A Quick Preamble:
Another chronically uncomfortable disease that’s still on the rise throughout the globe, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) – or as my old mum refers to it, “Arfer”, AKA “Arthur” in correct queens’ English, is triggered and made volumes worse by our poisonous modern diet of heavily refined and processed sugars, grains and vegetable oils…
… most people these days just don’t consume enough of the oh-so necessary nutrients needed to build and sustain strong bones and supple joints..simple..!!
A chronic inflammatory disorder, RA most usually effects the smaller joints in your hands and feet causing painful swelling as it effects the joint linings, which subsequently results in severe erosion of the joint bones and the typical ugly deformity that is now well known and too often seen as this painful disorder gains ground.
Sadly it doesn’t always stop there either… in its’ worst stages RA is a great all-rounder and it will very often also have disastrous effects on other parts of the body i.e. skin, lungs, eyes and delicate blood vessels.
Cutting To The chase:
Although it can happen to practically anyone at any age, it’s more commonly found to affect women more than men and then usually only after the age of 40+.
Another thing to consider is the hereditary factor… your risk of contracting the disease may be increased should a family member suffer with RA.
Apart from bad dietary habits and lack of exercise…
The truth is the medical and science fraternities are still unsure of how it gets initially started in your body… nobody yet can define exactly what it is that kick-starts the development of RA, although a rising theory holds that it’s likely due to genetics… not specifically a malfunction in your genes but the effect that infections, viruses and bacteria could have on your genes, effectively triggering the disease as we know it.
What IS known is that the tendons and ligaments holding your joints together are stretched and eventually weakened to a point where the joints finally end up completely out of alignment… all caused when inflammation thickens the lining of the membranes cradling the joints – the “Synovium”.
This initial inflammation starts after your immune system seemingly attacks the synovium… for reasons – as already explained, not yet completely understood.
A Few Prevention Basics…
!!!… Natural, Natural, Natural, Natural, and so on, and so on, ad infinitum… !!!
There really isn’t much more I can say here that I haven’t already said in other articles – and of course plenty of others yet to come…
… it’s all about living an all-round lifestyle of Natural Health & Wellness… did you know that there are still areas of our world i.e. parts of Africa, Asia, Indonesia and South America, where the populations NEVER suffer from Arthritis… EVER..?
And the reason..?
They don’t live the typical “westernised” modern day lifestyle of toxin loaded, processed, sugary and carb’ laden foods that the rest of the world have been “persuaded” to adopt – for all the wrong reasons..!
So… ensure you get enough vitamin D from sunshine, tuna, mackerel, salmon and sardines and vitamin K2 from liver, meat, milk, butter and cheese… all from grass-fed animals.
In other words, eat wholesome, healthy foods and healthy oils..!
And of course, EXERCISE (I know… a dirty word for some, right..?)… especially a little bit of resistance training… It’s vitally important for bone and joint strength, no matter your age or your sex.
Some Of The Common Ugly Symptoms…
♦ Swollen, tender/painful joints.
♦ Rheumatiod nodules – hard bumps under the skin of your arms.
♦ Stiffness of the joints lasting for hours after resting or sleeping.
♦ Weight loss and constant fatigue.
RA symptoms are very diverse and can vary greatly in intensity from person to person and will even appear as just a temporary ache or pain – coming and going, so to speak…
… the most common feature however is that it always begins in the smaller joints… the knuckles on the hands and the toes-to-feet joints… then eventual progression to the more major bodily joints – ankles, knees, hips, elbows and shoulders.
Then as time passes, the sufferers’ joints will misalign and take on the characteristic deformation and misalignment that can only be the result of this disease..!
Other Risks Associated With AR…
Suffering with RA means there’s every chance you could also end up suffering with:
♦ Osteoporosis – along with actual RA, the RA medication can actually increase the risk of developing Osteoporosis… your bones are weakened, making them susceptible to fracture.
♦ Lung Disease – incremental shortage of breath due to inflammation and the subsequent scarring of the lungs.
♦ Heart Disease – inflammation again… of the main sac and an increased risk of blocked and/or hardened arteries.
♦ Carpel Tunnel Syndrome – inflammation and swelling causes compression of the median nerve that passes through your wrist with resultant tingling and/or numbness of the hand area close to the thumb.
Some “Natural” Remedies…
These are my 5 favourite natural remedies that I know work… I’ve witnessed pretty amazing results with each and every one – a combination of all 5 is an absolute winner…
♦ LIFESTYLE CHANGES – As mentioned earlier, the right diet with plenty of vitamin D and K2 – if you can’t get the right type of food then a supplement from your local health shop will be the way to go.
♦ COCONUT OIL – one of my favourite natural power-foods… it will very effectively reduce inflammation and sooth inflamed tissues and joints – it also strengthens bones.
♦ JOINT FRIENDLY EXERCISE – resistance training is good for everyone, but RA sufferers should definitely be doing this – start gently and build up – IT IS NOT BEYOND YOU..!
… and I don’t mean just using weights – although that’s my preference, what about a gentle daily swim in a warm pool..!?!
♦ DAILY STRETCHES – Yoga stretching exercises are perfect… I practice a mild yoga stretch almost every day and have had my mother – an arthritis sufferer, practice them too… they work.
♦ MEDITATION – nope, I’m not joking… as a sufferer of RA, you need to relax your muscles and joints as much as possible, whenever possible – and the calming, mind and body relaxing practice of meditation is absolutely the most perfect way to achieve that.
A Final Anecdote:
For the most part, Rheumatoid Arthritis is uncomfortable and can get pretty ugly looking as a persons’ joints twist and deform… it can get extremely painful and bring on other health issues that only make the sufferer even more miserable.
But it can be prevented… Lifestyle – as usual, is the big thing here and although it isn’t always the easiest thing to do, changing your dietary and general life habits are always a serious game-changer when it comes to improving your health..!
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To finish this harsh truth about an uncomfortable disease, a short and warm poem called “Moms Hands” from Reena Sharma:
To the strongest woman I will ever know.
At first glance Mom’s hands may seem crippled and meek.
She flinches when you bump them and her grip is quite weak.
But these hands are a reflection of the woman inside,
although burdened with limits, still strong with pride.
When opening a jar seems too great a task,
it’s only after great hesitation that she finally asks.
Don’t let that mislead you for you must understand.
It’s not what they can’t do, but rather what they can.
These hands have the strength to raise a family right,
to wipe away every tear and hold you real tight.
They come together each day in prayer,
and whenever you need them, they’re always right there.
So if these hands don’t appear all that tough,
Remember they’re full of tenderness and love
and for me that’s enough.
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