Prevent and Treat Osteoarthritis

Painful osteoarthritis is a major health threat for millions of Americans. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 46 million American adults have been diagnosed with some form of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, or fibromyalgia. In fact, 50 percent of adults aged 65 and older report they’ve been given a diagnosis of arthritis by a doctor.

Repeated trauma and joint stress, both of which can trigger joint inflammation, are the leading causes. Those people who have widespread joint involvement probably have a strong predetermination to develop the disease which may be triggered by a bad diet, environmental toxins, or infections.

Here are eight tips to both prevent and treat osteoarthritis:

Avoid obesity According to a Centers for Disease Control report on arthritis, 66 percent of adults with doctor-diagnosed arthritis are overweight or obese. The more weight you have on a joint,  especially the hip and knee joints, the greater the likelihood you will develop osteoarthritis.

Exercise regularly, walking is important as a preventive measure, especially as we age. If you have access to a health club or have home equipment, you should do leg-strengthening exercises. Damaging exercises include high-impact exercises, and jogging long distances, especially on hard surfaces.

Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.  Both of these bad habits increase free radical generation and inflammation.

Glucosamine-chondroitin sulfate. A number of large-scale, double-blind clinical studies have demonstrated the ability of these supplements to alleviate pain and aid joint reconstruction. Most experts agree that glucosamine reduces pain and disability, and, in early cases, it may even restore joint cartilage.

The effectiveness of both compounds increases the longer you use them, and it usually takes four to six weeks for benefits to be seen. In severe cases, it may take a year to see significant improvement. The dose is 1,000 mg three times a day just before a meal.

Avoid red meats Eat no more than six ounces of chicken, turkey, or pork twice a day.

Eat five to 10 servings of vegetables a day Vegetables are generally alkaline and will reduce acidity within tissues (such as joints). Also, they contain a number of flavonoids with powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

Shun vegetable oils polyunsaturated vegetable oils, which include corn, canola, and soybean, are known to stimulate inflammation. Cook with either extra virgin coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil.

Avoid MSG Recent studies have shown that MSG (glutamate) and other excitotoxins worsen fibromyalgia and may exacerbate all inflammatory conditions.

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