Arthritis is defined as a disease causing painful inflammation and swelling of the joints
Arthritis is very common but is not well understood. It is not a single disease – there are more than 100 different types of arthritis and related conditions. People of all ages (including children), different races and sexes can and do have arthritis. Arthritis is more common in women, and occurs more frequently as people get older and generally affects fingers, knees and hips.
The most common forms are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Other types include gout, lupus, fibromyalgia and septic arthritis. In Australia the three most common types are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout. It is the leading cause of disability and chronic pain in Australia – after back pain.
The causes of arthritis depend on the form of arthritis. Causes include injury (leading to osteoarthritis), metabolic abnormalities (such as gout), hereditary factors, the direct and indirect effect of infections (bacterial and viral), and a misdirected immune system with autoimmunity (such as in rheumatoid arthritis and lupus).
Stress can also influence arthritis by causing the body to release chemicals that affect the immune system. This in turn causes inflammatioon and arthritis flares up again.
Symptoms can vary from person to person, but if you suffer from arthritis, you will almost certainly have symptoms relating to your joints, such as pain, swelling, redness and heat, stiffness or reduced movement.
Living with Arthritis
Many things can be done to help manage arthritis so that you can meet the demands of daily life.
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Eat a well balanced diet
- Exercise regulary
- Seek support when you need it
- Keep a food diary – see if a particular food provokes symptoms
- Learn pain management techniques such as meditation
These include pain killers, anti-inflammatory drugs or disease modifying antirheumatic drugs.
Arthritis and Diet
No special diet or “miracle food” can cure arthritis, but some conditions may be helped by making changes to your diet. Your body works best when you eat a wide range of healthy foods and have an adequate fluid intake.
Symptoms of gout can be eased by avoiding alcohol and offal meats and by drinking plenty of water.
Foods and /or supplements that contain Omega 3 fats have been found to help reduce the inflammation associated with some forms of arthritis. The best food sources of Omega 3’s are oily fish such as salmon and sardines. Vitamin C and turmeric can also be of help.
Acupuncture and massage are also helpful in reducing the symptoms of arthritis.
Everyone needs Omega 3 fatty acids in their diet for optimum health. Sea Buckthorn Complete Vitality caps are a great source of the Omegas, and especially the Omega 3’s and are a great addition to a healthy diet.