Arthritis is painful inflammation of a joint within the body that can also be characterized by stiffness, constant joint ache and can result in afflictions of other bodily organs. Currently, there are over 100 different types of arthritis and studies are continuously determining and discovering new forms of this painful condition. Due to a widespread number of causes and it commonality, arthritis is the currently the most common chronic condition in North America, affecting more than 46 million individuals in the US, and over 350 million worldwide. Arthritis also affects over a quarter million children in the United States alone, and the majority of the adult populous, over 60%, that are affected by arthritis are women. It is classified as a rheumatic illness, meaning it is a number of conditions, similar in appearance (as per how it affects the host). However that is where the similarities would end. It is comprised of differing diseases with different prognoses, complications, treatments, and characteristics, and while most types of arthritis are more of an annoyance than much else, for many, it is a cause of daily pain, suffering, and possibly crippling disability.
However, early diagnosis of arthritis can be a large contributor to the overall prevention of further progression and irreversible damage of the disease. Once diagnosed accurately, an individual must be willing work closely with their doctor to develop a proper preventative regime including such lifestyle changes as proper exercise programs, supplements, plenty of rest, and medications (if required). Depending on the condition and stage of the illness, doctor’s may also recommend physical therapy, or possibly even surgery to assist in elevating the pain, and to aim for the best possible future, and long-term outcome for the illness.
Constant contact with your doctor is highly recommended as it will assist them in monitoring your condition and suggesting the best possible alternative treatments for the individual. Doctors may also suggest orthopedic bracing, or even arthroplasty (joint replacement). Some medicinal therapies, such as Synotrex, a homeopathic supplement, offer alternatives to conventional medicine by providing herbal remedies and relief via vitamins and minerals touted to counteract or even repair the damage and causes of arthritis.
Another recently researched homeopathic remedy is citrus pectin, used by Dr. Kurt Donsbach at the Hospital Santa Monica. Research for this remedy cites quercetin, bromelain, and pectin as having been known to show signs of possibly killing cancerous cells, and prevent the growth of damaged or diseased cells and alleviating or reducing the symptoms of disease conditions and arthritic pain. Pectin has also been shown to be effective in reducing cholesterol levels in patients, and might, therefore, be further studied to that degree as having an alternative effect perhaps indirectly on arthritis as well by lowering suspect cholesterol levels in arthritic patients.
While many different factors are considered to be contributors to arthritis, such as damage caused by physical activity or weight loss (Osteoarthritis), the deposition of uric acid crystals in joints (Gout), Collagen Vascular disorders leading to arthritis (Lupus), one of the most closely studied is now that of the link between cholesterol and rheumatoid arthritis. In recent studies, (citing studies done by Dr. M. Helivaara of the National Public Health Institute in Helsinki, Finland) it has been determined that the serum cholesterol concentrations within men and women were directly proportional to whether they were considered rheumatoid factor positive, or rheumatoid arthritis positive. This body of work is essentially working on connecting rheumatoid arthritis with possible coronary heart disease factors. Other genetic risk factors that have recently been studied are also the link between human height (both tall and short factors) and the link to Osteoarthritis (by doctor Goncalo Abecasis). However the undeniable connect between heart disease, cholesterol level, and arthritis is one of the most promising connections to date.