Saturday, March 30, 2013

Osteoarthritis of Knee Diagnosis and The Healing Process

Among the most frequent joint diseases is osteoarthritis of knee. It occurs when the cartilage suffers gradual wear and tear. According to doctors, the cartilage is a cushion layer situated between the knee bones. Also called the degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis could as well affect other body joints. When the cartilage deteriorates, the knee joint feels stiff and sore. In the last steps of the disease, the pain and discomfort is unbearable. Consequently, the sick person could hardly walk steadily or even try to move his or her knee freely. Since the cushion between two bones no longer exists after degeneration, any movement will cause friction. This is because the bones will grind against each other. The result is intolerable soreness and discomfort.

The causes of osteoarthritis are numerous. However, not all the cases of the disease are necessarily similar, in terms of severity and frequency. The following is a brief outline of the known causes:

• Chances of developing osteoarthritis are high if you have had a serious knee injury in the past

• Being overweight is a good cause of many diseases, including this one. This is because heavy weight pressurizes the joints, as you walk. Consequently, the cartilage layer will slowly wear away

• Some cases of degeneration joint disease is gender specific

• Aging is generally the main cause of weaker joints, which eventually result to osteoarthritis

Several knee diseases show up closely related symptoms. Therefore, if you diagnose your problem, you are likely to be very incorrect. The most recommended action to take is to visit your doctor. He or she is in a position to examine your knee expertly. If you have this disease, you will generally have the following symptoms:

• Knee join soreness, stiffness and unbearable discomfort

• You will find walking as a punishment. If the knee joint cannot withstand your body weight, you cannot move properly.

• The cartilage degeneration continues to occur, as you try to figure what is happening to your knees

It is very important that you always take your health seriously. If you notice the above signs, do not take chances. Visit your doctor right away. This is fastest method of preventing more damage to the knee joints. When the physician is performing diagnosis, he or she will ask you to talk about your knee pain. In short, he or she will find out how worse the soreness gets, if, you workout and then rest. The doctor is much more likely to examine the problem with leg movement. Do not fear the check up exercise.

Your doctor might squeeze the joint slightly, but he or she may recommend an instant X-ray of the knee. The X-ray shows the exact cause of the soreness and discomfort. As some of you already know, osteoarthritis of knee disease is broad. To find out if a patient has other types of this disease, the doctor might take a blood sample. The treatment procedure could differ from patient to patient. Nevertheless, doctors recommend therapies to alleviate the knee joint pains. Generally, he or she will ask you to do the following:

• After a walk or any form of knee exercises, you should always take your time to rest

• For twenty to thirty minutes, you could place an ice cube on the painful parts of the knee. Do this everyday to minimize inflammation. It will ease the pain too.

• Take a specific over the counter cure. Never decide personally the medicine to pick between ibuprofen and acetaminophen. The doctor should guide you

• For stronger muscles and joints, you need to focus on special exercise. You need to work with a practitioner, who understands osteoarthritis of knee disease very well.

• In severe cases, physicians prescribe surgery.

Everything You Need to Know About Spinal Cord Arthritis

The biggest challenges faced by patients, researchers and physicians are the distinction of unusual diseases. As a matter of fact, it is often heard from mass media that scientists are researching on the cancer treatment. However, it needs to be mentioned that there are different forms of cancer which include colon cancer, breast cancer and lung cancer to name a few. Each kinds of this disease comprises of various treatments and symptoms. Hence, these diseases are in need of different cures. In the same manner, there are numerous variants of the disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, reactive and psoriatic arthritis. The other variety of it is the spinal cord arthritis.

Spinal stenosis or spinal cord arthritis comprises of the backbone narrowing and its manifestation with the strain on the spinal cord and on the roots of the nerves as well. Spinal cord arthritis mainly attacks the three regions of the spine, namely, the gaps between the spine's bones from which the nerves leaves the spine and then extends towards the other parts of the body, nerve base canal which expands from the spinal cord and also those tubes in the centre column of the bones from where the base of the spinal cord and the root moves ahead. This tapering includes either a tiny section or a huge section of the spine. A spinal cord arthritis sufferer is likely to feel lack of feeling or pains in the shoulders, legs or neck.

The Age Factor: Most of the sufferers of spinal cord arthritis include men and women above fifty years of age. However, younger people who may have had some sort of spinal damage also tend to suffer from spinal cord arthritis. Apart from this, those people born with a spinal channel contraction are also wrecked by the disease.

In case the area in the spinal channel is narrowed, the patients of spinal cord arthritis may not show any symptoms. However, if such contraction result in a stress to the spinal cord or nerve roots then symptoms of spinal arthritis such as weakness, aches in arms and legs, lack of sensation and spasms may occur. In addition, in case the narrowed region of the spine pressurizes along the base of the nerve, then the sufferers may get soreness on their legs. Such people need to undertake strengthening exercises, sitting, lower back stretching and bending exercises.

Most Recommended Treatments:

When a spinal cord arthritis sufferer does not experience deterioration or remarkable nerve connections, the following treatments could be recommended:-

Spinal cord arthritis patients need to exercise or undergo physical therapy for increasing the stamina, strengthening the stomach muscles and the back with continuous motion of the spine. This would lead to a more secure spine. Another option on the cards would be aerobic activity. Apart from that, there are corticosteroid injections which can be injected in the innermost membranes that cover the spinal cord and nerves for lessening the inflammation and treating the spiky pain which spreads till the hips and the legs.

These patients can also embark on the regular intake of anti-inflammatory medicines devoid of steroids which includes various prescriptions of ibuprofen such as Mortin, Nuprinl, Advil and aspirin for reducing the aches and lowering the swelling. Apart from that, spinal cord arthritis patients can also look forward to restrict their activity depending on the condition of their nerves. Intake of analgesics such as Tylenol for reducing the pain, anesthetic injections which are also called as nerve blocks can be opted for temporary reduction of pain to the nearby affected nerves.

In case, if all the non-persistent cure procedures fail to alleviate the suffering of the spinal cord arthritis patients, then the best option is to go under the knife. The main objective involved behind such procedures is the lessening of the pressure of the nerves or the spinal cord and also the restoration and sustenance of the vigorousness and arrangement of the spine.

Till date, spinal cord arthritis has remained one of the most devastating variant of the disease from which people can suffer. Luckily, researchers and physicians have continued to improve the treatment for the mitigation of pain of the sufferers.

Arthritis Pain - Understanding Its Signs and Causes - Health and Fitness Even With Arthritis

Arthritis is a term that includes a group of disorders which affect joints and muscles. Arthritis symptoms include joint pain, inflammation and limited movement of joints. When a joint is inflamed it may be swollen, tender, warm to the touch or red. In joint arthritis, the cartilage is usually damaged, narrowed and lost by a degeneration process or by inflammation. This makes movement painful. Arthritis is the most common and disabling chronic condition in women. Some myths hold it that Arthritis is a disease of aging. While this appears so, yet infants can be affected from birth with a form of arthritis known as Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Dealing with pain can be the hardest part of having arthritis or a related condition, but you can learn to manage it and its impact on your life. Pain is the body's alarm system that tells us that something is wrong. When the body is injured, nerves in the affected area release chemical signals. Other nerves send these signals to the brain, where they are recognized as pain. Pain often tells the affected person that action is required. Long-lasting pain, like the one that accompanies arthritis, is different. While it tells you that something is wrong, it often is not as easy to relieve. Managing this type of pain is essential to enhance quality of life and sense of well-being.

Causes of Arthritis
Arthritis pain is caused by several factors, such as: inflammation, damage to joint tissues, fatigue that results from the disease process. Arthritis pain and inflammation cannot be avoided as the body ages. Along with physical changes, such as difficulty in moving, the emotional ups and downs of arthritis also can add to your pain. If you feel depressed or stressed because your movement is limited or you can no longer do some of the activities you enjoy, your pain may seem worse. You may get caught up in a cycle of pain, limited abilities, stress and depression that makes managing your pain and arthritis seem more difficult.

Signs of Arthritis
Arthritis pain can be ongoing or can come and go. It may occur when you are moving or after you have been still for some time. You may feel pain in one spot or in many parts of your body. Your joints may feel stiff and be hard to move. You may find that it is hard to do daily tasks you used to do easily, such as climbing the staircase or opening a jar or even writing. Pain and stiffness usually will be more severe in the morning or after periods of inactivity. In some cases of inflammatory arthritis, the skin over the joint may appear swollen and red, and feel warm to the touch. Some types of arthritis can also be associated with fatigue.

Types of Arthritis
There are five main types of Arthritis: Osteoarthritis (OA), Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), Fibromyalgia, Lupus, and Gout. The two most common types, Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis are frequently experienced by women. The various types of Arthritis and related conditions can affect anyone, no matter his race, gender or race.

• Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common one and is mostly known as degenerative joint disease. It causes damage to cartilage and bones causing joint pain, swelling, stiffness and loss of function. It develops when cartilage (the smooth covering over the bones in the joints), starts to break down, usually as a result of aging, trauma or increased wear and tear. The result is pain and inflammation as bone rubs against bone.

• Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic disease that can affect the whole body, caused by abnormality in the body's immune system making it to work improperly and therefore leading to inflammation of the joints and some internal organs. Such chronic inflammation leads to deterioration, pain and limited movement. It is an autoimmune disease and has no known cause. Two percent of people worldwide are affected while it is three times more common in women than men. Symptoms of RA are inflamed, swollen, painful and deformed joints.

Understanding arthritis is essential for its management, treatment and control. Inadequate or incorrect information however, may lead to unnecessary panic with harmful consequences.

Osteoarthritis - The Top 3 Myths About Your Knee Pain

There is lots of information out there about osteoarthritis,but can you find fact amongst the fiction? Here are a few myths that most believe to be true:

Only old people get arthritis:

Not so. Although advancing age is a risk factor many people feel the pain of arthritis before the age of 40. Younger people also have higher mobility expectations and notice physical restrictions acutely. Fractures that involve the joint surfaces also greatly increase the rate of wear in weight-bearing joints and can result in advanced arthritis at a very young age.

There is not much you can do about arthritis:

Yes there is. The two areas you definitely have a say in are your weight and your muscle strength. Both of these tend to become bigger issues due to the formation of a 'vicious cycle'. As your pain increases you become less active and more likely to put on weight. This leads to more stresses on the joints and more pain, starting the cycle again. This same lack of activity leads to weaker thigh muscles that normally protect the knee joint. As they get weaker they support the knee less and lead to more wear and pain. The good news is that the cycle works in reverse. Lose weight and gain muscle strength and your knees are supported more, are required to carry less weight, and so cause you less pain.This lets you get active again.

I have osteoarthritis so I will eventually have to have surgery

Wrong again. Not everyone needs surgery, and the person who decides if you need surgery is you! Just because a doctor says "all I can offer you is a knee replacement" doesn't mean you have to have one. You may choose to have one, or you may say that you can manage without. You can always change your mind and have surgery later. It just means that your arthritis has past the point where lesser treatments such as an injection or key-hole surgery would be of any long-term benefit.

Understanding Psoriatic Arthritis

It is estimated that about 2 percent of all the Caucasian population in the United States suffer from a skin disease called psoriasis. An area of inflammation that appears raised, red and scaly characterizes psoriasis. The areas commonly affected with psoriasis are the scalp, tips of elbows and knees. This could also appear around the areas of the anus and genital areas. It is observed that 10 percent of people with psoriasis develop the associated joint disease commonly known as psoriatic arthritis. Additionally, about 30 percent of people with psoriasis also have psoriatic arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis similarly exhibits the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. However, this type of arthritis is related with the psoriasis of adjacent skin and nails. The symptoms of psoriatic arthritis are clinically similar with rheumatoid arthritis sans the rheumatoid nodules. Psoriatic arthritis often exhibits mild and irregular flare-ups with very little chances of developing into a crippling form of arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis doesn't have sexual predilection as this equally affects both male and female between the ages 30 and 35.

Heredity plays an important role in a person's predisposition to psoriatic arthritis. Yet, psoriatic arthritis starts when there is streptococcal infection, or trauma. Most often a psoriatic lesion paves the way for the development of the arthritic component. Joint and skin lesions often come back concurrently once the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis have come out completely. Symptoms include swelling, warmth, tenderness and limited movement. Psoriatic arthritis may affect a single joint or this can affect several joints in symmetrical manner. This is commonly seen in hand joints in association with psoriasis of the nails. The affected nails may appear discolored more often yellowish in appearance with pitting, traverse ridge and keratosis. The nail may be entire destroyed by the disease. During the later stages of psoriatic arthritis, patients may experience low back pain and spondylitis. Frequently, a psoriatic lesion is often found near the affected joint. Sometimes, these lesions may be hidden in such as the areas in the scalp and navel.

Most often, doctors give a diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis to patients with psoriatic lesions and are suffering from inflammatory arthritis. Diagnosis is often backed up by X-ray results and blood tests. Psoriatic arthritis should be differentiated from gout by synovial fluid examination. Psoriatic arthritis lesions should not show any white crystals like gout does. Furthermore, it should be differentiated from septic arthritis by culturing synovial fluid for microorganisms.

Finally, patients with mild psoriatic arthritis should minimize mobility though complete bed rest. Heat therapy or hot baths will also be beneficial. Inflammatory drugs will help ease the inflammation. Patients with this type of arthritis should be reassured by the doctor that the psoriatic plaques are not contagious because these might keep him from going out with people. People around patients with psoriatic plaques should not show signs of repulsion, as these will only trigger the patient's fear of being rejected. Skin care products are important and the patient should learn how to apply these medications to the skin correctly. However, these skin care products do have side effects and the doctor should be able to explain all these to the patient. The patient should take adequate rest and properly protect the affected joints. Moderate and regular exposure to the sun is also beneficial to patients with psoriatic arthritis.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Arthritis Relief Is Not An Oxymoron

Nobody likes being sick. Nobody likes the feeling of getting a cold and having to endure the runny nose, head aches and all its other symptoms. Whenever a person suffers from the common cold, sore throat, a cough, fever, diarrhea, muscle aches or ever a migraine he tends to get exhausted easily. This exhaustion affects his daily life, his job and his family. Much like these sicknesses affect our daily lives, arthritis affects us and our families as well. This is why it is important for us to know what kinds of treatments provide good and lasting arthritis relief.

One hundred types. One thing in common. Pain.

There are over a hundred types of arthritis that exist. Each type exhibits symptoms that differ in location, severity, variety and regularity. Nevertheless, all these types of arthritis exhibit soreness, aches, swelling and stiffness in the affected joint. Some other types also exhibit, flu-like symptoms, fever and formations of small lumps or nodules, exhaustion and rashers. And all of these symptoms bring one thing; all these symptoms inflict pain in the affected area.

When you are diagnosed with arthritis, it is expected from your doctor that he should inform you of all the possible treatment options for your specific type of arthritis. It must be made clear to you that there are many kinds of treatments for the many kinds of arthritis. when choosing which treatment you will undergo, some factors are taken into consideration. The objectives for your treatment should be attained. The treatment should also cover sustaining joint function, slow down the disease's progression, maintain the range of motion of your affected joint, lessen joint damage and reduce all known arthritis symptoms.

The different medications for all your needs.

Most arthritis treatments for arthritis relief are in the form of medications. Some of these include analgesics (pain medications), NSAIDs, Corticosteroids, DMARDs and COX-2 Inhibitors. Before taking any of these medications always consult your physician. They shall help you decide on which medications suit you the best and they will inform you about how long these medications take effect, their side effects and other vital information.

Some doctors recommend giving their patients shots directly to their affected joints. These steroid shots are usually given to extremely painful joints. The recommended number of shots a patient is allowed to take is three every year. Some doctors, use the process called, viscosupplementation that injects a gel like substance into the affected joint.

But not all patients take traditional treatments, some of them opt for alternative treatments to achieve arthritis relief. Although these are not proven to be safe and efficient, some patients still opt for alternative medicine. Some good examples of these treatments are yoga, acupuncture and stress management.

Another option for patients is complimentary medicine. Though some people confuse complimentary medicine with alternative this varies from the latter because, the former is used along with traditional medicine. Good examples of complimentary medicine are nutritious diets, stress management and regular exercise.

The last option for arthritis patients is surgery. This is because surgery on arthritis patients is for extreme cases or cases that have tried other treatment methods and achieved below average results. Surgery is ideal for extreme joint damage and the using the affected joint would prove to be unbearable.

Arthritis patients often complain about extreme pain that is why it is important for them to manage their arthritis. With their discipline and their family's help, then can lead a fairly normal and active life.

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Resveratrol

Resveratrol is being studied as a natural cure for rheumatoid arthritis. Scientist and doctors working with animals found that resveratrol shut down the production of HLA-DR4 the inflammatory compound known to cause joint deterioration in people with arthritis.

According to the leading anti aging scientist in the U.S. The answer was yes. David Sinclair said it's amazing but true about resveratrol and it's ability to prevent old age diseases and slow the aging process.

Anti aging discoveries and resveratrol it can help with diseases as we age like diabetes, cancer, stroke prevention and as a supplement to help after a stroke.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that affects over 4 million individuals in the United States,. The human immune system consists of a powerful set of cells and messengers that are very effective at finding and eradicating foreign invaders.

The Immune System is Working Overtime

When the immune system works overtime it produces to much inflammatory compounds, like cox-1 cox-2 and L-5.

Resveratrol helps with the overproduction of these compounds and helps reduce inflammation in the joints and even keeps the blood vessels healthy. Muscadine grapes are high in compounds like polyphenols and anti oxidants and resveratrol which can stop the cells from swelling. The Muscadine grapes also have an extra chromosome that helps with all four key mechanisms of aging. Cell inflammation also leads to arthritis and other problems in the joints.

Scientists like David Sinclair and Doctors like Joseph Maroon M.D. have been studying the aging process for many decades. They have researched and conducted clinical studies on certain key ingredients, like resveratrol and polyphenols from the muscadine grape, that can help us live longer, help prevent and even cure diseases associated with aging, and impacting disease such as arthritis, joint pain, and inflammation that are already present.

There are many different food supplements and foods that can help with Rheumatoid arthritis or any type of arthritis they are listed below:

* Omega-3s or fish oil
* Alfalfa
* Calcium supplements
* All fruits and vegetables that are alkaline forming
* Green tea
* Garlic supplements

Green Tea and Arthritis

You can now add green tea to your list of healing foods. In fact, some experts claim that we should add tea to the list of disease-fighting fruits and vegetables that we should eat daily. Some interesting information on green tea and how it may help decrease inflammation.

Green tea contains a type of polyphenol known as epigallocatechin-3 gallate, or EGCG, that inhibits the expression of the interieukin-8 gene. This is a key gene involved in the arthritis-inflammatory response.

Resveratrol, a polyphenol, or plant-derived, non steroidal compound, is present in the skins of grapes, in Japanese knotwood, nuts, red wine, and other foods. Resveratrol and other antioxidants are made by plants when under stress like weather, bacteria and fungus, they build up a resistance to disease and when we ingest the plants we reap all the benefits of the polyphenols and antioxidant contained in the plants, so eat more fruits and vegetables.

While all wines have some resveratrol, red wine seems to be the best source.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Diagnosis

Rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis is accomplished by conducting a number of tests and matching a patient to established criteria as rheumatoid arthritis manifests on something of a spectrum.

RA Diagnosis: Blood Testing

If a patient is thought to possibly have RA, a number of blood tests may be ordered to look at different variables that might indicate compromised immunity, the presence of certain antibodies and also to help isolate other illnesses that the patient may have that can produce RA-like symptoms.

One test that is done is to check for an antibody known as Rheumatoid Factor or RF. An elevated rheumatoid factor may be found in several autoimmune diseases such as Sj繹gren's syndrome. About 80% test positive for RF but a negative test result does not exclude the possibility of RA; it simply places the arthritis in a category called seronegative rheumatoid arthritis.

Testing for RF is only a part of rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis since up to 1 in 10 healthy people display elevated rheumatoid factor.
As RA progresses, it is common to see the patient begin to come up positive for RF in later tests.

More specific testing has been developing which checks for certain antibodies more indicative of RA. The most recent tests are much more sensitive and specific. Additional tests are often administered in order to rule out other possible causes of the arthritis.

RA Diagnosis Criteria

Recently, new criteria for rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis were collaboratively put into effect by professional rheumatology bodies in Europe and the US.
RA diagnosis is established by scoring the patient on a scale of 1-10. 6 or above is a definite RA diagnosis.

The scoring takes into account the patient's joint health (which joints and how many are affected), serology (rheumatoid factor, anti-citrullinated protein antibody presence), length of time the patient is experiencing the arthritis and acute phase reactants.

Clinical RA Diagnosis

Physicians will typically look for the involvement of several joints and stiffness joints in the mornings as potential indicators of the presence of RA. Further, the patient is likely to be tested for elevated rheumatoid factor as well as possibly undergoing more recently developed tests prior to deciding upon RA treatment

RA Differential Diagnosis

The symptoms of RA are similar to the symptoms of several other diseases. For this reason it is necessary to isolate factor specific to RA to establish a diagnosis. Some of the diseases that can look like RA are:

Osteoarthritis (see: Osteoarthritis vs Rheumatoid Arthritis)
Lyme Disease
Hepatitis C

And several others. Doctors will typically order several tests in order to come closer to (or move further away from) a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis.

Biofreeze: Provides Quick Relief From Arthritis Pain

In today's time, when things have become a complex combination of work and time, people are finding it difficult to cope up with their health conditions. Increased pressures of work in this stressful life have left people with no time for their personal healthcare. However, in order to match the steps of the fast changing world, we need to consume proper nutrients required by the body. There are several healthcare products manufacturing brands available in the market that have come up with ultimate and effective collection of health products. But, before approaching any of the health products manufacturing brand, one needs to consult the doctor to know the perfect type of product or nutrient required by the body.

Today, when everything has become advanced, so people have also switched their lifestyle to a much comfortable level. However, things worsen when their body parts stop cooperating with their lifestyles. One of the major problems arising these days is of arthritis- a form of joint disorder involving inflammation of one or more joints. Thus, Biofreeze, a cold therapy pain relief acted as a saviour to the people suffering from arthritis. This manufacturer creates formulas that consist of the active ingredient menthol with a synergistic blend of inactive ingredients. The formula formed by a medical professional, looking for a way to help his grandmother manage her arthritis pain, offered quick, effective pain relief without the use of prescription drugs. As a result, today, the products of this manufacturer relieve the arthritis sufferers from pain by its cooling formulation that comforts to sore muscles and muscle sprains. Its products also relive people from back, shoulder and neck pain, knee pain, hip and elbow joints pain.

Another brand energising people's life is Jay Robb. The company is named after a clinical nutritionist who is the CEO of the company and have over three decades of experience as a professional in his field. It was founded in the year 1988 and has been known for manufacturing the best testing protein powders. The mission statement of the company is to provide help to every willing man, woman and child to get in the best shape of his or her life. The company follows three major steps in getting the body into its perfect shape. The three steps are called as shape your thinking, shape your eating and shape your body. Therefore, if one is looking for a healthier lifestyle, then jump on to this company and get your body into perfect shape at much reasonable prices.

Arthritis Treatment: Can Rheumatoid Arthritis Be Cured With Treatment?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a relatively common, systemic, autoimmune disease. It affects approximately 2 million Americans.

There are multiple theories regarding how and why it develops. Up until the mid-1980's treatment for this disorder was primitive at best. Corticosteroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) were used to treat symptoms. And medicines like hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil), gold salts, d-penicillamine, sulfasalazine, azathioprine, and the like were used to slow down the progression of disease.

Most of these drugs had horrendous side effects that limited their utility.

Disease modifying drugs such as methotrexate and leflunomide (Arava) elevated the bar in the mid to late 1980's, allowing more control of RA. In addition the use of combination therapy employing methotrexate, hydroxychloroquine, and sulfasalazine (Azulfidine) was touted (and still is in some quarters) as being remission inducing.

However, recent data published in the Cochrane review has indicated that combination therapy probably has little to offer above and beyond methotrexate alone.

And proponents of triple therapy cite data indicating its effectiveness versus patients treated with a combination of methotrexate and a biologic therapy.

However, in my opinion, this latter group, the biologics, have truly revolutionized our approach to the treatment of RA. For the first time, as treating rheumatologists, we have been able to induce remission more often than not. The definition of remission is bandied about. However, simplistically speaking, it is the absence of clinical disease. That doesn't mean a patient can stop their drug. The drug needs to be continued. However, the fact that the disease is stopped in its tracks with no further destruction of joints or damage to internal organs is amazing.

The first biologics were the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors. Tumor necrosis factor, along with interleukin 1, interleukin 6, and a few other cytokines (biological messengers made by inflammatory cells) appear to drive the RA process.

The bad news is... not every patient responds to TNF inhibitors. When that occurs, changes to drugs with different modes of action are used. These will include drugs that block interleukin 6 as well as medicines that affect T cell and B cells, other players in the RA process.

What is lacking is the ability to predict which drug a patient will respond to best with remission. Markers of disease activity (biomarkers) in the inflamed joints probably hold the answer. If that puzzle can be solved, then the possibility of a cure becomes a not only a probability but a certainty.

Arthritis Treatment: Who Has Better Diagnostic Criteria for Gout - Yanks or Euros?

Gout is a disease characterized by elevated levels of serum uric acid (SUA). The end result is deposition of monosodium urate (MSU) crystals in joints and eventually internal organs as well. The diagnosis is not always easy. There is a mistaken notion by many, including some physicians, that joint pain plus an elevated SUA= gout. Not true. There are diseases where the SUA can be elevated and the patient doesn't have gout. And by the same token, a patient can have a gout attack with a normal SUA.

The classic attack is a very rapid development of joint inflammation occurring in one joint, usually the mid foot or great toe. If the great toe is affected, it is referred to as "podagra."

There are two sets of diagnostic criteria that have been used as guidelines.

The first set is from the American College of Rheumatology in 1977. These include:

1. Presence of MSU crystals in joint fluid and/or

2. Presence of a tophus (collection of uric acid crystals forming a lump) and/or

3. Presence of 6 of the following 12 criteria:

a. More than one attack of acute arthritis
b. Development of maximum inflammation within a day
c. Attack of arthritis affecting one joint
d. Redness surrounding the joint
e. Pain or swelling in the great toe joint
f. Attack affecting only one great toe joint and not the other at the same time
g. Attack affecting the mid foot on one side
h. Suspected tophus
i. Elevate SUA
j. Non-symmetric joint swelling on x-ray
k. A bony cyst found near a joint on x-ray
l. No bacteria found in the joint fluid during an acute arthritis attack

Nothing wrong with these criteria.

But to try and one up the Americans, the Europeans came out with their own set of guidelines, entitled EULAR (European League Against Rheumatism) recommendations for the diagnosis of gout. What they posited is using these criteria as a diagnostic ladder. Each criterion has a score. What they did was create a "Likelihood Ratio" for making the diagnosis. The more "ladder rungs" a patient has means the greater likelihood of gout. Here are a few of the likelihood guidelines:

MSU crystals in joint fluid. Score >500
Tophus. Score =40
Classic gout attack in great toe. Score= 30.6
Elevated SUA. Score=9.7
Bony cysts near joints seen on x-ray. Score <7

So. Take your pick. Yanks or Euros.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Arthritis Treatment: What TNF Inhibitors Are There for Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common inflammatory form of arthritis. It is a systemic autoimmune driven process that affects more than 2 million Americans.

While disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDS) were our stalwarts through the 1980's and early 1990's, biologic drugs, specifically TNF inhibitors, have changed our whole way of looking at the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

Using these drugs in combination with DMARDS, it has been possible to induce remission in many patients with RA.

TNF inhibitors block the effects of tumor necrosis factor (TNF), a protein messenger that drives the autoimmune process that causes the destructive potential of RA.

There are five TNF inhibitors that have been approved by the FDA. The first is Enbrel. This is a fusion protein with a receptor that binds to circulating TNF in the blood. By acting like a sponge it reduces the signs and symptoms of RA. It is generally best when used in combination with methotrexate. The drug is given by subcutaneous injection weekly.

Humira is a totally human monoclonal antibody directed against TNF. It also appears to be more effective when used in combination with methotrexate. It is administered by subcutaneous injection every two weeks.

Remicade is a chimeric antibody, meaning it's part human and part mouse. It's directed against TNF and also works best when given along with methotrexate. It is the only TNF inhibitor which is administered by intravenous infusion. Remicade can be given as often as every four to eight weeks.

Cimzia is a PEGylated TNF inhibitor. The pegylation keeps the drug around longer in the synovial tissue (joint lining). It's also given by subcutaneous injection once every two weeks.

Simponi is a human monoclonal antibody directed against TNF. It is given as a subcutaneous injection once a month.

Generally if a patient hasn't responded within twelve weeks, they are probably not going to respond. Also, some people respond initially but then begin to lose their response.

Patients who don't respond to one TNF inhibitor can be tried on another since some people respond to one and not the other.

There are many potential side effects that must be considered in patients treated with TNF inhibitors.

These include increased susceptibility to various infections, neurologic disorders, possible increased susceptibility to certain malignancies such as lymphoma, and many others. A much more in-depth discussion of potential risk factors is available on each manufacturer's website. Close observation and monitoring of patients taking these potent medicines is mandatory.

Health Diet - Easing the Pain of Different Types of Arthritis by Changing Your Diet

Using the term arthritis we describe over 100 existing conditions that can cause pain, stiffness and inflammation in one or more of our joints and all of them can benefit by eating a healthy well balanced diet which will ease the pain. This article deals with the more common conditions as there are to many to focus on.

The different types of arthritis we will focus on are the common but very painful gout, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis and neither of them can be cured by diet changes, but we can ease the condition by eating certain types of foods and avoiding others. An example is that fish oils help with most arthritic conditions, while gout benefits by avoiding alcohol and certain meats and there are supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin that will ease the symptoms of osteoarthritis but none of the other forms of arthritis.

A person with any type of arthritis should:

1) Eat a well balanced diet
2) Increase their calcium intake [thus reducing the risk of osteoporosis in later life]
3) Avoid fasting and crash diets
4) Drink plenty of fluids and avoid alcohol
5) Reduce the fats consumed to maintain their weight within a normal range

For the poor person suffering with gout [a type of arthritis]:

By now you should know that it is the waste product known as uric acid [which is normally excreted via the urine] that builds up in a joint and causes pain and inflammation [strangely enough gout seems to attack the big toe joint most of the time].

To ease these symptoms you will need to:

1) Avoid shellfish - such as prawns or crayfish
2) Avoid all alcohol - or at least restrict yourself.
3) Avoid offal - these are the organs of the animal.
4) Avoid some types of fish - mackerel, sardines, anchovies and herring to name but a few.
5) Avoid yeast products - beer [which you should already be avoiding] and Vegemite [marmite].
6) Remember not to overeat and to take your time while eating.

Now for rheumatoid and osteoarthritis:

Eat foods that are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids like:

Oily fish - sardines and salmon etc
Add linseed to your diet and use the oil from this seed
Use canola oil in place of your usual oil
Walnuts contain a good amount of omega 3
Fish oil supplements - choose carefully here as some fish oils contain high doses of vitamin A

By consuming foods rich in omega3 you will find that the pain will ease in your inflamed joints, this is because these fatty acids seem to reduce the number of inflammatory molecules produced by the bodies immune system. There are other benefits to this diet change as it can help lower the risk of prostrate cancer and asthma.

There are other supplements out there like glucosamine and chondroitin [evidence about their success in treating arthritis is limited] that may relieve pain for people with osteoarthritis [especially if there has been a breakdown of cartilage]. These supplement will not relieve the symptoms of any other arthritis and have been known to interact with other medications like warfarin, please remember to consult your doctor before taking this supplement.

Obesity and arthritis

Being overweight puts a lot more strain on a persons joints than they realize, if the affected joints are the hips, knees or spine the extra load will increase the pain and inflammation of the arthritis. Osteoarthritis risks are also increased due to the extra weight on a persons bone structure. Due to the stiffness and pain in their joints, obese people will find it difficult to increase their activities in order to assist with weight loss, here are a few strategies to assist you with the problem:

1) You will have to diet - but ensure that it is high in nutrition while low in kilojoules
2) Try low impact exercises - swimming, water aerobics [quite good as the water supports your weight while you exercise] and long walks [if your knees are not involved]
3) Find exercises that do not use the arthritic joints - try stationary cycling if your hands are arthritic, upper body aerobics if it is your knees [easy enough to do in the sitting position]

The above exercising ideas are just an example, experiment with different activities till you find one that does not affect your arthritic joints and stick with the activity while you are dieting.

REMEMBER - there is no miracle cure for this condition, but changing your diet to include the foods above will help with easing your pain.

Arthritis & Joint Health

Many millions of people are affected by pain and suffering from Arthritis and research has shown that Glucosamine and Chondroitin sulphates combined have given these people new hope and relief from their painful ailments. Arthritis it causes pain, stiffness and sometimes swelling in or around joints. This can make it hard to complete simple movements you rely on every day for work or taking care of your family. But you can take steps now to avoid arthritis or to reduce pain and resume normal daily activities.

There are more than 100 different types of arthritis and the cause of most types is unknown. Scientists are currently studying what roles three major factors play in certain types of arthritis. These include the genetic factors you inherit from your parents, events which occur during your life and how you live on a day-to-day basis. The importance of these factors varies by type of arthritis.

Even though there is a lot of mystery surrounding arthritic joint pain, there is also a tremendous amount of research that points to certain nutrients that help nutritionally support this condition.

Both short and long term studies have been performed with a nutrient called Glucosamine Sulfate. Glucosamine works to stimulate joint function and repair. It is most effective in treating osteoarthritis, the most prevalent form of arthritis. A number of studies over the last 20 years have shown this to be true. For example, a 1982 clinical study compared usage of the NSAID ibuprofen with glucosamine sulfate, for osteoarthritis of the knee. The over-all results showed that 44% of the glucosamine group had pain relief compared to 15% for ibuprofen.

A long-term effects study was done with glucosamine and arthritis reported in the Lancet. the authors concluded that, "Glucosamine sulfate prevents the progression of osteoarthritis of the knee, in addition to relieving the symptoms."
The health supplements carry by StarHerb for Arthritic and Joint Pain not only contain all of these nutrients; it utilizes the exact forms that were shown in the studies to be effective. The forms which are the best to look for are:

Glucosamine Sulfate 2Kcl which is the exact form used in most of the studies showing benefit.

It is hard to enjoy your family, friends, hobbies or even money without your health and joint pain is definitely one of the big contributing factors to a poor quality of life. StarHerb Health Nutrition products formula brings these great joint nutrients to nutritionally support the body along with 100% of your daily needs of the essential nutrients all in one formula.

For More Information Please Visit

Daily Living With Rheumatoid Arthritis

If you have rheumatoid arthritis, then you know how painful it can be to perform ordinary tasks. Even buttoning buttons or writing a letter can cause you a great deal of pain. Doctors have not yet found a cure for rheumatoid arthritis, but there are several things you can do to make yourself more comfortable as you go through the day. When you follow these simple tips, you can alleviate pain and enjoy your life to the fullest.

Keep a Positive Attitude

One of the best things that you can do to manage your pain is to think positively. A sunny outlook will help you to cope with your pain while also providing you with the ability to minimize the effects of stress. Stress can cause your body to react negatively, which may cause the inflammation and pain of your rheumatoid arthritis to get worse. Rather than getting mad or upset, do some deep breathing exercises. Picture yourself in a peaceful environment, and focus on relaxing and breathing deeply. Your heart rate will soon go back to its normal rate, and you will start to feel more peaceful. These exercises are ideal for people who notice that their pain gets worse when they are upset and stressed.

Stay Active

It is very important that you stay active despite your rheumatoid arthritis. The key is to determine which activities you can do freely and which cause you pain. Keep a pain journal so that you can make notes of how you feel before and after doing a new activity. If your pain worsens, avoid that activity or modify it so that you can do it without hurting.

Don't Overdo It

It is very easy to do more than you planned, which can cause you to be in pain before you realize what you have done. Schedule your housework over several days, and find ways to make it easier on yourself. Use a dumbwaiter to transfer loads of laundry or belongings between floors. Invest in a vacuum with a larger handle, and avoid gripping rags or brushes for long periods of time. Aim for one housecleaning task each day, and make sure that you pay attention to how your body feels. If it starts to hurt, then stop. If you do too much, then you will suffer for it long after your housework is finished.

Rheumatoid arthritis can be debilitating, and you may wonder if you will ever be able to enjoy your favorite activities. When you follow these tips, you may be able to manage it a little bit better so that you can still live an enjoyable lifestyle.

Arthritis in Dogs

Here are the facts:

o Dogs age 7 times faster than humans.

o Over half of all dogs over 7 years of age develop some form of arthritis.

o This joint condition affects up to 30% of family pets.

o Arthritis is one of the most life altering diseases affecting overall wellness and quality of life.

As responsible and loving dog owners, we have an obligation to learn as much as possible about this disease and relieve their pain of our pets. Dogs bring incredible love and joy into the lives of our families. It's also incredibly sad to watch your 4-legged friend develop an injury and/or grow older in pain. You need to watch for the subtle clues and get them some help ASAP.

What is arthritis in dogs?

Arthritis is the breakdown of cartilage that protects and covers the joint at the end of the bones. The pain, stiffness, and swelling are really not any different than arthritis in people. This disease is debilitating and can quickly turn your healthy happy dog into listless, sad, and full of pain.

Common Types of Pet Arthritis

Degenerative Joint Disease - Breakdown in cartilage and/or joints. May or may not have inflammation or swelling.

Rheumatoid Arthritis - Inflammatory condition. Bone and cartilage erode and can cause complete fixation in one or more joints.

Hip Dysplasia - Ball & joint socket did not form correctly and tissue begins to deteriorate.

Osteoarthritis - Slow and chronic causing breakdown of cartilage. Joints and bone rub causing discomfort and pain

Ostechondrosis - Happens due to inadequate (improper) diet or poor breeding

Symptoms of Arthritis in Dogs include:

o Slowing down on walks or other exercise

o Limping

o Trouble getting up and down stairs

o Not wanting to play or jump around

o Flinching or yelping when touched

o Problems laying down or getting up

Can arthritis in dogs be prevented?

Arthritis doesn't just affect older dogs. Dogs are, by nature, very active and therefore subject their bodies to tremendous physical stress. Even younger dogs have injuries that increase the likelihood of developing arthritis in dogs. An injury can lead to arthritis in dogs very quickly --- unlike humans were arthritis may not develop for several years.

Larger dogs, as well as overweight dogs, are more likely to develop arthritis because they carry around extra weight. It's important to ensure your dog is getting the proper nutrient requirements. If your pet is overweight, cut back their food intake only a little at a time until their weight is within the healthy guidelines.

Many people take supplements to protect their bodies from injury and ensure their bodies are working in top form. Dogs can benefit from supplements as well. One of the best supplements for dogs to prevent injury, as well as after arthritis has already set in, is liquid glucosamine. Glucosamine works at rebuilding cartilage and delays the further breakdown of cartilage. "Liquid" glucosamine works faster and better because it's more readily absorbed and doesn't have extra fillers like pills. Given together, Glucosamine plus MSM plus Chondroitin work great to relieve the symptoms of arthritis in dogs as well as work to rebuild the damaged cartilage. MSM acts as antioxidant to reduce joint inflammation and Chondroitin also rebuilds cartilage.

Taking care of your dog's health requires only a few proactive steps... mixed with love and your relationship is sure to last a lifetime.

How To Get Rid Of Arthritis And Rheumatism?

Rheumatism or gout is almost similar manifested only slightly differently. Arthritis is another form of rheumatism which can be treated in the same way too. The causes of which is there are obstruction in the body of acids and waste material. Wet and cold exposure increases the pains. There is enlarged and painful joints sometimes it is impossible to move them at all.

Treatment can be effective if followed the right and proper way. Avoid tea, coffee, liquors, fried potatoes, pork and bacon, soda biscuits, white flour products and cane sugar products.

These foods will not be able to rid the system of impurities. Your food should be eaten as dry as possible and well masticated so that it is thoroughly mix with saliva to help digestion. Prolonged fruit diet will obtain wonderful result.

After taking two to three weeks of fruit diet, use potassium broth, French toast, and mashed potato. Drink slippery elm tea for it is nourishing, cleansing and strengthening. Solid food must be taken sparingly, of course, after the fruit diet.

A high enema must be taken every evening for some time as they cleanse and heal. You can use white oak bark, red raspberry or alum root. A good sweat bath is good everyday while drinking two or three cups of pleurisy tea in the tub. Thorough massage after the bath is beneficial but do not massage the area where there is inflammation.

Again, it is best to remind you to eat fresh fruits and vegetables even if you are already cured of your arthritis for they build and restore our body's immune system naturally.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Arthritis - Osteoarthritis, Degenerative Disease

Osteoarthritis is identified as a degenerative joint disease. It's the most widespread form of arthritis and causes the highest disability in older adults. This disease is deterioration of tissue or cushioning that protects the joints. When this protection breaks down, bone damage and pain occurs, mostly in weight-bearing joints such as the hips and knees, but the fingers and neck can also become affected. Because osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease, it has the potential to limit the everyday movements of those in distress. Everyday tasks such as walking, bending and even brushing your teeth can be difficult. The disease is not curable, but the proper treatments can ease the pain and prevent things from getting worse. The corrosion or degeneration occurs over a period of time, causing friction between the bones, which is the primary reason for painful movement and other joint problems due to aging, injury or family history.

Even though people of any age can be a magnet for osteoarthritis for different reasons, the emergent of this disease increases with age and affect those mostly in their sixties, but the extent of the disease and difficulty may be different. Various other issues increase a person's chances of getting this disease. Injury or a broken bone near a joint, heredity of imperfect genes can be blamed for inadequate tissue protection of the joints, obesity or excess weight placing stress on crucial joints. Another risk for developing osteoarthritis is overuse or excessive bending of joints required by those in some professions or activities. The main symptoms of osteoarthritis are joint pain from inflammation, stiffness and weak muscle. These symptoms increase with the progression of the disease because of excessive activity or long periods of inactivity. Bone exaggeration can also occur in the fingers and other joints. Although some of the symptoms may not be painful, sensitivity, sporadic swelling and fluid in the joint area can also take place.

The diagnosis of osteoarthritis is accomplished by taking into consideration a combination of important issues such as your description of symptoms. The health specialist or doctor must also consider the location and pattern of pain, specific findings regarding the physical examination and x-rays to confirm how much joint damage has occurred. The doctor may also choose to examine some of the fluid found in the joint area to rule out other diseases.

Treatments for arthritis must be designed to fit the patient's specific needs. For that reason, working with your doctor to find the best treatment program for you is most important. Several things may be necessary to achieve the right solution. The treatments of osteoarthritis include medications, exercise and heat or cold compresses applied to the affected area to relieve pain. Weight control and support devices can take the pressure off stressed joints and surgery, as a last resort, may be necessary to relieve pain when other treatment options are not successful. The type of treatment will be determined by the specific needs of the patient and consideration must be given to age, the patient's overall health and severity of the condition, as well as medical history and location of the disease.

Where prolong use of medications is needed, regular checkups with your doctor is required. Exercise such as walking and cycling are activities to strengthen your muscles and reduce stress on your weight-bearing joints. However, your doctor must approve the activity that is best for you, including physical therapy.

Psoriatic Arthritis Overview

Swelling of the joints is one of the most evident symptoms related to psoriatic arthritis, causing considerable pain to victims. As well as being excruciating, the puffiness also leads to patchy skin. Because this type of arthritis is linked to psoriasis and consequently can be to blame for additional health problems all through the body, together with effects in the knees, scalp, and elbows and the development of sores on the toenails and fingers. Puffy fingers and toes are additionally usually observed in sufferers of this type of arthritis.

While scientists have come to consider that getting this type of arthritis appears to be connected to someone's living conditions and surroundings, as well as their genes, the precise reasons of this disorder are not yet completely realized by doctors. It's critical for a person who starts to become aware of indications normally linked with psoriatic arthritis to go see their physician and discover if their symptoms are associated to this illness.

Identifying this condition can be completed by a physician following a physical assessment that might entail x-rays and blood tests. These tests will permit the physician to ascertain if the cause is psoriatic arthritis or another disorder. It's better to see your physician as quickly as feasible so that you can start to remedy your symptoms appropriately.

If your physician diagnoses you with psoriatic arthritis, you'll receive a number of various treatment choices open to you. A few are easy self-help treatments, whereas others entail taking prescriptions that have been specifically intended to treat this form of arthritis.

Arthritis Treatment: Injection Therapy for Osteoarthritis of the Knee

The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis (OA). It affects almost 30 million Americans and the incidence is expected to rise with the graying of the Baby Boomers.

OA is a disease that affects the hyaline articular cartilage of joints. The exact mechanism of disease development is still being researched but there appears to be a trigger that causes a metabolic abnormality to occur. Cells, called chondrocytes, inside the cartilage begin to elaborate destructive enzymes which cause the surrounding matrix to degrade. In addition, inflammatory changes involving the synovium- the lining of the joint- contribute to further cartilage damage.

OA affects primarily weight-bearing joints such as the neck, low back, hips, and knees. I will focus on the knee.

Treatment for OA of the knee is primarily symptomatic. This involves the use of exercise, weight loss if indicated, patient education, analgesic medications, non-steroidal-anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) - either oral as well as topical, and injections.

The most common type of injection given for OA of the knee is a corticosteroid ("cortisone") injection. These are effective for reducing pain short-term and also helping to improve quadriceps muscle strength by reducing the inhibition of quadriceps reflex due to the presence of inflammation and swelling. Usually fluid is withdrawn from a swollen joint at the time of corticosteroid injection.

Corticosteroid injections are usually given to patients who are already taking oral medications such as NSAIDS. These injections may be given as often as three times a year. More often and they can actually cause more cartilage damage.

The second type of injection is hyaluronic acid. These types of injections are often referred to as viscosupplements since they are used to reduce pain but also provide a lubricating quality as well. Some preparations are derived from rooster combs and others are synthetically manufactured. There are many different formulations available. Despite claims that one product is superior to others, there is no concrete data that one preparation is superior to others.

These injections are often used as a last-ditch effort to help patients avoid having to undergo knee replacement surgery. As with corticosteroid injection, withdrawal of joint fluid always precedes injection of the viscosupplement.

Whether the injection is corticosteroid or hyaluronic acid, each needs to be administered using ultrasound needle guidance in order to ensure proper delivery of the medication to the joint space. Reports of inadequate response to these preparations probably are more related to poor injection technique rather than to the shortcoming of the medication.

How Arthritis Patients Can Use Proper Body Mechanics To Reduce Pain

Using proper body mechanics can greatly reduce the pain, stress and fatigue associated with arthritis. Therefore, paying attention to how you are lifting and moving your joints is going to be beneficial in preventing many potential problems.

By following some of these easy to apply techniques you will alleviate a great deal of the discomfort associated with arthritis.

Distribute the Load

Distributing the load of whatever you are carrying over stronger joints and a larger surface is going to reduce joint stress and prevent joint pain. You need to eliminate grasping objects tightly; like trying to turn the lid on a tightly sealed jar. These actions could cause stress to your knuckles or cause hand stiffness. Try using the palm of your hand and the strength of your forearm to reduce stress on the fingers.

If you are lifting a heavy object; remember to bend your knees and use the strength of the leg muscles and not your back. Holding the object close to you will make it easier to carry. This will lessen the stress on the joints and enable you to carry it easier.

When rising from a sitting position rest the palms of your hands flat on the arms of the chair and then push up. Use both arms to take down or hang up clothes in a closet.

To reduce strain on your hands use a sponge instead of a dishcloth. You get the water out of a sponge by pressing it with the palm of your hand instead of having to wring it out, thereby reducing pressure on sore fingers.

You can attach straps to handles which are difficult to open rather than using your hands. Simply place your forearm through the strap and pull the door open. Always use a shoulder strap to carry a heavy purse or briefcase rather than clutching it in your hand.

Change Positions

Avoid maintaining the same position for extended periods. If your job requires you to sit at a desk; it's advisable to get up to stretch from time to time to reduce joint stiffness. Changing the position of your legs while sitting also helps to prevent knee stiffness when you return to a standing position. Flex and point your toes while working at your desk.

A book holder that sits on a table or your lap is another way to free your hands. This causes less stiffness than holding the book in your hands.

Balance Work with Rest

You should plan your day and schedule frequent rest periods throughout the day to avoid fatigue. It is sensible to divide your work for the day into heavy and light tasks. If you alternate the light and the heavy duties; and take breaks in between you will prevent your body from getting over tired. Instead of working for two or three hours straight, take a ten or fifteen minute break after working for an hour.

If you have to carry several objects to another area; place them on a cart with wheels. This will lessen the load and avoid extra footsteps.

Reduce Excess Body Weight

Losing excess weight reduces fatigue and stress on the joints. Exercise is always a good way to shed extra pounds but it will need to be performed on a regular and consistent basis. If you are not currently exercising; and you choose to do so; start out slowly and work your exercise program until you reach thirty minutes per day. Try to do this every day or at least three to four times per week.

Rheumatoid Arthritis - A Real Chance of Permanent Relief!

Arthritis is a term used to describe around 100 similar diseases, these many different conditions are closely linked because of there detrimental effect on one's joint and joint area. The many guises of arthritis come with there own underlying causes and contributing factors. Although arthritis is common with age, it is clear that the disease is far from being only age related, and is reported throughout all age and social groups.

Over 50% of people nearing retirement age are thought to be effected in some way by arthritis. Arthritis or musculoskeletal disease effects a very large proportion of adults, especially those living in industrialised nations. Studies indicate that almost three quarters of all people over the age of seventy will develop symptoms of arthritis at some point, although less common arthritis can be apparent in children (Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis).

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disorder disease. RA may not be a permanent issue with many arthritics reporting periods of remission, having said that, left untreated rheumatoid arthritis will remain underlying and inevitably re-appear when triggered.

Autoimmune disease is a term used to describe a problematic metabolic disorder, in which the body's own defence system receives the wrong signal and proceeds to attack that which it normally defends. RA attacks the synovium, which is the protective lining between the joint, rheumatoid arthritis pain and information is due mainly to the thickening of the synovium.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms.

Common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include painful stiff and swollen joints, untreated and progressed cases of RA may include the deformation of joints and cartilage damage.

Symmetrical Attack of Rheumatoid arthritis.

RA is not often restricted to just one joint, many arthritics will often find themselves symmetrically effected, such as in both hands, or perhaps in both knees, rheumatoid arthritis has the ability to travel throughout one's body and is not limited to attacking only joints.

A Real Cure For Your Rheumatoid arthritis!

Rheumatoid arthritis, as with all forms of arthritis is a condition caused by the manifestation of an underlying disease, even though this may not be apparent. The problem with today's quick fix drug therapies is that they only address the symptoms of arthritis. The prolonged use of both prescribed and over the counter medication can only lead to an overall progression of RA due to the toxins these drugs leave in the body.

An autoimmune diseases is difficult to treat with drugs, due to the many different factors involved, anyone trying to treat their own RA will only be successful if they can address the following underlying problems.

* Flush the body harmful toxins.

* Gastrointestinal problems such as bacterial and fungal infections must be addressed.

* Flush the kidneys.

* Naturally remove arthritis triggers (even the ones which are not apparent).

* Keep RA inflammation under control, without using drugs.

* Expel heavy metal from the body.

* Remove excess uric acid.

* Repair damage to tissue, cell and cartilage, naturally.

* Reduce the amount of excess free radicals in the body.

* Re-build and strengthen the Immune-system.

* Restore a healthy digestive system.

* Bring body weight in line with its BMI.

* Naturally keep the joints lubricated.

This may sound difficult, how on earth could any medication tackle all of these issues ?, well the truth is, modern drug therapies fall short at tackling any of these problems effectively. In my experience, natural alternatives and simple life changes have proven to be far more effective in the treatment of RA.

I'm aware of the dim view that today's medical professionals express regarding alternative treatments for many ailments, including rheumatoid arthritis, what should perhaps be remembered is the simple fact that modern medicine owes its very existence to ancient herbal & Natural practices. Try a natural approach to your RA it could be our best option.

Osteoarthritis Back Pain

Osteoarthritis back pain is one of the most commonly diagnosed sources of chronic dorsopathy, especially in the lumbar and cervical spinal regions. Arthritis comes in many varieties ranging from normal and asymptomatic to terrible and debilitating, but the osteo variety is particularly interesting to back pain scholars. Osteoarthritic change is virtually universal in the spine of every adult human and is one of the greatest back pain scapegoats in the medical industry. It is the goal of this article to provide an objective view of this condition and how it relates to the way chronic pain is treated in the healthcare sector.

Osteoarthritis describes a condition that affects many of the joints in the body. It most commonly occurs in the hands, hips, knees, elbows, shoulders and spine, although it can strike virtually anywhere. The signs of the condition include a wearing away of the protective mechanisms in the joint capsules, as well as the growth of bone spurs called osteophytes. As the protective cartilage is worn down between bones, friction occurs, causing bone spurring to begin where one bone touches another. Spurring can be seen on diagnostic x-ray, although MRI technology will provide a far more comprehensive view of the actual joint deterioration.

All this sounds really bad, but the reality clearly shows that osteoarthritis is universal, normal and expected to experience as we get older. Most arthritis truly begins to kick in around middle age, although genetic and lifestyle factors can make it commence later or far earlier. Abnormal wear and tear on the joints can make arthritis take hold at unusually early ages in some cases. Widespread research shows that arthritis can certainly be responsible for minor discomfort and some occasional pain. However, there is no evidence linking mild to moderate arthritic change to the types of chronic back pain most commonly associated with the condition. Despite these findings, osteoarthritis continues to be the second most common back pain scapegoat, bested only by intervertebral disc concerns, such as degeneration and herniation.

When a patient complains of back pain, doctors virtually always look for a structural source on which to blame the symptoms. This is an inherent practice of Cartesian medical philosophy. The advent of advanced diagnostic imaging technologies has made it simple to look into the joints and find evidence of arthritic changes which are subsequently blamed for enacting pain. In my experience, when arthritis is found in the spine, it is almost always cited as a primary causation or partial contributor to back pain, even though there is absolutely no reason to see it as a malignant factor.

In fact, doctors rarely inform diagnosed patients of the complete picture when it comes to osteoarthritis. Here are some lesser known facts that may surprise you if you have been diagnosed with spinal pain blamed on bone spurs, facet joint changes or vertebral degeneration common to arthritic processes:

* Arthritis is found in almost every adult. Most people do not have pain, despite varying degrees of arthritic evidence. The degree of arthritic change has little or no bearing on whether a person may complain of pain or not. Many patients with minor arthritic change have severe pain, while some people with extreme conditions have no pain whatsoever.

* Regardless of whether a condition actually causes pain or not, the typical treatments used for spinal arthritis will do nothing to resolve symptoms, if indeed they are caused by the condition treated. Physical therapy, chiropractic, pharmaceutical treatment, epidural injections and a host of others will not change spinal anatomy or do anything to resolve arthritic evidence.

* Often symptoms are obviously affecting soft tissues, such as muscles or ligaments, or involve neurological tissues. This is not consistent with arthritis, although the diagnosis usually stands firm if structural evidence is found.

I hope to have provided a different view on arthritis in the spine and possibly provided the groundwork for affected patients to do more research on their own diagnoses. As a final thought, the only treatment typically effective at ridding the body of arthritic alteration is spinal surgery. Although the supposed structural reasons sourcing the pain can certainly be eliminated using invasive interventions, the facts show that back surgery is the least effective and most risky of all treatments possible. If arthritis was truly to blame for all the pain, then an objective observer would expect the exact opposite to occur.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Acupuncture For Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a very common health issue, especially for those who are above middle age. It is the gradual breaking down of the joints. As you can imagine, osteoarthritis can be rather painful for the patient. Here is how osteoarthritis arises.

Between all our joints, there is a layer of membrane, known as cartilage. When we are young, the cartilage helps facilitate movement by acting as a lubricating membrane. The cartilage helps to prevent the bones from rubbing against each other when there is movement.

However, as the body grows older, the cartilage starts to degenerate. Cartilage that is eroded can no longer act as an effective layer of protection for the bones. As a result, whenever there is movement, there will be pain experienced. In many cases, swelling (caused by inflammation) follows the soreness.

There are several causes for osteoarthritis. The disease can be caused by heredity, old age, injury, or even overuse. That is why even those in their 20s or 30s have a chance of suffering from osteoarthritis.

Someone who is suffering from osteoarthritis should seek treatment as early as possible for 2 reasons. The first reason is to prevent further damage to the cartilage. The second reason is to ease the pain, soreness and swelling that accompany osteoarthritis.

As inflammation using occurs around the affected joints, there is a need to treat the inflammation. Many western physicians like to prescribe anti-inflammation drugs that are steroids based. However, there are side effects to such drugs. In fact, recent studies have shown that repeated use of such drugs can induce osteoarthritis, thus making the situation even worse. Therefore, in years, doctors from all around the world have been looking at non-steroid ways to treat osteoarthritis.

One way to treat osteoarthritis is through acupuncture, and the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIMs). A controlled clinical trial has shown that 70% of the patients experienced pain relief right after the acupuncture treatment.

Acupuncture is not a new discovery. It originated in the East, and many Western doctors are learning to adopt this ancient treatment method. It involves using thin needles to stimulate the pressure points in the body. The Chinese believe that the body has over 2000 pressure points. When the energy (Chi) in the body is balanced, the body will heal automatically. Thus, the main goal of applying acupuncture is to stimulate these pressure points so that the obstructions can be cleared and the energy can flow easily.

In the Western world, these pressure points are part of the central nervous system. When stimulated, special chemicals are such as neurotransmitters and hormones are released, helping the body to heal.

By using acupuncture to help treat osteoarthritis, there is less reliance of steroid based medication. The treatment helps to relief pain quickly for the patient, and allow the affected joints to heal gradually and naturally.

Is Aromatherapy Effective for Arthritis?

Ever since Marcel Proust wrote about the ability to transport one's emotions via smells in Remembrances of Things Past, the use of olfaction (smelling) stimulators has fascinated many people, including physicians.

One type of alternative medical treatment is aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is the use of essential plant oils either massaged into the skin, added to bath water, inhaled directly or diffused into the surrounding environment.

More conventional physicians are also beginning to look into the medical properties of aromatherapy in the treatment of diseases. There are more than 200 oils, which are often used in combination to treat different problems, including headaches and insomnia.

The essential plant oils are obtained from the flowers, leaves, stems, buds, branches, or roots. The oils are extracted through a variety of methods such as steam distillation or cold-pressing.

When an essential oil is inhaled, the molecules enter the nose and stimulate the limbic system of the brain. The limbic system influences emotions and memories and is complexly linked to other areas such as the adrenal glands, pituitary gland, and hypothalamus. Through these connections, it is possible to regulate heart rate, blood pressure, stress, memory, hormone balance, and breathing. The essential oils used in aroma therapy are then theoretically able to have physiologic effects that may alter emotions or pain perception.

Essential oils can be toxic when taken internally so they should only be administered under the guidance of a qualified professional.

Aromatherapy blends for the treatment of arthritis are usually made from pure essential oils, but also from hydrosols and -- more recently -- phytols. For application to the skin during massage they need to be mixed with vegetable oil, a cream base or a carrier lotion. Essential oils must always be used diluted when applied to the skin. A dilution of 3% essential oils in 97% base is generally regarded as very effective and safe.

Examples of some oils which have been used to treat arthritis include:
Benzoin, Chamomile, Camphor, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Ginger, Juniper, Lavender, Hyssop, and Rosemary.

Few well-controlled studies have been done to formally test aromatherapy in arthritis. One recent uncontrolled observation was made by an orthopedic surgeon in Japan.

Dr. Nobumasa Shiba, director of orthopedic surgery at the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Hospital, became interested in aromatherapy as an alternative treatment for osteoarthritis in knee joints, which occurs when the cartilage in the joint wears away. About 1 million people in Japan have the degenerative condition.

To test the effectiveness and safety of aromatherapy for patients, Shiba carried out an experiment on a group of patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. Thirty-six patients, aged 40 or older who had had physical symptoms for more than three months, were entered into the uncontrolled trial.

The thirty-six patients massaged lavender oil, effective for pain, and rosemary camphor oil, to improve circulation, into their knees in the morning and evening for two weeks.

More than 75 per cent of the patients said their symptoms, including pain, had lessened.

The uncontrolled nature of this study obviously makes interpretation suspect.

A form of aromatherapy used by thousands of people in the United States on a daily basis are menthol-based topical arthritis rubs.

Aromatherapy needs to be studied more intensely before it can be formally recommended as a standard treatment for arthritis. It does seem to help with symptoms in some people. There is no evidence it has any effect on slowing the progression of arthritis.

The Important Facts That Everyone Should Know About Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment

If you suffer with aches and pains that seem to persist and intensify, stiffness in your joints such as when you sit, stand, or use your hands, joints that are swollen and painful or inflamed, and other symptoms like these, then it could be that you are suffering with rheumatoid arthritis.

Of course, determining whether this is the case or not will require a medical professional. However, if you find that your aches and pains tend to worsen depending on the weather, you can count yourself along with more than 80 million people in the US, Australia, and England who go through the same thing.

Unfortunately for most of these people, they will come to the decision that this is simply the way things are. They will resign themselves to a life of pain and discomfort. What they do not know is that, over time, the pain will get worse, as will the other associated symptoms, making this a very difficult and debilitating condition to live with.

What rheumatoid arthritis treatment is known to be effective?

If you have decided that you refuse to simply accept the pain, and you want to do something about it, look no further than the green-lipped mussel found in the waters off the coast of New Zealand. Most of us know that nature has the answer for many of life's ailments and other health issues. Many of us have benefitted from the medicines that are derived from nature. Homeopathic medicine has long been the choice of many over conventional drugs, because they are natural and safe. Natural remedies also do not produce any unwanted or unpleasant side effects.

Why the green-lipped mussel?

This New Zealand mussel will not only help your discomfort that results from the arthritis. Your skin, immune system, and your nervous system will also benefit.

But the question is why?

The green-lipped mussel happens to be a complete food. Even more astounding is the fact that the minerals that the mussel contains are very similar to the minerals one would find in a healthy human being. Of course there is more to it but space does not permit too much detail here.

Should you use a product that contains the green-lipped mussel?

The answer is a resounding 'Yes!' if the research is anything to go by. However, whether you choose a product that contains this intriguing ingredient, or some other type of treatment, be sure to give the homeopathic avenue serious consideration. While we have a lot to thank the world of science for, the fact remains is that medications produce side effects. Also, while a medication might benefit you in one way, it might be doing damage to another part of your body.

"The green-lipped mussel is a complete food that aids in the relief of arthritic pain and discomfort."

Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment and Cure

Most people, especially doctors, will tell you that there is no cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis. Yet, what if I were to tell you that scientific studies conducted over the past 30 years have shown that hundreds - YES hundreds - of people have been able to get off all medications and control their pain and inflammation using only dietary methods alone?

Well not only have I studied the scientific literature and seen these papers first hand, but I have used what I have learned and applied it to myself to completely eliminate my own Rheumatoid Arthritis. I want to share with you below the essential things that need to happen if you are to ever eliminate Rheumatoid Arthritis to restore faith to those who are suffering and who are seeking some serious results.

1. Believe that it can be done.

If you remain skeptical about there being a cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis then you will never be able to overcome the disease. Faith is required that this is possible, and faith is gained by seeing others who have done it.

2. Discipline is required

Nothing of great value is ever achieved without effort. However, we have two types of pain in our lives - the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. I know which one I prefer, and I'm sure most people would opt for the pain of discipline also if they were thoroughly convinced of the effectiveness of an alternative path.

3. A diet change is required

Although overly-academic people will tell you there is little to no link between RA and diet they should be ignored like any ill-informed person should. Rheumatologists are not taught nutrition and rarely does a Rheumatologist ever actually know anything about the disease first-hand. After suffering for 5 years with RA, I know that it's like a living hell and that most people with RA would do anything it takes to cure the disease if only they had the right information.

Well, a dietary change is required because Rheumatoid Arthritis stems from an underlying poor digestive system. A 'leaky gut', a depleted intestinal mucosa, an overgrowth of candida and 'bad bacteria' and and over acidic body all contribute to the autoimmune attack on the joints. This is coupled with food sensitivities, meaning that several foods will cause a worsening of symptoms for sufferers of RA. If you don't believe me, don't eat for 3 days. Just drink vegetable juice (cucumber and celery only) and watch most of your pain disappear. I'm not kidding.

4. Animal products cause the most pain

Food sensitivities tend to trigger an autoimmune response up to 48 hours after eating. Thus, it is tough to work out which foods are causing the inflammation in each person. However, as a general rule, animal products tend to cause the most long-term problems for RA sufferers because animal products cause each of the intestinal disorders outlined in bullet point 3.

In addition to animal products, cereals and soy products are also recorded as being the most common allergens for people with Rheumatoid Arthritis.

5. The best diet is a low-fat, sugar-free, plant-based diet with lots of leafy greens

What does this kind of diet look like? Buckwheat, Quinoa, Amaranth, Brown Rice, Sweet Potatoes and Lentils and Beans of all types. These heal the intestinal environment. Leafy greens such as Romaine Lettuce, mixed greens, baby spinach and so on are extremely alkalising and detoxing for the body and also aid in the digestive process when eaten with the meal (taking pressure off an already compromised gut).

6. It takes time

It took me 2 months of eating like this to get of my 20mg/week of Methotrexate and I've been drug free ever since. As long as I eat as per above I get no joint inflammation and my CRP blood reading reads less that 3mg (well inside normal limits) month on month. If you have had RA for more than 10 years it might take longer. The body can only heal at the pace that nature allows - but healing is healing, and when you're inflicted with RA then healing is not a word you hear very often so you take what you can get.

Clint Paddison

Previous Sufferer and author of the ultimate Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment 'Clint's Cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis'

MBST Therapy

Some of the most chronic conditions that we get include Osteoarthritis and Osteoporosis. These are degenerative conditions, one affects the bones and the other the joints. Current treatments focus on pain management but there is an alternative.

MBST therapy or magnetic resonance therapy uses the therapeutic effects of magnetic fields. It was discovered that patients with degenerative joint disease and bone mineral density loss showed improvements after having medical scans. It was found that the magnetic fields generated during magnetic resonance imaging had positive effects on the body.

Much research and many years later a specific EM field technology in the form of MBST was developed to target these two previously untreatable conditions. It works by acting on the bodies natural ability to heal itself. Our natural metabolic processes are partly controlled by EM fields.

This technology acts on nuclear spin, this is not anything to do with radiation but the nucleus of cells in our body. We can positively affect the cells in our body with electromagnetic fields that have positive therapeutic effect.

In particular for patients with Osteoarthritis this technology has been proven to regenerate cartilage in the targeted joints. This has the effect of reducing or eliminating the pain associated with cartilage loss. It also increases the patients mobility that was previously limited by the condition.

For Osteoporosis or bone loss the treatment increases bone density. Treatments have be proven to increase bone density and mass whilst significantly reducing pain.

This type of magnetic resonance therapy should not be confused with magnetic therapy. This is a treatment that is developed solely by MedTec in Germany.

Treatments are administered through a machine akin to an MRI scanner. As with imaging scanners there are no side effects and the treatments can be carried out fully clothed and take no more than about an hour per session. Depending on the condition up to 9 sessions may be necessary.

Prior to treatment you will have to be checked for contraindications. Patients with auto immune disease, cancer or who are pregnant cannot be treated. Treatments can be targeted to specific regions such as the spine, wrists, ankles, knees, hips and neck.

There has been many medical studies proving this therapy. Most of the studies are German based but carried out by renowned institutes, universities and medical establishments. In the UK the treatments are relatively new but to date tens of thousands of patients have been treated with MBST therapy.

Get Rid Of Arthritis Pain Forever

I know the secret to getting rid of arthritis pain forever and it is not taking drugs. A few years ago I accidentally discovered how to rid one's self of arthritis pain, naturally. Osteoarthritis affects joints in a different way depending on their location in the body, causing various symptoms. Arthritis pain can be experienced whenever a stiff or swollen joint is used. The first step when looking for solutions to an arthritis pain problem is to understand how arthritis works.

Collagen is the essential protein in cartilage; it forms a mesh to give support and flexibility to the joint. The combination of the collagen meshwork and high water content tightly bound by proteoglycans, creates a resilient, slippery pad in the joint, which resists the compression between bones during muscle movement. Cartilage contains a high percentage of water, but it decreases with age.

Most experts now believe that osteoarthritis results from a genetic susceptibility that causes a biologic response to injuries to the joint, which leads to progressive deterioration of cartilage. Injuries sometimes can be the start in the arthritic disease process; osteoarthritis can develop years later even after a single traumatic injury to a joint or near a joint. The cause of arthritis (osteoarthritis) and the factors leading to the deterioration of cartilage in osteoarthritis is still not understood.

Making a ginger tea, by adding a thin slice or two of fresh gingerroot to hot water, is helpful to many people I know. A study in Great Britain touted the beneficial effects of cod liver oil on osteoarthritis; relieving pain and stiffness, and reversing the destruction of joint cartilage within 24 hours. For snacks, choose raw nuts without salt instead of lifeless roasted nuts.

Natural treatment for arthritis is usually a better choice because it's non-invasive to the body. One natural treatment method involves avoiding all inflammatory foods. Dried Montmorency tart cherries seem to be helpful for arthritis pain also.

If you really want to get rid of your arthritis pain forever it may take a radical change in your diet and an ongoing commitment. Keep in mind, if you take a joint supplement it should help do three things -- build cartilage, relieve everyday joint pain, and enhance your flexibility and movement.

Make smoothies with fruit only using a base of two bananas, adding a cup of frozen or fresh blueberries and mango chunks or substitute any other fruit and add an energy boost of two tablespoons of coconut oil; add one or two leaves of kale for another highly nutritional boost -- no one will ever know. I eat a diet of living foods (fruits, raw veggies, raw nuts and raw seeds) to relieve my arthritis pain and this should be tried for at least 30 days, thus eliminating any foods that might be culprits.

There are a number of exercises which can benefit arthritis sufferers regardless of how much restriction of movement there is. Exercise your affected joints every day, to keep them flexible. If you have pain and swelling in your fingers, try squeezing Thera-putty made for this purpose or exercising with two Chinese chime balls. Exercise in a heated pool; it will help reduce the pressure on your joints and the heat will help you loosen those joints.

Sign up for water aerobics classes at your local community center. Even the lightest exercise can go a long way to maintaining your joint mobility and overall health. Important exercises for arthritis are range-of-motion exercises, isometrics, and some weight bearing exercises.

Once you become more informed about arthritis you'll be able to plan an arthritis treatment program, natural or conventional or a combination of both. At the very least, understand what the side effects and adverse reactions are for any drug you take. Only you know which treatment option is best for you.

Once you understand the facts about arthritis, possible causes and treatment approaches you can take, you'll be on your way to recovery and pain will disappear. Arthritis pain relief is the ultimate goal - understanding arthritis is a good way to get there. Changing your diet to predominately fruits and raw veggies, like I did, can turn your arthritis pain around almost overnight.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Arthritis Types - Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid And Gout

Arthritis is the inflammation of the joint in your body. Mostly, old people suffer from arthritis due to the nature of wear and tear of the joints. There are actually more than 100 types of arthritis known and diagnosed in the world. But this article will cover the 3 major ones that are suffered by most people.


Osteoarthritis happens when your cartilage breaks down faster than your body can repair it. Cartilage is the "cushioning" that exists in your joints to absorb stress to the joints. When the cartilage wears down, your bones' ends can rub each other. This experience is very painful when it happens. When bone and bone collides, osteoarthritis happens.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)

RA is a result of autoimmune disorder. What is an autoimmune disorder? It is the consequence of the body destroying its own cells instead of protecting it. In this case, it causes chronic inflammation in which your own immune system attacks your own joints. When the inflammation happens, you feel very painful when you try to move your joints.

Gout arthritis

Gout is also known as metabolic arthritis. It is caused by the chemical uric acid, a byproduct of protein breakdown. What happens is the uric acid gets deposited into the articular cartilage of joints and the surrounding tissues. It is common to see the big toe getting affected by gout, making the person who has it very difficult to walk. It can also affect other joints like the ankle, heel, knee, wrist, elbow, fingers and backbone.

Gouty Arthritis Treatment and Causes

Gouty arthritis is also known as gout. This article is going to detail the top gouty arthritis treatment methods, as well as some of the causes.

First, however, an overview of gout is necessary. Many people do not realize what it is and thus may not even be sure that they have it. It is a classically misunderstood problem.

Gout is typically characterized by attacks wherein there is a burning kind of pain, a stiffness, and a swelling within certain joints.

The attacks will continue occurring until the gout itself gets properly treated. If left untreated, gout can cause serious harm to the tendons, joints, and various other tissues in the body. Generally, men have gout more often than women.

People who are overweight have a higher chance of getting gout. The same goes if you tend to drink a lot of alcohol, or eat high quantities of fish and meat which have a high purine content.

There are even certain medications, like diuretics, which can cause gout in some people.

Usually, the big toe is where the symptoms of gout which most often occur. The big toe may become tender, it may swell, take on redness, and be the victim of sharp pains.

Other times, gout pains occur in the feet, the ankles, or even the knees. An attack may last for several days or it can go on for weeks.

A physical exam will be done to diagnose gout. Sometimes, fluids from the joints are taken and checked for uric acid crystals.

An abundance of uric acid within the blood is the primary cause for gout. As such, blood tests are also done to diagnose the problem.

Quite often, the treatment of gout can consist of a shot of a medicine called corticosteroid. Sometimes, one or more different medications are prescribed.

As the symptoms begin to lessen, the dose will gradually decrease as well. If the treatment begins quickly, the gout patient will begin to feel relief within twenty four hours.

Otherwise, you can rest the joint which is causing you the most pain. Over the counter anti inflammatory medications can be beneficial as well. However, you should not take aspirin.

It can cause the level of uric acid in your blood to get higher. You also want to manage your diet and stay away from the aforementioned foods whenever possible.

Cut down the amount of alcohol you drink. Make sure you are getting all the healthy nutrients you need.

Arthritis Treatment: What Is Hemochromatosis and What Kind of Arthritis Does It Cause?

Hemochromatosis, or as it is often referred to as hereditary hemochromatosis, is due to a mutation in a gene that controls the amount of iron absorbed from the intestine.

The gene mutated with hereditary hemochromatosis is called HFE. Each parent contributes the HFE gene. The HFE gene has two common mutations, C282Y and H63D.

If a patient inherits two mutated HFE genes, the likelihood is very high, they will get hemochromatosis.

If one abnormal gene is inherited, the likelihood is the patient won't develop hemochromatosis.

Still the amount of iron absorbed from the intestine may be a bit higher than normal and the mutated gene can be passed on to children.

Genetic testing can detect mutations in the HFE gene.

Normally, about 10 per cent of iron is absorbed from the gut. There is a balance the body establishes so that iron absorption is controlled by iron loss.

In people with hemochromatosis, the amount of iron absorbed can be 20-30 per cent making it impossible for the body to get rid of enough iron. Iron accumulates in various organs including the liver, heart, pancreas, and joints.

Risk factors for contracting hemochromatosis are: genetics, family history, Northern European extraction, and male gender. After menopause, women tend to have an increased incidence as well. It appears that menstruation may be protective premenopausal. Symptoms include fatigue, joint aches and pains, impotence, loss of menses, and abdominal pain.

Diagnosis can be established through screening blood tests such as serum transferrin saturation and serum ferritin.

Liver biopsy is definitive.

Genetic analysis can detect the HFE mutation.

Complications of hemochromatosis include cirrhosis of the liver, heart abnormalities such as rhythm abnormalities and congestive heart failure, as well as thyroid deficiency, diabetes and arthritis. Patients develop discoloration of the skin also.

Arthritis is present in 80 per cent of people with hemochromatosis.

The arthritis is characterized by involvement of the hands, wrists, shoulders, hips, and knees. People with this type of arthritis almost always have calcium pyrophosphate deposits in the affected joints. The arthritis is usually not symmetric. It can mimic osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

The treatment for this type of arthritis is identical to treatment for other patients who have calcium pyrophosphate arthritis.

Treatment of hemochromatosis involves phlebotomy as well as avoidance of iron-containing foods, vitamin C which enhances iron absorption, alcohol, as well as raw seafood. The latter contains potentially harmful bacteria that can cause life-threatening complications in patients with hemochromatosis.