The term arthritis is used loosely as if it encompassed one entity, although over 100 types of arthritis have been identified. For millions of Americans, arthritis limits everyday movements such as walking, standing, or even holding a pencil. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the effects of arthritis range from slight pain, stiffness, and swelling of the joints, to crippling and disabling discomfort. Arthritis affects people of all ages. The NIH reports that about 15% of the U.S. population has arthritis or a related disorder, and 200,000 children in the U.S. have some form of the disease.
Rheumatoid Arthritis, (RA), while less common than osteoarthritis, is a serious and painful joint disease. Rheumatoid arthritis affects about 2.1 million people in the U.S., most often women. The condition usually starts between the ages of 20 and 50, although it can begin at any age.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease in which the body’s immune system attacks its own healthy tissues. This is called an autoimmune response. The disorder affects many organs throughout the body, but is most noted for its significant disability, deformity, and inflammation of the joints and other structures comprised of connective tissue. RA can lead to crippling. It incapacitates the synovial tissue, which is the membrane that lines joints and secretes the lubricant that normally allows bones to move painlessly against other bones. With this condition, joints (most commonly the small joints of the hand) become tender, swollen, even deformed. Over time, the condition can also spread to other parts of the body.
Symptoms of Arthritis
Arthritis is an aggregate of illnesses whose common features include an inflammation of the joints, surrounding tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. Among the oldest known afflictions of human beings, it can affect virtually every part of the body: from the feet to the knees, back, shoulders, and fingers. There are three primary categories of arthritis, each with specific symptoms: Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis or Gout. Please click on the links to read more information and healing protocols for the specific type of arthritis you are referencing.
Night sweats, depression, lethargy, fatigue, low-grade fever, weakness, joint stiffness, and vague joint pain. These symptoms can lead to the appearance of painful, swollen joints within several weeks. RA may affect only one side of the body, but it is common for RA to strike the same joints on both sides of the body simultaneously – in the elbows, for instance. Later in the development of the disease, the affected joints become thicker and deformed.
Types of Arthritis
There are a variety of arthritic conditions, with the three most common forms of the disease being osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout. Less prevalent types of arthritis include psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and infectious arthritis. Young people may also suffer from juvenile arthritis.
The onset of RA symptoms can be slow with mild discomfort in the joints, morning stiffness, low-grade fever systemically or in the affected joints, and a gradual increase of symptoms. Or RA can strike quickly, and people can develop the disease seemingly overnight.
Arthritis is caused by a variety of factors, including joint instability, injuries, age-related changes, toxins, microbes, altered biochemistry, hormonal factors, and genetic predisposition. Yet other environmental, psychological, dietary, and even dental factors have also been found to bring on the condition. In recent years, research conducted by rheumatologists and allergists has concluded that some patients can experience allergy-induced arthritis.
Stress can also be a major factor because it disrupts the body’s hormonal balance. Stress related changes in the chemical levels of cortisol can often lead to changes in the immune system. A weakened immune system allows certain bacteria to penetrate the body, possibly leading to forms of arthritis. This sequence often occurs in women undergoing menopause.
Lyme disease can also cause arthritis symptoms, especially infectious arthritis. Presumably caused by bacteria (Borrelia burgdorferi) carried by deer ticks or black-legged ticks, the symptoms of Lyme disease may vary. Typical symptoms are a preliminary skin rash before the onset of fatigue, aches, and then flu-like symptoms. Eventually these bacteria penetrate the nervous system and attack brain tissue and spinal cells. The incubation period can be lengthy, with initial exposure commonly occurring during the summer and most symptoms developing weeks or months later.
Rheumatoid arthritis is classified as an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks its own tissues. In various combinations and severity, food allergies, nutritional deficiencies, toxicity, abnormal intestinal permeability, and microorganisms cause inflammation in the body. For someone who has rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation (the immune system’s attack on foreign substances) amplifies and becomes a destructive autoimmune response.
Delayed food allergies that disrupt the permeability of the intestinal walls can directly lead to onset of RA. This abnormal permeability allows incompletely digested food particles to pass through the walls of the digestive tract and into the bloodstream where, if not cleared, they are eventually deposited in tissues. This can cause an inflammatory reaction, and the immune system begins to attack the tissues, especially around the joints.
Many scientific studies have documented that there is increased intestinal permeability in over 90% of patients with autoimmune disease and arthritis. The top foods known to trigger rheumatoid symptoms include milk, yeast (both brewers and baker’s), wheat, nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, and potatoes), corn, and eggs.
Other causes of rheumatoid arthritis include genetic susceptibility, lifestyle factors, nutritional factors, toxicity, and microorganisms. There may also be an association between rheumatoid arthritis and abnormal bowel function. These underlying causes work in various combinations to trigger inflammation in the body. Smoking and chronic exposure to second-hand smoke can also contribute to rheumatoid arthritis.
Environmental Medicine: Allergy and allergy-like sensitivities are often factors that contribute to the painful symptoms in arthritic patients. Theron G. Randolph, M.D., and the founder of environmental medicine, discovered the link between arthritis and allergic reactions to environmental chemicals and foods. His research with over 1,000 arthritis patients found commonly eaten foods, especially nightshade vegetables, as well as chemical substances (ranging from natural gas, auto exhaust, paints, perfume, and hair spray to insecticides, tobacco, and tobacco smoke) caused many of his patients’ symptoms.
Additional research has found that foods, chemicals, grasses, pollen, moulds, and other airborne substances caused allergic reactions in the joints of nearly 85% of the arthritics in one study. Food additives, as well as foreign invaders like protozoa, bacteria, yeast, and fungus, can also trigger or aggravate arthritic symptoms.
Diet plays an integral part in reducing or preventing the onset of all types of arthritic conditions. A diet that includes excess consumption of fatty meats, hydrogenated fats such as margarine or shortening, and conventionally produced dairy products generates highly acidic conditions in the blood. For healing to occur, these foods should be minimized if not eliminated from the diet. Caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, and all refined sugars, should be eliminated. Replace processed sugars with alternative natural sweeteners or naturally sweet fruits. An occasional green tea is okay if caffeine is desired, and alcohol should be had in moderation, such as a glass of wine for special events only.
Soft drinks are high in phosphoric acid, which can dangerously elevate phosphorus levels in the blood. The normal ratio of calcium to phosphorus in bones is approximately two to one, although a one-to-one ratio is adequate to maintain skeletal growth. However, in the average American diet, this ratio is extremely skewed, with high amounts of phosphorus relative to calcium. This causes the body to pull calcium from the bones to supplement blood calcium levels, which can exacerbate arthritic conditions.
An important step in treating arthritis lies in achieving normal body weight, as excess weight puts increased stress on weight-bearing joints affected with arthritis. A diet rich in an abundant selection of fresh vegetables, and a wide variety of sweet and non-sweet fruits, nuts, and whole grains is recommended for maximum nutritional benefit. Whole (unprocessed) foods are rich in the nutrients needed to fight destructive free radicals, promote skin and tissue health, repair bones, muscles, and tendons, and promote bowel regularity. Additionally, eating a whole foods diet will gently and slowly detoxify the system, ultimately leading to higher energy levels and inspiration to eat better, exercise, and follow through with necessary lifestyle changes on your road to health and healing.
Dietary fats are an important consideration for anyone with arthritis. The wrong kind of fats can increase inflammation in joints, while the “good” fats will help reduce inflammation. Hydrogenated fats and trans-fatty acids can directly contribute to inflammation and the destruction of joint tissues. Avoid foods that contain these fats, such as margarine, vegetable shortening, mayonnaise, crackers and chips, cookies, cakes, pastries, packaged breads, candy, and most refined foods. Read all food labels, and do not buy or eat food that contains partially hydrogenated oils, canola oil or any artificial, chemically generated fats.
Whole foods are typically high in healthy fats, including the essential fatty acids (such as Omega-3 and omega-6 oils). Cold-water fish are good sources of essential fatty acids, as are flax and hemp seed oils and seeds. All are valuable for the prevention of arthritis because of their anti-inflammatory characteristics. Arthritis patients showed major clinical improvement when supplementing their diets with cod liver oil, which may also reduce the inflammatory process.
Also strongly recommended for arthritic conditions are the whole or juiced goji and/or acai berries, and Noni juice, which is especially good for counteracting excess inflammation and for strong antioxidant action. Pomegranate fruit extracts have been shown to block enzymes that contribute to cartilage degradation, especially in cases of osteoarthritis.
As mentioned above, arthritis sufferers commonly have high levels of acidity, which increases the potential for developing inflammatory conditions. Reduce your intake of acid-forming foods and increase intake of alkaline-forming foods to decrease acidity. (See our pH section for detailed information, at home testing, and diet protocols.) The most acid-forming foods are sugar, alcohol, vinegar, coffee, meat, trans fats and dairy products. Foods known to increase the alkalinity of the body include all vegetables, especially large amounts of fresh raw leafy salad greens, kale, chard, collards, aloe vera, and green power powder foods, such as chlorella, algae, barley grass, wheat grass, parsley, and alfalfa.
Undergo testing for potential food allergies and sensitivities and avoid those foods to which you test positive. Consider a rotation diet or elimination diet in order to further reduce the likelihood of food allergies.
Nutrition and diet are key players in the healing and elimination of imbalance and disease.
Nutritional deficiencies are one of the 4 major causes of disease, so let’s address that here. You should be doing all or at least some of these nutritional essentials:
- Avoid all fast food restaurants.
- Avoid all canned food.
- Eliminate conventional dairy products. The best dairy products are raw, unpasteurised and homogenised dairy from grass fed cows. If this is unavailable, then buy organic dairy.
- Avoid conventional beef. The best beef is organic grass fed beef www.grasslandbeef.com – the second best is organic meat; this includes beef, veal, lamb, chicken and turkey.
The Raw Food Diet – The raw food diet is a food plan that can have great benefits. After a few months of following our recommended basic whole foods diet, one can then transition into a high level raw or 100% raw food diet, as desired. This diet is composed of raw and live foods only, and includes a wide selection of raw fruits, vegetables, soaked and sprouted nuts and seeds and sea vegetables, in a wide variety of creative combinations. If choosing a raw food plan, we highly recommend daily consumption of fresh green juices, made from an array of green vegetables, such as celery, romaine lettuce, spinach, carrot, kale, parsley, with an ever rotating seasonal selection of other organic veggies. Daily salad meals, dehydrated flax crackers, seed and nut pates, blended soups, smoothies and marinated vegetable salads, often mixed with soaked sea vegetables are the base for the raw diet. Since little to no cooked food is consumed, a raw diet has the advantage of instant elimination of many common allergens. No cooked wheat, wheat byproducts or grains (generally) are consumed, and very little, if any, dairy products. Raw foodists may include small quantities of dairy, typically as cultured raw goat or sheep’s milk yogurt or kefir, usually homemade (these products can occasionally be found online or from local sources).
- Raw food generates rapid results because of its ability to thoroughly detoxify and liberate your body’s previously untapped energy. Dr. Gabriel Cousins, at the Tree of Life Center in Patagonia Arizona, endorses the raw food plan as the ultimate healing diet, and offers delicious 100% raw food meals at both the café and all of the healing retreats he offers.
- We recommend the raw food diet for long term cleansing and detoxification. Eating primarily raw food for three to twelve months can be an incredible experience to help increase energy, detoxify your body, support you in letting go of long time food addictions, and throughout your diet you will naturally be a major sponsor for organic produce. Most of us eat a variety of addictive foods, from sugar to pasta. The addictive nature of these foods is often overlooked, even in the healthiest of food plans. When eating raw, these items are automatically eliminated, hence freeing up energy the body can use to heal.
- What is important to note when choosing a raw food diet is the issue of trade-offs. You might miss cooked foods, though you will not miss your disease, and more times than not the raw food diet is an incredible tool that can be used to help shift serious health challenges into greater health and well-being.
Eat alfalfa rich in minerals for bones
Nutritional Supplements: Many researchers believe a proper balance of vitamins and minerals is essential in the treatment of arthritis. The following have proved beneficial:
- Vitamin C – Large quantities of vitamin C are often recommended. Acting both as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent, vitamin C helps repair and maintain healthy connective tissue. It is essential for collagen production and the maintenance of joint lining, helps tissue repair, and reduces the bruising and swelling often associated with arthritis.
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B1, B6,
- Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin D – Vitamin D has been shown to be a key factor in aiding arthritis. Take Vitamin D3 50,000-100,000 International Units a day http:/// for periods of 4 weeks at a time.
All of these supplements have also proven effective in treating and preventing arthritis. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble nutrient, considered to be both a vitamin and a hormone. It controls the absorption of calcium and phosphorus used in bone formation.
Other dietary supplements that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects important for arthritis prevention and treatment include: boron, zinc, copper, selenium, manganese, pantothenic acid, and sulfur. Bee pollen, royal jelly (another bee product rich in pantothenic acid), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and evening primrose oil are also beneficial in alleviating arthritis symptoms, especially among rheumatoid arthritics. All these supplements, though, should be taken only under supervision by a qualified health professional.
Manganese has many functions in the body, including normal growth and metabolism. It helps to activate enzymes, is used for normal bone development, and acts as an anti-inflammatory. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis are usually significantly deficient in manganese and supplementation is recommended.
Cetyl myristoleate, a rare anti-arthritis substance now created synthetically, acts as a lubricant for joints and muscles, modulates immune system function, and has anti-inflammatory effects. Cetyl myristoleate is usually given orally for one-month period, at a 10-15g dosage. It is also available as a cream. This fatty substance should be taken in conjunction with 100mg of lipase, an enzyme that digests fat.
- Omega 3ssuch as the following
MSM – (methyl sulfonyl methane)
This is a compound found naturally in foods such as organic milk, meat, seafood, fruits and vegetables. It is thought to work by contributing sulphur. It’s found in capsule or tablet forms. MSM is also available as a cream or lotion, although evidence suggests it can’t be absorbed through skin. It is particularly beneficial for osteoarthritis – studies suggest MSM may reduce osteoarthritis pain. MSM is often combined with glucosamine in commercial arthritis products. It’s thought to work because of the sulphur, which is believed to strengthen collagen.
- Wholefood supplements are the best way of ensuring your nutritional needs are met. The best we know on the market is Kevin Trudeau’s “KT Daily” product. You can find more details here
- Able Heal
- Deer Antler Velvet
- CMO – Cetyl Myristoleate
- MMS1 and MMS2 – Miracle Mineral Solution
- What non-prescription and prescription drugs are you taking?
Your non-prescription and prescription are partially the reason that you have this illness or disease – you need to get off these medications but do so only under the guidance of a licensed health care practitioner.
- Apply topically and take internally, Cetyl Myristoleate (CMO) http://cetylmyristoleate.com/
- Apply DMSO once or twice a day to the affected area: Dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO)* is a source of sulfur (derived from wood pulp, garlic oil, or as a byproduct of petroleum) and is thought to be a free-radical scavenger with anti-inflammatory properties. Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is a sister compound of DMSO derived from food sources. MSM is naturally produced in the body, but levels decrease with age and in degenerative illnesses such as arthritis. These supplements can reduce inflammation and scar tissue, relieve pain, and increase blood flow for improved exchange of nutrients. Of special relevance in rheumatoid arthritis, MSM can help normalize the immune system and reduce the autoimmune response.
*Caution: When applying DMSO on the body use thoroughly clean hands and clean cotton swabs. Take care to be impeccable because whatever substance comes in contact with DMSO gel is absorbed quickly and driven deeply into the body. Avoid contact with dirt until the area is completely dry.
Shark cartilage in capsule form is now being used to combat the pain of arthritis. Shark cartilage contains large amounts of mucopolysaccharides (carbohydrates that form chemical bonds with water), which stimulate the immune system and reduce the pain and inflammation of arthritis. Shark cartilage is orally administered at least 30 minutes before meals. Enzymes, especially Wobenzyme, a pancreatic enzyme formula, are also important for helping to reduce symptoms of inflammation.
- Use Biotape to solve the initial pain www.biotape.net
- Buy a Magnetico Sleep Pad http://magneticosleep.com
We know that when the body is out of balance, energy doesn’t flow, leading blockages and eventually disease. Here are some things you can do to combat stress and restore balance:
- Go to a Dr Morter BEST (Bio-Energetic Synchronisation Technique) Practitioner.
- Sign up for Energetic Re-Balancing: 2 practitioners to consider are:
Stephen Lewis, founder of the Aim Program. Find out more by clicking here.
. Find out more by clicking here.
- Consider using Mary Millers Iching System Products – ichingsystemsinstruments.com
- Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT): Use the incredibly simple but extremely effective Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) to help with pain relief Emotional trauma — The second factor, which is also almost universally present in most all autoimmune diseases, is some kind of predisposing traumatic emotional insult that typically occurs before the age of five or six. And unless that specific insult is addressed in some type of effective treatment modality, then the underlying emotional trigger will not be removed, allowing the destructive process to proceed. Therefore, it’s very important to have an effective tool to address these underlying emotional traumas. www.rogercallahan.com
- Reiki – this can help with healing to joints – find a local reiki practitioner here.
Alternative treatments for arthritis: www.onlymyhealth.com/top-alternative-treatment-arthritis-1280919428
5 Tips for Natural Relief from Pain: blog.seattlepi.com/naturalmedicine/2012/06/25/5-tips-for-natural-relief-from-osteoarthritis-pain
Ayurvedic remedies for arthritis : www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ravKEdhltE
Acupuncture for Arthritis: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/1529-0131(200104)44:4%3C819::AID-ANR138%3E3.0.CO;2-P/full
Depression and Anxiety linked to Arthritis www.prweb.com/releases/2012/6/prweb9621656.htm
DMSO and joint pain: www.naturalnews.com/037485_DMSO_inflammation_muscle_pain.html
Further Information (links and books)
Arthritis Relief At Your Fingertips, Michael Reed; Arthritis: An Alternative Medicine Definitive Guide, Eugene Zampieron; The Arthritis Helpbook, Kale Lorig; Osteoarthritis (Natural Health Guide) (Alive Natural Health Guides) by Zoltan P. Rona; How to Eat Away Arthritis: Gain Relief from the Pain and Discomfort of Arthritis Through Nature’s Remedies by Lauri M. Aesoph;
Arthritis Diet : The Rheumatoid Arthritis Cure Relieve Osteoarthritis by Anna Gracey; Arthritis – The Botanical Solution: Nature’s Answer to Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Gout and Other Forms of Arthritis by Case Adams.
Authentic CMO (Cetylmyristoleate)
www.authenticcmo.com (800) 224-8912
MSM, Ultra Botanicals
www.msm-msm.com (800) 453-7516
Holistic Dentistry, Holistic Dental Association
www.holisticdental.org (305) 356-7338
Soft Laser Therapy
www.softlasertherapy.org (803) 955-0178
Castor Oil Packs, The Heritage
www.heritagestore.com (800) 862-2923
Fasting We Care Spa
www.wecarespa.com (800) 888-2523
Evening Primrose Oil, Barlean’s
www.barleans.com , (800) 445-3529
Boswellia Himalaya Herbs
Bee Alive Royal Jelly Sweet Energy Formula
www.beealive.com (800) 692-5445
Glucosamine chrondrotin with SAM-e
www.longevityplus.com (800) 580-7587
www.sierrasil.com (877) 743-7720
Hyaluronic Acid Complex with Chondroitin
recently found to be more effective than glucosamine.
Whole Food Green Powder, Vitamineral Green
www.livingnutritionals.com (866) 729-3438
Joint and Muscle Comfort Plus, Dr. Julian Whitaker
www.drwhitaker.com (888) 886-8213
Alpha-flex with Omeage-5e, Alpha-flex
www.alphaflex.com (888) 988-8588
Joint Advantage, Mountain Home Nutritionals
www.drdavidwilliams.com (800) 888-1415
Flexanol, NorthStar Nutritionals
Advanced Joint Support, Healthy Resolve
www.advancedbionutritionals.com (800) 791-3395
www.healthydirections.com (866) 599-9491
www.ivlproducts.com (800) 218-1378
OPC Miracle Joint Complex, Biogenetics, Inc
Andrea Butje | Aromahead firstname.lastname@example.org – aromatherapy
Carrie Vitt email@example.com – organic food recipes.
David Spector-NSR/USA firstname.lastname@example.org – meditation, stress
judith hoad email@example.com – herbalist.
Kath May firstname.lastname@example.org – reiki, tai chi.
Lillian Bridges email@example.com – Chinese medicine, living naturally.
Monika firstname.lastname@example.org – aromatherapy.
Rakesh GAC@AyurvedicLifeStyles.com – Ayurvedic Practitioner.