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Old 07-08-2009, 11:37 AM
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Default A natural approach to the treatment of arthritis

There are numerous types of arthritis. I am only going to be covering 2 of those. These are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis (OA), which is also known as osteoarthrosis or degenerative joint disease (DJD), is a progressive disorder of the joints caused by gradual loss of cartilage and resulting in the development of bony spurs and cysts at the margins of the joints.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and deformity of the joints. Other problems throughout the body (systemic problems) may also develop, including inflammation of blood vessels (vasculitis), the development of bumps (called rheumatoid nodules) in various parts of the body, lung disease, blood disorders, and weakening of the bones (osteoporosis).

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition. Autoimmune conditions are disorders in which the immune system produces autoantibodies to an endogenous antigen, with consequent injury to tissues. This essential means the immune system starts attacking you own body�s tissues.

Natural treatment of Arthritis

Natural treatment of arthritis would be similar regardless of whether it is osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. The aim would be at reducing pain, inflammation and to help the body to heal and regenerate the joints. However, when treating rheumatoid arthritis the treatment would also have a component targeted at the autoimmune component of the disease.

Homoeopathy can help tremendously in the treatment of autoimmune conditions; especially because it targets the individual symptoms each patient experiences. I shall not make any recommendations for the Homoeopathic treatment of Arthritis as it is best to consult a Homoeopath when treating this condition with homoeopathic medicines. I shall however make recommendations on nutraceuticals, herbs, and diet in the treatment of arthritis.

When discussing the natural treatment of arthritis I am first going to discuss the specific treatment of the auto-immune component of rheumatoid arthritis, and then I will discuss the general treatment of both types of arthritis.

Treatment of the autoimmune component of Rheumatoid Arthritis

The number one suggestion I would for the treatment of the autoimmune component of Rheumatoid arthritis would be to supplement with the 8 essential sugars. This is because of their ability to enhance and correct the cellular communication between organ systems in the body. This is vitally important in treating autoimmune conditions, as the body needs to get the immune system to recognize that the tissues of the body are not foreign and to turn off the immune response and thus the autoimmune condition.

Ashwagandha modulates and regulates the immune system, which is important in rheumatoid arthritis patients. Patients with autoimmune conditions have low level of CD8 cells in comparison to healthy individuals. CD8 cells are important in modulating an overactive immune system as is the case in most autoimmune diseases. Ashwagandha helps to boost CD8 cell production in the body.

General treatment of Arthritis

Here I am going to discuss first the substances that will be of benefit in controlling pain and inflammation. That will then be followed by nutrients that will help to regenerate and heal up the cartilage.

Pain and inflammation. Capsaicin applied to the joints in a ointment form can be of great benefit in treating the pain of arthritis (be careful to wash your hands after applying the ointment, to avoid accidentally touching your eyes afterwards and having them burn from the capsaicin).

Proteolytic enzymes such as Bromelain (1200-1800mg/day) and Papain reduce the inflammation associated with arthritis.

Cetyl Myristoleate (CMO) is highly effective in the treatment of arthritis. It reduces pain as well as lubricates the joints. Other beneficial nutrients you may add to this are Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) and Curcumin.

Fish Oils (18 grams per day) alleviate Arthritis (by reducing elevated Interleukin 1 and Leukotriene B4 levels which are implicated in Inflammation in Arthritis patients).

Green-Lipped Mussel extract (1,000 mg per day) alleviates Arthritis (due to the Glycosaminoglycans and Eicosatetraenoic Acid content of Green-Lipped Mussels).

Herbs that will be of benefit are Boswellia, Devil�s Claw, Nettle, Turmeric and Yucca.

Joint regeneration. S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe) and Glucosamine Sulfate stimulate the growth and regeneration of cartilage inside joints. Silicon facilitates the removal of the arthritic nodules and spurs associated with Osteoarthritis.

Vitamin C retards the erosion of cartilage that occurs during the course of Arthritis and increases the synthesis of the endogenous Glycosaminoglycans that are necessary to repair damaged osteoarthritic Joints.

Supplements and herbs to avoid

Do not use iron supplements, as they may worsen inflammation.

Dietary suggestions for Arthritis patients

Eat asparagus, eggs, garlic & onions; these foods contain sulphur which is needed for repair and rebuilding of bone, cartilage and connective tissue, and aids in absorption of calcium. Include brown rice, fish, green leafy vegetables, non-acidic fresh fruits, oatmeal, and whole grains. Eat fresh pineapple, as it contains bromelain for reducing inflammation. Eat some form of fibre daily.

Do not consume milk, dairy, or red meat. Avoid caffeine, citrus fruits, paprika, salt, tobacco and sugar. Avoid nightshade vegetables, e.g. peppers, brinjal, tomatoes, which may contribute to inflammation. Avoid alfalfa.

Excessive consumption of meats is speculated to be an underlying cause of Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Excessive consumption of Sodium contributes to Osteoarthritis (by accelerating the loss of Calcium from the Bones).

General Consideration and Recommendations

Regular (light) exercise is a recommended treatment for Arthritis. In fact the best forms of exercise I would recommend for would be Tai Chi and Yoga.

Excessive Stress can be one of the underlying causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis. This can be effectively managed by exercises used in Tai Chi and Yoga.

Exposure to Sunlight alleviates Osteoarthritis (by stimulating the endogenous manufacture of Vitamin D).

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