One cause of disability in America today, affecting roughly seven million people. It’s now among the most prevalent chronic health issues. The estimated annual costs of arthritis to Americans are $15 billion in direct medical costs and $49 billion in indirect costs such as lost wages. Nearly 40 million Americans have arthritis, with 24 million of those being under 65 years old.
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Projected growth of arthritis by 2020 is 60 million at the U.S. With more than a hundred variations of arthritis, the most common one is gout. It’s a degenerative joint disease that’s related to aging. The deteriorated cartilage that covered the ends of the bone at the joint cause is loss of movement because the bone rubs against bone. It causes the bones to change shape, the muscles to weaken and the reflexes to impede. Osteoarthritis most commonly happens in the weight-bearing joints. Severe trauma to a joint could precipitate arthritis, sometimes years after the first injury. Painkillers are effective for some time, but when the drugs no longer ease the pain some doctors recommend surgery.
Americans undergo lower spine surgery, and hip and knee replacement surgery mostly due to osteoarthritis. Another frequent arthritis called rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder. In autoimmune disease, the body’s immune system actually attacks its own tissue. The cartilage and joints are typically surrounded by protective tissue called synovium which produces a fluid that nourishes and lubricates the cartilage and bones.
A rheumatoid arthritic patient’s immune system produces white blood cells which attack the synovium. This is what causes the inflammation, and painful swollen joints. When the inflamed synovium strikes the joint, bone, and cartilage it causes the muscles around the joint to become too weak to support it correctly. Therefore chronic inflammation is the offender that may eventually cause damage to the bone and cartilage. Rheumatoid arthritis is among the most serious and disabling types of arthritis. Severe joint pain, fatigue fever, and inflammation are the initial symptoms most individuals notice. In more serious situations, the autoimmune reaction involves other regions of the body like the lungs, heart, liver or kidney.
Gout is characterized by monosodium uric crystals in the joints or tissue. It normally occurs in patients 30 to 50 years old after several years of eating an over rich diet of purine foods. When the kidneys can’t remove the over production of uric acid in the body, levels build up causing the needle like crystals to form on the joints. This debilitating disease mostly attacks small joints. The frequency of subsequent acute attacks of gout usually increases over time. A diet of fatty protein rich foods, excessive alcohol intake, and obesity are contributing factors of gout attacks. It’s imperative that you take an active part in the prevention and treatment of joint damage. There are many measures you can take to lessen your risk for developing arthritis, in addition to natural remedies to help reduce inflammation, and other symptoms.
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The conventional treatment involves the use of painkillers, and anti inflammatory drugs. While these drugs are often useful in relieving the pain, they can accelerate the degeneration of articular surfaces thereby destroying the body’s ability to repair cartilage. Several thousand patients have been admitted to hospitals each year for complications related to anti-inflammatory medications.
- Foods to avoid- eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, wheat, corn, beef, pork, eggs, dairy, fried foods, sugar products, refined carbohydrates and foods high in gluten which will intensify inflammation.
- Foods to eat- foods high in sulfur like asparagus, cabbage, garlic, and onions which might help repair bone and cartilage. Also include fish, flax (omega-3 fatty acids), and borage oil (omega-6 fatty acids) which can help reduce inflammation.
- Multivitamin- including antioxidants like vitamin E, C, A, selenium, and zinc because we no longer get optimal amounts from our everyday diet to fight free radical attacks on the joints.
- Exercise- beneficial in helping to decrease stiffness, and maintain an optimum weight to help alleviate the pressure on these weight bearing joints.
- Celery seed- this terrific natural spice comprises almost two dozen anti-inflammatory chemicals known for decreasing inflammation.
- Glucosamine supplement- the joints stop producing this essential substance that will help alleviate stiffness.
- Chondroitin supplement- the body stops producing chrondocytes that help maintain healthy joints.