Arthritis: Will it ever go away??

When aches and pains persist and it hurts just
to move, we know our bodies are communicating to us. Inflammation is our body signaling to us that an area is not doing well. Arthritis is a form of this communication indicated by inflammation of our joints. This is a more common condition than one might think. There are over 100 types of arthritis but osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are the two most common. It
is seen mostly in people over the age of 65 and is a silent creeper, but some children and younger adults do have problems. It is the loss of cartilage that
protects and lubricates your joints that causes arthritis. Areas usually affected by arthritis include fingers, toes, wrists, knees, and elbows.

In our everyday living, we constantly use our joints. When it comes to osteoarthritis, this daily normal wear and tear causes OA, one of the most common forms of arthritis. Cartilage tissue naturally breaks down, but an infection or injury to an area can cause OA to really strike. Developing OA comes with a higher risk if it runs in your family. Signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis include pain, stiffness, tenderness, loss of flexibility, bone spurs, or even feeling a grating sensation when the joints are at use.

Rheumatoid arthritis has more severe pain associated with it. It is a chronic inflammatory disorder that can affect more than just your joints. This condition can also damage some of the body’s systems, as well as a person’s skin, eyes, lungs, heart and blood vessels. RA occurs when the immune system attack synovium which lines the joints. Inflammation causes synovium to become thicker. As a result, cartilage and bone within a join can become destroyed. Tendons and ligaments that hold the join in place and together become weaker and stretch. The joint starts to lose its shape as well as alignment. The signs and symptoms include joints becoming tender or swollen, stiffness of joints, and/or feeling fatigued, having fevers, or even experiencing weight loss.

Arthritis comes and goes. The pain can flare up
unexpectedly or be constant for a period of time before it subsides. Family history, age, smoking, and weight all are risk factors.

There are natural preventative and treatment
options to mitigate the pain associated with arthritis. Keeping a healthy weight is very important because added pounds adds stress to the joints constantly. The work of wear and tear from bearing excess weight eventually takes its toll. To do this, being mobile and exercising is critical. Resistance training can help strengthen the muscles around the joints which can assist with movement patterns. A healthy diet goes hand in hand full of nutrition to help boost immunity. Plant based has been found to reduce inflammation in the
body. Adding turmeric to these healthy food choices is also recommended because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant power. Herbal supplements such as
ginkgo and Boswellia have also been found to fight pain. Sometimes treating yourself to a massage can alleviate pain too.

Every day functioning shouldn’t be done in pain. To a certain degree it can feel as if our joints have expiration dates, but we can do our part to extend their quality years. Listening to your body when it whispers to
you before it screams with pain, is very, very important. Sometimes ignoring and pushing through only comes back later with vengeance. conditions/rheumatoid-arthritis/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20353653


Megan Johnson McCullough owns a fitness studio in Oceanside CA called Every BODY’s Fit. She has an M.A. in Physical Education & Health Science, is a current candidate for her Doctorate in Health & Human Performance, and she’s an NASM Master Trainer & Instructor. She’s also a professional natural bodybuilder, fitness model, Wellness Coach, and AFAA Group Exercise Instructor.

About the Author

Megan Johnson McCullough owns a fitness studio in Oceanside CA called Every BODY’s Fit. She has an M.A. in Physical Education & Health Science, is a current candidate for her Doctorate in Health & Human Performance, and she’s an NASM Master Trainer & Instructor. She’s also a professional natural bodybuilder, fitness model, Wellness Coach, and AFAA Group Exercise Instructor.


Could an Ancient Drug Help Fight Severe COVID-19?

By Amy Norton
HealthDay Reporter
WEDNESDAY, April 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) — As researchers hunt for ways to treat severe COVID-19 infections, a new trial will ask whether an old arthritis drug can prevent serious complications in the first place.

The medication, called colchicine, is an oral anti-inflammatory that has long been prescribed for gout, a form of arthritis. Its history goes back thousands of years, and the drug was first sourced from the autumn crocus flower.

Doctors also sometimes use colchicine to treat pericarditis, where the sac around the heart becomes inflamed.

Now researchers in the United States and Canada are testing it for a different purpose: Keeping high-risk COVID-19 patients from getting sick enough to land in the hospital.

Colchicine is just one of several anti-inflammatory drugs currently in clinical trials for treating COVID-19.

It’s all part of a growing belief that the worst effects of the coronavirus infection are caused not by the virus itself, but by a massive overreaction of the immune system, known as a cytokine storm.

“I think there’s pretty substantial evidence that cytokine storm is involved,” said Dr. Randy Cron, a rheumatologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

In a cytokine storm, the immune system goes into overdrive — flooding the body with proteins (cytokines) that trigger widespread inflammation. That causes often fatal damage to organs.

Cron, who was not involved in the new trial, literally wrote the textbook on cytokine storms — the 2019 Cytokine Storm Syndrome.

He explained that the immune reaction is not unique to COVID-19: Cytokine storms can arise in response to other infections, to cancer, to certain cancer therapies, or in people with autoimmune diseases.

The storm that brews against the new coronavirus does appear to be unique in certain ways, according to Cron.

“One example is that it sets up shop in the lungs first,” he said.

Still, Cron and other researchers believe that treatments for cytokine storm could ultimately prove key in battling the coronavirus pandemic.

A few powerful anti-inflammatory drugs, used for conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, are already in late-stage trials. Those studies involve patients already hospitalized with COVID-19 pneumonia.


The colchicine study is different, said researcher Dr. Priscilla Hsue, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

“One of the unique aspects is that we’re trying to hit this before people need to be hospitalized,” Hsue said.

Colchicine is the medication of choice for a few reasons, Hsue explained: Unlike the drugs being tested in hospital patients — which are given by infusion or injection — colchicine tablets are easy to take and inexpensive. And the medication has a long history of safe use for gout, she added.

Beyond that, Hsue added, a recent trial found that low-dose colchicine benefits people who’ve recently suffered a heart attack. Patients who took one tablet a day curbed their risk of further heart complications or stroke over the next two years.

Heart injury is a common problem in people who become seriously ill with COVID-19 — at least partly, researchers suspect, because of cytokine storm. Hsue said it all raises the question of whether colchicine could help prevent such heart issues.

The trial aims to enroll 6,000 patients newly diagnosed with COVID-19 who are at increased risk of serious illness — because they are older than 69, or have conditions like heart or lung disease.

To keep those patients isolated at home, the study has an unusual “contactless” design: Patients will receive the medication by courier, and have follow-up visits via video or phone. The researchers will look at whether the tactic lowers hospitalization rates and deaths over one month.

While Cron believes that targeting cytokine storms in COVID-19 is wise, he had some reservations about giving colchicine to people with no signs of the severe immune reaction. Could any dampening of their immune response against the virus backfire?

“My concern is, could it make the infection worse?” Cron said.

Hsue, however, pointed to the safety record of the medication, and noted that the dose given in the trial will be lower than what’s routinely used for gout.

In the end, Cron said, the only way to definitively prove any medication works for COVID-19 is through clinical trials.

The colchicine study is currently recruiting patients, with UCSF and New York University School of Medicine being the first two U.S. sites involved.

WebMD News from HealthDay



SOURCES: Priscilla Hsue, M.D., professor, medicine, University of California, San Francisco; Randy Cron, M.D., Ph.D., professor, pediatrics and medicine, director, pediatric rheumatology, University of Alabama at Birmingham

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