Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Arthritis Treatment: Why Is Treating to Target So Important in Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common inflammatory form of arthritis, affecting almost two million Americans. It is a chronic, complex, autoimmune, systemic disease for which there is no known cure as of yet. It is characterized by joint inflammation and joint damage that eventually leads to functional disability causing significant limitations with activities of daily living.

From many pieces of data, it is known that RA is also associated with a reduced life span as a result of its systemic effects. The most significant source for this shortened life span is the cardiovascular complications that can arise, such as heart attack and stroke. Other organ systems such as the lungs, eyes, bone marrow, peripheral nervous system, and others also can be affected and be responsible for excessive morbidity.

In addition to the above-mentioned health complications, RA also results in lost work productivity. In fact, one study showed that more than one-third of patients with RA were work-disabled after having had their disease for more than 10 years.

In recent years, the concept of treat-to-target has become the treatment approach of choice for patients with RA.

The use of the treat-to-target approach has been bolstered by the new 2010 criteria established by the American College of Rheumatology and the European League Against Rheumatism were developed in order to make the diagnosis of earlier disease a priority. The older criteria from 1987 used irreversible x-ray changes as a criterion. By the time x-ray changes occur, it is evident now, the "horse is out of the barn."

In this treat-to-target model, newly diagnosed patients are started on therapy with an intensive regimen of disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs such as methotrexate along with biologic drugs. The patient is then monitored closely at monthly intervals with adjustments in medications made until the patient is in remission.

There are a number of validated methods for objectively measuring patient progress. These include the Disease Activity Score or DAS 28 and the Clinical Disease Activity Index.

It has been demonstrated that this aggressive approach leads to less in the way of imaging changes seen on both x-ray as well as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). It is no surprise that patients treated in this fashion reach lower levels of disease activity and have an improved quality of life.

So while the search for a cure remains, the potential for putting a patient with new onset RA into remission is not only a goal, it is a real probability.

Understanding Arthritis

While many think of arthritis as only affecting the elderly, it is in fact a threat to persons at any age.

There are a number of markers, such as family history and genetic makeup, that have been tied to arthritic conditions, although heredity is no guarantee that you will or will not experience these conditions.

In simple terms, arthritis is a condition where the joints connecting bones together are damaged. However, the term arthritis is very vague. This disease actually represents over one hundred medical conditions that affect both children and adults. The two most common types are Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis (OA)

This type of arthritis is commonly seen in athletes. Often, this joint damage results from high impact activity. However, those that are overweight may also find themselves diagnosed with this condition as a result of the added strain that excess body weight puts on the joints. OA causes pain in the knees, neck, back, hips and hands. Bones are able to rub against each other when the cartilage separating them begins wearing away. This friction results in pain and tenderness. Joints may also develop spurs, dense spots or lumps on the edge of joints that are often very painful. Along with spurs, thickened or stiffened ligaments may occur, preventing essential fluid motion through the affected area.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

RA affects joints in the hands and feet. In this case, the body attacks healthy tissue and damages the lining of these joints, causing swelling, stiffness and pain.

Coping and Prevention

Unfortunately, there is no cure for arthritis, only tools for prevention and treatment of symptoms. For example, walking is a great way to accomplish better posture, which will help keep your bones aligned properly. Mobility exercises and stretching are also very important to aid in reducing stiffness in the joints. Never sit for too long, remain in the same positions or write for more than fifteen minutes without taking a small break. When taking a long car or plane trip, it is important to walk every hour.

As with most illnesses, watching your weight and what you eat is very important in controlling arthritis. Extra weight puts stress on your body, and excess fat cells release chemicals which often cause inflammation.


If the pain cannot be managed with over the counter medications, then prescriptions medications from your doctor may be the answer to managing your condition. NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) target the enzyme in joint inflammation and can relieve pain. Some of these medications include: Aspirin, Naproxen and Ibuprofen, all of which are available over the counter. Cox 2 Inhibitors are the prescription level NSAIDs; these medications are easier on the stomach but may have negative effects on the heart.

Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs can actually limit the amount of joint damage if caught in time. They slow the disease and are usually taken with NSAIDs or Corticosteroids. These drugs may adversely affect your immune system in order to subdue inflammation, so check with the doctor as this may leave you vulnerable to other infections.

Arthritis can be managed to some degree. A doctor's recommendation should always be sought after in regards to medications, especially when taking additional drugs. Staying positive and active is one of the best treatments, although making sure this exercise is manageable and low impact is also important. Knowledge about the subject will help both the individual and support system understand what is happening and how best to cope.

Arthritis and Himalayan Salt Crystals

We have all heard that salt is not good for you and you shouldn't use so much. In fact table salt is 97.5% sodium chloride and 2.5% chemicals such as moisture absorbents, and iodine. It is refined and processed and has very little to do with the actual salt that is produced naturally.

This highly processed salt stores excess fluid in the body's tissues. For every gram (0.035 oz) of sodium chloride that your body cannot absorb, your body uses twenty-three times the amount of valuable cell water to neutralize this salt. The body then re-crystalizes table salt using animal proteins which is available to your body and these cannot be broken down or eliminated. The next step is that these proteins produce uric acid to get rid of the excess salt. This uric acid stays in the body and binds with sodium chloride to form new crystals which are deposited directly into the bones and joints and this is what can cause different forms of arthritis and gout and also gall bladder and/or kidney stones. The answer to this dilemma can be salt! Not your processed table salt though. Himalayan salt crystals were formed over 250 million years ago under enormous pressure. These natural salt crystals can balance your body and also detoxify it. They are available at health food stores and are relatively inexpensive considering how amazing they are for your body.

One of the most basic applications is to drink one teaspoon of sole (salt solution) in a glass filled with good quality drinking water. Best taken on an empty stomach, I drink it every day upon wakening. The sole (salt solution) is easy to make and maintain. Just put several of the Himalayan salt crystals in a glass container and add good quality water until the container is full. If, after 24 hours the crystals have dissolved completely, just add a few more crystals, until the water can no longer absorb any more salt crystals - i.e. the crystals will sit at the bottom without dissolving. This means that the solution is saturated at 26%. Every day put 1 teaspoon of this solution in a glass of water and drink this on an empty stomach.

This will balance your body. It is only when the body is in balance that it is ready to neutralize disease. This is a great way to ensure that you are doing the best for your body, and it is cheap and easy to do. Another option is to immerse a clean cotton towel into the sole solution, wring it out a little and apply directly to sore joints. Cover this with a dry towel to keep the moisture in. You will find it very soothing for joint pain.

Also the good news is that you can also buy this Himalayan salt ready crushed to use as table salt. You will find it slightly pink in color and it has a great taste. After using this for a while, you will never want to go back to the harsh taste of table salt ever again.

Arthritis Treatment: Pain in the Top of the Foot and Its Causes

The anatomy of the foot is complex. And this complexity is also responsible for the eventual development of pain. The action of taking a step is a stereotypical process. The first is heel strike, then foot flat to the surface, then mid-stance, followed by heel lift and finally toe off. Any disturbance in this sequence will lead to mechanical dysfunction and pain.

The foot consists of 22 bones each "coated" with a layer of cartilage so that each interacts with the others in true joint fashion. The foot is divided into three sections: the forefoot (ball of the foot and toes), the mid-foot, and finally the hind foot which actually is part of the ankle.

This entire complex is supported by numerous ligaments and muscles.

In evaluating the motion of the foot, it is evident that it can point up or down, side to side, and also roll in (pronate) or roll out (supinate.) Taking into consideration it has to do all that while bearing weight makes it easy to understand why arthritic problems are so common.

So what conditions can cause pain in the foot, particularly the top of the foot? The most common is osteoarthritis developing in the mid-foot.

Osteoarthritis is a disease characterized by abnormal cartilage metabolism that eventuates in cartilage loss, inflammation of the joint, and the development of bony spurs. Typically, a patient will complain of pain in the top of the foot. They won't be able to wear shoes that put pressure on the top of the foot. On examination, bony spurs can be palpated. There may be signs of local inflammation.

Conservative management consists of the application of topical non-steroidal anti-inflammatory preparations and avoidance of footwear that puts pressure on the affected area. While injections of glucocorticoid ('cortisone") may provide temporary relief, in general, the results are not satisfactory.

Recently, the needle tenotomy using ultrasound guidance to remove the spurs, followed by injection of platelet-rich plasma has appeared to be effective for a number of patients. Surgery is usually not recommended.

Gout is another form of arthritis that affects the top of the foot. Here, local steroid injection followed by anti-inflammatory medicines or colchicine to break the acute attack and uric-acid lowering therapies to treat the chronic condition is advised.

Pseudogout can also affect the foot and must be differentiated from gout because the treatment is different.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a common cause of pain in the top of the foot. The treatment here is local steroid injection and systemic control of the disease.

Bursitis and tendonitis can also cause pain in the top of the foot. The treatment hinges on an accurate diagnosis. While most of these problems will respond to local glucocorticoid injection, physical therapy, and rest, some require the use of needle tenotomy and platelet-rich plasma.

How To Deal With Elevated Cholesterol - A Side Effect of New Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatments

Twenty years ago, rheumatoid arthritis was a condition that was generally progressive leading to increased disability and even early death.

With the advent of newer biologic therapies approximately seventeen years ago, most patients with rheumatoid arthritis will eventually achieve remission.

However, with that success comes a price. Because of the unique mechanism of action of biologic therapies- targeting specific points in the immune system- one of the logical problems has been side effects related to immune dysfunction.

Among these are an increased susceptibility to infection, increased chance of reactivation of tuberculosis, neurologic syndromes, increased insulin sensitivity in diabetics, elevation of blood lipids, and others.

One of the newer class of compounds that will be arriving on the biologic scene are the protein kinase inhibitor drugs. An example is the JAK - 3 group. These drugs block the signaling that occurs between the surface of immune cells and the nucleus of those cells. The end result is a "crippling" of the ability of the immune cell to over react.

What has been encouraging about these drugs are the following:

• They are oral
• They have an entirely different mode of action compared with the other biologics
• They also appear to work in patients that have failed tumor necrosis factor inhibitors

Probably, the JAK-3 drug that appears to be furthest along towards the FDA approval process is Pfizer's tofacitinib.

There are drawbacks, as expected. Tofacitinib has been associated with changes in liver and kidney function, elevated blood pressure, reduction in white blood cell counts, and elevation of blood lipids. The latter is not surprising since inflammation and lipid metabolism are intimately associated with each other.

The issue has been... "What do you do about it?"

The answer comes from a study done at the University of Glasgow. Professor Iain McInnes, professor of experimental medicine and rheumatology presented a study in which 111 patients with rheumatoid arthritis enrolled in a tofacitinib study were followed. During the open label part of the trial, patients taking tofacitinib received a cholesterol lowering statin drug. The group who received the stain drug had a 35 per cent lowering of blood lipids versus a 5.8 per cent increase in the placebo group.

The findings of the study were underscored by Dr. McInnes assertion that the elevation of lipids seen with tofacitinib could be reversed by adding the statin.

This is similar to the situation where it is sometimes necessary to add a statin to patients taking another rheumatoid arthritis drug, tocilizumab (Actemra), which also elevates lipids.

Symptoms of Arthritis - Healthy Aging Still Possible

Life is a journey and our bodies are the vessel that gets us to our destination. From conception to birth we endured changes and our bodies continue to change as we age. This transformation continues as the years move by, we alter and modify into mature individuals that are susceptible to a number of varies ailments.

As we age, our bodies are weakened and become less resilient. That is why a certain amount of caution should be exercised and should come into play once a certain age is reached. Ever heard the saying, "Prevention is better than cure" well, that is the perfect motto for aging. Once you have reached your twenties or even your thirties you need to start taking extra care of yourself and also start taking preventative measures for certain ailments.

The musculoskeletal system is usually the first area affected with age, which is why exercise is advised and encouraged as we grow older to increase longevity as well as vitality. Exercise strengthens muscles and loosens joints, making you fit as well as giving you sustainable energy. Combine this with good eating practices also avoiding excessive alcohol consumption, over use of drugs and smoking like a chimney then you are well on your way to healthy aging.

The sensory organs are the next thing to be affected with age. A condition called Presbyopia affects most people over the age of forty. The eyes have trouble focusing on close objects though at times this affects the younger generation as well as it may start earlier in some and reading glasses or bifocals are a good solution to this problem. Hearing is also affected due to aging which is why loud music does not hold any appeal to older folk even though they might have loved it when they were younger. This transition happens because of a condition called Presbycusis which is the weakening of our hearing capabilities. Hearing is impaired in some way or form whether it is a slight hearing loss, distortion of sound or deafness. Hearing aids or hearing devices can be used to reduce severity.

Weight changes considerably as we age, up to thirty percent by the time your forties hit and this results in weakening tissue cells resulting in wrinkles as well as those flabby bits. Implementing good skin care routines and keeping hydrated will aid your aging gracefully.

Getting regular check ups from your doctor will help you stay up to date with your body's happenings. Your doctor will take your family history and will study your progress by monitoring any of these hereditary ailments you are at high risk of obtaining. It is important for the doctor to know family history. The doctor will help you take precautions because you are genetically likely to contract one or more of your family's ailments.

Aging is a right of passage and need not be feared. The journey of life must be taken with care free abandon, healthily and with complete fulfillment to be enjoyed. This is how you know you have lived.

Juvenile Arthritis Can Be a Big Problem For Little People

As children, we should be able to have fun and enjoy those peaceful times of our life. We should be free to enjoy everything that happens around us from learning about butterflies to doing our first solo bike ride to watching our fathers fix things in the garage. At that time in our lives, we don't think of the future and are allowed to believe that everything will go on as it is today. Yes, we'll get minor illnesses such as mumps, chicken pox, measles and coughs but we'll get through it. Juvenile arthritis, on the other hand, is not so easy to overcome and can be very difficult for children to cope with.

Not Only Grandparents Suffer From Arthritis

Over time we assimilate knowledge of ailments and illnesses and most of us know that arthritis is an affliction that normally affects older people and makes bones and joints ache. What many of us don't know however is that there are over 100 different types of arthritis and one of those is known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) - or juvenile arthritis. This disease is unlike many other types of arthritis as it affects children aged 16 and under. Diagnosed with this condition, children can experience swelling and stiffness for over six weeks. There are three known types of juvenile arthritis, and they are grouped by symptoms, which joints are affected and whether or not blood tests identify specific antibodies.

Half of all children with juvenile arthritis have what is known as Pauciarticular JRA. This affects a maximum of 4 joints. Girls under 8 years old are most prone to developing this type of JRA which normally affects larger joints such as knees or shoulders.

Additionally, roughly a third of all children who suffer from juvenile arthritis suffer from Polyarticular JRA. This tends to affect smaller joints such as in feet and hands. It is important to note here that this type of arthritis affects the identical joint on both sides of the child's body.

Thirdly, as well as joint swelling, systemic JRA can cause minor skin irritation and fever. It can also involve internal organs which could include the heart, spleen and liver. Unfortunately, about 20% of children suffering from juvenile arthritis suffer from systemic JRA.

Care and Causes

Each of the three types of juvenile arthritis are autoimmune diseases. What this means is that the child's body is confusing its own cells and tissues as a threat. This causes the body (or more specifically its immune system) to attack the healthy tissues and cells. It is believed that juvenile arthritis can develop due to both environmental and genetic factors.

There are several symptoms that show whether a child suffers from juvenile arthritis or not. They include:

  •      Constant swelling of the joints

  • ·    Continuous stiffness that usually worsens after sleeping

  • ·    Eye irritation

  • ·    Frequent pain

  • ·    Growth problems

  • ·    Heart and lung problems

  • ·    High fever and minor skin rash

  • ·    Limping during the morning

  • ·    Problems involving joints in the feet and hands, and knees

  • ·    Swelling of nymph nodes

After a successful diagnosis has been made, there are several ways in which juvenile arthritis can be treated. Physical therapy is the first, biologic agents such as etanercerpt, disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, alternative and complimentary medicine, corticosteroids and non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen.

As you can imagine, a disease such as juvenile arthritis is very difficult for a child to endure but it is uplifting to know that as diagnoses and treatments get better, the condition will also become more manageable for the child.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Yeast Makes Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Arthritis, and Autism Worse!

Several studies have proven yeast to be directly related to irritation and worsening symptoms of Fibromyalgia pain, Crohn's disease, Arthritis pain, and Autism. Yeast can cause excess swelling and/or pain to these conditions and exaggerate the symptoms of Autism in children and adults.

Fibromyalgia is chronic widespread pain all over the affected persons body, typically in muscle, connective tissue, nerve endings, and joints. It is more than just pain though, it is included with a long list of symptoms like muscle spasms, tingling, nerve pain, weakness, cognitive dysfunction ("Brain Fog"), chronic sleep disturbances, and more. Yeast can increase and exaggerate all of these symptoms.

Crohn's Disease is an inflammatory disease of the intestines (Gastrointestinal Tract) causing a wide variety of symptoms. It primarily causes severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and/or weight loss. Just like with Fibromyalgia, yeast can increase the effects of these symptoms tremendously.

Arthritis is a group of conditions causing damage to the bodies joints. There are over 100 different types of arthritis; to name a few common ones, there is Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriatic Arthritis, Septic Arthritis, Gouty Arthritis, and Juvenile Arthritis. The most commonly associated symptom is pain, however it differs from type to type.

Autism is a development disorder in the brain caused by lack of social interaction and communication and by restrictive and repetitive behavior. Autism is not well understood in the medical world, but does have a strong genetic base. It is not characterized by one symptom, rather by a triad of symptoms including impairments in social interaction, impairments in communication, restricted interests and repetitive behavior. All which appear to be worsened by the consumption of yeast.

Arthritis - How To Treat Arthritis

Arthritis is an extremely painful and potentially debilitating condition, which now affects over one in ten people in the developed world. It can lead to a reduced ability to carry out many of the essential tasks of daily life and often impair the sufferer's ability to do their job of work. There are many different types of arthritis, with varying symptoms, but most types involve some kind of inflammation of the joints, making movement difficult and often painful. It is very important to make a correct diagnosis, in order for the proper treatment to be carried out.

The first step you need to take if you suspect you may have arthritis is to visit a qualified medical practitioner. Usually this will involve referral to a hospital where X ray and blood tests will be performed. Sometimes there will be a specialist on site who will be able to administer more advanced forms of tests and give advice on the spot. Once a diagnosis has been made, there are various treatments that can be applied. The most obvious and crude, of these treatments is the simple pain killing drug, such as aspirin or paracetamol. Aspirin is preferred in many cases as it has anti-inflammatory properties. Many of these basic painkillers are available without prescription, so it vitally important to inform your physician if you intend to take these on top of any prescribed medicine.

Anti inflammatory drugs are vitally important as they not only reduce pain, but also lessen the irreversible damage which is often done to joints when arthritis flares up. These are the most common form of treatment prescribed for arthritis and come in two basic types. NSAIDs, Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, are very common, but it takes a prolonged period of use for them to become effective. There have also been serious concerns expressed about the side effects of these drugs and the potential stomach problems that they can cause. Steroids are synthetic hormones, which mirror natural substances found in the body, but in artificial form the body tolerates them poorly. Steroids are extremely powerful medicines and are usually used in the initial stages of treatment, before other, less overpowering, treatments are employed.

As arthritis is a condition which affects the joints, it is important to consider different forms of exercise and forms of rest between exercise and how they will affect your specific condition. Arthritis sufferers are usually best advised to exercise daily, in order to prevent joints from seizing up and becoming stiff. As a form of general exercise, swimming is especially beneficial to the arthritis sufferer - as the weight of the body is distributed throughout the water, rather than being concentrated on the limbs and joints, as it is with so many other forms of exercise. This makes the movement of the joints a lot easier and reduces the pressure on points, which can be very painful if overburdened.

Exercises done in water are now routinely available at hospitals. Water is a great help for many arthritis sufferers, as the warmth of the water helps stiff joints to move. It is even possible to perform muscle-strengthening exercises under water. This a good idea as strong muscles help joints to move more smoothly, reducing the pain from arthritis naturally and with only positive side effects. These kinds of water-based treatments are highly recommended and may reduce the arthritis patient's need for powerful synthetic drugs with severe side effects.

Arthritis Treatment - Glucosamine Arthritis Solution Revealed

The Glucosamine arthritis craze has been one of the contentious issues on arthritis treatment. Glucosamine, sometimes taken in combination with chondroitin, has been widely promoted as a dietary supplement for osteoarthritis.

Since the launch of the book "The Arthritis Cure" in 1997, physicians, pharmacists, and sufferers of arthritis have all been asked about glucosamine.

We have heard varying testimonials and opinions about the efficacy of glucosamine as an alternative treatment for the disease. The word 'cure' in the title of the book has even raised a lot of debate on the real effects of glucosamine.

Glucosamine Arthritis Treatment Claims

Glucosamine is naturally found in high concentrations in our joints. Medical experts have theorized that glucosamine stimulates the formation of cartilage and is essential for joint repair.

In an experiment done on animals, oral glucosamine had beneficial effects on inflammation, mechanical arthritis, and immunological-reactive arthritis.

Glucosamine arthritis alternative treatment is usually a combination with chondroitin. The latter is also found in the cartilage. There are numerous claims that it promotes the formation of substances in the cartilage that are lost due to osteoarthritis.

Glucosamine for Arthritis

The curative characteristics of glucosamine are different from NSAIDs or COX-2 drugs as it is natural. It promotes and maintains healthy cartilage, tendons and other connective tissues in the body.
This is done by glucosamine by acting as building block for these materials. Glucosamine also inhibits the production of enzymes that destroy the cartilage.

A depleted level of glucosamine and chondroitin induces the development of arthritis, particularly osteoarthritis. This debilitating disease is characterized by a breakdown in the "shock absorbers" of the joints. This is particularly pronounced in the weight bearing joints in the hips and knee.

Most medical experts believe that glucosamine is not a cure for arthritis. They, however, agree that it will do wonders for arthritis and joint pain. Glucosamine heals the joints and not merely relieve the pain of arthritis patients.

These curative characteristics of glucosamine give relief and beneficial effects to patients that last longer than NSAIDs and COX-2 drugs. Further, glucosamine continues to provide relief by protecting the joints by preventing further damage to the cartilage, tendons and other connective tissues.

In contrast, there were studies conducted that indicated that NSAIDs and COX-2 drugs can actually have harmful side effects. Prolonged use of these drugs was found to have harmful effects of breaking down the joints. This results to a more painful and worse case of arthritis.

Who Should Not Take Glucosamine

Persons who are considering glucosamine arthritis treatment should take note of these recommendations. Since glucosamine is an amino sugar, it should be taken with caution by individual with diabetes as it might contribute to insulin resistance.

People who are allergic to seafood should first consult their doctors before taking glucosamine sulphate as it is made from crustacean shells.

Taking this supplement may also lead to gastrointestinal problems, sleepiness, headaches and skin reactions.

Medical Expert Recommendation

It is a general consensus among health experts that arthritis treatment with glucosamine may lessen pain in some patients. Doctors now are open to the option of glucosamine as a supplement to regular treatment of arthritis. They, however, advise patients to buy only high quality glucosamine supplement from reputable sources if they opt to try the glucosamine arthritis treatment.

Doctor... I Have Rheumatoid Arthritis - Can I Drink Alcohol?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common chronic disease and the most common cause of crippling. RA affects roughly 2 million Americans.

The treatment of RA involves the use of two major types of medications. The first type is the anti-inflammatory group. These help with symptoms. The second type is the disease modifying group. These help slow the disease process down.

Both groups of medicines are metabolized through the liver. What that means is that it is not a good idea to use alcohol either heavily or chronically while on these medicines. In fact, many rheumatologists advise their RA patients taking methotrexate- one very common disease modifying drug- to avoid alcohol altogether.

Another issue is the increased rate of peptic ulcers that can develop in patients taking non-steroidal-anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). Concomitant alcohol use increases the risk of ulcers.
Now... what is the evidence to the contrary?

A recent Swedish study found that a copious dose of alcohol reduced the risk that mice would develop rheumatoid arthritis.

Lead researcher Dr. Andrzej Tarkowski, professor of rheumatology at Goteborg University said, "I wouldn't dare to do it (the experiment) in humans."

The mice were given a daily regimen of tap water supplemented with 10 percent alcohol. "That would do liver damage in humans," Tarkowski noted.

Tarkowski, published the findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (December 19, 2006).

Tarkowski was interested in the mechanism by which alcohol might help prevent rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune condition in which the body attacks its own joint tissue.

"We have shown that it goes through the up-regulation [increase] of testosterone," he said. "That down-regulates inflammation, which is part of the arthritic process."

"Test tube studies also show that alcohol increases the migration of white blood cells, which take part in the inflammatory process," Tarkowski added.

In the experiment, male mice were given injections of collagen to induce rheumatoid arthritis. The researchers noted a significantly lower onset of disease and fewer destructive symptoms in mice who drank water with 10 percent alcohol added in, than in those who drank plain tap water.

Does this now give permission for RA patients to party hardy?

The study has very little application to humans in that it was a study designed to study possible RA prevention in male mice through testosterone modulation.

Since most RA patients are women, the results of the study probably aren't useful for most RA suffereras. It might be interesting someday to look at possible RA prevention in men using alcohol but it's entirely too premature to look at it now.

Tarkowski also alluded to the possibility of using acetaldehyde, a breakdown product of alcohol, in preventing rheumatoid arthritis. Acetaldehyde though is toxic and it would have to be used cautiously, if ever, in a human trial.

My advice is that it's OK to have an occasional drink. In particular, there is evidence that red wine might have beneficial effects as far as cardiovascular risk, which is a real worry in RA patients who appear to have accelerated atherosclerosis as part of their disease. But do it in moderation.

Psoriatic Arthritis and Daily Exercise

Exercise is known to be a wonderful universal "fix all" proven to help improve stress related feelings, alleviate depression, and can provide an uplifting boosts to one's self-esteem.

"What is good for one is not necessarily good for another" is a rule that applies when looking at exercise. While exercise is universal for improving psychological health, it is not universal in its application. One must first determine what their body considers to be safe and appropriate exercise. To do this it means taking into account one's fitness level, goals, and overall health condition.

The thing to remember about exercise is that "less is more" and not to over do it. It is more beneficial to engage in a little exercise everyday than over doing it. You do not want to need recovery days.

As we grow older, exercise plays a crucial role in maintaining mobility, strength, and flexibility in our joints. Staying active with regular exercise keeps joints limber and reduces the onset of swelling, stiffness, and discomfort from under utilization. Exercise also helps our vital organs to operate at optimal efficiency. The end result is more energy, less stress, and an overall a better quality of life.

For those struggling with the painful symptoms of psoriatic arthritis the word exercise can prove to be stressful. This is exactly why exercise, is all the more important for individuals with psoriatic arthritis. Without proper movement, joints will gradually become stiffer and muscles can become weak.

Overtime joints that remain in the same position for long periods of time or are unused will actually lock and seize. In fact is also common for thee to be a fusion of joints and stiffness of the spine for those suffering with psoriatic arthritis making it very important to continue to maintain joint movement with proper daily exercise.

This exercise does not need to be extreme. Simple daily activities, such as light housework, walking the dog or parking farther away from the building are all excellent ways to increase joint movement. Some people with arthritis find it easier to move in water which makes swimming or walking laps in a pool great ways to exercise without adding additional stress to aching joints. Stationary bikes are another way to loosen stiff joints without added impact on ankles and feet. Even stretching exercises and yoga are also beneficial ways to maintain flexibility range of motion.

When setting your goals, it is important to be realistic. Start small by scheduling 2 days to exercise for 10 - 15 minutes your first week. As time passes, gradually increase the number of days and ultimately the amount of time you dedicate to each exercise session. Pick the time of day that you feel your best and exercise at this time. Try to meet up with a friend or neighbor to walk the dogs or do your daily exercise routine. Join a community-swimming group, or sign up for a low impact exercise class. Working with someone else will help you stay motivated.

A regular exercise routine is proven to impact the quality of life, especially for those faced with loss of mobility. Psoriatic arthritis may impact the quality of life and daily living of millions of individuals, but it's not alone. In the end, a daily dose of "the universal fix all" relieves stress, provides a sense of accomplishment, maintains range of motion, and boosts one's self-esteem.

Have You Ever Wondered What Water on the Knee Really Means? - Knee Supports Can Help You

The term "water on the knee" is a generic term that describes the accumulation of excess fluid (edema) in or around the knee joint. As a result of a trauma, overuse, or other underlying conditions or disease, water on the knee may exist.

Often times, when a person has water on the knee, the underlying condition is arthritis. The term arthritis means "joint inflammation". People also refer to arthritis as being "joint pain" as well. The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis (OA) which effects over 27 million people a year (mostly women), while rheumatoid arthritis (RA) effects over two million adults. Most of them being women over the age of 45. Although these two types of arthritis effect millions of people, and are the two most common types of arthritis, there are over 100 different types of arthritis.

When an individual has water on the knee, pain relief can occur when the fluid is removed from the joint. Pain relief can be subsided when this fluid returns.

You also may have "water on the knee" due a traumatic injury. Fluid or blood can accumulate in the knee joint as a result of a meniscus tear or ligament injury. Moreover, when an individual suffers an ACL tear, they may have also torn small blood vessels which can cause fluid to accumulate in and around their knee joint. knee. Prepatellar bursitis can also cause water on the knee.

To avoid having water on the knees, individuals should consider seeing their physician on a regular basis, and avoiding activities that result in physical contact with their knees. Pain medications, such as Acetaminophen, can help to reduce swelling (see your physician before taking medications). Weight management can also take the stress off of your joints, which could result in water on the knees. Ice and elevation of your legs can also help to reduce the fluid build up. - Water on the knee is not cured by a knee brace, but the underlying conditions can be supported by a knee support, proving to be a useful adjunct in your care.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Alkaline Arthritis - How to Avoid and Cure Arthritis by Alkalizing Your Body

Having arthritis is not very easy to handle, because it affects the way you move and thereby it affects your everyday work. The worse scenario is that you would not be able to work in the office or anywhere because of the aches and pains that you experience in your joints. Alkaline arthritis diet is a key to avoid and cure this illness.

Do you know that accumulation of too much acid forming foods in the body aggravates arthritis? It is because too much intake of red meat and alcohols lead to large production of uric acid which is a key to promoting gout that is an evidence of arthritis.

Therefore, to be able to prevent and cure it, the best way to do is to eat alkaline forming foods. These foods are the ones that we know that are good for our health. It includes fresh fruits and vegetables. Alkaline arthritis diet is really the best thing to follow.

Lemons are ones among the many alkaline fruits which are proven to be beneficial for arthritic people. It is due to the citric acid that they contain which dissolves uric acid, and this way, curing the unwanted illness.

Raw juices are also proven to be affective in curing arthritis. These juices are made from green leafy vegetables, which are known to be alkaline foods. Because they have alkaline effect on the body, these juices dissolve the accumulation of deposits around the joints and other tissues.

A fresh pineapple juice is also advisable to an arthritic patient because it contains bromelain which reduces swelling and inflammation in ostehoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

In addition, banana can be eaten in order to treat arthritis. It contains Vitamin B6 which helps treat the illness. Green gram soup and garlic are also other alternatives to be considered to cure it. These all fall under alkaline diet.

Alkaline water is also a great help to live a life free of aching joints. We should take half an ounce of water for every pound of body weight every day. This way, we will be able to easily and naturally diminish our cravings for junks, sweets and other acid forming foods.

Some of acid forming foods that are not good to arthritic person are red meat, dairy products, alcohol, coffee, frizzy drinks, highly processed food and junk foods. Some of the alkaline foods that can be taken in by our body to avoid and cure arthritis are mineral water, green tea, fruits, vegetables, raw oils and almonds.

Understanding Arthritis in Fingers and How It Can Affect You

Arthritis in fingers begins from pain and swelling that leads to deformity. It can seriously affect the way a person lives due to the fact that it easily get in the way to some of the simplest day-to-day activities. The pain it causes can be unbearable and the stiffness can lead to loss of movement.

People suffering from arthritis in the fingers often find difficulty in gripping because of reduced strength in their fingers. They are unable to grip objects tightly even the simplest of opening a jar or turning a key is no longer a simple task. With this, the wrist joint is can also be affected and obstruct with the movement of the arms.


Symptoms of this condition can develop noticeably. These can include stiffness, swelling, bending of the fingers, inflammation, persistent pain, and joint ache.

Stiffness of the fingers is usually the first symptom associated with this condition. It goes along with pain and swelling. In bending of the fingers, it turns out to be a complex task while inflammation causes joints to not work properly. This leads to the restriction of the movement of the fingers. With all of these, a person with arthritis in fingers may experience unrelenting pain.


Anti-inflammatory medications are the most generally used treatment for arthritis in fingers. It aims to offer temporary relief from swelling and inflammation that causes unbearable pain. However, overuse or prolonged usage can cause gastrointestinal problems such as ulcers.

Non-medicinal options can be done to treat the condition. One of these methods is the use of heat and cold. This method aims to relieve tension and stiffness, and a fast way to bring down swelling.

Hand therapy can also be an option for treating this condition. However, this should be done under the supervision of a professional. They use different movements to improve movements and strengthen the muscles.

There are also herbal remedies available to deal with arthritis in fingers such as turmeric and ginger extract. These two are anti-inflammatory agents that reduce swelling and pain while permitting patients to move their fingers freely.

Arthritis in fingers seldom develops rapidly. It usually takes time to build up and make drastic changes in one's life. However, this condition shouldn't hinder your day-to-day activities, or take away your ability to function properly. Consult a doctor the first time you notice some symptoms affecting the movement of your hands and fingers so that immediate medical care can be provided. With the number of treatment and remedies available nowadays, it is easier to combat this condition accompanied by proper care of your hands and fingers.

Psoriatic Arthritis Symptoms And Treatment Fully Explained

Psoriatic arthritis is a condition that causes swelling in the joints and can result in considerable pain and also scaly patches on the skin. It is linked to the skin condition psoriasis and can also cause problems with other parts of the body, such as the scalp, elbows and knees. It has also been known to be the cause of lesions on the finger and toenails. Another symptom is pain and swelling in the joints and swelling in the toes and fingers. The causes of the disease are not well understood at the moment but it is possible that it may be inherited and that environmental factors could also play a part. If you suspect that you may have the condition it is essential to contact your doctor as soon as possible so that he can make the appropriate tests for a diagnosis.

When diagnosing psoriatic arthritis your doctor may conduct a physical examination, use x-rays and run some blood tests. This helps him to separate the suspected condition from other similar conditions and allows for a proper diagnosis. As with most diseases it is a good idea to see your doctor as early as possible as this can have a beneficial effect on the treatment. One of the best indicators for your doctor is if your nails and skin as well as your joints are affected. When treating the effects of the condition on the skin, doctors will commonly advise you to avoid powerful chemicals and soaps and to use a good skin cream that is lanolin based. Using simple and non-perfumed soaps can also be a good idea. Your doctor should be able to give you a good idea of the appropriate products and where to find them

Many doctors also recommend exercise as being beneficial for sufferers of psoriatic arthritis. This can have an overall beneficial effect on the patient, such as reducing swelling of the joints, improving mobility and increasing the general health and well-being of the patient. Also a good diet is important to your body's ability to deal with the disease.

Psoriatic arthritis is an unpleasant disease but with good treatment you should still be to live a relatively normal life. Although drugs are usually used to treat the pain associated with psoriatic arthritis there are also simpler treatments such as hot and cold compresses that can be of benefit to some patients. Although some people require surgery this is not often necessary and good treatment with drugs, diets, exercise and other alternatives will usually work well.

Rheumatoid Arthritis - Joint Pain and Inflammation

When Your Joints Say No!

You may ignore the stiffness in your joints until one morning your hands resemble a claw and your knees or elbows ache when you try to straighten them. You may continue to ignore what your body is telling you until you bend over to tie your shoes or wash your feet in the shower and your back remains in that bent over position.

When your joints say no to you, your life, once active, becomes a passive retreat. This is not a sign of entering the golden years. It's simply a message from your body to simply take a closer look at your lifestyle and nutritional habits. This message can save you from more potentially harmful diseases.

Toxic food elements in what you presently eat, along with excess stress, can cause joint inflammation, pain and a jarring halt to every day simple motion. When your joints say no, you may have Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic condition of inflammation of the joints that disturbs every part of your body, including your emotional state. The word itself means inflammation (itis) of the joints (arth).


Symptoms may include joint stiffness, pain ranging from dull to severe, weakness, fatigue and low-grade fever.


Scientific studies and an array of evidence have led to the conclusion that Rheumatoid Arthritis is a reaction in which certain antibodies within the body attack our own joints. Investigations of the culprit have led to speculation ranging from lifestyle to nutrition. The possibilities of interfering factors include food allergies, and bacterial and viral invasions caused by an imbalance in the bodies normal intestinal flora.

In most Rheumatoid Arthritis cases, digestive disorders including constipation contribute to the body's imbalance. If constipated, you may be absorbing toxic antigens through the intestinal wall that eventually become lodged in the joint tissue.

Constipation develops as the result of consuming empty foods such as refined white flour, refined white sugar, and foods with artificial additives and preservatives. These refined substances cause a sticky plaque on the lining of the intestinal wall as well as on the lining of blood vessels.

The consumption of refined products along with such products as coffee and alcohol create plaque and leach calcium from your bones. This calcium finds its way into weakened joints in the forum of calcium deposits, causing arthritic effects.

The refining processes of food strips beneficial nutrients that balance the foods' nourishing qualities and digestive abilities. Use of cows' dairy products cause an excess of mucous congestion and yeast products can aggravate and imbalance the normal intestinal flora, causing digestive disturbances.

Prescriptive Medicine

Many physicians prescribe drugs that block digestive secretions as a way to decrease pain in the stomach due to ulcers and an uncoordinated release of digestive juices. However, this method of symptom relief causes additional digestive disturbances that can lead to constipation and malnutrition due to poor and improper digestion.


A simple digestive enzyme supplement may be all you need to resume proper digestion and a good acidophilus product will restore your intestinal flora. Prolonged use of chemical antacids that decrease digestive secretions may damage normal secretory processes. Most nutritional experts agree that enzyme supplementation makes more sense when dealing with this type of disorder.

Arthritis Treatment: How to Use Biomarkers to Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis

Wouldn't it be great to have a blood test that could predict how to treat a patient with rheumatoid arthritis?

Well, perhaps there may be soon.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis. It is a systemic autoimmune condition that not only leads to joint destruction but to internal organ damage as well if not optimally treated.

One area of science that has gotten a lot of funding in RA is biomarker research. Biomarkers are tissue markers that have predictive value. The have been used to predict disease susceptibility, disease activity, and even potential response to treatment.

There are different categories of biomarkers. The first category is the antibody. These are proteins the body produces that are directed against abnormal proteins.

There are two examples. The first is rheumatoid factor. This is an antibody that is present in the blood of 80 per cent of people with RA. Rheumatoid factor is associated with increased amounts of disease early but is less predictive later in the course of illness. Also, rheumatoid factor can be found to be elevated in other disease conditions such as syphilis, sarcoidosis, leprosy, and bacterial endocarditis (heart infection).

Another biomarker antibody is anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide or anti-CCP. It is more specific for RA than rheumatoid factor and is also predictive of more disease severity and a worse prognosis. Patients with anti-CCP must be treated aggressively.

There are inflammatory biomarkers that are also helpful in treating patients. The old time-honored test is the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) or sed rate. The ESR correlates with disease activity but is not very specific. It can be elevated in many other disease states.

The C-reactive protein or CRP correlates with disease activity and response to treatment much more quickly than the ESR does.

There are two other lesser known inflammatory biomarkers. One is interferon. The higher the level of this substance, the more likely it is the patients will respond to biologic treatment with anti-tumor necrosis drugs.

Interleukin 1 receptor antagonist is another inflammatory marker. Again, the higher the level of this marker is, the greater the likelihood of response to anti-TNF treatment.

Biomarker levels do more than predict disease severity and possible response to treatment with certain drugs. They also correlate, in many instances, with likelihood for disability as well as x-ray progression of disease.

While some feel that blood biomarkers can predict response to different categories of drugs, these theories remain to be proven.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Orthokine - Treatment of Arthritis and Spinal Disorders

Orthokine is an antilogous concept that is used for the treatment of arthritis and spinal disorders. Osteoarthritis, the loss of cartilage in the joint has many causes. The factors like being overweight, predisposition, heavy load by work, etc are the main causes for osteoarthritis. In western countries there is about ten percent of the populations suffering from osteoarthritis. A protein named interleukin-1 (IL-1) plays a crucial role in the development of osteoarthritis and destruction of cartilage. Osteoarthritis patients will have too much IL-1 present in their joints. IL-1 is a most prominent active agent which damages the cartilage and so the natural shock absorber in the joint loses its function.

The therapy of osteoarthritis is done using IL-1 blocker which is known as interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra). IL-1Ra is anti-inflammatory, reduces pain and also protects the cartilage. The orthokine procedure is done by taking blood from the patient using a special syringe called orthokine syringe. The orthokine syringe is approved in the EU and Australia. The blood taken from the patient is an antilogous injection solution and it is called as orthokine serum. The Interleukin-1 receptor antagonist is naturally present in the blood. However, with the production of orthokine, it is produced and extracted in higher concentrations. So, to increase the concentration of IL-1Ra, blood samples are taken from the arm vein using special EOT syringe. The glass beads in the syringe induces the blood cells to synthesize increased amounts of protective proteins. The temperature of 37'c in the incubator is the optimum environment for protein synthesis.

During incubation, the white blood cells present in the bloods are stimulated immediately to produce IL-1Ra and other anti-inflammatory and regenerative proteins. They are increased in concentration and the "Antilogous Conditioned Serum"(ACS) is injected into the joint. A centrifuge separates the blood clot from the amber serum, containing the protective proteins in high concentration. The protective protein IL-1Ra displaces the damaged protein IL-1 and the inflammation process is blocked. Subsequent therapy includes about six injections that will be given once or twice weekly.

The orthokine procedure is used throughout the world by orthopaedic surgeons and rheumatologists. This procedure cannot be compared to treatments using the patient's own blood that is often used in alternative medicine. In Germany alone there are over 20,000 patients have been treated by this orthokine treatment. The advantages of this treatment is, pain in the joints will be reduced, improves the joint function and mobility and the continuing process of cartilage destruction will be blocked. This treatment is very efficient and safe.

Tips for Dealing with Arthritis Symptoms

Most modern day suffers of arthritis (and tendonitis and gout) are fighting the symptoms of these inflammatory diseases with pharmaceutical grade drugs. Early symptoms generally occur between 25 and 50 years of age, but can show up in individuals under the age of 16. Understanding the symptoms
can help identify the problem early and deal with it right away.

Do you know which signs point to arthritis symptoms? If not, you should arm yourself with as much knowledge on this disease as possible. Besides general signs each form of this problem tends to present a peculiar result in the body.

However the causes are still not known fully. Arthritis is thought to be an autoimmune disease - literally where self attacks self. Foods which can be beneficial to sufferers include: Oily fish such as mackerel, tuna, salmon, trout, herring, anchovies and sardines - these contain omega 3 fatty acids which are anti-inflammatory. This joint problem should not be taken lightly or ignored, so investigate the treatments and choose the best for yourself.

With the passage of time, new and more effective treatments against it are starting to come through. If you are experiencing pain in one or more joints and you do not get relief from over the counter medication, or through the application of heat or cold packs, it's possible you may have it. You may find that your pain disappears completely, or that the pain lessens once you've eliminated or reduced your use of the offending foods.

Massage is also helpful in managing it, but because the affected area may be very sensitive, a professional massage therapist familiar with it is best suited for this. There are many groups and organizations that offer exercise specifically developed for individuals suffering. Visit your physician when you first feel that you are maybe starting to deal with it.

Arthritis Treatment: Exercise Treatment for Low Back Pain

One of the most common reasons for a visit to a rheumatologist is low back pain. And one of the simplest and safest forms of treatment is therapeutic exercises.

There are eight exercises that can help. These should only be done after consulting with a physical therapist or your physician.

#1. The first is to lie flat on the floor in a relaxed fashion, bring your right knee toward your chest, and clasp your hands around the knee. Pull the right knee toward the chest firmly and at the same time straighten your left leg. Do 5 repetitions. Repeat the same with the opposite leg. It may help to have a small pillow under your head to prevent neck strain.

#2. Lie on the floor with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, with your arms at your sides with the palms down. Tighten the muscles of your lower abdomen and buttocks so your low back flattens. Slowly raise your lower back and buttocks off the floor and hold for five seconds. Relax and repeat five times.

#3. Lie on your back with your knees bent. Feet flat on the floor, hands at your sides, with the palms facing down. Tighten the muscles of your abdomen and buttocks so as to push the lower back against the floor. Hold this position for 5 seconds. Relax and repeat five times.

#4. Lie on the floor with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, arms at your sides. Bring both of your knees to your chest and clasp your hands around the knees and pull them toward your chest. Hold this position for five seconds and relax. Repeat five times.

#5. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, and arms at your side, with the palms facing down. Raise your left leg up as far as comfortable without overstretching the hamstring muscles behind your leg. Return your left leg to its starting position and repeat five times. Do not jerk! Repeat the same exercise with your right leg five times also.

#6. Lie flat on your back with your arms at your sides, palms facing down. Slowly raise your left leg and bring it towards the opposite side of your body until you feel a stretch. Repeat the same motion with the right leg. Do each side five times.

#7. Lie on the floor with your knees bent. Place your hands next to your ears. Squeeze your stomach muscles and lift your head two to four inches off the floor, while looking at the ceiling. Hold this position for 5 seconds and repeat five times. Do not put your hands behind your neck as this can cause you to strain your neck.

#8. Stand with your hands against a wall and your left leg 18 inches behind your right foot with the heel flat against the floor. Bend your right knee but keep the left leg straight. Slowly bend forward until you feel the stretch in your calf. Hold this position for five seconds. Repeat five times, then do the right leg the same number.

It may be more comfortable for you to use a small pillow to cushion your head. This will also prevent neck strain. Use a yoga mat if you have one.

Rheumatoid Arthritis - Practical Tips for Overcoming Its Obstacles

The principle of the lever: it can be applied to help with most of the everyday tasks that arthritis makes difficult. For example: if Rheumatoid Arthritis has deformed your hands, even turning a key in the lock of your front door becomes a teeth-gritting struggle.

  • A key-turner can make you the winner. Your key - of any size - slots between the two blades of a handle and is held securely by tightening a screw that holds them together. Made of a durable plastic, the handle is about 6 inches long, giving you the leverage your weakened hands need.

  • Jar openers that incorporate the principle of the lever do many jobs in the kitchen, laundry and workshop.

  • An ingenious device I bought to turn the taps on our former gas range is now in the twentieth year of its daily duty in the studio. I use it to turn dials of mechanical items such as the timer on my workbench and the dashboard of my studio air-conditioner.

The device has a platform embedded with multiple metal pins that retract as they meet resistance from hard surfaces. A two-inch column rises from the platform to support a handle just four inches long. The pins can adjust to objects of any shape of object and by pushing down and twisting the handle, I can deal with knobs and dials that were once beyond my strength.

You can make Time your ally instead of the enemy, if you resist the natural resentment you feel over how long it now takes to do simple things. Make it easier on yourself by:

  • Doing some stretching exercises before you even get out of bed in the morning. These will combat the effects of muscle contracture that beset people forced into long periods of inactivity.

  • Taking a shower rather than struggling into and then back out of a bath tub. Morning aches, in muscles that have cramped around sore joints during the night, will be eased by turning the water jets on full blast. Some say this is due to the ionising action of water bouncing from the tiled floor, similar to the refreshing effects of a nearby waterfall in the rainforest.

  • Alternating between hot-as-you-can-stand-it and almost cold water, also helps. This is said to be due to an increase in blood flow around the body. I only know it works for me. It's the very best way to start your day. ( Though a kiss from your loved one is hard to beat.)

  • In the shower, use a pump-action dispenser for shampoo and liquid soap. Keeping a soap dispenser beside every hand basin and sink is a good idea,too.

  • When you're finished showering, wrap up in a giant-sized towel that will have the job of drying yourself half done by the time you reach for a hand towel to dry between your toes.

  • Buttons and zips can be a major cause of frustration, particularly when you're in a hurry. You can beat this obstacle with a clever device made of heavy duty brass wire. Covered in soft but sturdy foam rubber, the wire has a hook for catching and pulling zippers at one end. At the other, it forms a kind of super-sized needle-threader. You insert through this into the buttonhole to capture and pull the elusive button through. Once closed, the threader can be wiggled to release it from the button.

All of these devices are manufactured items readily available at pharmacies that cater for people needing orthopedic aids. Usually made of plastics, many can be replicated at home in wood or metal.

They not only save your precious time and lessen those daily frustrations. They boost your morale by decreasing the number of times you must ask for help. That, in turn, lessens the friction that can arise between you and the person who helps you over the daily hurdles.

Some of the daily obstacles you face have no ready answer, as yet. I encourage you to use your first-hand knowledge of the problems to imagine possible solutions. Brain-storming with a partner or friend who is handy at working with wood or metal can result in a design for tools that do the jobs your hands no longer manage. Along with our son, my partner has turned many of my dream-designs into practical devices that help me work at what I love doing.

What is the Future of Stem Cell Treatment For Regrowing Cartilage?

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. Estimates of its prevalence among Americans vary from 20 million to 40 million.

The underlying pathophysiology is the premature deterioration of articular cartilage, the gristle that caps the ends of long bones. Cartilage is a form of connective tissue. It is unique in that it receives its nourishment from the lining of the joint- the synovium. Cartilage itself has no blood vessels or nerves.

The pain that arises from osteoarthritis is due to irritation brought about by local inflammation. These local inflammatory changes occur as a result of the production of destructive enzymes as well as local irritation due to altered biomechanics.

Until recently, the treatment of osteoarthritis has been purely symptomatic. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs either in oral or topical form, local joint injections of glucocorticoids, or intra-articular injections of viscosupplements (lubricants).

While helpful for alleviating pain temporarily, these approaches also are associated with potential side effects, and do not address the underlying problem- loss of articular cartilage.

In the 1990's there was interest in developing what are called disease modifying osteoarthritis drugs (DMOADS). However, research efforts directed at these disease modifying remedies were disappointing.
More recently there has been interest in the use of stem cells (SCs) to help with cartilage regeneration.

The questions, though, with this line of thinking have been many. What type of SCs should be used? What keeps the SCs inside the joints? How can the SCs be made most productive? When do they stop working? How do you provide the right environment for the SCs to make cartilage? What are the dangers of involved? What criteria are involved in selecting the right SCs expert?

The major breakthrough recently has been in the field of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs). The original work done by Shinya Yamanaka in 2007 has laid the groundwork for some excellent investigations involving the use of this techniology. Basically what Yamanaka was able to demonstrate was the ability to take adult stem cells, and reprogram them- essentially rewinding the biologic clock- so that the adult stem cells now behave like embryonic stem cells. The advantage is that these induced adult stem cells can become any type of tissue given the right environment.

However, there are technical problems with this approach and the reality of being able to use these types of stem cells, particularly for arthritis, is way off in the future.

So what is available now and how good is it? Currently, the use of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), adult stem cells located in the bone marrow and, which, if placed in the right location with currently available growth stimulators, appears to be effective.

MSCs are multipotential. They can become a limited number of tissue organs. Fortunately, cartilage appears to be one of them.

How effective the approach is, is difficult to say since there are no good long term randomized controlled studies. What is available are anecdotal reports. Unfortunately, these anecdotal reports fall far short of what would be considered good science.

Also, the application of MSCs where there is no cartilage left and there is an angulation deformity is problematic. In our hands, these patients do not respond.

Age and body mass index (weight) are two other important factors to consider.

What is known is that the approach is safe and appears effective for the short term (2-3 years). Clinical measurements, along with cartilage thickness improve.

Also, there is no evidence of cancer, which is the concern using the induced pluripotential approach.
So... the bottom line...the best current approach appears to be the use of adult MSCs made by concentrating marrow, along with growth factors derived from platelet rich plasma. In addition, the utilization of adipose tissue (fat) to serve as a scaffold is strongly advised.

Finally, the technical harvesting and administration of MSCs using diagnostic ultrasound guidance by an experienced and expert physician seems to be the most important ingredient necessary for a successful outcome.

Preventative and Rehabilitative Exercises for Those With Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is often seen as an inevitable part of aging. As it turns out, people younger than 65 may also develop osteoarthritis. Even though the majority of osteoarthritis patients are older, osteoarthritis is not a necessary facet of aging. Being overweight, having a family history, decreased bone density, a sedentary lifestyle, and previous joint problems are all risk factors for developing osteoarthritis.

In fact, more than 20 million Americans suffer from Degenerative Joint Disease, or osteoarthritis (OA). Knee osteoarthritis is also the major cause of musculoskeletal pain, disability and impaired mobility in elderly populations. Women are most often affected. However, research also shows that elderly people aren't bound to suffer from osteoarthritis pain. There are many holistic ways to address the condition that can have a long-lasting impact on osteoarthritis and the patient's general well being.

The Osteoarthritis Diagnosis
Osteoarthritis affects the cartilage - the tissue on the ends of bones that merge in a joint - and causes the cartilage to break down and gradually wear away. Cartilage is responsible for helping bones smoothly glide over one another. Instead of gliding, however, osteoarthritis causes bones to rub against one another. This can lead to pain, swelling, and motion loss.

The diagnosis of osteoarthritis is made by assessing the patient's clinical history, and performing a physical examination; an x-ray may be needed. Additional tests, such as taking fluid from the joint, may also be recommended.

Signs of osteoarthritis may include, but are not limited to: persistent, steady or recurring joint pain, stiffness in the joints after not moving for a prolonged period of time (this can include sleeping or sitting for extended periods), joint swelling or tenderness, and the sound of bones rubbing against one another, or a "crunching" sound/sensation.

The above are signs that you should contact your chiropractic doctor. Even though an osteoarthritis diagnosis is not difficult to make, oftentimes it's not immediately apparent whether the patient's symptoms is caused by OA. As such, it's important to rule out other disorders and conditions that may be aggravating the symptoms. Making a diagnosis at an early stage of the disease's onset and providing the right course of treatment will help reduce pain, improve overall function, and stall the degeneration process.

One of the best forms of treatment for osteoarthritis is through prevention. One of the ways to accomplish this is through adopting some form of regular exercise. Exercise strengthens the muscles around the joints, as well as aids and maintains the joint's function and ability to move. Exercise also helps with weight management and improves the patient's emotional well being; these are factors that can have a significant effect on decreasing the severity of symptoms.

Here are some exercise tips for dealing with osteoarthritis:

  • Go for low-impact activities, such as walking, and light weight training. Avoid heavy weights as they can place a strain on your joints.

  • Adopt strengthening exercises targeted at the affected muscle groups.

  • Develop a careful exercise approach. You don't want to place too much stress on your knee and ankle joints, especially if you are overweight.

  • Try climbing stairs or water aerobics. These can help keep the joints mobile without putting a strain on them.

  • Make sure to read your body's signals, which tell you when to stop or slow down.

  • Your doctor of chiropractic may also recommend proper supplements that play important roles in osteoarthritis prevention and treatment.

Your Doctor of Chiropractic Can Help
By the nature of their work, doctors of chiropractic are able to detect the degenerative changes in the joints at their earliest of stages. Doctors of chiropractic can see and evaluate the impact of degenerative changes in the spine. They can also see their overall impact in the hips, knees, and weight-bearing joints.

Chiropractors are trained experts, with reliable methods of alleviating osteoarthritis pain which, at the same time, improves joint function. Chiropractic doctors do this with the use of natural therapies, such as chiropractic manipulation, massage, and especially designed exercises, as well as a host of other techniques.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Natural Arthritis Treatment For Joint Pain Relief

Arthritis is a joint disorder affecting the musculoskeletal system of our body. An arthritic joint is inflamed, very painful, stiff, swollen, warm and tender. The joints are actually the union or meeting junction of two or more bone heads. The joints of our body bear the weight of our body even while we are sitting and support the entire body structure. Therefore joints are prone to much wear and tear. When arthritis invades a joint, not only the bone heads but also the adjoining tissues, muscles, ligaments and tendons are affected, making mobility painful and in some cases impossible.

Therefore arthritis may be the cause of disability for many. Arthritis may be of a hundred types, of which osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout are most widespread. Osteoarthritis occurs due to friction between bone heads at the wearing out or loss of cartilage cushions that could have otherwise protected the bone heads from friction. Rheumatoid arthritis is the result of a misdirected immune system attacking healthy joints and tissues. Gout results from metabolic malfunctioning and crystallization of uric acid in joint cavity and between bones. Some causes of arthritis may be listed as follows:

1. Lack of exercise
2. Wrong diet
3. Dehydration
4. Sedentary lifestyle
5. Obesity
6. Degeneration of cartilages
7. Natural aging of joints
8. Joint injury or bone fracture
9. Joint infection
10. Faulty joint alignment
11. Heredity
12. Lack of vitamins
13. Over-active immune system
14. Metabolic disorders.

Natural Arthritis Joint Pain Relief

1. Prickly ash tea effectively eases arthritis joint pain by improving blood circulation.

2. A cup of hot ginger tea daily alleviates arthritis joint pain and inflammation.

3. A cup of tea made from nettle leaves or root sufficiently heals arthritis joint pain.

4. Heating pad or warm, damp towel application relaxes muscles and does away with stiffness and pain.

5. Rubbing ice cubes wrapped on fabric on joints reduces pain and swelling.

6. Massaging aching joint with camphorated mustard oil or coconut oil gives much relief from pain. Olive oil, castor oil, hot vinegar or warm paraffin may also be used for massaging.

7. Application of peppermint oil on aching joints gives much relief.

8. Soaking in warm bath water in tub or adding Epsom salt to bath water also lessens arthritis joint pain.

9. Taking walk in sun without any sunscreen is perhaps the easiest way to treat arthritis joint pain naturally.

10. Practicing gentle stretching around stiff joints as many times as possible through out the day keeps arthritis pain at bay.

11. Intake of alkaline juices like carrot, celery and red beet dissolve that deposits in and around joints, relieving pain.

Traumatic Osteoarthritis

Traumatic osteoarthritis or post-traumatic osteoarthritis as it is better known is mainly caused due to an injury of the joints, followed by a number of physiological and mechanical changes. A patient may develop arthritis in a joint which may have been previously injured. The development of arthritis in that joint though may or may not be related to the injury. The progressive degeneration of the joint after an injury along with the genetic or other natural causes of bone degeneration worsen the condition as the patient grows in age. It is extremely important for the treatment, to know whether or not the condition is a direct consequence of the injury.

There are various factors which can lead to conclude whether or not the patient?s condition is a case of traumatic arthritis. If it is noted that other joints are also suffering from similar symptoms as the traumatized joint then the condition is definitely not one of traumatic osteoarthritis. One must also try to recall whether or not the joint was absolutely normal even before the injury and whether or not any evidence of structural damage was found only within a few days of the injury. Many a times, a closer investigation into the history of the injury also reveals that it was not that bad enough to have caused an internal joint condition like arthritis.

However, if the injury may have caused a dislocation of the bone, a fracture, a torn ligament or anything as serious then it may have led to the present condition of arthritis which can easily be classified as traumatic arthritis. Also, if one realizes that only the previously injured joint is affected then too it is a case of traumatic arthritis. An MRI scan can sufficiently establish the condition.

The disease becomes evident only 2 to 5 years after the injury. However, certain changes which are symptomatic of an osteoarthritic condition maybe visible immediately after the injury.

How Eating Wheat Can Contribute To Arthritis

There are a number of less obvious neurological and autoimmune conditions that are the indirect result of consuming wheat and gluten, these symptoms and conditions tend to present themselves in less obvious ways, than gas, bloating and skin conditions and tend to get diagnostic labels that don't help solve the underlying problems. Sadly, most of the people who need this information aren't reading this article right now. The good news is that YOU are and the more you are aware of symptoms and potential conditions which are known to be linked, the safer and healthier we all will be.

It is important to note that many of these conditions can be caused by a number of factors - however, my experience is that most people suffering from the diseases and conditions I'm going to discuss in a minute, never consider wheat or gluten as a possible root cause - and that's why it is important to be aware of all the ways that wheat and gluten can affect our physiology.

Let's start with a class of diseases known as autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune diseases by themselves create a variety of symptoms by definition-and this makes it really difficult for the medical community to properly diagnose and treat the real disease.

One of the most common is arthritis, which tends to be one of the common diseases that come from wheat and gluten especially in middle-aged and elderly people, although it can affect kids too. Arthritis is a medical term which actually covers over 50 conditions and rheumatic diseases that affect something like 20% of adults.

Rheumatic diseases by the way are those which are characterized by inflammation or pain in muscles joints or fibrous tissue. One of the things that I really struggled with before cleaning up my diet was extreme pain in my neck and back both of those areas are linked to old rugby injuries. I'm not sure if the inflammation in those two areas for me or any area of the body is a result of eating wheat or gluten, or if it's an indirect result of the inflammation response that comes from having toxic byproducts in your bloodstream because your liver can't break down the toxins being produced in your lower intestine.

Either way arthritis affects joints and tissues around the joints and is a painful condition which is in the United States and Canada anyway technically classified as a disability. More than 10 million of the 40+ million adults diagnosed with arthritis say that the condition affects the quality of their life in some way.

One of the more common types of arthritis that affects something like 1% of the North American population is called rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is a process where the synovial lining-or the membrane that surrounds the joints swells up and then loses its protective qualities. Over time these inflamed cells will begin to release bad enzymes in that area that can actually break down bone and cartilage which inevitably causes the joints to lose its shape and alignment not to mention pain and loss of movement.

When I got off wheat and gluten I immediately noticed a dramatic improvement in the pain I had in my neck as well as my back and of all the non-typical symptoms that come from eating wheat or gluten, most people in the medical community recognize arthritis - specifically rheumatoid arthritis as one which can be greatly improved by eliminating gluten from the diet.

Osteoarthritis is primarily where you just have wear and tear on the joints. Most people as they get older show some kind of osteoarthritis. Having said that the inflammation that comes from wheat and gluten can exacerbate the pain and suffering that comes from osteoarthritis.

Arthritis - Management With Honey

Honey is one of the oldest natural sweeteners on the earth which date back many centuries. Honey is not only good as a substitute for sugar but also for medicinal uses. Honey is inexpensive, thus making it economical to use. It is comprised of approximately '181' substances including minerals, proteins, sugars, and enzymes. Also present in honey are the 'B' vitamins that are needed for 100's of processes in the body. The highly advantages of honey to humans is its anti-inflammatory potential in the treatment many gastrointestinal diseases and it accelerates skin healing.

I personally suffer with the effects of osteoarthritis which one of the oldest and most common forms of arthritis. It causes the breakdown of cartilage which allows the bones to rub against each other, causing stiffness, pain and loss of movement in the joint. This can mean that you limp when you walk or have trouble going up and down from a sitting position or walking the stairs. Since suffering with osteoarthritis I have suffered a loss of mobility and functionality. I recently received some information regarding the use of honey and cinnamon as a method of possibility getting some relief from the symptoms of arthritis as well as some other aliments. I anxiously begin to use the honey mixture for my arthritis and within a few days I noticed a tremendous difference in my mobility with less pain. I am now able to do moderate exercise and walk for longer periods of time. The stiffness and soreness has been drastically reduced.

For potential relief of arthritis it is recommended to take daily morning and night one cup of hot water with two spoons of honey and one small teaspoon of cinnamon Power. A recent research study at the Copenhagen University discovered that when doctors treated their patents with a mixture of one teaspoon honey and half teaspoon cinnamon powder before breakfast they found that within a week most the '200' patients treated '73' were totally relived of pain within a month,. Most of the all of the patients that could not walk or move started walking with out pain. I personally like to have my honey and cinnamon on toast.

Honey can be obtained through many different sources. You may purchase honey directly from the grocery store or a health food store, however, if you prefer organic honey then I would suggest Manuka Honey. This is a premium, medical-grade honey produced by bees that feed on the nectar from the flowers that grow on the Manuka Tea Tree. Researches have found that this type of honey contains extraordinary healing properties that are capable of treating a wide range of health conditions besides arthritis. Manuka Honey has been very effective on the treatment of ringworm, intestinal complications, eczema, ulcers, acid reflux irritable bowel and others.

Although I wasn't expecting any results, I am amazed that the honey and cinnamon has been effective in relieving some of the pain that I was experiencing.

Dehydration is Common, Contributing to the Misery of Arthritis

Water is good for you everyone knows and would agree. You are probably thinking to yourself this is rather obvious and doesn't need stating. However, research is revealing a different picture, I might be stating the obvious but most people are ignoring the obvious. You seriously need to think about your fluid intake, if you want to feel better. In the clinic we come across a lot of tired people that certainly look older than they are and tell me they feel older than they are. There are many reasons for fatigue, aches and pains but one of the reasons is dehydration and dehydration is more common than you think.

Drinking enough water relieves pain and joint stiffness. If you suffer from headaches, maybe you are not drinking enough hydrating fluids. When you are dehydrated your cells contract and retain waste products. When you are well hydrated your cells expand allowing them to get rid of their waste products, allowing them to maintain the correct pH balance, enabling the cells to take on nutrients, slowing down the aging process. This very important aspect of health is often over looked by practitioners and patients alike. Being hydrated is fundamental to any health and pain relieving program. But surprisingly is easier said than done for some people.

We all know how important water is, no need to explain. Or is there? Survey after survey tells a completely different story. We are not taking water seriously enough. Research has revealed that many people are dehydrated and that some people are very dehydrated. As we get older the situation seems to get worse. Being dehydrated is very aging, a bit like a dried up old prune. Our organs find it extremely stressful trying to function correctly under these circumstances. Over a period of time being in this state will have some very serious health consequences.

However many people including children tell me how they drink plenty during the day. It is possible to drink yourself into dehydration? The answer is yes it is. It is estimated that a lot of people are only getting one third of the hydrating fluids they need!

Water is -
a) Major component of blood
b) Prevents constipation
c) Flushes out toxins
d) Prevents muscle stiffness
e) Prevents joints from being painful
f) Maintains a normal metabolism
g) Temperature control
h) Needed for protein digestion

I am often asked 'how much water should I drink'?
The answer will depend on several things like your activity levels, the climate, how much you sweat, how much alcohol you drink, the amount of stress in your life, how much tea and coffee you drink and what you eat - some food is very dehydrating and some are hydrating. The average person will need about 6 to 8 glasses a day. This amount would increase if for instance if you are in training and live in a hot country.
What are the symptoms of dehydration? This list of symptoms is not exclusive to dehydration it must be added.

Before you consider taking a medication, (which by the way is also dehydrating) for the symptoms listed below, first make sure you are well hydrated and you are eating well. Many people find these symptoms disappear or at the very least lessen to a large extent, it may take a week or two before you notice a difference.

* Frequent headaches
* Spots and blemishes
* Stiff muscles
* Painful joints
* Dry skin
* Saggy skin
* Lack of energy
* Hunger
* Fluid retention
* Fuzzy thinking

Did you know? Research has revealed Research shows that the brain gets confused between hunger and thirst. People often eat when in fact our bodies are crying out for a hydrating drink.
Balance It is important to start increasing your consumption of hydrating drinks and decrease your intake of dehydrating drinks.

Hydrating fluids - water, herbal teas, fruity teas, vegetable juices and fruit juices diluted with at least 50% water

Dehydrating fluids - coffee, tea, sodas, milk shakes, alcohol, chocolate drinks etc

An Overview Of Neck Arthritis

Neck arthritis can cause pain and affect the ability to turn and use the neck normally. It can be caused by the natural aging process or can be part of a larger arthritis disease called rheumatoid arthritis. A person may at first believe they simply have a stiff neck from sleeping wrong, but soon they will realize the pain and stiffness is not going away and that is when they discover they are suffering from it. It is important at this point to seek a doctor's advice on how to deal with the issue.

Any type of arthritis can severely affect a person. Arthritis is when joint and bones have swelling and cause movement to be impaired. Arthritis is most often associated with aging and usually occurs in older adults. This is because it takes time for the arthritis to settle into joints and bones. However, most arthritis is treatable and can be managed through a doctor's care.

If the neck arthritis is caused by a degenerative, age-related, condition then the symptoms may not be noticed early. In fact, the symptoms of degenerative neck arthritis can be seen on an x-ray long before they are felt by the person. However, in general the symptoms of neck arthritis include pain, stiffness, problems moving the neck and pain going into the head and shoulders. Symptoms can also include pain in the arms, problems with arm movement, weakness in arms or legs, clumsiness and headaches.

The treatments for neck arthritis vary. Treatment may be restricting the neck movement through the wearing of a brace. Using heat or massage therapy is another option. Typically, pain relief medications are used. Certain exercises may also help. The treatment is usually related to how sever the pain is and how severely effected the person is by the neck arthritis.

Neck arthritis is something that you will likely have to live with. It is hard to prevent, but thankfully there are many treatment options to help with the pain and discomfort you are feeling. This is a very globally condition, meaning that it can affect more then just your neck.

Getting treatment is important to being able to fully function and not suffering from side effects of the arthritis. It is possible to live a normal life with neck arthritis, but it all depends on your ability to handle the condition and your mindset in dealing with it.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment

Rheumatoid arthritis treatment aims to accomplish several things:

-Reduce systemic inflammation
-Reduce symptom severity and duration
-Modification of the disease process
-Improve general health
-Send the disease into remission

While RA treatment should deal aggressively with the causes of the disease and seek to treat them first and foremost, the patient is certainly entitled to relief from the sometimes debilitating symptoms of RA.

RA Treatment of Symptoms

For mild to medium RA symptoms such as joint pain and stiffness, various supplements and over the counter medications can be used with good results. Both anti-inflammatory drugs and pain relievers can help treat rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.

Non-steroid anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) such as naproxen and ibuprofen are quite effective for low-grade symptoms but their continued use is not advised as they have a number of potentially serious side-effects such as stomach bleeding.

Several other pain relievers are available both over the counter and by prescription such as opiodes (hydrocodone, oxycodone, etc.) for more serious pain.

RA Treatment via Surgery

The part of the joint that becomes inflamed by RA is the synovial membrane and surgery is sometimes indicated. The purpose of the surgery is to extract the inflamed synovial fluid which helps preserve the joints. The synovia has a discolored appearance which is indicative of inflammation and is sometimes used as a diagnostic tool to check for RA. This surgery is particularly useful when RA is still relatively undeveloped and has a success rate of about 50%.

Rheumatoid arthritis treatment by means of surgery is usually performed on knees, elbows, ankles, shoulders and feet. The surgery requires the cartilage to still be intact and physical therapy is required afterwards.

RA Treatment With Other Methods

There are many other therapies that an individual can employ to ease RA. Diet and exercise, for example, can essentially reverse much of the symptomatic portion of the disease. Specifically, a highly anti-inflammatory diet that avoids grains and often dairy and is high in protein and high-quality fat. This diet is popularly known as the paleo diet and has significant implications for sufferers of inflammatory diseases.

Light use of medical marijuana and alcohol have been endorsed by RA patients as ameliorative.

Exercise and a low-stress lifestyle can improve general health and immunity substantially and thus help the body help itself. However, it should be noted that too much exercise with insufficient recovery periods can actually have an inflammatory effect.

Certain supplements can be useful for RA patients. Fish oil is a highly anti-inflammatory supplement that is very safe even in large doses as it is essentially a food. Patients with active inflammatory processes often see fantastic improvement with high dose (several grams a day) of high-quality fish oil.

Further, MSM, glucosamine and chondroitin are anecdotally reputed to have joint supportive properties although the scientific literature is conflicting.

One rather fascinating supplement that this author has used for non-RA joint pain is Cissus Quadrangularis. This is a fairly new supplement on the market and studies indicate that it is rather safe. It is highly anti-inflammatory and has a powerful analgesic (pain-relieving) effect on joint pain.

Rheumatoid arthritis treatment can take many forms depending on the rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and progression of the disease but it all starts with the patient taking control of diet and exercise.

How to Treat Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

Believe it or not you can in fact be born with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), where in the U.S approximately 300,000 babies a year are diagnosed with some form of arthritis with RA being the most common.

Known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis or JRA, this is often detected when your toddler or young child will complain of stiffness, joint pain and swelling.

JRA Cause

The cause is still not fully understood. Genetic traits may play a part but why your own body mistakenly attacks its healthy cells at such a young age - known as auto-immune disorder - causing the joints to swell is unclear, however what triggers this action is thought to stem from an environmental toxin.

JRA Symptoms

Like many forms of JRA, it can either go undetected for years or the symptoms will become noticeable shortly after birth.

As mentioned, swelling, joint pain and stiffness, especially before your child gets up in the morning can be worse before the day pans out and occasionally the lymph nodes will swell up, where a fever might develop along with a rash.

Internal organs can also become affected but this is rare.

Diagnosing JRA

If you feel your child has some form of arthritis or you are simply concerned over the joint pain they're experiencing, visit a pediatric rheumatologist.

They will carry out the standard tests such as a blood test, a physical, ask about the symptoms and maybe take some xrays.

This diagnosis won't confirm JRA but once all alternative ailments have been ruled out and if the symptoms still persist after 6 weeks, then JRA is often confirmed.

There are 3 types of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

1. Systemic JRA

This is the least likely form of JRA and includes all the symptoms listed above and it also affects the internal organs.

This is the most serious form of JRA and accounts for 20% of all JRA cases. It also increases your childs chances of JRA not disappearing but developing into RA in their teens and twenties.

2. Pauciarticular JRA

This affects roughly 50% of JRA cases where most children grow out of it, but you have to be careful with one of the symptoms which is swelling of the eyes that can lead to a loss of vision down the years, so be sure to consult an ophthalmologist.

It will only affect a few joints, those being the major ones like the arm and knee joint.

3. Polyarticular JRA

This is quite serious as 30% of polyarticular sufferers are unable to shake off this form of JRA in childhood.

It frequently affects a handful of both big and small joints and is predictable in its nature by targeting the same joints on each side of the body.

Anemia is also a risk so plenty of physical therapy is advised to keep the child active and fit.

JRA Treatment

Fortunately modern medicine and natural supplements today will help prevent JRA from flaring up, where a worst case scenario would affect the child's bone development.

This quite severe case though is now treated through physical therapy and medication, restricting any potential growth defects.

However, what's disturbing in the West is that like adults who are prescribed NSAIDs, so are children.

This is worrying because NSAIDs can deliver dangerous side effects and can also affect the health of the liver, kidney and heart.

VIOXX and Celebrex were recently withdrawn from the market for posing exactly these dangers, so if you want to avoid these pharmaceutical anti-inflammatory supplements, and not place your child in harms way, the following natural anti-inflammatory ingredients will help reduce the swelling safely, numb the pain and increase bone density.

  • Glucosamine Complex

  • Reishi

  • Chondroitin Sulfate

  • MSM

  • Magnezium and Calcium Suplements

  • Vitamin C and D

  • Ginger

  • Tongkat Ali

  • Capsaicin

  • White Willow Bark