WHAT IS ARTHRITIS ?
DO YOU HAVE
If so, find out what kind, the better to
address it effectively
You start to
question when you feel pain in a joint. Now you wonder, is
it in the joint cartilage, and what is cartilage anyway,
and does that mean you have inflammation of the cartilage,
and isn't that what arthritis is, and you didn't think you
had a high arthritis risk but now you're not so sure.
OK. Let's define arthritis first. Simply put, the word
arthritis comes from the Greek word 'arthrum' which means
joint. Add 'itis' at the end and you've got 'arthritis'. In
other words, 'arthritis' means 'inflammation of a joint' -
the two are interchangeable.
Now that we have a working arthritis definition, let's
focus on what kind, because that gives you some ideas about
how to deal with it.
There are two main types of arthritis - infectious
arthritis, also called rheumatoid arthritis, and
non-infectious. Let's look at each one.
Infectious Arthritis: This refers inflammation of a joint
caused by any one or more infectious agents such as
bacteria, viruses, parasites, or spirochetes. Some of the
more common ones are: gonococcal, pneumococcal, tubercular,
staph, strep (which is the infectious agent in rheumatic
fever) and in more recent years, Lymes, a
brings up another question, "Is arthritis infectious?" The
answer is no, not technically, because arthritis only means
inflammation of the joint. However, the infectious agent
may be transmittable, as it is in the case of gonorrhea,
strep, staph or tuberculosis.
Knowing that your joint cartilage is being gobbled up or
worn away by some such bug, you are armed with the
knowledge you need to choose a strategy that invites those
bugs to live elsewhere, and when they do, you can move to
the second phase of your strategy, which involves repairing
Non-Infectious Arthritis: This refers to all the other
causes of joint inflammation. For example 'traumatic
arthritis' is the result of sudden or repeated stress on
the joint, as in tennis elbow, while 'post-traumatic
arthritis' is the result of an injury such as a bump or
blow. 'Septic arthritis' is joint inflammation that results
from toxicity of some kind - perhaps a food intolerance
(wheat, potatoes, strawberries, heavy metals or pesticides,
Last, there are three types of joint tissue
that can become inflamed from any of the above. One type is
the bone itself, and this is called 'osteoarthritis'. The
second is the joint cartilage itself. To answer what
cartilage is, think of the gristle in a piece of meat -
that's cartilage. It's a type of very dense, firm and
compact connective tissue that's capable of withstanding
considerable pressure or tension. Third, the synovial
membrane over the joint, and the fluid it contains which
lubricates the joint can also become inflamed.
No matter which type of joint tissue becomes inflamed, the
condition is still referred to as 'arthritis' because some
part of the joint is inflamed.
line is that the word 'arthritis' refers to a
symptom and not a cause.
To address the symptom means finding and effectively
addressing the cause.
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You Answer These
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what is the nature of the life
What parts of you do you
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to others so they can have greater health and well-being
Your Arthritis -
Six of the Top
Joint inflammation is painful, and when
you're suffering with it you're highly motivated to find
out what will stop it!
To realize that goal, there are two ingredients: symptom
control and finding the cause (or causes) so that a healing
direction can be revealed.
Symptom Control: This means two things - reducing inflammation
and managing pain.
The primary herb used around the world for reducing
inflammation is Boswellia. Years of clinical research has
revealed that boswellic acids reduce the formation of
Pain management is often achieved with White Willow Bark, which
is the natural herb that contains salicin, flavonoids and other
phenolic compounds that reduce inflammation significantly along
with promoting joint health.
With arthritic symptoms under control, the next step is finding
causes. The following are six of the top common causes health
1. Food intolerances.
A food intolerance results from the inability of the body to
completely metabolize (i.e., 'break down' ) any particular
food. This leaves undigested food particles floating around
where they can cause inflammation, and one of those target
organs is the joints.
Food intolerances are different than food allergies. One can be
intolerant of a food but not allergic to it, or allergic but
not intolerant or both. This means that just because a blood
test for antigens shows no antigen for a particular food does
not mean an intolerance does not exist.
Four of the most common food intolerances are wheat, gluten,
lactose and foods from the nightshade family (tomatoes,
potatoes, eggplant, peppers, etc.)
2. Toxic metals.
Toxic metals are those that poison the body and have no benefit
for humans. Four of the most common ones that affect modern
people are mercury, aluminum, lead and plutonium. The sources
of these contaminants are varied and depend on the metal
itself. For example, two of the most common sources of mercury
contamination are from dental amalgams, which are over 50%
mercury, and vaccines containing Thimerosol, a preservative
containing mercury. Other, less common toxic metals include
antimony,uranium, arsenic, cadmium, barium, nickel and bismuth.
Any of these can be deposited in the joints, stimulating
3. Synthetic Chemicals.
Modern people are exposed to a growing number of toxic
chemicals in daily life. In fact it's been estimated that the
average person is exposed to well over 100,000 synthetic
chemicals! This results in a massive body burden way to
significant for the liver to detoxify and eliminate on its own,
and the chemical back up can result in joint inflammation.
4. Generalized acidity.
The human body is meant to run on a relatively neutral pH - not
too acid, not too alkaline. When the body is consistently acid
over a length of time, the acidity can etch away the lining of
joints, resulting in an inflammatory arthritis. One such source
of this acidity is toxic emotions - unresolved personal issues
that are replayed but never resolved.
5. Immune challenges.
These are classic cause of joint inflammation, and can include
all manner of bacteria, yeast, fungi, viruses, parasites, even
spirochetes. Any one or more of these can cause joint
6. Autoimmune reaction.
An autoimmune reaction results when the immune system gets
confused in its functions and begins attacking its own bodily
tissue - in this example, joints. The immune system's job is to
separate 'me' from 'not me' and attack and eliminate the 'not
me.' In an arthritic autoimmunity, it has mistakenly identified
the joint tissue as 'not me', resulting in an attack that
produces arthritis. Many practitioners believe this confusion
is set up initially by immune challenges in which the invading
organism contains DNA very similar to the body's joint tissue
Each of the above represents a cause that may be at the root of
the symptom of arthritis. Working with your practitioner to
discover the cause (or causes) is a key to reducing - even
eliminating - the symptom itself, often permanently.
In this respect, it's important to
remember that 'my arthritis is not your arthritis'.
In other words, you may have one or two of these
causes, while the next person with the same symptom -
joint inflammation - has totally different
That's why it's important if you wish to
recover, not to get stuck in 'cookie cutter'
approaches, but rather: