Holistic Treatments for Arthritis
In researching holistic and natural treatments, what comes up repeatedly is the subject of the food we eat – what your body is essentially made up of. Consume processed or fried foods, sugars, soda, heavy carbohydrates – do this repeatedly over years and you invite disaster. Use lean, organic meats, fish, poultry, fresh fruits and vegetables, take vitamin and mineral supplements, drink plenty of water, and EXERCISE regularly – keep this up over time and you increase your chances of health and longevity. Read books and surf internet sites all you want, but don’t abandon common sense.
Visit your doctor, but no matter the concern or ailment, preventative measures would include supporting your body with real nutrition as your basic building block. Take arthritis as an example.
Arthritis refers to a breakdown of the cartilage between joints causing the bones to rub together – resulting in swelling (inflammation), stiffness, and pain in the joints. The word is from Greek arthro- “joint” + itis “inflammation”.
There are over 100 types of arthritis, but the most common are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis involves degeneration of the cartilage and underlying bone.
Rheumatoid arthritis (rheumatism) is a chronic progressive disease characterized by inflammation, pain, deformity, and immobility.
Common causes can include age, weight (pressure on joints), genetics (heredity), previous injury, infection, and occupational hazards (such as extensive use of heavy equipment).
The usual prescription for arthritis is NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). These include such drugs as aspirin and ibuprofen and can be over-the-counter or prescribed. But are there any holistic or natural answers to arthritis?
There are foods and substances that can exacerbate inflammation – and lead to a slew of other physical problems. These include, but are not limited to:
- Processed sugar (candy, donuts, soda)
- Fatty foods (fried food, fast food, junk food)
- Chemicals (MSG) and preservatives added to food
- Artificial sweeteners (aspartame)
- Pesticides in produce
- Hormones in meats
Any of the above can profoundly worsen the situation. You can probably rattle off the list of drugs or chemicals you wouldn’t take. Start putting artificial additives, greasy food, and sugar on your list of “don’ts.”
As far as the “do’s” go, there are foods and supplements that have been found to be beneficial and have anti-inflammatory effects:
- Green leafy vegetables
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Fish oil
- Calcium & magnesium (can be taken as a hot soothing drink)
- Vitamin D
Complementary Treatments for Arthritis
People take prescription drugs for arthritis and an endless array of conditions. Recently it has come to light that abuse of prescription drugs is at an all-time high. Preventative methods are worth looking into, and you don’t have to wait until you are sick or in pain. Talk to traditional medical practitioners, but also talk to nutritionists and those involved in holistic or alternative medicine. Think for yourself and make up your own mind. You’ve only your health to gain.
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