Tag Archives: joint pain

Water and joint pain

Gentle Reader,

Does Drinking More Water Help With Joint Pain?

 

Senior man drinking a glass of water
Senior man drinking a glass of water

Photo Credit Digital Vision/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Gentle Reader,

I was a guest at a Merrill Gardens in West Seattle, giving a talk about graceful aging.  I asked the staff, “What is your most frequent reason for calling 911?” I assumed it was because a resident fell and the staff needed help getting the person up from the floor.  No.  The most frequent call was in conjunction with a fainting, sinking to ground of an elderly resident.  The first thing the paramedics asked, “When was the last time you had a drink of water?”

Dehydration is common in older adults.  Probably because drinking a lot sends you to the bathroom.  If you hurt from arthritis, you don’t want to move. So you don’t drink water.  The resistance to drinking water is a spiral downward toward poorer and poorer health.

To quote Valerie: The amount of water you drink in a day can affect your joint health. There are many reasons why your joints might hurt. You could have arthritis, chronic dehydration, gout or the flu. Increasing your water intake may not cure your joint pain completely, but it can help your body handle the underlying issues that are causing you pain.

Function

Your joints are like hinges where two bones come together. Ligaments connect bones to each other and a coating of cartilage covers the bone surface to keep the two bones from rubbing directly against each other. A special liquid called synovial fluid fills the space between bones and provides food to the joint and cartilage. A healthy, well-nourished joint is able to move without pain, but sometimes chronic stress, an injury or a buildup of acidic crystals in the joints can cause pain.

Hydration

Staying properly hydrated throughout the day gives your body several advantages. Water helps you maintain an adequate blood volume so that nutrients can move through your blood and into your joints. If you think of your joints like a sponge, imagine how much more easily two wet sponges can move against one another than two dry, hard sponges. Water also allows waste products to move out of the joints. In addition to taking doctor-prescribed medication, people who suffer from gout pain should drink at least six to eight glasses of water every day.

Dehydration

The Missouri Department of Health and Human Services explains that chronic dehydration can lead to thirst, constipation, frequent joint pain, stomach pain, low energy and confusion. Unfortunately, your body’s ability to sense thirst might lag behind its need for water. The best way to prevent dehydration is to make a conscious effort to stay hydrated throughout the day. Drink plenty of water before any exercise, so that your body has some reserve fluid it can use for cooling.

Quoted from Jennifer Davis, in http://www.arthritistoday.org/news/drink-water-gout-attack008.php  The more you drink, the less you hurt.

It has been thought that dehydration is a possible trigger for gout attacks, so researchers at the Boston University School of Medicine wanted to determine if drinking water could reduce their likelihood.

“Dehydration can increase the concentration of serum uric acid in the blood. It can also affect the kidney’s ability to clear uric acid and can make uric acid more likely to form crystals. In combination, these factors can lead to an increased risk for a gout attack. Water can reverse the effects of dehydration,” says lead author Tuhina Neogi, MD, PhD.

For this Internet-based study, researchers recruited 535 people with gout who had experienced a gout attack within one year of the study. Seventy-eight percent were men, their average age was 53 and their gout diagnosis was confirmed through medical records. Participants were asked to provide information about how much water they consumed in the 24 hours before each gout attack and during times when they did not have a gout attack. Participants could respond with zero to one glasses per 24-hour period, two to four, five to eight or more than eight.

The results showed that with each glass of water consumed in the 24 hours before an attack, the risk for recurrent gout attacks decreased, even when accounting for other fluid intake.

“For example, those drinking five to eight glasses of water had a 40 percent reduced risk of gout attack compared with those who drank only one glass of water or less in the prior 24 hours,” Dr. Neogi explains.

Dr. Neogi says he can’t make specific recommendations about the amount of water people should drink because it depends on their underlying medical conditions and physical activity levels. He says patients should talk to their doctor if they have any questions on that front.

The study was presented at the 2009 annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology in Philadelphia.

John Sundy, MD, PhD, a rheumatologist and associate professor of medicine at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., questions the reliability of the information in this study because it is based solely on patient’s recall. “If you are asking people to recall dietary intake any more than 12 hours after the fact, it is notoriously inaccurate,” he explains.

But he says the results are still intriguing because they provide scientific proof to existing anecdotal evidence. “I think it’s probably one of the first efforts to try to actually gather data to test this hypothesis or this notion that dehydration is important. The dehydration issue had been driven a lot by doctor-patient experience but there are limited examples,” Dr. Sundy says. “I think what it is, is an effort to provide new confirmation to an old idea.”

Dr. Sundy says there are plenty of other benefits to staying hydrated, so he doesn’t think it would hurt most patients to drink water regularly. “It’s one more tool in the tool chest that might be helpful,” he says. “This might be a reasonable thing to try.”

But he cautions there are some people who have to be careful with their fluid intake. That includes people with poor heart function or poor fluid handling by kidneys not able to eliminate a water burden.

Dr. Neogi says he and his research team are continuing to study potential triggers for gout attacks, including other liquids. They don’t think all liquids will have a beneficial effect on reducing the risk for recurrent gout attacks because some, including caffeinated and alcoholic beverages, may have potentially detrimental effects on serum uric acid and volume status.

Anyone who is active, i.e. walking vigorously, hiking, playing tennis or other sports and experiences arthritis pain in their joints may want to consider more than just water for hydration.  Water alone may not give you the support you need if you are sweating during your exercise.  Hydrating with electrolytes can increase the benefit of water, but only if the sugar/mineral balance is effortless to absorb, requiring no rebalancing in the body.  Most of the electrolyte drinks on the market do not have optimal absorption rates.

Most sports drinks on the market are what sports scientists call isotonic, which means they contain a carbohydrate solution that is at 6-8% concentration. These drinks are in the middle of the spectrum in terms of absorption rate, with water being the most readily absorbed (hypotonic) and something like fruit juice, being greater than 8% sugar concentration (hypertonic) being the least absorbable.  Because the sugar concentration of most sports drinks is higher than that of most body fluid they are not readily absorbed into the blood stream and are thus not optimal for hydration.  Thanks to Runner’s Connect for this.

The Shaklee company made the most bio-available hydrating drink ever (big sweeping statement, I know) in Performance.  A team of engineers at MIT built a human powered flying machine from Leonardo da Vinci’s model to reenact the Greek Daedalus myth.  The MIT Aeronautics and Astronautics Department’s Daedalus was a human-powered aircraft that, on 23 April 1988, flew a distance of 71.5 mi (115.11 km) in 3 hours, 54 minutes, from Iraklion on the island of Crete to the island of Santorini. The flight holds official FAI world records for total distance, straight-line distance, and duration for human-powered aircraft.

testing the Daedalus before the flight
testing the Daedalus before the flight

This light plane was powered by a bicycle-riding person able to keep peddling for the equivalent of three marathons, without stopping.  The team sampled all the available supplemental drinks to find one that would do the job.  In the end, they came to Shaklee’s science team and asked them to develop a drink that would keep the cyclist in the air while peddling across the Aegean Sea.  The article published in the American Scientist, July-August 1988 can be read here.

Personally, I drink Performance every time I go hiking, mixing some powder in my water.  It gives me that added stamina toward the end of the trail.  No bonking, please.  Use Shaklee Performance.  It is helpful during any exercise, including a vigorous day of gardening.  Try it.

Be well, Do well and Keep Moving.

Betsy

I welcome your comments.

www.HiHohealth.com  for shopping

 

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Anti-aging

Gentle Reader,

So much determines well-being:  good friends, love and happiness, nourishing food, a sense of spiritual fulfillment, a personal sense of purpose and meaning, deep restorative rest are at the top of the list.  When these ingredients are present over a person’s life, they seem to have an anti-aging effect.  Scientists and explorers have searched the world over for ways to slow down aging.  The story behind Shaklee’s Anti-aging product, Vivix, is one story of this search.

Anti-aging tonic

The Vivix Story

My thanks to Dr. Steven Chaney for this story.


In 2006, Harvard scientist Dr. David Sinclair published research in the highly respected journal Nature that shocked the scientific world. His published research findings showed that a simple molecule found in red wine could switch on our anti-aging gene (Sirt 1) and slow the aging process — on purpose.

This does not mean, of course, that we can live forever. But it does mean that science now has an answer for how we age, and what we can do to slow it down.

Of course, researchers had long understood that severe calorie restriction could slow the aging process, but there was little hope that we could find a way to get the same result without subjecting ourselves to a starvation diet.

You may have seen Dr. Sinclair on 60 Minutes, 20/20 with Barbara Walters, or on PBS with Charlie Rose. You may have learned about this remarkable breakthrough in leading magazines and major newspapers from around the world. It’s big news.

Here’s the story…

To put this discovery into context, let’s turn the clock back to 1991.

Famed French alcohol researcher, Dr. Serge Renault, in a segment on 60 Minutes, (The French Paradox) reported that people in France (on a diet loaded with sugars, fats, creams, and more creams) had 42% less heart disease, and live longer than we do in the U.S.

How could that be?

It’s no secret—the French drink lots and lots of red wine, and Dr. Renault had come to believe that something in red wine fights the negative effect of fatty foods… but he wasn’t sure. Some theorized it was the alcohol. Others were sure it was the antioxidant power of red wine. They were all partially right—but they were missing the most miraculous molecule of all.

Good News Travels Slowly

Years have gone by but we now have irrefutable scientific proof that a simple molecule found in red wine has almost magical healing and anti-aging powers.

When Dr. Sinclair published his research, FORTUNE called it, “Perhaps the greatest discovery since antibiotics.” He had successfully isolated the gene that slows aging… Sirtuin.

The Breakthrough

Dr. Sinclair and his team at Harvard Medical School, tested more than 20,000 natural molecules one by one before he accidentally discovered what he calls the closet thing to a miracle molecule you can find. To his dismay, the molecule that switches on the longevity gene is called resveratrol.

Using resveratrol, Dr. Sinclair found that he could extend the life of yeastat will. This amazing news drew only mild applause from research scientist. After all, this was yeast.

Moving up to higher life-forms, he fed resveratrol to fruit flies. Bingo! It worked again. The applause grew louder and the research more intense.

Other scientists working to prove Dr. Sinclair’s findings has the same success with fish. Extending their life 70%.

Scientists are a tough lot to impress. Even with all this success, they wouldn’t get too worked up unless he succeeded in extending the life of mice.

That’s because mice have essentially the same gene that you and I have. As Dr. Sinclair explained to Charlie Rose—”We are essentially upright mice.”

Finally, the mice studies begin

And in what can only be described as a modern day miracle— mice on a high fat diet plus resveratrol—not only lived up to 30% longer—they turned into mini-olympians.

They never gained weight, and they doubled endurance. They could run twice as far as mice that were not given resveratrol—and here’s the best part… not one of them developed any of the diseases of aging. No heart disease, no cancer, no diabetes, and no strokes.

Resveratrol—the gold rush begins…

Dr. Sinclair had become the first person in history to successfully extend life on purpose. He was instantly, in scientific circles at least, an international celebrity.

His published research proving the merits of resveratrol in life extension has triggered an avalanche of scientific study around the world.

Billions of dollars are being invest by in private labs, universities, and public health agencies like the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute on Aging, and the United States Department of Agriculture.

It’s safe to say that resveratrol and related polyphenols have become the most widely researched natural molecules in the history of man.

Resveratrol is being shown to have a positive impact on a surprisingly large number of health issues that affect how long and how well we live. But don’t take my word for it…

See the proof for yourself. To discover the miraculous life-saving secrets of resveratrol with just the click of a mouse, (pardon the pun) go to the U.S. Government web site, PubMed.

There you will find at least 2,636 scientific papers referencing resveratrol from the greatest scientific minds of our time.

The Payoff

Because resveratrol has been proven in labs around the world to slow aging—it is a marketers dream. Within weeks after Dr. Sinclair appeared on 20/20, you could find literally hundreds of me-too resveratrol products in health food stores, and on the internet.

If you’re taking any of these products, you may be wasting your money. Even worse, the anti-aging benefits you were hoping for may not be there. Why?

Because research shows these products contain little if any resveratrol, and many even contained sis-resveratrol—a lesser form of resveratrol proven to have no health benefit at all. In other words, most are little more than marketing scams.

Who can you trust?

Shaklee Corporation has been America’s number one natural nutrition company and a true champion of pure, natural supplements for over half a century.

If it was possible to create a natural resveratrol supplement capable of getting the results Dr. Sinclair was having in his lab—Shaklee was the one company that could pull it off.

Chief scientist, Dr. Carsten Smidt took a close look at Dr. Sinclair’s research. He and his team took a look at all of the leading, so-called resveratrol products on the market and decided—you deserve better.

With the green light and a blank check from our CEO, Roger Barnett, Dr. Smidt assembled a team of more than 30 brilliant scientists with the singular goal of bringing to market, the most potent anti-aging product ever created.

Shaklee science advances Dr. Sinclair’s research

In the early stages, Dr. Smidt and his team worked with Dr. Sinclair’s team from Harvard. As the research moved forward, Dr. Smidt became convinced they could actually advance Dr. Sinclair’s science and create a product even more powerful than resveratrol.

After more almost three years of research—millions invested—and collaboration with the University of Georgia—Shaklee science has even succeeded in creating the first ever totally natural tonic that works at the cellular level to block the mechanisms of aging. It’s called Vivix Cellular Anti-aging Tonic.

 My own interest in Vivix concerns the arthritis in my joints.  It seems to be helping slow down the advancement of arthritis symptoms and may even have contributed to the reversal of some spinal stenosis.  My hope for you is that this information makes enough sense to you to inspire you to give Vivix a try for 3 to 6 months.  Perhaps you will have similar results.

Be well, Do well and Keep Moving,

Betsy

To follow my hike in England along Lady Anne’s Way, tune in to www.EmpoweredGrandma.net

 

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resveratrol for joints

Gentle Reader,

There is so much I could share about this past weekend at my alma mater, Bryn Mawr College, just outside Philadelphia on the MainLine.  In keeping with the goal of this blog, I will single out arthritic joint issues and focus on possible remedies for joint pain.

Twenty-nine of my classmates came to celebrate our 55th reunion.  Everyone looked great:  not too many wrinkles, lovely hair, sparkling eyes.  But when it came time to walk up a few stairs, joints fail and pain ensues.  The cart is called to drive people where they need to go.  I’m wondering if the anti-aging product I’ve been taking for ten years has helped my joints so the same is not true for me.

Have you heard about Resveratrol?  It is the anti-oxidant found in red wine.  Shaklee started working on producing a pure tonic that combines the resveratrol and polyphenols found in the muscadine grade about ten years ago.  I have been taking my daily dose of this delicious liquid called Vivix since they made it available for sale.

There is no question that my body, like my class mates, suffers from the aging deterioration of cells that is normal for a 77 year old.  It appears we do not all age in the same way or at the same rate.  I have had severe osteo arthritis and spinal stenosis for years, probably brought about by factors such as stress, poor diet, and environmental toxins. I’ve worked hard on the diet part, but you cannot always eat perfectly, now can you.  These factors can weaken cells’ natural defenses, lower cell energy, damage DNA, and decrease cell performance. All of these can contribute to cellular aging.

Clinical Studies show Vivix® ingredients positively impact four key mechanisms of aging at the cellular level.

Shaklee scientists conducted a study to see if Vivix could defend against cell damage.

Cell Defense

 

Blunts Biological Stress
A clinical study published in The Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism showed that key ingredients in Vivix blocked a key marker of biological stress response after the consumption of a high-fat fast food breakfast totaling 930 calories.

The results were exciting, while the study had nothing to do with joints, it showed that Vivix protected cells from damage.  My joints were damaged long before Vivix came along.  Perhaps protection is less important than repair.  Let’s see what happened with repair.

 Cell Repair

DNA Protection & Repair
Laboratory studies show that key Vivix ingredients help protect against DNA damage, supporting DNA replication for healthy cell function.

Shown in laboratory studies, Vivix protects and repairs DNA, which is assaulted millions of times every day. These assaults can damage the cell’s DNA, creating a “typo” that may compromise cell function and longevity.

A recent visit with my sports medicine doctor revealed a smaller than average spinal passageway for the cord to pass through.  Like my father before me, my spinal cord has little wiggle room.  That is the result of inherited DNA.  The data suggest that DNA can be repaired by resveratrol.  I am convinced that my joint health has improved instead of worsened over the last ten years.  The recent MRI indicated improvement.

Could it be that resveratrol reduces joint pain?  This is certainly my experience.

To learn more about Vivix and the ingredients, studies and results, click here.

Vivix is expensive.  It may be worth it if you want to slow down aging at the cellular level.  It certainly seems to help with joint pain and there are only side benefits from drinking a swig from the bottle every day.   I would give the body 90 to 180 days before deciding Vivix has made no difference in your joint function.  It is possible you will feel a positive difference much sooner.  Your blood is all new in 90 days and the joints, because of lower blood flow, will take double that to show results.

There are other resveratrol products on the market, but none have the muscadine grape’s extra anti-oxidants which seems to enhance the punch provided by resveratrol.  In addition, purity of product makes a difference and Shaklee scientists have been able to produce a 95% pure tonic.  Less purity may result in loose bowels.  Get some and see what your results are.

Good luck and keep moving, as moving is always the best single antidote to painful joints.

Be well, Do well and Keep moving,

Betsy

206 406 5940

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arthritic hands

Gentle Reader,

Several friends have complained about arthritis in the hands.  There are some things you can do to reduce the pain, increase mobility and slow the process down.

Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that is caused by breakdown of cartilage, with eventual loss of the cartilage of the joints. Cartilage is a protein substance that serves as a “cushion” between the bones of the joints. When the cartilage deteriorates (degenerates), the bone next to it becomes inflamed and can be stimulated to produce new bone in the form of a local bony protrusion, called a “spur.”

Osteoarthritis is also known as degenerative arthritis because of the degeneration of the cartilage that causes it. Among the over 100 different types of arthritis conditions, osteoarthritis is the most common and affects over 20 million people in the United States alone. Osteoarthritis occurs more frequently as we age. Before age 45, osteoarthritis occurs more frequently in men. After age 55 years, it affects women more frequently. Osteoarthritis causes no symptoms in many patients. Symptoms of osteoarthritis include local pain, stiffness, tenderness, and occasionally swelling in the affected joints. Dr. William Shiel, Jr. MedicineNet.com.

joint with osteoarthritis
joint with osteoarthritis

Picture a ball and socket joint. Between the two bones is the synovial membrane. A layer of cartilage at the end of each bone is the shock-absorbing cushion between the two bones.

Arthritis occurs first in any joint that has been previously injured. Also occurs with wear and tear on joints with age. Carrying extra weight deteriorates joints more rapidly.

Bone spurs extend from bone into soft tissue and damage the synovial membrane.

Bone spurs and kidney stones result from improper calcium metabolism. If you don’t have enough calcium intake to maintain calcium blood level, calcium must be pulled out of storage from the bones.  Calcium ready to be excreted by the kidneys goes back into the blood. This free unbound calcium goes to areas of highest activity and settles in the fingers, wrists, spine, hips, and neck. This is the cause of arthritis in the hands.  It is necessary to take enough calcium every day to prevent spurs and kidney stones.  I recommend OsteoMatrix by Shaklee because of the extensive research to prove that the nutrients in this supplement actually break down and get to the blood and bone.  Many calcium supplements contain binders that prevent break down into usable nutrients.  Check your brand for clinical studies.

Wear and tear of joints leads to improper cushioning, to bone rubbing against bone, to inflammation (swollen and stiff). If you lose all the synovial membrane and most of the cartilage, your joint must be replaced. If you take action soon enough, you can rebuild cartilage, stimulate, and rebuild the synovial membrane.

(This information comes from Diane Petoskey, a renowned nutritionist who lectures widely in North America.  I have heard her speak at all day seminars on health several topics and have listened to all of her health audio tapes.  Her recommendations work most of the time with most people.  They are worth a try.  The side benefits from the supplements are many.  Going the medication route tends to damage the body over the long haul as there are so many negative side effects.   Buying supplements costs more because insurance doesn’t pay for them.  However, the gain in good health is considerable.  I personally had arthritis at a young age, in my late teens and 20’s and took lots of Aspirin, Motrin and other pain killers.  When I started in with Shaklee at age 48, I used the basic supplements and 15 – 20 alfalfa tablets a day and stopped all medications for arthritis.  In recent years, the Shaklee scientists have continued to do research on the pain receptors and on joints and have developed other arthritis relief products, including a soothing Pain Cream.  Please try the packet on sore joints to see how they feel.  Let me know what questions you have.  I am now 76 and ski, hike, walk, do stairs, dance and generally move comfortably through most yoga positions and doing chores in my garden and two-story house.  I take no pain medications other than the Shaklee products.  My neurologist has done MRI’s of my back over the years and repeatedly says the pictures would suggest I needed a wheel chair and yet I am extremely active.)

Nutrients good for joints: minerals are very important

OsteoMatrix 1500-2000 mg/day

Magnesium (Vita mag) 750-2000 mg/day (cal-mag ratio = 2:1)
Alfalfa: provides trace minerals. When the body is too acidic, it damages the synovium. Alfalfa is alkaline. Take 24-30/day (the tablets are small) Alfalfa also reduces inflammation. You may need to go up to 60/day for a couple of weeks to reduce pain and swelling. Note: meat eaters have high levels of uric acid in the blood which damages the synovium.

MSM: in capsules. For inflammation of joints. Take 6000 mg/day
Zinc: at least 45 mg/day

Garlic: for inflammation and joint problems. Garlic kills viruses, yeast, parasites, bacteria, it is anti-inflammatory, also regulates B/P. take 3-9/day

Vita C: stimulates production of collagen (cement that holds cells together). Helps to rebuild joints, also good for inflammation. Take 3,000-5,000 mg/day

Omega guard (Essential Omega 3 Complex) essential fatty acids. Take 9/day

GLA: take 6/day

Lecithin: take 9-12/day

CarotoMax: take 3/day

B-Complex: take 6 a day

Vita Lea: take 2 a day

Joint Health Complex: stimulates production of cartilage. Minimum of 6/day. May have to use 9. It will take months to rebuild your joints, then you can reduce nutrients to maintain your joints.

Exercise: don’t over stimulate the joints. If you have arthritis, first decrease inflammation, then exercise. Arthritics definitely improve with exercise because circulation of blood increases and more nutrients go into the joints. Start with water aerobics.  Here are some exercises for arthritic hands. ra_exercises_s11_stretch_fingers ra_exercises_s12_wrist_flexion ra_exercises_s13_elbow_stretch ra-exercises-s1-photo-of-trainer-flexing-arms

You may balk at consuming so many supplements.  I can tell you from personal experience that I have been able to maintain healthy joints by taking slightly fewer. Diane Petoskey’s recommendations seemed extreme to me.  However, many people have followed her advice to the letter and experienced major improvement.  If you want dramatic results, you have to take dramatic measures.  You might take the plunge and try this approach wholeheartedly for 3 months.  Your blood is completely new in ninety days, so a three month trial will tell you if this approach is effective.  Medicine is cheaper, but does not build healthy cells for the future.

I’d love to read your comments.

Be well, Do well and Keep Moving,

Betsy

206 933 1889

Betsy Bell’s Health 4u

4455 51st Ave. SW

Seattle, WA 98116

1-800-643-2486

http://www.HiHoHealth.com

Betsy@HiHoHealth.com

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Arthritis or Tendonitis?

Gentle Reader,

Tendonitis or arthritis?  Which is it?  My oldest daughter (52) was feeling sprightly one morning in Ecstatic Dance and accepted an invitation to do a cartwheel and round off.  Why not?  She is fit, exercises daily and used to do them easily when she was a gymnast back in high school.  So off she sped across the floor, executing the perfect cartwheel and round off, landing smartly on her heels, arms out in a victory pose.  Immediately she felt the sharp pain in her right buttock but went on dancing.  That was last August.  By December she could not bear weight on that leg, on her sit bone which made walking and sitting painful and challenging.  The diagnosis was a torn hamstring tendon, a rare accident usually confined to linebackers. Most orthopedists see a hand full in a life-long practice.  She found one who, in twenty years, had repaired twelve such injuries.  The operation was successful and she is walking, driving, and sitting comfortably again.  This condition is a torn or ruptured tendon.  Definitely not tendonitis or arthritis of the hip, which she fleeting believed it might be.

Tendonitis, commonly called tennis elbow, swimmer’s shoulder, trigger finger, is an inflammation of the fibrous, cordlike connective tissue that attaches muscle to bone.  Tendons can withstand amazing amounts of force, but they are not indestructible.  Witness my daughter’s round off.  The pain of tendonitis accompanies stiffness and swelling near a joint.  Arthritis presents in the same way.  When you get this pain, stiffness and swelling, you usually take some anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen; apply ice and rest the affected joint.  But this could be a miss-diagnosis.  [information from an article in Johns Hopkins Health Alerts]

Perhaps the inflammation is actually in the sheath around the tendon.  Tendons do not contain many blood vessels, so they are seldom inflamed.  If you are over 50, it is possible your tendons are degenerating.  The collagen that makes up the tendon breaks down, causing multiple microscopic tears.  What little blood circulation there is to the tendon also decreases with age, making the healing of these microscopic tears more difficult.  This degenerative condition is called tendinosis. Can you tell the difference between tendinosis and arthritis?

It is common to develop tendinosis and have no symptoms until some sudden trauma or the gradual build up of repetitive motion in work, sport or exercise.  Perhaps my daughter had tendonosis compromising the tendon’s elasticity.  She would not have known that she was at risk for a major trauma to the hamstring tendon.

Here’s a way to tell if your joint pain, stiffness and swelling is tendon related or bone and joint related:  try taking glucosamine (Joint Health Complex by Shaklee) for two weeks. If it helps, you likely have osteoarthritis.  If not, it is more likely a tendon problem.

Glucosamine has been shown in quite a few scientific studies to help with cartilage formation.  Cartilage is what your joints are made of, and what arthritis attacks, so upping the rate of production of cartilage helps your joints.  You feel better….if you have arthritis.

On the other hand, glucosamine will not help with collagen formation, and tendons are made of collagen.  So it stands to reason that if you feel like you have “joint pain”, take glucosamine, and do not experience any relief, one very likely culprit could be your tendons.  Tendon insertion points are often very close to joints and it can be difficult to tell exactly where the pain is coming from.

Taking NSAIDs (anti-inflammatories) using ice and rest can provide temporary relief for either tendonosis or arthritis, but since both are the result of inflammation, using these treatments will not help you distinguish between the two.  Knowing which one you have is important if you intend to treat the condition yourself.  If you take NSAIDs and they do not help, you probably have degeneration of the tendon.

This information comes from a web site http://www.targettendonitis.com/ by Alex Nordach, who is marketing his ebook (for $29) on how to treat degenerating tendons.  I have not purchased this book so I can’t recommend it.  If you are interested, follow the link and see for yourself.

What I can tell you about natural healing for both joint and tendon caused pain, is the following:

Acupuncture can relieve pain, stiffness and swelling. 

Vitamins C and B Complex, plus Alfalfa help build collagen naturally, reduce inflammation and increase blood flow into the area.  And I do not mean one or two tablets.  3000 mgr. of Sustained Relief C and 6 tablets a day of Shaklee’s B Complex can make a difference.  I could tell you stories of people who have avoided surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome by taking lots of B Complex.  Alfalfa tablets are small pea sized pills and should be eaten by the spoon full, not one by one.  We are talking food.  Can’t swallow that many pills?  Chew them up.  Shaklee’s Alfalfa tablets smell sweet when you open the bottle and taste like new mown hay with no sticks or twigs.

Whether your joint pain is tendonosis or arthritis, these supplements will help.  Since glucosamine is expensive and NSAIDs mess up your stomach, check out the treatments to see what you are dealing with and then proceed with these three supplements. Their side benefits are legion.

In most of my blog posts, I talk about the various causes of arthritis and things you can do to manage arthritis short of medication and surgery.  This blog addresses another cause of joint pain, tendonitis and tendinosis.  I hope this refinement — arthritis or tendonitis–helps you.

If this information is helpful, please let me know.

Be Well, Do Well and Keep Moving,

Betsy

206 933 1889

 

 

 

 

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Yoga for Arthritis

Gentle Reader,
I have a diagnosis of arthritis, osteoarthritis and spinal stenosis. I gave up yoga for arthritis about 6 years ago, as it seemed to exacerbate the pain in my hips and spine. However, when my youngest daughter Ruth raved about her 6 a.m. yoga class and the teacher, I took notice. She convinced me that Laura could instruct me in a way that would build from the core so that I would not hurt myself. Furthermore, Laura and Beattie, her partner, were conducting a yoga retreat at the hot springs retreat center in Oregon called Breitenbush. I have always wanted to go. It would be wonderful to spend a weekend with my daughter. I signed up.

Have you ever enrolled in a program only to have buyer’s remorse? My thoughts raced around my head: I can’t do yoga for arthritis. I’ll hurt myself again. How will I spend my days with no internet or telephone? (That’s right. No connectivity at Breitenbush.) I planned to take a book, attend the first hour and bow out politely.

With the right yoga instructor, yoga for arthritis is not only possible but builds strength, stamina and flexibility. That is an all-important caveat: the right yoga instructor.
I not only lasted the first hour-and-a-half session on Thursday night, but the morning two hours on Friday as well. I took the Friday afternoon session off. By 10 a.m. on Saturday morning, Ruth and I had soaked in the hot springs pools four times. I was ready to try again. Not only was I able to practice with the other 12 participants for two hours on Saturday, but again that afternoon.

And, Ruth and I took a spectacular 4 ½-mile hike through the emerald green forest surrounding the Breitenbush site. Sunday morning’s two-hour session was beautiful. I did not try handstands or back bends, but everything leading up to those poses was restorative and strong.

How do you choose a yoga instructor that will help and not hurt your arthritic joints? If you are serious about including yoga for arthritis management, I recommend you visit studios and sit in on the session labeled hatha yoga, slow-moving emphasis on arriving at the pose from a core-strengthened place. I found of the various yoga practices. If you have arthritis, I would not recommend the fast moving practices. Participate as best you can, stopping short of anything that twists or hurts.

If you are a Type A competitive person used to high achievement goals (that would be me), you need to monitor your progress in a class very carefully so as to not over do. The personal triumph of the weekend retreat at Breitenbush was to opt out of the Friday afternoon class without feeling like a failure. I needed to rest my body in order to benefit from the rest of the weekend.

Open heartedness and acceptance are two attitudes to cultivate as you find a yoga practice for arthritis. Leave your judgments at the door and listen to your body.

I have posted information about Peggy Cappy many times before. She is a Public Television personality and yoga teacher who works with older people. Her videos and especially her CD mediation for healing the arthritic back are part of my daily routine.

The joy of practicing in a room full of other people over the weekend reminded me how much I have missed breathing, moving and meditating with others. I loved the group experience so much, I have been to one of Laura’s and Beattie’s Seattle classes and I plan to incorporate their practice in my week.

Do not settle for less than a careful, hands-on instructor if you want to use yoga for arthritis. It could get you into trouble. I wish you luck in finding a good instructor. Let me know how it goes with yoga if you already incorporate this modality in your arthritis or other health management.
Be well, Do well and Keep Moving
Betsy
BetsyBellsHealth4U
206 933 1889
betsy@hihohealth.com

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Gifts for arthritis

Gentle Reader,

Who do you know who suffers from sore, painful knees, hips, fingers or shoulders?  You love this person who has arthritis and you are going to go shopping to buy them something for Christmas.  Why not combine a cozy lap blanket with an herbal pain reliever and a deep-tissue cream that could bring comfort as well as warmth?

I’m not a shopper so I was stunned Wed. night when a friend and I went to a movie in Seattle’s endless mall area with a big AMC.  We were thinking the parking would be easier.  Whoa! People are out shopping already—in droves and into the night.  In this blog, I’m inviting you to shop.  ‘Tis the season, right?

You might appreciate choosing gifts that bring better health to those you care about.  This is an invitation to shop for health.  Bring meaning to every purchase.

Have you watched Annie Leonard’s Story of Stuff?  Take a minute to watch before piling up a mound and consider the necessity of each purchase and how it got to the store and what the received is going to do with that gift later.

I make an argument for buying a Shaklee product over something else because I believe in the company’s philosophy of living in harmony with nature in every aspect of their corporate life.  In the end, stuff is stuff, and all the great suggestions I have for you about things you can add to a Shaklee product to make a sweet, health enhancing gift still accumulates stuff.  It is tricky being a fierce environmentalist and a sales person of goods I love and buy myself.

So, having suggested you buy nothing this Christmas here goes my suggestions for what to buy for someone who has been complaining of arthritis.  After all, I know you and I are going to buy some stuff anyway.

Joint & Muscle Pain Relief Cream with a microwaveable comfort pillow.

Pain Relief Complex and Physique After Workout Recovery Drink with Peggy Cappy’s DVD “Easy Yoga for the Rest of Us” especially for arthritis.  Add a yoga mat to make this gift special.

Joint Health Complex and Peggy Cappy’s CD meditation for back health.   I listen to this CD nearly every night and I’m convinced her quiet words have helped heal the arthritis in my lower back.  You can add an orthopedic pillow.  This is the one I have used for the last 15 years and I love it.

I have a lo-o-o-ng list of healthy living gifts on my resource page www.GrandmaBetsyBell.com.

If you decide to do any of these suggestions, I’d love to hear about the results.  You can shop for the Shaklee part of the gift at www.GrandmaBetsyBell.com/shop.  Or you can click on the links above.

Have a great Thanksgiving, pain free and full of love.

Be well, Do well and Keep Moving,

Betsy

206 933 1889

Enjoy the list.  I hope you get some great ideas.  Let me know if you have questions.

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Medicinal herbs and herbal supplements and weight loss

Gentle Reader,

Can an arthritis sufferer who is also over weight benefit from Medicinal Herbs & Herbal Supplements?  Perhaps you are one of those people like a friend of mine.  She’s in her late 40s and has been unable to get to her ideal weight for her entire life.  She was a fat baby.  She has eaten the perfect diet:  low carbs, lean protein, plenty of fruits and vegetables and hardly any snack foods that most of us would consider OK for once-in-a-while treats.  She has developed aches and pains, those joint issues that come when a person exercises a lot (trying to get that weight down) and fears arthritis is creeping in.  She already takes medicinal herbs and herbal supplements made by Shaklee which help with pain relief.  I have described the benefit of Pain Relieve Complex in several previous posts.

In desperation, she consulted a physician who suggested the Atkins diet.  For the beginning months she ate nothing but protein and then slowed added carbohydrates in the form of raw vegetables, 25 grams a day, no more.  (One protein source she loves is Shaklee’s Instant Protein Soy Mix, a pure, non-GMO protein source with no carbohydrates at all.)  She began using the medicinal herbs and herbal supplement Glucose Regulation Complex.

Taken in the middle of a meal, the herbs in this Glucose Regulation Complex unlock the doors of the stubborn cells and allow the sugars to enter!  Voila!  And Halleluiah!  At last her body is using the glucose to energize her and the pounds are coming off.

Medicinal herbs and herbal supplements abound on the market today.  How do you decide where to buy them and from whom?  Let me suggest the following bench marks to consider.  If your product does not meet all these requirements, look further, or shop for the Shaklee product.  (If the Shaklee corporation makes the medicinal herb or herbal supplement you are looking for, you are in luck.  If not, ask these questions of the manufacturer before you buy.)

  • Does the company control the source material from which the medicinal herb or herbal supplement is created?
  • If not, does it inspect with a plant chromatography methods?  In other words, does the batch of raw material pass through a thorough inspection of all the properties to determine if there are contaminants, and if the plant material is what it supposed to be?
  • Has the company conducted double blind scientific testing to see if the medicinal herbs and herbal supplements manufactured by the company itself reached the blood stream in the human body and performed as predicted?  Was the study conducted well enough for a peer-review journal to publish the results?
  • Does the company provide a money back guarantee on the medicinal herb or herbal supplement so that if the customer does not get the results they are looking for, they get their money back?

If all these points cannot be answered in the affirmative, I would not recommend buying that medicinal herb or herbal supplement.

OK, then.  Are you one of those people who are ready to try a medicinal herb or herbal supplement to see if you can get your body to accept glucose into the cells?  If so, please take a look at Glucose Regulation Complex.  The active ingredients include

  • Chromium (as chromium polynicotinate)
  • Taurine
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid
  • Banaba Leaf Extract (Lagerstroemia speciosa) Standardized to contain 18% colosolic acid
  • Vanadium (as vanadium amino acid chelate)

Other ingredients include Magnesium (as magnesium oxide) and Zinc (as zinc gluconate)

These ingredients help the sugars you eat get into the cells where they belong.  End of sugar cravings!

With the loss of extra pounds, arthritis pain goes down and maybe even away.  Of course, I can’t predict your individual outcome, but what if Glucose Regulation Complex worked for you the way it has for my friend?  Why not give it a try?

The side benefits of Glucose Regulation Complex include lowering cholesterol.  The scientific information you will want to study is in this pdf.  I have put the document on the resources page of my blog www.grandmabetsybell.com/resources/.

Feel free to pass this post along to friends and family who struggle with weight loss.  This may provide the missing ingredient.

I’d love your comments so others can benefit from your wisdom.

Be well, Do well and keep moving,

Betsy

206 933 1889

 

 

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How important is organic?

Gentle Reader,

A new customer is determined to make changes in her habits so she is supporting better health for the future.  She worries about the high cost of eating organic.  Not every fruit and vegetable is equally laden with pesticides and herbicides.  When you are working toward an organic diet, you can expect your food bill to go up.  You expect that.  But is there a way to move gradually to organic.  

Why bother  going organic?  For the arthritis sufferer, the joints are susceptible to toxins that come into our body in processed and fresh non-organic foods.  The joints have poor blood flow so it is harder to flush these toxins.  If your arthritis is crippling, painful and keeps you from exercising, the build up of toxins in the joints can cause inflammation and be difficult to alleviate.  By all means, keep walking, keep moving those joints if at all possible to get a flow into them which will flush toxins out.

For the rest of us, pesticides are not a good thing.  They create stress on the immune system and could even cause cancer.  The toxic chemicals coming along for the ride on our fresh fruits and vegetables are especially harmful to children whose bodies are small and can not handle the stress.

I share this web site which includes two videos for your consideration.

  • Not all fruits and vegetables are bad for us.
  • The harmful effect is greater on children and adults with compromised health.
  • Stick to foods that can be peeled:  watermelon, cantelope, pinapple, corn, and peel the non-organic apples, potatoes, peaches.
  • Avoid the dirty dozen.   You’ll find them on the web site above where you can down load the infomation and carry it in your purse when you shop.  

Here is more good information for you http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/22/dirty-dozen-foods-list-2013_n_3132788.html

Another way to get past the cost (and check carefully, sometimes the price difference isn’t that great.) is to prepare half an apple for the kids.  Quarter them and that way they will have the great benefit of the organic fruit without the pesticides.  Serve less.  Make the organic item go farther.

Good luck with this change.  You will be amazed at how wonderful the organic produce tastes.  Treat yourself.  Have fruit for dessert and forget the ice cream.  Yummy.

Be well, Do well, and Keep Moving,

Betsy

206 933 1889

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4 ways to get a sore back fuctional

Gentle Reader,

Sore back?  Been traveling, sitting in an airplane for hours?  Did you enjoy a vigorous hiking holiday slogging miles over boulders, roots and bogs for days in a row?  Maybe you had back surgery, successful but still stiff and cranky.  Or perhaps, you joined a new salsa dance class (that would be my recent experience) for the first time and the instructor had you swinging your hips in directions they hadn’t gone in 50 years.

There’s nothing that slows you down more than a sore back, whether it is caused by over-exersion, chronic arthritis, or a sudden move that sets everything zinging.  Here are four tips to get you moving comfortably again.

1. A muscle relaxant for a few days won’t kill you and will give those spasms a chance to quiet down.  There are a lot of over the counter medications to chose from.  My personal favorite is Aleve.  I can usually manage flare ups with frequent doses of Shaklee’s Pain Relief Complex, a herbal COX 2, 5 LOX inhibitor that will not damage your stomach.  99% of the time I can manage a sore back with Pain Relief Complex.  It gives me peace of mind to know I am not hurting my stomach or creating any bad side effects.

2.  To relieve a sore back my friend alternated between hot compresses and ice, getting the blood to move through the low back.  The joints are not easy to flush with blood flow so this is an excellent therapy, especially if you have the leisure to work on the problem.  The hottub is excellent for the heat.  I use mine every night sending the jets on any sore muscles.  In the case of acute sore back, more frequent cold/hot changes will speed the healing along.

3. For immediate relief for a sore back, rub Joint and Muscle Pain Cream or other menthol analgesic into the area.  For years I relied on Arnica Montana or Icy Hot cream, but I have found that the pain-relieving effect seems to penetrate more deeply and last longer.

4.  I use the Back2Life machine daily and when my back is more sore than normal, I will relief the sore back by getting on the floor with my knees over the top of this contraption several times a day.  It’s gentle motion is like a Feldenkrais manipulation.  The small, steady lifting and lowering motion of the Back2Life machine, relaxes and opens up the sacrum, allowing blood to flow into the irritated and inflammed area.  The machine is set to do its work for about 13 minutes which is just about as long as a busy person can stand to be still, lying on the floor.  Past posts about the Back2Life Machine.BAck2Life machine

In addition to these excellent sore back relieveing strategies, I like to put Peggy Cappy‘s soothing voice on before I go to sleep every night.  In fact, her voice usually puts me to sleep.  She takes you through a muscle relaxing meditation for about 20 minutes beginning with the eyes and facial muscles.  By the time she has progressed through the entire body, you are so still and relaxed, you couldn’t move an arm or a leg.  The last part of the CD takes you even deeper and she talks to your “inner mind” about the way sore and damaged joints restore through rebuilding healthy new cells using the nutrients offered by the blood stream.  I am convinced that if I were to get an MRI of my lower back and spine today, the deforming and pain-causing spinal stenosis and osteoarthritis would be less evident, just because of her CD.  Sound to woo-woo for you?  Never mind.  Listen to her relaxing CD anyway for relief from the SORE BACK that has you moaning.  To read a past post about Peggy Cappy, click here.

Probably the most effective strategy of all is moving.  As soon as you can tolerate even a little movement, get up and walk.  It is only by getting blood flow back into the disturbed joint that healing can be accelerated.

I wish you well in your journey to a healthy back, and the end of the sore back experience.

Be well, Do well and Keep Moving,

Betsy

206 933 1889

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