Arthritis

  • According to the CDC, more than 44% of adults with arthritis report arthritis-attributed daily activity limitations like bending, stooping, walking & climbing stairs. Consequently, cleaning, cooking, personal hygiene, & other usual activities may be affected.
  • A healthy lifestyle & good habits can positively impact arthritis
  • Early diagnosis & treatment for arthritis is very essential
  • More than half of adults with arthritis report high blood pressure. High BP is associated with heart disease, the most common comorbidity among adults with arthritis
  • Around 1 in 5 adults who have arthritis are smokers. Smoking is causes severe respiratory problems, the second most common comorbidity among adults with arthritis.
  • No interaction / interference with allopathy medicines as allopathic medicines attempt to alleviate the symptoms of disease by attacking / affecting the body’s natural defense whereas the homeopathy embraces the body’s natural response system by either encouraging the symptoms of healing / attacking the root cause of the illness
  • Homeopathic & allopathic medicines can be used together as homeopathic medicines are used in highly diluted doses, they do not interact / interfere with the pharmacokinetics / pharmacodynamics of allopathic drugs.
  • This significantly minimizes the usage of analgesic & anti-inflammatory medications. They are not intended to delay conventional medical treatment.
There are around 200 types of arthritis. Divided into 7 main groups:
    1) Inflammatory arthritis — Rheumatoid arthritis (RA); Ankylosing spondylitis (AS); Arthritis associated with colitis & psoriasis; Reactive arthritis
    2) Degenerative / mechanical arthritis — Osteoarthritis
    3) Soft tissue musculoskeletal pain — Tennis elbow
    4) Backache — Cervical spondylosis; Thoracic spondylosis; Lumbar spondylosis; Lumbo-sacral spondylosis
    5) Connective tissue disease (CTD) — Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE); Dermatomyositis
    6) Infectious arthritis — Salmonella & shigella, spread through food poisoning / contamination; STDs like chlamydia & gonorrhoea; Hepatitis C
    7) Metabolic arthritis — Gout & pseudo gout
There is no single cause of all types of arthritis. Causes vary according to the type of arthritis.
Some possible causes are:
  • Inheritance — Osteoarthritis (Smoking & physically demanding occupations, can interact with genes to further increase the risk)
  • Injury — Increases the risk of osteoarthritis
  • Diet & nutrition (Abnormal metabolism) — Gout is one type of arthritis that is closely linked to diet, as it is caused by elevated levels of uric acid that results in a diet high in purines
  • Infections — In arthritis of lyme disease
  • Immune system dysfunction — In RA, AS & SLE
Certain risk factors have been associated with arthritis. Some of these are modifiable while others are not.
Non-modifiable risk factors:
  • Age — Developing most types of arthritis increases with age
  • Sex — Most types of arthritis are more common in females, & 60% of all people with arthritis are female. Gout is more common in males than females
  • Genetic factors — Specific genes are associated with a higher risk of certain types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) & ankylosing spondylitis (AS)
Modifiable risk factors:
  • Overweight & obesity — Excess weight can contribute to both the onset & progression of knee & spine osteoarthritis 
  • Joint injuries — Damage to a joint can result in development of osteoarthritis in that joint.
  • Infection — Triggers the development of various forms of arthritis
  • Occupation — Certain occupations that involve repetitive knee bending & squatting are associated with osteoarthritis of the knee
What are the differences between rheumatoid arthritis & osteoarthritis?
 
Differentiating factors
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
Osteoarthritis (OA)
Age of onset
Develops at any age
More common in old age
F : M ratio
3 : 1
1 : 1
Speed of onset
Rapid (Weeks to months)
Gradual (Many years)
Type of disorder
Auto-immune disorder (Inflammatory)
Degenerative disorder — Wear & tear type (Non inflammatory)
No. & site of joints affected
Symmetrical, polyarticular (MCPs)
Asymmetrical, monoarticular (DIPs)
Affected part
Inflamed synovium leads to bone erosion (Small joints)
Cartilage degeneration (Larger joints)
Joint symptoms
Pain, soft tissue swelling & stiffness (Soft, warm, swollen & tender joints)
Pain & bony enlargement (Hard joints)
Morning stiffness
Lasts more than 60 minutes (Even during day time, when you sit for a long time)
Lasts less than 20 minutes
Systemic manifestations
Yes, fatigue & fever (Systemic manifestations — Affects the skin, eyes, lungs, heart & blood vessels)
No (Affects only joints)
Joint pain
Gets better with work / movement
Worsens with work / movement
Blood tests (ESR & CRP)
Elevated
Normal (Not elevated)
Serology (RF)
Rheumatoid factor positive
Rheumatoid factor negative
X-ray findings
Narrowed joint space; Osteophytes;
Subchondral sclerosis
Soft tissue swelling; Ill-defined marginal erosions; Peri-articular osteoporosis
Synovial fluid
Leukocytosis (Slightly cloudy)
Mild leukocytosis (Clear)
Treatment
Has to be treated specifically with immune suppressants
Immune suppressants are not required
 
 
 
 
How do your homeopathic physician come to know about your arthritis?
Diagnosis is made based on your symptoms, general health, family history, habits, physical exam, imaging tests, nerve tests, blood, fluid & tissue tests
Common laboratory tests include:
  • Antinuclear antibody — To diagnose SLE
  • Arthrocentesis (joint aspiration) — To diagnose septic arthritis, joint effusion, haemarthrosis, crystal arthropathy, monoarticular arthritis etc.,
  • Complement tests — Elevated complement proteins (C3, C4, CH50) in SLE & RA
  • Complete blood count — Leukopenia, anaemia, / thrombocytopenia are associated with RA
  • Creatinine — Monitor for underlying kidney disease
  • C-reactive protein — Elevated in inflammatory types of arthritis
  • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) — Elevated in inflammatory type of arthritis
  • Hematocrits (PCV, packed cell volume) — To diagnose anaemia which is commonly associated with RA
  • Rheumatoid factor — Elevated in RA
  • Urinalysis — To check for underlying kidney disease that may be associated with several types of arthritis
  • Uric acid — Elevated in gouty arthritis
Common imaging techniques include:
  • X-ray — To detect joint changes & bone damage
  • Ultrasound — Visibility of the quality of synovial tissue, tendons, ligaments, & bones.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) — To detect damage to joints, incl. muscles, ligaments, & cartilage
  • Arthroscopy — To evaluate any degenerative changes in the joint; to detect bone diseases & tumours; to determine the cause of bone pain & inflammation, & to treat certain conditions.
What are the advantages of homeopathic medicines over allopathic treatment?
 
Allopathic treatment
Possible side-effects of allopathic treatment
Advantages of homeopathy
Symptomatic treatment (NSAIDs)
  • Long-term usage & high doses raise your risk of having a heart attack / stroke, stomach bleeding etc.,
  • Provides long-term results
  • Minimum dosage
  • Natural & safe
Immune modulators (Biologics & DMARDs)
  • Osteoporosis
  • Reactivation of TB, herpes zoster & hepatitis B / C
  • Biochemical tissue salts enhance mineral absorption in the bones without side-effects
  • Boosts immunity
Steroids
  • Increases the risk of infections as they are immunosuppressive
  • Increases both blood sugar & blood pressure
  • Increases the risk of fractures in old age
  • Enhances the immunity & improves overall health
  • Doesn’t alter blood sugar & blood pressure levels
  • Minimises the risk of fractures
Surgical interventions (Joint replacement, arthrodesis & synovectomy)
  • High chance of recurrence
  • Invasive
  • Expensive
  • Low chance of recurrence
  • Easy to administer natural oral medicines
  • Affordable
* Treatment results may vary from person to person
Identify root causes & 
eliminate them with constitutional treatment
Natural oral medicines (Dilutions, tissue salts & mother tinctures) & ointments
  • Inheritance — Osteoarthritis
  • Injury — Increases the risk of osteoarthritis
  • Diet & nutrition (Abnormal metabolism) — Gout
  • Infections — Arthritis of lyme disease
  • Immune system dysfunction — RA, AS & SLE
Natural medicines:
  • Reduces the usage of anti-inflammatory & analgesics
  • Tissue salts enhance the mineral & vitamin absorption that are essential for bone health
  • Mother tinctures have very fast action (within 3 to 4 minutes) & that action remains for several hours
  • Allows the healing of skeletal tissues which avoids further bone damage by strengthening the entire musculoskeletal system
  • Low relapse rate
Holistic approach —
We focus on identifying the exact root cause of arthritis
& then treat the patient as a whole.
A detailed history of medical, genetical,
lifestyle, work, home environment, emotional
well-being & causative factors are taken 
into account to select the most appropriate constitutional medicine which stimulates your body’s own healing ability that eliminates the root cause
  • Natural medicines reduce both acute & chronic attacks of sciatica by boosting the immunity of the individual
  • Relieve not only muscle pain & stiffness but also strengthens the immunity of the individual which helps in providing long term results
  • Controls the progression of arthritis


 
1) Foods to eat (Natural anti-inflammatory diet):
  • Fruits & vegetables — They contain vitamins, minerals, & phytochemicals (natural chemicals that are found in some plant foods) to help you fight joint pain & inflammation. Berries, cherries, grapes, & peppers are some fruits & veggies that may have anti-inflammatory effects
  • Beans — Black beans & kidney beans may help fight inflammation in the body
  • Omega-3 fatty acids — Essential fatty acids that can help reduce inflammation & RA-related pain. Naturally found in salmon, flaxseed, walnuts, & olive oil
  • Herbs & spices — Adds a lot of flavour & have anti-inflammatory benefits without adding calories. Try seasoning your food with spices such as curry, ginger, & turmeric (Turmeric contains curcumin, a compound that can help protect joints from inflammation)
  • Nuts / Seeds — Nuts are full of protein, fiber & monounsaturated fats, which help fight inflammation
  • Lean protein — Essential at every meal because it gives you energy to fuel your day. Examples of lean protein are boneless, skinless grilled chicken, fish, & nuts. Adding more protein to your diet is essential as fatigue is a common rheumatoid arthritis symptom.
  • Vitamin D diet — Get more vitamin D in your diet by eating salmon, eggs, & mushrooms. Many brands of milk, yogurt, orange juice, & breakfast cereals are also fortified with vitamin D
  • Whole grains — Brown rice, whole grain pasta, & whole grain bread, give you the energy you need to get through your day. Try replacing white rice, pasta, & bread with the whole grain versions
  • Green tea — is having some substances that will be helpful in reducing RA-associated inflammation.
A 2003 study — To support the idea that omega-3s decrease RA symptoms & omega-6s aggravate them, a 2003 study looked at the anti-inflammatory effects of a low arachidonic acid diet ( low in omega-6 fatty acids), and fish oil in patients with RA. Researchers found that a diet low in arachidonic acid reduces inflammation in patients with RA. Patients who ate an anti-inflammatory diet, which included fish oil, had a major decrease in tender, swollen joints.
 
2) Foods to avoid (Foods that cause inflammation):
The foods below may exacerbate pain & other rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. Pay attention to how your body reacts to these foods. You may need to limit them in your diet to help you cope with RA.
  • Omega-6 fatty acids — Omega-6 fatty acids which promotes inflammation & are found in highly processed foods, full-fat dairy foods, & red meat
  • Foods that contain aspartame — Chemicals found in this man-made sweetener can trigger the neurons in your brain & increase pain perception. Aspartame is found in soft drinks, ice cream, bubble gum & mints
  • Highly processed foods — Fast foods & foods that contain monosodium glutamate (MSG) / nitrates (both are chemicals used as flavor enhancers) can aggravate RA symptoms. Diets high in refined sugar, frozen dinners & asian foods contain MSG, while lunch meats & hot dogs can contain nitrates
  • “Nightshade” vegetables — Includes eggplant, potatoes, & tomatoes. These vegetables are very nutritious, but they can trigger rheumatoid arthritis flare-ups
  • Foods that contain high-purines — Seafood, red wine, & meats, can trigger a gout flare-up. Vegetables & other plant foods that contain high levels of purines do not appear to exacerbate gout symptoms
 
3) Guidance for supplementation — Fish oil capsules may ease morning stiffness. Vitamin C boost your immune system & helps deals with RA symptoms.
 
4) Regular exercise in moderation —  Regular, low-impact exercise is the golden ticket when it comes to living well with both RA & OA.
 
5) Sleep — Aim to sleep a minimum of 8 hours every night. Maintain a sleep rhythm with a daily schedule.
 
6) Yoga poses — Surya Namaskar; Bitilasana; Marjaiasana; Supta Matsyendrasana; Setu Bandha Sarvangasana; Adho Mukha Shvanasana; Anjaneyasana; Balasana.
Note: Yoga poses are not recommended in pregnancy.
 
7) Stress management — Stress can exacerbate RA symptoms & there are numerous stress management techniques. Some common ones are deep breathing & meditation.
 
8) Manage occupational risks — Jobs that involve a lot of repetitive motion can be hard on your joints. Talk to your doctor about ways to reduce your OA risk if your job involves a lot of kneeling, lifting, twisting, walking etc.,
 
*** Constitutional homeopathic treatment, along with these diet & lifestyle changes, can work wonders in treating arthritis & controlling the symptoms
 
At Drs Homeo International Homeo, we have treated both rheumatoid & osteoarthritis patients effectively with a combined success rate of 94%. Pie diagram — Cured (94%); No significant change (4%); No change at all (2%)
How can we prevent arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis cannot be prevented & it is a difficult disease with many complicated manifestations.
While there is no cure for osteoarthritis, there are many ways to prevent it & relieve & manage it’s symptoms. 
Embracing the healthy lifestyle with low-impact exercise, getting plenty of rest & enough sleep, & maintaining a healthy diet & weight can lead you to a happy & productive life with controlled arthritis.

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