Arthritis is the name given to a collection of illnesses whose common features includes any inflammation of your joints, surrounding tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. It is among the oldest known afflictions of human beings, and it can affect virtually every part of your body (from the feet to the knees, back shoulders, and fingers). The effects of arthritis range from slight pain, stiffness, and swelling of your joints to crippling and disability.
There are a variety of arthritic conditions, with the three most common forms being osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout.
Osteoarthritis causes a breakdown of your cartilage, the smooth gelatinous tissue that protects the ends of your bones from rubbing against each other. Primary OA is considered “wear and tear” arthritis due to the unhealthy aging process. Secondary osteoarthritis has a more apparent, direct cause: trauma, injury, previous inflammation (even from rheumatoid arthritis), congenital joint misalignment, infection, surgery, or prolonged use of medications.
- mild early-morning stiffness
- stiffness following periods of rest
- pain that worsens on joint use
- loss of joint function
- local tenderness
- soft tissue swelling
- creaking and cracking of joints on movement
- boney swelling
- restricted mobility
Rheumatoid arthritis is inflammation of your joints and other structure comprised of connective tissue that incapacitates the synovial tissue (membrane that lines the joint). Over time, the condition can also spread to other parts of your body.
Symptoms express as:
- significant disability of the joint
- joint deformity
- swelling of the joint
- tenderness and pain
Gout is the type of arthritis caused by a buildup in your body of uric acid, from a diet heavy in meats and other foods and your body’s own production of uric acid. When this uric acid production is out of balance or there is inadequate elimination of uric acid, it’s the perfect environment for gout to express. When this happens, the uric acid crystallizes in your joint cartilage, synovial tissue and fluid and that causes sharp, needle-like pain in your joints. It is often accompanied by fever, chills, and loss of mobility. Health issues caused by gout include constipation, indigestion, headaches, depression, eczema, and hives. If you suffer from gout, you are also at an increased risk of developing heart and kidney problems.
- sharp, needle-like pain (usually the large toe joint)
What causes it:
Arthritis is caused by a variety of factors, including joint instability, injuries, age-related changes, toxins, microbes, altered biochemistry, hormonal factors, and genetic predisposition. However, other environmental, psychological, dietary, and even dental factors have been found to bring on arthritis.
It’s also now accepted among most rheumatologists and allergists that you may have allergy-induced arthritis. Stress can be a factor because it can disrupt your body’s hormonal balance.
For Osteoarthritis, ongoing biochemical processes that negatively alter the structure and regeneration of your cartilage and joint tissue include:
- free-radical damage
- nutritional deficiencies
- poor dietary and lifestyle choices (blood sugar/insulin imbalances)
- food or environmental allergies (especially to wheat and sugar)
- genetic predisposition
- drug treatments prescribed for pain relief
If you have osteoarthritis, you often display blood sugar imbalances and/or insulin resistance where the body tends to begin breaking down protein because of its inability to use sugar for energy. This can negatively affect your connective tissue and leads to further destruction within your joints. Your diet high in carbohydrates (including sugars and wheat products) tends to increase insulin resistance. Excess insulin also stimulates more inflammatory prostaglandins, which adversely affect your joints.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease in which your body’s immune system attacks its own healthy tissue. A combination of causes listed below is mostly likely present when you are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis:
- nutritional deficiencies and lifestyle factors
- inflammation as an autoimmune response
- abnormal intestinal permeability (Leaky Gut Syndrome)
- food allergies/intolerances
- unfriendly micro-organisms
- genetic susceptibility
With Gout, the cause is excessive accumulation of uric acid that settles in your joints. Researchers believe that it is mostly attributed to metabolic or kidney problems, therefore, these factors can cause poor clearance of uric acid from your body and lead to the experience of gout:
- kidney stones or disease (present in 90% of gout sufferers)
- poor diet missing key nutrients that create metabolic balance
- alcohol consumption
- medications that stress the kidneys (including aspirin and diuretics)
What can I do about it:
Conventional medicine prescribes a whole “laundry list” of pharmaceutical drugs for arthritis. Many of these drugs block the pain, often very quickly; however, these prescription drugs merely hide your symptoms while ignoring the underlying causes of your arthritis. Alternative options for you include: proper diet and nutrition, detoxification, and stress reduction.
Steps to immediate relief are:
(1) Choose your team of healthcare practitioners wisely. Your health condition and experience of discomfort may be the result of many imbalances in your body, requiring proper testing and an accurate diagnosis. Choosing practitioners with additional training in the areas nutrition, hormone testing/balancing, and detoxification processes will help you take a multi-faceted approach.
Taking ownership of your health equation can be one of the most empowering steps you can take and you can do this by: becoming more informed, listening to your inner wisdom, focusing on your “ideal experience” of health, and partnering with your healthcare and wellness practitioners to effect the best possible outcome. Essential Wellness would be honored to be a part of your wellness team.
(2) It’s very important that you digest, assimilate, detoxify and eliminate properly. Anytime a food is eaten and not completely digested, it will only feed inflammation, gut dysbiosis, and leaky gut. Low stomach acid interferes with the first step of digestion and can be a factor when you experience arthritis.
The HCI Challenge Test can help you determine if you have low stomach acid. If your HCl Challenge Test causes you to experience immediate reflux symptoms, confer with your doctor to rule out a possible H. pylori infection, ulcer, or other stomach issues. Repairing your stomach lining is essential.
(3) Determine whether your chronic symptoms are related to an overgrowth of microorganisms like Candida and Parasites because they often show up with Leaky Gut Syndrome. Their symptoms overlap and can be an underlying cause if you are experiencing arthritis. With this information, you will be better informed. At Essential Wellness, we can teach you how to improve your diet, eliminate candida and parasites, and repair your leaky gut and improve your overall health.
(4) Proper diet is the foundational step in dealing with all your health issues. If you have arthritis, you commonly have a high level of acidity, which increases the possibility of your developing inflammatory conditions like arthritis. Eliminate the most common highly-reactive, inflammatory foods (dairy, soy, wheat/gluten, eggs, peanuts, sugar and artificial sweeteners, and corn) while you complete the required repair work. Upgrading your building materials will help you to unburden your digestive system, remove the foods that feed unfriendly microorganisms, stabilize your blood sugar levels and reduce cravings, and support your body’s detoxification and elimination processes.
Replace inflammatory foods with satisfying balanced meals (healthy, lean and clean proteins; low-glycemic and high fiber carbohydrates; lots and lots of dark leafy greens; and healthy fats (nuts, seeds, oils). Reintroducing each reactive food group separately will allow you to determine what foods are still a problem for you. At Essential Wellness, we have a specific coaching program designed to help you formulate a diet that will work best for you and teach you how to optimize your digestion.
(5) Make water your beverage of choice. Water is one of nature’s natural cleansers. Drinking optimal levels of purified water benefits your overall health by supporting your ability to digest your food, supporting your liver in its ability to detoxify your body, and providing fluid for optimal elimination of toxins.
Commit to drinking 1/2 your weight in fluid ounces of water each day. Drinking sips of warmed water (not microwaved) can help support you with detoxifying the congestion in your intestinal tract and lymphatic system throughout your entire body. Eliminating all other caffeinated, sugary, mucus-producing, carbonated beverages (such as coffee, tea, dairy, and soda pop) is essential as they support digestive dysfunction, parasitic and yeast overgrowth, and accumulation of toxins.
(6) The use of essential oils can be beneficial to you. For immediate pain relief, apply 1-3 drops of essential oil (such as Panaway, Peppermint, Wintergreen or Deep Relief) to 1 tsp of carrier oil (V6 or olive oil) and apply through self massage of area(s) where your discomfort lies. You can also massage the neurolymphatic points and foot reflex points that correlate to areas of the body that are troubling you. Layering multiple oils can create a synergistic effect. A Vibrational Raindrop session would be highly beneficial to you. Once you determine the underlying cause of your arthritis, look at oils that will support removal of accumulated toxins in the joints.
Young Living Essential Oils as they are safe, effective, and known for their pureness and therapeutic-grade qualities. At Essential Wellness, we can show you how to use the oils and help you determine which ones will work best for you.
(7) Massage can be extremely beneficial for you. It help break up muscular waste deposits that can be responsible for your pain. It also stimulates circulation to bring in nutrients and take out waste. Chiropractic adjustments and acupuncture can be beneficial in relieving congestive energy patterns that lead to arthritis. We have several body balancing therapies available at Essential Wellness.
Steps to long-term, permanent relief:
If you have arthritis, your inner ecosystem is out of balance. It’s time for you to consider implementing these additional steps:
(8) Maintaining a healthy body weight is another important step, as excess weight puts added stress on your weight-bearing joints affected by arthritis. You will learn through experience that as you upgrade your diet, your weight will begin to balance automatically with the right choices.
(9) Making your dietary improvements permanent might be exactly what you need to feel better. When you do not provide your body with key nutrients all aspects of digestion, absorption, detoxification and elimination become impaired. Re-establishing a balanced metabolism is key.
The place where most people fail is falling back into old habits that slowly recreate their imbalances and symptoms. Eating healthy 95% of the time and indulging only 5% of the time supports your optimal well-being. If you are struggling with how to integrate these changes on your own, an Essential Wellness practitioner skilled in the areas of nutrition, digestion and detoxification can help you.
(10) When you suffer from any kind of digestive dysfunction, it may benefit you to complete repair work of your gut lining so that you experience complete digestion and assimilation of nutrients. Herbal supplements like a Biocult probiotic, L-glutamine powder, NAC, Alpha Lipoic Acid, digestive enzymes, and Glutathione spray all have their place in supporting the rebuilding of your gut ecosystem, but they will not make up the difference if you eat a “crappy” diet.
A combination formula of digestive enzymes, taken between meals may be helpful in eliminating parasite larvae or eggs in the intestines. You can also introduce organic, home-made probiotic foods like sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir, etc., to continue feeding and rebuilding your gut ecosystem. The healthier your gut ecosystem is, the more able your immune system is to chelate toxins from your body. There are many ayuredic herbs that benefit the repair of your digestive system. Young Living has many nutritional supplements that can help you balance your digestive terrain. We can help teach you about these supportive supplements and live foods at Essential Wellness.
(11) ALCAT allergy testing can easily determine what allergens are triggering you. Your test results will tell you what foods, chemicals, and other environmental triggers (like pet dander, mold, fungi, grasses) are triggers for you. This testing determines the severity of your intolerance and gives you recommendations of how long to remove it from your environment while you repair your digestive system.
If it’s determined that you have food, chemical or environmental sensitivities, receiving NAET Desensitization Therapy might be part of your allergies answer. This desensitization therapy works in combination with cleaning up your diet, strengthening your ability to digest your food, absorbing nutrients, and eliminating toxins. It helps reduce the over-triggering of your immune system, which reduces your overall stress.
(12) Detoxifying your body through dietary improvements, an herbal cleanse program, and/or detoxification therapies can be an effective way to improve your overall experience of well-being. Before beginning any detox protocol, check in with your healthcare practitioner, to determine if there is a reason you should not complete a cleanse at this time. (When your body is in an extreme state of stress and toxicity, it’s important to replenish your nutrient reserves before beginning any detoxification protocol.)
It is also very important for your elimination channels to be open before beginning and during any detoxification program, otherwise you may suffer from a Herxheimer Reaction. At Essential Wellness, we know the ins and outs of the cleansing and detoxification process and we can help you minimize your discomfort as you detoxify your body.
(13) Deep Breathing exercises can help relieve stiffness of your joints and increase oxygenation. Yoga and Tai Chi are excellent, low-intensity exercises that can keep your body flexible without damaging your joints further. Deep Breathing exercises, meditation, and visualization techniques can be an effective way to reduce your stress.
(14) Hot bath soak enhanced with baking soda, Epsom salts, ginger, apple cider vinegar are all ways to help sooth soreness and pull toxins from your body. Infrared sauna can also be helpful for soreness and detoxification.
How can Essential Wellness help:
At Essential Wellness, we believe repair and recovery is based on many factors. Although we cannot diagnose, prescribe, treat or claim to cure any medical condition you may have, our focus is on helping you reduce the many levels of stress that are playing into your current health experience.
If you are experiencing arthritis symptoms, the therapies you’ve tried are not giving you relief, and you need more assistance in putting it all together, Essential Wellness can help you in the following ways:
- Nutrition & Wellness Plan is one of our coaching programs that will help you get clear about what your wellness goals are (based on your individual needs), teach you how to decipher and make sense of all the dietary information available to you, and help you formulate your own wellness plan with accountability. The foundation of your wellness plan will be structured around habits that only you have the power to control and change.
- Based on our knowledge and experience, most health disorders including arthritis are connected to some physiological dysfunction (leaky gut) that causes accumulated toxicity in the body and vice versa. We offer the detoxification therapies of Colonics, Core Lymphatic, and IonCleanse Foot Detox to help reduce stress on your digestive, detoxification and elimination channels. Colonics in combination with herbal support will compliment your dietary foundation and can be especially helpful to you when you are not eliminating at least once per day.
- Some types of arthritis are directly related to skeletal and postural difficulties and most types of arthritis are associated with inflammation and pain. We offer Core Synchronism, Eden Energy Medicine exercises, and Vibrational Raindrop Technique therapies to help you in balancing your physical body by reducing your stress. When your body feels out of balance and you feel stress, it is usually due to blocked or congested energy that has settled in your physical body. We can add Essential Oils to compliment the therapy you receive.
- Toxic emotions can block the flow of your energy channels and become stuck in your physical body. The emotional component of arthritis can be connected to: emotional trauma related to criticism, resentment, and inflamed thinking. If any of these descriptions match what you are experiencing, Mental-Emotional Stress Release techniques may help you understand and integrate these experiences and diffuse the stress they cause you. Flower Remedies can compliment the therapy you receive.
- With arthritis you are most likely experiencing multiple symptoms. We offer RAE Radionics Hair Analysis as another tool to help you understand any stress that is present in your energy system.