Diet and lifestyle can contribute to types of arthritis
I frequently get asked about arthritis, the common name for over 100 different types of joint diseases.
Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and gout are the ones I most often get asked about.
Inflammation is a common factor, and supplements like Turmeric, Devils Claw, or Glucosamine Sulphate are often suggested to reduce this, as well as Omega 3 oils. Your bones use calcium, magnesium and phosphorous as building blocks. The ability to absorb calcium into bones depends on Vitamin D and the trace mineral boron. Vitamin C makes Collagen, and Zinc helps make new bone cells. So there is quite a cocktail of nutrients needed to maintain bone health. A healthy diet can provide you with most of these nutrients.
If your parents or your siblings have arthritis there is a chance that you will also get this condition too. But looking after your diet and lifestyle can help you to reduce your risk level.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease caused by wear and tear of the joints rubbing off each other. Joint cracking and stiffness are often the first symptoms noticed. And if left untreated will lead to pain and loss of joint movement as a result of inflammation. This wear and tear is caused by deterioration due to cartilage breakdown. Bony spurs can also develop around the edges of the joints.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is an auto-immune condition which means that the immune system attacks its own tissue causing inflammation and pain. It can start in the fingers and toes but can attack all of the joints and can be recognised by the deformed and swollen knuckles and joints. It's characterised by early morning stiffness and the symptoms are often experienced on both sides of the body.
Gout is caused by a build-up of uric acid which develops crystals. These crystals are deposited in the soft tissues of the joints. And this causes swelling, pain and discomfort.
Knowing which type of arthritis is causing your pain will help ensure that you are choosing the correct course of action to maintain and relieve this painful condition.
The common factor in all cases is diet and lifestyle which can lead to nutritional deficiencies or excesses, and contribute to inflammation and over-acidity. Next week I will look at diet and which supplements can help.