Carpal Tunnel Syndrome,
Fibromyalgia, Gout, Inflammatory Bowel Disease,
Juvenile Arthritis, Lupus, Lyme Disease,
Rheumatic Fever, Rheumatoid Arthritis,
The above list includes just a few of the 100+ inflammatory diseases classified as arthritis.
Arthritis is a term I grew up hearing a lot. I did not really understand what it was, but it was clearly on both sides of my family, so whatever this arthritis was, I knew I was doomed to get it. Most of my relatives seemed to have light joint pain and stiffness, typically when transitioning from sitting to standing, but most intense activity (tennis, golf, running, etc) was unaffected to the outside eye. My grandmother actually referred to it as “young person’s arthritis,” because she could play tennis and go to the gym but playing the piano and the first few steps out of bed posed a bit of a challenge.
So, what is arthritis? While exceedingly common (50 million+ adults and 300,000 children have it), arthritis is still relatively misunderstood. Often it includes joint stiffness, swelling and pain and tends to be more likely in older adults, but depending on type of arthritis, the symptoms can come and go. The most common type of arthritis, Osteoarthritis, typically happens over time, as the cartilage between joints wears away. With no cartilage left, the joint is simply bone rubbing against bone, which is obviously painful. In mild to moderate cases, symptoms can be managed by maintaining a healthy weight, regular physical activity, strengthening muscles around the joint, anti-inflammatory diet or medicines, etc. Unfortunately, those who have had injuries are more susceptible to this type of arthritis as they age but keeping the inflammation in the joint to a minimum is key to minimizing long-term effects of injury.
How do you know if a joint is inflamed? As a former figure skater, I took quite a few falls. Most of them were harmless, but some had lasting effects. Still, sixteen years later, there are mornings when I can tell there is some inflammation in my lower back or knees. Typically, the area is extra stiff and sometimes moving is painful. On those days, I roll out of bed and immediately do some yoga poses and stretches to get some oxygen flowing to the area. The key for me has been to keep moving. The more I move, the better I feel! Another key is to keep inflammatory foods to a minimum. After a night of pizza and beer or fried food and wine, I am sure to have a harder time getting out of bed than on nights when I have limited alcohol consumption and eating a healthy, balanced meal. Swelling is another sure sign a joint is inflamed, but luckily my inflammation rarely gets that far!
What can you do about it? A healthy lifestyle helps a lot! As I mentioned, movement and a healthy diet are key components in living with arthritis, and there are different medications commonly used to treat different types of arthritis. However, before turning to medication, it is worth exploring the different supplements out there that can decrease inflammation and help with those arthritic symptoms.
Nature’s Edge offers three great options! First, there is boswellia, a powerful anti-inflammatory from the resin of a tree commonly found in India and the Middle East. Next up is curcu-gel®, containing curcuminoids from the almighty turmeric spice. These two supplements are frequently taken together for maximum anti-inflammatory effect. Lastly, we have omega-gel, a highly purified, wild-caught omega 3 fish oil supplement. We are currently working on a fourth option, which will be a sort of Rolls Royce of anti-inflammation supplements. In fact, when ready, it will be the most powerful anti-inflammatory on the market! Visit us at www.naturesedge.com/ for updates on this very special addition to the anti-inflammation line!
**A portion of all sales from the anti-inflammation line will be donated to the Arthritis Foundation.