I don't deserve this award, but I have arthritis and I don't deserve that either - Jack Benny
image by: Drahreg01
"Joints work so well, we often take them for granted. These wonderfully engineered structures allow us to walk, reach, grasp, and perform dozens of other crucial activities. Yet we hardly even give them a thought--until a problem arises. Then we can only marvel at how difficult it has become to perform each simple task.
There are numerous conditions that can cause joint dysfunction, but of course the most common is arthritis. Many people suffer from osteoarthritis, which is mostly caused by wear and tear. As we get older, our joints get stiff and painful.
However, other forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid, are more closely associated with inflammation. Rheumatoid arthritis is actually an autoimmune disorder, in which joints, as well as some organs, are slowly destroyed by an overzealous immune response.
While there are some treatments for rheumatoid arthritis, there's still no cure. However, there are steps we can take to control this disease and, in fact, reduce inflammation in general. We just have to make small changes.
Shunning the Inflammatory Lifestyle
Inflammation has become a common by-product of American life: We eat processed foods; lead frenetic, overstressed lives; sit way too much. But it doesn't have to be this way. It's our choice to get off the inflammation treadmill. Here are a few recommendations for reducing it:
- Stand up. On average, we sit around 13 hours a day, which is a dangerous way to live. A number of studies have shown that sitting reduces lifespan. While it's difficult to get around it completely in an office setting, it isn't impossible. Stretch your legs every 30 minutes or so, take a walk around, visit the water cooler. Doing so will make a big difference.
- Avoid inflammatory foods. Red meat, sugar, and processed foods, particularly fast foods, are bad for us. The primary concern is inflammation. While it's okay to have a burger or a cookie from time to time, we tend to overindulge. Stay away from these inflammatory foods, as well as hydrogenated fats, salt, fried foods, and alcohol.
- Embrace anti-inflammatory foods. Shop around the periphery of the grocery store, where all the fresh food lives. Stock up on fruits and vegetables, particularly the brightly colored varieties. These are rich in nutrients and antioxidants, which can reduce inflammation. I also recommend cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and cabbage, which are rich in sulfur compounds that slow inflammation and support joint health.
- Mindfulness. Chronic stress is highly inflammatory. Meditation is a great way to reduce that pressure. While it's hard for many people to adopt a regular meditative practice--it just feels like doing nothing--it's one of the healthiest things we can do to lower stress and control inflammation.
- Exercise. Cartilage is unique because it gets very little blood flow. Nutrients are brought in and waste discarded through joint motion, so it makes sense to move a lot. I highly recommend moving meditations, such as yoga, qi gong, and tai chi, which revitalize the body and calm the mind.
Adding Joint-Friendly Supplements
One way to support joint health is to strengthen the bones. Calcium is a crucial nutrient for bones, but many people have trouble digesting milk. Kale, oranges, almonds, and turnip greens are all rich in calcium. Still, calcium alone isn't enough; we need other nutrients to maximize bone health.
Vitamins D3 and K, as well as magnesium, help bones absorb calcium. Methysulfonylmethane (MSM) is an organic sulfur compound that reduces joint pain and inflammation. Sulfur is a major component in many connective tissues. Curcumin, found in the spice turmeric, has been shown to regulate inflammatory proteins. Another excellent anti-inflammatory spice is ginger.
One of the principle tenets of holistic medicine is to address the root of a problem. This isn't easy, particularly with complex systemic conditions like arthritis, but there are steps we can take. One of these is to add modified citrus pectin (MCP) to our supplement routine. Made from the pith in citrus peels, MCP has a special affinity for an inflammatory protein called galectin-3. In large amounts, galectin-3 has been associated with heart disease, cancer, and fibrosis of organs and tissues, including joints.
Because MCP targets galectin-3, it helps mitigate the harmful effects of the protein and, with it, inflammation. In my own practice, MCP does an excellent job of reducing inflammation in many of my arthritis patients. This single ingredient also gently removes harmful heavy metals and toxins from the body, which at elevated levels can contribute to joint pain as well as numerous other conditions.
Living with painful arthritis, whether rheumatoid, osteo-, or another variety, is a difficult road. Unfortunately, there are no ready-made solutions. However, by adopting an anti-inflammatory lifestyle, arthritis patients can do much to mitigate their pain and stiffness and even help slow the progression of their disease."
Source: Maria Rodale, Taking on Arthritis, Huff Post, February 8, 2015.
All Flared Up and Nowhere To Go
In 2002 Kathleen Turner partnered with Wyeth, the maker of RA drug Enbrel, to let others know that RA does not have to mean a lifetime of limitations, pain, and unanswered questions.
Enbrel and the Autoimmune Era
How a banner biotech drug made in Chinese hamster ovary cells is changing disease even as it treats it. An Object Lesson.
Glucosamine - The Bubble is Burst...Maybe...
Just about everyone you know who exercises or has joint pain has taken glucosamine at one time or another, and most people swear by it. Yet recently several studies have demonstrated that the benefits of glucosamine are overrated. So, are you wasting your money?
Taking on Arthritis
Joints work so well, we often take them for granted. These wonderfully engineered structures allow us to walk, reach, grasp, and perform dozens of other crucial activities. Yet we hardly even give them a thought--until a problem arises. Then we can only marvel at how difficult it has become to perform each simple task.
American College of Rheumatology
The American College of Rheumatology's mission is advancing rheumatology. The organization is for physicians, health professionals, and scientists that meets the mission through programs of education, research, advocacy and practice support.
Arthritis & The Internet
A table of some of my favourite arthritis links is included here.
There are too many to list, so only a key few are listed. Enjoy your web browsing. And finally, again, always remember: There is no such thing as a stupid question.
Arthritis and Rheumatism Alternatives
Is your doctor talking about pain management as arthritis treatment, and nothing else? Then it is time you looked further! It is YOUR responsibility to make sure you are dealing with a doctor who looks for causes, not merely relieves the pain symptoms.
•provides support and information to people with arthritis as well as their families and friends
•promotes awareness of the challenges facing people with arthritis across the community, and to leaders in business, industry, and government
•funds research into potential causes and possible cures as well as better ways to live with arthritis, and
•aims to keep health professionals such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and community nurses informed.
Arthritis Connect is a social network that empowers people living with arthritis. We make it easy to start conversations, share treatments, read and post product recommendations, and much more.
The Arthritis Foundation is the only national not-for-profit organization that supports the more than 100 types of arthritis and related conditions. Founded in 1948, with headquarters in Atlanta, the Arthritis Foundation has multiple service points located throughout the country.
You will never hear any of us saying that life with arthritis is easy. It's difficult, no ifs, ands or buts about it. But there are some ways to make life just a bit easier. We'll share some of those ways with you and hope that you share your ideas with us.
Arthritis National Research Foundation
ANRF provides funding for highly qualified researchers associated with major research institutes, universities, and hospitals throughout the country seeking to discover new knowledge for the prevention, treatment, and cure of arthritis and related rheumatic diseases. The site provides clinical trials information and a bibliography.
Arthritis Self-Management publishes practical and authoritative information that empowers people with arthritis to better manage their condition. We publish an award-winning bimonthly print magazine and a free biweekly e-mail newsletter.
Arthritis Today is a national consumer health magazine published by the Arthritis Foundation to help people with arthritis take control of their lives and their health. Arthritis Today's mission is to give readers the information, resources and inspiration they need to live better with arthritis.
The Arthritis Walk® is the Arthritis Foundation's nationwide event that raises awareness and funds to fight arthritis, the nation's leading cause of disability.
If you or someone you know suffers from arthritis, delve into the Web sites of these nationally and internationally known arthritis-related organizations. You will unearth information about different conditions, treatments, community groups, and more.
Health hacks, wellness tips & useful gadgets for mastering the art of getting along with your chronic pain adversary.
CELEBREX is FDA approved to treat osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and acute pain in adults. It is a type of NSAID '' it''s a prescription strength nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug. CELEBREX is not a narcotic.
Cimzia is a treatment for adults with moderately to severely active RA that provides fast and lasting relief and comfort, so you can focus less on your RA and more on what''s important to you.
Welcome to CreakyJoints, a community for people of all ages with arthritis who want to live their lives despite their condition. A place where having a little chronic pain (or even a lot of chronic pain) is OK, because there are others within earshot who understand.
ENBREL is indicated to treat rheumatic conditions like ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, and moderately to severely active RA and JIA.
The Fight Arthritis Pain campaign features fun ways that people can integrate movement into their lives.
Friends of CARRA
Friends of CARRA strives for a day when all important and meaningful research in the field of pediatric rheumatology is well funded and that these diseases are understood and recognized by the general public as serious, painful and debilitating.
HUMIRA works by binding TNF and helps block the process that can lead to the pain, inflammation, and progression of joint damage that RA can cause. Because TNF blockers, including HUMIRA, affect the immune system...
JointHealth™ is dedicated to changing arthritis.
In easy to understand language, JointHealth™ provides the most up-to-date research based information about all aspects of the most common types of arthritis and some of the rarer forms too.
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
The mission of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases is to support research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases; the training of basic and clinical scientists to carry out this research; and the dissemination of information on research progress in these diseases.
Living with rheumatoid arthritis can be tough. Coming to terms with a chronic condition is an important step toward managing your disease and living a full and active life with RA.
REMICADE is an advanced treatment that has been shown to have substantial benefits in patients with a number of inflammatory disorders involving the immune system.
Rheumatoid Arthritis HQ
This site is premised on the belief that if you don't understand your own disease and condition, it is not possible to get proper medical treatment for it... and that this will become more so in coming years. Our mission is to help people help themselves.
Welcome to the Countdown to RA Health, a new program aimed at empowering YOU in managing rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We've added fresh, new content to the site about important RA topics — from healthy living to finding support to partnering with your rheumatologist and more.
The site is carefully designed for quick, easy reading to give clinicians more help in less time. With an emphasis on authoritative, peer-reviewed content, Rheumatology Network offers: briefly summarized review content, new case studies presented as online photo quizzes, a Rheumatology Tip of the Day, news updates relevant to the practice of rheumatology, and more.
RISE is brought to you by the makers of Rituxan'' (rituximab)
which is a prescription medicine used in adults with another medicine called methotrexate to reduce the signs and symptoms of moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) after at least one other medicine called a tumor necrosis factor (TNF) antagonist has been used and did not work well.
While many people respond well to anti-TNF therapies, a significant number of people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may not. Fortunately, advances in RA research have led to a different type of RA treatment''a treatment that may work when anti-TNFs have either stopped working well or not worked well at all. It's called Rituxan'' (rituximab).
Share The Pain
Arthritis is pain. Sharing your pain is power. Help us help. Tell us what it’s like to live with the pain of arthritis: the physical pain, the emotional pain, even the financial pain. Share your experiences below, and learn from others by reading their stories.
The Simple Tasks campaign aims to elevate the importance of rheumatology, increase understanding of the work of rheumatologists, and lay a foundation of awareness and understanding that creates support for more favorable public policy.
The Arthritis Society
The Arthritis Society has been setting lives in motion for over 65 years, and is dedicated to a vision of living well while creating a future without arthritis. Founded in British Columbia in 1948 by Mary Pack and Dr. Wallace Graham, The Society is Canada’s principal health charity providing education, programs and support to the over 4.6 million Canadians living with arthritis.
The Arthritis WebPages
Welcome to the Arthritis Pages of drdoc on-line...coming to you from Cape Town, South Africa.
The Stone Clinic
Building better joints through advanced techniques in cartilage replacement, regeneration and repair.
American Chronic Pain Association
The information and tools on our site can help you to better understand your pain and work more effectively with your health care team toward a higher quality of life.
Arthritis is the most common cause of disability in the United States, limiting the activities of nearly 19 million adults.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic (long-standing) joint disease that damages the joints of the body.
Just Been Diagnosed?
We can help!
Are you New to RA? Then Read This!
If you're reading this, you've probably just been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. MyRACentral is here to help you through the adjustment, answer your questions and give you support.
Laser Spine Institute
The Mission of LSI is to offer a successful alternative to traditional open back and neck surgeries, fusions, and artificial disc replacements by using the latest techniques for spinal conditions through gentle, minimally invasive endoscopic laser procedures, alleviating the pain and symptoms of sufferers around the world.
Rheumatoid arthritis is two to three times more common in women than in men and generally occurs between the ages of 40 and 60. While there's no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, treatment options have expanded greatly in the past few decades.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis can also cause inflammation of the tissue around the joints, as well as in other organs in the body.
Rheumatoid arthritis is different from osteoarthritis, the common arthritis that often comes with older age. RA can affect body parts besides joints, such as your eyes, mouth and lungs. RA is an autoimmune disease, which means the arthritis results from your immune system attacking your body's own tissues.
About 1% of the world's population is afflicted by rheumatoid arthritis, women three times more often than men. Onset is most frequent between the ages of 40 and 50, but people of any age can be affected.