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Managing Arthritis

Mar 25, 2008
You may consider arthritis to be a disease of the elderly, but did you know that it could actually affect any age group? It is a well-established fact that two-thirds of those who experience arthritis are actually under the age of 65. For these 3 million Americans (that include children), normal, daily activities are hindered by swelling, pain, and stiffness. Arthritis can be very limiting.

What is arthritis?

There are over 100 different arthritic conditions that cause pain, limited movement, and stiffness in the connective tissues and joints throughout the entire body. Unfortunately, though, arthritis is chronic so once you have it, you will always have it. The good news is that there are things that can be done to help limit its effects on our bodies and daily life.

Types of Arthritis

There are three types of arthritis that affect individuals of all ages. They are:

1- Osteoarthritis. This is the most common form of arthritis caused by the cartilage in between the joints wearing down. It has been found that consuming adequate amounts of Vitamin C can protect the joints from free radicals and regenerate collagen, helping the body to repair any damage to the cartilage. Other nutrients that can help produce collagen include:

Vitamin A- found in cheddar cheese and liver.

Vitamin B6- found in wheat germ and white meat turkey & chicken.

Vitamin E- found in almonds and sunflower seeds Copper- found in whole grains and seafood.

Zinc- found in oysters, pumpkin seeds, and red meat.

Supplementing with glucosamine and chondroitin can also help, but be sure to check with your doctor before implementing these into your daily diet.

2- Rheumatoid Arthritis. This is a more serious form of arthritis. In this form, the immune system attacks the body causing swelling of the membranes that line the joints. Eventually, the joints are eaten away entirely. Nutrients that can help are:

Omega-3 fatty acids- found in cold-water fish like salmon, halibut, tuna, and sardines. They may be helpful in reducing stiffness & tenderness, and by improving overall joint function.

Gamma linolenic acid- found in evening primrose and borage seeds. This can help to fight painful inflammation.

3- Gout. Gout can be defined by experiencing excess amounts of uric acid, which is a by-product of the kidneys. When the kidneys are not working properly, uric acid builds up in the body and can crystallize around the joints causing pain and swelling. The following may help to reduce the onset of gout:

Water- Drinking lots of water can help to dilute uric acid in the blood and helps to flush it out of the body.

Cherries- these contain flavonoids that lower levels of uric acid.

Researchers have found that those who consumed a vegetarian diet saw dramatic improvement in arthritic symptoms within just a month. But if you're like me and just love your meat, try eating cold-water fish like salmon and tuna three times a week.

Supplementing your diet with herbal remedies such as evening primrose and borage can help, too.

A Healthy Weight

Being overweight can actually worsen arthritis since the extra pounds put more stress on our system as a whole. This, in turn, affects our mobility and the ease in which daily chores are performed. Maintaining a healthy weight is imperative if you are living with arthritis.

Living with Arthritis

There are 3 things that can be done to help minimize the effects of arthritis.

The first consists of medicine to relieve the discomfort and pain.

The second is to rest in order to heal the injured tissues.

And third: exercise to build strength. Do not forget proper nutrition in this equation!

As you can see, there are steps you can take to help limit the pain and discomfort of arthritis. Give these tips a try, and see if they work for you!
About the Author
Colleen is a health and fitness enthusiast who loves to pass on the latest information on health and wellness. Sign up for your free e-newsletter filled with cutting-edge information on health, nutrition, weight loss, and fitness. For your free e-newsletter, visit HealthyRevelations.com
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