It is seen that for many people living with arthritis, significant changes have to be made which includes giving up on activities they enjoyed doing. For some, arthritis becomes so debilitating that their life changes for the worse. Besides, they become totally dependent on arthritis medication, which brings its own set of side effects. However, arthritis can be reversed without any complications, through diet and following a healthy lifestyle. There are different types of arthritis and each needs to be treated on an individual basis.
Arthritis is an umbrella term given to a family of over 100 different musculo-skeletal conditions affecting the bones, muscles and connective tissues. These can be classified into three main categories: a) Non inflammatory like Osteoarthritis which is a degenerative joint disease, non symmetrical in nature b) Inflammatory like Rheumatoid arthritis which is an auto immune disease, bilateral and symmetrical in nature; Gout caused due to accumulation of uric acid crystals in joints c) Connective tissue disease like Lupus affecting different organs and tissues; Fibromyalgia which causes pain in the muscles, ligaments and tendons etc.
There are five stages/grades of Arthritis: a) Grade 0- healthy, no changes. b) Grade 1- minor bone spur growth, no pain or discomfort. c) Grade 2- mild, greater bone spur growth, cartilage between joints intact, beginning of pain and stiffness, space between bones normal. d) Grade 3- moderate, cartilage between bones shows damage, narrowing of space between bones, frequent pain, stiffness and swelling. e) Grade 4- severe, great pain, joint space greatly reduced, cartilage completely worn out, very less synovial fluid, bones rubbing against each other and may fuse together.
Typical joint structure consists of two bones surrounded by a joint capsule with synovial fluid inside. Opening and closing a joint creates a negative or positive pressure inside. The synovial fluid in the joints is a super filtrate of blood. Thus healthy blood means sufficient healthy synovial fluid which means a healthy joint. Joint pain may be the first indication of problem with blood.
An unhealthy lifestyle has led to many diseases or conditions which are preventable and reversible to some extent. Examples are heart conditions, joint disorders, diabetes, hypertension, back problems, high cholesterol, mental disorders etc. Solutions include eating organic food instead of processed or genetically modified food, daily exercise and meditation, sufficient rest, taking time for friends and family, limiting use of chemicals and medication.
A healthy diet should have a well balanced Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio which is 1:1 to 3:1. Disease starts at 8:1. Most oils that are used have a ratio ranging from 60:1 to 200:1. The poly unsaturated fatty acids in diet should be consumed in moderation as they make the blood sticky and increase pressure.
The process of oxidative stress produces free radicals which adversely affect multiple organs like eyes, skin, lungs, joints, brain, immune system, blood vessels etc. A free radical is a molecule that has lost an electron. The causes of oxidative stress can be pollution, poor diet, aging, stress, injury, drugs. Antioxidants which have an extra electron neutralize the free radicals. Plant based foods are the best source of anti oxidants. Besides free radicals, an imbalance in cortisol and thyroid levels can also lead to arthritis. Many drugs like Tylenol and NSAIDs can also become the cause of arthritis and other side effects in the long run and their over promotion must be discouraged.
The adjoining video depicts Dr. John Bergman’s views about overcoming arthritis through healthy living. He emphasizes on consuming balanced diet/nutrition, limiting the use of chemicals and drugs, regular physical and mental exercise, sufficient rest and meditation.