The term arthritis comes from the derivative 'ortho' meaning joint, and 'itis', meaning inflammation. So of course in arthritis, there is a lot of joint inflammation.
But there are different types of arthritis, as you likely know; there is a type of arthritis called osteoarthritis, which is sort of age related. It's also known as degenerative arthritis. As we get older almost everyone develops some osteoarthritis.
Then there is of course the auto-immune types of arthritic conditions, like rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. Lupus also has joint involvement and so does psoratic arthritis and Reiter's syndrome; there are a number of auto-immune diseases that affect the joints; most people know that, as well. The question is, what makes these diseases different?
We used to think osteoarthritis was due to a wear and tear problem, where you wore the joints out, but over the years we've realized that's not really true. A lot of people who use their joints the most actually have the healthiest looking joints, even on an X-ray.
In the 1980s, we started to understand the hallmark feature that goes wrong that develops into osteoarthritis, which is, after the age of 40 the body stops making optimal amounts of glucosamine. You probably have heard of glucosamine because when we think if it, we think of the supplement, but the body makes its own glucosamine; up to the age of 40, your body makes all the glucosamine it needs, pretty much. Glucosamine is needed to help build the joint cartilage and maintain it, and there is always a turnover of joint cartilage, so if you break some down, the body is making new cartilage material.
After the age 40 as the body begins to stop making optimal amounts of glucosamine, the rate at which the cartilage breaks down is now faster than the rate at which it can be synthesize. So you get joint cartilage erosion; the bones get closer together. When you look at an X-ray the doctor will say that there is narrowing of the joint space and that's a classic sign of osteoarthritis.
That's not the only thing that goes sideways in osteoarthritis. As we get older around our joints there is like a saran wrap called the synovial lining. Some of the immune cells called monocytes that are on the lining of the synovial tissues secrete more inflammatory chemicals, or cytokines, as we get older and it produces. So we're not only getting joint cartilage erosion, but there is a greater tendency for inflammation to occur as a result of that inflammatory cytokine production.
The key aspect to managing this, particularly from a life style standpoint is we've learned if you give people glucosamine supplements that can give the body the glucosamine it isn't making on its own to help maintain the cartilage. There are no drugs that can do this. This is why glucosamine supplementation is so important, not just in the managements of arthritis, but in the prevention of it after the age of 40.
Then there are natural anti-inflammatories that don't have any side effects, like MSM, quercetin and bromelain enzymes. I like to combine glucosamine with those natural anti-inflammatories to suppress the inflammatory state and maintain the joint cartilage.
And of course you need an anti-inflammatory diet; less high animal fat products and fewer of the types of vegetable oils that promote inflammation.
So that's the osteoarthritis story. Now in rheumatoid arthritis, the key lifestyle strategies are that you have to tone down the release of these inflammatory cytokines. Your system is producing these major inflammatory chemicals when you have rheumatoid arthritis. If you can regulate the immune system and bring it back to a more normalized function, that's a key thing to do in terms of lifestyle management, but how do you do that? Well, you need an anti-inflammatory diet and there are natural anti-inflammatory herbal agents like curcumin, boswellia, ginger, white willow bark extract, and quercetin a flavionoid that has been shown to do that. Certain medicinal mushrooms and astragalus also help to regulate the immune system in a way that's quite important, and higher doses of Vitamin D can have anti-inflammatory effects and immune modulation effects and even probiotics can be helpful.
I'm bringing this to your attention because many family doctors, rheumatologists and orthopedic surgeons who see these types of patients fail to explain to them the importance of diet and supplementation, and even exercise in the ongoing management of these types of arthritic conditions – whether it's osteoarthritis or an auto-immune rheumatoid arthritis. To me this is very disappointing, it's extremely unfortunate for the patient because these natural interventions can help to reduce your reliance on some of the synthetic drugs that are being prescribed. And why is that important? Because all those drugs over the long term can have some really devastating side effects. So if you can reduce the amount you have to take over your lifetime, then it's very worthwhile.
This is where I come in. The best thing you can do right now is to download my eBook on Proven Natural Remedies for Joint Pain Arthritis and Inflammation. The booklet shows the exact lifestyle plan to help you better manage any arthritic condition and it can be used alongside any drugs or medical management that you might be currently receiving. It's vitally important that you pay attention to these lifestyle issues because they can make a huge difference in the long run. Every arthritis patient should have a copy of this eBook, Proven Natural Remedies for Joint Pain Arthritis Inflammation.
At http://www.meschinohealth.com you'll see all of published review papers, my videos, live footage from my professional seminars and other downloads and resources that I provide there for free that will help you lead a long, healthy and highly functional life. That's what we all want in the end. Also, my review articles and teaching materials come complete with all the scientific references to make sure you're getting only evidence-based information on any health topic that you may be seeking out.
Make sure that you use http://www.meschinohealth.com as your ongoing, reliable resource for both you and your family when it comes to any types of health information that you may be looking for and you'll know that you're getting the best evidence based information on my website. Thanks so much for your time.