Back when I was a kid, arthritis was something that I thought only happened to older people like my grandmother.
But then I met a young girl (who was a cousin to one of my friends) who had chronic pain, swollen joints and walked with crutches. My friend whispered to me that she had arthritis, and that rocked my world. How on earth could a 15-year-old have arthritis?
Well, now I know that’s quite possible…and increasingly common! Arthritis is no longer only an affliction of the elderly and can affect adults and children alike.
Here are some surprising facts about arthritis, as well as ways you can achieve effective relief if it affects you.
The numbers are growing
According to the Arthritis Foundation, an estimated 54 million people in the US have arthritis—that’s about one out of six of us.
That number also includes 300,000 children!
Things don’t look any rosier for the future, either. By 2040, it is estimated that 78 million Americans will have arthritis.
Medications can worsen arthritis
Unfortunately, although medications can help ease arthritis pain, over time they can cause side effects and even make the condition worse.
Many people need to take 2-4 grams of aspirin a day to get relief, and with ibuprofen, many people are taking 12-20 capsules a day. Doses that high are approaching toxicity and are a tremendous stress on your liver.
The common side effects from NSAIDs are usually tinnitus (ringing in the ears), stomach irritation, bleeding in the GI tract, headaches and dizziness.
But things can worsen over time.
Taking ibuprofen and other common NSAIDs long-term triples your risk of strokes and increases the likelihood of a heart attack.
Plus, here’s the real kicker--long term use of NSAIDs can lead to complete degeneration of joint cartilage.
Several studies have shown that both aspirin and the other NSAIDs inhibit your body’s ability to synthesize collagen, and they actually accelerate cartilage destruction.
Fight arthritis safely and naturally
There are many safe, natural answers to help ease the pain and inflammation, plus even slow or reverse the degenerative changes associated with arthritis!
Here are 5 strategies that can help you feel a whole lot better:
1. Stop eating for pain and inflammation
The sad truth is that many people have a diet that lights the fires of pain and inflammation.
Our Standard American Diet (SAD) is heavy on fast food, soda, coffee and processed/packaged foods--ALL things that create acid waste accumulation in your body and trigger a state of inflammation.
But just as you can create inflammation with your diet, you can also just as easily help curb it!
Concentrate on anti-inflammatory foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, and drink at least eight 8-oz. glasses of filtered water a day.
At the same time, limit or avoid inflammatory foods and beverages—here are the worst offenders:
- Soda—both diet and regular
- Vegetable oils
- Packaged foods of all kinds
- Fast food
- White bread, rolls and bagels
- Snack chips and crackers
- Sweets and pastries
- Artificial sweeteners
- Meats, milk and eggs from grain-fed animals
- Farm-raised fish
2. Get enough of Nature’s anti-inflammatory—Omega-3 EFAs
A deficiency of Omega-3 essential fatty acids is also a major source of inflammation in your body. Omega-3 fats are Nature’s anti-inflammatory, but our highly processed diets are severely lacking in these crucial fats…and we have the inflammatory conditions (including arthritis) to prove it!
To help raise your body’s levels of Omega-3 fats and curb inflammation, in addition to getting food sources like wild-caught fish, you can help replenish your Omega-3 supply with a superior quality fish oil formula like VitalMega-3.
VitalMega-3 is a pure, super-potent fish oil formula that delivers an inflammation-fighting 600 mg. of EPA and 400 mg. of DHA (the "shining stars" of Omega-3 EFAs), plus Vitamin E which has been shown to help stimulate formation of cartilage and enhance joint flexibility.
3. Embrace the power of Turmeric
The compound in turmeric that provides its bright yellow hue (curcumin) is coming out as a shining anti-inflammatory star in increasing numbers of studies!
As a matter of fact, curcumin has been shown in studies to reduce inflammation better than medications!
One such study on rheumatoid arthritis patients found that the group receiving curcumin treatment versus an NSAID medication fared much better in terms of reduced inflammation.
This is one of the major reasons why I developed our latest outstanding product, Optimal Turmeric Blend. Although many people can get turmeric in their diet (especially if you are a fan of Indian food), in most cases it won’t be nearly enough to make a difference, so supplementation is the way to go.
And Optimal Turmeric Blend provides a soothing 750 mg of pure organic turmeric, along with black pepper extract to enhance absorbability!
4. Get regular exercise
Exercise is crucial in counteracting arthritis.
Arthritis patients who do strength-training report significantly less pain compared to non-strength trainers.
Gentle stretching and yoga can improve flexibility and increase range of motion.
And water activities can take stress off your joints, block pain sensation, loosen stiff joints and strengthen muscles.
Get your doctor’s OK and move your way to arthritis relief.
5. Limit nightshade vegetables if they bother you
Various studies suggest that alkaloid compounds found in nightshade vegetables (including tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant and peppers) may encourage joint inflammation in certain people who are highly sensitive to them.
If you are suffering from arthritis, try to eliminate these foods from your diet for a month and see if that makes a difference.
Then reintroduce them gradually and see if your symptoms worsen or return. You'll have your answer soon enough.
See how much better you can feel when you safely and naturally help your body control inflammation and encourage strong, healthy cartilage!
To your health,