Rheumatoid Arthritis and Depression

Inflammation is now recognized as an underlying basis of a significant number of chronic diseases. Although there is still much more to understand, we have sufficient information presently to make the necessary changes in our lifestyles to significantly affect the inflammatory process and potentially live longer, healthier lives.

The relationship between inflammation, pain and depression has been explored in multiple studies. Studies have found a significant relationship between inflammation, pain and depression in patients with Rheumatoid arthritis. Recently, a Japanese study found that C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of inflammation, was associated with elevated depression and pain scores; inflammation and depression were found to have an independent effect on patient-reported pain.

Rheumatoid Arthritis:

The Arthritis Society estimates that about 300,000 Canadians have Rheumatoid Arthritis. Although it can affect people of all ages, it most commonly develops between the ages of 25 and 50. Twice as many women than men will develop the disease. Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic disease that is characterized by an inflammation in the lining of the joints, resulting in damage to cartilage, bones, tendons and ligaments. This in turn can lead to permanent joint deformity and significant disability.


By 2020, depressive disorders are projected to be the 2nd leading cause of worldwide disability. Currently there are studies indicating that inflammatory changes in the brain are pathological features of depression. Several cytokines (hormones of the immune system) and markers of inflammation (C-reactive protein, interleukin 1 and 6) were positively correlated with depression. Cytokines seem to trigger a quick onset of what is called 'sickness behavior'-meaning malaise and fatigue, as well as a delayed onset of depressed mood. Just as the body's repair mechanisms for physical injury can sometimes result in chronic pain and inflammation, so too can the response to psychological trauma, resulting in chronic depression.

Is inflammation playing a possible role in your depression?
Ask yourself these questions:

Do I have a physical sense of 'brain fog'?
Do I have a recent reduction in short term memory?
Do I have trouble finding words?
Do I sometimes feel confused?
Do I have learning disabilities, or neurodegenerative disorders?
Do I feel that if I had plenty of energy my depression would be gone?
Do I have a lot of pain?
Do I have gastrointestinal problems?

Inflammation can serve an important physiological purpose, i.e. healing cuts and wounds but when inflammation persists it damages the body and causes illness. Stress, lack of exercise, exposure to toxins and dietary choices can all contribute to chronic inflammation. Learning how specific triggers including food influence the inflammatory process is the best strategy for reducing long-term diseases such as arthritis and depression.

Tips for an anti-inflammatory diet:
Include as much fresh organic food as possible
Minimize your consumption of processed foods and fast food
Eat an abundance of fruits and vegetable
Eat more whole grains
Eat more beans, winter squashes, and sweet potatoes
Cook whole grain pasta al dente and eat it in moderation
Avoid products made with high fructose corn syrup.
Eat omega-3 fatty acids rich foods i.e. salmon, sardines, herring, omega-3 fortified eggs; hemp seeds and flaxseeds.
Decrease your consumption of animal protein except for fish and high quality natural cheese and yogurt.
Eat more vegetable protein, especially from beans in general and soybeans in particular
Eat cruciferous (cabbage-family) vegetables
Include soy foods in your diet
Drink tea instead of coffee, especially good quality white, green or oolong tea
If you drink alcohol, use red wine
Enjoy plain dark chocolate in moderation (with a minimum cocoa content of 70 percent)
Drink pure water, or drinks that are mostly water (tea, very diluted fruit juice, sparkling water with lemon) throughout the day

Top 7 Tips To Treat And Prevent Arthritis

Arthritis is basically a packaging problem. Your joints, remarkable and elaborate hinges, are cushioned by cartilage. They are held together with various other tissues, including muscles and tendons. Lubrication is in the form of some oily goop called synovial fluid, which is released by the synovial lining of the joints. If you have osteoarthritis, the kind that most frequently coincides with aging, the cartilage around the joints starts to thin down or disappear. That is not your fault. What's more, it is not always preventable, either. The runner-up, rheumatoid arthritis, is far less common, more mysterious, and equally pain producing. Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease. Therefore, here are some ways that you can use to prevent such disease.

1. Move These Joints

To keep the pain of arthritis from getting an even tighter grip on you, get yourself on an exercise program. If you are over 60, start with low-impact aerobic activities such as 20-minute walks or exercises in a swimming pool at least three or four times per week. Any aerobic exercise program should be matched to your physical capacity. If a person has been inactive for a period of time, then start with something like a five-minute walk in a couple of times per week, and then slowly start to increase your distance as you feel more comfortable.

2. Pepper Yourself

You may not like hot peppers on your sandwich, but you might like hot-pepper cream for arthritis relief. Capsaicin cream, made from the active ingredient in hot peppers, has been shown in studies to ease arthritis pain when used regularly. You can buy this cream over the counter. Follow instructions on the label, wash your hands thoroughly after application, and keep this stuff away from your eyes and other mucous membranes. It can really burn.

3. Ease The Burden

Arthritis gets worse more rapidly in overweight individuals. If you lose 5 to 10 pounds, it considerably lightens the load on all of your weight-bearing joints - hips, knees, ankles, and feet.

4. Vary Your Terrain

Walking is always recommended but it is important to not get into a rut. If you walk the same exact path every day, then you are landing on the same part of your foot each and every day and you are putting stress on your knees and hips the exact same way every day. For the sake of interest as well as exercise, seek out new terrain like hills, fields, and pathways as well as flat road or sidewalk.

5. Ask For Alternative Oils

If you are not a fish-eater, you should pay a visit to the nearest health food store. Look for either evening primrose oil, flaxseed oil, or fish oil. All contain the same omega-3 fatty acids found in cold-water fish. If you take one teaspoon of any of these each day, it may lightly ease some of the inflammatory aspects of arthritis. If you decide to take capsules, follow the manufacturer's instructions on the label.

6. Try A Cold Pack

If you have swelling, especially after any physical activity, put some ice with a thin towel wrapped around it on the area around the affected joint. Ice the area for 15 to 20 minutes after exercise to reduce the discomfort and also minimize the amount of swelling.

7. Give Yourself A Hot Wax

A hot-wax treatment can provide soothing relief if your hands are aching from arthritis. The treatment is available at many hospitals, but it is less expensive to treat yourself at home. A professional therapist should instruct on its appropriate use before you try this at home. For a hot-wax treatment kit, call an orthopedic supply store to check availability. Heat the wax in the heating unit, apply it to your hands, and wrap them in plastic gloves for 10 minutes. You should feel some relief. The beauty of the at-home hot-wax treatment is that the wax can be reused for several weeks. Just be careful when you are using it around children.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Diet - Natural Cures That Treat and Cure RA

If you are depressed and suffer from achy joints and are in constant pain you need help now. The good news is there is an all-natural cure for your arthritis. Listen; there are millions of people just like you who suffer in silence. Arthritis can be a daily nightmare...fingers gnarled, joints sore all the time. You are stressed out and literally in tears from the pain.

Why You Suffer From Arthritis?

Most Americans consume a diet that is acid-forming--too much meat, too many processed foods, not enough raw fruits, vegetables and fresh fish. Here is a list of 12 of the best foods that fight arthritis. If you are looking for an all-natural cure for arthritis start with these. The first 6 foods listed contain high levels of Omega 3 fatty acids which soothe joint pain and inflammation. Tart cherries are a natural anti-pain medicine. The remainder of the foods on this list are good sources of Vitamin C (which is a powerful antioxidant). They also contain calcium and magnesium which are good for bone maintenance.

Wild and fresh salmon
Rainbow trout
Mackerel, except for king mackerel
Tart Cherries
Brussels sprouts

Note that I did not mention milk or dairy products in this list. That's because milk is basically "liquid meat". Dairy products are acid-forming foods. I know the conventional recommendation is to drink more milk, but nothing is further from the truth. Milk and dairy products can exacerbate the problem.

In addition to the foods above you should be drinking powerful herbal teas. Teas like dandelion, green tea, burdock and red clover. These teas are known for their blood cleansing properties. They can destroy the bacteria that is the root cause of rheumatoid arthritis.

What's that? You didn't know that a bacterium has been implicated as the primary culprit for causing rheumatoid arthritis? Well, a doctor over 40 years ago proved this and cured almost all of him patients using this knowledge. Why hasn't the medical establishment made this research public knowledge? Well as Dr. Eli Wallach once said about arthritis, "If the truth were released [to the public], the orthodox doctors would lose an entire specialty [rheumalogy] in short order, so they keep it a secret."

But this is just the tip of the iceberg. If you really want a step-by-step guide to cure rheumatoid arthritis then download a special report that I have written just for you. Learn why I kick milk to the curb and what the medical establishment doesn't want you to know about curing your arthritis with simple ingredients found in your kitchen cupboard. You need to know about a kind of bacteria that is the root cause of almost all cases of rheumatoid arthritis and why most antibiotics usually do not work in eradicating this bacterium.

Arthritis Pain Relief - Can Topical Creams Really Help?

Topical remedies tackle mild arthritis pain.

If your arthritis pain is mild and you don't take oral pain medication every day, rubbing a topical pain reliever on the bothersome area can be a good alternative. Following are the most widely used topicals.

Counterirritants mask arthritis pain by stimulating the nerves to produce a slightly uncomfortable warm or cool sensation. That distractts you from the more intense joint pain. These products may contain menthol, camphor, eucalyptus oil, or oil of winter green. Brand names include Icy Hot Chill Stick, Ben Gay, and ArthriCare. These products cause a temporary redness of the skin and work best on joints near the surface, such as fingers, elbows, and knees.

Topical NSAID's contain salicylates, chemical cousins of aspirin, and relieve pain the same way oral NSAID's do. Their effects, however are restricted to the surface and avoid some of the problems associated with oral NSAIDs. Topical NSAIDs include Aspercreme, Sportscreme, and Myoflex. People who are allergic to aspirin or who take medications that interact adversely with aspirin shouldn't use a topical NSAID because a bit of it is absorbed into the bloodstream.

Capsaicin. The topical pain relievers Zostrix and Capzacin-P contain capsaicin, the chemical that gives hot peppers their bite. Capsaicin lowers levels of substance P, which relays pain impulses to the brain and is involved in inflammation. Capsaicin-based products must be applied three or four times a day for up to several weeks before their benefits are noticeable. Burning, stinging, and redness often occur in the first days of treatment, but then subside.

Do's and don'ts of topicals: Be sure to wash your hands after applying any topical pain reliever. Avoid contact with broken or irritated skin and the eyes, nose, and mouth. If severe irritation develops, stop using the product immediately. Some products warn users not to apply a bandage or heat to the treated area. Don't use a topical medication just before a workout, as perspiration can cause the skin to absorb too much of it.

Grandma's Old Fashioned Arthritis Remedies

Modern day arthritis treatments include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID's), corticosteroids, anti-TNF (tumour necrosis factor) treatment and, of course, the disease modifying anti rheumatic drugs (DMARD's), which are notoriously excelled for their nasty side-effects. This minefield of chemicals that we are willingly putting into our already ailing bodies surely can't actually be good for us and our delicate constitutions. What would our grandparents think? More importantly, what would our grandparents do?

The answer is simple, they would go into the pantry or the garden to gather a herb or dig up a vegetable. Here are a few of the remedies that our ancestors would have used to ease their aching joints.

Let's take a look in the pantry first. Mustard was a popular choice of treatment for joint pain. The seeds of white or yellow mustard (sinapis alba) are used make the popular condiment. Mustard plasters were very popular for treating arthritis as well as chest congestion, bronchitis and sore muscles.

To make a mustard plaster mix together one part mustard powder to two parts flour and mix to a soft paste with warm water. Spread the paste into the middle of a clean hand towel. Fold the towel in half to enclose the paste, and half again before putting on the affected joint. Leave the mustard plaster to work its magic for approximately 15 minutes. If the plaster starts to feel uncomfortable at any point remove it immediately. After the treatment, gently wash the treated area with lukewarm water and pat dry. It is important to ensure that the mustard paste does not come into contact with the skin; it is hot on the skin as well as the palate and has the potential to cause severe blistering.

Epsom salts were used in the bath as a general arthritis remedy. Four tablespoons in the bath will reduce inflammation and stiffness in the joints.

Castor oil has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Rubbed into the ailing joints it was also a common arthritis treatment. Castor oil was also taken as a medicine for arthritis with two tablespoons of castor oil boiled and added to fresh orange juice. This should be taken every morning on an empty stomach.

Going into the garden we will find herbs and vegetables that will soothe arthritis pain. The herb comfrey, also known as knitbone, has been used for centuries for a host of different ailments. It has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties. As a poultice comfrey will help to reduce inflammation and draw out toxins.

To make a poultice, chop the comfrey and add to a blender to make a fine paste. Put the paste into a bowl and add flour and knead to make a stiff doughy consistency. Use old sheets to make the poultice and add the comfrey paste to the middle and wrap to make tidy squares about an inch thick and a comfortable size for the joint you wish to treat. Apply the poultice for 15-45 minutes then wash the area with warm water and pat dry. A great tip is that you can make several and freeze them for later use. Just pop them into a self-sealing bag and bung them in the freezer. Alternatively you can make a lazy poultice by simply bruising the leaves, wrapping them around your aching joint and holding them in place with clingfilm!

Cabbage makes a really good poultice for arthritis too. Cabbage is from the same family as mustard and has anti-inflammatory properties. For a basic cabbage poultice simply bash the leaves with a rolling pin to get the juice running and wrap the leaves around the joint that you wish to treat. Cover with a gauze bandage and leave overnight. Also you can freeze the cabbage leaves and place them directly onto the joint for instant relief.

Moving away from herbs and vegetables to apply to joints to vegetables that are to be eaten to help ease arthritis; potato juice is alkaline and will help to dissolve uric acid for gout sufferers. Peel and cube a potato and leave overnight in a glass of water. Drink the starchy water that is produced the next morning before breakfast. Not so tasty but if you hold your nose as you drink, it won't taste so bad. This is absolutely true because your olfactory glands and your taste buds work together.

Garlic and onion have anti-inflammatory properties. Eaten raw in salads, salsas or sandwiches gives the best results. Strong onions work better, and to stop the tears, peel them under running water.

Finally we will look at celery which when juiced with 2 carrots and an apple works a treat on Rheumatoid Arthritis.

My Grandmother Had Arthritis - Will I Get It?

There are several different types of arthritis, but the three most common are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout. Heredity may play a part in all three, but there are a few things you can do to minimize the risk and/or damage they cause.

Te first thing you need to do is find out what type(s) of arthritis you're at risk for. Mitigating the risks differ between the three types, as does treatment. If you can no longer find out from your family, you may be able to get more information by talking to your doctor. The doctor also needs to be aware of your family history.


What it is: This is usually considered a metabolic disorder as well as a form of arthritis. It is caused by uric acid crystals in your joints, usually striking the right big toe first. It is extremely painful, walking may be difficult or impossible. Uric acid is a waste product from purine, a substance found in most proteins. It is usually filtered out by the kidneys, but if there is a lot or the kidneys have been damaged, it circulates through the blood. As it does so, it clumps together in crystals.

What you can do: Moderating the amount and type of protein you consume is a good place to start. Organ meat is the highest in purine, making it the least desirable type of protein. There are lists on-line of which foods contain what amount of purine. Dehydration and some medications can also cause the painful problem, including aspirin.


What it is: Most of the time, this is caused by general wear and tear on your joints or by injuries. However, if your grandmother had it, chances are good you will develop it as well. This is even more likely if you're female. The cartilage in the joints start to wear out and bits of it may break off. This can cause pain and swelling. Osteoarthritis can strike any joint, including the vertebrae. If it gets bad enough, joint replacement may be required.

What you can do: Your doctor may suggest you start taking calcium supplements to prevent or put off onset. It's also a good idea to take care of your joints. Watch repetitive injury problems, wear shoes that will provide cushioning as well as support and try not to do high impact activities. If you choose to do the latter, ask your coach or your doctor how to mitigate this impact to prevent damage.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

What is it: RA is an auto-immune disorder. Your body's immune system doesn't recognize the joints as part of the body and attack. It can strike any joint and at any age, child or adult. Usually, the smaller joints are attacked first, though all are at risk.

What you can do: Early, aggressive treatment is the best way to mitigate the damage this disease can cause. Symptoms include pain in the joints, red and puffy hands, swelling in joints that is painful to the touch, fever and weight loss. Other symptoms may also occur.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Arthritis In Fingers - Diagnosis and Treatment

Find easy to understand information about arthritis in fingers here in order to manage the problem effectively. Arthritis is a painful condition when the cartilages between joints in our body become worn out. The cartilage serves as a lubricant and cushion for the joints. Without the cushioning effect, the joints will rub against each other and cause inflammation and joint pain. Various forms of arthritis will develop in different way which will disable us to perform simple action such as gripping, grasping things and even the strength to move the hands.

A few common forms of arthritis in fingers are psoriatic arthritis, osteoarthritis pain and rheumatoid arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis is related to the skin condition psoriasis which causes pain in the distal joints near the fingernails. Osteoarthritis is the infamous type of arthritis as a result of having worn out cartilage between the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is cause by deficiency in the bones. The patients will feel stiffness in fingers particularly in the morning. It may lead to more deformities of the hands such as the fingers may gradually shift away from the thumb.

The symptoms of the abovementioned arthritis in fingers are listed below.

- Pain in the joints. The joints become swollen, red and warm.

- Numbness and stiffness in fingers

- Lumps, nodules and bone spurs will develop around the knuckles.

- The hands will appear deformed.

- Difficult to execute motion like opening jars, gripping and twisting object.

Arthritis in Fingers - Early Treatment to Prevent Surgery

The patients with arthritis in fingers may escape surgery if early treatment is effective in managing the symptoms. Change of diet is necessary to avoid food which can cause inflammation. Intake of joint supplement with chondroitin and glucosamine may be helpful to slowdown wearing out of cartilage between the joints. Heat and ice treatment, anti-inflammatory medications, and cortisone injections are ways to reduce stiffness and pain to facilitate movement of the hand. Seek consultation and treatment from a doctor in order to receive the appropriate treatment. The doctor may work with a physical therapist to assist you to find a splint to help to support and control movement of the hand with arthritis.

Exercises intended to build strength helps to keep the hands healthy. Regular simple exercises like shoulder shrugs, stretching and shaking of fingers, wrist and arms also improve blood flows and reduce your risk of getting arthritis. Although the pain and stiffness may discourage you to carry out physically demanding activities, it is important to keep your body and hands active. Swimming, tai chi and other low impact exercises are highly recommended for patients to manage the symptoms of arthritis in fingers.

Nopal Cactus Juice And Rheumatoid Arthritis - Can This Really Help Relieve Pain For You?

Something that many people need to know about is nopal cactus juice and Rheumatoid. If you suffer from arthritis pain, then you have to be aware of the ways that this juice really will be able to help relieve your pain.

The cactus juice comes from the nopal cactus, which is also referred to as Opuntia ficus-indica and is also known as the prickly pear. This cactus is located in the Sonoran Desert of Mexico and in the southwestern US.

It has been proven to provide many health benefits for anyone that drinks the juice made from it.

It is made with magnesium, vitamin C and calcium. Plus, it also has the amino acid that is known as taurine, it is has antioxidant proteins referred to as betalains and is also rich in flavonoids.

These are all good things to put into your body that will help provide you with many health benefits. One of the biggest benefits is that it will help to reduce inflammation that is being caused by your arthritis.

You will notice a reduction of inflammation in many different areas. Some of those areas include:

- Muscles
- Arterial
- Gastrointestinal
- Bone inflammation
- Cardiovascular

So, if you suffer from inflammation in any of these areas of the body, you can use this juice to help you reduce the pain and the swelling.

There have been a number of ethanol extract studies done on the fruit that this juice is made from that show that ingestion of this fruit can help to inhibit white blood cell migration. This is the key to the development of disease involving inflammation.

If you are suffering from arthritis, then the above information is definitely important to know, but it is also a good idea to try this juice for yourself. Many people have found pain relief from it because of the benefits it provides to your body and because it helps them relieve the pain.

You want to be smart and do your own research about it, so you can be as informed as you possibly can before making the final decision to give it a try. This way you feel comfortable using the juice and understand exactly how it is going to benefit you and relieve your pain.

Now that you are more aware of nopal cactus juice and Rheumatoid arthritis, you just need to decide for yourself if this is something worth trying. Just remember that other people have found relief from their pain using it and this means that if you give it a chance, you can also.

Why You Need a Blood Test For Rheumatoid Arthritis

There is a wealth of information available out there about rheumatoid arthritis and you can start you search online or go through medical books. You can find all sorts of helpful information about how this ailment is treated and even find alternative treatments. You can even go as far as diagnosing yourself to check if you are showing the symptoms of RA. But it's always safe to check for accuracy and validity which is why getting a blood test for rheumatoid arthritis is necessary.

Getting Tested

There are different kinds of blood tests for RA and the results can give you information that can be very useful for diagnostic evaluation and especially recommendations on how it can be treated. What the blood test does is that it finds the disease in your system and affirms if you do in fact have rheumatoid arthritis. Through these blood tests you can get an accurate diagnosis because having these tests are crucial indicators to find out about a patient's condition.

Blood Test Types

The are four different types of blood tests performed for those who want to know the source of their symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Here are some helpful descriptions of each of them.

The first type of blood test is called Erythrocite Sedimentation Rate or ESR which determines how much inflammation you have in your body. This test is performed by letting the blood flow downwards and the rate at which it falls determines the inflammation. The faster blood flows down, the higher the inflammation. The healthier you are the slower your blood falls. Using this type of test pinpoints where in your body is the inflammation. This test is not only limited to determine rheumatoid arthritis but it helps in all types of diagnosis.

C-Reactive Protein is the second type of blood test to check for rheumatoid arthritis. This test is almost similar to ESR in that it can be a helpful diagnostic tool and detects irritation in your body.

The next test is called Rheumatoid Factor test which is effective 70%- 90% of the time for rheumatoid arthritis patients. The only big issue about this test is that it only detects rheumatoid arthritis on the severe level.

The last test is Plasma Velocity which is fast replacing the ESR method. The best feature of this test is that it uses fewer variables that can affect the result. This means it is more accurate because it gives a closer look on the blood plasma protein content.

The Importance of Blood Testing

A physician will perform more than one type of blood test to their patient in order to get a clearer diagnosis. These tests have been proven effective and necessary for rheumatoid arthritis patients. It has been a standard procedure being done in most hospitals and laboratories as a helpful aid for doctors to determine the source of a patient's symptoms.

Before going through a blood test or any kind of procedure is to get some information on how to prepare for it. It is the duty of every medical technician to give you specific instructions on preparing yourself for a blood test for rheumatoid arthritis and it is your job to follow them precisely for your own benefit.

5 Powerful Juice Recipes for Arthritis Sufferers

Juicing can be a powerful way to combat the inflammation and pain caused by arthritic conditions. A variety of delicious juice recipes are available to help you manage your arthritis pain.

Arthritis is a painful, inflammatory condition of the joints that afflicts men and women of all ages. It involves the breakdown of cartilage, which normally acts as a cushion for your joints. In the absence of cushioning cartilage, bones rub together in a way they were not intended to, which can cause pain.

There are as many as one hundred types of arthritis, ranging from autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis to the more common osteoarthritis which affects most people as they age. Some forms of arthritis can even affect children. Most arthritis is associated with stiff joints that may also be swollen, creaky, and painful.

Joints affected by arthritis may have limited movement and in severe cases may become deformed in appearance. In rheumatoid arthritis joints may be red and warm to the touch and are typically equally affected on both sides of the body. All forms of arthritis can range from very mild to quite debilitating.

Many plants contain powerful anti-inflammatory compounds that can help dramatically reduce symptoms. The standard "Western" diet, which includes a lot of pro-inflammatory foods such as red meat, dairy, refined and processed grains, and refined sugar, is believed to promote conditions such as arthritis. A diet built around fruits and vegetables helps to prevent chronic disease, including certain arthritic conditions.

Fruits and vegetables believed to be effective for those with arthritis pain include:

  • ginger

  • pineapple

  • papaya

  • blueberries

  • grapefruit

  • spinach

  • grapes

  • plums

  • collard greens

  • kale

  • pears

  • bok choy

  • sour cherries

  • pomegranate

  • cauliflower

  • raspberries

  • strawberries

  • onions

  • apples

  • carrots

  • beets

  • garlic

  • lettuce

Juicing concentrates the healthful compounds in these plants, allowing you to benefit from them more effectively than by eating small amounts of the whole fruit or vegetable. By harnessing the powerful antioxidants and enzymes of raw fruits and vegetables, using these juice recipes for arthritis may increase your joint mobility and comfort and reduce swelling.

You can also increase the anti-inflammatory effectiveness of your juice recipe by mixing it with green tea, raw cold-pressed flax seed oil or liquid fish oil. These all have additional properties that make them healthful elements in an anti-inflammatory diet.

Green tea contains epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) which has been shown to be helpful in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

Flax and fish oils contain omega 3 fatty acids which are useful for a variety of conditions including various forms of arthritis. These can also be mixed with fresh juices.

The following juice recipes for arthritis can all be easily made using most electric juicers.

Pineapple, Carrot & Celery Juice

5 carrots

2 stalks of celery

4 oz pineapple

1 tsp lemon juice

Papaya Orange Juice

翹 papaya, peeled

1 large orange, peeled

Papaya Blueberry Juice

2 cups blueberries

翹 papaya, peeled

Broccoli Carrot Juice

1/2 cup fresh broccoli, cut in pieces

3 medium carrots, roots only

1 apple, core removed

1/2 lemon, peeled

Sour Cherry-Pomegranate Juice

2 cups sour cherries

1 pomegranate, skin removed

1 apples, core removed

For each recipe, simply juice the listed ingredients in an electric juicer.

You can find other juicing remedies for arthritis on the internet or in books about juicing. However, many of the most successful recipes come from experimentation, so don't be afraid to use the list of fruits and vegetables above to come up with ideas for new juice combinations. You just might invent a juice that tastes fantastic while providing great relief for your achy, stiff joints!

How To Deal With Elevated Cholesterol - A Side Effect of New Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatments

Twenty years ago, rheumatoid arthritis was a condition that was generally progressive leading to increased disability and even early death.

With the advent of newer biologic therapies approximately seventeen years ago, most patients with rheumatoid arthritis will eventually achieve remission.

However, with that success comes a price. Because of the unique mechanism of action of biologic therapies- targeting specific points in the immune system- one of the logical problems has been side effects related to immune dysfunction.

Among these are an increased susceptibility to infection, increased chance of reactivation of tuberculosis, neurologic syndromes, increased insulin sensitivity in diabetics, elevation of blood lipids, and others.

One of the newer class of compounds that will be arriving on the biologic scene are the protein kinase inhibitor drugs. An example is the JAK - 3 group. These drugs block the signaling that occurs between the surface of immune cells and the nucleus of those cells. The end result is a "crippling" of the ability of the immune cell to over react.

What has been encouraging about these drugs are the following:

They are oral
They have an entirely different mode of action compared with the other biologics
They also appear to work in patients that have failed tumor necrosis factor inhibitors

Probably, the JAK-3 drug that appears to be furthest along towards the FDA approval process is Pfizer's tofacitinib.

There are drawbacks, as expected. Tofacitinib has been associated with changes in liver and kidney function, elevated blood pressure, reduction in white blood cell counts, and elevation of blood lipids. The latter is not surprising since inflammation and lipid metabolism are intimately associated with each other.

The issue has been... "What do you do about it?"

The answer comes from a study done at the University of Glasgow. Professor Iain McInnes, professor of experimental medicine and rheumatology presented a study in which 111 patients with rheumatoid arthritis enrolled in a tofacitinib study were followed. During the open label part of the trial, patients taking tofacitinib received a cholesterol lowering statin drug. The group who received the stain drug had a 35 per cent lowering of blood lipids versus a 5.8 per cent increase in the placebo group.

The findings of the study were underscored by Dr. McInnes assertion that the elevation of lipids seen with tofacitinib could be reversed by adding the statin.

This is similar to the situation where it is sometimes necessary to add a statin to patients taking another rheumatoid arthritis drug, tocilizumab (Actemra), which also elevates lipids.

Top 7 Ways To Treat Arthritis

Arthritis is a term used to describe more than 100 different conditions that affect and cause pain to your joints. However, along with medication and exercise therapy, here are some other helpful ways you can try when treating arthritis:

1. Physical therapy

This form of therapy restores or keeps the range of motion in your joints and strengthens the surrounding muscles. A physical therapist can help you learn how to use supportive devices, such as crutches, canes, and braces, and also teach you to do everyday tasks with as little pain as possible.

2. Heat and cold therapy

Apply heat to your joints to increase blood flow and loosen the joints. Apply cold to your joints to relieve pain.

3. Hydrotherapy

Not only is soaking in a whirlpool or hot tub pleasurable, but it may also help to loosen tight joints and reduce some of the pressure on your aching joints by providing heat and buoyancy.

4. Diet therapy

Certain foods are linked to arthritis symptoms. Milk and cheese were found to cause symptoms. Other research shows foods in the nightshade family (chilli and bell peppers, eggplants, tomatoes, and potatoes) trigger arthritis flare-ups.

Other studies show that foods containing omega-6 fatty acids (vegetable oils such as safflower, soy, sesame, and sunflower) can produce inflammatory chemicals in the body. On the other hand, foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, sardines, and mackerel) may have an anti-inflammatory effect.

5. Antioxidants

Not having enough antioxidants (molecules that help fight against free radicals - destructive molecules made in the body by a chemical process called oxidation), such as vitamins E and A, and beta-carotene, could be a precursor to rheumatoid arthritis. People with rheumatoid arthritis had lower levels of several types of antioxidants, including the beta-carotene and vitamins A and D. Additional studies have found that vitamin E may help ease swelling, pain, and morning stiffness associated with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

6. Dietary supplements

Supplements such as chondroitin and glucosamine, two compounds found in healthy joints, have shown promise in relieving pain and improving mobility. They are taken separately or in combination - either in a pill or as a powder that can be mixed with a liquid. Because these are sold as dietary supplements in your local health food store, they are not monitored or tested for safety and efficacy by the FDA.

7. Herbal therapy

Some herbs that may help to relieve arthritis pain include arnica, feverfew, meadowsweet, and stinging nettles. However, because not all herbal therapies are effective or safe for everyone, you should speak with your doctor.

How to Decrease Gout Symptoms and Arthritis Symptoms

You've heard the expression "you are what you eat"; but unfortunately that is the case with gout symptoms and arthritis symptoms. The good news is that there are a healthy number of delicious foods that will combat both of these. True, there are many delicious foods that you will need to steer clear of; but hopefully, with enough of the proper foods in you (and maybe a little splurge now and then...very little) you can reach a happy medium.

How to relieve gout symptoms

Eating the right foods is just as important as staying away from the wrong foods. A diet high in omega 3 fatty acids goes a long way to decrease gout symptoms; but the fats from dairy products work in just the opposite way. Purines are the enemy (as is uric acid), which makes sense considering that they go hand in hand. Fresh fruits and veggies are highly recommended for both sufferers of gout and arthritis. Certain veggies are on the 'to- be-avoided' list but overall; celery, carrots and almost all citrus fruits have pectin in them. Pectin is essential for the relief of arthritis symptoms in that it encourages joint flexibility.

Oh and by the way...

Symptoms of arthritis are actually treated with most of the foods used to treat gout. Onions, for instance, are one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat. Not only are they beneficial to sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis and an essential part of a gout diet; but they contain strong antibiotic qualities and are good for sufferers of cardiac issues as well. If you could get the vitamin C necessary for the treatment of gout symptoms and an analgesic to help relieve symptoms of arthritis and one tasty food, would you eat it? Of course you would.

Fortunately, this is exactly the case with sweet cherries. No, not the Maraschino cherries that you drop in your old-fashioned (cocktail)! God only knows what's been done to those. The fresh sweet cherries are what we are referring to. Sweet cherries are not your cup of tea? That's okay, because sour cherries (instead of vitamin C) offer your body vitamin A which can help relieve the inflammation involved with arthritis and the pain of gout. These particular cherries go one step further by working overtime (with their anti-oxidants) to "roto rooter" out your arteries that are all clogged up as a result of an overabundance of uric acid.

Maybe there's a lesson here... It's better to be sour than sweet!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

7 Major Differences Between Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Arthritis is a very painful condition that affects millions and millions of Americans every year. There are many different types of arthritis including psoriatic arthritis, gout, septic arthritis, scleroderma, osteoarthritis, gonococcal arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Arthritis of all types is a condition that affects the body's joints. A joint is defined as the location where two bones in the body come together. People suffering from arthritis experience joint inflammation that may occur in one bodily joint or many joints.

Two types of arthritis that are commonly discussed include osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. You may be wondering what some of the major differences are between these two conditions. Here are seven major differences between osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

  1. Osteoarthritis is more common than Rheumatoid Arthritis. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), OA affects around 27 million American adults 25 years and older. The Arthritis Foundation reports that RA affects about 1.5 million people in the United States.

  2. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition caused by the wearing of bodily joints over time. RA is an autoimmune disease that occurs when a person's immune system attacks the body's joints.

  3. Typically people experience OA when they get older. RA can strike a person at any point in life. When it occurs in children, it is sometimes called juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

  4. RA can occur quite quickly whereas OA tends to have a more gradual progression over the course of many years.

  5. RA tends to strike in a more symmetrical manner where a person might experience inflammation and pain in both hands or both feet. In contrast, OA can easily affect only one joint in the body.

  6. Both types of arthritis cause a sense of stiffness in the morning. While the morning stiffness may lessen as the day goes on for those with OA, people with RA are more likely to experience this stiffness for a longer period of time during and throughout the day.

  7. Rheumatoid arthritis is often accompanied with other symptoms which include overall tiredness and malaise, whereas the discomfort associated with osteoarthritis is specific to the joint that is affected.

Arthritis of any type is painful and challenging. Treatment most typically aims to help reduce discomfort, aid physical functioning and if possible, to prevent additional damage to bodily joints.

A thorough physical examination by a trained health care professional like a board certified orthopedic physician is advisable if you think you might be suffering from any type of arthritis including osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.

The Real Truth on How to Cure or Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that leads to the chronic inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissues. It is an auto immune disease where the body's cells are attacked by its own immune system. Rheumatoid arthritis patients may not experience any symptoms for a long period even though it lasts for years.

Chronic rheumatoid arthritis can cause permanent joint destruction and deformity. The exact cause of this rheumatoid arthritis is not clearly understood but it is known to affect people of all ages. It is suspected that environmental factors or infections trigger the immune system of the body.

Symptoms and signs of rheumatoid arthritis:

Depending on the degree of inflammation, the symptoms may come and go. The intensity of the disease varies depending on the degree of inflammation. The disease is active when the body tissues are active and the disease is inactive (in remission) when the inflammation subsides. When the disease is active, symptoms include the following:

  • Loss of energy and appetite

  • Fatigue

  • Muscle and joint aches

  • Low grade fever

  • Stiffness of joints (more noticeable in the morning)

Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis:

There is no cure for this disease. But the treatment plan involves reducing the pain and inflammation of the joints, maximizing the functionality of the joints, and preventing joint destruction and deformity. Treatment for arthritis involves usage of various medications, rest, exercise to strengthen the joints, and educating the patient about the disease.

The arthritis treatment usually entails a combination of drug therapy and non drug therapies that will control the inflammation of the joint and minimize joint damage. In some case, surgery may be required.

Also the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis should be tailored to individual patients needs. This includes the severity of the condition, effectiveness of particular therapies, side effects etc. Also if the person suffering from rheumatoid arthritis is suffering from any other ailments, then the treatment plan should be planned in a different manner. This usually happens with patients who suffer from kidney related problems.

Medications that are used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis includes:

  1. NSAID's which helps to reduce pain and inflammation of the joints. It does not reduce the long term effects of this disease. The side effects of these drugs should be weighed before it is taken.

  2. Disease modifying anti rheumatic drugs reduces inflammation, prevents damage to joints, preserve joint structure and functions and helps the patients to do their daily activities with ease.

  3. Biologic agents target the cells of the immune system, joints, secretions of the joints etc that causes inflammation and joint destruction. Since these fights with the immune system of the body, it should be used cautiously with patients who suffer from infections.

  4. Steroids have strong anti-inflammatory properties which has the potential to provide quick relief to rheumatoid symptoms.

Apart from medications, non pharmacological treatment for arthritis includes:

  1. Educating and counseling the patients about the disease. This will help the patient to understand about the disease and cope up with the challenges of the disease.

  2. Fatigue is a common symptom that is associated with rheumatoid arthritis. The inflamed joints should be given enough rest. This does not mean that physical fitness should be avoided.

  3. Exercise can help the patients to prevent and reverse the effects rheumatoid arthritis creates on the patient which includes loss of joint motion, loss of muscle strength, weakness, and contractions, reduces joint stability etc.

  4. Physical therapy like the application of heat or cold, ultrasound, passive and active exercises, finger splinting, relaxation techniques etc can help reduce pain and inflammation in patients with arthritis.

  5. Nutrition and dietary therapy will help patients suffering from this disease to adequate amount of nutrition and calories.

The use of both medications and other physical therapies provide some relief to patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. The best treatment plan should be first identified and then followed.

Arthritis Treatment: Is It Neck Pain or Is It Shoulder Pain?

The cervical spine- the neck- consists of seven vertebrae which are stacked on top of each other and separated from each other up front by rubbery discs and in back by a pair- one on each side- of what are called uncovertebral joints. These are true joints which are covered with a thin layer of hyaline cartilage.

Right next to these joints, again on either side, are small holes or foramina, where nerve roots from the spinal cord exit. The spinal cord, originating in the brain, runs down a central canal or tunnel, formed by the various elements of the spine. The head weighs about 6-8 pounds depending on a person's intelligence (that's a joke, by the way) and is balanced on this cervical spine column.

Because of the complexity of the structures involved, it is no secret that neck pain can arise as a result of a variety of different causes. Arthritis can develop in the uncovertebral joints thereby narrowing the neural foramina. Since the nerve roots occupy 25 per cent of the volume of the foramina to start, further narrowing can lead to pinching of the nerves. In addition, disc hernation or the flattening of the discs that occurs with aging also can lead to narrowing of the neural foramina as well.

It has been estimated that more than 50 per cent of individuals beyond the age of 45 years have experienced at least one episode of neck pain.

With advancing age, neck pain tends to become more radicular, meaning there is an element of nerve pinching involved.

Pain coming from the cervical spine may be accompanied by pain in the shoulder. A pinched nerve in the neck, particularly a pinched nerve in the upper neck, often presents as shoulder pain. It may also cause pain to radiate down from the neck to between the shoulder blades.

Myofascial pain, pain arising from ligament strain or muscle spasm, can also be a source of discomfort.
Since conditions that cause neck pain and conditions that cause shoulder pain may coexist, it is often difficult to distinguish what problem is most responsible for the symptoms.

Diagnosis is made using a careful history and physical examination. Often times, though, even that can be unrewarding as far as providing an exact diagnosis. Imaging procedures such as magnetic resonance imaging and computerized tomography can be very helpful in sorting things out.

The choice of treatment obviously depends on diagnosis.

Physical therapy, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), brief use of a cervical collar, gentle stretching and strengthening exercises, and injections may be useful.

For soft tissue causes, prolotherapy or injections with platelet rich plasma may be useful. Only in cases where there is significant nerve root impingement with progressive loss of function, or significant pressure on the spinal cord is there a need for a surgical solution.

Caring For Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients

Rheumatoid arthritis defies race, ethnic groups and age. This form of arthritis can affect people of all ages including children and young adults. However, the occurrence of rheumatoid arthritis is more frequently seen in older individuals despite the fact that this disease often begins in middle age people.

People affected with chronic illnesses like rheumatoid arthritis often experience anxiety, depression, worthlessness and the feeling of being helpless. People with rheumatoid arthritis may experience difficulty in doing their normal activities. Others may even find limited job opportunities because of physical deformity. Family life may be altered and some patients may find it difficult to attend to the responsibilities they hold in their family. Moreover, the cost of both medical and surgical treatment for this type of disease is often extensive. This can hurl the patient into further emotional and financial dilemma.

It is important that people with rheumatoid arthritis be given proper emotional and physical care to be able to function back normally if possible. Experts suggest some helpful tips to aid a rheumatoid arthritis patient ease some of the burden the illness has brought them.

1. Hot showers or baths, either in the morning or at bedtime, are beneficial for patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Hot showers can considerably reduce the need for pain medications.

2. It is important that patients should adapt a well balanced diet. However, patients should be made well aware that even special diets will not cure rheumatoid arthritis. Weight should be well controlled, since any extra pounds will pose added burden to the affected joints.

3. Patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis should not cease to do their basic daily activities. They should be advised to perform simple activities like feeding themselves or dressing or combing their hair. Enough time should be given to them to perform and finish each task calmly. Provide them items that will make their task easier like providing them packed foods in easy to open packaging or easy to grip glasses or light cups and unpackaged silverware. When dressing up, dressing aids can be very helpful. These include a long-handled shoehorn, "reacher", zipper-pull, elastic shoelaces and buttonhook. Household items should also be made friendly to rheumatoid arthritis patients - including easy to open drawers, handrails and grab bars. All these will help patients perform daily activities easier.

4. It should be made known to the patient how and when to take his medications. His doctor or nurse should be able to inform the patient about possible complications or side effects, if there are any, accompanying his medications.

5. A competent medical practitioner or nurse should teach a rheumatoid arthritis patient how to stand, walk and sit correctly. It will be beneficial for patients with rheumatoid arthritis to use chairs with high seats and armrests. These will enable him to get up more easily with his knees higher than his hips. Elevated toilet seats will also be helpful.

6. Patients should learn how to rest every few minutes within an hour's activity. He should learn to alternate sitting and standing tasks. Adequate sleep is also important and should be done in the proper sleeping position. A nurse can teach the patient how to adopt a proper sleeping posture.

Finally, proper emotional support should be provided. It should be well kept in mind that patients with chronic disease like rheumatoid arthritis can be easily depressed, discouraged and irritable. Patients should be encouraged to freely talk about their fears or anxieties concerning their situation.

What Do You Need to Know About Rheumatoid Arthritis

What is meant by Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a very commonly found form of arthritis. It is a disease that gets worsened over a period of time and leads to painful swelling and permanent damage in the joints of the body particularly the fingers, wrists, feet and ankle. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease i.e. a disease in which the body's immune system damages its own tissues. The injured tissues cause reddening, swelling and pain in the particular area. Apart from inflammatory joints, this disease can even hit one's internal organs such as lungs, eyes and heart. It is therefore a systemic ailment that often produces excruciating intolerable pain.

People prone to Rheumatoid Arthritis

Women especially between 20 to 60 years of age are more susceptible to develop Rheumatoid arthritis due to the innumerable hormonal alterations in their body because of various reasons. However, young and the old, anyone can be afflicted by this autoimmune systemic disease.

Symptoms and Causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Pain, irritation, stiffness, extreme weariness after doing day's work and even swelling of joints, mark the onset of arthritis. If the situation deteriorates gradually, it is definitely Rheumatoid arthritis.

Contrary to gradual development, in some cases the disease might just hit within few seconds with inflammation and fever.

The stiffness of joints and tiredness because of Rheumatoid arthritis is extreme and hampers the individual's daily activities. The problem may trouble more during winter season.

A burning pain in the joints (left or right hand, cartilage and bone etc.) that prolongs for six weeks or more at a stretch indicates Rheumatoid Arthritis. But if the pain travels to individual's sacroiliac joints of lower back or to the upper spine, the disease is other than this one

Factors that invoke the disease

No strict causes for Rheumatoid Arthritis have been discovered as yet. But investigations and experience have revealed many some constantly occurring or usual factors that have led to its development.

The individual with a family history of Rheumatoid Arthritis is greatly liable to be afflicted by it. But particularly what infested thing gets passed on from affected ancestors to the patient still needs to be explored.

Acute stress is supposed to be another reason behind Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Different viruses such as mononucleosis can cause Rheumatoid Arthritis. Other than this, infections like strep throat lead to the ailment.

Prevention and Cures

Diagnosis commences with some crucial tests. These tests determine the severity or the stage of rheumatoid arthritis for the individual. Once rheumatoid arthritis is confirmed, anti-rheumatic drugs are prescribed. Anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen etc. are prescribed initially and more often to those who are suffering from mild form of the disease. But when the case gets worse, disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs or DMARDs are given. Corticosteroids like prednisone, narcotics; chemotherapy drugs for instance Cytoxan; anti-organ rejection medicines such as cyclosporine are examples of DMARDs. Arava, Enbrel or Etanercept and Methotrexate are by and large recommended medicines to patients of Rheumatoid arthritis. But as many other antibiotics, these drugs too have numerous side-effects which should be borne in mind before advising them.
Besides medicines patients even find therapies like acupressure and acupuncture quite relieving. In many cases of Rheumatoid arthritis, patients also desire to go for a surgery.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Discover Alternative Therapies for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Because rheumatoid arthritis medications are known to have side effects -- some quite serious -- there is a growing interest in alternative therapies.

For rheumatoid arthritis in the early stages, an anti-inflammatory is usually the first choice. Typical anti-inflammatory rheumatoid arthritis medications include aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen.

Aspirin, as most people know, can cause stomach upset and eventually ulcers. Ibuprofen has caused liver damage, anemia, intestinal bleeding, diminished vision and meningitis. People who have aspirin sensitive asthma may also be sensitive to ibuprofen. It has not been proven safe for use by children and should not be used by pregnant women or nursing mothers. These side effects and possible dangers are some of the reasons that people look for alternative therapies for rheumatoid arthritis.

Naproxen is another of the fast acting or anti-inflammatory rheumatoid arthritis medications. In clinical trials of patients taking naproxen, one to ten percent experienced one or more of the following adverse reactions: heartburn, abdominal pain, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, headache, dizziness, drowsiness, lightheadedness, vertigo, itching, sweating, hearing problems, visual problems, cardiovascular edema, heart palpitations, vomiting, gastro-intestinal bleeding, ulcers, anemia and other side effects.

Natural anti-inflammatory botanicals, nutritional supplements and herbal remedies may be considered as alternative therapies for rheumatoid arthritis.

Zinc, an essential mineral, has been shown to be capable of inhibiting the inflammatory response, but most studies of zinc supplementation in rheumatoid arthritis patients have been inconclusive. Like many supplements and alternative therapies for rheumatoid arthritis, zinc seems to help some people and has no side effects, unless high doses are used.

Botanicals and herbal remedies which may be considered as supplemental or alternative therapies for rheumatoid arthritis include ginger root, bromelain, feverfew, turmeric and mangosteen.

Ginger, turmeric and mangosteen have all been used historically by native peoples to treat pain and reduce swelling. The effectiveness of ginger as an alternative to rheumatoid arthritis medications has been studied in clinical trials and indicates that it does show promise.

A small clinical study (18 patients) concluded that turmeric was nearly as effective as one of the anti-inflammatory rheumatoid arthritis medications, but it is not clear whether this was a placebo effect, since there was no control group. Additionally there is some disagreement concerning whether it should be used in the powdered form or as a tea.

Mangosteen is a relatively new and exciting addition to the western world as an anti-inflammatory. It was used historically by the native peoples of Thailand, Vietnam, India, China, Malaysia and the Philippines to treat a variety of bodily aches and pains.

The mangosteen is a fruit and its most readily available form is a drink that contains a puree of the fruit and its rind. It is important when purchasing mangosteen products to consider only the ones that include the rind, because anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatory components and even Cox inhibitors are concentrated in it, as well as numerous vitamins and minerals.

While no human clinical studies have been completed to date concerning mangosteen's efficacy as an alternative or supplement to rheumatoid arthritis medications, numerous laboratory studies have shown that certain of the "xanthones" (powerful anti-oxidants) are anti-inflammatory and Cox-2 inhibitors.

Alternative Therapies for Rheumatoid Arthritis

According to Dr J. Frederic Templeman, M.D. in response to the question "Will the Mangosteen help with pain?" he states: "...Presumptively the mangosteen inhibits the pain-related action of the Cox-2 enzyme in the CNS [Central Nervous System] and blocks pain impulse generation.

So yes, the mangosteen may significantly reduce any pain you might be experiencing." [End Quote]

Prescription Cox-2 inhibitors are being shunned by a great many people due to their numerous undesirable and serious side effects. Indeed, the Cox-2 inhibitor, Vioxx(TM), was taken off of the market worldwide for a time because of the health dangers associated with it and has embroiled Merck in a nightmare of legal woes.

Lab rats or cell lines have been used to conduct mangosteen research and there were no reported side effects. It is believed that because the mangosteen contains the anti-ulcer compounds ascorbic acid, beta carotene, fiber and pectin, it would not have any of the gastric side effects common in anti-inflammatory rheumatoid arthritis medications.

Other compounds found in the fruit may promote heart health and are anti-hypertensive, so health problems associated with prescription Cox-2 inhibiting rheumatoid arthritis medications should not occur with mangosteen usage.

It is possible that mangosteen could one day be considered an effective supplemental or alternative treatments for rheumatoid arthritis. Hopefully, at some point, clinical studies can confirm this, but research is expensive and usually funded by pharmaceutical companies, which is why there are so few studies of the effectiveness of herbal and botanical remedies, particularly in the United States.

Studies of alternative therapies for rheumatoid arthritis have shown that diet plays a possible role. Patients who have used a diet that excluded common food allergens such as grains, milk, nuts, beef and eggs reported being symptom free for as long as five years, as long as they stuck to the diet.

In addition to or as an alternative to anti-inflammatory rheumatoid arthritis medications, some doctors prescribe corticosteroids like prednisone. But, while these may be effective for short-term relief of symptoms, long-term use of corticosteroids is known to cause many other health problems including diabetes.

In addition, they tend to lose their effectiveness, and can be habit forming. When a patient has been taking corticosteroid rheumatoid arthritis medications, they must be "weaned" off of them, meaning the medication must be gradually reduced before switching to alternative therapies for rheumatoid arthritis.

Find Out Here Which Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptom You Could Have

Arthritis is a complex disease and in fact there are one hundred plus forms. However, two represent by far the main ones: rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. We'll just talk about these two for now. They are quite different as you will see.

Osteoarthritis is often called degenerative arthritis which is a good name as it is caused by the degeneration of the cartilage between the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is an auto immune disease, so is completely different.

Here's a list to see if you have any or just one rheumatoid arthritis symptom?

1. Joint pain on both sides of the body
2. Inflammation and swelling of joints - particularly in the hands and the knees
3. Aches and pains in your joints, again the hands and knees are particularly affected
4. Stiffness in the morning that often lasts more than hour
5. Weak muscles due to stiff joints and less activity
6. Severe fatigue - tired all the time, everything is just too much
7. Generally feeling unwell, even nauseous; possible weight loss

If one or more of these symptoms affect you, then the first step would be to go and see your doctor and talk to him. He will examine you thoroughly and will probably recommend a blood test. There is a particular blood test that can determine whether you have rheumatism or not - it's call the rheumatoid factor. Maybe your doctor will also recommend you have an x-ray done to find out what damage there is to your joints or your cartilage.

If these tests are positive, then there are many options you can take. Although at the present time there is no known cure for arthritis, there are lots of options as far as pain relief is concerned. In fact rheumatism affects people in very different ways because it is an auto immune disease and everyone's body reacts differently.

They key here is to stay true to yourself. If you really don't want to have medication, then try natural remedies. There are so many ways to relief pain naturally and supplements to help hinder the degeneration of the joints and cartilage. Even acupuncture can help. Choose what is right for you. The same applies if you want to take a purely scientific approach . Your doctor will be happy to prescribe medication. If they don't work, go back and try again until you find something that relieves your pain.

The first step is to see if you have any of the rheumatoid arthritis symptom and if so, stay positive. Many many people live well and manage their disease admirably.

Rheumatoid Arthritis - Signs and Symptoms

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic and systematic disorder that principally affects the joints leading to an inflammatory synovistis. This condition can lead to the destruction of the articular cartilage and ankylosis of the joints. Apart from the joints, this disorder can also affect body tissues and organs.

This condition can also produce diffuse inflammation in the lungs, the pericardium, the pleura and the sclera. Although the exact causes of this disease are yet to be identified, autoimmunity is said to be a major contributor to the progression of the disease. No age is immune to this disease although the onset is often between the ages of 40 and 50.

Signs of rheumatoid arthritis include inflammation and swelling of the affected joints. The joints will also feel warm, painful and stiff especially in the morning or after a prolonged period of inactivity. Increased stiffness particularly early in the morning is a prominent feature of the inflammatory disease and may last for more than an hour. Gentle movements normally help to relieve the symptoms in the early stages of the disease. This disorder normally affects the joints in a fairly symmetrical fashion.

Diagnosis of this condition is chiefly on signs and symptoms but also blood tests and x-rays can be used. Other medical imaging techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasound can also be used during diagnosis. Diagnosis and management of this disease is done by a rheumatologist; an expert in the diseases of joints and connective tissues. Rheumatoid arthritis is treated using anti-rheumatic medication. Cortisone therapy can also help to relieve the symptoms but may not effective for long term use.

My Rheumatologist Ordered A Rheumatoid Factor- What Is That?

There are four main antibodies in the blood. They are IgG, IgM, IgA, and IgE. An antibody is a protein made by white blood cells. The purpose of an antibody is to fight off infections and to destroy any other invaders that might do harm. For example, say, you get a splinter. Your white blood cells rush to that area and mount an acute inflammatory response. Antibodies are produced to attack bacteria. The area around the splinter becomes swollen, red, and hurts. Your immune system is doing its job.

Sometimes, though, a person can develop an autoimmune disease, meaning a disease where antibodies are created that are abnormal and are directed against the bodies own tissues. This creates a situation where there is chronic ongoing inflammation. The inflammation doesn't shut off. This inflammation eventually causes damage to the body.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease. One of the first abnormalities in RA is the creation of rheumatoid factor. The rheumatoid factor (RF) is an antibody directed against another antibody called IgG. Most often the rheumatoid factor antibody is an IgM antibody. Sometimes it can be an IgA or an IgG. The level of rheumatoid factor can be measured using a specific blood test.

The RF is not diagnostic for rheumatoid arthritis though. Patients with early RA can be negative for rheumatoid factor. Between 10 and 20% of patients will be persistently negative for rheumatoid factor throughout their illness. However, between 80-90% of patients with RA will be positive for RF at some time during the course of their disease. While RF by itself is not diagnostic of RA, it is one of many criteria used to help with making the diagnosis.

The level of RF is also a good prognostic indicator since high levels of RF are associated with increased disease severity, the development of erosions (damage to the joint), involvement of other organ systems, and disability.

RF is not specific for RA and can be found in patients with other diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus, spondyloarthropathy, inflammatory muscle disease, viral infections, vasculitis, reactive arthritis, mixed cryoglobulinemia, sarcoidosis, bacterial endocarditis, syphilis, and leprosy. RF can also be present in older people who have no other illnesses.

A more specific test for rheumatoid arthritis that is often ordered along with the RF is the anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibody (anti-CCP). The anti-CCP is probably less sensitive than the RF so both tests probably should be ordered at the same time. The anti-CCP can be negative in patients with RA, so it's important to look at the big picture rather than focus on the results of one test.

Finally, since RF may be IgG, IgM, or IgA, it's important to look for all three of these RFs. A note of caution...most laboratories only look for IgM rheumatoid factor. Make sure your rheumatologist looks for all three.

Massage Therapy For Rheumatic Fever

Ayurveda, an age old Indian system of medicine, emphasis that Rheumatic diseases occur due to accumulated ama accompanied by the vata dosh. Panchakarma, is a cleansing process, which is very much unique in Ayurvedic medicine and by undergoing it, the body is able to release excess doshas and amas (toxins) from the cells and it strikes at the root cause of Rheumatic fever.

Panchakarma means five therapeutic measures which are undergone for the purification of the body. The simple logic on which Ayurveda operates is that the body has to be purified before preparing it for treating it for the complex health problems.

The pre-purification measures of panchakarma are :

1.Snehana (abhyangam) - oil massage is done which helps the ama to move towards the gastro intestinal tract.

2. Swedana (sweating) - a process which liquefies the toxins and increases the movement of ama towards the gastro intestinal tract.

Next comes the main purification measures :

1. Vamana - It is a therapeutic vomiting which eliminates the kapha casuing the excess mucus.

2. Virechana - It is a purgation therapy. To treat the fever which is the result of the excess Pitta being secreted in the gall bladder, liver or small intestine.

3. Nasya - It is believed that nose is the doorway to our brain which in turn is the doorway to consiousness. In Nasya, the excess of bodily humors especially the ones that are found in throat area, are eliminated through administration of medication through the nose.

4. Basti - It is an enema therapy where the herbal concoctions of sesame iols and other herbal preparations in the form of liquid medium are introduced in to the rectum. Janubasti is also very effective in treating vata disorders which results in RA disorders.

Hence panchakarma treatment is found very effective in treating the rheumatic disorders and after undergoing it the person is then advised to lead a modified lifestyle, take proper diet and do yogic exercises that helps him in keeping himself at bay from RA disorders in future too.

Juvenile Arthritis: The Incredible Reason Why Kids Still Have This Disease

Juvenile arthritis - also known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile idiopathic arthritis - is a rheumatic disorder that, in all honesty, should have been corralled and eradicated years ago. We have the knowledge to get the job done, but politics and in-fighting among some of our brightest minds in the traditional and alternative health care delivery fields are formidable barriers preventing parents of afflicted children from becoming aware of disease reversal and healing modalities that actually work. In my opinion, the primary reason for this is the tunnel vision mindset our traditional medical establishment has adopted regarding approved treatment and therapy for children who suffer from juvenile arthritis.

There is credible, evidence-based research clearly demonstrating the effectiveness of natural healing methodologies in reversing arthritis. When these methods are combined with medical diagnostic capability you have a winning formula that can successfully address and arrest the degeneration process and subsequently begin the disease reversal process - a process that can be accurately monitored by medical science. This is a perfect marriage of two unique but often complimentary health care delivery systems waiting to be consummated for the good of every arthritic child. Yet this information is routinely overlooked and rarely reviewed in the most widely respected medical journals. Nor is natural healing and recovery from arthritis a topic of serious discussion among physicians and other industry professionals at conventions or when addressing the general public about promising research in the field of juvenile arthritis.

This unwarranted silent treatment and the all-too-familiar hostility of medical doctors toward alternative health practitioners are taking a hefty toll on the ranks of children afflicted with arthritic ailments. The traditional 'treat them and street them' mentality, that worked so well in the past, will not cut the mustard with today's more enlightened patient populations. These people want to know why their kids aren't getting well. Smooth talking and intellectual tap dancing around direct questions from concerned parents and brow beating others who question the medical establishment's will and eagerness to truly pursue and develop a healing protocol for juvenile arthritis is not helping to reverse the current downward plunge of consumer confidence in the traditional medical establishment.

Traditional doctors have a tendency to discount any significant health-related findings that are not espoused by a traditionally trained physician or researcher. I would tell these doctors to not take my word for it and visit some of the older health sanitariums in Germany, Switzerland, England, Sweden, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. They will see for themselves the amazing results these biologically oriented facilities are getting with arthritic patients of all ages - not just children. I know this to be a fact. I was trained at one of these facilities many moons ago.

The best thing medical doctors can do today is listen carefully to alternative practitioners who are 'out of the discipline' but, nonetheless, have been successful in arresting and reversing juvenile arthritis. This simple measure - this show of respect and consideration to fellow healers - would do more to help arthritic kids than anything else. Such a show of solidarity could bring in its train a mutual sharing of ideas about how best to deliver appropriate and relevant care to each arthritic patient - guided solely by the ideal of what is right and not who is right.

If we can stop countries from being at war with one another we can certainly stop the senseless battle that has been raging for decades between traditional and non-traditional practitioners. Our kids need desperately for this to happen soon. If you are a medical doctor or other health care professional delivering direct care to arthritic children, please think very hard about what I'm saying. Juvenile arthritis need not be the end game for afflicted kids that so many parents have come to believe and accept.