Arthritis, Pain Relief And Soft Drinks

Because arthritis is so widespread now, it gets a lot of attention from all of us – from the average person to the health professional. Some experts believe that arthritis was first introduced by a strain of virus some two centuries ago. But then, other experts have found conclusive evidence of arthritis in ancient Egyptian mummies. But whether it’s two centuries or four millennia, arthritis does seem to be age-related. We are clearly more prone to have it the older we get. And we have therefore come to regard arthritis as a degenerative disease.

But that should by no means mean that arthritis is inevitable. “But why should we have to take natural hormone creams and supplements?” my clients often ask. “Our ancestors didn’t take them, and arthritis wasn’t nearly as prevalent in times past.” The simple fact is, most of our ancestors didn’t live to the ripe, old, healthy ages we do nowadays. They died younger and were worn out earlier – while we go on playing golf and tennis into our 70s and beyond. We live longer now, and want to enjoy ourselves more. So why suffer – unnecessarily – the aching joints and low energy of arthritis?

Sure arthritis is a fact, but we needn’t resign ourselves to it. By being smart we can stay healthy. From my clientele and personal experience I’ve learned four easy ways to diminish or get rid of arthritis:

1. Soothex: It’s a base of olive oil that’s infused with anti-inflammatory herbs. Rub Soothex topically wherever you have pain and it takes the pain away, reduces swelling, and directly introduces healing oxygen to the joints and tissues. Soothex has no side effects… and you can use it as often as you wish.

2. Oil of Oregano: This herbal healer works on the same principles as Soothex, but more mildly. But it also is a completely natural antibiotic, and is antiviral and antifungal, and gives a great boost to the immune system. With such intense healing properties, both Soothex and Oil of Oregano are a far cry from commercial products that often offer mere numbing and heating effects.

3. Natural progesterone creams – These creams – such as Prosperin for women and Prosperon for men – naturally balance the hormones whose imbalance is the origin of so many stresses and bad sensations that can plague us in our middle age and senior years.

4. A natural healthy diet with lots of veggies and not too much animal protein. If you like red meats then go organic – you’ll be cutting out a lot of artificial animal hormones that can play havoc with your health and well-being.

Did you happen to read that soft drinks can diminish arthritis? And did you wonder, as I did: Could this possibly be true?

The answer, it turns out, is both yes and no. If you have a bad case of arthritis and do not improve your diet and lifestyle, a six-pack of soft drinks might give you some relief from arthritis – but just temporarily. This can happen because the phosphate in the soda can dissolve some of the calcium deposits in your joints, which are the source of your arthritis pain and swelling. Indeed, what we call “arthritis” is actually an internal internal infection and inflammation.

But if you then take up drinking soft drinks as a regimen to keep your arthritis at bay, it will dissolve the calcium in your bones and put you on the fast track to osteoporosis. A losing proposition. Some recommend trying a six-pack over the course of a few hours, to see if your pain is reduced. If you try this, afterwards please stop with the soft drinks and take up with healthy, natural foods. This way the vitamins and minerals in your food will be well absorbed, and won’t form deposits that congest your joints with the blockage and pain we call arthritis. For improved intestinal absorption of nutrients you should also drink kefir and / or take acidophilus.

Sure – arthritis is a degenerative disease, but it can be cured or dramatically reduced if you have the knowledge, persistence, and willingness to change your lifestyle. I’ve never quite understood why many of us seem unwilling to give up our suffering. It seems some just aren’t ready for it yet. Are you?

Let Soothex jump-start the hope that arises when pain actually decreases, movement comes easily again, and your energy starts to flow. If you follow through with a natural diet, you can definitely enjoy your long life more. What else could we wish for?

“Health is our greatest wealth”. – Benjamin Franklin

Warmly, Pieternel van Giersbergen.

Arthritis Pain—How to Avoid Accidental Acetaminophen Poisoning

Accidental Poisoning from Acetaminophen

Acetaminophen is the most popular painkiller in the US. It is best known by the brand name Tylenol but is sold under 97 different brand names. It is known as paracetamol in many parts of the world. It is also sold in combination with other drugs in more than 100 products.

During cold and flu season, people who take acetaminophen for arthritis are at risk for acetaminophen poisoning. Taking just twice the recommended dose of acetaminophen can cause acute liver failure. Unfortunately, this has already happened to an alarming number of people because it isn’t hard to do. Two years ago, more than 56,000 people visited the emergency room due to accidental acetaminophen overdoses and 100 people died from unintentionally taking too much. Worse yet, the numbers appear to be growing.

How Can This Happen?

This happens so easily because acetaminophen is found in many different products. If you are taking the maximum recommended dose of just two acetaminophen-containing products, you can easily take an overdose.

For example, the maximum recommended dose of acetaminophen per day is 4000 mg. That equals 8 extra strength acetaminophen pills per day. You might easily take that much for arthritis pain.

Now let’s say you get the flu and decide to take a Cold & Flu product for your aches and stuffiness. Many of them include acetaminophen as the primary ingredient for reducing fevers and aches and pains. So, that will dose you with 1000 mg of acetaminophen every 6 hours or another 4000 mg a day.

By taking both products at the maximum recommend dose, you put yourself at risk for acute liver failure.

The problem doesn’t end there. You might get a head ache and pop some Excedrin. That’s 500 mg more acetaminophen per dose. Maybe you are in a car accident or have some dental work done. Prescription narcotics like Vicodin and Percocet contain from 325 mg to 750 mg of acetaminophen inside each pill. That can quickly add up.

Other Acetaminophen Complications for People with Arthritis

For some people, arthritis is caused by suboptimal detoxification pathways. Such people do not have the level of enzymes necessary to carry out the sulfoxidation necessary for a body to properly process and detoxify acetaminophen. In these circumstances, even the recommended level of acetaminophen may cause acetaminophen poisoning.

Furthermore, this same pathway is necessary for detoxifying many of the chemicals we are exposed to in our environment and through our food. This means that our detoxification system can also be weakened through chemical exposure. Similarly, if we swamp our system with acetaminophen, we don’t have enough detoxification power left to fully deal with all the other assaults in our daily environment.

If you have any known food sensitivities or chemical sensitivities, it is best to assume that your sulfoxidation pathways are already challenged enough, without adding the extra burden of acetaminophen in your system.

How to Avoid Acetaminophen Poisoning

Carefully read the label of any cold or flu medicine or painkiller that you are considering to ascertain how much acetaminophen it contains.

Healthy young adults should never exceed 4000 mg/day total from all sources for short term use. For long-term use healthy young adults should never exceed 3250 mg/day, according to clinical pharmacist Sandra Dawson, RPh, MSHA who lectures on pain management in long term care.

People who are vulnerable to damage from acetaminophen should take no more than 2000 to 3000 mg per day, according to Dr William Lee of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. This lower maximum dose includes the healthy elderly since liver and kidney function generally decline with age. Of course, for vulnerable populations, long-term use this maximum dose will also need to be even lower.

How To Treat Arthritis Naturally

There are three common types of arthritis. They include osteoarthritis (the most common), affecting around 16 million Americans with an average age of 45. Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease (DJD), usually attacks weight-bearing joints like the knees, hips, and ankles. It is also frequently found in the fingers, neck and back. Each of our joints is cushioned by cartilage. Osteoarthritis attacks that cartilage and gradually wears it down.

Another type of arthritis is known as rheumatoid arthritis. Extremely painful and inflammatory, it strikes the lining of the joints and leads to severe joint destruction. It attacks millions Americans, many in their younger years.

Psoriatic arthritis is not as well known as the previous two, but actually eats away at the joints and can also manifest as psoriasis lesions on the skin.

The term arthritis literally translates to “joint inflammation.” If you suffer from any of the different types of arthritis listed above, chances are you have taken drugs (either prescription or over-the-counter) to combat the pain, or tried alternative or “home” remedies.

If you haven’t yet tried “urtication,” it may offer some help. The term “urtication” comes from the botanical name, Urtica dioica and dates back some 2,000 years to biblical times. Urtica dioica is also known as stinging nettle. The treatment is to grasp the nettles in a gloved hand and swat the sore joints with the nettles. This may sound quite bizarre, but the practice has proven to be so effective for some sufferers of arthritis that they now maintain a nettle plant on their window sill.

Here are a few more natural herbs that are used by many people to treat arthritis:

Black cohosh: Also known as black snakeroot, bugbane, rattleroot, and squawroot. This herb is a relaxant as well as being extremely effective in easing painful menstrual cramps. It is also effective in the treatment of osteoarthritis, rheumatic pain and nerve pain. In small doses, appetite and digestion are greatly improved and it can be very beneficial for the nervous system in general.

Bogbean: Useful for treatment of rheumatism, osteo-arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Also has a stimulating effect on the colon.

Celery Seeds: Use dried ripe fruits as an anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, diuretic or anti-spasmodic. Great for treating rheumatism, arthritis and gout.

Chapparal: Useful in cases of acne, arthritis, chronic backache, warts and skin blotches. Also alleged to be one of the best cancer-fighting herbs.

Feverfew: Use the leaves to treat migraine headaches, arthritis, dizziness or vertigo, and tinnitus (ringing in the ears).

Nettle: This is the herb we referred to earlier and is another one of those “universal” plants that is found all over the world. Rheumatism, arthritis, eczema, nosebleeds, high blood pressure are just a few applications. Nettles contain calcium, chlorine, iron, potassium, silicon, sodium and sulfur.

Saffron: A natural form of hydrochloric acid, saffron helps arthritics get rid of the uric acid which holds onto the calcium deposited in the joints. Also reduces lactic acid build-up. Said to be good for measles, skin problems, scarlet fever and perspiration.

Yucca: Hope for arthritics. The extract from the plant has been used with surprising success on arthritis and rheumatism sufferers.

All of the herbs mentioned here should be available at your local health food store along with suggestions on how to prepare them for use. Some applications will be to ingest in teas while others may require the creation of a topical treatment.

No matter what natural remedies you choose please consult your physician to make certain that your course of treatment does not interfere with any other medications that your doctor has prescribed for your treatment.

Knee Pain Factors! Prevention Better Than Cure!

When a young athlete has the condition, he or she usually has a throbbing pain that occurs just below the knee joint. You may have pain in the joint at the base of your big toe, or in your foot, ankle, knee, elbow or hand.

Muscle force and body weight determine the degree of patello-femoral joint reaction force, which frequently contributes to anterior knee pain following TKA. This in-turn places stress on the knee joint, which results in pain and damage to the structures that make up the knee joint. Other conditions that can lead to knee pain include arthritis, infections, hemarthrosis (blood in the knee joint), cysts and bone tumors. One could also experience a knee pain if there is an infection in the joint.

Nonspecific complaints may include global or generalized knee pain, joint line pain, or posterior knee pain. But some knee injuries and medical conditions, such as osteoarthritis, can lead to increasing pain, joint damage and even disability if left untreated.

Knee arthritis typically affects patients over 50 years of age. It is more common in patients who are overweight, and weight loss tends to reduce the symptoms associated with knee arthritis. There is also a genetic predisposition of this condition, meaning knee arthritis tends to run in families. Other factors that can contribute to developing knee arthritis include trauma to the knee, meniscus tears or ligament damage, and fractures to the bone around the joint.

Although it’s not always possible to prevent knee pain, the following suggestions may help forestall injuries and joint deterioration: Keep extra pounds off!

Surgery is always the last option to any illness. However, if your knee pain is diagnosed by a medical doctor and if he recommends surgery, it is always safer to follow the professional advice. More than 90% of knee replacements result in dramatically reduced knee pain and increased mobility of the knee joint. Studies have shown acupuncture to be effective in relieving certain types of knee pain, especially arthritic conditions of the knee and knee joint.

Living With Knee Arthritis

Arthritis is a general term describing over 100 different conditions that cause pain, stiffness and (often) inflammation in one or more joints. Everyone with arthritis can benefit from eating a healthy well balanced diet.

There is no special diet or ‘miracle food’ that cures arthritis, but some conditions may be helped by avoiding or including certain foods. For example, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis seem to respond to an increased dietary intake of fish oils, while gout benefits from avoidance of alcohol and offal meats.

Always seek the advice of your doctor or dietitian before changing your diet in an attempt to treat arthritis. You may be restricting your food intake unnecessarily, or overdosing on products (such as mineral supplements) that may have no impact on your condition at all.

General dietary recommendations for a person with arthritis include: eat a well balanced diet, avoid crash dieting or fasting, increase dietary calcium to reduce the risk of osteoporosis in later life, drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids, keep your weight within the normal range, by reducing the amount of dietary fats you consume.

Uric acid is a waste product that is normally excreted from the body in urine. Gout is a type of arthritis characterised by the build-up of uric acid in the joints (such as the big toe), which causes inflammation and pain.

Some of the dietary recommendations that may help to ease the symptoms of gout include: restrict or avoid alcohol, restrict or avoid offal meats, such as liver, kidneys and brains,restrict or avoid shellfish and anchovies, drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids, make sure you don’t overeat on a regular basis, be sure to take your time when eating.

Fish oils that contain omega-3 fatty acids have been found, in various studies, to help reduce the inflammation associated with some sorts of arthritis. These forms of arthritis, like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, are characterised by inflammation.

The fish oil seems to work by reducing the number of inflammatory ‘messenger’ molecules made by the body’s immune system. There may be additional benefits to eating fish once or twice every week – researchers from around the world have discovered that the regular consumption of fish can reduce the risk of diseases ranging from childhood asthma to prostate cancer.

Being overweight does affect people with arthritis. Joints affected by arthritis are already under strain. If you are overweight or obese, the extra load on your joints may be exacerbating your symptoms, especially if your affected joints include those of the hip, knee or spine. There is also a clear link between being overweight and an increased risk of developing osteoarthritis.

To lose excess weight, you must be active, but this can be difficult for people with arthritis due to pain or stiffness. See your doctor, dietitian or health professional for information and advice. Weight reduction strategies may include: switch to a diet that is high in nutrition, while low in kilojoules, experiment with different sorts of activities – for example, it may be possible to enjoy swimming or some kinds of low impact exercises, limit your exercise activities to unaffected joints – for example, if your hands are affected, you may be able to comfortably ride on a stationary bicycle.

There is no substantial scientific evidence that would support a person with arthritis avoiding particular foods, unless that person has specifically shown intolerance to them (the exception is gout). However, as research reveals more connections between diet and health, it is possible that stronger connections between particular foods and arthritis may emerge.

With some foods – such as tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants and peppers – there is much anecdotal evidence (stories about individuals), but again there is no strong scientific evidence.
If you think a particular food may aggravate your arthritis, it can be useful to keep a food diary.

After a month, you may have some idea about which food could be provoking symptoms. You could then try eliminating that food from your diet for two weeks to see what happens. Don’t cut out a whole food category, and make sure you are getting the vitamins and minerals that this food provides from other sources. It is important to let your doctor know that you are doing this.

Discover treatment options, read more about arthroscopic knee, severe knee arthritis allergies to pain medication, artificial knee and look at arthroscopic knee surgery pictures.

Natural Relief For Arthritis And Joint Pain?

The years of teaching high impact aerobics are catching up with me. Sure it’s been great for the ticker, but the knees on the other hand are showing signs of age and making icky noises. What my Physical Therapist friends call “creep” and “crepitus” (which is just nice technical way of saying “grinding”) had become loud enough to be heard by the naked ear! At the rate I was going – I was sure I’d need a knee replacement by 40. Of course this just won’t do. So I’ve taken to doing leg extensions regularly and… taking glucosamine.

Glucosamine – What’s That?

“Glucosamine” is a natural constituent of cartilage which has been shown to stimulate the production of connective tissue! In more technical terms, glucosamine is considered an “amino sugar.” An amino sugar is the component of a carbohydrate which does not contribute to the body’s energy – instead it gets incorporated into body tissues, forming such structures as tendons, ligaments, bones, skin, nails, eyes and heart valves.

What is Glucosamine Used For?

Glucosamine supplements have been used most recently (according to the research I consulted) for everything from joint pain to connective tissue repair. It’s best know for its contribution to tendon and ligament support, for building joint cartilage as well as reducing destruction of cartilage. It has also shown promise in reducing inflammation due to asthma and bursitis, lessen the incidence of food allergies, tendonitis and skin problems! As if that isn’t enough – what I find most exciting about glucosamine is its use in relief of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

How Glucosamine Works

It’s fairly basic. We produce less glucosamine as we age, therefore our cartilage has difficulty retaining water. Depletion of this fluid, which ads “cushion” to the joints and other tissues, can create everything from joint pain to arthritis. Glucosamine (together with its counterpart chondroitin – another naturally occurring substance) – helps to counteract this water loss as well as restore cartilage.

Side Effects

So What’s the bad news? I always want to know. Here’s what I found: Since these substances are naturally occurring – they work on the body differently than synthetic drugs (think Prednisone) or anti-inflam’s like Naproxen. This said – it takes a while to notice signs of joint help – more than likely it could take up to a year of regular supplementation before the benefits take hold. Once they do, however, 50% of all regular users have reported definite decreases in symptoms of joint pain – I will let you know! The only other downside I could find to the glucosamine/chondroitin complex users were nausea and heartburn – although they are rare and counteracted by eating prior to supplementation.

How To?

As I’ve just stated, always take the glucosamine/chondroitin complex with meals to avoid side effects. I take one, 500 mg tablet once a day. Dr. Mindell (I am a big fan of his work: see below) recommends taking just 1-3 500 mg. tabs daily for three weeks (to get a boost), then take one, 500 mg. tab daily.

My Usual Disclaimer:

As always, please check with your healthcare provider before supplementation – discuss with him/her any medications you are taking to avoid interactions. Although herbs and other naturally occurring substances are considered “food” (simply because they can’t be patented and trademarked thus cannot come under scrutiny of the FDA) they are still very strong substances in the body and should not be taken lightly! Check out more literature – educate yourself!

My Favorite Resources (and research sources for this article) Include:

Balch, Phyllis A., CNC. Prescriptions for Nutritional Healing. New York: Penguin Putnam, 2004.
Khalsa, Dharma Singh, M.D. Food As Medicine. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2003.
Mindell, Earl, R.P.h., Ph.D. The Vitamin Bible. New York: Warner Books, 2004.
Mindell, Earl, R.P.h., Ph.D. Prescription Alternatives. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2003.

Natural Remedies For Arthritis

There is no known cure for the pain that arthritis sufferers experience, although it is possible to obtain medicine that may serve to lessen the painful symptoms. Some individuals are beginning to seek alternative sources that are available naturally to lessen the painful symptoms of arthritis, although this by no means should lead to a rejection of a doctor’s recommendations when it comes to prescriptions. It is essential to be aware of any potential side effects or reactions that are possible with any medication, including the natural kind.

Some prescriptions incorporate natural remedies themselves, although thes are mostly available outside of the United States. A combination in the oils found in avocadoes and soybeans, for example, has been found to seriously lessen the painful effects of osteoarthritis in recent clinical trials. Unfortunately, no matter how many avocadoes and soybeans you eat, you will not get enough concentrated amounts of their oils to alleviate your pain. The oils must be extracted from the plants and concentrated in medicine in order to be effective.

Acupuncture continues to rise in popularity as a natural treatment for many different conditions, and arthritis relief is one of its many applications. Acupuncture is known to release endorphins and serotonin which relieve pain naturally by using the body’s own hormones. As with any treatments, it is essential that if you decide to try acupuncture, you check the background of the therapist to whom you are going- it can be damaging if applied incorrectly, and is also fairly expensive.

Other natural treatments that have broad applications beyond arthritis treatment include methods of focusing a relaxation that take away the concentration off the pain that comes with arthritis. These techniques include yoga and other forms of meditation as well as visualization techniques.

There are several other natural remedies that have been proposed as natural aids in alleviating the symptoms of arthritis pain, but many have not yet been proven to be effective in clinical trials. There are various types of oil and scent therapies that help to relax the body and therefore alleviate arthritic symptoms. Some of these treatments include aromatherapy options available in many different stores and malls.

Sometimes, relief comes not just in what you ingest but also in what you avoid ingesting. Many foods can trigger minor allergic reactions which will enhance the pain of arthritis sufferers. Many proponents of natural remedies will stress a limitation on the individual’s intake of meat, especially red meat such as beef and pork. Salt, dairy, wheat, and corn are also recommended avoidances for arthritis sufferers.

Some methods of relief that do not include ingesting certain medicines involve the application of substances to the surface of the skin rather than taking in substances. Potato compresses and hot water treatments are often touted as methods of natural arthritis treatments.

Whatever your preferences, it is essential that before discontinuing your medication or starting a new regime of arthritis treatment that involves natural remedies, you consult your physician about possible side effects. Most physicians will be open to the ideas of natural remedies, and it is important to heed their advice when it comes to methods that should be avoided.

Tips On How To Relieve Your Arthritis Pain

If a person experiences muscle pain and it continues for more than two to three days, there is a strong chance that he or she is suffering from arthritis. This chronic disease is a very common disorder, one that affects lots of people all around the world. The major symptom of arthritis is pain in the bone joints, but some arthritis sufferers may also feel pain in certain organs in the body.

The term Arthritis is actually a Latin word that means inflammation of joints. Arthritis causes inflammation of the joints due to damage to the cartilage. Patients suffering from arthritis could suffer from long-term joint damage, which could ultimately lead to disability from severe arthritis pain. Arthritic patients commonly feel pain in the early morning hours that slowly subsides as the day progresses.

There are more than 100 types of arthritis. Without a thorough examination the doctor will not be able to find which type of arthritis you are suffering from. Arthritis can stem from injuries and strains caused by sports, repetitive motion, overexertion etc. Arthritic diseases include rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis, which are autoimmune diseases; septic arthritis, caused by joint infection; and the more common osteoarthritis, or degenerative joint disease that largely affects older people.

There are three stages of arthritis:

The first stage of arthritis is swelling. The second stage is rapid division and growth of the cells. In the third stage the cells release specific enzymes, which erode the bone, causing the joint to lose its shape. It is then the arthritis pain becomes unbearable. Since this is a systemic disease, it can migrate and affect other body organs. So it is better to detect arthritis at its early stage before it spreads to other parts of the body. Arthritis can be treated with proper therapy and medication.

Treatment: Arthritis treatment includes medicine, exercise, thermal modalities, joint protection and surgery.

Medicine: there are several effective arthritis medications available in the market for proper arthritis treatment. Anti-inflammatory drugs are helpful in most cases. However you should consult a doctor before buying any medicine.

Exercise: this helps strengthen muscles and joints plus increases blood circulation in those areas. Yoga is very therapeutic in reducing arthritis pain.

Rest: rest provides good arthritis relief, as proper rest helps the body to conserve energy and allows the body to heal and reduce pain.

Thermal modalities: cold and heat compresses give short-term relief to stiffness and pain.

Joint protection: this allows the patient to move with minimal stress to the joints. Joint protections like knee supports, back belts are common arthritis relief products widely available on the market today.

What Is Arthritis?

Arthritis is a general term used to categorize over 100 different conditions and diseases. What these 100+ diseases and conditions all have in common is a problem with a joint inside the body. The human body has joints in the spine, shoulders, knees, hips, elbows, wrists, fingers, ankles and toes. Arthritis pain and inflammation can affect any of these joints at any time during life, although these symptoms typically begin to appear after age 40.

A joint is the area where two bones come together. In order to move freely, the ends of the bones are covered with a substance called cartilage. Surrounding each joint is something called a synovium. The synovium also produces a lubricant that is primarily responsible for limiting joint wear and tear. It accomplishes this by reducing friction. Ligaments, tendons, and muscles give bones power and help the two bones stay together.

Arthritis strikes as a result of damage within the joint. The damage is typically the result of age, as over time the cartilage simply begins to break down. However, arthritis can also result from an injury or other health condition. When a joint becomes damaged or diseased, inflammation in the form of swelling, pain and stiffness can result.

In addition to the symptoms of pain, stiffness and swelling, an affected joint may not be able to move freely. Other symptoms can include flu-like symptoms, a fever, the appearance of nodules, and fatigue.

If you have painful joints and the pain does not seem to be getting any better after a few weeks, you may be experiencing symptoms of arthritis. Schedule a visit to your doctor. Proper diagnosis can be made after completing a physical exam, discussing your medical history, taking x-rays and ordering lab work.

If you do have arthritis, unfortunately there is no cure. There are however, a number of treatment options that can be prescribed. Hot/cold compresses, moderate exercise, and pain relievers are some options as is surgery. The doctor can prescribe the best treatment for your type of arthritis.