Have you spent any time with my dad lately? Have you noticed any changes? On a recent visit to our house, I noticed several small things about my dad. He is generally more upbeat and positive. He doesn’t seem weighed down by the stresses of life and owning your own business (not that the stress is any less, just that he is staying level-headed). He is patient and present. He is more active and I think that new bike of his is getting a lot of use. Maybe it is my imagination, but I sensed that he truly wants to be healthy, and he is becoming more aware of what he eats. Now it is clear that Bill is on board with taking control of his arthritis. He realizes that the small changes he makes in his diet can make big changes in his overall health.
My dad is more dedicated to this challenge than I ever thought he would be. Each time he tells me he cheated, he then confesses to eating white flour or sugar. There have only been a handful of these times. I am impressed that he is consistently eating two scoops of Mila and hasn’t missed a day yet. I thought he was going to need encouragement and reminders, but it hasn’t been the case. If you are thinking that he must have amazing will power, I can tell you it is not the case. He simply made up his mind to add one small habit into his daily routine and committed to sticking with it. He found a way to eat Mila—2 scoops in a fruit smoothie every morning (that is 6,000 mg of Omega 3s!!). Now he enjoys it and looks forward to the extra boost of sustained energy throughout his day.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic, progressive, inflammatory, multi-system, autoimmune disorder. It commonly affects many joints. Between one and three percent of the population suffers from rheumatoid arthritis and women are three times more likely to get it than men. The usual age of onset is 20-40 years old although it may begin at any age. The symptoms that distinguish rheumatoid arthritis from other forms of arthritis are inflammation and soft-tissue swelling of many joints at the same time (polyarthritis). The joints are usually affected initially on one side, such as a hand and then in a symmetrical fashion as the disease progresses. The pain generally improves with use of the affected joints and there is usually stiffness of all joints in the morning that last over an hour. Other symptoms include fatigue, low- grade fever, weakness, and weight loss.
Typically, rheumatoid arthritis sufferers have been given nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to treat the pain and inflammation. However, high doses of these drugs are associated with side effects such as peptic ulcers, easy bleeding and bruising, ringing in the ears and fluid retention. Many patients do not want those side effects. There is a more natural treatment option. A one-year, placebo-controlled trial conducted at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, focused on 56 patients between the ages of 18 and 90 with active rheumatoid arthritis. They were given 28 grams of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) per day. For six months the patients were randomized to treatment groups; for the following six months all patients were given GLA. GLA is an essential fatty acid found in plant seed oils, such as evening primrose and borage seed oil.
GLA has been found to control acute and chronic inflammation, including arthritis, in several animal studies. For both six- month periods, treatment with GLA significantly reduced rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. Measurements of improvement were based on a physician’s overall assessment of the disease,the patient’s pain assessment, the number of joints with tenderness or pain, the number of swollen joints, duration of morning stiffness and grip strength. The researchers concluded that GLA at doses used in this study is a well- tolerated and effective treatment for active rheumatoid arthritis.
However, GLA is typically taken in doses much lower than what was used in the study. The authors recommend further controlled studies on GLA’s effectiveness in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis suffers should avoid nightshades (tomatoes, white potatoes, peppers, eggplant), milk products, any red meat, fatty (hydrogenated, saturated, fried) foods, sugary foods, citrus, caffeine, alcohol and salt. Fiber is very important and should be included in the daily diet. Eat lots of fresh organic vegetables and fruits, fish (especially wild salmon and halibut), raw organic nuts and seeds and whole grains.
Other natural supplements that can help are:
Alfalfa, B-Complex, Herb Lax, Joint Health Complex, Liver DTX Complex, Omega Guard, Optiflora, Vitamin E, Vita Lea without iron, VitalMag, Vivix, and Zinc.
Your Resident Health Nut,