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the Message Continues ... 6/73




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by Dr. Sayeed Ahmad

Arthritis is actually a term covering over 100 rheumatic diseases; but basically, the affliction can be defined as an inflammation of the joints. The two most common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis, which generally is caused by every day wear and tear on the foot or poor choices of shoe design, and rheumatoid arthritis, which occurs when the body's autoimmune system begins attacking its own cells, causing joint deterioration and deformation.

Some of the common things that can worsen the symptoms include lectins, such as those found in lima beans, lentils, and nightshade vegetables, food allergies, especially sensitivity to wheat and dairy products, and chemical sensitivities, particularly smoking or second-hand smoke.

Arthritis is different from most afflictions in that it isn't always a chronic condition. In a few cases, arthritis will only cause noticeable discomfort during "flare-ups" which are often caused by changes in barometric pressure and cold weather. Rheumatoid arthritis usually attacks the joints of individuals between 20 and 60, but it has been known to plague some younger joints as well in a condition known as juvenile arthritis. After age 70, new instances of the disease seem to decline. The condition affects women three times more than men.

Foods to avoid for arthritis sufferers:

Some arthritis sufferers should avoid nightshade vegetables, so named because they grow in the shade of night rather than during the day. Vegetables in this group include potatoes, eggplant, peppers (although direct application of peppers on joints can be helpful), and tomatoes. Meat is also said to aggravate arthritis, as it is high in uric acid, a primary factor in the aggravation of symptoms. The effects of uric acid can be mitigated by not consuming meat, while consuming dandelion greens, parsley, alfalfa, and the herb devil's claw.

Treating arthritis naturally:

The conventional medical theory is that there is no cure for arthritis, only treatments for joint pain and inflammation, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and the nutritional supplement glucosamine. But anti-inflammatory medicines, while beneficial in the short-term, can begin to make the problem worse, as well as deteriorate the stomach and liver. There are surgical procedures to help with arthritis involving the draining of certain antibodies. Actual joint replacement is another procedure. But these seem rather barbaric. In the past, medical practitioners had even recommended the removal of teeth as a treatment for arthritis.

Vegetables and their juices contain phytonutrients which can be instrumental in aiding the body in regenerating cells a vital part of treating arthritis. Even orange juice can help since it contains vitamin C, an antioxidant. Antioxidants assist the body in the reduction of swelling and inflammation of the joints.

Cherry juice for arthritis pain:

Patients had experienced at least partial relief of pain symptoms by drinking two glasses of black cherry juice (four ounces of juice diluted with four ounces of water) twice a day. The patients can discontinue consumption of the juice once their pain subsides. Parsley, broccoli, and spinach can assist in the treatment of arthritis, since these contain beta-carotene, along with carrots, apples, and ginger, all of which contain copper. Pineapple juice is the only source of the strong anti-inflammatory enzyme bromelain. Bromelain helps the body breakdown protein. Incomplete protein break down (i.e. poor digestion) is a condition implicated in arthritis. Bromelain also helps break down plaque and fatty tissue deposits that can clog arteries. It also assists in the natural healing of bruises and minor abrasions.

Other juices said to help include bilberry, celery juice, green barley juice, aloe vera juice, and boswellia extract. Birch cortisone can also help reduce inflammation of joints; however, cortisones can interfere with calcium absorption and should be used sparingly. Not all juices have a positive effect on arthritis symptoms. Spinach juice and spinach itself is bad for arthritis because it contains oxalic acid which can interfere with calcium absorption and exacerbate arthritic symptoms.

Fish oil has been known to have a positive effect on arthritis symptoms. In one experiment, patients who completely supplemented their arthritis treatments and medications with fish oil while giving up their chemical treatments experienced no relapse in their arthritis symptoms.






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