Arthritis is a common condition that causes pain and inflammation to the joint. In the UK alone over 10 million people are diagnosed with this symptom and it is certainly not limited to the elderly–even children can be stricken with this debilitating condition.
There are various types of arthritis, these include:
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This often develops in people who are over 50 years of age, however it can occur earlier as a result of an injury or another joint-related condition. Osteoarthritis initially affects the smooth cartilage lining of the joint, making movement more difficult than usual and leading to pain and stiffness.
Most commonly afflects women more than men. Rheumatoid and osteoarthritis are two different conditions. Rheumatoid osteoarthritis occurs when the body’s immune system targets affected joints, which leads to pain and swelling.
Other types of arthritis and related conditions
– Ankylosing spondylitis – a long-term inflammatory condition that mainly affects the bones, muscles and ligaments of the spine, leading to stiffness. Other problems can include the swelling of tendons, eyes and large joints.
– Cervical spondylosis – also known as Degenerative Osteoarthritis. Cervical Spondylitis affects the joints and bones in the neck, which can lead to pain and stiffness.
– Fibromyalgia – causes pain in the body’s muscles, ligaments and tendons.
– Lupus – an autoimmune condition that can affect many different organs and the body’s tissues.
– Gout – a type of arthritis caused by too much uric acid in the body. This can be left in joints (usually affecting the big toe) but can develop in any joint. It causes intense pain and swelling.
– Psoriatic arthritis – n inflammatory joint condition that can affect people with psoriasis.
– Enteropathic arthritis – a form of chronic, inflammatory arthritis associated with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), the two best-known types being ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. About 1 in 5 people with Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis will develop enteropathic arthritis. The most common areas affected by inflammation are the peripheral (limb) joints and the spine.
– Reactive arthritis – Can cause inflammation of the joints, eyes and urethra (the tube that urine passes through). It develops shortly after an infection of the bowel, genital tract or, less frequently, after a throat infection.
– Secondary arthritis – a type of arthritis that can develop after a joint injury and sometimes occurs many years afterwards.
– Polymyalgia rheumatica – a condition that affects people over 50 years of age, where the immune system causes muscle pain, stiffness and joint inflammation.
Even though medication can be distributed for these symptoms, certain foods can also trigger these symptoms more harshly making the pain worse.
– Cutting back on the consumption of fried and processed foods, such as fried meats and prepared frozen meals can reduce inflammation and actually help restore the body’s natural defences.
– Reducing the amount of foods cooked at high temperatures in your diet could potentially help reduce blood AGE levels.
-Maybe it’s time to go vegan or perhaps invest in a dehydrator. A dehydrator sustains the natural foods’ enzymes, making sure you are eating the real goodness. Advanced Glycation End Product (AGE), is a toxin that appears when foods are heated, grilled, fried or pasteurised. AGEs damage certain proteins in the body, and the body tries to break these AGEs down by using cytokines, which are inflammatory messengers, making joints more inflamed than they should be.
– Avoid sugary foods as this rises the AGE’S levels as explained above.
– Reduce your intake of dairy products, as this amount of protein intake can irritate the tissue around the joint.
– Tobacco and alcohol can lead to a number of health problems, including some that may affect your joints. Smokers are more at risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, while those who consume alcohol have a higher risk for developing gout.
– For some people, excess consumption of salt may result in inflammation of the joints; it’s best to cut your consumption and better still cut it out of your diet full stop. There is plenty enough salt in what we consume without the need for adding more!
– Corn Oil which is found in snacks likes crisps and baked snacks contains Omega 6, which is not a healthy fat and can cause inflammation of the joints.
– Tomatoes have also been linked to foods to avoid if a person suffers from arthritis, as this has been shown to contribute to joint inflation.
The key to healthier and stronger joints is to exercise regularly and this does not mean excessive cardio exercise. Of course our heart needs a good workout, but too much cardio can contribute to brittle bones and osteoporosis, therefore it is highly recommend to have a balanced workout. Balanced means including a good amount of resistance training (weights) to help muscle strength and protect joints. Yoga is recommended and plenty of stretching too. Swimming can be incorporated and kept up to ensure less stiffness.
Foods included in your diet should be more vegetables and fruits and less red meat. Fish is a highly recommended alternative with its omega 3 oils (the good fatty oils) contributing to healthy bones, less inflammation and stiffness. Omega 3 oils also contribute to a good mood, lessening depression!