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what is Arthritis?

Arthritis is the most common cause of disability in the USA and in some other parts of the world.  More than 20 million individuals with arthritis have severe limitations in function on a daily basis. Absenteeism and frequent visits to the physician are common in individuals who have arthritis. Arthritis makes it very difficult for individuals to be physically active and soon become home bound. It is estimated that the total cost of arthritis cases is close to $100 billion of which nearly 50% accounts from lost earnings. Each year, arthritis results in nearly 1 million hospitalizations and close to 45 million outpatient visits to health care centers. Arthritis makes it very difficult for the individual to remain physically active. Many individuals who have arthritis also suffer from obesity, high cholesterol or have heart disease. Individuals with arthritis also become depressed and have fear of worsening symptoms.
Word Arthritis means:
Arthritis  is a form of joint disorder that involves inflammation of one or more joints. The word "Arthritis" is derived from Greek word "arthro-, joint + -itis, inflammation; plural: arthritides."
Forms of Arthritis:
There are over 100 different forms of arthritis. The most common form, osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease) is a result of trauma to the joint, infection of the joint, or age. Other arthritis forms are rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and related autoimmune diseases. Septic arthritis is caused by joint infection. The major complaint by individuals who have arthritis is joint pain. Pain is often a constant and may be localized to the joint affected. The pain from arthritis occurs due to inflammation that occurs around the joint, damage to the joint from disease, daily wear and tear of joint, muscle strains caused by forceful movements against stiff, painful joints and rheumatoid arthritis, joint replacement does help many individuals with osteoarthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis:
Rheumatoid arthritis is a disorder in which, for some unknown reason, the body's own immune system starts to attack body tissues. The attack is not only directed at the joint but to many other parts of the body. In rheumatoid arthritis, most damage occurs to the joint lining and cartilage which eventually results in erosion of two opposing bones. Rheumatoid arthritis affects joints in the fingers, wrists, knees and elbows.  Rheumatoid arthritis occurs mostly in people aged 20 and above. In children, the disorder can present with a skin rash, fever, pain, disability, and limitations in daily activities.
This is a common collagen vascular disorder that can be present with severe arthritis. Other features of lupus include a skin rash, extreme photosensitivity, hair loss, kidney problems, emotional lability, lung fibrosis and constant joint pain.
Gout is caused by deposition of uric acid crystals in the joint, causing inflammation. There is also an uncommon form of gouty arthritis caused by the formation of rhomboid crystals of calcium pyrophosphate known as pseudogout. In the early stages, the gouty arthritis usually occur in one joint, but with time, it can occur in many joints and be quite crippling. The joints in gout can often become swollen and lose function.
Infectious arthritis is another severe form of arthritis. It presents with sudden onset of chills, fever and joint pain. The condition is caused by bacteria elsewhere in the body. Infectious arthritis must be rapidly diagnosed and treated promptly to prevent irreversible and permanent joint damage. Psoriasis is another type of arthritis. With psoriasis, most individuals develop the skin problem first and then the arthritis. The typical features are of continuous joint pains, stiffness and swelling. The disease does recur with periods of remission but there is no cure for the disorder. A small percentage develop a severe painful and destructive form of arthritis which destroys the small joints in the hands and can lead to permanent disability and loss of hand function.
                                Naturopathic Treatment of Arthritis
Conventional treatments, including weight loss to reduce pressure on weight-bearing joints, physical therapy to strengthen the muscles that stabilize a joint, and pain relief medications, often cannot relieve the pain and stiffness caused by arthritis. In naturopathic treatment,  the underlying source of the disease is corrected, the human body can then be stimulated to heal itself. Practitioners of the Naturopathic treatment use complementary and alternative therapies to create a nurturing environment that quickly reduces disease symptoms and boosts the affected body’s self-healing power.
  • In dietary supplementation the  Naturopathic practitioners recommend a variety of supplements such as glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate, which are believed to rebuild the cartilage in joints.
  • In dietary changes Naturopaths recommend removing foods that contain alkaloids from the diet as they can interfere with joint repair and increase inflammation. Foods in this group include tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers, and tobacco. They also suggest avoiding sugar, dairy products, refined foods, fried foods, caffeine, spinach, asparagus, and rhubarb. They recommend a diet rich in kale, artichoke, celery, turnip greens, mustard greens, lettuce, millet, barley, almonds, black mission figs, cherries, pineapple, blackberries, black currants, limes, olive oil, and gelatin.
  • Naturopath also recommend some  treatment of arthritis such as; injections of hyaluronic acid, prolozone, Traumeel, or Zeel into the affected joint. Many of these agents act to increase the amount of
    lubricating agent in the joint and decrease pain. 

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