Natural help for osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a chronic disease that is the result of cartilage, which cushions the ends of bones in the joints, wearing away so that bone meets bone (ouch!) leading to the erosion of the ends of the bones.  A great deal can be done however to reduce the pain associated with this condition in particular diet, exercise and supplements. 

A diet to reduce the pain of arthritis should be an alkaline diet - if you are vegan you already avoid meat and dairy which alter the body's pH (a measure of acidity) towards acidity but also avoid sugar and reduce salt which have a similar effect on the acidity of the body. Unfortunately too, most grains are acidic - try to avoid highly acidic grains such as rye and wheat and opt for quinoa instead. Oats, millet, amaranth and buckwheat are only mildly acidic. All fruits and veg and most nuts (except peanuts and walnuts) and seeds are alkalising (yes even, counter-intuitively citrus fruits). Include beans, lentils and tofu in an alkalising diet. The problem is that if the body is too acidic the body will try to restore balance by drawing minerals from your tissues including bones. An alkaline diet can also help reduce the inflammation associated with the condition.

Exercise is important to help reduce pain also. It increases the range of motion in the joints which may stiffen as a result of the condition. It also increases circulation to the joints which brings nutrients to the joints and removes build up of toxins that further damage the joints.

My top supplements for the pain of osteoarthritis are serrapeptase (please see which reduces inflammation and glucosamine with chondroitin. 

Glucosamine and chondroitin are naturally occurring in the cartilage at the end of bones. Taking it as a supplement may therefore help build up the cartilage cushion and also the synovial fluid between joints that acts as a lubricant. It is not a quick fix solution and is not effective for everyone but you should notice a difference if it is going to work for you within 6-8 weeks.  It also lowers the inflammation associated with the condition.  It also has no reported side effects for most people.  As a further benefit, glucosamine improves the microflora in the gut leading to better digestion which makes more nutrients available for joint health. 

Please also see 'Natural help for migraines'.

You might also like 'Yoga for seniors - healthy joints' on my yoga blog.

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