What is Osteoarthritis? There are many different forms of arthritis some are thought to be autoimmune disorders, some such as gout are thought to be the result of eating too much meat, fish or sugar. Osteoarthritis on the other hand is a degenerative disease usually brought on by a diet high in red meat, sugar, refined carbohydrates and dairy.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis striking millions of people worldwide. It occurs when the cartilage that protects the ends of your bones wears down over time. It can occur in any joint but is most common in the wrist, knee, hip and spine. It is usually caused by an injury that wasn't allowed to heal properly which can leave a weak spot in the joint causing it to wear down quicker than it normally would. Obesity is also a common cause as it increases the stress on any weight bearing joint. Heavy lifting and repetitive strain from certain jobs or sports can also contribute to the problem.
So what do we do when we are diagnosed with osteoarthritis? Well, there are no known remedies to repair the cartilage damage unfortunately but there is a lot that can be done to reduce the pain and support the joint providing much needed relief. To start with you want to remove or reduce inflammatory foods such as meat and dairy and increase anti-inflammatory foods like berries, tomatoes, green leafy vegetables and fatty or oily fish. Removing sugar is best but if this is too big a task start slow and reduce it from all sources including refined carbohydrates such as white bread, pizza, pasta, most cereals and pastries. This will also help you reduce weight if that is part of the problem.
While most people with any form of arthritis refrain from exercise it has actually been shown to help. Increase calcium supplementation along with GLA (gamma linolenic acid) which can be obtained from evening primrose oil or black current seeds as these are powerful anti-inflammatories. Drinking green tea regularly and taking curcumin, found in turmeric has also shown to help. You should also consider taking a good nettle leaf supplement and MSM (methylsulfonymethane) are both powerful anti-inflammatory's but MSM can also relieve joint pain. It would also be advisable to get your vitamin and mineral levels checked by your doctor or nutritional therapist or by using home test kits to make sure your levels of all nutrients are sufficient. Having low vitamin D levels for example, has been associated with increased osteoarthritic progression so its a good idea to make sure your getting enough.
When it comes to osteoarthritis a balanced diet is key, lots of water and electrolytes, leafy greens & vegetables. Increase omega 3 and reduce omega 6 in your diet and supplement or focus on eating foods rich in some of the nutrients mentioned previously. Making sure your getting the right nutrition on a daily basis and supporting the problem directly will bring great improvement over time.