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Natural Arthritis Remedies For An Active Lifestyle

Posted Sep 22 2010 12:00am

  Dr. Andrea Mills

Andrea Mills, D.C.

People are living longer, staying active in their golden years and want to remain active. With the dangers of osteoarthritis drugs hitting the news, we want remedies that are safe and work. This is one of the reasons that natural remedies for arthritis are getting more popular.

I've found that for many complaints, natural cures work just as well, if not better, than over the counter or prescription drugs.

Natural arthritis remedies are:

  • Safe and effective
  • Less expensive than medications
  • Easy to find
  • Easy to use

If you are just starting to look at natural cures, I suggest you start by learning about the different foods that help arthritis. Changing your diet is the simplest thing you can do to help ease your pain for the long term. It's not a quick fix, but it can be very effective!

An important thing to include in your diet are omega-3 fatty acids. They are found in cold water fish like salmon, herring, and sardines and also in some nuts or seeds, like flax seeds. They are called "essential" fatty acids because we need them, but our bodies cannot make them on our own, so they must be gotten from food. They naturally decrease inflammation which is why they are classified as a natural remedy for arthritis.

There are 3 types of omega-3 fatty acids, and the 2 that are the most needed are EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). They are important because they have been shown to reduce inflammation. Inflammation is one of the most important risk factors associated with chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and of course, arthritis.

Now here's the problem with the typical American diet... omega-3's should make up about 1/4 to 1/2 of our fat intake; but most American's eat only a fraction of that and use mostly omega-6 fatty acids as their primary source (these come from safflower, sunflower, corn, sesame, walnut, and primrose oils). While omega-6's are also essential, they tend to promote inflammation if high quantities. In the proper ratio, omega-3's decrease inflammation in the body. The easiest way to do this is to take a pure, pharmaceutical grade omega-3 supplement with the right ratio of EPA and DHA in it.

Doses of omega-3's for adults (from fish oils) would be between 1-3 grams daily of EPA and DHA. It may take 2 - 3 weeks for benefits of fish oil supplements to be seen.

Supplements for natural remedies for arthritis

The ones most commonly taken for arthritis are Glucosamine sulfate, Chondroitin sulfate, hyaluronic acid, calcium, MCHC (Microcrystalline Hydroxyapetite Concentrate) and Omega-3 fatty acids. Glucosamine and Chondroitin come in different forms, like Glucosamine HCl, but for simplicity's sake I'm only going to use the term Glucosamine. It's found naturally in high concentrations in the joints, and it appears to help rebuild cartilage.

Typical dosage of Glucosamine is 1500 mg a day, in 3 doses of 500 mg each. This appears to be the level at which it's best absorbed and used.

Chondroitin sulfate was first extracted in the 1960's and appears to have slightly more evidence showing it helps with arthritis symptoms. It's a bigger chemical than glucosamine, so there's some belief that it isn't absorbed as easily. It's often found together with glucosamine in many natural remedies for arthritis.

Dosage of chondroitin is 1200 mg a day in divided doses of 400 mg three times a day or 600 mg twice a day.

Hyaluronic Acid is found in synovial fluid (inside the joint) and has both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Vitamin C is a main part of collagen and is used in every step of it's formation. This means that it gets used up in the process of making collagen and as vitamin C levels go down, joint inflammation appears to go up. Manganese helps with the growth and development of normal bone.

I prefer supplements to medications for one big reason, and that’s safety. The problem with using osteoarthritis drugs long term is that many of them get pulled off the market because the side effects are so dangerous (remember the Vioxx debacle?). So when it comes to trying supplements, dietary changes and other natural remedies, I think they are worth a try. There are relatively no side effects, they won't cost you thousands of dollars, and there's a great chance you'll get some relief.

There are also herbs for arthritis that you can use in cooking, in supplement form, or as a cream that you rub on to the aching joints.

I hope this article inspires you to look at natural cures for arthritis pain. For more information, please visit .

Dr. Davis here...Chiropractic Care and Class 4 Deep Tissue Laser Therapy are also excellent natural solutions for arthritis pain. As is a plant based "anti-inflammation" diet. My best resource for plant based nutrition is Dr. John McDougall, MD .

For natural arthritis treatment in San Francisco contact 415-392-2225 and receive a complimentary consultation by mentioning this blog post.

Dr. Eben Davis is clinic director of Executive Express Chiropractic in San Francisco


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