+How To Treat It The Traditional Way
Of all diseases that affects humanity Arthritis ,in its various forms is one of the most debilitating and common. But it is not well understood. Arthritis is not a single disease; it is an informal way of referring to joint pain or joint disease.
Arthritis sufferers include men and women, children and adults. It is most common among women and occurs more frequently as people get older.
Arthritis is a joint disorder featuring inflammation. A joint is an area of the body where two different bones meet. A joint functions to move the body parts connected by its bones. Arthritis literally means inflammation of one or more joints.
Arthritis is frequently accompanied by joint pain. Joint pain is referred to as arthralgia. When four or more joints are involved, the arthritis is referred to as polyarthritis. When two or three joints are involved, it is referred to as oligoarthritis. When only a single joint is involved, it is referred to as monoarthritis.
Arthritis is classified as one of the rheumatic diseases. These are conditions that are different individual illnesses, with differing features, treatments, complications, and prognoses. They are similar in that they have a tendency to affect the joints, muscles, ligaments, cartilage, and tendons, and many have the potential to affect other internal body areas.
Many of the forms of arthritis, because they are rheumatic diseases, can cause symptoms affecting various organs of the body that do not directly involve the joints. Therefore, symptoms in some patients with certain forms of arthritis can also include fever, gland swelling (swollen lymph nodes), weight loss, fatigue, feeling unwell, and even symptoms from abnormalities of organs such as the lungs, heart, or kidneys.
Symptoms of arthritis include pain and limited function of joints. Joint inflammation from arthritis is characterized by joint stiffness, swelling, redness, pain, and warmth. Tenderness of the inflamed joint can be present with or without pain. When large joints are involved, such as the knee, there can be loss of cartilage with limitation of motion from the joint damage. When arthritis affects the small joints in fingers, there can be bone growth and loss of hand grip and grip strength of the hand.
HOW MANY TYPES OF ARTHRITIS EXIST?
There are many types of arthritis (over 100 identified, and the number is growing). The types of arthritis range from
(1) Those related to wear and tear of cartilage that is Degenerative Arthritis .When the cartilage – the slick, cushioning surface on the ends of bones – wears away, bone rubs against bone, causing pain, swelling and stiffness with formation of ‘lip and spurs””(osteophytes) at the edges of the joints. Over time, joints can lose strength and pain may become chronic. It is known as Risk factors include excess weight, family history, age and previous injury. It is called Osteoarthritis , the most common type of arthritis.
The onset is gradual, with progressive pain and enlargement. May involve one or more joints. It does not move from joint to joint.
When the joint symptoms of osteoarthritis are mild or moderate, they can be managed by:
•balancing activity with rest, using hot and cold therapies ,regular physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight ,strengthening the muscles around the joint for added support, using assistive devices ,avoiding excessive repetitive movements.
If joint symptoms are severe, causing limited mobility and affecting quality of life, some of the above management strategies may be helpful, but joint replacement may be necessary.
Osteoarthritis can prevented by staying active, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding injury and repetitive movements.
(2) Those associated with inflammation resulting from an overactive immune system (such as rheumatoid arthritis).
A healthy immune system is protective. It generates internal inflammation to get rid of infection and prevent disease. But the immune system can go awry, mistakenly attacking the joints with uncontrolled inflammation, potentially causing joint erosion and may damage internal organs, eyes and other parts of the body. Localised bone atrophy and complication of the involved bone is common, with associated muscle atrophy.Onset is abrupt or insidious. The synovial membrane thickens and joint swells with redness and tenderness. Symemetricaljoint involvement is common. May move from joint to joint.There is joint deformity with contracture.
Researchers believe that a combination of genetics and environmental factors can trigger autoimmunity. Smoking is an example of an environmental risk factor that can trigger rheumatoid arthritis in people with certain genes.With autoimmune and inflammatory types of arthritis, early diagnosis and aggressive treatment is critical. Slowing disease activity can help minimize or even prevent permanent joint damage.Remission is the goal and may be achieved through the use of one or more management methods known as disease-modifying procedures. The goal of treatment is to reduce pain, improve function, and prevent further joint damage.
(3) Those associated withthe direct and indirect effect of infections (bacterial and viral)Infectious Arthritis
A bacterium, virus or fungus can enter the joint and trigger inflammation. Examples of organisms that can infect joints are salmonella and shigella (food poisoning or contamination), chlamydia and gonorrhea (sexually transmitted diseases) and hepatitis C (a blood-to-blood infection, often through shared needles or transfusions). In many cases, timely treatment with antibiotics may clear the joint infection, but sometimes the arthritis becomes chronic.
4. Those associated with metabolic abnormalities (such as gout and pseudogout) also known as Metabolic Arthritis.
Uric acid is formed as the body breaks down purines, a substance found in human cells and in many foods. Some people have high levels of uric acid because they naturally produce more than is needed or the body can’t get rid of the uric acid quickly enough. In some people the uric acid builds up and forms needle-like crystals in the joint, resulting in sudden spikes of extreme joint pain, or a gout attack. Gout can come and go in episodes or, if uric acid levels aren’t reduced, it can become chronic, causing ongoing pain and disability.
HOW DO HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS DIAGNOSE ARTHRITIS? WHY IS A DIAGNOSIS IMPORTANT?
The first step in the diagnosis of arthritis is a meeting between the doctor and the patient. The doctor will review the history of symptoms, examine the joints for inflammation and deformity, as well as ask questions about or examine other parts of the body for inflammation or signs of diseases that can affect other body areas. Furthermore, certain blood, urine, joint fluid, and/or X-ray tests might be ordered. The diagnosis will be based on the pattern of symptoms, the distribution of the inflamed joints, and any blood and X-ray findings. Several visits may be necessary before the doctor can be certain of the diagnosis. A doctor with special training in arthritis and related diseases is called a rheumatologist.
Many forms of arthritis are more of an annoyance than serious. However, millions of people suffer daily with pain and disability from arthritis or its complications.
Earlier and accurate diagnosis can help to prevent irreversible damage and disability. Properly guided programs of exercise and rest, medications, physical therapy, and surgery options can idealize long-term outcomes for those with arthritis. Exerciseand exercise routines can be helpful in providing joint stability by strengthening the musculoskeletal system while improving balance. Physical therapists can provide the care needed for properly guided exercise regimens.
It should be noted that both before and especially after the diagnosis of arthritis, communication with the treating doctor is essential for optimal health. This is important from the standpoint of the doctor, so that he/she can be aware of the vagaries of the patient’s symptoms as well as their tolerance of and acceptance of treatments. It is important from the standpoint of patients, so that they can be assured that they have an understanding of the diagnosis and how the condition does and might affect them. It is also crucial for the safe use of medications.
WHAT ARE RISK FACTORS FOR ARTHRITIS?
The major risk factors for most forms of arthritis are genes that are inherited from ancestors. Trauma-related arthritis is related to the risk of injury from specific activities.
Other etiological considerations.
-Poor elimination and inadequate assimilations. Poor digestion, hyperacidity sluggish bowel, poor circulation(blood and lymph).
-Chemical imbalances and dietary deficiency
-Diet. .Excess meat and soft drinks , excess refine carbohydrate, excess acid forming foods, excess coffee, excess salt, excess vitamin `D.
-Psychological factors. Long held resentment, worry, envy, anxiety, depression ,deep shock
-Lack of exercise
Due to the complex causes and constitutional nature of most forms of arthritis only individualized therapy has any hope of removing the cause. There is no one quick and easy cure, no magic pill and no miracle diet suited for all.When the causative factors are identified and removed then true healing can take place.It also involves life style changes. Therapy must begin with identifying the causative factors.
Heavy meat consumption is a common finding. Meat contains excess phosphorus than Calcium in ratio 20-50 to 1. This stimulates parathyroid which promotes mobilization of calcium from the bones which is eventually deposited around the joints. That is why vegetarians have less of an incidence of osteoarthritis than meat eater. Excessive consumption of soft drinks also leads to increase phosphorus.
Excess of refined carbohydrates and sweets robbed the body of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals, Vitamin E, magnesium, Vitamin B complex ,and essential fibers are removed.
Refined carbohydrates especially sugar contribute to a generalized acid condition of the body especially when accompanied by a low diet in fresh vegetables.
Fresh vegetables are a protective factors against arthritic changes, whereas process vegetables can actually aggravate the condition.
Complete individual dietary appraisal is necessary to eliminate any possible health risks.
It must be remembered that arthritis is a degenerative and possibly an auto immune disease, subtle dietary changes are rarely successful in reversing the problem.
WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT ARTHRITIS?
There are many things that can be done to preserve joint function, mobility and quality of life. Learning about the disease and treatment options, making time for physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight are essential. Arthritis is a commonly misunderstood disease.
The following methods can restore the Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis.
-RAW VEGETABLE JUICE FASTING. The fasting periods depends on the patients and conditions. It may be between 7-21 days under close supervision.
-RAW NON CITRUS VEGETARIAN DIET. This diet may follow fasting period of about 2—4 weeks.The bulk of the diet is raw green vegetables no animal protein. Such as Avocado, banana, carrots, okra, green vegetables, pawpaw, garlic, onions, soy
This should be avoided, Citrus ,wheat, meat, tomatoes, fried foods,,tobacco, refined carbohydrates sugar etc
There are many herbs that have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties the can be used to manage this conditions. Tummeric is an example
Gout is a particular type of metabolic arthritis that is clearly diet-related. Foods that are high in purines, especially red meats and shellfish, can worsen the condition. Moreover, certain foods elevate the levels of uric acid, including alcohol (especially beer) and those foods containing high amounts of fructose (such as the corn syrup found in soft drinks). For people with celiac disease, gluten-containing foods (wheat, barley, rye) can worsen.
When the arthritis affects other body systems or parts, other specialists, such as ophthalmologists, dermatologists or dentists, may also be included in the health care team.
DR. BUNMI OMOSEYINDEMI MBBS Lagos MA Ibadan FNANM
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