50 million – that is the number of people in the United States only who have been diagnosed with arthritis. And yet, too many of them do not clearly understand their condition and how to manage it in such a way as to make their lives better.
Arthritis can be a terrible disease to live with, but with the right medication and treatment, many people have a good chance of living a life as normal as possible. Yet- and this has to be emphasized thoroughly- people really need to inform themselves beforehand.
One of the many questions that have been going around is whether or not apple cider vinegar is of any help in treating arthritis. Many people sustain the idea that apple cider vinegar is an almost miraculous natural remedy for arthritis, while others are rather skeptical of the supposed benefits of this vinegar. Is it good or is it bad, then? Read on and find out more.
Arthritis and What You Should Know About It
Arthritis is probably one of the most common diseases there are, but, as mentioned in the very beginning, few people try to understand how this disease functions. Basically, arthritis has been defined as a joint disorder which involves inflammation to one or more joints in the human body. Specialists approximate that there are more than 100 variations of this disease, with the most common one being osteoarthritis.
Furthermore, there are some autoimmune diseases that fall under the broad spectrum of “arthritis” as well: rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and so on. Last, but not least, arthritis can be connected to joint infection as well, such as in the case of septic arthritis.
The main symptom shown by patients with arthritis (in its various forms) is joint pain. Swelling of the joints and stiffness, malaise, fatigue, inability to walk or to use the hand, muscle pain, sleeping issues, weight loss, difficulty in moving the joint – these are just some of the other symptoms individuals diagnosed with arthritis show as well. If you do experience these symptoms, it is important that you visit a doctor because only a professional examination (probably followed by blood tests, radiology and so on) will be able to put the correct diagnosis.
Your physician will have to make a differential diagnosis and to make sure that he/she puts the right diagnosis. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can show very similar symptoms, but they are very different in their essence (as rheumatoid arthritis is actually a disease that does not seem to have an actual cause and in which the body’s autoimmune cells start attacking the joints for no apparent reason).
Also, gouty arthritis is caused by the uric acid deposits in the joints and it should be diagnosed correctly as well. Furthermore, Lupus also has to be ruled out because it involves different types of treatment (and at the same time they are commonly encountered in patients with arthritis).
Arthritis and the Treatment Available
There is no cure proper for arthritis, but there are several types of treatment that can alleviate pain and make life better for the patients with this diagnosis. Drugs can be administered according to the type of arthritis a person shows and, at the beginning, they will be of a lower dosage (and they will be changed to stronger medication if the patient starts not responding to them). Paracetamol is usually given for osteoarthritis, but in the case of those who suffer from inflammatory arthritis, the main drug is ibuprofen.
In addition to drugs, physical therapy is recommended, but only under the close supervision of a specialist. Studies show that there can be a great improvement in the level of pain if a person diagnosed with arthritis exercises with regularity and that it lowers the chances that the range of motion in the affected joint becomes limited. Furthermore, occupational therapy is sometimes recommended as well.
Even more than that, many people are calling for Eastern-inspired remedies such as acupuncture, yoga and tai-chi. These Eastern practices have been reported to be efficient in relieving people from pain and in making them feel better.
So, What is the Issue with Apple Cider Vinegar?
Among the many types of natural/home remedies recommended for arthritis, apple cider vinegar seems to bear an important role. However, there are still many people who are rather skeptical on the miraculous benefits of this “drink”. What is the truth, then?
The absolute truth is that there is no scientific research to show with precision that apple cider vinegar can cure arthritis in any way. Yet, a lot of people claim that their situation has improved drastically ever since they started taking it. And this has not been going around for a short amount of time – in fact, it has been around for at least hundreds of years, if not much longer.
It is fairly easy to take apple cider vinegar, as most of the people suggest 1-2 teaspoons of it mixed in a glass of water and taken before breakfast. It is important that you do mix the vinegar with water because otherwise the acids in it can become harmful for your stomach.
In addition to arthritis, apple cider vinegar is believed to help with a series of other medical conditions as well, including diabetes and for weight loss. Even more than that, a lot of people consider it a natural weapon against the possibility of developing cancer.
Is apple cider vinegar harmful in any way? Most likely, no. Consuming a lot of apple cider vinegar on a very long term can lower the potassium in your body – and there has been a case reported on this. Low potassium can also lead to weaker bones and even to osteoporosis, but as long as you keep your apple cider vinegar intake at bay (and you don’t use it on long term), you will be safe from this kind of side effect.