Arthritis is a disease that causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints. This disorder was first thought to be a disease that effects the older generation, but studies have proven this to be far from the truth. In fact, over half of the people who suffer with this disease are too young to retire.
So what types of food increase our suffering? What are the things that we can do to decrease our pain and improve our overall health and wellbeing?
You’ll find answers to all of these questions in the following paragraphs.
Arthritis is an umbrella diagnosis that includes three smaller groups. They are; Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is a disease that continually breaks down the cartilage in your joints. Your cartilage is the fine lining that keeps your bones from rubbing against each other.
This type of arthritis is usually seen in people who’ve had an injury to the affected area or who are overweight.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is considered an autoimmune disease. It causes inflammation, swelling and pain in the joints. This will cause the joints to become red, warm to the touch and stiff.
Over time this disease will cause joint damage, which eventually will lead to loss of movement in the affected joint.
Juvenile arthritis is the child’s version of rheumatoid arthritis. Diagnosis is generally in children under the age of 16.
Research shows that foods that cause inflammation worsen the pain and swelling associated with arthritis.
Some of them include; processed foods like crackers, cookies, nondairy creamer, and store bought baked goods. They have Trans and saturated fat, which increases inflammation.
Sugar, flour, and yeast are also known to increase a person’s inflammation. So you should limit your consumption of baked goods.
Gluten increases inflammation. You’ll find it in numerous food items that contain barley, rye, or wheat. Some of them include cereals, pasta, bread and other baked goods.
Meats high in fat, and dairy also contain Trans and saturated fats and so does regular cooking oil.
Caffeine and aspartame is a Central nervous system stimulant. So products containing either should be avoided.
Doctors suggest eating a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables every day. These foods are packed with essential vitamins. Many which will help reduce pain.
Be sure to enjoy plenty of the following foods; berries, grapes, oranges, apples, cherries, watermelon, papaya, plums, cantaloupe, apricot and persimmons.
For the vegetables be sure to include kale, butternut squash, onions, winter squash, corn, turnip greens, spinach, mustard greens, pumpkin, carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli and rhubarb.
Besides essential vitamins, they contain antitoxins, which helps fight free radicals. They rebuild your immune system and helps remove harmful toxins from your body.
Since copper has shown to reduce pain, you should include; nuts, bran, seafood, cocoa, fish and organ meat. They contain high amounts of copper.
You can spice things up with a little ginger, or garlic. They reduce swelling.
Olive, Kemp and coconut oil should be used to fry foods. They contain good fats that your body needs.
It’s also suggested you drink 64 ounces of water a day. This will help your body flush out all the harmful toxins.
It’s also shown that taking the following supplements will help ease arthritis pain. They are; glucosamine, chondroitin, omega 3 and multivitamins.
Controlling Your Hormones
If you are overweight, a weight reduction program will help ease the pain. Studies show that your body fat produces hormones that’s supposed to regulate, how much you eat, and they help control your sugar level. Inflammation causes them to work improperly, which creates an increase in your appetite and inflammation.
Studies also show that your joints and muscles has to endure four pounds of pressure for every pound of body weight.
Over time this extra stress can cause severe damage. This is another reason why weight management is so important.
How much should you try to lose? Studies have proven that if a person loses 10 % of your body weight the hormones will work properly, which will stop inflammation production.
Exercise to Reduce the Pain
Top arthritis foundation’s recommends people who suffer with arthritis to exercise. Exercising helps people increase their muscle strength, which increases their mobility.
When we exercise our body lubricates the cartilage in our joints, which increase range of motion and decrease pain. It also helps maintain a healthy weight.
Check with your doctor first before you begin. He will be able to advise you on the appropriate exercise.
There are several OTC medicines that will help reduce pain some of them include non-steroid anti-inflammatory’s. like Motrin, Aleve and Naprosyn. These medicines reduce the swelling, which helps stop the pain.
There drugs have shown to have harmful side effects, with long term use. Some of them include; increase in stomach acid, ulcers, blood clots, stroke heart attack and an increased chance of bleeding, If you’ve been diagnosed with heart disease, kidney disease or high blood pressure, talk with your doctor first, before taking these medicines.
Of course Tylenol helps relieve pain. If taken long term with alcohol, it can cause liver damage.
There are several creams, gels and sprays on the market as well. The topical NSAIDS have fewer side effects than the oral, but if taken with the oral NSAIDS, they still can cause stomach damage
A Quick Review
Arthritis is a painful inflammatory disease. It can affect anyone, because it isn’t age, gender, or race specific.
Although there isn’t a cure for this disease, there are things we can do to help alleviate the pain. Some of them include; eating healthy, take a multivitamin, omega 3 chondroitin and Glucosamine every day.
We should avoid foods that cause inflammation some of them include; processed foods, baked goods, foods containing gluten, Trans fats and saturated fats. We should avoid nervous system stimulants like caffeine, nicotine and aspartame.
We should include plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts, berries and good old fashion water in our diet.