Food allergies are common and are responsible for a wide variety of health problems! In fact, food allergies and intestinal permeability play a large role in causing and/or aggravating arthritis. Individuals with intestinal permeability are prone towards developing arthritis. A permeable, or leaky gut, allows fragments of intestinal bacteria to penetrate into the joints. These bacteria fragments may cause the body to release anti-bodies which then attack the joint tissue–a typical autoimmune response (typical of rheumatoid arthritis). Food allergies are now being implicated as one cause of rheumatoid arthritis.
Increased intestinal permeability allows undigested chemicals to leak out of the digestive tract and into the bloodstream. This triggers an autoimmune (allergic) reaction and can create pain and inflammation in any of the body’s tissues.
Fish Oil Reduces Rheumatoid Arthritis
Omega-3 deficiencies increase the risk of rheumatoid arthritis. Greenland Eskimos consuming diets high in omega-3 fatty acids (mostly from fish oils) rarely suffer from arthritis. In more than a dozen studies over the past decade, rheumatoid arthritis patients taking omega-3 oils drastically reduced their pain and stiffness.
Sometimes wear and tear of the boney cartilage of the body causes bone spurs or calcium deposits to form on the ligaments surrounding the joint. This leads to inflammation, pain, and decreased joint motion. This is osteoarthritis (OA), also known as degenerative joint disease (DJD). OA first appears asymptomatically in the 2nd and 3rd decades but becomes universal by age 70. Almost all persons by the age of 40 have some signs of OA in their weight-bearing joints, but only a minority report any symptoms. Surveys show that over 40 million Americans have OA.
Osteoarthritis is usually caused by trauma or joint injury (wear and tear). Many of my patients can trace the onset of their arthritis to a car accident, but some don’t remember anything that could be causing their neck or low back pain. Some individuals develop osteoarthritis from repetitive motions, poor posture, or from simply carrying more weight than their joints can handle. Losing weight can often provide dramatic relief to those with weight-bearing osteoarthritis of the knees and hips. That’s because these joints bear loads 2.5 times a person’s weight. For a 200-pound individual, this can translate to one ton of pressure. Heredity also plays a role in osteoarthritis.
Hypothyroid and Osteoarthritis
Patients with hypothyroid have been shown to be at increased risk of developing osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is characterized by early morning stiffness or pain that eases up as the day goes on, only to return again in the evening. This form of arthritis generally affects the joints of the knees, hands, feet, and spine. It develops gradually over several years and usually doesn’t cause joint redness, warmth, or swelling like rheumatoid arthritis.
Nutritional Supplements for Osteoarthritis
Glucosamine sulfate is an excellent approach to eliminating the destruction of osteoarthritis. A growing body of research supports the use of this natural supplement. Studies in Italy showed that glucosamine reduced arthritis symptoms by one half in 73% of the group, and 20% enjoyed total symptom relief.
A Portugal study involving 1,208 patients and 252 physicians showed glucosamine to be quite effective in eliminating pain and stiffness caused by the disease.
A study of patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, performed at the National Orthopedic Hospital in Manila, Philippines, showed that patients who were administered glucosamine had an 80% reduction in pain. Other studies have demonstrated that glucosamine is more effective than ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, or Nuprin) in relieving the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
Glucosamine is not only superior to NSAIDs such as ibuprofen it is also free of the side effects of most arthritic medications.
More importantly, glucosamine and chondroiten sulfate actually slow or arrest the destruction of cartilage.
Glucosamine, which is made up of glucose and the amino acid glutamine, actually helps repair damaged articular joint tissue. It does this by stimulating collagen cells within the articular cartilage to produce more proteoglycans. Proteoglycans are responsible for forming a protective netting within the articular cartilage, which helps prevent its destruction.
Dosage is 500 mg. three times daily. You should see improvement in three–four weeks. Treatment should continue for a minimum of three months and, since there are little or no side effects, long-term therapy is advisable.
Chondroiten sulfate is composed of a large number of sugar molecules. It attracts fluid into the proteoglygan molecules, and this fluid acts as a shock absorber. Chondroiten inhibits certain enzymes that can damage cartilage, while stimulating the production of proteoglycans and other molecules needed for healthy new cartilage growth.
A study conducted in France, showed patients who received three months of chondroiten therapy had actually repaired a significant portion of their degenerated joint tissues.
Dosage is 800,200 mg. daily. You should see improvement in three to four weeks. Treatment should continue for a minimum of three months and, since there are little or no side effects, long-term therapy might be advisable.
I use a specially designed Arthritis Formula for my arthritis patients which contain:
Glucosamine sulfate 500mg (see above).
Chondroiten Sulfate 400 mg (see above).
One of the oldest herbs in Indian ayurvedic medicine. Studies show it to be a potent pain-relieving anti-inflammatory. Boswellia helps shrink inflamed tissue, build cartilage, increase blood supply, and repair damaged blood vessels.
A protein-digesting enzyme derived from pineapple. There is considerable research (over 200 medical journal articles) on its effectiveness in treating such conditions as inflammation, pancreatic insufficiency, and respiratory diseases. It blocks inflammatory chemicals called kinins. It also digests excess fibren, a chemical implicated in osteoarthritis, sciatica, ankylosing spondylitis, and scleroderma. As an anti-inflammatory, bromelain needs to be taken on an empty stomach. If taken with food, it acts as a digestive enzyme.
A perennial plant found in eastern Asia and parts of India. It is a popular arthritis remedy in India and a powerful pain-relieving anti-inflammatory. It is as strong as hydrocortisone without the side effects.
A perennial vine native to South Africa. It is a potent anti-inflammatory and pain reliever. Studies in Germany have shown this herbal medication to be very effective in relieving lower back pain and associated sciatica.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Protocol
• Important! Correct intestinal permeability if present. This is necessary in order to reduce inflammatory reactions.
Many of my patients have enjoyed a reduction or elimination of arthritic symptoms after repairing their leaky gut.
• Strongly consider food allergy testing. Rheumatoid arthritis was absent in prehistory, when cereals and dairy products were not part of a daily diet. Some researchers believe that our bodies have simply not yet adapted to our modern eating habits. The most common allergy producing foods include wheat, corn, dairy, beef, and nightshades.
• Avoid nightshade foods. These include tobacco, eggplant, bell peppers, tomatoes, and white potatoes. Nightshade foods have been linked to an increase in arthritis symptoms.
• Treat any yeast or bacterial overgrowth of the intestinal tract. If you suspect you may have a problem please read the chapter on yeast overgrowth.
• Supplement with omega-3 essential fatty acids. Research suggests that the therapy must be continued for a minimum of 4 weeks before results are seen, and large doses of these oils are needed for the desired result: 3,000,000 mg. of fish oil (EPA/DHA).
• Supplement with digestive enzymes, hydrochloric acid, and pancreatic enzymes (pepsin, amylase, lipase, etc.) with each meal. I recommend everyone with FMS or CFS take a digestive enzyme with each meal.
• I recommend the New Arthritis Jumpstart Package which contains the Essential Therapeutics Arthro Formula or Inflammation Formula, or an alternate formula with similar ingredients.
• Exercise to keep the joints moving. Walking on a daily basis helps keep you limber and fit. Many of the back pain patients that I see are shocked to discover that they can severely reduce or eliminate the back problems they’ve had for years by simply walking 30 minutes a day.