RESEARCH SAYS: THE CHRONIC PAIN OF ARTHRITIS WILL GO PERMANENTLY!
Arthritis is a medical condition that damages the body’s joints, causing discomfort and pain. It can range from mild to severe, and can affect people of all ages. Although there is no cure for arthritis, there are ways to manage the condition.
AN OVERVIEW OF ARTHRITIS
Arthritis is not one disease alone, but an umbrella term for more than 100 conditions that affect the joints of the body. Joints are points where two or more bones meet, such as in the wrist, knuckles, hips, knees and ankles.
The three most common types of arthritis found in Australians are:
- rheumatoid arthritis
Other types of arthritis include:
- juvenile arthritis
- ankylosing spondylitis
- systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus)
SYMPTOMS OF ARTHRITIS
The symptoms of arthritis vary from person to person. But if you have arthritis, you will almost certainly have symptoms relating to your joints, such as:
- redness and heat
- stiffness or reduced movement.
Some people also get other problems outside their joints. Other common symptoms include:
- weight loss
- skin problems
- feeling unwell.
If you have any symptoms of arthritis, it is important you see your doctor to get a diagnosis and start treatment. Without treatment, the condition may get worse and cause long-term damage.
Some types of arthritis can be difficult to diagnose, so it may take a few visits and tests to get a definite diagnosis. Your doctor may also need to refer you to a rheumatologist, who specialises in conditions that affect the joints.
For many types of arthritis, there are treatments available that can help control symptoms and prevent damage to the joints.
The most appropriate treatment will depend on which type of arthritis you have, which joints are affected, and the symptoms you have.
Treatment might include:
- medications, such as pain-killers, anti-inflammatory drugs or disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (used for inflammatory forms of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and juvenile idiopathic arthritis)
- pain management techniques, such as meditation.
In severe cases, surgery may be needed to replace or repair damaged joints.
LIVING WITH ARTHRITIS
There are many things you can do to help manage arthritis so you can meet the demands of daily life.
Among the most important things are to:
- maintain a healthy weight
- eat a well-balanced diet
- exercise regularly
- learn ways to manage your pain
- seek support when you need it.
- Take Homeopathy treatment
FOODS AND ARTHRITIS
Millions of people suffer from painful and swollen joints associated with arthritis. In the past, many doctors told arthritis patients that dietary changes would not help them. However, this conclusion was based on older research with diets that included dairy products, oil, poultry, or meat. New research shows that foods may be a more frequent contributor to arthritis than is commonly recognized. It is clear that, for most people, a healthier menu and Homeopathy is the answer.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF ARTHRITIS
Arthritis is actually a group of different diseases. Osteoarthritis is a gradual loss of cartilage and overgrowth of bone in the joints, especially the knees, hips, spine, and fingertips. Over 200 million Indians, mostly over age 45, suffer from osteoarthritis, which seems to be the result of accumulated wear and tear. Although it can cause painful episodes, it is characterized by only transient stiffness and does not cause major interference with the use of the hands.
Rheumatoid arthritis, which affects over 20 million people, is a more aggressive form of the disease. It causes painful, inflamed joints, which sometimes become damaged.
Rheumatoid arthritis is one of medicine’s mysteries. There were no medical reports of the disease until the early 1800s. Some have suspected that a virus or bacterium may play a role, perhaps by setting off an autoimmune reaction. Genetics may also be a factor, in that it may influence susceptibility to the disease.
THE ROLE OF DIET IN ARTHRITIS
For years people have suspected that foods are an important factor in the development of rheumatoid arthritis. Many notice an improvement in their condition when they avoid dairy products, citrus fruits, tomatoes, eggplant and certain other foods.
Initially, the evidence was anecdotal. A woman from the Midwest once suffered from painful arthritis. Today she is a picture of health, thin and athletic, and her arthritis is totally gone. It seemed that dairy products were to blame for her arthritis, for when she eliminated them from her diet, the arthritis disappeared completely.
Another woman, from Wisconsin, also found that her arthritis was clearly linked to dairy products. Although she had been raised on a dairy farm, she learned that staying away from dairy products was the key to relieving her symptoms.
A 1989 survey of over one thousand arthritis patients revealed that the foods most commonly believed to worsen the condition were red meat, sugar, fats, salt, caffeine, and nightshade plants (e.g., tomatoes, eggplant). Once the offending food is eliminated completely, improvement usually comes within a few weeks. Dairy foods are one of the principle offenders, and the problem is the dairy protein, rather than the fat, so skim products are as much a problem as whole milk.4
An increasing volume of research shows that certain dietary changes do in fact help. For example, polyunsaturated oils and omega-3 supplements have a mild beneficial effect, and researchers have found that vegan diets are beneficial.5 One 2002 study looked at the influence of a very low-fat vegan diet on subjects with moderate-to-severe RA. After only four weeks on the diet, almost all measures of RA symptoms decreased significantly. The journal Rheumatology published a study that found a gluten-free vegan diet improved the signs and symptoms of RA. An uncooked vegan diet, rich in antioxidants and fiber was shown in another study to decrease joint stiffness and pain in patients with RA. Some research studies have looked at fasting followed by a vegetarian or vegan diet. A review of multiple research studies concluded that this dietary treatment might be useful in the treatment of RA.
Vegan diets dramatically reduce the overall amount of fat in the diet, and alter the composition of fats. This in turn can affect the immune processes that influence arthritis. The omega-3 fatty acids in vegetables may be a key factor, along with the near absence of saturated fat. The fact that patients also lose weight on a vegan diet contributes to the improvement.
In addition, vegetables are rich in antioxidants, which can neutralize free radicals. Oxygen free radicals attack many parts of the body and contribute to heart disease and cancer, and intensify the aging processes generally, including of the joints.
Iron acts as a catalyst, encouraging the production of these dangerous molecules. Vitamins C and E, which are plentiful in a diet made of vegetables and grains, help neutralize free radicals. Meats supply an overload of iron, no vitamin C, and very little vitamin E, whereas vegetables contain more controlled amounts of iron, and generous quantities of antioxidant vitamins.
As well as being helpful in preventing arthritis, antioxidants may also have a role in reducing its symptoms. Some arthritis treatments, including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, work at least in part by neutralizing free radicals. For the most part, however, vitamins and other antioxidants will be of more use in preventing damage before it occurs, rather than in treating an inflamed joint.10
A diet drawn from fruits, vegetables, grains, and beans therefore appears to be helpful in preventing and, in some cases, ameliorating arthritis.
THE FOUR-WEEK ANTI-ARTHRITIS DIET (ADAPTED FROM FOODS THAT FIGHT PAIN, BY NEAL BARNARD, M.D.)
For four weeks, include generous amounts of foods from the pain-safe list in your routine.
At the same time, scrupulously avoid the major triggers.
It is important to avoid these foods completely, as even a small amount can cause symptoms.
Foods that are not on either list can be consumed, so long as you are emphasizing the arthritis-safe foods and scrupulously avoiding the major triggers.
You may well experience benefits earlier than four weeks, but for some people it can take this long for chronically inflamed joints to cool down.
Pain-safe foods virtually never contribute to arthritis or other painful conditions. These include
- Brown rice
- Cooked or dried fruits: cherries, cranberries, pears, prunes (but not citrus fruits, bananas, peaches or tomatoes)
- Cooked green, yellow, and orange vegetables: artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, chard, collards, lettuce, spinach, string beans, summer or winter squash, sweet potatoes, tapioca, and taro (poi)
- Water: plain water or carbonated forms, such as Perrier, are fine. Other beverages – even herbal teas – can be triggers.
- Condiments: modest amounts of salt, maple syrup, and vanilla extract are usually well-tolerated.
After four weeks, if your symptoms have improved or disappeared, the next step is to nail down which one or more of the trigger foods has been causing your problem. Simply reintroduce the foods you have eliminated back into your diet one at a time, every two days.
Have a generous amount of each newly reintroduced food, and see whether your joints flare up again. If so, eliminate the food that seems to have caused the problem, and let your joints cool down again. Then continue to reintroduce the other foods. Wait at least two weeks before trying a problem food a second time. Many people have more than one food trigger.
It is not recommended to bring meats, dairy products, or eggs back into your diet. Not only are they major triggers, but they also encourage hormone imbalances that may contribute to joint pain, and also lead to many other health problems.
AVOID MAJOR ARTHRITIS TRIGGERS
1. Dairy products*
4. Wheat, oats, rye
6. Citrus fruits
*All dairy products should be avoided: skim or whole cow’s milk, goat’s milk, cheese, yogurt, etc.
**All meats should be avoided: beef, pork, chicken, turkey, fish, etc.
WHAT HOMEOPATHY COSTS?
Your first consultation with a private homeopath will usually cost between INR 500 to INR 10,000. Further appointments usually cost less – about INR 500 to INR 5000 depending on the location of the place and experience of homeopath. It will also depend on the skill level of his staff or assistants who usually take the first case and prepare it for the main consultant.
Your remedy will usually be included in the consultation price, but do check this first. Homeopathic tablets or other products usually cost around INR 100 to INR500 if you need to buy them separately in India.
Dr. Shreepad A. Khedekar, BHMS, MD (homeopathy), a specialist for over 17 years, he has used homeopathy in his Switzerland, Belgrade and Mumbai practice for the last 17 years. He lectures in homeopathy at Switzerland, Croatia and at the Serbian Doctors Association (SLD) Teaching Centre in Belgrade and has a busy private practice in Dadar, Mumbai and at Shushrusha Citizens co-operative hospital, Mumbai and is the only Homeopath in their 60 year history.
Dr. Shreepad Khedekar is the Clinical Director, Imperial clinics Mumbai and Imperial clinics Belgrade, Consultant at Shushrusha Citizens Co-op Hospital Mumbai and Physician to several international stars and celebrities.
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