by Laurie Lynch, ND

Arthritis is so common that its seriousness is often underestimated. Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in people over 15 years of age. One in five, or 46 million,
adults in the United States were diagnosed with arthritis. Nearly 75% of people over age 60 will experience Osteoarthritis (CDC). "
Arthritis is the leading cause of disability over the age of 65" ( "Arthritis has become one of the most misused and misunderstood conditions today. A great majority of people today consider 'arthritis' an incurable condition, one which must be lived with for the rest of their lives", and the pain masked by numerous toxic, damaging drugs (Dr. DG Williams, 1994).  However, this is a misunderstanding.  Arthritis can be eliminated by eliminating the underlying causes. To get to these causes, it helps to have a thorough understanding of the disease.

What is arthritis?
Arthritis is a group of conditions characterized by joint inflammation and damage.
There are more than 100 types of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis (a degenerative
disease of the cartilage and bone); rheumatoid arthritis (a systemic
autoimmune disease);  gout (characterized by uric acid crystals in the joint), ankylosing spondylitis
(affects the spine, and sometimes the hips, shoulders, and knees); and bursitis (inflammation of the bursa, the small, fluid-filled sacs that help reduce friction between
moving parts in the joints).

Joints are encased by smooth cartilage to prevent friction during movement and help absorb shock. The joints are bound together by ligaments and surrounded by the
joint capsule, and some joints contain bursa sacs that help cushion the joint and reduce friction. The synovial lining of the joint capsule secretes fluid that lubricates the
joint, and when the joint is moved, delivers nutrients to the sponge-like cartilage and removes its wastes. Anything that interferes with this process can lead to some
form of arthritis.

 When inflammation occurs, white blood cells release chemicals into the blood or affected tissues to rid the body of foreign substances. This increases blood flow to
the area and causes redness and heat. Some of the chemicals cause fluid leakage into the tissues, and swelling. This may stimulate nerves and cause pain, wearing
down of cartilage and swelling of the joint lining.  Other symptoms may include stiffness, limited range of motion, boney enlargements around the joints, fatigue, and
erosion of joint tissue.                                                                         

What are the underlying causes of arthritis?

  •   Toxic accumulations - caused by overeating, constipation, allergies, and chemical imbalances, or by exposier to  fluoride and formaldehyde in toothpastes,
    foaming agents in soaps and detergents, cosmetics, mineral-oil products, antibacterial soaps and cleaning products, paints, urethane, pesticides, etc. 
    "The toxic chemicals (such as floride and formaldahyde) ingested from toothpastes can cause stiffness,... soreness, and pain in all these joints
    along with weakness in the whole body. There can be stiffness and pain also in the muscles around the joints as in rheumatoid arthritis.  When
    the nerves get affected by the toxic chemicals, there can be pain and spasms in other muscles of the body too.  Pain-killers are put in many
    toothpastes to prevent the incidence of pain in the gums and teeth of users. In the process, the nerves in the mouth are deadened as they get
    poisoned more and more every day by the toxic chemicals of toothpastes. Gradually, ... the poisoning spreads to all the nerves in the body.
    The affected person's limbs and other parts of the body get stiff and lethargic and, when he moves the different parts of his body, he suffers
    from the type of pain associated  with rheumatism and arthritis"
    (Jaisinghani).  Other studies implicate" mineral-oil products as a possible cause of
    arthritis.... The products tested included commonly available skin creams, body lotions and baby oils" (Spectrum, 1998)

  •   Infections (fungal, viral, bacterial) poison the synovial fluid producing cells and inhibit their production of synovial fluid, causing inflammation and wear and
    tear on the joints.

  •   Nutritional Deficiencies interfere with the cell's production of synovial fluid.

  •   Indigestible and harmful foods, such as genetically engineered foods, dairy and other animal products, processed foods, white sugar, white flour, and heated
    and hydrogenated vegetable oils can cause constipation and indigestion which cause the accumulation of toxins, harmful bacteria, fungus, and uric acid crystals. 

  •   Excess acid from acidic foods such as tomatoes, cranberries, oranges, or uric acid from animal products.

  •   Caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco.

  •   Weak glands and organs, for example, the adrenal gland cortex produces anti-inflammatory hormones; the pancreas aids digestion and sugar metabolism,
    the liver, and organs of elimination aid in eliminating toxins. The malfunction of any of these can lead to arthritis.

  •   Insufficient exercise – Any joint that is not moved regularly will not receive its nutrients or eliminate its wastes. Joint cartilage is like a sponge; movement
    causes the cartilage to open to receive nutrients and to close to squeeze out wastes.

  •    Accumulation of toxic chemicals, 

  •   Medicinal and street drugs, including, anti-inflammatories given for arthritis.

  •    Molds

  •   Stressing the joints with excess weight from improper lifting or obesity, or from jogging on hard surfaces.

  •   Injury

     What are the conventional medical treatments and their harmful side effects?
    * Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs – such as aspirin, ibuprofen, Aleve (naproxen), and Vioxx, Celebrex, Bextra)  have now been found to
    cause heart attacks and  strokes.  These drugs are known as “COX-2 Inhibitors,” meaning they inhibit the production of the Cyclooxygenase-2 enzyme which
    has been consistently found dwelling in areas of inflammation within the body. The original COX enzyme inhibitors are known as Non Steroidal Anti-
    inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs). NSAID’s have been shown to damage the stomach and cause hemorrhaging, and to damage the brain and impare the memory.
    This is because aside from blocking the COX-2 enzyme, NSAIDs also block the COX-1 enzyme, leaving the stomach unprotected against its’ own acids
    (Albany, NY (PRWEB via PR Web Direct, December 22, 2004). 
    Because the Cyclooxygenase-1 enzyme provides a necessary mucous lining to the stomach protecting
    against excess stomach acids and upset, patients taking the original COX inhibitor faced constant stomach upset, and future ulcers.  COX-2 Inhibitors have
    been linked to heart attack and stroke.  "Aspirin (and other similar drugs such as Tylenol) ... has never cured anything. The relief in most cases was only
    temporary, ... but the damage it did to the body was most likely permanent" (Tobe, p 15).  Aspirin can cause "irritation of the stomach lining and varying
    amounts of internal bleeding" (Kirchmenn, p 146), memory loss, heart damage, etc. (Mc Bean).

    Corticosteroids, such as prednisone, cortisone, solumedrol, and hydrocortisone, are used to treat many rheumatic conditions because they decrease
    inflammation and suppress the immune system.
    However, they can cause infections, damage to the adrenal gland and other endocrine glands, and cause
    diabetes, cataracts, glaucoma, increased appetite, swelling, weight gain, high blood pressure,
    damage to the arteries, congestive heart failure, myocardial
    infarction and rupture, fluid retention, osteoporosis, vertebrae and bone fracture,
    stretch marks, excessive hair growth, .muscle atrophy and weakness,
    peptic ulcer, bowel inflammation, perforation, and distension; pancreatitis, ulcerative esophagitis, skin problems, convulsions, pressure in the brain, vertigo,
    psychic disturbances, headaches, etc. etc. Corticosteroids used are mainly responsible for physical changes (obesity), dermatological lesions, and psychological
    disorders such as mood swings.  
    Corticosteroids are addictive and can't be stopped abruptly, but rather gradually tapered off. (; webmd)
    Anti-malarial medications (such as hydroxychloroquine)
    • Other medications including methotrexate, sulfasalazine, leflunomide, anti-TNF medications, cyclophosphamide and mycophenolate   

    What are the safe, effective natural remedies for arthritis? 
    Contrary to popular opinion, arthritis can be eliminated by:

  •   Avoiding the causes

  •   Assisting the body's own healing forces with the right nutritional supplements

  •   Cleansing the body of toxins and wastes

  •   Strengthening glands and organs

  •   Establishing a chemical balance in the tissues

  •   Rebuilding the immune system

  •   Hydrotherapy

  •   Daily arthritis exercises

  •   Eating healing foods - Foods that help arthritis include garlic, onions, alfalfa, cayenne pepper, celery seed, parsley, yucca, brown rice and other whole
    grains, fresh raw green leafy veggies, asparagus, kelp, fresh non-acidic fruits, and turmeric root.

   Recipe for my favorite arthritis- fighting meal:   


   1-2 lb fresh ASPARAGUS, steamed until tender                                  Bragg's Aminos 
   RICE (long grain, brown Basmati), 1/3 cup per person.                        1/3 -1/2
cup chopped ONION                         
   Cook rice and onion in twice as much water until water is absorbed, about 45 minutes. Add Bragg's for salt taste.

   ALMOND SAUCE                                                                                                                                                                
   1 Tbsp fresh LEMON JUICE                                                    1/2 tsp BRAGG'S AMINOS                                                  
   1/3 cup soft organic TOFU                                                        1/2 tsp TUMERIC                                                                  
    pinch of CAYENNE PEPPER                                                  1 Tbsp OLIVE OIL                                                               
   1 tsp liquid LECITHIN                                                                                                                                                 .    
    Mix in blender until smooth, and pour over asparagus.  Serves 2-3.

   SUPER SALAD                                                                                                                                                                         
SALAD GREENS (arugula, Romaine lettuce, parsley)                   ALFALFA SPROUTS                                 
   CARROT, grated                                                                         CELERY, chopped.

   1/2 small ONION, optional                                                            1/4 cup RAW HONEY
   1/2 cup OLIVE OIL                                                                       1- 2 tsp. DIJON MUSTARD
   1 tsp. CELERY SEED                                                                   ¼ tsp BRAGG'S AMINOS
   1- 2 Tbsp fresh LEMON JUICE   

   Mix in a blender until smooth, and pour small amount over individual salads, refrigerating remainder  Sprinkle ¼ cup of slivered ALMONDS, lightly toasted,
   and 1 Tbsp finely minced fresh raw GARLIC over entire meal.   

Now, this is really a lot easier than it sounds. A wellness consultation with Laurie Lynch, ND. can explain how to eliminate
the causes that pertain to you, and what exercises, hydrotherapy, and foods, specific herbs and nutritional supplements
can speed recovery.
 Laurie Lynch is a Wellness Consultant, Naturopathic Doctor, Master Herbalist with several degrees in
Nutrition. She may be contacted at the Living Well Health & Education Center, (910)


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      Copyright © Laurie Lynch, N.D., 2008-2011