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Arthritis - Herbs and Ayurvedic Remedies, Arthritis Symptom and other Treatments

What is Arthritis? Arthritis is inflammation of the joints. It can occur anywhere in the body and, based on that, there are several types of arthritis. The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis which is the common ailment of pain in the joints observed in elderly people. Other common types of arthritic ailments are rheumatoid arthritis and gout.


Modern medicine believes gout to be hereditary since it has been found in 50 to 80 percent of the cases that the patient's parents or grand parents suffered from the disease. The disease affects the sedentary persons more than those who lead active lives, but it is not always true. On the other hand, inadequate exercise, a luxurious manner of living, habitual over-indulgence in rich foods and especially in alcohol is the precipitating factors in the onset of the disease. Some teetotalers and vegetarians are also found to be victims of gout.


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 How can Arthritis be controlled with Simple Home Remedies? Some household remedies are known to provide relief from arthritic pains. The following are some of the more benefiting ones:-

Treatment: To real treatment of gout starts with ensuring that all the orifices of the body, which expel waste and morbid matter, are activated to do their work properly. The patient should breathe fresh air, so that oxygen is available to him in larger quantities cleansing his blood of poisonous humours. The gout patient must increase his intake of water to produce more urine. He should take lukewarm water in the morning and evening mixed with the juice of mine. The pores of the skin should be activated by a cold bath every day and drying of the body with vigorous rubbing with the palms of the hand. If the pain in the joints is too severe and the patient is unable to massage his body himself, he should seek somebody else's help. Sun bathing should be undertaken to produce sweat. The head may be covered with a wet towel to save it from excessive heat of the sun. Spending half an hour in the sun will activate the sweat glands. A cold bath is recommended after a sunbath; if the patient does not feel equal to it, he would be better advised to wipe his body with a wet towel. Sun bathing should be done no more than thrice in a week. If there is no sun, sweat should be induced by a steam bath or by merely soaking one's feet in hot water.

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Urine test

Patients should be checked for the following medications before the urine test: diuretics, aspirin, pyrazinamide (Tebrazid), phenylbutazone, probenecid (Benemid), and allopurinol (Lopurin). If the patient needs to continue taking these medications, the laboratory should be notified.

Read More on Arthritis treatment by Ayurveda and Arthritis Home Remedies.

The food should consist of fresh fruits and vegetables-substances, which do not stick to the intestines. Fruits, which can be taken without peeling, should be taken. In the beginning of the treatment, the best course would be to live on fruit juices. That would give some rest to the intestines. Fruits recommended are: oranges, grape fruit, pineapple, raspberry and pear. Vegetables like the various gourds, cabbage, tomatoes and greens are the best. The more chronic the disease, the greater should be the period for which the patient should live on fruits and vegetables.

Steve Warshaw - Certified Personal Trainer and Nutritionist With over 15 years expereience developing training and nutrition programs for top level executives from companies such as Microsoft, Boeing, and Symetra Corp, Steve has established himself as a health and wellness expert.

The word arthritis is derived from two root Greek words - arthros meaning 'joint' and it is meaning 'inflammation'. Hence, arthritis literally translates as inflammation of the joints.

An attack of gout may appear without warning, or there may be premonitory symptoms. Among the most common of these are disorders of the digestive organs, with a feeble and capricious appetite, flatulence, uneasiness in the right side in the region of the liver, and irritation in the urinary organs. There is also irritability, numbness and coldness in the limbs. The attack comes usually at night, usually between two and three in the morning. The affected part is found to be swollen and a deep red hue. The skin is tense and glistening and the surrounding veins are more or less distended. The attack lasts for a week or ten days during which the patient suffers from constipation, dyspepsia and extreme thirst. The urine is scanty and high coloured with a copious deposit, consisting chiefly of urates. The joint affected may become swollen but if the disease is not attended to, the swelling spreads to other joints and it becomes chronic. Joints also become enlarged and refuse to function without giving excruciating pain to the sufferer.

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Urine test

Reference values for 24-hour urinary uric acid vary from laboratory to laboratory but are generally found within the following range: 250-750 mg/24 hours.

The uric acid tests are used to evaluate the blood levels of uric acid for gout and to assess uric acid levels in the urine for kidney stone formation. The urine test is used most often to monitor patients already diagnosed with kidney stones, but it can also be used to detect disorders that affect the body's production of uric acid and to help measure the level of kidney functioning.

The laboratory should also be notified if the patient has had recent x-ray tests requiring contrast dyes. These chemicals increase uric acid levels in urine and decrease them in blood.

Uric acid is a waste product that results from the breakdown of purine, a nucleic acid. (Nucleic acids are the building blocks of DNA.) Uric acid is made in the liver and excreted by the kidneys. If the liver produces too much uric acid or the kidneys excrete too little, the patient will have too much uric acid in the blood. This condition is called hyperuricemia. Supersaturated uric acid in the urine (uricosuria) can crystallize to form kidney stones that may block the tubes that lead from the kidneys to the bladder (the ureters).

What are the Symptoms of Arthritis? In all types of arthritis, the following symptoms are observed:- ?? The initial pains are felt as fleeting pains in the joints, which seem to be no more than a twitching pain.

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The following foods must be avoided if you have continuous arthritic pains:- ?? Animal fats ?? Fried foods ?? Foods rich in carbohydrates like potatoes

Definition

Uric acid tests are tests that are done to measure the levels of uric acid in blood serum or in urine.

Purpose








Abnormal results

The critical value for the blood test is a level of uric acid higher than 12 milligrams per deciliter (about 3.4 ounces).

The real culprit is the type of food, which we are addicted to. Our blood is chiefly alkaline and anything that tends to produce acidity should be avoided. Treating gout in any other system is chaotic. The real cause of the disease is not attack and recourse is taken to painkillers or antidoting of the poison is under taken. The Ayurvedic practitioners prohibit the intake of fruits and vegetables on the plea that they may produce cold, which is supposed to be bad for the gout and thus deprive the patient of the real cure. Doctors have some times advised patients to have their teeth or tonsils extracted under the misconception that the seat of the disease lays there. But even the excision of these has never led to any relief to the gout patients. More on Natural Home Remedies for Gout

(2) Rheumatoid Arthritis - Rheumatoid arthritis is a more serious problem than osteoarthritis because it can occur at any age. In people with rheumatoid arthritis, the ligaments and tendons between the joints undergo degeneration. This causes severe pain where the degeneration has taken place. Common rheumatoid arthritis pains are felt in the fingers; but other places like the wrists, hip and knees are also affected. Rheumatoid arthritis is responsible for deformation of the fingers.

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Causes and Symptoms: Gout is a disease of the joints and is a form of rheumatism. It is a constitutional disorder connected with excess of uric acid in the blood manifesting itself by inflammation of joints with deposition of urate of soda and also by morbid changes in various important organs.

Risks

Risks for the blood test are minimal, but may include slight bleeding from the puncture site, a small bruise or swelling in the area, or fainting or feeling lightheaded.

Precautions

Blood test

Patients scheduled for a blood test for uric acid should be checked for the following medications: loop diuretics (Diamox, Bumex, Edecrin, or Lasix); ethambutol (Myambutol); vincristine (Oncovin); pyrazinamide (Tebrazid); thiazide diuretics (Naturetin, Hydrex, Diuril, Esidrix, HydroDiuril, Aquatensen, Renese, Diurese); aspirin (low doses); acetaminophen (Tylenol); ascorbic acid (vitamin C preparations); levodopa (Larodopa); or phenacetin. These drugs can affect test results.

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Key Terms

Fanconi's syndrome
A rare disorder caused by vitamin D deficiency or exposure to heavy metals.
Gout
A metabolic disorder characterized by sudden recurring attacks of arthritis caused by deposits of crystals that build up in the joints due to abnormally high uric acid blood levels. In gout, uric acid may be overproduced, underexcreted, or both.
Hyperuricemia
Excessively high levels of uric acid in the blood, often producing gout.
Purine
A white crystalline substance that is one of the building blocks of DNA. Uric acid is produced when purine is broken down in the body.
Uric acid
A compound resulting from the body's breakdown of purine. It is normally present in human urine only in small amounts.
Uricosuria
Increased levels of uric acid in the urine.
Wilson's disease
A rare hereditary disease marked by the buildup of copper in the liver and brain, causing loss of kidney function.

Further Reading

For Your Information

    Books

  • Laboratory Test Handbook, edited by David S. Jacobs. Cleveland, OH: Lexi-Comp Inc., 1996.
  • Mosby's Diagnostic and Laboratory Test Reference, edited by Kathleen Deska Pagana and Timothy James Pagana. St. Louis: Mosby-Year Book, Inc., 1998.
  • Springhouse Corporation. Handbook of Diagnostic Tests, edited by Matthew Cahill. Springhouse, PA: Springhouse Corporation, 1995.

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Description

The uric acid blood test is performed on a sample of the patient's blood, withdrawn from a vein into a vacuum tube. The procedure, which is called a venipuncture, takes about five minutes. The urine test requires the patient to collect all urine voided over a 24-hour period, with the exception of the very first specimen. The patient keeps the specimen container on ice or in the refrigerator during the collection period.

Normal results

Blood test

Reference values for blood uric acid vary from laboratory to laboratory but are generally found within the following range: Male: 2.1-8.5 mg/dL; female: 2.0-6.6 mg/dL. Values may be slightly higher in the elderly.

The disease is more common in mature age and in the males than females. Persons exposed to the influence of lead poisoning such as plumbers, are apt to suffer from gout. Attacks of the disease are readily excited by exposure to cold, disorders of indigestion, fatigue and injuries to particular joints.

Arthritis is an auto-immune disease, which means, it is a disease in which the human body attacks itself. It begins in one or two joints where an acute pain is felt. This is the most miserable phase of arthritis. Over time, this pain may disappear, but it could cause permanent deformities in the bones and joints.

(3) Septic Arthritis - Septic arthritis is a special type of arthritis which is caused when the joints get infected. (4) Gout - Gout is common old-age arthritis. It is caused when crystals of uric acid are deposited in the spaces between the joints. This type of arthritis is linked with faulty digestion.

?? Put two teaspoons of cumin into a glass of water. Bring this to a boil. When the water is still hot, soak a towel in it and foment the affected region with this towel. This will provide relief from the pain within a few hours.

?? The pains could increase in the winter season or in cold nights. How can Arthritis be avoided? Arthritis cannot be avoided effectively as it is a common ailment that occurs with advancing age. One must learn to live with the problem. But there are various things which can be avoided in order to keep arthritis at bay.

Hot fomentation should be undertaken to reduce the pain in the joints. About 75 grammes of salt should be added to one litre of hot water for fomentation. The site of fomentation should be washed with cold water later on. Those who suffer from a constant pain should apply a paste of raw potatoes ground fine on the affected joints. The paste should be allowed to remain for some hours.

If you wish to learn more about Gout, Purines, or Uric Acid, check out Steve's s The Internet Guides. The Internet Guide: Uric Acid: http://gout.smartadssecrets.com/uric_acid

The Internet Guide: Gout - http://gout.smartadsscrets.com The Internet Guide: Purines - http://gout.smartadssecrets.com/purines

If you have recurrent pains in the joints, then do not keep the joint covered. As far as possible, keep the joint exposed to the air. For example, if you have pain in the knee joints, then do not wear tight denim clothing; shorts would be a good idea. This will provide freer circulation of blood in the joint and reduce the pains.

On the testimonials page below I am L. Windblad and my wife is J.D. Windblad. I have long-term gout (since 1977), damage from gout including numbness and pain in the feet, a prostate which had ceased functioning for the past 2 years, and in Jan 2004 I was diagnosed with a lazy thyroid. By the end of January my thyroid was functioning normally, by April I was noticing an improvement in prostate functioning and by mid-May it was definitely clear that not only was the pain gone but feeling was coming back into my feet. This is written in June 2004 and its all still getting better.

Why is Arthritis caused? Different types of arthritis are caused due to different reasons. (1) Osteoarthritis - Osteoarthritis is a common old-age problem, which affects several people who have crossed the age of 40 years. In people with osteoarthritis, the bones may increase in size at their articulating points. As a result the spaces between them in the joints become less. When moving about, there is a high probability that different bones will rub against each other. This is the cause of osteoarthritis.

Naturopathy believes that like all other diseases, gout is the result of inadequate excretion of the morbid and poisonous matter from the orifices of the body. The bowels, the urinary tract, the skin and the nostrils---all must expel the waste matter from the body. If they become slack and do not function properly, those substances accumulate in the body and produce gout. Life depends on healthy blood and nature has devised catarrh, diahrroea and fevers to force the human system to expel the accumulated waste matter. If these diseases are suppressed, as happens in most case when the patient takes to allopathic treatment, the poisonous and morbid matter attacks the part of the body, which is weaker than others. That is how chronic diseases are born.

Certain foods that are high in purine may increase the patient's levels of uric acid. These include kidneys, liver, sweetbreads, sardines, anchovies, and meat extracts.

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Abnormally low uric acid levels may indicate that the patient is taking allopurinol or probenecid for treatment of gout; may be pregnant; or suffers from Wilson's disease or Fanconi's syndrome.


About the author: Loring Windblad has studied nutrition and exercise for more than 40 years, is a published author and freelance writer.

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