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FDA World: 1965-2008
A tiny peek into the mind of the FDA
Can Environment Affect Your Health?
Vaccines: The Whole Truth And Nothing But
What is Your Prescription Medication Doing To You?
Timing Increases Effects of Supplements, Drugs and Surgery
The Brain-Gut Connection
Minerals and Their Function
Check Your Digestion
Who is Angel?
Conventional medicine has little to offer people suffering from arthritis
pain. Anti-inflammatory drugs may relieve the symptoms, but they don't slow the
rate of joint destruction. Furthermore, these drugs can cause bleeding peptic
ulcers and may occasionally cause damage to the liver and kidneys. Fortunately,
natural medicine has a number of different effective nutritional treatments to
Osteoarthritis, also known as
degenerative arthritis or degenerative joint disease, is the most common form of
arthritis, and it affects more than 16 million Americans. It becomes more common
with advancing age. The joints most often involved are the fingers, knees, hips,
and the cervical or lumbar spine.
The cause of osteoarthritis is unknown. Although inflammation is present to
some extent, it does not appear to be the main cause of joint damage. Although
cartilage damage is one of the hallmarks of osteoarthritis, heavy use of the
joints does not necessarily cause problems. In fact, many former long-distance
runners have perfectly normal hips and knees, while their more sedentary friends
become plagued with degenerating joints.
Niacinamide is a form of Vitamin B3
which can not only decrease arthritis pain but also improve depression and
re-activate a lost sense of humor. Although it is unknown exactly how
niacinamide works, it is thought to somehow improve the metabolism of joint
cartilage. Niacinamide is available from a number of sources, including
health-food stores and costs less than $10 a bottle. The effects of taking two
500 milligram niacinamide capsules (two to three times a day) on arthritis pain
(and depression) are generally noticeable after about three weeks of regular
In addition to niacinamide, glucosamine is one of the building blocks of
joint cartilage and has also been shown to prevent the degeneration of joint
tissue. Cod-liver oil, natural vitamin E, and selenium, also have
anti-inflammatory effects. Taking these supplements along with the niacinamide,
can be a good synergy of nutrients to repair damaged cartilage.
Individuals with osteoarthritis should be tested for food allergies
and sensitivities. Although food allergies and sensitivities aren't as important
in osteoarthritis as in the rheumatoid type, they can still cause considerable
Nightshade sensitivity is a special category of food sensitivity which
can be extremely important in a minority of osteoarthritis sufferers. Nightshade
vegetables are potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and tobacco. Presently,
there is no test for this sensitivity. It can only be diagnosed if arthritis
symptoms lessen or disappear after several weeks of total elimination of
nightshade vegetables and tobacco.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic
disease of unknown cause, usually manifesting itself as inflammation of multiple
joints. The severity of the disease varies from person-to-person, ranging from
minor pain and discomfort to severe pain and inflammation, with joint damage and
deformity. Rheumatoid arthritis can also attack other parts of the body,
resulting in heart disease, anemia, nerve damage, lung disease, and general
debility. This condition is considered an autoimmune disease, since the immune
system appears to go awry and attack the body's own tissues. There is a greater
amount of inflammation and joint damage caused by rheumatoid arthritis than is
caused by osteoarthritis.
The first thing to consider is a basic, healthy diet, free of
individually determined allergies and sensitivities. This includes whole,
unprocessed foods with no added sugar; no soft drinks or chemical additives, and
no flavorings, coloring, preservatives or artificial sweeteners. Only whole
grains (if not allergic or sensitive to them) and only small amounts of alcohol.
Zero caffeine or nicotine is recommended.
Allergies and sensitivities to food are often big factors in rheumatoid
arthritis. There are many ways to identify food sensitivity: Elimination diets,
certain types of skin tests, blood tests, muscle testing, and electrodermal
testing are all helpful in the identification of food allergies and
sensitivities. Not all techniques work for everyone, and food sensitivity
testing and evaluation can be just as individual as the food sensitivities
People with rheumatoid arthritis usually have very poor digestion because the
stomach does not produce enough acid and pepsin resulting in a condition called hypochlorhydria.
This is not usually caused by (but can be aggravated by) taking aspirin or other
drugs. If you suffer from this disease, it's important to have your digestion
checked, especially your stomach's production of acid and pepsin. Telltale
symptoms of hypochlorhydria include bloating, gas, belching or burning
immediately after meals, a feeling that food just sits in the stomach, or an
inability to eat more than a small amount of food without feeling full. Many
people with hypochlorhydria are constipated, some suffer from diarrhea, yet
others have normal bowel function.
Unfortunately, there is no reliable method of getting the stomach to produce
more acid and pepsin on its own, so in cases of hypochlorhydria, supplementation
with hydrochloric acid accompanied by pepsin is necessary. Treatment with
hydrochloric acid can occasionally be dangerous, so it's only used when testing
indicates a need, and should be followed up with careful supervision.
Hydrochloric acid should never be used at the
same time as aspirin, butazolidin, Motrin (Ibuprofen), prednisone or any other
anti-inflammatory medications, except under careful supervision by a physician
skilled and knowledgeable in nutritional and natural medicine.
Ginger is a good digestive aid with positive effects on rheumatoid
arthritis. A recent study showed that after three months of taking ginger root,
patients with rheumatoid arthritis reported pain relief, better joint movement,
and less swelling and morning stiffness.
Both niacinamide and cod-liver oil help with rheumatoid
arthritis pain along with the natural vitamin E and selenium,
previously mentioned. In some cases niacinamide has partially remobilized
rheumatoid joints that had been immobile for years.
Another mineral supplement that can help is copper. Many people who are
taking Advil, aspirin, or other anti-inflammatories find they need much less if
they take copper too. However, the type of copper used should be copper
sebacate, the type of zinc is zinc picolinate or zinc citrate
and boron has also proved helpful in some cases of rheumatoid arthritis.
Herbs that have shown to be helpful to people with rheumatoid arthritis
include bromelain, yucca, devil's claw, and cayenne pepper. The stinging
nettle leaf or herb has recently shown unique value in the management of
arthritis. Studies have shown that it may enhance the antirheumatic
effectiveness of anti-inflammatory drugs.
Individual response to these herbal treatments varies, but you should always
follow the dosage recommendations on the label. A good multiple vitamin-mineral
to back up the nutrients is also a good idea.
People who suffer from rheumatoid
arthritis should also be tested for low levels of DHEA. The DHEA test is a blood
or urine test, and requires a lab request signed by your doctor. DHEA is an
adrenal hormone and an important regulator of the immune system that is useful
in autoimmune disease, including rheumatoid arthritis. It normally reaches its
highest levels in both sexes between the ages of 25 and 30 and gradually tapers
off from there. At this point, it's not known how to reliably restore normal
levels of DHEA secretion, so a DHEA supplement is usually prescribed.
over 25 years of laboratory and clinical study, Green Lipped Mussel (Perna
canaliculus) has shown
significant anti-inflammatory, gastro-protective and free radical scavenging
properties that substantially help joint mobility. This common gourmet
delicacy from New Zealand contains
natural proteins, minerals, muco-polysaccharides and Omega 3 fatty acids.
to Dr. Michael Whitehouse of the University of Queensland, Australia, who has
spent his life studying the world's strongest arthritis drugs, this extract "blew
them away." A
small dose can shrink arthritic joints by over 90%.
Dr. W.H. Betts of Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Australia, called it "a very
major breakthrough." Apparently it blocks the 5-lipoxygenase pathway
preventing the chain reaction that causes both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis.
Obviously you should not take this extract if you are already taking
anti-inflammatory drugs without the knowledge and consent of your doctor.
It's important to remember that you should be monitored by a doctor skilled
and knowledgeable in nutritional medicine when starting a new supplement program
of any kind.
Knotweed Mimics Estrogen
According to Dr. Susan Lark of The
Lark Letter, "The healing properties of your own sex hormones can treat
arthritis without the toxic side effects of painkillers. The treatment of
arthritis, using Japanese knotweed, which mimics the effect of natural estrogen,
has been shown to decrease swelling and pain and increase mobility very
dramatically" for women.
She also maintains that aspirin
blocks a woman's production of hormones. So the use of an aspirin a day to
promote heart health for men, not only doesn't work for women, it actually
aggravates the situation both for heart disease and arthritis. Aspirin
blocks prostaglandins, an important part of stress management for women.
Since stress is a major factor in heart disease, women do much better on enzymes
such as bromelain and papain.
Another tidbit about bromelain, the
enzyme extracted from the stem of the pineapple, is that it enhances the
effectiveness of antibiotics and minimizes their side-effects. So for
women, antibiotics should always be supplemented with bromelain and followed
with a course of probiotics.
that can Aggravate Arthritis
Often a Problem
fresh, frozen or canned (unsweetened) fruits, fruit juices (except
those specifically prohibited)
all citrus fruits-oranges, grapefruit, lemon, lime
non-gluten grains: brown rice, millet, buckwheat, guinoa, amaranth,
gluten grains: wheat, corn, oats, barley, spelt, rye
any made from rice, buckwheat, millet, soy, tapioca, arrowroot,
amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat pasta, rice noodles, rice cereal, millet
flakes, rice cakes
All wheat, oat, spelt, rye, barley, or gluten-containing breads and
All fresh fish such as halibut, salmon, cod, sole, trout, wild game,
chicken, turkey, lamb
Beef, pork, cold cuts, frankfurters, sausage, canned meats, eggs,
Beans, peas, lentils; almonds, cashews, walnuts, sesame (tahini),
sunflower, and pumpkin seeds; and nut butters made from these
Peanuts, pistachios, peanut butter
Milk substitutes such as rice milk, soy milk, nut milk, cashew cream
(blending cashew nuts with water)
Milk, cheese, cottage cheese, cream, yogurt, ice cream, butter, frozen
yogurt, non-dairy creamers
Raw, steamed, sautéed, juiced or baked vegetables (except those at
Nightshade-family vegetables: tomatoes, potatoes (except yams and sweet
potatoes) eggplant; and red, green, and yellow peppers
cold pressed olive, flaxseed, canola, safflower, sunflower, sesame,
walnut, pumpkin, almond oils, dressings made from these oils, tahini
margarine, butter, shortening, processed oils, salad dressing not made
with included oils
filtered or distilled water, herbal tea, rooibas (red bush) tea, fruit
sweetened fizzy drinks, alcoholic beverages, coffee, tea, all
cinnamon, cumin, dill, garlic, ginger, oregano, parsley, rosemary,
tarragon, thyme, turmeric
cayenne pepper, paprika, chili
brown rice syrup, fruit sweetener, molasses, dried fruit bars, fresh
fruit, small quantities only of dried fruit
white or brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, corn syrup, high fructose
corn syrup, chocolate bars, other confectionery
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