Did you know that there are over 100 different types of arthritis? More than 66 million Americans- almost one in three adults- have some type of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common form. Under the age of 45 more men than women have arthritis usually secondary to an injury. The second most common arthritis is Rheumatoid Arthritis, an autoimmune type of disease. Gouty arthritis, due to a build up of uric acid in the joints, occurs in three out of every 1000 adults, the majority of which are men. Other forms of arthritis include Ankylosing Spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis and infectious arthritis.
Osteoarthritis presents with joint degeneration, loss of cartilage, loss of joint space, bony cysts and swelling. 80% of Americans over the age of 50 have osteoarthritis. It occurs equally in men and women. Symptoms appear to be worse in women and occur earlier than they do in men. This form of arthritis occurs in weight bearing joints, shoulder and spine. There are two forms of osteoarthritis. Primary osteoarthritis is due to the wear and tear of the body as part of the aging process. When cartilage is damaged, enzymes are released that destroy collagen components. Free radical damage occurs. The process usually starts after the age of 45. As one ages, the ability to restore and make normal collagen decreases. Nutritional deficiencies contributing to osteoarthritis include Vitamin E which increases the production of cartilage and decreases it’s breakdown. Vitamin C is needed for repairing joints and building of collagen. Vitamin B3 gives good results when used in the treatment of osteoarthritis. Sugar makes any kind of arthritis worse. Obesity plays a role as does genetic predisposition and hormone imbalance. Secondary osteoarthritis is due to trauma, surgery, infections, long term use of medications and toxic metals.
Conventional therapies have always included non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs but they are only somewhat effective and with chronic use actually contribute to joint destruction and further symptoms. A metabolic approach involves a diet of organic foods, low glycemic in nature with an increased intake of omega 3 fatty acids and low acidic foods. Remove known allergens and detoxify the body. The most common foods linked to allergies and arthritis include beef, chocolate, corn, dairy, eggs, soy, sugar, wheat and the Nightshades( tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, potatoes, paprika and tobacco).