What is arthritis?
Arthritis means inflammation of joints. There are over 100 forms of arthritis.
The most common is osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease), caused by prior trauma to or infection of the joint. It usually occurs in older people.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that can affect anyone at any age. It affects not only the joints of the fingers, wrists, hips, knees, and feet, but also the muscles, tendons and other tissues of the body. Other forms of arthritis include psoriatic arthritis, and autoimmune diseases in which the body attacks itself. Septic arthritis is caused by joint infection.
Arthritis is the most common form of disability in the USA, with over 20 million people severely affected. Arthritis can make it difficult for the sufferer to get sufficient exercise, so contributing to an increased risk of obesity, heart and artery disease, and other degenerative diseases. People with arthritis are also at increased risk of depression, probably because of a fear of worsening symptoms and decreasing ability to work and contribute. More than three quarters of people over the age of 50 in rich countries like the USA experience arthritis in some form, to some degree.
Symptoms of arthritis
- Pain. The major complaint by individuals who have arthritis is pain. Pain is often a constant and daily feature of the disease. The pain may be in the back, neck, hip, or any other joints. The pain is caused by inflammation around the joint, damage to the joint from disease, bone damage and distention, daily wear and tear of the joint, and muscle strain and fatigue from forced movement against stiff, painful joints. Severe pain in joints, particularly toes, may be also caused by gout.
- Stiffness (especially early in the morning.)
- Restricted movement.
- Tenderness and warmth.
- Inability to use the hands or to walk.
- Tiredness, lack of energy, not feeling well.
- Weight loss.
Causes of arthritis
- Trauma to a joint.
- Infection of a joint.
- Inflammation. Arthritis is an expression of general inflammation in the body.
- Processed food. A diet high in refined and processed foods, deficient in minerals, high in sugar and refined carbohydrates.
- Acid-forming diet. This is mainly from sugar and processed foods. There is a full discussion of body acidity and acid-forming foods in my book Grow Youthful. (Alkaline-forming foods are fresh, raw, and mainly fruit and vegetables).
- Trigger foods. These foods will vary depending upon the individual, but they may include oranges and other citrus, strawberries, nightshade vegetables (eggplant/aubergine, peppers, chili, tomatoes, potato, tobacco).
- Pharmaceutical drugs and medications including Tylenol, Prednizone and Cortisone.
Remedies for arthritis
- Cartilage. Eat the cartilage (gristle) in meat and poultry. Don't throw it away. It is a valuable part of the whole animal, and our bodies need it. Our ancestors used to eat it, people on traditional diets use it and eat it, and carnivorous animals eat it. To make tough animal gristle easier to eat you can pound it with a hammer, cut it with a sharp knife, or blend it. Cooking it for a long time (hours) makes it softer. You can buy ready-made powders in health food stores, but once again they are a processed food and not the same as the real thing that you can make in your kitchen.
- Gelatine. The best gelatine comes from bones, and is made by simmering a stock for many hours or even days. Bone stocks are absolutely delicious, and are the secret yummy health ingredient in many sources and dishes. Details on how to extract the gelatine from bones in my Grow Youthful Recipe Book.
- Egg shell membrane. Peel the membrane (skin) away from the shell when you boil an egg, and eat the membrane. You can also eat the membrane raw, (but preferably not raw egg white). It tastes a bit like eating paper, but is a great natural food source for re-building your joints.
- Alkaline-forming diet
- Apple cider vinegar
- Cayenne pepper