Archive for June, 2011

30
Jun

Starting a Gout Relief Diet to Relieve Gout Symptoms and Flare Ups

Posted by Treatment

Gout is a really annoying condition any way you look at it – no matter where it strikes you it’s always a pain to deal with (both metaphorically and literally), and if left untreated it can lead to even greater complications. While you can efficiently approach the problem with some medical remedies – corticosteroids being the most notable example – there are also plenty of things you can change in your lifestyle to improve it and make gout less of a problem.

Changing your diet is probably the simplest and most straightforward way to get gout relief – though it also comes with various problems attached to it, most notably the fact that you need to put together the willpower to make the necessary changes in your eating habits to adhere to a gout relief diet.

Knowing how to develop a healthy gout relief diet is all about knowing what causes the condition in the first place. Gout is characterized by an increase of uric acid in your blood stream, which makes its way to your joints and crystallizes, causing you pain and discomfort. Therefore, any diet that’s aiming to give you gout relief should concentrate on the simple concept of bringing down your uric acid levels.

It’s important to keep your organs in good working condition – most notably the kidneys and liver – as this will help your organism process uric acid more easily, and therefore help keep its levels down. This will require you to limit the amount of high-fat foods you’re eating, as well as foods that have been overly processed.

  • Seafood is generally to be avoided as well – even though in small quantities it’s okay, you should still watch how much you’re eating since it can make things worse really fast. Fish oil, on the other hand, can be highly beneficial in treating gout and reducing your uric acid levels, so look into some supplements to provide yourself with more of it if your gout relief diet doesn’t include it.
  • You’ll also have to tone down the amount of alcohol you’re drinking on a regular basis. If you have to drink at a party some time, try to at least stay away from beer and drink something high-quality. The general rules for staying in a good condition while drinking apply here – keep yourself hydrated and watch how much you’re drinking, etc – you know the drill. When you’ve got gout though, it becomes much more important to stick to those rules.

Are you sick and tired of letting gout control your life? Find out more about a Gout Relief Diet and see how you can virtually cure your gout symptoms and stop flare ups right at the source.

25
Jun

Importance of Physical Activity to Deal With Arthritis

Posted by Treatment

Effects of Regular Physical Activity: Scientific research abundantly demonstrates that participation in moderate-intensity, low-impact physical activity does all of the following:

  • improves mood,
  • enhances quality of life,
  • reduces pain level,
  • increases physical function.

This makes regular physical activity a MUST for someone suffering from arthritis or other rheumatic conditions. In addition, research supports the fact that, if you have arthritis, being physically active can delay the onset of disability.

Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans: In October 2008, the Department of Health and Human Services released the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. This Guide outlines the health benefits of a physically active lifestyle. It applies to people of all ages and abilities, including persons with chronic illnesses such as arthritis. For persons with arthritis, physical activity is shown to be a priority intervention to improve arthritic symptoms and prevent arthritis-related limitations.

Specific Research Findings: Regular physical activity has beneficial effects on a variety of health outcomes, effects that are supported by consistent scientific evidence. These include:

  • Improved mood and relief of symptoms of depression.
  • Improved quality of life and improved functioning.
  • Improved function in persons with arthritis.
  • Lower overall mortality. Benefits were shown for highly-active persons and for those who reported only
  • moderate activity.
  • Lower risk of falls and injury.
  • Improved quality of sleep
  • Lower risk of developing high blood pressure. Exercise also lowers blood pressure.
  • Lower risk of obesity.
  • Lower risk of coronary heart disease.
  • Lower risk of colon cancer.
  • Lower risk of diabetes.

How Much Is Beneficial?: Regular physical activity helps with arthritis and other conditions affecting the joints. If you have arthritis, research repeatedly shows that doing 130 to 150 (2 hours and 10 minutes to 2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of moderate-intensity, low-impact aerobic activity can not only improve your ability to manage pain and do everyday tasks, but it can also make your quality of life better.

What You Can Do:

Make activity a daily part of your life. Find activities that you enjoy that can become a regular part of your routine, and find others to join you. Partners can make it more fun, can provide encouragement, and help overcome problems of transportation or safety.

Consult your clinician about what level of activity is safe for you. Discuss any medical issues that might be interfering with more regular activity and review any symptoms and problems that might affect what activities are safe for you.

Set specific activity goals. Start slowly and build up to increasing levels of activity. Try to be active for 30 minutes a day on a regular basis.

24
Jun

Gout – What Is It?

Posted by Treatment

Diet with Gout – What causes gout?

Gout results from extremely high levels of uric acid, which actually crystallizes in the joints. Usually uric acid in the blood is not a problem, and many individuals with high levels never experience gout. However, individuals who are overweight, who eat large amounts meat (which contains purines) and who drink alcoholic beverages are at a higher risk. Additionally, those who take certain diuretics (used to reduce water build up) can contract gout.

Gout foods to avoid – Can it be prevented?

Avoid eating daily amounts or large amounts of protein that comes from fatty meat, fish and poultry. Gout foods to avoid include deep fried foods, high fat desserts, fats added to your diet such as oils, butter, salad dressing and margarine. Foods for gout prevention include lean meats and fish, skinless chicken. Other good sources of protein are eggs, peanut butter and tofu. Eat a balanced diet which includes high quality carbohydrates such as vegetables and fruits, whole grain bread, pasta and rice. Always drink plenty of water, drink only low fat or skim milk, and avoid alcoholic beverages, especially beer.

What are the symptoms of gout?

Gout is a complex kind of arthritis, which results in a sudden attack of burning pain in a joint. Typically there is redness, stiffness, swelling and tenderness in the joints particularly at the base of the big toe. The attacks will repeat without treatment, and over time there will be damage to tissues, joints and tendons. Men are more likely to get gout, however after menopause women become more susceptible.

When do attacks occur?

Frequently attacks occur at night. There will be swelling in the big toe, and the joint at the base of the toe will feel hot. Even the slightest pressure is excruciating. Gout attacks can also occur in the knees, feet and ankles, the duration of an attack can be a few days or last several weeks. Additional attacks may or may not occur for several months or even years. It is important to not ignore the pain, even after it is gone. Go see your doctor, excessive uric acid can still cause damage to your joints.

How do I know if I have gout?

Your doctor will do a physical exam and will determine if your symptoms indicate gout. If gout is suspected then a blood test will be used to determine the level of uric acid, a fluid sample may be taken from the swollen joint to determine if there are uric acid crystals present.

What are the remedies for gout?

Corticosteroids can be administered by a physician to stop an attack of gout. Another treatment involves a high dose, prescription medicine. A patient will begin to feel better within 24 hours if treatment is administered right away. During an attack, anti-inflammatory medicines including ibuprofen can help to reduce the pain. Aspirin is not used because it can actually raise the level of uric acid. If a medicine is prescribed for lowering the uric acid levels it must be taken consistently and for many people they will need to take it for the rest of their life.

23
Jun

What Makes This Joint Pain Reliever Shockingly Different?

Posted by Treatment

In the past, just about the only ingredients you could find for joint pain relief were MSM, Glucosamine, Chondroitin, Sulfate or a combination of those ingredients. Some joint supplements might also include extra natural ingredients, like Devils claw, White Willow Bark, Ginger, Vitamin C, Indian Frankincense, etc.

But when a certain “scientist” found out that these ingredients were not helping his friend who was suffering with rheumatoid arthritis, he decided to take it upon himself to find a cure. So he set up a laboratory in his house and got to experimenting.

He started with trying to test various substances on mice. The problem ran across first was that he could not give these mice arthritis – of any kind! Well, you can’t cure a disease that isn’t there. So he called his medical friends and told him he would pay anyone who could give him a mouse with arthritis so he could continue his research.

No one called! He was frustrated to say the least because he really wanted to find joint pain relief for his friend. But you know how sometimes when you’re not thinking about something the answer comes to you from your subconscious? That’s exactly what happened in this case. And that’s when the light bulb went off in Dr. Harry W. Diehl’s head and he began to do his research in a different way.

Instead of trying to give mice arthritis, he went on a huge research mission to determine why mice were immune to arthritis! He performed many studies and finally the answer came! The one thing that the mice had that protected them from arthritis was a molecule with cetyl myristoleate. There was just one more problem now. A lot of people need joint pain relief and Dr. Diehl didn’t think there was enough mice in the world to manufacture what he needed to succeed.

So he studied the properties of cetyl myristoleate and was able to re-created the molecules in his laboratory. That’s when CM8 was born; it’s now made synthetically by chemically combining cetyl alcohol, with myristollic acid. This mixture has proven to be just as effective as the original molecule found in the mice; maybe even better!

CM8 not only acts as a pain reliever to reduce joint pain, but it also reduces inflammation, helps rebuild joints and, most importantly, gives the immune system an important boost so it can perform at its highest healing capacity in the body. This was a very interesting and amazing project for our Flexcin reviews team.

22
Jun

Osteoarthritis: A Complicated Disease That’s Hard to Treat

Posted by Treatment

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It affects more than 20 million Americans and that figure is going to increase with the graying of the Baby Boomer population.

Osteoarthritis is a disease that affects the cartilage, the gristle that caps the ends of long bones in the joint.

It is difficult to detect early in humans and the processes that lead to cartilage destruction are poorly understood.

There are different schools of thought as to whether osteoarthritis is primarily a cartilage disorder or whether it is a bone disorder that eventually leads to cartilage damage. As a result of several studies using a variety of animal models, it appears that both theories may play a role.

Another area of scientific interest is the synovial macrophage, a scavenger white blood cell that originates in the lining of the joint. This cell appears to drive much of the destructive inflammatory change seen in osteoarthritis.

Another area of interest centers around the phenomenon of oxidative stress. Reactive oxygen species, a group of chemicals that accelerate destruction, are apparently in abundant supply in osteoarthritic cartilage. This is because the levels of scavengers of reactive oxygen species – these scavengers serve to protect against the ravages of oxidative stress- are low. Therefore, the more oxidative stress, the greater chance for cartilage cell damage and the subsequent onset of osteoarthritis.

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Another area of interest in the study of osteoarthritis has focused on the role of destructive enzymes. These enzymes include cathepsin K, aggrecanases, and metalloproteinases.

Specially bred mice who have abnormal levels of the above enzymes show a significant propensity to develop abnormalities in bone, cartilage, and synovium.

Other factors that influence cartilage integrity include growth factors such as transforming growth factor beta, bone morphogenic protein, insulin growth factor, and fibroblast growth factor, to name a few.

It is clear that regardless of all the complexity, the development of osteoarthritis is due to an imbalance that occurs between cartilage cell growth and cartilage cell death. Most studies have demonstrated that age causes cartilage to become less responsive to growth factors.

Multiple attempts have been made at developing pharmaceutical agents that modify the biochemical abnormalities described above. Because animal models of osteoarthritis are so different across species, it has been difficult to establish standards for determining true efficacy.

As a result, these attempts have met with little success. Translation of benefit to humans also appears to be a daunting task.

So what can be done?

It’s pretty evident that osteoarthritis is a complicated problem. To date, any type of pharmaceutical agent which has purported effects for slowing down cartilage damage does not really work.

The search for the Holy Grail continues. Most recently, there has been work down on using biologic strategies involving matrix elements supplemented with autologous stem cells (a patient’s own stem cells). While still too early to determine the extent and duration of improvement, the early findings are promising.

21
Jun

Natural Remedies For Osteoarthritis Pain Relief

Posted by Treatment

A very common type of arthritis called osteoarthritis is now one of the illnesses that are greatly affecting millions of people all over the world. This illness is commonly caused by damage in the cartilages located between the bones, particularly the knee and hip bones. These accumulated damages triggers pain and swelling in the affected joints. When the condition is not given proper treatment there will be a loss of cartilage which will eventually lead to damages to the bones. When the bones are damaged, mobility of the joint is greatly affected. Accumulated damage to the bones can then lead to damages in the muscles surrounding the bones. These complications can be avoided if the illness is treated as early as possible. There is no known cure for osteoarthritis; however, there are natural remedies for osteoarthritis pain relief.

There are several medicines that have been introduced for arthritis which are meant to lessen the pain and avoid further complications. These medicines are not intended to cure the illness as mentioned earlier there is no known cure for it. Osteoarthritis is irreversible. Once a person experiences it, it becomes a part of his or her system. The only thing that can be done is to avoid the occurrences and ease the pain and throbbing. Severe cases of osteoarthritis may sometimes lead to the need for surgery. Oftentimes, it is the joints or the bones that are being replaced because of too much degeneration.

Natural remedies for osteoarthritis pain relief are deemed safer compared to taking in medicines as too much medication can have negative effects to the system.

The problem with natural remedies for osteoarthritis pain relief is the reliability as there is no scientific proof to support the efficacy of the natural alternatives. This pushes people to experiment with many types of remedies until they find one that suits their needs. Several treatments are also often based on the testimonies of people close to the person inflicted with the illness. The pain caused by osteoarthritis is said to be minimized by increasing the flow of blood and allowing the muscle to relax.

  • Acupuncture, for example, is known to be very effective in manipulating the energy flow of the body and improve the condition of the muscle, bones and joints. This method is one of the most effective natural remedies for relieving the pain of osteoarthritis.
  • Massage is also very helpful, together with other herbal remedies and herbal liniments and oils.
18
Jun

The Pros and Cons of Arthritis Injections

Posted by Treatment

In the treatment of musculoskeletal problems, cortisone injections may be extremely effective. Also called corticosteroid injections, they provide a focused anti-inflammatory effect aimed at providing pain relief for patients that is coming from a joint problem, such as osteoarthritis, or a soft tissue problem, such as lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow).

The medication in a steroid shot contains some of the same hormones that the human adrenal glands produce. These hormones, corticosteroids, perform vital functions in the body, such as being released and providing anti-inflammation when stress is experienced.

These injections into either joints or soft tissues provide pain relief, but it is not permanent. The effects wear off after a few weeks to months, and it may actually take a few days for the pain relief to kick in. Typically some numbing medicine is included with the steroid to give immediate relief.

Patients frequently ask if the cortisone will help with cartilage restoration. Steroid injections are not disease altering treatments, they are simply symptom altering and meant to decrease pain.

So what are the benefits of a steroid injection?

1. Pain relief – This is the main benefit, as the injection of steroid doesn’t alter the course of arthritis. But it does make life more tolerable by decreasing pain for what may be quite a few months.

2. Low Risk – Compared with surgery for a musculoskeletal condition, an injection maintains a much lower risk profile.

3. Low Cost – Also compared with surgery, an injection cost exponentially less.

4. Focused Injection – The steroid is injected into either a joint which is a confined space or into a soft tissue area where the medication stays predominantly local.

5. Outpatient – The injections are done either in the doctor’s office or as an outpatient procedure. No overnight stays necessary.

6. Can delay the need for surgery – If a patient is in his 50’s and has terrible osteoarthritis, doing a knee replacement may only last for 15 years. This may lead to the need for a revision surgery which typically has a less satisfactory result. So the injections may provide an impressively tolerable delay for years.

7. Can be placed in multiple joints – If a patient has pain and arthritis in multiple joints, such as the knees, shoulders, and spine, steroid injections may be placed in a few joints (with appropriate care not too many at once)

What are the risks of a steroid injection?

1. Temporary blood sugar elevation – this is most common in diabetics and may raise blood sugars temporarily for 24-48 hours. It would be unusual for this to be an actual clinical problem, but people should be aware of the potential temporary issue, especially diabetics.

2. Cartilage damage – It’s unclear in humans if this is clinically relevant. In animal studies there has been shown cartilage alterations with repetitive injections. The key here is moderation with the amount of injections administered to each joint.

3. Adrenal gland suppression – this type of complication may occur with oral steroid medication on a repetitive basis, it would be extremely unusual for a focal steroid injection to end up with this complication.

4. Infection – with appropriate sterile technique obtaining an infection after a steroid injection is rare, much less than 1%. Prophylactic antibiotics are not necessary.

For most individuals, cortisone injections represent an excellent pain relief option for musculoskeletal conditions. The key is moderation.

17
Jun

Joint Pain: Causes and Treatments

Posted by Treatment

For those people who are living with joint pain, life can sometimes be miserable. This debilitating condition robs people of mobility and also happiness. The causes of joint pain are varied and, fortunately, so are treatments for it.

Causes of Joint Pain

1. Injury — Strains, sprains, dislocations, separations and broken bones can all lead to discomfort in joints. Injuries to the muscles and tendons contribute to this pain because as the injury heals, scar tissue develops, creating tightness and pulling on the joints.

2. Infections — Septic arthritis is caused by a bacterial infection. Other infections that contribute are hepatitis, Lyme disease, influenza and measles.

3. Autoimmune Disorders — A number of autoimmune disorders cause pain and damage to joints, including Sjogren’s syndrome, systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis. In these conditions the immune system malfunctions and begins attacking healthy tissue.

4. Degenerative Conditions — Bursitis, gout and osteoarthritis are all examples of degenerative conditions that weaken the joints and cause pain. They get worse over time and are difficult to prevent.

5. Lifestyle — Leading a sedentary lifestyle with little attention to regular exercise can lead to joint discomfort as muscles weaken and no longer properly support the skeletal system. Additionally, being overweight puts excessive strain on the joints, causing pain and, potentially, injury.

Treatments of Joint Pain

1. Rest — If your pain is caused by an injury, the best thing you can do is rest the area. Give it time to heal and soon you will be back on your feet.

2. Ice and Heat — Alternating heat with ice can be very helpful for reducing swelling and making the affected joint more comfortable. Be sure not to go for more than twenty minutes with either ice or heat and wrap the source in a towel or blanket so that you don’t suffer a frostbite or burn.

3. Medication — Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen or aspirin can ease the swelling and tenderness and give you pain relief. For pain that is severe or caused by an infection or autoimmune disorder, your doctor will likely prescribe some anti-inflammatories that are stronger than those found over the counter or medications developed to treat your specific condition.

16
Jun

Identify Foods to Avoid With Gout

Posted by Treatment

Gout is one of the types of arthritis which is most often caused by the increase in the urea content of the human body. Whenever the urea content increases in the human body there is a chance of crystal formation in the joints present in our body. This results in pain and swelling in the joints. Foods which have high amount of purines and proteins are the main reason for the problem of gout. Uric acid gets generated when the break down process of purines are done during metabolism. The foods that you take are directly responsible for the rheumatic disease like gout. So a balanced diet will help us free from gout. But if you already have a problem then you must be very careful about your food intake. There are many foods which cause gout and those kinds of foods should be avoided to lead a non-problematic life.

Almost all types of foods whether it is vegetarian or non-vegetarian will provide chances for gout disease. While considering the non-vegetarian food items inclusion of the following items might cause gout – red meats and its extract, some fishes like salmon, animal organ meats like liver and kidney, shell fishes, shrimp, prawns, meat products like pork, lamb and beef etc. The above mentioned food items are very rich in purines. The fact is that they are not only rich in purines but also sodium and nitrates. All the above components contained in it are very notorious in causing the attack of gout. Certain sea foods are also main reasons for gout attack. Some alcoholic beverages like beer, wine etc would give more chances of the attack. Beer must be avoided more than other alcoholic drinks because beer has around eight times the purines as of other alcoholic drinks. Even tea or some other flavored juices are also responsible for gout. These kinds of drinks must be totally avoided because living a healthy life is more important than one day’s happiness of consuming alcohol.

In case of vegetarian food items there are also more items to be avoided or should be taken with a dieted limit. Mushrooms, spinach, cauliflower, beans and peas are some of the food items which should be taken in limited quantity. The above mentioned vegetables have more purines content than other vegetables. Believe it or not black eye peas have more amounts of purines when compared to chicken and turkey. The above mentioned vegetables must be carefully added into your diet following a recommended quantity. There are also some other variety of products which are also responsible for gout attack. The other varieties may include some junk foods, yeasts, smelt, sweet breads, coffees, chocolates, roasted nuts, pasta and jellies. The above mentioned junk foods should be totally avoided since those have more amounts of purines and proteins which will increase the possibility of gout. If you were to follow a diet program based on the above mentioned food items then you would on your way to obtain some relieve from gout.

11
Jun

What Is the Connection Between Hyperuricemia and Gout?

Posted by Treatment

The exact relationship between hyperuricemia and gout remains unclear, although having the condition is a risk factor in developing gout. Hyperuricemia is a condition in which the level of uric acid in the blood is abnormally high due to either under-excretion or overproduction, with under-excretion being the most common reason for developing hyperuricemia.

Causes of hyperuricemia include excessive consumption of purine-rich foods, alcohol consumption, obesity and hypertension, with alcohol consumption being considered the highest risk factor. People who suffer from kidney disease or take certain medications may also suffer from hyperuricemia.

Hyperuricemia Does Not Always Lead to Gout

Hyperuricemia and gout are not mutually inclusive, meaning that the presence of one does not necessarily mean the presence of the other. There are patients with hyperuricemia who do not develop gout while there are some gout suffers who have normal or even low blood uric acid levels.

Asymptomatic Hyperuricemia is the term used when you have high uric acid levels without manifesting symptoms although having this condition is considered as a precursor to developing gout. Excess uric acid causes the formation of tiny urate crystals in the blood which deposit in the tissues of the joints, resulting in recurring attacksof joint inflammation that causes pain and stiffness.

Common Gout Drugs and Home Remedies

While doctors do not recommend treatment for asymptomatic hyperuricemia since it carries some risk and may not be worth it, treating hyperuricemia and gout is essential to alleviate the pain caused by the condition. For hyperuricemia that has developed into full-blown gouty arthritis, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID)
medication is used until the symptoms of inflammation are gone.

Once the most serious symptoms have abated, urate-lowering medicine may be given provided the doctors find the risk of precipitating an attack of acute gout acceptable. To address this risk, all patients who are prescribed urate-lowering drugs also receive prophylactic colchicine coverage.

There are also some home hyperuricemia and gout remedies that you can try:

  • Get immediate relief from extreme joint pain by taking a mixture ofone teaspoon of baking soda melted in a glass of water;
  • You can also alleviate joint pain by taking a mixture of two teaspoonsof apple cider vinegar mixed with a glass of water, two or three timesa day for a week;
  • Drinking eight to ten glasses of water a day can help flush out excessuric acid;
  • Taking thirty to forty cherries an hour during a gout attack may be effective in alleviating pain; alternately you can juice the cherries if it makes it easier for you to take;
  • One teaspoon per day of vitamin A-rich cod liver oil can also help combat uric acid buildup.