" Doctor! I am unable to walk; I cannot sit on the closet!
My knees are very painful! Would you give me some relief ?
" Do you have any special medicine to reduce my weight?
Everybody says that obesity is the cause for my Arthritis!"

Universal comments from the patients.

             Arthritis is more common all over the world. Arthritis means "inflammation of a joint". There are many types of arthritis. A form of arthritis with a known cause is Gout that is due to the defective assimilation of food. Osteoarthritis is supposed to be "a normal part of ageing." Many aggressive and crippling forms, including Rheumatoid Arthritis, Ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis and systemic lupus are grouped together as “Arthritis."

What is a joint?

             If you take the structure of a joint, the ends of the bones do not articulate directly with each other but are covered by cartilage which is an extremely smooth, gristly substance which allows very low-friction movement. Normally, there is only a very small quantity of fluid called synovial fluid present in the joint. When the joint has been traumatised or diseased, then an excessive quantity of fluid may accumulate and cause swelling and this is referred to as effusion.

      

             If this is large, it may cause pain and weakness and wasting of the nearby muscles, but usually pain results from inflammation of the soft tissue lining of the joint, just inside the capsule called the synovium. In osteoarthritis, it is the joint cartilage which bears the brunt of the disease whereas in a condition like rheumatoid arthritis, the synovium is inflamed and this causes damage to the cartilage as a secondary event. In Gout and other allied diseases the synovial fluid concentration gets altered by the toxins and salts
.              The characteristic symptom of arthritis is pain and swelling of one or more joints, which can often be warmer than other joints. Stiffness of the joints on getting up in the morning, or after sitting still for a while is very common and sometimes the first symptom.

What is Osteoarthritis?

             Osteoarthritis is generally thought of as a condition affecting old people and while it is true that all elderly individuals do have osteoarthritis somewhere, it may also occur in relatively young persons under certain circumstances. Osteoarthritis is often described as a 'wear and tear' phenomenon affecting the joints so that they are envisaged as simply wearing out.
             Heredity is also known to be an important cause. Women tend to get more after menopause where the estrogen falls down to impair calcium metabolism. Clinical reports are more after the surgery of total Hysterectomy and Oophorectomy.

             Obesity is the commonest cause, which makes the weight bearing joints -- Hips, Knees and Ankles -- to degenerate quickly. There may be hard, bony swelling of the joints and a gritty feeling even with noise when the joint is moved. Practitioners describe this as Crepitus. X-ray often brings the report of early osteophytes, degenerative changes and reduced joint space.

What is Rheumatoid arthritis?            

             Rheumatoid arthritis is another commonest form of inflammatory arthritis. It is often thought of as a crippling disease and generally responsible for much of the disability. Rheumatoid arthritis is actually a family of related disease, not a single entity. The inherited “Immune Complexes” makes the persistent inflammation of the joint causing pain, swelling and stiffness of the joint. Any joint can be affected, it is usually in the small peripheral joints, such as those in the fingers or wrist, that is first noticed. Often joints are affected symmetrically.   

             Blood test for Rheumatoid Arthritis Factor is always positive. X-ray is seen with the development of pits or erosions in the joints. Blood study of serum creative reactive protein (CRP) and ASO titer is also essential to rule out the Rheumatic fever which is prevalent among younger generation.

             Sometimes the victim may feel extreme difficulty in breathing, sweating and palpitation. Face looks anxious and pale. People can observe the abnormal breathing pattern; exhalation takes more than twice as long as inhalation.

          

What is Gout?            

             Gout is a metabolic disorder called as “Purine Metabolism” in which the sufferers have high uric acid blood levels. Alcoholism predisposes the attack. The sudden onset of pain on the small joints, mostly start from great toe jumps one to another. The joints swell with redness. The symptoms caused by uric acid crystals in the joint. These are irritating the joint and cause an inflammatory reaction. The high uric acid level often predisposes for a “Kidney stone.” There are some patients who develop symptoms even with borderline uric acid levels.

    Clinically well diagnosed by the presentation of symptoms, high uric acid level and by the demonstration of uric acid crystals following an aspiration from the affected joint. The attacks are prevented by lowering the levels of uric acid in the blood with special diets.

        Psoriatic arthritis is suspected if the patient has psoriasis, but sometimes the arthritis can proceed with the rash. We should differentiate “Systemic Lupus Erythematosus” by its skin rash, mouth ulcers and Alopecia. It can mimic many other forms of arthritis. The reactive arthritis starts after an infection such as gastroenteritis, tuberculosis and a sexually transmitted disease. It usually involves only one or two large joints such as knees or ankles and may also involve the lower back.

        Rheumatic Arthritis affects children that causes fever accompanied by polyarthritis. Rheumatic fever licks the joints and kicks the heart. Cardiac ailments are common as a later complication in few patients.

        I have pain all over my body. I feel as if I am beaten! Many people experience pain, which is often diffuse and widespread and associated with tenderness, which occurs typically at certain sites. Sleep disturbance is a characteristic symptom and indeed may contribute to pain. It has been shown that artificial sleep deprivation may cause fibromalgic symptoms.

What about diet?

   My first recommendation is diet. Diet is aimed at Obesity, Allergic foods and Purine foods depending upon their cause. It is important for those who are over weight as this may have a detrimental effect on weight-bearing joints. The diet that supports the health of the joints and dramatically reduces the destructive activity of inflammatory arthritis offers no animal products and almost none of fats and oils of any kind.

       Animal proteins, especially those from dairy sources, enter the blood stream and combine there with specific antibodies produced against them to form these "immune complexes". In most people these complexes would be "eaten up" by scavenger cells found in the liver, the spleen and along the lining of blood vessels and would quickly be removed from the blood stream. However, unfortunate victims of arthritis these complexes persist and are not removed by scavenger cells. Eventually they are filtered out of the blood stream by the capillaries traversing the tissues of the joints. There embedded in the tiny blood vessels of the joint tissues, these complexes act much like slivers of wood stuck under the skin, causing severe inflammation of the joints.

There is some evidence that certain foodstuffs may have a detrimental effect on the symptoms experienced but the picture is not clear-cut. For some patients eliminating certain highly allergic plant foods such as wheat, corn and citrus fruits is important. Benefits usually are seen within a few days. If such benefits are not clearly evident within three weeks, then I start my patients on elimination diet as in allergic diseases such as asthma and eczema.

     The sufferers of Gout should eliminate Purine-containing foods which include organ meats such as liver, kidney and dried legumes. Avoid alcoholic beverages and take plenty of water.

  Click here to find diet for Arthritis
        Diet for obesity
        Allergic foods
        Purine food

What about exercise?

             "If I have arthritis can I exercise or will it be harmful?"
             A very common doubt.

             The simple answer to this is "No, it won't be harmful." It depends to some extent on the nature of the condition, the joints affected and the type of exercise you are contemplating. Inflamed joints as in rheumatoid arthritis will tend to become more inflamed if they are strained, so rest is beneficial, at least in the setting of a flare. For instance, lack of exercise is not good for the skeleton generally in that osteoporosis is more likely to be a problem in the long term and this is a condition, which is more likely anyway in arthritis sufferers. Therefore, although rest is helpful in the short term if joints are inflamed, exercise is beneficial to preserve general fitness, the range of joint movement and also in preserving muscle tone. Healthy strong muscles are essential to protect joints from damage. Certain types of exercises are preferable to others. For instance, if weight-bearing joints are affected, non-weight-bearing exercise is probably better. One can go for swimming and cycling!.

What is the treatment?

  Arthritis of any form is quiet amenable to Homoeopathy treatment. I have treated Rheumatic Arthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Gout and Oesteo Arthritis with remarkable success. It is not an exaggeration! many have become alright within a period of three months.

   Homoeopathic medicines are wonderful in treating all types of arthritis. Homoeopathy cures the incurable pains also. A well selected constitutional remedy will correct your metabolic activity. It has general action on degeneration, immune complexes and purine metabolism. Moreover you will lose your extra weight to some extent. There are no pain-killers as they give you an instant effect on your complaints. We focus on curative action rather than palliative
            

 

 

Clinical evidence