Although aging is the subject of many funny jokes, the sad truth is the “golden” years for many people are full of the pain, stiffness and limited mobility of osteoarthritis.
Let’s talk about this painful affliction, see why pain medications can make it worse, and explore natural alternatives to feel better and even encourage new cartilage growth!
The two types
There are two types of osteoarthritis—primary and secondary.
Primary osteoarthritis is the more common one and is the result of wear and tear of daily life. As the years tick by, we incur degenerative changes in our joints and damage to our cartilage.
Eventually the cartilage gets very hard and bone spurs form which causes joint deformities. This leads to increasing levels of pain as well as restrictions in your activities and mobility.
With secondary osteoarthritis, there is a precipitating factor that triggers the degenerative changes like a fracture, trauma or surgery.
The numbers are growing
According to the CDC, an estimated 50 million adults in the US reported being told by a doctor that they have arthritis, and by 2030, an estimated 67 million Americans ages 18 years or older are expected to have arthritis.
And it's not limited to adults either!
An estimated 294,000 children under age 18 have arthritis—that’s one in every 250 children in the US.
How medications can worsen osteoarthritis
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, according to a study recently published in the British Medical Journal.
Plus here’s the real kicker--long term use of NSAIDs can lead to complete degeneration of the joint cartilage.
A number of 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 osteoarthritis safely and naturally
There are many safe, natural answers to help ease the pain, plus even slow or reverse the degenerative changes associated with osteoarthritis!
Here are some strategies that can help you feel a whole lot better…fast!
The sad truth is that many people have a diet that encourages 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!
You simply need to balance the acid and alkaline foods in your diet, plus promote better digestion and elimination of inflammation-causing acid wastes.
I'll show you exactly what to do in the Great Taste No Pain and Great Taste No Gluten health systems.
Both Great Taste No Pain and Great Taste No Gluten show you how to structure alkalinizing meals that not only taste unbelievably delicious but are also much easier for your system to digest.
That can mean less gas and bloating, more regular bowel movements, less acid waste buildup and inflammation...
...AND fewer arthritis pains!
An imbalance of Omega-6 and 3 essential fatty acids is also a major source of inflammation in your body. Many people have too many inflammation-stirring Omega-6 EFAs and too few anti-inflammatory Omega-3s.
To help turn this around, cutting back on Omega-6-rich foods like corn oil, processed and fast foods, grain-fed meats and margarine is step one. This will naturally help lower your Omega 6:3 ratio to a healthier range.
And at the same time, it's important to raise your intake of Omega-3 EFAs.
In addition to eating natural sources of Omega-3 like fatty fish, walnuts and flax seeds, you can help replenish your Omega-3 supply with a pharmaceutical-grade Omega-3 supplement 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.
Vitamin C is probably best known for cold prevention. but it can also reduce the risk of cartilage loss by repairing damaged connective tissue and improving collagen synthesis too!
Vitamin C foods include: Tomatoes, peppers, citrus fruits, strawberries, cauliflower, romaine lettuce, green beans, celery, spinach, asparagus, broccoli and pineapple.
Recommended daily supplement doses are 1,000 – 3,000 mg of vitamin C.
4- Get regular exercise
Exercise is crucial in halting and preventing osteoarthritis.
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.
Glucosamine is a compound that stimulates your cartilage cells to produce glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), which hold your joint tissues together.
Plus as its name suggests, glucosamine sulfate also provides atoms of sulfur which makes collagen stickier and can in turn make your joints stronger.
Many people have gotten significant relief from glucosamine sulfate supplementation, to the point where the relief was as good as or better than using NSAIDS (without the side effects to boot)!
Be sure to look for glucosamine sulfate to ensure you're getting the added benefit of the sulfur. 1,500 mg. a day divided into 3 doses is the recommended dose.
See how much better you can feel when you safely and naturally help your body control inflammation and encourage strong, healthy cartilage!