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.

https://www.healthline.com/health/osteoarthritis/arthritis-natural-relief#herbs

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/arthritis/symptoms-causes/syc-20350772

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases conditions/rheumatoid-arthritis/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20353653

https://journals.lww.com/nursing/Fulltext/2015/11000/Understanding_the_effects_of_rheumatoid_arthritis.9.aspx

everybodysfit

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.

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Autoimmune diseases: When the body fights against itself

When the body’s immune system starts to attack itself, disorder erupts. There are up to 80,000 different autoimmune disorders ranging in severity. The immune system falls on a spectrum of very low functioning to being overly active. When the immune system is deficient, the body is unable to protect itself to ward off infections. When the immune system is hyperactive, the body starts to attack and damage its very own tissues. The immune system is meant to fight off infections, but with an autoimmune condition, the body starts to produce antibodies.

Doctors don’t exactly know the root cause of autoimmune disease. The most common symptoms include fatigue, achy muscles, hair loss, and skin rashes. Flare ups decide when they want to occur. Women do acquire this condition 2 to 1 compared to men. The disease usually begins in childhood and teenage years. Many types run in families such as multiple sclerosis and lupus. Researchers believe environmental factors may be the culprit since the rate of these diseases are on the rise. Eating high fat, high sugar, and processed foods also wreaks havoc on the immune system.

Some of these conditions are more common than others or terms you have heard of before. Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the body produces antibodies that attack the joints. This causes pain, inflammation, and swelling to the areas of the joint. Multiple sclerosis is when the immune system attacks the nerve cells. Muscle spasms are a common symptom. Inflammatory bowl syndrome (IBS) occurs when the immune system starts to attack the lining of the intestine. As a result, bowel movements can become uncontrollable, diarrhea can occur, as well as rectal bleeding. Type I diabetes is also an autoimmune condition that occurs when antibodies attack the cells that produce insulin in the pancreas. Thyroid diseases are also in the autoimmune class. Grave’s disease, also known as hyperthyroidism, is when the antibodies produce excess amount of the thyroid hormone. Hashimoto’s has the opposite effect, taking place when the antibodies destroy the cells that produce the thyroid hormone. Lupus is when the antibodies attack different tissues in the body such as the lungs, joints, and kidneys.

Many of the symptoms overlap so diagnosis can be difficult as well as treatment. Blood testing is the most informative tool. The idea is to suppress the overactive immune system. Living with an autoimmune condition can be debilitating so practice self-care, and do all that you can to keep yourself in the best health possible at all times.

https://www.niaid.nih.gov/diseases-conditions/autoimmune-diseases

http://autoimmune.pathology.jhmi.edu/aboutcenter.cfm

https://www.aarda.org/news-information/research/ https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/epstein-barr-virus-autoimmune-diseases

everybodysfit

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.