How to stay clear of Arthritis! ...

As much as we hate to admit it, we boomers are aging and with that can come sore, cranky joints. Sometimes it’s an elbow, knee, back or neck reminding us, as we are out playing like a kid, that we aren’t that young now. The growing number of arthritis sufferers is because baby boomers are creeping up there. And so is our weight.

A Harvard study of obesity and arthritis is showing that the rate of obesity and arthritis is growing at a much higher rate among baby boomers than it did in the preceding generation.

“We found that the obesity epidemic is affecting both baby boomers and their predecessors but that baby boomers symtoms are appearing much earlier because they spent more of their lives in an obese state, even though they have had access to nutrition and exercise information for much of their lives,” says Suzanne Leveille, senior author of the study.

If you are Overweight will you get Arthritis?

Data suggests that the risk of developing arthritis increases with age and even more for those with a higher body mass index in weight-bearing joints like knees, ankles and hips. A large number of those in the baby boomer age range – more than 35 percent– have BMIs greater than 30, a number outside the healthy range.

Arthritis is a term used to describe a group of symptoms that cause stiffness, swelling and pain in the joints. The most common types are osteoarthritis, and gout. About 27 million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis, a deterioration of the cartilage tissue that cushions our joints. What’s more, according to the National Institutes of Health, that number is expected to swell to 67 million by 2030, when all baby boomers will have turned 65.

Scientists do not yet understand the causes of cartilage degeneration, but after it goes, it will not grow back. When cartilage wears down completely, you’re left with bone rubbing on bone. That can cause bone fragments and cartilage to break off and float joint fluid. These particles of bone can form around the joint. This causes pain, stiffness, decreased mobility and sometimes a lot of creaking and cracking whenever you stand up or sit down.

Getting rid of the Pain....

Inflamation is caused by Arthritis, the most effective treatment is anything that lowers inflammation. Arthritis management begins with ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatory medications and also anti-inflamatory foods. The importance of diet cannot be overemphasized. A quality diet will keep intestinal barriers strong and one's immune system in good fighting condition. Being overweight causes stress on the joints, increasing wear and tear. Every pound of weight lost is equal to 4 pounds of less stress and pressure on your knees.

Another important reason being overweight is a problem is that body fat is not just an inert substance; it is metabolically active, capable of producing hormones and chemicals that will increase amounts of inflammation. By losing weight, and avoiding excess calories which cause weight gain, you will reduce the level of inflammation in your body.

What's a Well-Balanced Diet

and staying close to your ideal body weight is important! Our joints will have less extra weight to carry. By following Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which was released in 2010, you will have a prevention path for a multitude of chronic diseases, such as arthritis. The recommendations suggest increasing the amounts and variety of fruit and vegetables we eat, eating whole grains instead of refined, choosing healthy fats and lean cuts of meats, avoiding too much sugar and sodium, watching portion sizes and limiting alcohol consumption. Also adjusting our calories in line with our activity level and body size. It is simple, smaller people need fewer calories, the same as smaller cars use less gas than large ones. The more miles we drive, the more physically active we are, the more fuel we use.

Actually, maintaining a perfect diet is much easier said than done! There are so many temptations in front of us, and we are encumbered by so many established bad habits. Good tasting sugars and fats surround us.

How to be able to Eat right....

We need to try and incorporate a few effective strategies. Such as limiting processed foods, desserts and snacks with excess sugar. Have a piece of fruit instead which will satisfy our craving and add the benefit of antioxidants and phytonutrients. Cut out soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages. They just add calories without nutrients. Eliminate trans fats which increase bad cholesterol and promote inflammation, obesity and resistance to insulin. The most common sources of trans fats in our diet are commercially baked goods, and items prepared with partially hydrogenated oils. Be aware that excess consumption of alcohol causes irritation and inflammation to numerous organs. Also reduce refined products, which are anything but “fine”! These items have little fiber and a high glycemic index. This is white bread, white rice, white flour, pasta and prepackaged pastries. Substitute whole grains, brown rice and whole-grain cereals. Read the ingredients list on the package and find healthier options made with whole-wheat flour, oats, bran and sweetened with added fruits and lowered sugar.

Does Omega 3 keep me Healthy?

Omega-3 fatty acids are very beneficial to people with arthritis or other inflammatory problems. Omega-3s work to decrease inflammation by suppressing the production of cytokines and enzymes that erode cartilage. Over a dozen studies have shown that omega-3 fish oils reduce symptoms of arthritis. Study participants reported greater strength, less fatigue, reduced joint swelling and tenderness, less joint stiffness and less pain.

There is further evidence that antioxidants such as vitamin C, selenium, carotenes, and bioflavonoids can help reduce inflammation. Inflammation produces free radicals, those cell-damaging molecules that are formed in response to toxins or natural body processes. Antioxidants protect the body from the effects of free radicals, and are a critical part of healthy diet. Research has demonstrated that certain antioxidants may help prevent arthritis, slow its progression and relieve pain.

What about Gout?

Gout is especially susceptible to diet because it is exacerbated by high uric acid levels. In people susceptible to gout, ingesting too many purines can cause the uric acid to crystalize and accumulate in joints when the kidneys cannot process all. Purines are natural substances found in certain foods, such as organ meats, sardines and beer. Alcohol is known to alter purine metabolism. A diet that is low in alcohol and purine-rich foods can lower blood uric acid levels and lessen the likelihood and severity of gout attacks.

Getting enough Vitamin D .....

Vitamin D and arthritis researcher Michael Holick says there is every reason to believe that vitamin D plays a significant role in arthritis prevention. Studies find, vitamin D plays a significant part in joint health, and that low levels may increase the risk of developing arthritis. Researchers have discovered low levels of vitamin D in patients with osteoarthritis of the hip and knee. In another study of more than 2,000 people, scientists found that vitamin D deficiency was strongly associated with increased disabling symptoms among those with rheumatoid arthritis. Vitamin D deficiency was further linked to arthritis pain. Getting enough vitamin D also might lower the risk for other autoimmune diseases, cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, bone fractures, depression and even the flu. For help in prevention you should get a blood test for your vitaman D. Ask your health provider for a test.

The majority of people living in northern latitudes tend to be low in vitamin D. Though a trip to a tropical island with plenty of sun works, though it may not be sustainable.
Vitamin D supplements are an inexpensive, effective way to help many individuals with low vitamin D levels move into the optimal range. Ask your health care provider what dosage is right for you, as your daily multivitamin may not contain enough vitamin D to optimize your blood level.

And of course, Exercise?

Also, regular moderate exercise will reduce symptoms of arthritis and promote overall better health. Sedentary lifestyles contribute to stiffness in joints. The Arthritis Foundation encourages regular exercise of three types: flexibility, strengthening and cardiovascular.

Being attentive to optimal nutrition may help prevent the onset of arthritis. And if we are dealing with arthritis, a healthy diet may reduce symptoms. Living actively is so much better than being slowed down or distracted by pain.

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