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Common Diseases > Arthritis Tips

Tip 1: Make Sure You Really Have Osteoarthritis
While to some of you, today's tip might be very basic it is absolutely essential that you make sure your diagnosis is correct before you begin wasting money on treatments that are not designed to help your specific situation.

Do you really suffer from osteoarthritis? That question needs an answer before you embark on a course of treating it. All too often when you have joint pain, a doctor will be quick to say, "Well Jean, you know you aren't getting any younger and those joints are starting to degenerate." This is a mistake. The aging process is not what causes osteoarthritis.

There is only one way to know for certain that you are suffering from osteoarthritis. (OA) The diagnostic tool is a CT-scan and if you have not had the affected area scanned, any broad, sweeping statement from a physician that you have osteoarthritis is simply the wrong way to approach it.

Since there are approximately 100 different types of medical conditions that can affect your joints, it will be difficult to treat your condition effectively unless you know exactly what is ailing you.

Tip 2: Searching For Just Arthritis Pain Relief? You Shouldn't.
Doctors are very quick to address your joint pain with what has become a "standard" response. Normally, they tell you to take NSAIDS like Aspirin, Advil, Motrin, Ibuprofen, and Acetaminophens, or prescribe COX-2 inhibitors such as Vioxx and Celebrex.

Will these give you pain relief? Yes, you will obtain some pain relief using them. However, they also can cause a wide range of undesirable side effects from ulcers to heart disease to liver damage. Even more importantly, and you need to consider this fact, the use of these NSAIDs and COX-2 inhibitors do not halt the progress of osteoarthritis and new research is showing they may even hasten the onset of the disease.

Stopping the progress of your arthritis as well as stopping your pain should be your goal. How do you reach this goal? Well, this is a four-step process…

1. Diet
2. Exercise
3. Mental Attitude
4. Treatment

Tip 3: Keeping Your Weight in Balance is Key To Taking Control of Your Osteoarthritis!
If you remember from yesterday's tip, the first step in beating your arthritis getting your diet in order. Before I talk about the specific foods you should and should not be eating, I will first talk about the effect of being overweight on your arthritis.

This is a difficult subject to approach but one that is key to understanding one of the best ways to slow the onset of your osteoarthritis.

If your osteoarthritis is affecting your load-bearing joints, keeping your weight within normal ranges is important. Load-bearing joints of course refers to any portion of your body that would be affected by excessive weight. Hips, knees, feet and spine are all load bearing joints.

Excessive weight is a tough issue for some. There are those of us who have always been a little overweight and have never been able to lose it. Don't give up on doing exactly that. It becomes a much more important issue when osteoarthritis is affecting your ability to function without excessive pain on a day-to-day basis. I am suggesting, that if you are not already doing so you make efforts to watch your diet and try your best to engage in exercises that will assist you in losing weight such as walking. Believe me, it is well worth the time spent.

Tip 4: The Arthritis Fighting Diet
First, I will start this tip with a list of foods to watch out for.
While there over 100 different kinds of arthritis, they all have one thing in common. There are one or more foods that the sufferer is allergic to.

The most common food culprits are excess:
  • sugar
  • caffeine
  • citrus
  • salt
  • red meat
  • dairy products
  • additives
  • soft drinks
  • refined flour and gluten
  • nightshades (examples below) =
    • eggplants
    • red peppers
    • tomatoes
    • white potatoes
    • tobacco
You should make a note that when you eat these foods. If your arthritis pain becomes worse within 24 hours of eating any of the above, it is a good bet that you've found a food that aggravates your arthritis and that you should stay away from it.

Two things have happened since the 1930s and 40s that have caused Arthritis to be much more common.
  • 1. Sugar became a large part of our diets
  • 2. Drinking of soda has become widespread.
    • There are 11 to 13 teaspoons of sugar in a soft drink. If you put a penny in a glass of cola it will eat the coin. I would highly recommend to anyone with Arthritis to stop drinking soda and reduce his or her sugar intake.
    • If it can spoil eat it. If it cannot spoil do not eat it.
    • Also, stay away from additives and preservatives.
    • Be sure to read the labels.
    • Look at all the additives in ice cream, candy, and all the quick meals you pop in the microwave. They just are not good for your Arthritis.
  • Most prepared meals have over 1200 mg of sodium in each serving and 60 mg of cholesterol.
  • This is not just bad for your Arthritis; it is bad for your health in general.
Tip 5: Fighting Arthritis Through Proper Exercise!
Since your body has 143 different joints that are in motion every day of your life, this next piece of advice may be a little difficult to describe. The favorite targets of osteoarthritis are your hands, hips, knees, feet and spine. That does not mean that any or all of those other joints are immune from attack. It is not unusual for doctors to say things like "take it easy on that joint." In other words, they are really saying they don't want you to "exercise" the affected area.

Their intentions may be good but it is also not good advice. As best you can, try to keep painful joint areas in motion, even in a limited manner. Exercise is good for joints affected by osteoarthritis. Even if you don't think you can exercise, you can. Even the lightest exercise can go along way to maintaining joint mobility and health. A good exercise routine is key to beating Arthritis.

Tip 6: The Treatments: NSAIDs, Cox-II Inhibitors, Surgery, & Glucosamine
Doctors will often prescribe NSAIDs and COX-II inhibitors for joint pain and arthritis sufferers. If you are taking these treatments, you are putting yourself at a high risk for developing serious side effects from heart disease to ulcers. These treatments simply are not healthy for you.

In even more serious cases, the doctor will often prescribe steroids. However, steroids such as cortisone and opiates are not only dangerous, they can be life threatening. These are not a viable alternative either, and once again, all they do is treat the pain, but do nothing to treat the disease.

In the most severe cases of osteoarthritis, a doctor almost certainly will be telling you that you will require steroid treatments and unfortunately, in the more severe cases they will often be quick to say that terrible "S" word surgery.

When you are talking about joint surgery (typically, hip and knee replacements) there are usually two end results here, First of all, no matter what you are told you will experience limited mobility for the rest of your life after even the most successful operations. Secondly, these "replacement" surgeries do have a failure rate. Generally, they will last about 8-10 years at most and the surgery will have to be repeated.

However, there is hope. The latest arthritis research has shown that there are some very effective alternatives that have no side effects, are completely safe, and treat both the pain and disease. This treatment is glucosamine.

Recently, glucosamine has been making a lot of headlines. Glucosamine is an over-the-counter dietary supplement that has been shown to be effective in the treatment of osteoarthritis and joint pain. Glucosamine stimulates the production of glycosaminoglycans (GAG's), important proteins found in cartilage and proteoglycans, the water holding molecules that make up the cartilage.

Tip 7: How to Evaluate a Glucosamine Product
Glucosamine compounds have opened up an entirely new avenue for all of you who suffer from osteoarthritis. There is nothing new about the use of glucosamine as an arthritis treatment. For many years it has been used in Asia and Europe before the English speaking medical community caught on. However, you have to very, very careful when selecting among glucosamine products.

Your selection should be based on five factors.
  • You must consider the quality of glucosamine,
  • method of delivery to body,
  • additional ingredients in the product,
  • and of course price.
Simply put, the higher quality of glucosamine you use, the greater your relief will be. Many companies use medium grade glucosamine so you must be careful to look for the highest quality. You need to look for pharmaceutical grade glucosamine if you want the fastest and fullest relief and healing.

Secondly, the method of delivery can make the difference between no pain relief and complete pain relief. Most products produced after the breakthrough news of the 1999 Lancet Medical Journal glucosamine study were rushed to the market. In this haste, these companies did not take any time to do tests on their product. They simply assumed pill form would be the most effective. The latest research however, has shown that glucosamine in liquid form is much more effective. In selecting a glucosamine product, you should look for one that is liquid form.

Also crucial to the effectiveness of the product is the other ingredients that are included in the product. Glucosamine alone, for most people, is not a cure all. To receive truly complete relief you need to look for products that combine a number of arthritis fighting ingredients. You should look for a product that besides glucosamine sulfate and glucosamine HCL, also contains arthritis-fighting ingredients such as chondroitin, Boswellin, bromelaine, omega 3 &6, yucca, manganese ascorbate, and vitamins A, C, and E.

When considering price, you must take care to determine exactly how much supply you are purchasing. Many companies engage in what can only be called a "deceptive" practice. They often will include 60 pills, or 32 oz. of the product, but they don't make it clear that you have to take 6 pills or 4 oz. a day. You think you have purchased a month supply when often you will run out in less than 2 weeks. A good price for a quality liquid glucosamine product with many of the above ingredients synergistically combined is around $30.

My recommendation for glucosamine products is Syn-flex, a pharmaceutical grade liquid formula that combines all the ingredients that are essential to your pain relief and joint healing.

Tip 8: 12 Ingredients that Will End Your Arthritis
In treating arthritis, there are 12 key compounds that you should be taking for maximum relief. These are glucosamine, chondroitin, boswellin, bromelaine, omega 3 &6, yucca, manganese ascorbate, and vitamins A, C, and E.

When used together, studies (an in my personal experience) have shown tremendous results are possible in treating arthritis. Unlike dangerous Cox-2 inhibitors and NSAIDs the below ingredients have no side effects, are natural, and are safe. Below is a description of the role of each of my 12 recommended ingredients.
  • Glucosamine is a natural sugar produced by the body and found in certain foods. It plays an important role in the production, maintenance, and repair of cartilage. It stimulates the production of glycosaminoglycans and proteoglycans, two essential building blocks of cartilage.
  • Chondroitin Sulfate reduces inflammation and assists the Glucosamine in protecting against future cartilage degeneration.
  • Shark Cartilage is a source of Chondroitin Sulfate. It drives the Glucosamine and provide maximum absorption. Also, in many trials it has reduced the possibility of developing cancer. Bovine Trachea can also be used as a source of Chondroitin, however, there is a risk of BSE with this. (Mad Cow Disease).
  • Bromelaine cleans away the "debris" in the joints restores proper fluid balance. In addition, it helps to inhibit inflammatory compounds and reduces pain and swelling.
  • Boswellin has been used for centuries in the Indian Ayurvedic system of medicine to maintain healthy joints. Boswellic acids improve blood supply to the joints and maintain the integrity of blood vessels. At least one study has indicated that they may open up collateral blood circulation to provide adequate blood supply to the joints. Boswellin has been known to reduce joint swelling, maintain blood supply to inflamed joints and mobility as well as reduce pain due to stiffness in the joints.
  • Ascorbate (Manganese and ascorbic acid) assists your body with processing the glucosamine. This is a very important ingredient and one that is missing in nearly every glucosamine product on the market today.
  • Yucca has a long history in treating arthritis and rheumatism. The root is rich in sponins that elevate your body's ability to produce cortisone naturally.
  • The Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docasahexaenoic acid) are constituents of fish oils that act as anti-inflammatory agents. Usually, these products are sold separately in health food stores as salmon or fish oil. Syn-Flex brings both of these to you in one formula
  • Vitamin A (Beta carotene) is essential for growth and repair of body tissues and it aids in bone formation.
  • Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) produces a mobilization of your body's self-defence mechanisms, which assists your immune system to overcome disease.
  • And finally, Vitamin E (Tocopheral) is an antioxidant, which acts to protect red blood cells and unsaturated fatty acids from oxidation damage. It also assists your body in maintaining healthy membrane tissue.
  • In addition, Vitamin A, C, and E all promote general health and protect against the harmful effect of free radicals.

    If you are interested in really ending your arthritis pain once and for all, I would highly recommend trying a product that combines all these ingredients such as Syn-flex.

    Synflex for Athletes - Synflex for Arthritis - Synflex for Animals

    Arthritis | Cause | Osteoarthritis | Sport | Rheumatoid Arthritis | Arthritis Tips


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