What's the relationship between arthritis and alternative medicine?

To understand arthritis and alternative medicine, it's important to consider the relationship between a difficult health problem and different treatment options. The payoff of a better understanding will be the benefits a person suffering from arthritis may receive.

First, some definitions of the terms related to arthritis and alternative medicine and relief. At its simplest, arthritis is defined as tissues around the joints that are hurt, painful or inflamed.

Alternative, natural and holistic medicine is widely used today for a variety of healing therapies that prevent a lot of diseases. Some of these therapies are ancient.

Holistic medicine and Chinese medicine looks at the “entire” person (mind, body and spirit)...at this point the doctor needs to identify which imbalances are causing the disease.

This type of medicine believes that the body has its own natural healing powers. Natural alternative therapies should be preventative and noninvasive.

Treatment occurs in a natural way to encourage a well-balanced, well-nourished body that will fight disease, avoid infection, recover faster, age without major health problems and rarely if ever need more radical intervention.

Aches and pain around your joints usually have several basic causes:

• 1- Nutritional deficiencies caused because we consume too much processed foods, fast food, we eat vegetables and fruits that are growing in depleted soils and most of our food is contaminated with chemicals, fertilizers and toxins.

• 2- Trauma to the cartilage and connective tissues around the joint.

• 3- Strain and tear around the connective tissues, joints and tendon (example: carpal tunnel syndrome).

• 4- Prostaglandin imbalance caused by nutritional choices - intake of too much pasteurized dairy products, too much refined sugar, synthetic sugars and processed meats, frozen dinners, canned foods and not enough foods with omega-3 content.

Omega-3 is a fatty acid found in cold-water fish such as salmon, tuna, cod, haddock and fish oil. Taking omega-3 fish oil supplements daily is highly recommended.

• 5- Lack of physiological cortisone. Cortisone checks various inflammatory reactions and immune responses within the body.

Prostaglandins are hormone-like substances that the body produces. These substances control dilation of blood vessels, inflammatory reaction, and other critical processes in your body.

Omega-3 fatty acids are needed for prostaglandin formation, and they appear to diminish arthritis symptoms.

Probably as a result of their effect on prostaglandins responsible for blood vessel dilation, a double-blind trial found that omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil helped to treat people with Raynaud’s disease.

Thus, one of the best arthritis and alternative medicine treatments would be to eat foods rich in omega-3 and take fish oil supplements.

Fish oil is composed of (eicosapentaenoic acid) or EPA and (docosahexaenoic acid) or DHA, both omega-3 fatty acids which diminishes arthritis symptoms and must be considered to be an arthritis and alternative medicine treatment.

Most omega-3 supplements available in the market, contain 18% eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA and 12% docosahexaenoic acid or DHA. You are basically getting 30% of omega-3, when you take it.

What about other arthritis and alternative medicine options?

The standard treatment for arthritis is usually to give some kind of pain killer or anti-inflammatory drugs that give the sufferer the ability to move about as normally as possible. And according to author Dr. John R. Lee, this treats the symptoms, not the underlying problems.

The problem is that progesterone and hormonal imbalance have a role to play in addition to the nutritional facts and issues being discussed here.

Natural progesterone supplementation has anti-inflammatory properties that the synthetic analogs do not have.

Many women using natural progesterone cream supplementation report relief of chronic aches and pains. You can rub the natural progesterone cream directly on the joint that hurts.

But to return to the diet issues.

On the other hand, using healthy olive oil when cooking - the relatively high level of unsaturated fatty acids found in olive oil may help suppress the inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis, in much the same way that fatty acids found in deep-water fish do.

Omega-3 fatty acids, unlike the omega-3 fatty acid found in flaxseed oil and other vegetable oils (alpha linolenic acid), keep blood triglycerides in check (high triglycerides are generally linked with increased risk of heart disease) and may inhibit the progression of atherosclerosis.

Omega-3 fish oils help thin your blood - EPA and DHA also reduce body inflammation. Fish oil is frequently used to help people with inflammatory conditions like Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

The anti-inflammatory effects of EPA and DHA may also account for the findings of some reports that show fish oil supplementation helps with kidney diseases.

Where do you find EPA and DHA?

Omega-3 may alleviate many types of depression, memory loss and cognitive decline. Studies indicate that boosting their intake can reduce depression symptoms.

There are numerous studies that indicate omega-3s can also help with major depression, schizophrenia, postpartum depression and many other mental illnesses.

Dr. Andrew Stoll even suggests that omega-3 deficiency could be contributing to rising rates of teen violence and attention deficit disorders ADD and ADHD.

EPA and DHA are present in large quantities in most ocean fish like mackerel, wild salmon... etc... and wild game. Farmed fish or meat have very low levels of omega-3.

Fish oil supplements typically contain 18% eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA and 12% docosahexaenoic acid or DHA, though more purified (i.e., higher in EPA and DHA) fish oil supplements are sometimes available. In addition, DHA is available in a supplement that does not contain significant amounts of EPA.

Wild fish eaters have been reported to have lower risks of cancers of the mouth, throat, stomach, colon, rectum, pancreas, lung, breast and prostate.

The omega-3 fatty acids found in fresh fish (not farmed) are thought by some researchers to be the components of fish responsible for protection against cancer, depression, arthritis and alternative medicine.

Green Lipped Mussel Powder supplement combined with Omega-3/DHA fish oil can provide you great results for arthritis, aches and pains plus inflamed or swollen joints.

Omega-3 fatty acids have several health benefits described above. Studies have shown that most people have benefits derived from DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) and to a lesser extent from EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid).

Although you will receive health benefits from Omega 3's when taken from plant sources such as flax seed, the best source of DHA and EPA continues to be from fish oils.

The reason is because the human body has to convert the Omega 3's from plant sources into DHA and EPA. If your health is compromised in any way or you are elderly, this important conversion may not happen.

DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) is vital for a healthy heart and for healthy nervous system development and support.

EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) is important for the circulatory system. Both can be considered as arthritis and alternative medicine treatments.

Fish oils or omega-3 fatty acids provide DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) and EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) in a natural form that your body can process it easily. No conversion is needed by the body.

However, some natural fish oils can have a number of drawbacks:

• High levels of contaminants in the form of PCB's and heavy metals including mercury.
• As most fish oil in capsules does not come from the same country where it is encapsulated it is subject to transport in tankers, additional handling and additives to prevent it from becoming rancid.
• Low levels of DHA which is the most beneficial component of fish oil for arthritis and alternative medicine.

And while on the above supplier's website, check out their excellent arthritis formulation. Read about natural arthritis treatment and specific nutrients. You'll find numerous links on the above website to specific nutrients and clinical studies related to treating arthritis naturally.

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