Arthritis  ARTHRITIS SUPPLEMENTS Printer friendly page arthritis supplements

 Arthritis means inflammation of the joints.  Someone with arthritis will usually experience pain and difficulty moving the affected joints. There are many kinds of rheumatic diseases – the word rheumatic means aches and pains in joints, bones and muscles. The most common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis (OA) which is degenerative or mechanical arthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis(RA) which is Inflammatory arthritis


Degenerative or mechanical arthritis is a group of conditions where the cartilage covering the ends of the bones becomes damaged. The bones then  try to repair this damage but often an  overgrowth of new tissue occurs  altering the shape of your joint. Osteoarthritis can affect any of the joints in the body  especially if it’s been badly injured. The most commonly affected joints are: knees hips neck and back,  big toes and hands.  

Rheumatoid arthritis is  when your immune system – which usually fights infection – attacks the cells that line your joints, making them swollen, stiff and painful. Over time, this can damage the joint itself, the cartilage and nearby bone.


Inflammatory arthritis is an autoimmune disease. caused by your bodies immune system Your immune systems usual function is to fights infection  but in the case of rheumatoid arthritis it attacks the cells that line your joints, causing inflammation that causes joints to become swollen and damaged. Over time, this will damage the joint  the cartilage and nearby bone.

This often occurs for no obvious reason and can often affect ligaments surrounding the swollen joint.  Other examples of inflammatory arthritis  include reactive arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and arthritis associated with colitis or psoriasis.

For more information go to - http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org
Arthritis is not just a disease of older people – it can affect people of all ages, including children. It is not clear what causes arthritis and there is no cure at present. However, there is plenty you can do to manage your condition and lead a full and active life.


 Change your diet; it can change the way you feel. The right foods can ease your stiff joints, swelling, and fatigue, and  improve your overall health, while the wrong ones can exacerbate them. Try to reduce problematic foods and increase your daily  intake of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Increase your fibre  intake by eating brown bread and rice, cereal like weetabix and shredded wheat and drink more water to aid the  increased fibre  to move  through the digestive system. Fibre helps move food and wastes through the digestive tract before they have a chance to form toxic  substances that can cause inflammation.


 EAT PLENTY OF

Whole unprocessed foods,

Vegetables particularly greens, fruits  (except citrus) and red peppers which contain the pain relieving chemical capsaicin and  asprin-like compounds known as salicylates.

Low fat meat like chicken, turkey or fish - particularly oily fish such as tuna, salmon, sardines  and mackerel.

Seeds, nuts and beans, especially brazil nuts and sunflower seeds which contain a chemical shown to have pain relieving, anti-inflammatory properties similar to ibuprofen.

Grains and  Pulses.

Oregano and rosemary which are both powerful natural antioxidants.

 

EAT LESS - these foods can increase inflammation and exacerbate your condition

Red meat.  

Saturated fats (animal fats), Saturated margarines, cooking oils - The wrong kind of fats, from red meat, and dairy products can increase inflammation in joints, while the "good" fats will help keep inflammation in check. Whole foods are typically high in healthy fats, including the essential fatty acids, which research has proven help decrease arthritic inflammation.

Acids -  High acidity increases the potential for developing inflammatory  conditions.

Reduce your intake of acid-forming foods like sugar, alcohol, vinegar, coffee, meat, citrus fruit, juice and squashes, tomatoes and dairy products.

Processed foods,  white flour, Salt,  Sugar, yeast, coffee and chemical additives,  

 

  Conventional Medications  

  NSAIDs - (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Mefanamic acid, Diclofenac sodium , Diclofenac potassium - Voltarol

NSAIDs help relieve pain and stiffness while also reducing inflammation. However, they will not slow down the progression of rheumatoid arthritis.. These drugs  some of which are available over the counter, must be taken with caution, and over the long term tend to lose their effectiveness and can cause serious side affects.  For more information see  the Boots/NHS website.

DMARDs

Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs help to slow or stop the progression of rheumatoid arthritis. The most common DMARD used to treat rheumatoid arthritis is methotrexate which has  produced dramatic improvements for some sufferers and can help preserve joint function.in severe rheumatoid arthritis

 Biologics

The newest and most effective treatments for rheumatoid arthritis . Biologics are genetically engineered proteins derived from human genes. They are designed to inhibit specific components of the immune system that play a pivotal role in inflammation, a key component in rheumatoid arthritis.

Steroids Will help to reduce inflammation over the short term but have side effects.

They are sometimes used long term for  severe rheumatoid arthritis but  In most cases they are used temporarily to calm a symptom flare-up. Steroids can be given as injections directly into an inflamed joint or taken as a pill. Potential side effects of long-term steroid use include high blood pressure, osteoporosis and diabetes However when used appropriately, steroids are often effective and quickly improve pain and inflammation.



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