Individualized Nutrition, Pharmacy and Healthy Living

Pain Series: A Natural Approach to Arthritis

by Paula Gallagher | December 8, 2014

hand-drawingAccording to the CDC, over 50 million Americans suffer from some sort of arthritis. Arthritis occurs when the body’s cushioning cartilage breaks down and bones may begin to rub against each other, causing inflammation and joint pain. The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which is a degenerative joint condition that affects over 40 million Americans, most of whom are older individuals. The onset of arthritis may be gradual and most often affects the hands and weight-bearing joints (hips, knees, and spine). Taking a natural approach to arthritis can help.

Arthritis sufferers often experience early morning stiffness, stiffness following periods of rest, pain that worsens with use, and loss of joint function. The most common arthritis symptoms include local tenderness, soft tissue swelling, bony swelling, and restricted mobility. Joint pain may occur in the hips, knees, shoulders, heels, and neck, as well as other places.

Fortunately, there are many holistic approaches that can provide relief. Diet, exercise, nutritional supplements and topical support are just some options that may assist with pain management. A consultation with one of Village Green’s naturopathic doctors or certified nutritionists can help you evaluate your needs and provide you with a personal assessment of your situation.

Many people do not consider that the foods they eat contribute to arthritis. However, the foods you eat have the ability to trigger either pro-inflammatory chemicals or anti-inflammatory chemicals. Pro-inflammatory foods increase joint pain, swelling, and cellular damage. An increase in inflammatory chemicals has been associated with most chronic diseases including arthritis, heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and various cancers. Anti-inflammatory foods are health promoting and protective to the body. Eating the Standard American Diet (SAD) leads most people down a path of nutrient deficiencies, chronic illness, fatigue, and obesity.

Avoiding the following foods may help with your symptoms:

  • Trans fats, hydrogenated oils (margarine or shortening), and refined polyunsaturated oils such as sunflower, safflower, cottonseed and corn oil
  • Conventional, non-organic red meat
  • Grilled and processed meats
  • Refined carbohydrates (white rice, white flour, white bread, noodles, pasta, biscuits and pastries, etc.)
  • Sugar
  • Non-organic dairy products
  • Chemical additives and preservatives
  • Foods that you are sensitive or allergic to, such as nightshade vegetables (potatoes, tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, eggplant, tomatillos, pimentos, paprika, cayenne), gluten, wheat, soy, corn, dairy, eggs, etc.

Natural supplements may also help those achy joints. One supplement that has helped many of our clients, is Pathway JOINT HEALTH FORMULA. It is a superior formula for joint, bone, and connective tissue health, providing an effective combination of synergistic nutrients that support optimal structure and function of these tissues. It is an ideal formula both for building and maintaining strong joints and connective tissues, and supports their recovery from injury or degradation. Powerful ingredients include glucosamine, MSM, desiccated sea cucumber, k-Rutin, turmeric, grape seed extract, strontium, vitamin D, selenium, and bioperine for enhanced absorption. Talk to one of our nutritional experts to see what supplement would be best for you.

Photo from here, with thanks.

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