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ARTHRITIS

 

Any illness that ends with “itis” is an inflammatory disease. Arthritis is an umbrella  term used to describe a common condition that causes pain and inflammation and there are many forms affecting various parts of the body.

 

Types of arthritis

  1. Adult-onset Still’s disease

  2. Ankylosing spondylitis is a form which usually causes stiffness in the spine.

  3. Behçet's disease

  4. Bursitis

  5. Calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease (CPPD)

  6. Carpal tunnel syndrome

  7. Chondromalacia patella

  8. Chronic fatigue syndrome

  9. Complex regional pain syndrome

  10. Cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes (CAPS)

  11. Degenerative disc disease

  12. Developmental-dysplasia of hip

  13. Ehlers-Danlos

  14. Familial Mediterranean fever

  15. Fibromyalgia

  16. Fifth disease

  17. Giant cell arteritis

  18. Gout caused by a build up of uric acid.

  19. Hemochromatosis

  20. Infectious arthritis

  21. Inflammatory arthritis

  22. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

  23. Juvenile arthritis are forms of arthritis that affect children.

  24. Juvenile dermatomyositis (JD)

  25. Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA)

  26. Juvenile scleroderma

  27. Kawasaki disease

  28. Lupus

  29. Lyme disease

  30. Mixed connective tissue disease

  31. Myositis (inc. polymyositis, dermatomyositis)

  32. Osteoarthritis caused by damage to the cartilage in the joints.

  33. Osteoporosis

  34. Pagets

  35. Palindromic rheumatism

  36. Patellofemoral pain syndrome

  37. Paediatric rheumatic diseases

  38. Paediatric SLE

  39. Polymyalgia rheumatica

  40. Pseudogout

  41. Psoriatic arthritis

  42. Raynaud’s phenomenon

  43. Reactive arthritis can result from certain infections causing red swollen joints.

  44. Reflex sympathetic dystrophy

  45. Reiter's syndrome

  46. Rheumatic fever

  47. Rheumatism

  48. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune form of arthritis.

  49. Scleroderma

  50. Secondary arthritis may occur following joint injury.

  51. Sjögren’s disease

  52. Spinal stenosis

  53. Spondyloarthritis

  54. Systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis

  55. Systemic lupus erythematosus

  56. Systemic sclerosis

  57. Temporal arteritis is a condition in which medium and large arteries, usually in the head and neck, become inflamed.

  58. Tendinitis

  59. Vasculitis

  60. Wegener’s granulomatosis

People with type 2 diabetes have higher risks of developing osteoarthritis and gout, which is due to the fact that obesity increases the risk of type 2 diabetes as well as these forms of arthritis.

People with type 1 diabetes have higher risks of also developing rheumatoid arthritis. Both conditions are autoimmune diseases and studies have shown that certain genes may increase the risk of these.

 

Rheumatism or rheumatic disorder is a non-specific term for medical problems affecting the bones, heart, joints, kidney, lungs and skin. In rheumatoid arthritis, the same joints usually are affected on both sides of the body. This symmetry does not typically occur in osteoarthritis. The three most common forms of arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis which is an autoimmune condition,  osteoarthritis which is degenerative joint disease and gout which is a condition usually caused by having too much uric acid in the body and the deposition of monosodium urate crystals in tissues.

 

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What causes arthritis

 

As part of normal life, the joints are exposed to a constant low level of damage. In most cases, providing the diet is nutritious and healthy, the body will repair the damage itself. Usually, the repair process will pass unnoticed and there will be no symptoms. Some people with arthritis experience varying levels of pain which can be constant and extreme. They often find their fingers and joints stiff, unable to straighten out as they should. Arthritis can lead to severe deformity in only 3-5 years. The most frequently affected joints are in the hands, spine, knees and hips.

Arthritis, at the most basic level, is the manifestation of cell damage and cell death when cellular functions break down. The symptoms experienced are the body’s response to the type of cells that are being damaged or lost. Joint damage does not cause arthritis. Arthritis occurs only when the cells are unable to repair the damage or are unable to reproduce to replace the cells that are being lost.

 

All cells need essential nutrients such as fatty acids, minerals, vitamins, protein and oxygen to survive. The cells will always become damaged and die if deprived of these essentials supplies. Smoking, drinking alcohol, taking drugs (including many prescribed medications) and an imbalanced diet will serve to increase the symptoms of arthritis because they expel or reduce the essential supplies of nutrients and oxygen.

 

Conventional treatment

 

Conventional medicine states that there is no known cure for degenerative diseases and persists in subjecting the patient to the usual treatments that are usually ineffective and results in acceptable side effects that make their life progressively worse. Symptoms come and go because the cells are constantly trying to repair the damage and fighting for survival. Cells strengthen to resume normal functions whenever they are provided with the nutrients they need. Bone disorders progress only because usual treatments allow the cells to die, gradually wasting away the bones and cartilages.

 

There is no cure within conventional medicine as it is typically designed to treat symptoms and mask pain or to replace wasted body parts. It is also not designed to strengthen the cells to restore cell functions.

 

Pain and inflammation is an important part of the body’s self-protection mechanism. Pain is meant to slow a person down in order to give the body a chance to recuperate, to conserve energy and to stop them from pushing themselves further over the limit, damaging the body even more. Painkillers enable one to carry on damaging the joints further until they eventually breakdown altogether.

 

Food allergies

 

There are components in certain foods that can cause an over reactive immune system and nutrient deficiencies both of which can cause pain and inflammation to the bones and joints. Some will irritate the intestines and reduce nutrient absorption. This can also cause gut permeability which then allows undigested proteins to enter the blood stream. The immune system then recognises these as foreign invaders and attacks them. But, because these proteins can be similar to proteins in the body, the immune system may then mistakenly attack those too. The bone and cartilage tissues can be attacked which then causes pain and inflammation.

 

It is wise to try an elimination diet of the potential food allergens listed below to see if there is any improvement in disorders of the bones and joints. This can be a long process as it can take just a few days or, in some cases, up to three months to see any improvement.

  • A1 casein protein in cow's milk and dairy products.

  • Artificial food additives and flavours

  • Benzoates are widely used food preservatives, with an E number of E211.

  • FODMAPS: carbohydrate intolerance

  • Glycoalkaloids and steroid alkaloids in vegetables from nightshade family.

  • Gluten in barley, rye, spelt and wheat.

  • Isothiocyanate (mustard gas) produced by cruciferous (brassica) sulphur-containing vegetables is known to trigger allergies and outbreaks of pemphigus.

  • Lactose in cow's milk and dairy products

  • Lectins in beans, dairy products (when cows are fed grains), grains, some nuts and seeds and vegetables from the nightshade family.

  • Mono-sodium glutamate (MSG) found in Chinese food, kombu, miso, soybean milk (naturally high in glutamate and often has hydrolysed vegetable protein added to it) and soy sauces.

  • Nitrites and nitrates are not dangerous, but they can react with other compounds found in food or in the body to form carcinogenic compounds called nitrosamines. These reactions are more likely to occur in the presence of protein, which is why preserved meats can be problematical. The formation of nitrosamines is less likely in the presence of vitamin C which is found in vegetables. In early life nitrate-rich foods can cause blue baby disease (methemoglobinemia). They are fine for babies over four months of age, but spinach and beetroot should be fed in moderation until the infant reaches the age of one year.

  • Phenols are used as synthetic preservatives and known to trigger allergies and outbreaks of pemphigus.

  • Pimaricin, also known as Natacyn or Natamycin, is a naturally occurring antifungal agent produced during fermentation by the Streptomyces natalensis bacteria commonly found in soil and has the E number E2325. It is used to prevent mould and fungal growths on some dairy and sausage products in some countries.

  • Salicylates found in many cosmetic products ingredients, medications and fruits and vegetables.

  • Sorbic acid and its salts, such as sorbic acid (E200), sodium sorbate (e201), potassium sorbate (e203) and calcium sorbate (e203) are antimicrobial agents often used as preservatives in food and drinks to prevent the growth of fungi, moulds and yeast in some breads, cheese and meats.

  • Sulphites (sulfites) are preservatives used in many foods, cosmetics and prescribed drugs.

  • Tannins, found in many foods, are known to trigger allergies and outbreaks of pemphigus.

  • Thiols, found in some sulphur-containing foods such as brassicas, beans, nuts and some seeds, are known to trigger allergies and outbreaks of pemphigus.

Excess protein

 

If nitrogen intake exceeds nitrogen excretion, as can occur with high-protein diets, excess protein leaves the body accompanied by calcium, increasing the risk for kidney stones, arthritis and osteoporosis. The amount of protein required in the daily diet is far less than people normally consume. Meat portions should never be larger than the size of the fist of the person consuming it and this includes children.

 

When the diet is high in meat protein and low in fish, vegetables, nuts and seeds there may be a lack of calcium and other essential minerals and vitamins in the diet as meat is not as rich in some of these nutrients as these other foods. Calcium is required for bone and joint health and is most important in the diet of children in order to build strong bones. Excerssive proein can also cause gout.

 

Heavy metals

 

When it comes to bone health, heavy metal exposure is particularly harmful. Metals are not easily excreted by the lymphatic system and tend to accumulate in the connective tissue of the bones and joints. There are many metals of concern because of occupational or residential exposure such as:

 

 

Small amounts of these elements are common in the environment and diet and traces of those marked with an asterisk are known to be absolutely necessary for good health, but large amounts of any of them may cause acute or chronic toxicity (poisoning).

 

Heavy metal toxicity can greatly contribute to bone and joint disorders. When consuming any large or deep sea fish it is best to also consume the herb coriander and algae and seaweed at the same time. These sea vegetables and coriander have components which chelate (bind to) mercury and other heavy metals and eliminate it from the body. Drinking green tea when consuming seafood that may contain mercury can reduce absorption into the blood stream. Selenium can also help to eliminate heavy metals and two brazil nuts per day will provide the selenium required for this purpose. Sea creatures that dwell on the ocean floor such as crabs, lobsters and oysters are prone to heavy metal contamination due to the fact they consume debris that falls to the ocean floor including those often contaminated with mercury that is heavier than water.

 

NOTE: If water is boiled for a long time, or re-boiled, it can concentrate elements such as nitrates, arsenic and fluoride which then become toxic and will eventually affect the bones and joints. It is very important to empty the kettle, rinse and refill it every time it is used to avoid this issue.

 

Heavy metals that contribute to arthritic conditions

  • Aluminium lessens calcium absorption, interferes with bone mineralisation and modifies collagen production within the bones and joints.

  • Cadmium damages the kidneys and alters calcium and zinc metabolism. Smokers inhale 1 mcg of cadmium with each cigarette smoked. Industrial pollution also contains high levels of cadmium.

  • Lead inhibits activation of vitamin D and limits calcium absorption. It can be stored in the bones, displacing calcium and released as bones begin to break down after menopause. This may exacerbate menopausal bone loss. There is some evidence that lead also interferes with progesterone levels, preventing that hormone’s beneficial effects on bone health.

  • Mercury accumulates in the bones and joints leading to joint pain, stiffness and swelling. Ocean creatures are now contaminated with this dangerous element due to industries allowing it to seep into the water. Dental fillings made using mercury are also a problem as this leeches out over the years and also accumulates in the bones and joints. Many dentists are not qualified to remove fillings containing mercury and can make the issue worse. Fortunately now there are alternatives to mercury contaminated dental fillings and ways to eliminate mercury from the body. See below.

  • Tin absorption will alter levels of calcium and zinc, affecting bone growth and maintenance.

NOTE: Placing gold crowns over dental amalgam cores particularly drives mercury into the surrounding bone.

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"Nature cures not the physician..." Hippocrates 460 BC

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