Arthritis, a Condition that Affects Millions of People



The condition of arthritis affects millions of people around the world. There is no actual cure, only medications that may alleviate the pain that it brings. However they come at a cost, which may leave sufferers feeling worse off. Therefore maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle is essential in trying to prevent or at least limiting the use of these drugs. 

Inflamed joints that hurt and cause pain when in motion are some of the signs and symptoms of arthritis. These joints may be stiff and can be aggravated by activities such as walking, writing, typing, and many more.

Muscle and joint stiffness is most noticeable after periods of rest or when waking up in the morning. In addition, sufferers may encounter extreme bouts of fatigue, lack of energy, and weakness.

There are many different medications on the market that are designed to give relief from the pain. They are usually consumed in large doses. Unfortunately these over-the-counter pain relievers like aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen can also bring harsh side effects.  Prescription drugs like celecoxib, rofecoxib, and valdecoxib can give effective pain relief. Although as with the NSAID’s , these drugs may also bring serious side effects.

Side effects such as, cardiovascular bleeding, gastrointestinal bleeding, and skin reactions are some of the conditions that may be encountered when using these types of pain relievers long-term.

Engaging in a healthy diet may prevent the development of arthritis or give arthritic pain relief. With daily consumption of essential vitamins and minerals you are supplying the body with the components it needs to fight the pain and swelling that causes joint pain. Maintaining healthy food consumption’s and having a physically active lifestyle is essential not only in the prevention of arthritis but also improvements in one’s overall health.

Recent medical studies have also shown that consumption of food rich in omega-3 fatty acids is essential in alleviating arthritic joint pains. The best sources of these fats are fish, flax seeds, and walnuts.

In the United States alone, it is estimated that by 2030 there will be nearly 70 million affected by this disease. This health ailment may be caused by pain and swelling in the joints.

Cases of arthritis may be mild or severe, short-term or permanent. Medical researchers suggest that there are more than 100 forms of the condition but the most familiar form is osteoarthritis. It takes place when the cartilage that supports the joints wears out, a process that occurs over a long period. Individuals who workout too much or over-train have increased risk of developing this condition.

It is one of the most prevalent health problems facing today’s aging population.

It usually strikes weight-bearing joints such as the ankles, knees and hips. It is caused by the gradual breakdown of cartilage, the soft “padding” substance that cushions the joints. It is estimated that about 85% of adults who reach the age of 85 will have the disease –unless they take a proactive approach to prevent it and exercise to that end, is very important.

So what about diet?

For a long time, doctors doubted whether there could be any link between diet and this inflammatory disease. They saw the disease as a natural result of wear and tear on the joints, something inevitable as we age.

But new research is making them reconsider that idea.

It now appears that nutrition plays a vital role in helping to prevent or ease the effects. One key element is having vitamin C in your diet. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, and may protect joints from the damaging effects of free radicals (unstable molecules that can cause joint inflammation).

In addition, research is showing that vitamin C can help prevent bone loss and cartilage deterioration associated with aging. Specifically, when cartilage needs repair, vitamin C is an active component for such repairs. It significantly helps to restore damaged cartilage.

According to Dr. Timothy McAlindon of the Boston University School of Medicine, “Vitamin C may also help generate collagen, which enhances the body’s ability to repair damage to the cartilage.”

When scientists at the Boston University School of Medicine studied the eating habits of people with osteoarthritis of the knee, they found that those getting the most vitamin C–more than 200 milligrams a day–were three times less likely to have the disease get worse than those who got the least vitamin C (less than 120 milligrams a day).

Dr. McAlindon recommends that people get a least 120 milligrams of vitamin C every day. “That’s the amount in a couple of oranges,” he says.

Dr. Michael F. Roizen and Dr. Mehmet C. Oz, co-authors of “You: The Owner’s Manual”, recommend even more. “Shoot for 1200 milligrams of vitamin C a day–spread between your diet and supplements throughout the day.”

Be careful not to overdo it. Some data suggest that more than 2,500 milligrams a day can have the opposite effect and actually increase the risk of osteoarthritis.

Other fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C include oranges, cantaloupe, broccoli, strawberries, peppers and cranberry juice. A healthy diet, rich in fruits and vegetables, has been recommended by nutritionists for years. Now there’s another reason to pay attention–it can help your joints to stay young!



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