Dr. Carolyn Chambers Clark, Award-Winning Author and Wellness Nurse Practitioner

Arthritis & Natural Wellness Approaches

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Arthritis and Wellness Approaches

You may already have stiff knees, hips, hands, shoulders or fingers. There are plenty of things you can do to ward off arthritis. This article presents some of the best nutritional self-care and wellness actions you can take.


To Reduce Arthritis Try Changing Your Eating Patterns


*If you want to feel better and enhance your wellness, you may need to lose weight so your joints aren't stressed.


*Eat more fish to reduce pain and stiffness of arthritis.


Herring, sardines, and chunk light tuna are good choices. If you don't like fish, you can buy fish oil capsules at a health food store Adding fish oils to your diet can reduce pain and stiffness, according to studies reported in Epidemiology and the Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology.


*Avoid foods from the nightshade family (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers, paprika, strawberries, mushrooms, cayenne and tobacco) for one month. If you get no relief, reintroduce each one slowly to see if they affect your symptoms. Keep a food/symptom diary, writing down your reaction ½ hour after you eat one of the nightshade family foods. See if you can spot a pattern.


*Eliminate other foods that create pain and stiffness.

If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you may also be sensitive to wheat, corn, milk/dairy products and beef. Use a food-symptom diary to find out and eliminate the foods that create or increase symptoms.


*Get more vitamin B6


A study by Tufts University researchers reported rheumatoid arthritis patient pain, swelling and stiffness correlated with low levels of vitamin B6. Foods that contain this vitamin include sunflower seeds, toasted wheat germ, brown rice, soybeans, white beans, liver, chicken, mackerel, salmon, tuna, bananas, walnuts, peanuts, sweet potatoes and cooked cabbage.


*Eat foods high in copper


A deficiency of copper can exacerbate arthritic symptoms. Foods rich in copper are almonds, avocados, barley, beans, dandelion greens, and lentils.


*Get more pantothenic acid to enhance your wellness


This B-vitamin, can reduce arthritis symptoms. Foods rich in this vitamin include soy flour, sunflower seeds, dark buckwheat, sesame seeds, brewer's yeast, peanuts, lobster, wheat bran, broccoli, mushrooms, eggs, oysters, sweet potatoes, and cauliflower.


*Avoid Aspartame


This artificial sweetener is found in many bottled or canned drinks and foods. It may make your arthritis worse.


*Eat more "living foods" to enhance wellness


Eating an uncooked vegan diet of fruits, berries, vegetables and roots (carrots, beets, etc.), nuts, germinated seeds and sprouts provides a rich source of carotenoids (vitamin A precursor), and vitamins C and E, all capable of reducing your arthritis symptoms, according to a recent report in Toxicology. Bioflavonoid-rich fruits (blueberries, cherries and blackberries) may also help.


Bioflavonoids bind and strengthen collagen structures needed to keep your connective tissue healthy. They inhibit inflammation by inhibiting the enzymes that destroy your collagen and lead to arthritis pain.


*Eat fresh pineapple


Eat half a fresh pineapple daily for one to three weeks. The bromelain in the fruit can reduce pain and swelling of arthritis, but it must be fresh pineapple to work.


*Eat more foods containing sulfur


Foods that contain sulfur (garlic, onions, Brussels sprouts and cabbage) regenerate and rebuild cartilage cells and can reduce inflammation and relieve pain of arthritis.


*Drink more water

*Eat more foods high in Hyaluronic Acid including sweet potatoes, liver, bananas, soy products and oranges. For more information on this topic, click on the following link: http://hyaluronicacidwiki.com/hyaluronic-acid-foods/


Arthritic pain is often due to dehydration, so when you have pain, drink two glasses of water to reduce symptoms.


*Use more beneficial oils

  Certain oils can protect against an inflammatory reactions of arthritis, according to a report in the British Journal of Nutrition. Oils that can be beneficial include fish oil, olive oil (use for cooking and in salads), and evening primrose oil. 

This article is excerpted from THE AMERICAN HOLISTIC NURSES' ASSOCIATION GUIDE TO COMMON CHRONIC CONDITIONS: SELF-CARE OPTIONS TO COMPLEMENT YOUR DOCTOR'S ADVICE by Carolyn Chambers Clark. See this book for more self-care options.


For more information about arthritis go to SeekWellness.com at http://www.seekwellness.com/arthritis/index.htm

For the latest wellness tips and research findings, click here.

Think positive and you'll be positive!

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