Coping with Arthritis

coping with arthritisHaving to suffer from any painful condition is a terrible thing to endure. Arthritis is one such condition and is so prevalent in modern western society that it actually ranks second behind heart disease as the most crippling condition to affect the population. So how does someone cope with the pain and the lack of mobility that accompanies this condition?

The short answer is that coping is only made possible by taking strong anti-inflammatory drugs and painkillers. At least that's the bleak outlook proposed by most doctors, who feel as helpless as their patients at not having an effective cure for a disease that affects so many people. But there is more to this than medical science would have us believe and the oft heard statement that "there is no cure, you'll just have to live with it" may not be as true and as final as many people believe.

Is There a Natural Cure for Arthritis?

In fact, there are several natural treatments that can help enormously with most kinds of arthritis by reducing the pain and taking down some of the inflammation in the joints that makes mobility so difficult and painful. First it's important to recognize the main differences in the most common forms of this condition.

Osteoarthritis

With osteoarthritis, which is the most common form, the joints and cartilage are gradually worn away with age and excessive use and often there is little that can be done to prevent this happening. But that doesn't mean there is nothing that can be done!

Preventative measures such as ensuring there is sufficient intake of omega 3 fatty acids in the diet, as this helps to preserve joints and the surrounding tissues. It is also a good idea to take a supplement of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate which also helps maintain elasticity and suppleness for longer.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

This form of the condition is often referred to as an auto-immune disease and is described as the body's own defenses attacking the joints, causing inflammation and pain. The truth is a little deeper than that. There is a reason the immune system attacks the joints and that reason is because the patient has too high a reading of uric acid in their blood and that excess acid is attracted to the soft, alkali lining of the joints. This lining, known as the synovium, or synovial membrane is there to cushion and lubricate the joints.

When uric acid attacks this membrane, it enters the joint and starts to form a thin, hard eggshell-like formation which causes friction in the joint. It is this friction that triggers the immune response. The area is flooded with histamines, which cause the swelling and pain.

Preventative options include scrutinizing the diet to identify the cause of the excessive amount of uric acid and eliminating the culprits. Often, the cause can be found in a person who is overweight and has a lot of visceral fat stored as the more commonly known "belly fat" which has recently been identified as the cause of many modern diseases, including metabolic disorders that could result in the over-production of uric acid.

This is also a major cause of gout, which is an extreme form of arthritis where the uric acid in the joints crystallizes and cause acute pain and an equally extreme inflammatory response.

Prevention Better than Cure

a sensible dietWith this condition, prevention is always better than cure, especially since there is no known medical cure! Diet is a major contributor to a person's overall health and when the diet is faulty, a whole range of diseases may be expected at some point in the person's life, if not right away.

When you're young you think you can get away with eating a fairly poor diet for a while, but you won't get away with it forever. It's better to start out as you mean to go on and make sure your diet is as good as it can be. That doesn't mean be ultra strict, but it does mean eating sensibly at least most of the time.

Also watch what you drink. Too much alcohol can make things worse if your diet is already poor and it leads to overeating when your normal common sense is impaired. Too much soda will fill you up with empty calories and all the excess sugar will go toward the storage of high levels of visceral fat.

Whatever you do, try to avoid too much stress and relax as much as possible as stress is another likely component in the equation. Try and stay happy and upbeat and with a healthy diet you may be lucky enough to avoid this condition in your later years altogether.

More information can be found here: www.arthritis.org