Arthritis can affect anyone. Almost 20% of Americans have some form of the disease, including many children and young people— and almost twice as many women as men. Symptoms can range from mild pain or aching of the joints to severe and disabling joint pain. If you feel stiffness in the joints when you get up in the morning or experience swelling, discomfort, sensitivity to climate changes (a symptom of arthritis, not a cause), or lack of flexibility in the joints, then you may have a mild form of arthritis. More serious forms can lead to total body weakness, severe joint pain, lack of mobility, fatigue, depression, and even deformed joints.
What Causes Arthritis?
Arthritis has many causes. Here is a quick summary of the current wisdom:
- Immune system dysfunction: A weak immune system can lead to arthritis because bacteria are allowed to flourish in the body, including the types of bacteria that cause some forms of arthritis, such as septic, rheumatoid, and psoriatic arthritis.
- Genetic predisposition: Degenerative joint disease, known as osteoarthritis, is by far the most common type of arthritis. Studies show that it has some genetic preconditions. This type of arthritis is more common in older people.
- Overuse and injury: Although not a common form of arthritis, longterm joint stress can lead to certain forms of joint cartilage degeneration. This can be caused by repetitive motion, overuse, and injury.
- Hormonal imbalance: Imbalance of hormones, especially excess cortisol—often caused by stress, excess caffeine, and adrenal imbalance—can lead to some forms of arthritis because of the detrimental effect on the immune system.
- Inflammation: Excess inflammation around the joints and tendons is linked to arthritic symptoms.
Treatments for Arthritis
Make sure you’re getting good vitamins and minerals from nutritional foods, but be especially sure that you’re getting enough of the vitamins B6, C, E, and niacin and the minerals magnesium and zinc. Vitamin E, in particular, helps people with arthritis increase mobility and reduces pain, and research suggests that vitamin C not only reduces inflammation, but also actually helps cartilage grow back. Here are some additional keys:
- Remember that arthritis is an autoimmune disease, so supporting the immune system will help you fight it. Try maca root, olive leaf extract, and Spirulina to help support your immune system.
- Add digestive enzymes in higher than suggested use. If you have ulcers, check with your doctor first.
- Bovine and shark cartilage are rich in glucosamine and chondroitin, which help stimulate the production of cartilage in humans, a feat never before thought possible.
- Take glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate supplements. Add Sadenosylmethionine (SAMe), which helps the body absorb glucosamine and sustain its effects longer.
- Greenlipped mussels and highpotency fish oils are powerful assistants for arthritic inflammation and help the body grow cartilage.
- Krill supplements can be helpful in regrowing cartilage.
- Drink as much ligniteactivated water as you want.
- Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), a form of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), is used for various forms of arthritis. It is extremely safe and effective in osteoand rheumatoid forms of arthritis and has minimal side effects.
The connection between arthritis and stress, including mental/emotional imbalances, is gaining more credibility all the time. Stressrelated immune system imbalances can result in the infections that lead to arthritis. This is more evidence to suggest that we implement stress reduction techniques in our lives and limit the use of artificial stimulants.
Many natural health practitioners use oatmeal for fast pain relief. Mix 2 cups of oatmeal and 1 cup of water in a bowl and warm, cool slightly, and apply the mixture to your hands for soothing relief from arthritis pain.