Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease that causes your cartilage – the tough, rubbery tissue that cushions bones at joints – to break down and wear away.
Osteoarthritis symptoms include pain, swelling and stiffness in your joints. You may also develop bone spurs – hard lumps that press on nerves and restrict motion.
Inflammation is a normal response of the body to injury, infection and other irritants. It’s an chemical reaction that increases blood flow and sends white blood cells to your injured area in an effort to destroy any invaders. But if inflammation persists for too long, it can lead to other issues and even contribute to disease development.
Inflamed tissues can be very painful, but generally heal on their own within a few days or weeks. Unfortunately, inflammation in some cases may last months or years and damage your body’s cells. To control inflammation, reduce stress, stop smoking, abstain from alcohol consumption and follow an anti-inflammatory diet.
When inflammation is due to a serious infection or injury, your doctor can prescribe antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medications. These medicines will reduce swelling, heat and redness in your joints as well as provide pain relief. Furthermore, they may reduce the likelihood of developing osteoarthritis or other joint diseases.
Researchers have observed that people with osteoarthritis often have an increase in inflammatory cells within their bodies. These cells may secrete chemicals which cause damage to cartilage, joint fluid and other tissues around your joints.
Osteoarthritis is caused by inflammation, which plays a significant role in its progression. This response involves multiple systems including the immune system, blood vessels and molecular mediators.
Studies have demonstrated that inflammation plays a key role in the early stages of osteoarthritis, even before symptoms appear. This has led scientists to speculate that inflammation may be an underlying factor responsible for this degenerative joint condition.
Inflammation can also have detrimental effects on other parts of the body, such as the heart or small tubes that take air to your lungs. This could cause fluid build-up inside or shortness of breath; thus, seeking medical help for any underlying infection that might be causing your inflammation is paramount.
Autoimmune diseases are conditions in which your body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. They may occur for various reasons; you may have genes that make you more prone to them or be triggered by something in the environment like a virus or bacteria, leading to confusion within the immune system and attacks on joints or skin.
An autoimmune disease typically manifests as inflammation, pain and stiffness in your joints. In extreme cases, these can be severe enough to cause joint damage and restrict movement. Some people may even experience symptoms in other parts of their bodies such as their eyes or kidneys.
Researchers still don’t understand why your immune system turns against you in the first place. But it could be due to two things: an undigested gut that allows undigested foods and germs into your bloodstream, as well as insulin – a fat-storing hormone which takes glucose from circulation and stores it for later use as fat in cells or the liver.
Maintaining an ideal blood glucose level is essential for relieving inflammation. Not only does this aid weight control, but it also lessens strain on joints.
Research has indicated that a diet high in carbohydrates, especially refined sugars, can cause inflammation within the body. Therefore, it’s best to limit processed and junk foods and instead opt for fresh produce like fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
A nutrient-rich, anti-inflammatory diet is essential for patients with osteoarthritis. This should include plenty of fresh produce such as vibrant fruits and vegetables, low glycaemic fruits, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Furthermore, adding omega-3 rich foods like wild-caught salmon, organic grass-fed beef, and chia seeds into your meals can be beneficial too.
Functional medicine is a comprehensive approach to treating chronic disease that uses nutrition, dietary supplements and other therapies to address the underlying causes. This type of therapy may be especially helpful for inflammatory arthritis since it targets its root causes and is more holistic in approach than traditional drug-based treatments.
Functional medicine practitioners treat each patient individually and use a multifaceted treatment plan that includes dietary modifications, supplements for joint support, and exercise. Additionally, this approach uncovers any hidden infections or toxins that may be contributing to the disease process.
Metabolic syndrome refers to a group of health conditions that may include weight gain, high blood pressure, diabetes and low levels of “good” cholesterol (HDL). Individuals living with metabolic syndrome have an increased likelihood for heart disease.
Many risk factors for metabolic syndrome are genetic. Polycystic ovary syndrome, for instance, causes hormone changes that lead to weight gain and other health problems like insulin resistance. Furthermore, being overweight or obese during pregnancy increases one’s chances of developing metabolic syndrome later in life.
Here are a few ways you can reduce your risk of metabolic syndrome: Eating too much fat, especially red meat and poultry, is one way. Instead, focus on a diet rich in whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables while cutting back on sugar and processed foods. Incorporating healthy fats like canola oil, olive oil or flaxseed oil into meals is also important.
Another way to reduce your risk for metabolic syndrome is exercising regularly. Studies have demonstrated that regular physical activity can significantly improve metabolic risk factors like blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar levels.
Exercise not only helps maintain your body weight and caloric intake, but it can also alleviate symptoms associated with metabolic syndrome like depression and stress.
Finally, functional medicine may also prevent osteoarthritis from getting worse or keep you from having to take medications that treat inflammation and other symptoms. By identifying the source of your discomfort and making lifestyle changes that will last long-term, functional medicine offers a powerful solution for osteoarthritis.
Metabolic syndrome is a complex medical condition caused by your genes, environment and habits. It’s an extremely serious medical condition which can be managed through behavioural and nutritional therapies in combination.
Metabolic syndrome is typically defined by obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure. If you have these conditions, your doctor can work with you to develop a treatment plan that helps you lose weight, regulate your blood pressure and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Overall, living a healthy lifestyle is the best way to reduce your risk for developing chronic health issues like osteoarthritis. It’s essential that you work with your doctor to identify which lifestyle choices are right for you and commit to making them part of your regular regimen until they become habits.
In addition to medications and other treatments that may be prescribed, a healthy diet can be an important factor in managing your osteoarthritis symptoms. A balanced diet should include lean meats, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, as well as legumes.
Eating healthily and balanced can help you maintain a healthy weight, decreasing stress on your joints and increasing mobility. Furthermore, nutritious food provides essential nutrients that fight inflammation and boost overall wellbeing.
A nutritious diet can reduce pain and swelling, particularly for people with inflammatory arthritis or osteoarthritis who take certain medications. A nutritious meal includes plenty of fibre as well as anti-inflammatory fats which may help soothe the inflammation associated with osteoarthritis.
People suffering from inflammatory arthritis may benefit from cutting back on refined carbohydrates such as sugars and white bread, since they can cause inflammation in the body. Red meat, fried foods and other fatty meals such as red meat or fried chicken may also increase inflammation, particularly those high in saturated fats.
Protein can be found in oily fish, which contains omega-3 fatty acids. Those who don’t enjoy fish can take supplements that contain these polyunsaturated fats with anti-inflammatory effects instead.
Many processed foods and pre-packaged meals and snacks contain trans fats, which are found in partially hydrogenated oils and can cause inflammation. To avoid them, look for the word “partially hydrogenated” on package labels or look for the “trans-fat free” designation.
These foods can be hidden in a number of processed and fast food items, such as burgers, pizza, hot dogs and French fries. Furthermore, they’re present in snack items like candy and ice cream which can add up quickly and cause your appetite to grow.
Tomato sauce may cause joint pain due to its containment of solanine, a toxin which irritates joints. Therefore, it’s best to limit your consumption of tomato-based products as much as possible.
The Mediterranean diet has been found to be beneficial for those suffering from inflammatory arthritis. It’s loaded with fruits, vegetables and whole grains as well as anti-inflammatory fats and proteins. While those with osteoarthritis may benefit from such a diet, it’s best to consult a registered dietitian first before making changes.