Knee Pain: an early warning sign of Osteoarthritis

Gentle Reader,

This is just in from the Johns Hopkins:

Knee Pain: An Early
Warning Sign of Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting an estimated 27 million people in the United States. By age 40, approximately 90 percent of us have at least some signs of osteoarthritis that can be seen on X-rays of the weight-bearing joints (the hips and knees, for example), but symptoms of pain and stiffness usually don’t start until later in life. 

Now, researchers from Canada report that knee pain may be an early warning sign of osteoarthritis (OA). Their study was published in the journal Arthritis Care & Research(Volume 62, page 1691).

The researchers obtained X-ray and MRI scans of 255 people with knee pain who were 40 to 79 years old. Pre-radiographic osteoarthritis (signs of cartilage damage seen on MRI but not yet evident on X-ray) was identified in 49 percent, and radiographic osteoarthritis (signs of cartilage damage on X-ray) was identified in 38 percent. Only 13 percent had a normal X-ray and MRI.

Factors linked to a higher chance of having radiographic osteoarthritis or pre-radiographic osteoarthritis included abnormal gait (nearly 11 times higher risk), older age (nearly three times higher risk for each 10-year increase), playing sports regularly after age 20 (35 percent higher risk for each 10 years), knee swelling and difficulty fully stretching the knee joint.

The bottom line: If you have knee pain, don’t ignore it. Early identification of osteoarthritis can lead to early treatment and relief. 

Duh!  This is a no brainer, isn’t it?  My question to you and to them, what are we supposed to do about it?  We have the early warning signs. Now what?

In these blog posts, I have explored various modalities of care and presented strategies for alleviating pain and slowing down the onset of severe osteoarthritis.  If you are a new reader, I suggest you explore back posts for suggestions.

The bottom line is two fold:

1.  Get to your ideal weight and stay there.  Even 15 pounds off your current weight (if you are over weight) will make a difference in your joints.

2.  Keep moving.  Find something to do that is pleasurable and that you will look forward to each day and DO IT.  Do NOT, under any and all circumstances, stop moving.

I have a great friend who was in a wheel chair with her osteoarthritis and on multiple medications to manage the pain.  A friend persuaded her to seek the counsel of a chiropractor who specializes in blood work and supplementation (primarily by Shaklee).  He analyzes the blood and makes recommendations about diet and supplements.  The most important advice to Luanne was find something to do that she loved.  She didn’t like walking, hiking, dancing, skiing, roller blading, mountain climbing.  Nothing pleased her.  Nothing made her want it more than the pain she had to endure to try out the activity.

One day she was walking near a dock where people were stepping in to sculls, single and double.  She was invited to take a turn and fell in love with sitting in the slim, fast boat down low in the water.  As she became more proficient, she got off her medications and ate the better diet along with the prescribed supplements.  She became pain free.  Luanne went on to win national championships in single scull racing.  Today she is slim, beautiful and healthy.

Find the movement of your choice.  Maybe it’s turning on the TV or radio to your favorite jazz or Latin music station.  There’s someplace in your house where you can dance to your favorite music.  Maybe you’d enjoy a little trampoline.  It takes up a tiny space and is reputed to help increase bone density.  Whatever it is, Go for it.

The doctor’s name is Dr. Richard Brouse.  I send him my blood for diagnosis and suggestions for diet and supplements.  Having his analysis and prescription for supplements makes my vitamin purchases tax deductible.  (I am not giving tax advice.  I am not qualified to do so.  This is just what I do and have done for 25 years.) It is expensive but worth it.  After all, you are going to pay for your health one way or another.  Why not pay now and avoid the steep costs looming ahead of you, not to mention the loss of work and play time.

Dr. Brouse will suggest food supplements by Shaklee. In another post, I recommend the ones that are most effective at restoring your body to good health and alleviating arthritis pain.  (You can browse the Product Guide here.)

When you take your knee pain to the doctor, they will most likely tell you to expect arthritis in the near future and predict knee replacement therapy down the road.  I had these predictions in 1989.  I have no knee pain and have never had knee replacement.  I take a lot of supplements.  People who watch me swallow a handful of them, think I’m nuts.  All I can say is that I love being able to hike to Mt. Rainier pain free, to be able to dance the salsa, and run fast across the street, to scramble down the bank at Shark’s Reef on Lopez Island, to last physically in the art museum longer than my brain can take all that stimulation.

I wish the same for you.

Now, tell me in the comment section, what your thoughts are about your early warning signs, if you have any.  And by all means let us all know what supplements you have found that help.  Did you sign up to get the notification of the next posting?

Fondly, Betsy

Be Well, Do Well and Keep Moving

BetsyBell’s Health4u

www.GrandmaBetsyBell.com

206 933 1889  1 888 283 2077

betsy@hihohealth.com

 

 

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But I don’t know how to cook greens!

I keep advising you to eat lots of Swiss chard, collard greens, kale, mustard greens and you say, but I don’t like greens.  Greens are one of the best foods for arthritic joints and arthritis in general.  They provide minerals and help with inflammation. It is possible to cook them so they are delicious.

Dark green leafy vegetables are, calorie for calorie, probably the most concentrated source of nutrition of any food. They are a rich source of minerals (including iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium) and vitamins, including vitamins K, C, E, and many of the B vitamins. They also provide a variety of phytonutrients including beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which protect our cells from damage and our eyes from age-related problems, among many other effects. Dark green leaves even contain small amounts of Omega-3 fats.  All of these nutrients help with reducing pain, especially joint pain.

Perhaps the star of these nutrients is Vitamin K. A cup of most cooked greens provides at least nine times the minimum recommended intake of Vitamin K, and even a couple of cups of dark salad greens usually provide the minimum all on their own. Recent research has provided evidence that this vitamin may be even more important than we once thought (the current minimum may not be optimal), and many people do not get enough of it.

Our ancestors ate a grocery bag full of green leaves every day.  We won’t do that, but I can tell you that I buy a bunch of any of these greens from my health food grocery store and eat the whole bunch in one sitting, or divide it in two meals if I have other vegetables on the menu.  Once you develop a taste for greens, you’ll want them 5 days a week.

Here’s a quick and easy way to prepare a delicious one dish meal with collards.

1. put the skillet on the stove with 2 tbls olive oil

2. slice half an onion into the oil (use a spatter lid)

3. slice a lean sausage into the oil (this is unnecessary if you have a meat/fish item for the meal.) I like to use sausage because it makes it a one dish.  I buy lean organic chicken, lamb or turkey sausage and have them in the freezer for just such an occasion.  No need to defrost.  Just slice with your strongest knife and put in the skillet with the onions.

4.  take 3 large collard leaves and pull the green away from the stems.

5. slice a zucchini or summer squash into ½ inch rounds (if you have them)

6. Place green and zucchini on top of onions, and sausage, add a sprinkle of salt, put a tight fitting lid on and turn the burner down to medium low for 5 minutes.

7. serve. 

Before you rush to the store, take a minute to tell us what your favorite way of preparing and eating greens is.  Go ahead, help us out.  We want less arthritis pain, fewer medications and greater mobility, so share you’re “greens” story.

You say you will never get enough of this stuff to help your aching body?  Then click right over to the Shaklee shopping page and browse for Alfalfa tablets, Carotomax, Flavomax, Omega Guard, B Complex, Vita – C.  The foundation product is Vitalizer which contains all these nutritents. For people who don’t have time to cook and want to eat like our ancestors.

Fondly, Betsy

Be Well, Do Well and Keep Moving

BetsyBell’s Health4u

www.GrandmaBetsyBell.com

206 933 1889  1 888 283 2077

betsy@hihohealth.com

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How I find time on my “to-do” list for exercise

Gentle Reader,

You’re too busy, you say, to exercise.  Here I am at the Shaklee convention in Las Vegas where it is too hot to breath outside and too stale to breath inside the air conditioning.  I’m one of those Northwesterners who lives and breathes in and out nothing but fresh air.

We are sitting in large auditoriums all day long.  What’s a person to do?

1. Get up 20 minutes earlier than you need to and spend that extra time stretching.

2. Walk up all the stair cases that present themselves.

3. Take breaks to stand where you are sitting.  You’ll be surprised how often it is possible to stand up in a meeting or conference.  Watch for those moments.

4.  Adjust your posture, pull your shoulders back; breath deeply into your belly.  It’s all about the oxygen.

Here is a blog post I came across that you might enjoy written by a former personal trainer.

Right now, take a minute to tell us what strategies you use to pack in 30 minutes of cardio a day by posting a comment below.

Betsy

Be Well, Do Well and Keep Moving

BetsyBell’s Health4u

www.GrandmaBetsyBell.com

206 933 1889  1 888 283 2077

betsy@hihohealth.com

Put exercise on your “A” to-do list February 24, 2010

Posted by jscolwell in Uncategorized.
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One of the most common problems people have with exercising is finding time, or rather making time, to do it. Granted life is chuck full for most of us, especially those who are working full time and raising kids. But for people over 50 especially who intend to live long, healthy, happy years and being present in person, not just in spirit, at their grandchild’s wedding, regular exercise is not optional in my opinion. In fact it may be literally a life or death matter. The single most important thing we can do for healthy longevity is physical activity which strengthens, stretches and moves the entire body. And if health clubs aren’t involved it’s basically free. Studies have shown that simply walking briskly for 30 minutes five times a week is vital to preventing diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, stroke and heart problems. If you realize the importance of this and have the desire to do it but are time-challenged here are a few tips.

1. Plan your exercise routine at the beginning of each week. Write it into your schedule with bold, red ink with specific notes as to what exercise you’ll do. Make it as important as a hair appointment and don’t let anything, rain or snow, keep you from it.

2. Realize that you can divide up your exercise into segments. For example, a 30-minute walk can be broken into two 15-minute or three 10-minute segments.

3. Often it all comes down to choices. It may mean 30 minutes less TV time, or exercising on a treadmill or lifting weights while your watching.

4. If you are employed use part of your lunch hour to get some of your exercise in.

5. Always look for ways to move your body — playing with your kids or grandkids, vacuuming, gardening — all help, especially if regular planned exercise is hard to come by some days. Move, move, move.

6. Save time by doing exercising in and around your home and not driving to a fitness club.

6. Check out my new book, “The No Nonsense Guide To Fitness” for more ideas.

 

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Steps you can take to stop Plantar Fasciitis pain.

Gentle Reader,

Has this happened to you?

You make a goal to step up your fitness training to prepare for a back packing trip.  Maybe, like me, you have a big hike in your future and your friends are suggesting that you need to train harder for it.  After all, the Alps are high mountains.  You start at 5000 ft and go up from there.  You say you’re just going to be in the North Cascades.  Maybe you just want to do the 3 day walk for the Cure next time it comes to town.

You double your effort.  Instead of walking 3 – 4 miles 3 times a week, I increased to daily walks of that length.

Within 10 days of the increase, I felt a twinge in my heel and a shooting pain up my calf.  I recognized this sensation right away because years ago I had a similar experience, ignored it for 6 months.  Major interventions were necessary.  I had to abandon my favorite form of exercise, running.   Not good.

To save you the trouble, I have condensed information from excellent resources.

What is plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot. This tissue is called the plantar fascia. It connects the heel bone to the toes and creates the arch of the foot.

What causes plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis occurs when the thick band of tissue on the bottom of the foot is overstretched or overused. This can be painful and make walking more difficult.

You are more likely to get plantar fasciitis if you have:

  • Foot arch problems (both flat feet and high arches)
  • Long-distance running, especially running downhill or on uneven surfaces
  • Sudden weight gain or obesity
  • Tight Achilles tendon (the tendon connecting the calf muscles to the heel)
  • Shoes with poor arch support or soft soles

Plantar fasciitis is the most common orthopedic complaint relating to the foot that affects people over 40, men and women alike.

Check out the reference for symptoms and description of the pain.

I will cut to the chase and give you those tricks to moving past this problem quickly:

1. Stop doing what hurts.  I cancelled out of a training hike to Pratt Lake, an elevation gain of 2300 ft in 8 ½ miles along a beautifully maintained trail in old growth cedar, hemlock and fir in the Snoqualmie pass area, already snow free while many high places still have snow on the trail.  Perhaps you are like me and have a really hard time cancelling activities like this.  Do it anyway.  Be proud of yourself for listening to your body.  Stop doing what hurts.

2. Ice the heel.  15 minutes on, 15 minutes off.

3. Take an anti-inflammatory if needed.  Personally, I only hurt when I am walking a couple of miles, about 20 – 30 minutes into the walk.  I can manage the pain with Shaklee’s Pain Relief tablets, but this isn’t about managing pain, this is about calming the irritation, reducing swelling, getting back to healthy facia.

4. Stretch the Achilles tendon and heel.  I use a strap, lie on my back and push into the strap with my foot perpendicular to the floor.  It actually hurts like hell so I know I need to do this more than I do.  Peggy Cappy’s yoga for back pain relief gets me stretching longer with greater benefit. Here’s an excellent 1 minute video for healing Achilles tendon injuries.

5. Cross train to keep up your fitness level.  I dusted off my bike and filled the tires and sailed down to the beach on Alki from the top of Genesee Hill.  The challenge was coming back up and I made it without having to walk by going around the long, slow, gradual way.  You can swim, too.  Anything that takes the pressure off the arch.

6.  Be patient with your body.  Perhaps this is the hardest of all.  On the plus side, when you are on a bike, you can cover more ground, see more of the beautiful area you live in.  The lake or river near you is pleasant this time of year.  Go for it.  No thumb sucking, pity me.  I’m talking to myself here.  I love the efficiency of walking for exercise.  It takes more planning to bike or swim, a bigger chunk out of the day.  Just do it or you might lose all that ground you’ve been gaining with your walking program.

7.  Prevent this happening to you in the first place.

a. Don’t suddenly change your routine without stretching more as well.

b. Keep the Achilles tendon and heel flexible.

c. Wear good supportive firm-heeled shoes whenever you walk or run.

d. Get a pair of orthotic inserts for great arch support.

Take action!  Begin these exercises today.

Like this information?  Sign up to get more tips of how to Be Well and Keep Moving each week.

Please, take a minute to let me know what you have done about Achilles tendon troubles. You know, your best orthotic, your most effective exercise, the way you handled a temporary set back.  We’ll all benefit from your experience.

Fondly, Betsy

Be Well, Do Well and Keep Moving

BetsyBell’s Health4u

www.GrandmaBetsyBell.com

206 933 1889  1 888 283 2077

betsy@hihohealth.com

 

 

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Eat to eliminate inflammation

Eat to Defeat Inflammation

Gentle Reader,

At a picnic last night there was a lot of talk about pomegranate for lowering pain and inflammation in joints affected by arthritis.  I have posted about this before, and wanted to bring this post to you from the health sciences department of Shaklee.  The Shaklee corporation scientists and medical staff work to develop products that get into the blood stream and deliver results.  They engage leaders in the medical world to help focus their research and often join in a research project.  They have developed several products that help with inflammation which you can explore on my Shaklee shopping site on Joint Health.  I’ll also give you this link to the anti-oxidants which we try to get from our healthy diets, but might not get enough to do the job.  Posted by  on Jul 17, 2012 in Natural Nutrition

Eat to Defeat Inflammation

The first nutrition course I ever took in college changed my life. I was absolutely fascinated to learn what vitamins and minerals were and how important they are for good health. It was also about that time I finally understood what Hippocrates meant when he said, “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. Today, that saying is even more important as nutrition science has come a long way since I took that first nutrition course.  Just think about inflammation, your body’s natural protective response to illness or injury. In fact, a little inflammation under normal circumstances can be a good thing. When you cut yourself, you want your immune system to respond quickly by sending white blood cells to your wound to fight off infection. But a low-grade persistent state of chronic inflammation is not a good thing. In this circumstance, white blood cells inappropriately move into tissues and cause destruction. In fact, chronic inflammation has been linked to a whole host of health conditions from type 2 diabetes and arthritis to heart disease, obesity, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Thanks to the anti-inflammatory effects of certain foods, a healthful diet can help you fight off inflammation, (Regular exercise, not smoking, and losing weight are powerful tools, too.) Start by eating less of the “bad stuff”— fast food burgers, French fries, and sodas, as well as sweets such as cookies, cakes, and pies. These highly processed foods loaded with fat, sugar, and salt promote inflammation, while eating more of the “good stuff”—yes, more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts—inhibits and protects against inflammation. Here are some of my favorite anti-inflammatory foods:

Fish and walnuts. Salmon and tuna are great sources of inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids, as are walnuts. These foods help offset the pro-inflammatory effects of omega-6 fatty acids, which are pervasive in our diet. Omega-6 fats are found in eggs, corn, soy, and safflower oils.

Olive oil. Studies suggest consuming a Mediterranean-style diet—a diet high in plant foods and olive oil—helps decrease joint tenderness in people with rheumatoid arthritis.

Red wine and dark chocolate. Resveratrol, a phytonutrient found in red wine, has been shown to inhibit inflammation, while the consumption of dark chocolate, something I do almost daily, has been linked to lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a biomarker of inflammation in the body.

Turmeric. Spice up your life. Turmeric, also known as curry, is a traditional spice of Indian cuisine. In a recent pilot study, supplemental turmeric helped reduce joint tenderness and swelling in people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.

Tart cherries. It’s cherry season and according to the latest researchtart cherries may have the highest anti-inflammatory content of any food. In a recent study, women with osteoarthritis who drank tart cherry juice twice a day for several weeks experienced a significant reduction in important markers of inflammation.

Eating to fight inflammation could be one of the best things you do for yourself. For your next meal, how about some salmon curry and a glass of red wine, followed by some tart cherries covered in dark chocolate for dessert?    Sounds good, doesn’t it?  That’s is for now.  Be Well, Do Well and Keep Moving.  Betsy   206-933-1889  www.GrandmaBetsyBell.com

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How to have good posture

July 18, 2012

Gentle Reader,

Posture makes a difference when it comes to managing arthritic pain.

I was surprised by a chapter in book I’m reading for business growth and development called The Other 90%, How to unlock your vast untapped potential for Leadership and Life, by Robert K. Cooper. The book contains four sections or Keystones: Trust, Energy, Farsightedness and Nerve.  The chapter in Keystone three, Farsightedness called “Face the World Straight On” talks about good posture being unlocked not forced. It reminded me of my own upbringing, common to many in my generation. We were told to “stand up straight” over and over again.  This meant tuck our buttocks under, jut our chin out, thrust our shoulders back and suck our stomachs in.  I perfected this to the extent that I could walk around all day with a marble clamped between my cheeks, the buttock muscles never relaxing even when I picked a dropped pencil off the floor.

Refuting that horrible regimen, Mr. Cooper describes Five Keys to Staying Upright with Energy and Ease:

Hold Your Head High  Your head weighs about 15 pounds.  If we imagine it is suspended from the top by a sky hook, we can easily let it rest on top of our neck and shoulders and forget about straining it forward.  Let the head lead the body in the next motion.

Align the Neck   The rectus capitus anterior muscle at the top of the spine will do the job if we give it some attention and practice.  It needs strengthening (a little head nodding will do it) to enliven this muscle to lift the head over the neck when working at the computer, talking on the phone, reading a book.

I’m going to invite you to read the rest of this chapter for yourself if you are so inclined. Here’s the link.

You never know where you will find excellent guidance for good posture which will certainly help alleviate arthritis pain and other joint pain.

These posts on managing arthritis without medicine or surgery (or after surgery) help you take control of your physical situation.  They certainly help me with mine.  Posture, exercise and diet alone are not enough, however.  Vitamin and herbal supplements add their nutritional and healing benefits.  I have used and trusted the Shaklee company’s products for 30 years.  Changing brands could make all the difference.  Click here to explore the Shaklee product guide, and here to make a purchase.

Be Well, Do Well and Keep Moving.

Betsy

 

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How about Stinging Nettles?

Gentle Reader,

If I could tell you why some days I wake up with no pain whatsoever– like today– and catalog the food I ate yesterday, the stretches I made, the delicious sleep, the supplements, the aerobic activity—why surely I would have a recipe for a pain free life.  I cannot. I cross country skied on Wednesday; stayed up too late fussing over numbers; ate on the run, albeit extra nutritious homemade vegetable-drawer soup; got tied up in knots over the traffic delays.  You know the drill.  I took no herbal pain pills today and no Aleve.  Instead of analyzing the good things in life that seem to happen randomly, I suggest robust all out celebration and thanksgiving.

I will offer you some spicy advice that came to me from a good friend who faithfully reads these pages and a few others from the web which she passes on to me when relevant.  I especially appreciated her reprint from NaturalNews.  Since I harvested stinging nettles on my walk Tuesday, being careful to wear gardening gloves, I am eager to eat them and see what they do for me. See the article below for details.  Stinging nettles are abundant in the northwest right now, small plants with tender leaves.  All the sting goes away with cooking.  If you try it, let me know how it goes. It’s inexpensive to try these natural remedies from the kitchen cupboard, way-side and grocery store.

Relieve arthritis and joint pain with home remedies

 (NaturalNews) Homemade remedies for arthritis, gout and other joint pain are never farther away than the kitchen cupboard or the refrigerator. Joint disease is the result of various causes ranging from aging, to over-use and autoimmune diseases that attack joints and surrounding tissue. Pharmaceutical companies have designer drugs that reduce inflammation to help relieve pain and often cause significant side effects. The ingredients for homemade remedies can be purchased at grocery and health food stores and many may already be stocked in your pantry, offering significant savings over costly pharmaceutical drugs.

Anti-Inflammatory triad

On their own, turmeric, ginger and bromelain work as effective anti-inflammatory agents. Each works to relieve pain, stiffness and swelling. In combination, they provide a powerhouse of natural medicine. The three substances are synergistic to one another, each boosting the other’s effectiveness…

Stinging nettles

Homemade remedies from stinging nettles are numerous. A traditional herbal treatment, stinging nettles are used to relieve symptoms of joint pain, arthritis and gout. A tea can be made from the dried herb or the fresh leaves. Use caution and wear gloves if harvesting fresh nettles. As their name implies, the little hairs on the plant can cause serious skin reactions including hives and other painful outbreaks. These are neutralized when heated into tea or when the plant is dried. The tea can be consumed hot or cold or used as a topical soak for painful joints.

Cayenne pepper

Found in most spice cupboards and known for its spicy-hot taste, cayenne makes an excellent topical ointment that relieves joint pain. Capsaicin, the active ingredient in cayenne pepper, tricks the brain by causing local irritation to skin where signals then travel along nerve pathways, distracting the brain from the true source of pain. In time, repeated topical applications of cayenne pepper will reduce arthritis pain significantly. To make topical homemade remedies, mix 2 tablespoons of cayenne pepper with 1/2 cup of cocoa butter, lanolin or coconut oil. Apply it directly to the sore joint. Alternatively, mix 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper with 1 cup of apple cider vinegar and add to a foot bath with warm water. Soak hands or feet for 20 minutes, then rinse. Cayenne pepper can cause skin irritation.  (I have not tried this, so go forward at your own risk.)

Pectin Grape Juice

Homemade remedies made from fruit pectin and grape juice can relieve joint pain, and reduce swelling and stiffness. Pectin is found in the cells of many plants and acts as a thickener in preparations such as jellies. Grape juice is loaded with antioxidants, among them, anthocyanins, noted for its effect on reducing inflammation. Pectin regulates the flow of fluids in plant cells and is believed to act to relieve fluid buildup in the joints of arthritis sufferers. The best pectin is found at the health food stores and is free of MSG and other additives. Mix 1/2 cup of juice with 2 tablespoons pectin. Add water if needed and drink twice daily for 6 weeks. Reduce the frequency as symptoms disappear.

Sources for this article include:

DermNetNZ: Capsaicin
http://dermnetnz.org/treatments/capsaicin.html

Holistic Online: Tumeric
http://www.holisticonline.com

Science Daily: Turmeric Prevents Experimental Rheumatoid Arthritis, Bone Loss
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061030071152.htm

MotherNature.com: Arthritis and Alternative Medicine
http://www.mothernature.com/Library/bookshelf/Books/42/1.cfm

Joint-Pain.com: Natural Arthritis Treatments
http://www.joint-pain.com/natural-arthritis-treatments.html

The People’s Pharmacy: Pectin for Arthritis Pain

Be Well, Do Well and Keep Moving

Betsy

Betsy Bell’s Health4U

206 933 1889

www.HiHoHealth dot com

www.TiredNoMore dot com

 

 

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Go ahead and dig in the garden

Dear Gentle Reader,

With the strains of Vivaldi’s 4 Seasons setting the tone, spring has finally come to Seattle. While so many of you are enjoying unseasonably warm weather, we have seen snow flurries, much rain and the thermometer has not climbed into the upper 50’s. Until the last couple of days.  The parking lots at the nurseries were full this weekend.  I came home with 11 bags of top soil and 6 roses.  Getting these in the ground usually means an aching body.  My friend, after a day of digging, complained that she couldn’t bend down to tie her shoes.  What’s a person to do who nurses osteoarthritis and spinal stenosis?

Here are some suggestions:

On your hands and knees.  Perhaps you, like me, are most comfortable crawling around on your hands and knees.  My friend, catching sight of my knee pads hanging from the wall, asked what sort of art object that was.  Those are my knee pads.  I have them hung right by the back door so I grab them when I head outside to do a gardening chore, however small or brief. If they are hidden away in some garden shed, you won’t put them on.  You’ll be in the garden and you’ll bend over to pull a weed and there goes the back.

A garden stool  I love my garden stool made of sturdy plastic. Upright I can sit on it to work in the barrels and containers, harvest pool beans and fava beans.  Inverted, I can kneel on it and use the legs as handles to lift me up.

Stretching i didn’t mention this first because I stretch everyday first thing in the morning, first on the Back2Life machine and then a few Feldenkrais hip opener moves followed by yoga down dog, runner’s lunge and plank.  Then while the oatmeal cooks, the seated routine with Jennifer Kreis. I blogged about Jennifer’s seating wake up exercises last Feb. 12, Yoga and Arthritis. I just checked her website: The DVD I love so much is now part of a set of 4 and they are currently discounted to $29.95.

Time limit  Don’t over do it.  The minute I sense a strain, I stop.  Manana es otro dia.  Tomorrow is another day.

I found this delightful forum on gardening which I’d like to share with you.  Enjoy the comments of these women as they share how they keep their bodies moving. http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/accessible/msg091943101715.html  Together we will achieve more, and more comfortably.

Thanks for reading, and please send your suggestions so we can learn from your techniques.

Be well, Do Well and Keep Moving,

Betsy

Betsy Bell’s Health4U

206 933 1889

www.HiHohealth.com

I enthusiastically forster a person’s business development in the health and wellness field.

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It comes down to what we eat

Gentle Reader,

A friend sent me a TED talk by Dr.Terry Wahls  on MS this past week.  In the 5 minute screening she recounts her productive life as a research scientist up to the debilitating onset of MS.  Seeking the best care medical professionals had to offer, her condition worsened.  Driven by her inquiring mind to know as much as she could about her disease, she began to experiment with different foods and supplements.  As her condition improved, she increased her dependence on whole plant foods, greens, reds, yellows, blues, purples and lessened or stopped eating altogether all refined foods, meats, dairy, sugars, grains.  Exercise became possible.  Brain function and mobility returned to better than normal.  All drug intake stopped.  Take a minute to watch. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLjgBLwH3Wc

Arthritis caused by spinal stenosis and osteoarthritis is not Multiple Sclerosis.  I realize this. I would challenge anyone suffering from the pain and loss of mobility caused by arthritis to eat the diet Dr. Wahls describes and discover how much this pain lessens and mobility increases.  Every other system in the body improves with this diet.

Now, most people will not be able to eat this way day in and day out.  I don’t. For instance, yesterday I ate 1 meal on the run, getting off for choir practice with a protein shake in my car.  The next two meals I ate in the company of church members, lunch with a homeless community meal; dinner with the group of people I traveled with to Nicaragua in February.  My defense is supplementation.  The Carotanoids, Flavonoids, the Liver Cleanse, the pre and pro biotic do their best to take the place of the diet Dr. Wahls recommends.  When I am home, like today, I will eat this way.

You may have decided this blog is becoming too much of a harangue about diet and lose interest in following my Monday posts.  Before you go, just think outside the box, if you will, and consider the value to your health of a diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, natural oils and proteins from plant sources.  Think of the future you dream of with your children and grandchildren, of travel and gardening, of skiing and hiking, of knitting and sewing without pain well into your 80’s and even your 90’s.  What is the price you are willing to pay for a pain free future?  We pay for our health sooner or later.  A wholesome diet and supplementation put the money up front and could lessen the cost of healthcare in our later years.  Think about it.

I am too harsh and unforgiving.  I love you just the way you are and would gladly listen to your stories about ways you have found to alleviate your arthritis pain.  If you do experiment with the Dr. Wahls diet, let me know how it goes.  If you want to fill in the gaps with “foodlet” supplements that are guaranteed to make you feel better or your money back, let me know that, too.

Be well, Do Well and Keep Moving.

Betsy

BetsyBell’s Health4U

206 933-1889

Seattle, WA 98116

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But I have to have an operation!

Gentle Reader,

I was talking with a guy last night who had to have an operation for his hip.  The osteoarthritis had become so advanced into the hip joint that various movements were impeded.  A long time supplement user, he fortified himself with various supplements in order to tolerate the operation well and heal quickly.  He is a little disappointed with how long it has taken to get back to a range of motion he hoped for.  He is apprehensive about the operation waiting for his other hip.

As a wellness advisor, I have counseled many people about steps they might take to prepare for surgery, all kinds of surgery, whether for cancer or for arthritis and bone issues.  I thought I would share with you the document I have developed over the years.  Please add your own thoughts if you have had surgery and found alternative supplementation and actions that have helped with healing.

Before Surgery:

Soy protein 2 x daily  (if taking chemo, increase to 3-4 x daily)

Vita-Lea 3-4/daily  (Shaklee’s multivitamin-mineral supplement)

Fiber Tablets or Mix:  Soluble fiber (bloodstream), insoluble fiber (gut)

Herb Lax:  Cleanses gut, blood

Vita. C Sustained Release w/bioflavinoids:  anti-inflammatory, new cells grow faster, immune system support, helps w/pain.  Take a minimum of 3-4 of 500 mg./da – up to 10,000 mg.  (gradually decrease since body has to adjust to excreting excess)

B-Complex:  aids in good digestion.  Depleted by stress.  Take 8/da – space out

Zinc:  Helps w/pain, healing, no more than 50-60 mg./day except when there is trauma like a cut or incision (up to 120 mg./da until healed).  Body can’t make new cells w/o zinc, protein, & C.

Immunity Formula I:  2-8/da (A proprietary Shaklee supplement to enhance the immune response.)

Carotomax:  Cleanses cells, reduces inflammation (swelling), makes mucous membranes healthy.  Especially helpful if using breathing machine.

Vitamin E:  Oxygenates cells, gets rid of toxins of anesthesia.

DO NOT take GLA, E, OmegaGuard (fish oil), Garlic or lecithin before surgery. Stop 1 week prior.

Alfalfa (vitamin K):  10-20/da to reduce bleeding during & after surgery.

Garlic:  Helps flora, antibacterial agent. Not before surgery as is a blood thinner.

NutriFeron:  Take 4 for 2 weeks. (A proprietary herbal blend that stimulates interferon production.)

OsteoMatrix:  Coats nerve endings, helps repair them quicker, helps you relax so you can sleep deeper (can take w/Gentle Sleep Complex). (This is Shaklee’s calcium product.)

Iron:  Need blood test to know if needed. (Shaklee’s comes with vitamin c to help absorption.)

After Surgery:

Performance:  Dilute more than usual, make ice chips out of it, & start taking slowly as soon as feel like it. (Shaklee’s rehydrating drink, perfectly balanced for absorption.)

Protein:  Take as soon as can drink but don’t feel nauseated.  Alternate with Physique. (Physique is Shaklee after workout maximize, excellent for healing sore muscles.)

Liver DTX: 2 at night (Shaklee’s detox milk thistle product to help restore normalcy after the medications of surgery.)

Stomach Soothing complex:  Helps calm digestive system if feeling queezy.  Made with peppermint and ginger, can be taken as a tablet or dissolved into hot water for tea.

Vita-Cal:  Helps reduce gas bubbles. (A chewable Shaklee calcium product)

Fiber:  Start w/very small amounts to start cleansing.  A Fiber Blend tablet or ¼ tsp. Fiber Blend.

Vitamin E 400+:  4-6/da.  Prevents blood clots, oxygenates.  Start slowly if high blood pressure is an issue.

Lecithin:  Helps build sheath around nerve endings which helps reduce pain. 6 daily

GLA:  Up to 6/da, anti-inflammatory. (Shaklee makes their GLA from borage oil for best absorption and least contamination)

Omega Guard (fish oil):  If you digest it well.

Alfalfa:  Diuretic, liver cleanser, reduces swelling, helps kidneys, etc. start working again. 20 daily

Herb-Lax:  Start slowly. Very helpful after surgery as elimination slows down so much from the anesthetic.  Take to the hospital.  From personal experience, this is super important.

Purified Water:  very important

B-Complex:  Promotes healing, increases energy level.

Ginseng:  Helps energy & supports adrenal glands.  (Shaklee’s CorEnergy)

Dandelion leaf:  Swelling & inflammation. (Not a Shaklee product)

Optiflora pills and powder is strongly recommended to rebuild the flora. 1 serving daily of this pre and pro biotic made by Shaklee

This is a tall order when you may not be used to taking so much stuff.

The minimum pre-op is Energizing Soy Protein,  Vita C, Optiflora, Vita lea Gold and Alfalfa

Post op:  Physique, Vita C, Vita E, Optiflora, Vita Lea Gold, Alfalfa, Herb lax, Lecithin.

I have gleaned this information primarily from Carol Dalton, a nurse practitioner in Colorado who, during her long practice, has found the Shaklee supplements to work best for her patients.  People who have followed this protocol have had remarkable healing and suffered the least from the trauma of surgery.

Be Well, Do Well and Keep Moving,

Betsy

BetsyBell’s Health4u

206 933 1889

www.HiHoHealth dot com

 

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