Saturday, June 22, 2013

Managing Arthritis In Beagles

As Beagles grow older, it is undeniably true that the health deteriorates too. Whether they are well-taken cared of or not, there is always a risk of developing diseases as dogs age. But sometimes, disease that usually affects older dogs can also be seen in young ones. One of these diseases is the canine arthritis.

Just like any other organs and systems in the body, the skeletal system plays an important role in promoting normal health condition among dogs. It is composed of bones, cartilage and ligaments. These organs are responsible in providing the body with framework, protecting the internal organs and in providing a full range of motion. When one of these bones or joints is damaged, the dog's normal activity will surely be affected.

Canine arthritis occurs when there is an inflammation in the joints of a dog. Dogs of all sizes, breeds and ages can develop arthritis though older dogs are more prone to this disease. Canine arthritis is categorized into two; degenerative joint disease and inflammatory joint disease.

Degenerative joint disease, also called osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that protects the bones that make up the joint is damaged. Cartilage is damaged when there is a normal stress on abnormal joints or abnormal stress on normal joints. Degenerative joint disease is further subdivided into two; primary and secondary. Primary degenerative disease has no known cause. On the other hand, secondary disease can be the result of hip dysplasia, patella luxation (loose kneecap), osteochondritis dissecans, trauma and ruptured cruciate (knee) ligaments.

Another type of canine arthritis is inflammatory joint disease. Inflammatory joint disease can be caused either by infection or immune-mediated diseases. This type of arthritis usually affects multiple joints and is accompanied by fever, anorexia and all-over stiffness. Inflammatory joint disease is further subdivided into two; infectious and immune-mediated diseases. Infectious disease can be caused by bacteria while immune-mediated disease is caused by weakness in the immune system. This type of arthritis can also be hereditary.

Signs of arthritis in Beagles include reluctance to walk, climb stairs, jump or play. Gradual limping and swelling around a joint can also be seen. Your dog will also exhibit tenderness when flexing a joint and may hold its breath or stop panting when an affected joint is used. Decrease in appetite is also present in canine arthritis.

Severe arthritis can be treated usually through surgery. But there are some cases when surgery is not needed anymore. Non-surgical treatment of arthritis includes painkillers, exercise, rest and diet. Dog owners should carefully read the product label of dog foods to check its content. But the amount of food and frequency of feeding should be regulated as well to prevent obesity. Exercise is another step to prevent obesity in dogs. But Beagles with arthritis should only have limited and gentle exercise. They should also be restricted from doing strenuous activities.

How to Get Arthritis Pain Relief!

Arthritis Pain?

Arthritis Pain? - are your joints red, burning, swollen and so stiff you don't want to move... that's what those who suffer from arthritis experience on a daily basis. If you know what this feels like, you are probably one of the 46 million Americans (that's 1 out of every 5 people) that are living with arthritis every day. To better understand how to get relief from this debilitating disease we need to dive deeper into its root cause.

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis actually means joint (arthr) inflammation (itis). Arthritis can be used to define a group of more than 100 rheumatic diseases and other conditions that can cause pain, stiffness and swelling in the joints or any part of your body.

Additionally, it can damage the joint cartilage which can lead to joint weakness, instability and visible deformities that can interfere and, in severe cases, limit a person's ability to perform most basic daily tasks such as walking, climbing stairs, washing dishes or brushing your teeth.

Arthritis can affect anyone regardless of age and most commonly affects joints in the knees, hips, hands and spine. If left undiagnosed and not treated properly, arthritis can cause irreversible damage to the joints, bones, organs, and skin. Not to mention dramatically impair your quality of life.

Arthritis-related conditions primarily affect the muscles and the bones but it is also considered to be systemic, affecting the whole body. Arthritis can cause damage to any bodily organ or system, including the lungs, kidneys, blood vessels, skin and even the heart.

The Arthritis Foundation sites two independent studies (Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota) both of which prove that the inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis is linked to heart disease and an increased risk of early death.

Types of arthritis which are associated with inflammation include:

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Gout

  • Tendinitis

  • Bursitis

  • Polymyalgia Rheumatica

Recent medical studies have found that inflammation is always present before the various diseases manifest, and is in fact the root cause of almost every disease suffered by human beings! Inflammation has become the new "The New Medical Bad Guy".

It then follows that if all the disorders have inflammation as their root cause, shouldn't you begin by reducing the inflammation?

No one knows the exact cause of arthritis but there are certain risk factors to keep in mind:

  • Genetics - likely to contribute to risk but no one knows how much.

  • Age - the older you are the more at risk you become

  • Weight - maintaining a healthy weight will ease the load on the joints.

  • Previous Injury - major injuries are likely to contribute to risk.

  • Occupational Hazards - repetitive, high demand jobs increase risk.

  • Illness or infection - an infection in the joint or gout can lead to arthritis.

  • Certain Sports - high level, high demand sports can contribute to arthritis (however, general exercise is good).

What we do know is that when you have arthritis, your immune system goes into over-drive and causes the joints to swell and become inflamed. Therefore, treating the inflammation becomes the key in managing the pain and discomfort associated with this condition. Sadly enough, the Arthritis Foundation reports that half of all Americans with arthritis don't believe anything can be done to help them get arthritis pain relief.

You may be in that situation yourself, having thrown your hands up in frustration and simply decided to live with your pain. The good news is that by reducing the inflammation you can significantly ease the painful symptoms associated with arthritis.

A few ways to reduce your inflammation and get arthritis pain relief:

  • Exercise/Weightloss - Exercise is essential, but less weight equals less stress on joints.

  • Diet - Eat plenty of vegetables, fruits and whole foods; limit sugars, gluten and all processed foods.

  • Rest - a good balance between rest and activity is the key to joint health.

  • Over-the-counter and prescription medications - while these may provide temporary relief by masking the pain they do not always get to the root of the problem - inflammation. They can also have serious side effects, especially with long-term use.

  • Natural anti-inflammatory supplements - probably the most promising natural approach to reducing inflammation in a long while. We recommend looking for supplements containing systemic enzymes and all-natural herbal ingredients.

By taking these simple steps to reduce inflammation you will be well on your way to healing your arthritic condition and it's devastating effects on your mind and body.

Everyone should strive to achieve a healthy and active lifestyle for optimal well-being.

Rheumatoid Arthritis, Linked to Food Allergy & Intolerances

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory joint disease (Autoimmune disease) that is characterised by daily pain, stiffness and fatigue which, in turn, limits activities of daily living. Rheumatoid arthritis, a crippling disease that affects approximately 2-3% of the world's population, and usually starts between the ages of 20-40 years and is more common in women, affecting them 3 times more often than men. Some forms of the disease can occur in children. Rheumatoid arthritis affects about 1 percent of our population and at least two million Americans have definite or classical rheumatoid arthritis. It is a much more devastating illness than previously appreciated.

Rheumatoid arthritis occurs in all races and ethnic groups. Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory illness that affects the joints and because it is "systemic" (affecting the entire body), it can affect other parts of the body as well. Rheumatoid arthritis treatment includes painkillers and medicines to reduce inflammation and prevent the disease's progression.

Medications include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), biological response modifiers, and corticosteroids. Non-drug treatments include physical therapy; modified exercise programs; devices such as canes, special shoes, and splints (rigid supports that keep a part of the body from moving while it heals); and lifestyle changes--such as balancing activity with rest, eating a healthy diet, and reducing stress.

Medicines that manage your immune system (called Immuno-suppressants) can also be used to fight RA. When you have RA, your immune system is out of control.

Patients with these diseases have antibodies in their blood which target their own body tissues, where they can be associated with inflammation.

Commonly affected joints include those in the hands, wrists, feet, ankles, elbows, shoulders, hips, knees and neck. Rheumatoid arthritis varies from person to person, but most cases are chronic, meaning they never go away. Some people have mild or moderate disease, with flares (periods of worsening symptoms) and remissions.

Rheumatoid arthritis is also considered a risk factor for a condition called osteoporosis in which a portion of bone loses its blood supply and begins to die. In RA, multiple joints are usually, but not always, affected in a symmetrical pattern (affecting both sides of the body at the same time, for example both hands might be affected).

Patients should always consult with their doctor about the choice of medication. Medicines must be used carefully and patients should tell their doctors about any changes that occur. Patients may not notice that their rheumatoid arthritis is affecting their spinal cord because this disease also causes arthritis in the fingers, hands, and hips at the same time.

Painful arthritis in some joints can in some cases mask the symptoms of further damage, such as spinal cord compression.

Many foods are known to help one's RA, while many others will actually contribute to the disease or trigger the symptoms, there are far to many to list here, however one of the most important foods to cut out of your diet, would be white flower, and anything made with white flour.

Rheumatoid Arthritis linked to food allergy & intolerance's

Bad foods for arthritis tend to contain chemicals called inflammatory prostaglandins, which can be directly responsible for triggering some arthritis conditions. Rheumatoid arthritis in particular is closely linked to food allergy & intolerance's. Most sufferers have been shown to greatly improve when they cut out certain foods or restrict their diet, which eliminates the foods to which they are allergic.

Foods all Arthritics should avoid;

2.Fat & all fatty foods
3.Fried food
4.Additives and preservatives

Foods which should be treated with caution;

The foods which cause the most confusion amongst nutritionists and arthritis professionals are those referred to as from the 'nightshade family'

1.Potatoes (especially when green and sprouting)
2.Tomatoes (especially when green)
3.Hot peppers
4.Sweet peppers

Good and beneficial foods;

1.Brown rice
2.Sweet potatoes
6.Oily fish

This is just a small list of good and bad foods, which are known to influence arthritis. Diet and natural treatments for arthritis are not necessarily the fastest remedies. This is because they sometimes have to cure a basic imbalance in the body which may take up to a few weeks, however natural practices do actually tackle the underlying contributing factor of one's RA and not just the symptoms.

Some natural arthritis treatment recommend a short period of fasting for a day or two, even for healthy people. There have been claims that fasting is effective to treat many conditions, arthritis being one of them.

Natural practices could be the answer to one's RA,and shouldn't be discounted.

Types Of Arthritis - Three Most Common Types And Other Types Of Arthritis

Arthritis covers a broad spectrum of disease. To many, the term arthritis means pain and inflammation of the joints - but, arthritis is a much more complex medical condition. The term arthritis comes from the Latin phrase, "arth" meaning joint and "it is" meaning inflammation. There are over 100 illnesses associated with the term arthritis. Arthritis can range from something as simple as tendonitis to something as chronic as rheumatoid arthritis.

Three Most Common Types of Arthritis

  • Osteoarthritis - the most common type of arthritis. This degenerative joint disease affects over 16 million Americans. This form of arthritis is caused when the cartilage surrounding the ends of the bones begins to degenerate and the joints are no longer cushioned. This caused the joints to rub together and in severe cases, you can hear the bones grating against one another. At the onset of osteoarthritis, the symptoms are usually mild and consist of pain and stiffness of the joints. As the disease progresses, inflammation and loss of motion can occur. In some severe cases, deformity can occur if the grinding joints wear one side of the joint more than the other.

  • Rheumatoid arthritis - This is the second most common type of arthritis and the most severe. Symptoms usually begin appearing between the ages of 25 and 50 - however, children and senior citizens can experience the onset of this disease. Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common type of inflammatory arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is considered an autoimmune disease because factors other than wear and tear of cartilage can cause the disease and the disease can affect other organs, such as the eyes, lungs, and heart.
Rheumatoid arthritis usually affects the joints on both sides of the body - for instance, both hands will be affected, both wrists will be affected, and both legs will be affected. The most common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are pain, stiffness, swelling, redness of the skin, fatigue, weight loss, and low-grade fever. Not only affecting the joints, rheumatoid arthritis can give you an overall feeling of sickness. Rheumatoid arthritis can be a debilitating disease, however patients can experience periods of remission in which the symptoms disappear and they can lead a normal life.

  • Fibromyalgia - This is a type of arthritis that does not directly affect the joints. Rather, the inflammation and pain affect the muscles, ligaments, tendons, and soft tissues under the skin. Many patients have tender spots under the skin that are painful when any type of pressure is applied. The symptoms for Fibromyalgia include deep muscle pain, fatigue, sleeplessness, and depression. Symptoms may come and go, but the disease is long term and chronic.

Other Types of Arthritis

  • Anklyosing Spondylitis - a chronic, inflammatory disease that affects the spine. The common symptoms include lower back pain and stiffness that lasts for more than a period of three months, difficulty sleeping, fatigue, weight loss, and low-grade fever.

  • Gout - this disease usually affects the joints of the big toe, but can extend to the ankles, heels, knees, wrists, fingers, and elbow. The common symptoms are tenderness, pain, redness, warmth, and swelling of the affected joint.

  • Infectious Arthritis - this type of arthritis is caused by an infection, and can be caused by both bacterial and viral infections. The onset of infectious arthritis is sudden and the symptoms include swelling of the joint, soreness, warmth, leakage of tissue fluid, fever, and chills.

  • Cervical arthritis - this type of arthritis affects the upper back and can cause pain in the neck and arms. Cervical arthritis is caused when the cartilage protecting the discs that support the neck deteriorate. The most common symptom of cervical arthritis is chronic neck pain, but can include loss of balance, headaches, muscle weakness, and stiffness.

  • Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis - this inflammatory arthritis affects children. The most common symptoms of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis are swelling, pain, and stiffness in joints. The symptoms are usually worse in children upon waking in the morning and after a nap. There is no known reason for the onset of arthritis in children and, unlike rheumatoid arthritis in adults, children sometimes outgrow the disease and the symptoms disappear.

These are just some of the many types of arthritis. In general terms, arthritis is any disease that involves inflammation - swelling and pain of the joints or muscles. If you suspect that you suffer from arthritis, you should consult your physician to determine the type of arthritis and learn what treatments are available.

Psoriasis Is Of Unknown Origin

More than 4.5 million United States citizens of adult age are affected with psoriasis. There is no known origin of this disease. However, there are about 150,000 more cases detected each year. People develop this condition during different stages of their life. Forty percent of those who develop it do so before they are 20 years old. Then percent were diagnosed as having the illness before they turned 10 years old.

As for as family history is concerned, approximately 35% of people who have psoriasis have one or more family members who have the condition. Twenty-eight percent of them have one parent who is affected. Sixty-eight of them have both parents who have psoriasis.

People who have psoriasis which is only mild to moderate can benefit from regularly sunbathing yp to the extent that they begin to tan. It is recommended that the person cover the areas of their body with clothing or sunscreen so that the area will not be exposed directly to the sun. Sunburn has been known to cause skin cancer. It can cause psoriasis to become even worse.

A vacation or long stay in a sunny area of the world has been known to make a remarkable improvement in condition.

Some studies show that psoriatic arthritis affects approximately a million people through out the United States and that about five to ten percent of these people will have some disability because of it. Psoriatic arthritis will generally develop in those thirty to fifty years old. All people who have his don't necessarily end up with psoriasis.

During research there have been genes identified which cause psoriasis. These kinds of genes determine the way someone's immune system will react. The chance increases when there is already a relative who has psoriasis. Some of the conditions which start the development of the condition are strep infection, stress, sunburn, and particular medications.

The effects of having to live with this chronic condition can be both mentally and physically challenging. Physical challenges such as soreness, itching, and cracking skin, along with bleeding skin are expected of psoriasis. The inability to perform certain jobs is common with this type of disorder. Frustration generally sets in causing matters to be worse.

According to the National Psoriasis Foundation due to psoriasis 56 million work hours are lost every year. Also the moderate form of the disease has caused many people to alter or stop their normal activities, instead they have been replaced by stress, low self-esteem, loneliness and anxiety, and some even become suicidal.

There are treatments available, as of late, which are helping to improve the quality of life for those who suffer from psoriasis. If you are developing dry and itchy skin, it can be most uncomfortable. Try to soak your body in a warm bath for around 15 minutes. When you are finished with that, you should apply some salicylic acid which is used to remove scaly dried skin and provides both moisture and topical prescription medication. Apply a thick emollient such as Vaseline.

Fish Oil Osteoarthritis Benefits - Could You Benefit From Taking a Fish Oil For Osteoarthritis?

Do you know about all the fish oil osteoarthritis benefits? If not, this article will educate you about them so you can decide if taking fish oil for osteoarthritis is right for you.

There has been a lot of studies done investigating the use of omega-3 fatty acid supplements for inflammatory joint conditions. Most of them have focused on rheumatoid arthritis, but there have been a bunch done on other types of arthritis- including osteoarthritis.

Most of the test that have been conducted concluded that omega-3 fatty acid supplements reduce tenderness in the joint and decrease morning sickness. In fact, prescription medication may be lowered while taking this kind of supplement.

As far as fish oil osteoarthritis goes, lab studies suggest that having a diet (or dietary supplement) rich in omega-3 fatty acids and low in inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids may benefit people with osteoarthritis and other inflammatory disorders.

Unfortunately, the typical American diet consists of 14-25 times MORE omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids. This very well may be a big reason why there's been such a rise in inflammatory disorders in the United States.

Taking an omega-3 fatty acid dietary supplement, you can make sure that you have a healthy balance of omega-3s and omega-6s in your body (more omega-3s than omega-6s).

Test tube studies have also examined cells containing cartilage and found that omega-3 fatty acids decrease inflammation and reduce the activity of the enzymes that destroy and break down cartilage. This is a HUGE fish oil osteoarthritis benefit.

So if you have this unfortunate condition, or it's known to run in your family, you may want to consider taking an omega-3 fish oil supplement. Besides fish oil osteoarthritis benefits, they also are good for your heart and brain as well.

But I encourage you not to just go out and buy the first omega-3 fatty acid supplement you see. Take a little time to educate yourself about what to look for in a quality and safe omega-3 supplement before you purchase one.

Benefits of Massage for Arthritis

Massage for arthritis is nothing new. More than two thousand years ago, the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates wrote that "physicians must be experienced in many things, but assuredly also in rubbing that can bind a joint that is loose and loosen a joint that is too hard."

While the cartilage degeneration of arthritis cannot be reversed, massage is helpful to reduce muscle spasm and decrease compressive forces associated with the joint disorder. Beyond the damage to joint tissues, there are several factors involved in the pain of arthritis, most of which massage addresses directly. These include tense muscles caused by the body's natural response to protect a painful joint by tensing the muscles around it, fatigue, which can make your pain seem worse and harder to handle, and depression or stress resulting from limited movement or no longer being able do activities you enjoy.

Tense Muscles
Massage addresses your tense muscles by gently coaxing your tissues to relax and lengthen. When the muscles relax, pain and stiffness decrease, and joint mobility increases. Gentle passive joint movements, a technique which is part of traditional Swedish massage, will remind the body of the full potential range of motion in a joint. The long strokes (effleurage) and kneading strokes (petrissage) of Swedish massage increase circulation of blood and lymph in and around the joint. This cleanses tissues of irritating by-products from arthritic inflammation and improves nutrition to tissues. Better oxygenation and less stagnation combats fatigue, and swelling often lessens as excess fluid enters the circulatory system where it can be eliminated. With regular massage, natural joint lubrication is also likely to improve.

Fatigue and Stress
Massage relaxes the mind as rhythmic motions sedate the autonomic nervous system and engage the parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system is the "rest and digest" system, which is blocked when we are in the "fight or flight" stress mode of the sympathetic nervous system. Stress hormones, such as cortisol, are lowered after a massage session, while the body's production of natural pain-killing endorphins, such as dopamine and serotonin, is increased. The quality of restful sleep usually improves in the days following a massage. This gives the body a chance to further repair and restore energy levels.

Should I Get My Doctor's Permission?
"Massage is free of any known side effects and according to our results, clearly shows therapeutic promise," says David L. Katz M.D., associate adjunct professor in the Department of Epidemiology & Public Health at Yale School of Medicine and director of Yale's Prevention Research Center. "So-called 'alternative' treatments like massage are most important when conventional treatments are far from ideal. Currently available non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are often not well-tolerated by older adults with osteoarthritis. Cox-II inhibitors like Vioxx were developed as substitutes for traditional anti-inflammatory drugs, but pose highly-publicized toxicity problems of their own."

Generally, if you are healthy enough to exercise, you are healthy enough to receive massage. If degeneration of joints is present, you have rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis or osteoporosis, it is a good idea to get your doctor's permission, and get specific cautions to pass along to the massage therapist. Because of the profound effects massage can have on the flow of blood and lymph, some health conditions involving the heart, kidneys or liver can make massage inappropriate. Don't have bodywork or massage on "hot" inflamed or infected joints or if you are having a flare, have a fever, an infection or are coming down with an acute illness. It may make them worse. Tell your therapist if you are taking painkillers, and if you feel any pain during the session.

How Often To Get Massage
The therapeutic value of massage lies in its regularity. According to Dietrich Miesler, founder of the Day-Break Geriatric Massage Project, "a regular, weekly massage is the best prevention to most of the problems of aging."

Try it for a month. "I like to compare it to the melting of a big pile of snow," states Miesler. "How long does it take to show obvious and lasting results? If you do localized massage for 10-15 minutes once or twice a week for a few months, you will notice obvious improvement and the process is self-accelerating."

Friday, June 21, 2013

5 Rheumatoid Arthritis Early Symptoms - Tell Tale Signs of Joint Disease!

A lot of people are predisposed to rheumatoid arthritis and they don't even know it. Some of them -- the smart ones anyway -- make sure they know about rheumatoid arthritis early symptoms and how they might appear. Knowing about these early rheumatoid arthritis symptoms might just mean the difference between staving off the FULL disease for years to come OR having to face it DIRECTLY every day for the rest of your life! Which sounds more appealing?

The Early Symptoms of RA...

- Frequent Morning Pain. After any long period of inactivity (I.E. sleeping) followed by a sudden increase in movement, joint pain & discomfort makes its appearance. That said, waking up FREQUENTLY with joint pain is most definitely an early sign of RA.

- Strange Bouts of Fatigue. Unexplainable "attacks" of fatigue that just hit you out of the blue. This could be daily, or just a few times a week. Whatever the frequency, check to be sure this fatigue is NOT accompanied by other rheumatoid arthritis early symptoms. When other early symptoms of RA are present, well, I'm sure you can put 2 and 2 together.

- Odd Warmth in Joints. Are your joints uncommonly warm or are they a bit redder than other areas of your skin? This could be a sign of things to come. If this warmth and redness doesn't last more than a day or two, then fortunately your worries can be put aside. Then again, if it DOES last for long periods of time, you may be looking at yet another early symptom of rheumatoid arthritis.

- Discomfort & Stiffness. This isn't really pain, but more of an overall feeling of "uncomfortableness". Your joints are stiff & tight and the level of discomfort you are feeling just isn't normal by any means.

- Loss of Appetite. You haven't lost all will to eat, you just don't have a real big desire for food anymore. In fact, you probably only eat breakfast, lunch, & dinner because its what you are used to doing. Be sure to identify other rheumatoid arthritis early symptoms before making any kind of self-diagnosis. Why? Because this symptom is kind of useless (alone) for identifying RA.

If you're able to identify these rheumatoid arthritis early symptoms before it's too late, you may have a chance to get ahead of the disease and reduce pain and discomfort before it even has the chance to start! How is that possible, you ask? Simple, you would start using easy, natural pain relief treatments -- most of which can be done at home RIGHT NOW in very little time.

Rheumatoid Arthritis: Management Of This Disease

Management of the rheumatoid arthritis is generally medical, but therapeutic approaches and measures as well as surgical interventions can minimize and slow the effects of the disease. The evaluation and treatments rendered in an ongoing manner. It is best for the disease to be managed from a multidisciplinary perspective approach, this means including the principal rheumatologist, orthopedic surgeon, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, orthotists and the social worker, for a more holistic approach.

The management during the acute stage is primarily a medical perspective, characterised by frequent visits and even in-staying in the hospitals for increased rests, pain management and education. In the sub-acute phase, there will be more visits and treatments by the physiotherapists and occupational therapists, depending on the level of systemic and local effects of rheumatoid arthritis.

During this stage, there is also a chance of the hand occupational therapist attending to the patient with the disease for splinting and mobilization of the affected finger and hand joints, if the patient is able tolerate. The benefits of physiotherapy and occupational therapy is positive, and often increases the general mobility and pain management of the joints, equating to a better quality of life.

The drugs/pharmaceuticals that is often prescribed at this point in time include anti-inflammatories, painkillers, and hydrocortisone injections into the joint(s). There need to be careful management and monitoring of the effects of the abovementioned drugs when ministering to the patients, as some may have unpleasant side effects, but with safe administration, they are very effective.

Doctor-Can Arthritis Cause Headaches

Headaches can occur occasionally as a result of osteoarthritis in the neck. Typically, these headaches go up the back of the head. The pain may be more apparent on one side than the other. The pain then radiates to the crown of the head.

Rarely, the pain will radiate to the temples.

The pain sometimes is aggravated by movement of the head or possibly if the head is held in one position for too long a period of time.

Patients will often comment that it feels "like sand" or "crunchy" when they turn their head.

Sometimes the pain will be felt in the back of the shoulder and along the inside of the shoulder blade.

The diagnosis is made through a careful history, physical examination, and imaging studies such as x-ray and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Once the diagnosis is confirmed treatment with medication, physical therapy, traction, and different types of injections are often successful in relieving the pain. A soft cervical collar and neck support pillow may also be useful.

Sometimes patients who have arthritis take pain relievers. If they stop taking them they can get rebound headaches. This often prompts the patient to take more pain relievers and therefore may make the problem worse. The solution: try to avoid the cycle of medication- discontinuation of medication- rebound.

Patients with fibromyalgia, a diffuse pain syndrome, may also have severe headaches as part of their disease. A treatment plan incorporating exercise, analgesics, and antidepressant types of medicines may help.

Finally, a potentially serious type of headache can occur as a result of giant cell arteritis (GCA). This is also known as temporal arteritis. GCA is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of blood vessels, particularly the ones in the head. Typically a patient will have pain in the temples, tenderness of the scalp, and pain in the jaw with chewing. If not diagnosed and treated aggressively with high dose steroids, this condition can lead to blindness.

The diagnosis is suspected if the patient has an abnormally elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate in their blood and a biopsy of the temporal artery can help confirm the diagnosis. While the biopsy may be negative even in cases where GCA is present, the presence of a positive biopsy clinches the diagnosis. Unfortunately, a negative biopsy should not dissuade one from making the diagnosis since it can be negative in a significant percentage of cases.

Is Arthritis Genetic?

There is some debate among experts about the causes of arthritis. There are just so many different types that it is hard to pinpoint what actually will cause this disease. However one factor comes across as a prevalent one when it comes to considering this issue.

The one question you should ask when considering this issue is whether arthritis is genetic? There are many indications to prove that genetics have a large bearing on whether a person will develop certain forms of arthritis. There are so many types of arthritis that we cannot discuss all of them here. These are a few of the common ones.

Rheumatoid arthritis and the HLA-DR4 gene: Research shows that the HLA-DR4 gene is one of the main factors in whether a person will develop arthritis and how severely they will suffer from the disease. Rheumatoid arthritis is especially affected by this gene. This is partly due to the fact that this form of arthritis is linked with the malfunctioning of the immune system. This disease will create swollen and deformed joints.

Osteoarthritis also runs in families: I have personally seen this in my own family and research has shown this to be true. This form of arthritis is the wearing away of the cartilage and drying of the synovial fluid around the joint and is caused by wear and tear, but you will find some active people are more prone than others to this disease. Scientists have discovered that one of the factors affecting this is a genetic mutation in type II collagen that is present in some families. This leads to a faster breakdown of the joint cartilage. Because of these genetic factors you will find this type of arthritis running in families.

Ankylosing spondylitis: this form of arthritis affects people in their teens, 20's and 30's. It is a progressive disease that fuses the spine making it difficult for the patient to bend or stand up straight. The TASC or Australo-Anglo-American Spondylitis Consortium, identified genes ANTXR2 and IL1R2, IL23R and ERAP1 as being responsible for this type of arthritis. This proves the fact that genetics also play a role in whether some people will develop this type of arthritis.

In view of this evidence gene therapy is being researched widely to find permanent cures for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The first documented trials were done in 1996 and were done with rheumatoid arthritis patients, further research was then done with osteoarthritis.

Alkaline Water Stopped My Arthritis Dead in Its Tracks

Alkaline water is something I had never heard of until my friend was told he had cancer. We both got busy searching the net for things to do to slow it down or stop it. He was sure he didn't want undergo what his medical doctor had to offer of cutting (surgery), poisoning (chemotherapy), or burning (radiation).

There  is an article out, stating that most doctors surveyed would not submit to the above treatments if they personally had cancer. What does that tell you? There appears to be many better ways to deal with cancer but even if he knew, your doctor would lose his license by telling you, because the AMA and big drug companies couldn't sell their expensive and ineffective drugs. If you are further interested, find a movie called "Healing Cancer From the Inside Out",it is a absolute jaw dropper.

One of the first things we came across was Dr. Atkins, of the Atkins Diet, saying that, "Of all the major diseases, arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, and cancer, acidosis is present." Acidosis is when the body can't stay slightly alkaline, the way it was created to be. When that light bulb came on for me,I bought a water ionizer

Acidosis, too much acid, is created many ways, but a diet high in sugar, refined flour (bread, pasta, cakes and cookies, and sodas), lots of meat, and milk, cheese, and other dairy will cause it. I used to eat only those acidic things and lots of them. When your body has more acid than it can get rid of, it does two things to keep you alive.

1.) If your system is too acid the body will store excess acid in your fat and that makes it hard to lose weight. It is like us sweeping dirt under our rug, the acid is still there.

2.) With too much acid is in the blood, your body goes into a panic. Your blood must be maintained very close to 7.35 pH. If it goes above or below 7.35 pH you lapse into a coma and die. So anytime something happens to upset that fine balancing act, the body will rob calcium from your bones to buffer or neutralize this excess acid. You can't keep that up all your life with out paying the price eventually.

Bottom line is that an acidic diet can bring on arthritis, gout and too many other bad things to mention here. A diet change to more alkaline foods, (rabbit foods) along with drinking alkaline water, caused my joint pain to just disappear in about 4 weeks. My 30 year skin rash disappeared after 8 weeks! Oh!, another acid reducing tip, take a brisk walk everyday. Your circulation will improve and the dog will like you even more.

Thanks for reading. I wish you good health!

Osteoarthritis - What You Can Do to Prevent It

Osteoarthritis is a type of disease from the arthritis family which is caused due to the wear and tear of the joints. It is a degenerative disease associated with the breakdown of cartilage in the joints. Cartilage is a tough but elastic tissue that acts as a cushion between two bones, enabling smooth movements of the joints and also preventing them from damage due to sudden jerks. Breakdown in the cartilage leads to deteriorating joints as the friction between the bones increases. This leads to severe pain, swelling and difficulty in movement.

Causes of Osteoarthritis

Studies suggest that men over the age of 70 and women over the age of 50 are more likely to be affected by this disease. After menopause sets in, women are more susceptible to this disease, since there is a drop in the oestrogenic hormone levels, which leads to faster degeneration of the cartilage. However, old age is not the only cause of this disease; people of any age can be affected by it. Heredity is another reason that can cause this disease, particularly affecting the hands and the hip. Research suggests that inherited irregularities in the structure of the cartilage can lead to the onset of osteoarthritis.

Obesity is one of the main causes of developing this disease, particularly in the knee and the hip since these joints carry the body weight all the time. Excess weight causes increased pressure on them leading to pain and inflammation. Sportspersons are also very susceptible to this disease. This is because their joints and bones are used excessively, leading to higher levels of cartilage degeneration. For example, football players can develop osteoarthritis of the hip and cyclists can develop osteoarthritis of the knees.

Tips for prevention of Osteoarthritis

Keeping your weight under control and exercising regularly can help keep osteoarthritis at bay. However, incorrect method of exercising can increase the pressure on your joints, thereby affecting them adversely. Hence exercising under proper guidance can help keep your joints fit. Boot camp workouts are easily one of the better options to help keep your bones and joints in shape. These workouts are high intensity, resistance building and muscle strengthening group activities. Resistance training activities helps reduce joint pains and prevent them from injuries. If you are already suffering from osteoarthritis, you should inform your boot camp instructor in advance, so that he can modify your workout sessions accordingly. However, before you start any new activity, it is important to consult your medical practitioner and go by his advice.

It is advisable for older people to consult their doctor for vitamins and calcium supplements that will help in keeping their joints and bones healthy. If osteoarthritis has already set in, the doctor may prescribe pain killers along with the supplements that will help reduce pain and swelling in the joints.

In case of extreme pain and joints damaged beyond repair, joint replacement surgery may be required.

Recent studies suggest that risk of developing osteoarthritis due to onset of menopause in women, can be reduced to a great extent by hormone replacement surgery.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Lupus Arthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis - Similarities and Differences

A lot of people fail to make a distinction between lupus arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Both of these are autoimmune diseases in which the body sets upon itself and causes itself harm. So, where does one draw the line?

Medical experts all agree that proper diagnosis and differentiation of these diseases is not an easy task. The clinical symptoms and laboratory abnormalities of both diseases tend to overlap.

Similarities of Lupus Arthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Lupus arthritis and RA incidence is differentiated by having more women being afflicted than men. They are both classified as multi-systemic diseases as they can affect and damage many organs.

Like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus attacks and damages the blood vessels. Both diseases also affect the normal function of the immune system, resulting in damaged tissues.

Differences Between Lupus Arthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) or lupus is a complex disease whose true cause is still unknown. It affects many parts of the body including the joints, skin, and internal organs. A person usually develops a rash in the shape of a butterfly on the cheeks and across the bridge of the nose.

Other symptoms of individuals with SLE include fatigue, hair loss, inflammation of the kidney, mouth sores and loss of appetite. This disease does not usually affect the spine and neck.

Similarly, the cause of rheumatoid arthritis is also unknown. The disease attacks the wrists, fingers, knees, feet and ankles. It is usually manifested by the onset of fatigue and weakness, and morning stiffness that lasts for more than an hour. Patients afflicted of this disease also complain of widespread muscle ache and progressive loss of appetite.

Patients suffering from lupus arthritis experience joint pain which is not associated with actual damage to the joint itself. There are also some cases where lupus patients don't experience swelling of the joints. This swollen lining is referred to as synovium.

However, lupus results to a more pronounced pain than that of rheumatoid arthritis. The symptoms of RA occur symmetrically, as an additive polyarthritis, with sequential addition of involved joints. On the other hand, lupus arthritis is a typical migratory arthritis, or episodic arthritis typical of gout.

Treatment of Lupus Arthritis

A person can suffer from both lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. When a person suffering from lupus starts manifesting rheumatoid-like symptoms, treatment for RA should be applied instead.

The good news about lupus arthritis is that it is treatable. This clinical symptom of SLE can be properly managed and treated when treatment plan is strictly followed. This disease is usually treated with NSAIDs including aspirin and ibuprofen. If those medications don't yield positive results, your doctor may prescribe anti-malarial agents and corticosteroids.

Doctors may also prescribe RA treatment forms such as methotrexate, sulfasalazine. In severe cases, more powerful treatment forms are adopted to control joint inflammation. These medications play an integral part in treating lupus arthritis, but it is by far not the only treatment. Supportive physical and occupational therapy complete the effective treatment plan for lupus arthritis.

An Introduction To Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is the second major type of arthritis - exceeded in number of cases only by osteoarthritis. It is a very serious ailment caused by inflammation of the joints. The pain associated with the disease is at times so severe that it almost completely disables sufferers. It affects women more often than men.

Rheumatoid arthritis advances in three stages starting with painful swelling and stiffness of the joints. In the second stage the pain aggravates and the bones and cartilage are severely affected thereby restricting the movement of the person altogether. By this time the diseases becomes chronic and just defies all treatment.

It is in your best interest to immediately consult a doctor as soon as you have pain in the joints. This means that don't wait for any other symptom appear. Also, you should never try treating the disease by taking over the counter medicines. Chances are that you may aggravate the ailment.

It is important that you ask your doctor to diagnose whether you are actually afflicted with Rheumatoid arthritis and if so, start taking the treatment that he prescribes. If you go by your doctor's advice you can save yourself a lot of damage by reducing the severity of the attack of the disease. Any delay in diagnosing and treating the disease may aggravate to an extent that you may have to undergo surgery. This will not only entail great pain, but also require huge costs of treatment.

Besides seeking a doctor's advice early, you may take general precautions like protecting your affected areas from stress of exertion. You should also try to reduce your weight if you are obese. Also contact your physiotherapist. Seek his or her advice about certain kind of exercises that may be specific to your kind of rheumatoid arthritis and take these exercises regularly as per the expert's advice.

Causes of High White Blood Cell Count

There are several possible causes for a high white blood cell count. This count is high when there are more disease-fighting cells in your body. The technical term for this condition is leukocytosis.

Different medical practices may have different limits by which they define high white blood cell count. A count of 10,500 leukocytes in one microliter of blood is widely accepted as a high count. The threshold may vary between sex and age.

White blood cells are categorized by five subtypes, and each type has a different activity in fighting disease. When you get the results of your white blood cell count, they will usually specify what the levels are of all the different types. Usually, a high count is only caused by an increase in one type of white blood cells.

A high white blood cell count is indicative of an immune system problem that increases their production; a disease in your bone marrow that causes high blood cell production; a reaction to some drug that is used to enhance cell production; or the increase expected when your body is fighting off an infection.

There are some more specific reasons why your white blood cell count may be high:

Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) is a cancer that lives in the bone marrow and blood. This disease is a rapidly progressive one. Children are more affected by this than any other type of cancer, although adults can develop the disease as well.

Drugs like epinephrine and corticosteroids can affect your white cell count.

Measles is an infection that affects mainly the respiratory tract. It is very contagious. The signs include skin rash, fever, sore throat, inflamed eyes, runny nose and cough. The measles vaccine is an excellent way to protect children against this disease, but outside of the civilized countries, many children are not vaccinated. This disease will spread rapidly among people who have not had the vaccination.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a serious type of arthritis from which you will experience joint damage and pain. It attacks your joints' lining and this causes swelling. In turn, that leads to throbbing, aching pain and possibly eventual deformity. Rheumatoid arthritis, also called RA, can make even the easiest of normal activities hard to accomplish.

Some of the other causes of high white blood cell count include:

Stress, be it emotional or physical
Tissue damage, like one receives with burns
Acute or chronic myelogenous leukemia
Chronic or acute lymphocytic leukemia
Whooping cough
Severe allergic reactions
Polycythemia vera
Other viral infections
Other bacterial infections

Dog Arthritis Treatment - Natural Remedies

Arthritis can be very painful and maybe you're wondering how hard for a dog to suffer this condition because he cannot talk and sometimes you don't know that it's really hurting him so bad already. Unfortunately, not all of us can afford surgery and regular MRI scans for our dogs. This shouldn't stop you though from administering dog arthritis treatment, there are some things you can do to reduce pain and inflammation.

You can give your dog regular and thorough massage to help heal arthritis gradually. Concentrate on muscles and joints to make him active again. Muscular flexibility will help ease joint stiffness. Make sure you do the massage in circular motions on the affected area. Buy a medicated herbal oil to make the massage more effective and soothing. Apply the oil twice a day and massage your dog for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Glucosamine is another dog arthritis treatment that's not expensive. It's natural so you don't have to worry about side effects. It is an amino sugar that is basically used to create cushioning fluids and tissues around joints. It works effectively in repairing damaged arthritic joints and in reducing pain because it builds synovial fluids. What's great about glucosamine is that it is easily absorbed into the bloodstream.

Natural anti-inflammatories also make good dog arthritis treatment. The most common anti-inflammatories include" MSM, Cetyl-M and Omega 3 Fatty Acids. Are there some things you can do at home to help improve your dog's condition? Absolutely! You can use elevated steps or dog rams to make it easier for your pet to step. Along with this, you have to use elevated dog bowls for water and food. Keep your dog warm and it will help relieve the pain if you soak towels in warm water and apply as a heat pack at least 3 times a day. If you can afford a heated bed then that will be more comfortable for your pet.

More Evidence That Glucosamine and Exercise Are Helpful For Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

In Arthritis Research & Therapy, a small trial found that a 30-minute walk taken at least 3 days a week combined with glucosamine supplements and showed some benefits in mild to moderate hip or knee osteoarthritis (OA), This was only a small study of 28 patients and all were given 1500mg glucosamine sulphate. There was no control group which would normally be seen in a research study and there was no xrays taken to see if the OA improved. This trial demonstrated pain relief and improved mobility in those who walked and took glucosamine.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and is associated with significant disability because of pain, loss of mobility, and consequently loss of independence as people get older or the disease worsens. Severe joint destruction requires joint replacement.

Non Steroidal AntiInflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS) ie diclofenac, ibuprofen are recognised as effective analgesics in acute and chronic pain. NSAIDs are associated with a number of adverse effects. These include effects on the kidney, and exacerbating asthma in some people, but the most important adverse effect of NSAIDs is that on they cause stomach problems which can become ulcers. These ulcers may bleed, and indeed some people may die of a bleeding ulcer caused by NSAIDs.

As many as 1 in 5 patients with knee arthritis will benefit from using oral glucosamine at 1,500 mg daily. Glucosamine reduced joint space narrowing by 0.27 mm over three years compared with placebo.

Chronic pain resources online are helpful at learning to cope with pain, as opposed to taking away the pain.

Exercise is always difficult and if you have multiple health problems a conversation with a health care professional to ensure you are not going to run into problems is helpful - however all of us feel out of breath, our knees hurt and chest feels likes it is going to explode if we are unfit - I struggle going up the stairs quickly even when I am relatively fit so you do need to persevere.

Strong muscles preserve joints. By strengthening the muscles - this allows the joints to be pulled apart and protect them against the impact of exercise - this often does not make sense especially if pain is associated with the movement of the joint., however it is true.

Trampolining can be a good exercise as this is low impact (but often makes ladies leak!!!) and even hoovering with the music on can help - but low impact, resistance exercise is the way to go with osteoarthritis and help can be sought from experts on the ideal programme for you.


Side effects of Glucosamine

Glucosamine is well tolerated in studies, although side effects complained of are insomnia, abdominal pain, nausea and heart burn.

Glucosamine is made from shellfish, therefore do not take if allergic to shellfish.

There is a theoretical risk of increased risk of bleeding therefore those people that are on warfarin or have a bleeding disorder should not take glucosamine.

In diabetics, glucosamine may contribute to unstable blood sugar levels so should only be considered with advice.

Do you remember glucosamine sulphate contains salt and therefore could contribute to high blood pressure?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Common Osteoarthritis Symptoms

Osteoarthritis symptoms are often painful and physically debilitating for sufferers who have the condition. The disease also affects a patient mentally and emotionally because Osteoarthritis often limits normal, daily activities. The onset of the disease often makes its appearance when a person cannot simply stand up from a prone position without serious difficulty. The disease then progresses to include the lower legs, which begin to feel stiff and unmanageable. Osteoarthritis slows its progress into the skeletal system by first affecting the fine bones found in the hands sufferers.

Most people begin to look for help when they realize that they can't get out of bed as easily as they once did. Thanks to drugs like over-the-counter arthritis relief pain tablets and Osteoporosis supplements, many sufferers of Osteoarthritis see some relief from their symptoms. The truth of the matter is that most regular medical doctors can do little to stop the growing degenerative attacks of Osteoarthritis in their patients. What is usually prescribed are pain medications to ease the pressure on the spinal column of bones that are beginning to get brittle and irritate nerve endings.

While Osteoarthritic symptoms of the back and legs restrict the flexibility of a person, Osteoarthritic symptoms in the hands are perhaps the most painful. The cracking of the fingers while doing simple tasks like typing are not only annoying but painful. Another symptom of Osteoarthritis is the limiting of the functions of the small bones in a person's hands. Some Osteoarthritic patients find it impossible to even button their blouses or shirts and pulling up a zipper becomes an impossible task.

Lift Chairs and Arthritis

As almost anything begins to age, it is inevitable that some things will stop working like they used to. This is especially true of the human body. One common condition that is found in people over fifty years of age is arthritis. Arthritis is a, often painful, condition that involves reduced mobility and joint problems.

There are many different forms of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis, septic arthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis almost always results in some sort of pain or discomfort, and depending on the type, it can be exceedingly painful. In cases of rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system begins to attack the joints, along with several other organs. This can be extremely uncomfortable and often results in a tremendously reduced maneuverability.

For many people the stiffness and pain associated with arthritis is combated by less frequent movements. In many cases a warm shower or bath in the morning can help to alleviate some of the pain. Ice packs and massage have also been shown to help with arthritis, and there are many different medicines on the market to combat the inflammation and swelling associated with arthritis. It has been found that mild electrical pulses that are directed at the joints help some people. In terms of long term relief, exercise and weight control can play a big part in increasing mobility. There are also several operations that can be performed, including a realignment of the joints by a surgeon.

Arthritis can cause pain and make moving around very difficult. A lift chair is something that can in many cases help to alleviate the pain of arthritis. Lift chairs are medical devices that have a base that rises to make it easier to stand and sit. The base rises at a very slow and steady rate that makes the transfer from standing to sitting as painless as possible. They also feature a remote controlled foot rest and back rest. This can, in addition to being more comfortable, help to reduce the amount of effort it takes to use the chair. These units are great for those with arthritis, who might otherwise not be able to stand without assistance. Many lift chairs also come with available heat and massage that can reduce pain and improve the ability to move.

In addition to devices like lift chairs that reduce pain and increase mobility, exercise has been shown to help with joint pain. Things like swimming, walking, and stretching are good forms of exercise for people with arthritis. This is because they are very low impact and in some cases reduce stiffness and joint pain. Exercise that increases your range of motion show great promise in both preventing and dealing with the pain of arthritis. Things like aerobics and muscle strengthening has also been shown to help. It is important to consult your doctor before beginning exercise and a good rule of thumb is that if the pain lasts for more than an hour after you are finished exercising, then you may be pushing yourself too hard.

Arthritis can be very painful and often results in swelling of the joints. The decreased mobility is often significant, so make sure you find a competent and caring doctor to help you find the best way to combat the arthritis. There are things that can be done to both fight arthritis and prevent it, so ensure that you have a good plan to deal with this common malady.

The Symptoms of Pseudogout

Pseudogout is known as the calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate crystal deposition disease. Pseudogout is often confused with the symptoms of the gout because many of the symptoms of the pseudogout are similar to the symptoms of the gout. However, as the name suggests both the disease are different.

Pseudogout is caused by the accumulation of the calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate crystals in the fluids of the joints and in the cartilage. The calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate crystals cause the critical attack of inflammation and painful manifestation. The common symptoms of the pseudogout are painful and stiff skin, tenderness of the skin, swollen skin, redness and warmness felt on the affected areas. The pain can develop in other joint areas like the ankles, toes, knuckles, hips, elbows or even shoulders. If you are familiar with the symptoms of the gout then you can see the symptoms are quite similar to the symptoms of the gout. But the symptoms have similarities to the other types of arthritis like the osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.

So, the most common types of symptoms of the pseudogout are intense and acute intolerable pain of the joints, red or purplish skin over the joint, the warm feeling when the joint and affected areas are touched. There can be the soreness surrounding the areas of the joints and the patient can feel intense pain even if there is a slightest of touch.

The symptoms of the pseud gout may be similar to that of the gout but their causes are very different. Gout is caused by the high level of uric acid crystals build up in the joints areas but the pseudo gout is caused by the accumulation of the calcium pyrophosphate or CPP crystals in the cartilage areas. The crystals deposit in the joint areas and that causes the pseudogout attack.

Since the symptoms of the pseudogouts can be confused or mistaken with the other types of diseases, it is important to diagnose the disease properly. Sometimes blood test is done to diagnose the disease. But blood test is not sufficient to diagnose the disorder properly. The doctor must test the joint fluid from the affected joint to be sure about the disease. The fluid will show the amount of calcium pyrophosphate crystals present under a microscope.

The treatment of the pseudogout is similar to the treatment of the gout. The exception will be in the medication that is offered in the gout for lowering the level of uric acid in the blood. Proper treatment can ensure the relief from the pain within 24 hours in case of the pseudogout. Proper treatment and proper medication should target the prevention of the recurrence of the attack.

Is Arthritis Pain Affected by the Weather?

What role does the weather play for people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis? It is a question that has been asked for centuries, with many people swearing that the pain increases in cold, rainy weather and is more bearable in warmer conditions. But although there is much anecdotal evidence that warmer weather eases arthritis pain and colder weather increases it, medical research does not fully support all of these theories. However, it does support some of them, abet under very controlled conditions.

One of the most famous studies on the effects of the weather and arthritis pain was conducted nearly 50 years ago in Philadelphia. Some people who suffered from rheumatoid arthritis were isolated in a sealed diving chamber usually used to treat scuba divers with the bends. The atmospheric conditions inside the chamber were adjusted to different degrees of temperature, barometric pressure and humidity. The effects on the group inside were then observed. What the researchers found was that for many people in the chamber, joint swelling and stiffness did increase when barometric pressure dropped and humidity increased.

This provided a strong correlation between stories passed down through the centuries from people suffering from arthritis, who believed that they could predict when a storm was coming because their joints became stiffer. So does this apply to the real world too? To some degree, yes, although atmospheric conditions - including temperature, humidity readings, barometric pressure and outside precipitation - have many variables and can affect people in different ways.

For example, a drop in air pressure accompanying cold, rainy weather enables tissue in the body to expand to fill the space. This means that inflamed tissue can swell even more and cause increased discomfort. Pain thresholds also drop in colder weather. Cold, rainy days affects people's moods and they are often very aware of their arthritis pain. So does this possible link between cold, rainy weather and pain mean that people with arthritis should you should move to a dry, warm climate? Not necessarily, simply because your body will eventually adjust to the new environment and your arthritis pain will return.

There is, however, one way of controlling your arthritis pain wherever climate you live in. This is through daily does of fish oil supplements rich in omega 3 essential fatty acids. They are especially effective in fighting inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis and can offer some of the most effective relief from joint pain. But be sure to only take pharmaceutical grade fish oil has this had been specially distilled to provide the purest nutrients to help fight joint pain and inflammation.

Feline Arthritis Linked to Pain In Toes After Cat Declawing

If you happen to have a declawed cat with feline arthritis it may very well be due to declawing your cat. Cats walk on their toes. Your vet may use the term "digitigrade," but it means the same thing. When you cat has pain in her toes it causes her to change her gait.

If you ever had a plantar wart on the sole of your foot you can relate to the situation. Plantar warts are thickened calluses that grow usually on the foot and can be quite tender when pressure is applied. That tenderness causes you to plant your foot differently when you walk. Perhaps you put your weight on the side of your foot so you don't apply pressure to the sensitive plantar wart area.

The same thing can happen in cats that have been declawed. Pain in your cat's toes causes her to change to their normal gait. That difference in weight distribution eventually leads to new pressure points and strain in her hips, spine and legs. Anyone who has ever experienced prolonged foot pain will understand exactly what I'm describing.

Cat declawing is one of the more controversial issues in feline medicine. Some owners and vets consider declawing and acceptable procedure, while others consider it an abomination. In fact in some countries, such as the United Kingdom, declawing for anything besides a medical condition is not permitted.

Declawing is an irreversible procedure that is an amputation of the claw including the cells that cause the claw to grown. Part of your cat's terminal toe bone is removed as that hosts the cells that cause the claw to grow.

Unquestionably, most concerns about cat's claws are only human concerns. Shredding wrapping paper on packages, plucking furniture and carpet are only a few reasons people give for declawing a cat. The one reason that really poses a human health problem is that when a kitty inadvertently shreds the thin skin of their aging caregiver.

There are, however, options to try to help out in all these situations. Cat's quickly adapt to a scratching post made of help wrapped around a pole and secured to the floor or wall. There are soft vinyl nail caps that where designed by a vet. They are literally glued onto your cat's claws. These "soft claws" are much gentler to Granny's thin skin when kitty jumps off her lap. Considering the pain your cat may endure from feline arthritis when she gets older that is just one more darn good argument not to have your cat declawed.

For temporary pain relief anti-inflammatory drugs can be administered that will help it to endure more pain. Here's another idea for treating arthritis in cats naturally. You can also treat her daily without worry of long term side effects.

Arthritis and Apple Cider Vinegar - An Ancient Couple

The use of Apple Cider Vinegar to improve a wide range of health concerns is certainly not new.

You know, Oxymel has been a mainstay of home remedies and simple healing for centuries.

Oxymel is simply the mixture of equal parts of Apple Cider Vinegar with raw honey. It is used twice a day, diluting one tablespoon in one glass of water and taken first thing in the morning and last thing before sleep.

There are slight variations in the recipe, as some people add crushed seeds of fennel and other species, as well as crushed garlic. In the same way, some people heat the mixture to make the syrup while others just mix all together and let it rest for a day before using it.

As I know, Oxymel has been used in my family for many generations, and was always related to arthritis like pains and other joint pain conditions.

But there are many reports that claim Apple Cider Vinegar to be helpful in other conditions as acne, dandruff, dyspepsia, for detoxing after a period of self neglect, dissolve painful calcium deposits in the body, hay fever, neutralize harmful bacteria that may be found in foods, digestive upsets, a powerful detoxifying and purifying agent, candida, high cholesterol, colds, constipation, muscle cramps, colitis, diabetes, diarrhea, depression, dizziness, weight loss... and the list may go for EVER and EVER.

If this all is true I don't really know, but all I can say is that arthritis and Apple Cider Vinegar is a win-win combination. Use the Apple Cider Vinegar to lessen the arthritic pain and receive the extra benefits as a bonus!

Symptoms of arthritis include pain and limited function of joints. Inflammation of the joints from arthritis is characterized by joint stiffness, swelling, redness, and warmth. All these symptoms can be lessen or suppressed with the intake of Oxymel twice a day. At least that is what I believe.

But as I mentioned believe, I must make a consideration here. Maybe believe is an important part of the healing capability of any remedy. I have seen many members of my family to take the Oxymel with the plain believe that this mere action will help their painful condition, and it certainly did. Some time ago, I recommended this home remedy to a friend who was extremely skeptical; and although he toke the Apple Cider Vinegar twice a day for more than three weeks, he noticed no improvement at all with his arthritic pain.

This is not a cure for arthritis, and Apple Cider Vinegar must not be discontinued or you will feel your arthritis symptoms again. You must take it daily in order to see ongoing relief, and always consult your doctor for a medical treatment of the disease.

Besides drinking Oxymel, soaking arthritic joints in hot Apple Cider Vinegar (1 part of Apple Cider Vinegar to 6 parts of hot water) can bring you extra relief.

Apple Cider Vinegar is safe, as far as you don't have yeast allergy, in which case you can't, by ANY mean, use this home remedy. Besides this, some people have concerns of the side effects of the vinegar on dentin sensitivity and erosion of the enamel, so they advise to add baking soda in order to make the preparation slightly alkaline. I do not add it because although I am very confident with the Apple Cider Vinegar, I have many doubts of the side effects of the baking soda itself. What I do is have a gently mouthwash right after taking the oxymel. But you may avoid these problems taking the supplement tablets available in the market.

My family has a history of long living members, and as in many other families, there are many age related diseases like arthritis, and Apple Cider Vinegar was always used to lessen the pain.

Always follow the medical advice, but if your doctor is only treating the symptoms of a disease, you have the right to ask for a natural alternative to hazardous pain-killers!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Proven Arthritis Diet Will Help Reverse Arthritis

Following a specific arthritis diet and eliminating some foods from your daily meals, a patient can effectively reverse arthritis in the body. An arthritis diet, which is basically a diet that includes specific foods that undo the symptoms of arthritis as well as lacking foods that have been associated with the disease, can be used to elevate the pain that is caused by the disease and in some rare cases, the arthritis diet has cured patients from arthritis. However, these have been mainly speculations with no solid scientific backing.

What is an Arthritis Diet?

So what exactly does an arthritis diet constitute? Rheumatologists who are associated with the Arthritis Foundation have stated that people who are overweight provoke osteoarthritis due to the presence of fats in their bodies. The experts have linked fish oils as the primary causes of this arthritis but on the other hand, the Arthritis Foundation goes ahead to state that there is no direct link to diet plans and arthritis. Over the years that the foundation has existed, they have yet to find any definite causes of the disease and as such one cannot help but question this fact. Is there anything to this diet?

After years of research into the disease, doctors and scientists have slowly given in to the convention that various foods can be contributing to the cause of the disease. Clinical proof from other branches of medicine has greatly contributed to this realization. Now if there is an alternative treatment to this disease, then it is only natural that this avenue is pursued. The rising costs of the drugs used to treat the disease and also the fact that the only organization that is in charge of researching into the disease is stating blatantly that there is no cure for the disease, also fuels this urge to try out alternative cures for arthritis.

An Arthritis Diet and a Well-Balanced Diet

To this end, medical science has shown and proven that healthy joints are dependent on gastrointestinal health as well as a healthy well-being. This is probably why a healthy person who exercises regularly and assumes a balanced diet is not likely to suffer from arthritis. Therefore this draws the conclusion that there is indeed such a thing as an arthritis diet. The specific diet is not yet conclusive according to the major studies that have been conducted over the years.

The first study conducted by Dr. Anthony Conte in 1970 and his Pittsburg nutritionist partner sort to prove that the disease is associated with allergies. It was their conclusion that the disease could be well avoided by staying away from certain foods that were likely to cause allergies in the body. There was another study by Dr. Robert Stroud who concluded that patients who were suffering from arthritis responded well to the omission of certain types of food in their diet. In his findings, the doctor noted that during a period of fasting, it was possible to elevate all symptoms of arthritis. During this period, all symptoms would clear up and disappear. According to him, this was concrete proof that arthritis is food related, but the unfortunate implication here comes when you realize that you cannot fast forever.

However, this also led to scientists expanding on these two theories and after several experiments spanning more than 7 years, doctors have now come up with an arthritis diet that they believe will get rid of the disease once and for all. According to this study, there are foods that you eat which can influence your digestive system, leading to growth of bacteria in the system that will ultimately affect arthritis. Eating healthy foods will undoubtedly keep the symptoms of the disease away, confirming what many folk healers have been saying for ages; keep healthy and arthritis will not be a problem. The perfect arthritis diet is one that is well-balanced.

Diet Therapy For Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is marked by pain, stiffness and swelling of joints, affecting those under 16 years of age. Fortunately, the problem has low occurrence, as only about 1 out of 10,000 children report the disease. It appears in one of three forms; pauciarticular (less than four joints affected), polyarticular (four or more joints affected), and systemic-onset (inflamed joints with high fever and rash).

Despite encouraging medical advance, diet therapy is still an appealing way to control juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. It is a promising solution for the young ones with the early diagnosis of the problem. Therapy is an effective diet plan which controls symptoms like inflammation and pain, besides, contributing to the overall wellness of the child.

Several diets hold the promise to relieve or prevent arthritic symptoms. The effective dietary approaches use fasting, vegan diets and elimination diets. The fasting diet comprises of periods of only juice and water. Vegan diet brings everything, except the animal derived products, while the elimination diet restricts foods supposed to cause joint inflammation and hyper active immune reaction. Vegan diet is designed to meet all the nutritional requirements of the child.

Particular foods and nutrients are really exceptional for treating rheumatoid arthritis. For instance, omega-3 fatty acids containing foods are helpful in reducing inflammation. They are involved in decreasing pro-inflammatory cytokine level. Different fish types including salmon, albacore tuna, lake trout, herring, sardines and mackerel are good sources of this helping agent. In addition, several plant-based sources such as flaxseed, flaxseed oil, walnuts and canola oil are good for it.

Mineral, vitamins and anti-oxidants play a significant role in controlling arthritis symptoms. Try to include fruits, vegetable and whole grain food in your diet. Intake of calcium-rich foods, such as low-fat dairy products improves bone health, making it stronger and resistant.

Put your child on the Mediterranean diet, having a low content of red meat and a high content of olive oil. Olive oil is good for inhibiting lymphocyte proliferation, natural killer cell activity, adhesion molecule expression on lymphocytes and the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines.

Some foods are strictly prohibited in juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Citrus fruits, for example, generally aggravate the symptoms. Wheat and other rough grain products also may elicit severe allergic reaction in such patients enhancing the production of pro-inflammatory agents causing pain and swelling. Diet therapy is a mild, least risky but exceptionally effective way of treating juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

Gin Raisins and Arthritis - An Alternative Arthritis Cure

As a sufferer of arthritis you would most certainly try any possible cure or treatment within your reach to address the pain caused by the debilitating effects of this condition. The choices of treatment can vary from an alternative to a conventional medicine basis, and you should seek out the one that works best for you.

Alternative medication or cures have always offered something useful to sufferers of any ailment. However, a lot of people frown upon the alternative route, why one does not know - perhaps because the alternative healers and remedies are not patented along with conventional pharmaceutical medication; therefore there is no enormous research and development or marketing budget, to gain market share and successfully educate the man on the street.

One of these alternative cures available for arthritis include the gin and raisin cure; a process whereby white (or golden), seedless raisins are soaked in gin for a period of 7 days to 2 weeks, where all the gin is soaked up by the raisins, and the alcohol has apparently evaporated - according to some sources. A variety of soaking vessels are quoted in the soaking process, but it appears that the vessel must have a wide opening, like a pie dish or very wide necked jar of sorts; this obviously facilitates the evaporation procedure as quoted by these sources. Just a note on the container material, it should be glass otherwise you will get the metal taste being imparted into the raisins. General consensus indicates that one should eat nine of the gin soaked raisins per day, which in turn help ease the pain of the arthritis. This remedy has also been recommended for restless legs syndrome (RLS).

Unfortunately there have not been any major tests or experiments conducted on the gin and raisin cure for arthritis, this leaves one thinking as to why it is so widely claimed as being such an effective cure and choice for arthritis sufferers. We will always have individuals that will challenge the validity of this cure, and claim it to be an old folklore remedy or even a placebo; it is up to the individual to look at each possible remedy in an as much objective manner as possible.

In an objective view of the gin and raisin arthritis cure, we should look at each individual ingredient and assess what healing property or properties have been highlighted about these items previously.

To start with gin, the primary ingredient of infusion of gin is the juniper berry; there are also other herbs that are used in the infusion process. For this purpose we will be concentrating on the juniper berry. The juniper berry as an alternative source of medication or treatment is used as a diuretic (to increase the production of urine); this is therefore used in the treatment for PMS, high blood pressure and congestive heart failure. It is also noted in alternative cure articles to be used for the treatment of arthritis. A warning is appropriate with respect to kidney damage (from prolonged usage), as well as refraining from utilizing juniper in the case of kidney infections or kidney problems, reference has also been made regarding allergy sufferers developing symptoms from exposure to juniper.

When looking at the properties of the grape, we are presented with a few angles on the healing properties or health properties of the grape as a whole. Starting with the skin and seeds, it has been widely claimed for a very long time that the skin and seeds have antioxidant powers. And in modern times a large number of spas offer a grape wrap, usually combined with honey. Grapes have been heralded by ancient cultures as having healing properties and powers, from the Egyptians to the Greeks and Romans to the modern day alternative healers. It is said that even the leaves of the grape vine were used to stem bleeding and reduce inflammation in medieval times. Red wine is a known antioxidant, and can assist in the prevention of cancer and heart disease, a fact that has received a lot of media coverage and attention.  

Having considered the primary ingredients of the gin and raisin cure we notice that both these products offer valuable healing properties. Based on our objective insight into these properties it makes logical sense that this cure can relieve the pain and stiffness of arthritis. We will always have the skeptics around, regardless of subject, what we can do is recommend that you try the cure for yourself, and if it works for you, you have gained from the exercise. For more information regarding this, and many other alternative arthritis cures, visit []

Psoriatic Arthritis Drug Approved To Fight Chrohn's Disease

The popular drug Humira which is currently used to treat Psoriatic Arthritis was approved on Feb. 27 by the FDA to treat adult Chrohn's disease.

According to the National Digestive Disease Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC), "Chrones Disease Crohn's disease is an inflammatory bowel disease, the general name for diseases that cause swelling in the intestines.

Crohn's disease can affect any area of the GI tract, from the mouth to the anus, but it most commonly affects the lower part of the small intestine, called the ileum. The swelling extends deep into the lining of the affected organ. The swelling can cause pain and can make the intestines empty frequently, resulting in diarrhea."

Chrohn's disease afflicts around 500,000 people in the United States. Symptoms experienced by those with the disease include abdominal cramps, persistent diarrhea, fever, pain, and fatigue.

According to the FDA, "Humira works to reduce levels of human tumor necrosis factor (TNF) alpha, a chemical that plays a role in abnormal responses from the body's immune system."

Most people infected with the disease are diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 35. Some of the side affects of Humira include serious the risk of infections such as tuberculosis or blood infections. Less severe side affects include upper respiratory infections, sinusitis, and nausea.

Humira was approved originally by the FDA to treat Psoriatic Arthritis in October of 2005 and was later approved to treat moderate-to-severe rheumatoid arthritis.

Visit this Consumer Advocacy website for more information on ordering from an online Mexican pharmacy

How Bad is Juvenile Psoriatic Arthritis?

Juvenile psoriatic arthritis is a child's disease that is not long term and relatively mild in its symptoms. Just like psoriatic arthritis juvenile psoriatic arthritis affects a person's joints. It is a bit like rheumatoid arthritis but not as severe.

What Causes It?

There are still a lot of question marks surrounding psoriatic arthritis. There is no real explantation as to its cause. There has been much speculation as to what causes this disease. But nothing definite has been determined and studies continue to be conducted to see if a sure cause can be uncovered.

There are some theories as to the causes. There is some evidence that points to certain genes that cause the disease. The study of the appearance of certain genes is not the only line of research being done on the disease. Other evidence points to the surroundings in which a person is raised. Since a person's environment is thought to be a factor parents who have a history of psoriatic arthritis in their family are more likely to have children with psoriatic arthritis.

Juvenile psoriatic arthritis is not an easy thing to diagnose. Sometimes it can take years for doctors to pinpoint the problem as being juvenile psoriatic arthritis. One reason is because often before there are any visual signs of redness or a rash there is pain from arthritis.

The symptoms of psoriatic arthritis include extreme swelling of the affected joints such as the fingers and toes or soreness in hip joints. There is also the symptom of discolored toenails and fingernails. These have somewhat of a yellow tint. Small patches of scaly flesh can appear on a persons stomach around the belly button area, on their scalp and other places.

Juvenile psoriatic arthritis can have some deforming affects. It can cause joints to become unnaturally large due to damage to the cartilage. A persons sight can be affected and they can loose some of their mobility in the affected joints. Arms and legs and be affected by becoming longer or shorter.

If a child shows signs of juvenile psoriatic arthritis then you will want to get him in to see a doctor as soon as possible so treatment can begin. Since a significant number of children who suffer from psoriatic arthritis also have some affect to their eyes it would be good to get him to an eye doctor as well, and make sure he sees his eye doctor every year for checkups. There is treatment available so it is important to get your child the right care as soon as you discover the disease.

Arthritis Knee Pain Causes, Symptoms and Natural Relief

Arthritis is a joint disorder resulting in joint inflammation and pain. Knee joint is a major weight bearing joint of our body, and therefore is quite vulnerable to increased rate of wear and tear. Before learning about arthritis knee pain management, we have to understand the structure and functioning of the knee joint. Knee joint is, by nature, a hinge joint, allowing flexion normally to a maximum of 135 degrees but no extension. The functioning of knee joint allows free movement of the legs, and the joint is also capable of bearing the entire body weight.

The knee joint is the point where the femur or thigh bone and the large shinbone or tibia meets. The joint is comprised of three compartments: the inner or medial compartment, outer or lateral compartment and the knee cap or patella joining the femur to form the third compartment named as patellofemoral joint. The knee joint lies protected within a capsule and collateral ligaments are there both on the inside and outside of the joint, and also ligaments cross each other within the joint, and are known by the name of cruciate ligaments.

These ligaments hold the bones in place, and also impart strength and stability to the joint. The junction where the femur and tibia meet, the cartilage meniscus occurs. Meniscus serves as a cushioned pad allowing the bones to move freely without friction, and also absorbing the load of body weight above knee while standing. Below the knee cap, a large tendon called patellar tendon occurs. This tendon is attached to the front part of tibia bone. The thigh muscles, quadriceps muscles and hamstring muscles surrounding the knee relax and contract to allow knee movement.

Cause and Symptoms of Arthritis Knee Pain

Arthritis knee pain occurs due to degeneration or wear and tear of the meniscus or inflammation of soft tissues surrounding the knee. Aging of body makes the meniscus weak and incapable of repairing itself after the daily wear and tear. As a result of which it may start tearing or flaking. Once the cartilage is lost due to degeneration, the shin bone and thigh bone are exposed to friction which may develop bony outgrowths or spurs called osteophytes. The above occurrence makes the knee painful. Pain may occur also when rheumatic arthritis invades the delicate tissues around the knee joint.

Another cause of knee pain due to arthritis is the crystallization of uric acid within the joint cavity. This actually occurs in case of gout. Swelling of knee due to arthritis may lead to accumulation of fluid in a cyst behind the knee. Such a cyst is called Baker's cyst, and it is one common reason for pain at the back of the knee. The common symptoms associated with knee pain due to arthritis are swelling, warmth in the joint, inflexibility or stiffness, redness of skin around the joint, locking sensation in the joint, crunching sound while moving knee.

Rumatone Gold Capsule and Oil are natural remedies for arthritis knee pain relief. These herbal supplements and anti-inflammatory massage oil are specifically formulated to ease pain and inflammation associated with knee pain.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Natural Cures For Rheumatoid Arthritis That You Can Try Easily

Rheumatoid arthritis is something that causes severe pain and swelling causing the joints to feel extremely tender and painful. There are various medications a doctor can give you to help relieve the pain and to bring down the swelling. The most common type of drug for rheumatoid arthritis are anti inflammatory drugs. Although these drugs can be effective in the general treatment of this painful condition, there are also some very effective, safe natural cures for rheumatoid arthritis. Here are a few of those natural remedies that anyone suffering with this condition should consider trying.

Cod Liver Oil

Taking one or two spoonfuls of cod liver oil can greatly relieve the pain of rheumatoid arthritis, due to the fact that one of the single most painful factors when it comes to this condition, is cartilage damage. Cod liver oil actually slows down the process of cartilage damage and helps lubricate the joints. Therefore helping the sufferer to feel less pain than they normally would.


Cinnamon has got many healing properties, if you have never tried it as a natural remedy then now would be the time to start. In terms of natural cures for arthritis this is a very well known and somewhat effective one. Take one teaspoon in the morning and one teaspoon at night. Once you get into the routine of doing this, within 2 or 3 weeks you should see some good results from this. Overall you will feel healthier, more energetic and the pain will not be so intense.

Epsom Salt

Epsom salt is used a lot in the treatment of any kind of muscle or joint pain, it is known to be a natural pain soother, and has been used for generations to relieve pain. The minerals in Epsom salt can help to renew the bones as well as strengthen them. Therefore soaking in a warm bath of Epsom salt every night before you go to bed could have a great effect on your overall feeling of well being. As well as relieving the crippling pain of rheumatoid arthritis

Drink Plenty of Water

Drinking plenty of water is vital in the process of cell renewal, as well as in the process of bone renewal. If you drink enough water to keep your body fully hydrated, this well help greatly in making your body work more efficiently and effectively. Therefore it gives some relief to rheumatoid arthritis sufferers.

Lemon and Lime juice

Drinking lemon and lime juice in hot water has been known to help relieve or even cure rheumatoid arthritis. There are so many natural cures for rheumatoid arthritis and lemon and lime juice have been amongst the most talked about cures. As they have some powerful antioxidant properties, which apparently help with pain relief.

When it comes to natural cures for rheumatoid arthritis, although there are a few to choose from, it is best to find and use a couple of them at first and see what works for you. Not everyone is the same and what work for someone else may not work for you.

Arthritis in Cats - Treatment Options Beyond Steroids

Just as it is for humans, arthritis in cats treatment options have come a long way in the past few years. Not so long ago the options for treating your cat for arthritic pain and inflammation were very limited. Veterinarians relied upon NSAIDS and steroids to help to reduce the inflammation that the disease brings on.

This has had limited success as it could only be used for short periods of time to treat the animal and if the cat happened to have heart or kidney problems as well then it made them not very good candidates for the treatment. This meant that a cat with arthritis on top of an existing illness was left to suffer in agony.

Many owners have had to look to euthanize their pets because they could not bear to see them in pain any longer. Often this was thought to be the more humane way of treating the condition. Thankfully, modern medicine progresses at a rapid speed nowadays and with it has come some great breakthroughs in treating the condition of arthritis in cats. The great thing is that both traditional medicine and modern medicine are now working together to provide better treatment options for pet owners and getting some good solid results.

Glucosamine and chondroitin have both been found to be an effective preventative measure in the battle to slow arthritis down. Both of these properties are evident in the cartilage. Arthritis in cats is essentially the breakdown or deterioration of cartilage around the joint. When this occurs, the joint rubs against hard bone and it proves to be an incredibly painful existence for the sufferer.

Omega-3 fatty acid is also found to be a positive factor for arthritis in cats treatment. This can be found in a high quality cat food, usually canned or wet food, or can be found in particularly high concentrations in the green-lipped mussel from New Zealand. This is a product that is now shipped world-wide and can be purchased dry and ground up and added to your pet's meal.

NSAIDS have been modern medicines answer to pain relief and inflammation problems. However, they have been very unpopular for some time along with the use of corticosteroids as they have very negative side effects which essentially can negate the reason for using them.

There has been a development of a long-term arthritis treatment medication that has had limited effect on cats. This is not due to the medication's efficacy, but due to the fact that cats have a unique metabolism and one of the side effects of this drug is nausea and vomiting. Unfortunately, this counteracts the drugs efficiency in treating and relieving pain from the arthritis.

USMLE Step 1 Exam - Everything You Need To Know About Rheumatoid Arthritis

The USMLE Step 1 exam is going to test your ability to understand the basic sciences, but as we move forward the exam is become more and more clinical in nature, so it is essential that you learn how to combine the basic sciences with the clinical side of medicine. When it comes to Rheumatoid Arthritis on the Step 1 exam, there are a few important things you have to understand, namely: Main signs and symptoms, clinical findings, lab findings, and finally when and which medications to use to help you patient.

Here are the main topics we are going to cover to ensure your USMLE Step 1 theory for rheumatoid arthritis is covered completely:

1. The main signs and symptoms

2. The main extra-articular signs and symptoms

3. The expected lab findings of RA

4. The steps to proper management for RA

5. Important complications you must be aware of relating to RA

The Main Signs and Symptoms:

  • Morning stiffness that lasts more than 1hr for at least 6 weeks

  • Swelling of the wrists, PIP, or MCP joints for at least 6 weeks

  • Symmetric joint swelling for at least 6 week

  • Swelling of at least 3 joints for at least 6 weeks

Deformities involving the PIP and DIP joints include "Boutonniere deformity" and "Swan-Neck deformity". The Boutonniere deformity is flexion of the PIP and extension of the DIP, while the Swan-Neck deformity is PIP extension with DIP flexion.

The Main extra-articular signs and symptoms

  • Rheumatoid nodules (subcutaneous nodules)

  • Caplan syndrome (rheumatoid nodules in the lungs)

  • Tendon and ligament damage

The expected lab findings of RA:

  • Rheumatoid Factor is increased

  • Anemia is usually found

  • ESR is increased (due to inflammatory process)

  • X-ray may show bony erosions

  • Synovial fluid analysis looking at white blood cell count (should be elevated)

The steps to proper management of RA:

We used to keep NSAIDs as the drug of choice, but now we stick to using Methotrexate as the first line management. Here are the steps to proper management:

  • Use methotrexate for 1 week, then add prednisone for 1 week (using prednisone subsequently for flare-ups)

  • If your patient cannot use methotrexate, we can give them hydroxychloroquine instead, which is an anti-malarial. This drug has the ability to cause retinopathies, so we have to ensure they get regular eye exams.

Important complications you must be aware of in RA:

  • An extension of the inflamed synovium into the popliteal space can cause a Baker's cyst, which presents with a swollen, tender, and painful calf

  • Prior to any surgical procedure, it is important to rule out a subluxation of the atlantoaxial joint, which can accidentally be hyperextended during intubation and potentially lead to post-operative paralysis.

Understanding and following the high-yield rheumatoid arthritis information above will ensure you cover all the RA information you need for your USMLE Step 1 exam.