As part of my daily blog, I will also start to discuss various ailments and chronic diseases.  If there are any particular topics you would like to hear more about, please feel free to contact me and I can focus on those topics more often.

Arthritis affects millions of people all over the world.  It accounts for more impairment of function amount middle aged and older adults than any other disease.  “Arthritis” literally means “inflammation of a joint”.  It commonly occurs in synovial joints which are situated between 2 bones. They are designed to allow a smooth and fluid motion, reducing the numerous stressors that occur between a joint. This directly relates to arthritic patients since the main problems with arthritis are reduced movement, stiffness and pain.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and is considered non inflammatory.  It is primarily a disease that affects the smooth articular cartilage which covers the ends of bones within a joint. Osteoarthritis is linked to age and likely affects all individuals 65 and over to some degree, with women being affected more.

Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common type of inflammatory arthritis, usually affecting woman in their 30’s and 40’s, and men in their 50’s and 60’s.  This is often considered an autoimmune disease since the immune system gets confused and begins to attack its own cells.  It involves the development of pain, swelling and stiffness in a number of joints.

Foods to focus on for arthritis are anti inflammatory foods such as ginger, garlic, turmeric and fenugreek.  Heating foods, such as chilies or hot peppers, can make arthritis worse.  Foods in the nightshade family can also cause more inflammation – these foods include tomatoes, potatoes, bell peppers, tobacco and eggplant.  Animal proteins can also turn on an inflammatory response.  They contain arachadonic acid which can make the situation worse for those suffering with arthritis.  Stick to a plant based diet predominantly and this should help improve symptoms.

One of the primary factors when considering diet arthritis is weight.  Weight puts pressure on the joints and creates increased wear and tear.  Exercising is often difficult because of the reduced movement.  Swimming is an excellent option, as well as gentle yoga.  Overall, be gentle with your body and begin to keep track of your food intake, exercise schedule and symptoms.  There is often a pattern going on if we really stop to look.