Acupuncture and the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis

If you suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis, there is a very good chance that acupuncture can help you find relief from the pain and swelling associated with arthritis. Since pain is the primary complaint of people suffering from arthritis, acupuncture is recognized as effective form of pain control. Acupuncture is useful for treating other symptoms caused by arthritis and as a way to restore balance and health. Let's take a look at how we help in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and how acupuncture accomplishes this.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is classified as an auto-immune dis-ease. When RA occurs, the body's immune system mistakenly attacks the membrane (cartilage) surrounding the joints causing pain, inflammation and stiffness in the joints. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, and a general feeling of malaise. Unlike other forms of arthritis, RA affects joints symmetrically – if one finger or wrist is affected, the other one will be as well.

Acupuncture decreases the pain by stimulating the release of various neurotransmitters in the brain. One of these is endorphins, sometimes referred to as the body's own natural opiates. Endorphins inhibit the perception of pain and are similar to morphine, which is used in Western medicine. And while the medications often prescribed for this condition have many side effects, there are none with acupuncture. Simply, the placement of tiny sterile stainless steel needles at specific locations stimulate the release of these chemicals, and this effectively blocks the transmission of pain signals to the brain. There is a misconception among the populace who thinks that acupuncture works on nerves, or that needles are inserted into nerves. Acupuncture works indirectly on the nervous system to produce this natural effect. The needles are inserted into muscle / soft tissue. Often, the muscles and tendon sheaths develop hard knots called trigger points, that are responsible for chronic pain. These trigger points can be reactive and tender and are often found in the belly of the muscles and around the joints themselves.

Acupuncture and moxibustion increase the circulation of qi, blood, and lymph, thus also decreasing the cycle of inflammation. Rheumatoid arthritis is characterized by inflammation, (pain, heat, swelling and redness) in and around joints. Inflammation fluctuates do to internal and external environment factors … Acupuncture is also useful in treating osteoarthritis, the gradual eroding away of cartilage in joints and the deposit of bony osteophytes on bone and in the joints as well. Acupuncture works indirectly to influence the endocrine system. It stimulates the adrenals to produce natural steroidal compounds which inhibit inflammation and they stimulate the parathyroid gland to help balance calcium deposits. Chinese herbal formula's have also been found to be extremely useful as well.

Stress, emotional states, lack of exercise and improper diet can exacerbate symptoms. Each person is evaluated on a case by case issue. Some people have mild symptoms that can be acute, while others have a more chronic profile.

By making healthy lifestyle changes and getting competent treatments by a trained acupuncturist, you can manage this and live a reliably pain free and mobile existence.

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Does Provailen Really Work?

Many people are affected by joint pain caused by arthritis. However, there are many other triggers for experiencing joint pain as a result of arthritis like injuries, aging and too much stress on certain joints. Throughout the years, the most popular treatment for joint pain has always been taking medications. The bad news is that such drugs can result in adverse effects like stomach ulcer, high blood pressure, kidney damage and heart problems.

This is exactly the reason why natural joint pain supplements are now very popular. Provailen is one of the most popular natural joint pain supplements today. Just do a simple online search on joint pain and you will likely come across this product. Let's take a closer look at this joint pain remedy and determine if Provailen really works or not.

What Makes It Work?
The most interesting thing about Provailen is its key ingredient, which is a mushroom called Reishi. This ingredient contains polysaccharide beta-1, 3-D-glucan that is supposedly to boost the number of macrophages T-cells. These cells are among a group of immune cells that get rid of bacteria, viruses and injured or dead body cells.

It is common knowledge that arthritis damage is mainly caused by problems in the body's auto immune system. The body does not just attack injured and dead body cells but also the joints, which may result in pain and inflammation. Basically, Reishi brings back the balance of macrophages in order to reduce the damage and effects of arthritis.

Other Ingredients
Provailen also contains pure capsaicin that helps the body improve absorption of the ingredients of the product. It is essentially a carrier and it increases blood flow to the blood vessels. Capsaicin has also been indicated in the process of alleviating inflammation and the breakup of deposits that contributes to pain from arthritis.

Studies also confirm that this ingredient can help reduce chronic nerve pain. The product also contains concentrated tongkatali that helps prevent muscle atrophy. This, in turn, advances muscle weakness that can contribute to joint pain from arthritis.

Looking at the three key ingredients of the product, there is good reason to believe that Provailen really works.

Product Assessment
The main problem with the product is the fact that there are no clinical studies supporting its claims. So how can we be sure that it is really effective in treating joint pain? We certainly can not. Based on online reviews, many people who have tried Provailen pain relief product claim that it really works. But then again, there are also some people who say that it did not do anything for them.

It is possible that it works for some people and it does not work for others. There is also the possibility that some people just experience the place effect when using the product.

It is still unclear if Provailen really works. The only way to determine if it will work for you is by trying it. If you are suffering from joint pain from arthritis, the best way to treat it is to begin by consulting a specialist who can give you recommended treatments.

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Best Natural Medicines For Arthritis

Arthritis has become very common nowdays what with the changing lifestyle and fast-pace life with little left in the form of exercise and healthy living. People want to be in charge of their life and look for healthy alternatives or natural remedies for all the ailments so as to not be affected by the many side effects of the drugs used for arthritis. Here, I will sum up some of the best natural treatments for arthritis.

Minerals and vitamins:
Minerals and vitamins are the building blocks of the body and can be obtained from many natural resources such as plants. Other than that, gold, MSM, Glucosamine, Chondroitin, Calcium, and silver have always been used for cure of arthritis.

Black cherry juice two glasses twice a day helps in relieving pain; however, you should stop this after the attack has subsided. You can include carrot juice, cucumber juice, beetroot juice to your diet to help treat pain. One or two glasses of pineapple juice daily helps in rheumatoid arthritis. One has to avoid citrus juices as some studies have shown them to precipitate arthritis problems.

Cold and hot compression:
Cooling the joint that is inflated always helps. You can apply ice packs to the joint to help infection but do not overdo it. It is advised to use cold compression for a maximum of 15 minutes at a time and there should be adequate interval between sessions.

Other than cool compression, heat also helps by relaxing body and stimulating blood flow into the joints. You can use heating pads that are easily available in the market or can make a hot pack at home with warm towels. You can put some rice in a small bag and microwave it and use it as a heating pad also. A hot shower or a hot tub will also help in relaxing muscles and uplifting your mood.

Magnets are also commonly used as an alternative therapy although it is not yet established how they help in arthritis but are easily available in the market for curing the arthritis in elderly.

Relaxation techniques:
Muscle relaxation with exercises as well as mind relaxation with deep breathing techniques helps calm arthritis in the long run. Meditation is now gaining popularity with its properties of stress reduction and relaxation.

Alternative techniques:
Tai chi, acupuncture, and biofeedback are some of the alternative therapies that have now been widely accepted as helping arthritis patients.

Warm mustard oil applied to the joint soothes muscle and relieves the pain. You can also use essential oils mixed with almond oil and massage the painful part.

Herbal supplements:
Certain herbal supplements like Boswelia, Thunder god vine, cherries, Dandelion leaves, and Desert devil have also been highly effective in arthritis patients.

There are numerous natural treatments that one can use for arthritis but always consult your physician first before going ahead with any of the treatments mentioned above. Most of all, a healthy lifestyle always is encouraged to avoid arthritis and live a happy and active life.

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Joint Pain During Pregnancy: Its Causes and Possible Treatments

Most people know that pregnancy is accompanied by a range of bodily changes, including weight gain and hormonal differences that can affect your mood, appetite and sleep cycles. Fewer people are aware of the increased risk of joint pain during pregnancy. This can be due to a number of causes, including anatomical changes that prepare the body for birth, as well as simple stress damage due to the weight of the growing fetus. No matter what causes your joint pain during pregnancy, it is important to be careful what you use to treat it, since some supplements and medicines could affect your future child.

Pelvic Girdle Pain

Over the course of a pregnancy, the joints of the pelvis begin to loosen. This allows the baby to be born more easily when the time comes, but it can also produce pain. Discomfort relating to pelvic girdle joints often becomes worse when the weight of the pregnancy causes changes in posture and the center of gravity.

While most patients experience this kind of discomfort gradually, some find that it happens suddenly after a fall or exercise. Doctors recommend managing this pain with lifestyle changes, mobility aids and some medicines.

Pain in the Feet and Ankles

Ankle, foot and lower leg pains are also very common in pregnancy. These are due to edema, or swelling and fluid retention in the joints. This occurs when the growing uterus presses against major blood vessels, causing circulatory problems. Elevating the feet when you sit or lie down can reduce the amount of fluid buildup. You can also wear supporting stockings and avoid standing or crossing your legs for a long period of time.

Back Pain

Aching back joints and muscles occur in a major of pregnancies. This condition is due to the added weight and balance problems that come with carrying your baby-to-be. If your back pain becomes severe, report it to your doctor right away. For less serious cases, make sure you avoid high heels and chairs without back support. Try to maintain the best posture possible, avoid heavy lifting, and consider changing your sleep position. Use gentle massage, exercise and heat to reduce the pain as much as possible before resorting to medication.

Joint Pain in the Hands and Wrists

Surprisingly, the changes that occur during pregnancy can affect even non-weight bearing parts of the body such as the wrists and hands. Many patients suffer from a burning sensation in these areas caused by inflammation of the carpal tunnels. Swelling and hormonal changes in the second and third trimesters make this condition especially likely.

While natural supplements such as green-lipped mussel powder are often used to deal with normal joint inflammation, you should consult your doctor before taking them while pregnant, since there is little data about their safety and effectiveness during this time. You can also use heat and cold compresses, massage, exercise and support splints to help manage the problem.

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Why Does Arthritis Affect Women More Than Men?

Even though Arthritis does not only affect one sex or age group for some reason it tends to affect women more than men.

Below you will find out how Arthritis affects the day-to-day lives of many women across the globe:

• Women with this condition find that their sleep will be affected more than if they were suffering with any other chronic illness.

• Women who have Arthritis often do not have young children.

• Depression is quite common among Arthritis sufferers, especially when compared with other chronic conditions.

• Women are more likely to need help with their daily activities than men.

• Around two-thirds of all Arthritis sufferers are female, which works out at around 41 million Americans.

• 37% of females have this condition, compared with only 28% of men.

• Around the world there are 16 million women with Osteoarthritis. This figure is 3 times higher than the number of males with this condition. You will also find that this condition develops earlier in women too.

• 1.5 million or 75% of all Rheumatoid Arthritis patients are women.

• African-Americans are more tolerable too with the development of Lupus 3 times more likely than Caucasian females.

Why is Arthritis so prevalent in women?

At the present time there is no clear reason why this condition affects women more than men. There are however a few suggested reasons that may be worth exploring in more detail:

• Autoimmune diseases are more common in women.

• Women have a number of hormone changes through their lives, for example through puberty, pregnancy and the menopause.

• Often women are not as active as men, which raises the risk level of developing these types of conditions.

• Women store more fat than men, resulting in higher cholesterol levels that have been linked with the development of Arthritis.

What's the best way to manage this condition?

Even if you have this condition this does not mean that your life is over as there are ways to help manage and alleviate the symptoms.

By taking a little time to research a suitable treatment will help to alleviate the pain and inflammation caused.

You do not need to rely solely on surgery or prescription medication either as certain foods can help, plus there are exercises and techniques shown to help.

Finally herbal supplements are a great option to give you the relief from pain and a chance at being more active in your life.

The benefit of an herbal supplement is that unlike prescription medication you wont have to discontinue its use after a short amount of time.

An effective supplement can reduce the inflammation and pain and will be a safer option to those prescription medines that often cause side effects.

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5 Tips to Combat Arthritis Pain

There are over a hundred different forms of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common. It is a degenerative joint disease that often accompanies the aging process. Common symptoms include joint pain, stiffness and tenderness. Joint locking and increased fluid around the joint may also occur.

While over-the-counter and prescription medications may be used to relieve the pain and minimize the symptoms, the drugs are not without side effects. It is possible to combat arthritis pain naturally. Here are five tips that should help. They might not have an immediate effect but if you stick with the program, you will get relief.

Tip 1: Do Gentle Exercises

If you are not currently exercising, you will need to start out slowly. In other words, do not go out and try to play tennis. Start with gentle exercises like swimming.

A recumbent bike is often recommended by physical therapists for improving knee flexibility and reducing knee pain. Yoga stretches can improve flexibility in all of the joints. Low impact cardiovascular activity of any kind can be helpful.

Tip 2: Watch Your Weight

If you are overweight, the extra pounds put extra strain on your joints. If you are 20 pounds overweight, think about how hard it would be to go for a hike with a 20 pound backpack. Losing even a few pounds can reduce the load on the joints of your lower body.

Tip 3: Take a Good Fish Oil Supplement

Fish oil has long been regarded as a remedy for naturally reducing joint pain. Recent studies have shown that some brands have potent anti-inflammatory activity. Not all brands are the same, of course. So, it is important to do the research and buy a good brand. Cheap fish oils will provide no relief and could even be tainted with toxins.

Tip 4: Try an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Inflammation is involved in all forms of arthritis and also plays a role in the general aging process. Research has shown that what we eat can either cause inflammation in our body or reduce it.

There are a number of different anti-inflammatory diets. Some are based on the glycemic index of foods. Others are more general. Dr. Weil's Anti-inflammatory Food Pyramid is a good guide to get you started. The doctor also recommends fish oil and other dietary supplements.

Tip 5: Take a Good Dietary Supplement

Dietary supplements can help support joint health and reduce pain. One of the most effective, according to several studies, is Green Lipped Mussel Powder. The green-lipped mussel is a type of shell fish. It has proven benefits for reducing pain, stiffness and swelling. To get the best results, you want a product that is 100% green-lipped mussel powder.

Special supplements that combat arthritis symptoms are also available. There are many of these supplements on the market. When you are comparing them, you need to look for specific ingredients if you want the best results.

Many products contain only glucosamine and chondroitin. Glucosamine and chondroitin are good but they have no anti-inflammatory activity and do not provide all of the nutritional support your body needs for good joint health. Other ingredients to look for include chitin, corktree extract, ginger, rutin, turmeric, MSM, chaste berry, piperine and vitamin D3.

Some of the best supplements contain all of those ingredients, as well as a small dose of green lipped mussel extract. With the right nutritional support, you can recover from the pain of arthritis naturally.

Please click the Arthritis Free for Life link below in the resource author box.

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Home Treatment Options for Your Gout

When people are experiencing episodes of gout, they generally seek out treatments because of the severe pain they are in. Unfortunately, regular medical treatments are not necessarily very effective and can have undesirable side effects. Because of this, many people seek out self-help at home treatments that they can do themselves.

Treatments for Gout Overview

Treatments many times begin with medicines which your doctor will choose based on your current health and what you prefer. The medications can be used to treat acute attacks and to prevent further ones, plus reduce your risk of any complications that could occur because of the disease, such as the tophi, which are bumps underneath your skin caused by the collection of uric acid crystals with untreated gout.

You can also do things at home to help you battle gout. Even though medications are the most effective and proven methods of treatment, it will help if you are taking all the steps you can in your day to day life, as well. Good guidelines to follow include keeping yourself hydrated by drinking at least eight to sixteen cups of fluids each day, of which at least half should be pure water. You should also try and avoid alcohol and limit your intake of foods with a high amount of purines like fish, meat and poultry to around 4 to 6 ounces each day. Instead, eating a good amount of protein found in healthy sources like tofu, low-fat dairy, eggs and nut butters is a much better choice.

Specific Medical Treatments

Most commonly seen is the administration of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like naproxen, ibuprofen and indomethacin. These medications, however, can cause bleeding and ulcers, stomach pain and after a certain dosage do not provide any more relief. You should not use aspirin, as it will increase the uric acid retention in your body.

Another prescribed drug is corticosteroids like prednisone, which are generally used when the case of gout is severe. Although relief can be found with these drugs, they can also cause wounds to heal poorly, thinning bones and they can weakened your immune system. Cortisone can be injected into the affected joint, but no more than three times per year due to the side effects.

Other medications prescribed for use in daily doses to reduce the severity of episodes in the future are probenecid, colchicines and allopurinol. Allopurinol stops the formation of uric acid, colchicines can relate swelling and also prevent how often your attacks occur and probenecid lowers how often you get attacks by raising how much your kidney excretes the uric acid.

Specific at Home Treatments

There are several different treatments you can choose to do from home to alleviate your gout symptoms. Beside changing your diet as stated above, these methods can help bring you some relief when you are experiencing a gout attack.

Baking Soda – One way to help lower the uric acid in your body is with baking soda. If you have a severe case you might have to wait for two or more days for any relief to be felt. Mix one half of a teaspoon of baking soda with eight ounces of water and then drink it all at once.

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7 Major Differences Between Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Arthritis is a very painful condition that affects millions and millions of Americans every year. There are many different types of arthritis including psoriatic arthritis, gout, septic arthritis, scleroderma, osteoarthritis, gonococcal arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Arthritis of all types is a condition that affects the body's joints. A joint is defined as the location where two bones in the body come together. People suffering from arthritis experience joint inflammation that may occur in one bodily joint or many joints.

Two types of arthritis that are commonly discussed include osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. You may be wondering what some of the major differences are between these two conditions. Here are seven major differences between osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

  1. Osteoarthritis is more common than Rheumatoid Arthritis. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), OA affects around 27 million American adults 25 years and older. The Arthritis Foundation reports that RA affects about 1.5 million people in the United States.
  2. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition caused by the wearing of bodily joints over time. RA is an autoimmune disease that occurs when a person's immune system attacks the body's joints.
  3. Typically people experience OA when they get older. RA can strike a person at any point in life. When it occurs in children, it is sometimes called juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.
  4. RA can occur quite quickly whereas OA tends to have a more gradual progress over the course of many years.
  5. RA tenders to strike in a more symmetrical manner where a person may experience infection and pain in both hands or both feet. In contrast, OA can easily affect only one joint in the body.
  6. Both types of arthritis cause a sense of stiffness in the morning. While the morning stiffness may lessen as the day goes on for those with OA, people with RA are more likely to experience this stiffness for a longer period of time during and through the day.
  7. Rheumatoid arthritis is often accompanied with other symptoms which include overall tiredness and malaise, whereas the discomfort associated with osteoarthritis is specific to the joint that is affected.

Arthritis of any type is painful and challenging. Treatment most typically aims to help reduce discomfort, aid physical functioning and if possible, to prevent additional damage to bodily joints.

A thorough physical examination by a trained health care professional like a board certified orthopedic physician is advisable if you think you might be suffering from any type of arthritis involving osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.

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Recognizing the Symptoms of Gout

Symptoms of gout can be seen when you have too much uric acid built up in your body. From this, monosodium urate crystals will form in your joints and cause the symptoms of gout. Usually found in your blood as a waste product, uric acid comes from purines being broken down, which can be found in many foods as well as in all human tissue. When you eat foods high in purines, this can potentially raise the uric acid levels in your blood and bring on attacks of gout in some people.

Hyperuricemia, or excess uric acid in your blood is caused from an increase in uric acid production in your body or the exceptional elimination of the uric acid from your body. Recognizing gout symptoms is the first step in battling this disease. You'll want to be able to prevent future attacks or be able to properly treat them. Around one in one hundred people are affected by gout, and it affects possibly seven percent of older men.

Common Symptoms of Gout

Although gout can be difficult to diagnose, there are some symptoms to watch out for that that could mean you have this disease and should see your doctor.

Pain that starts in the middle of the night which is so bad that you can not stand even a light touch.

Swelling, warmth and high tenderness in a joint, many times your big toe joint, which is called podagra. Symptoms can also begin in other joints.

The pain will increase quickly and last for several hours of the night. It will dissipate over the next few days.

As the attack subsides, you could experience itchy, peeling skin around the joint that was affected.

You could also have limited movement in the joint.

You may see that your skin around the joint is quite red or purplish, and it can look like it is infected as well.

Some patients experience a fever.

You Need to Recognize Gout Symptoms When You Get Them

Painful and recurring attacks of joint inflammation are sometimes referred to as gouty arthritis. Gout can usually be classified into three different stages, although some literature in the medical field also lists an additional stage as the time between attacks. The three main stages should at least be recognized.

Asymptomatic hyperuricemia – when the uric acid levels in your blood are raised with no symptoms of gout.

Acute Intermittent Gout – when one of your joints is full of pain and inflammation, which usually lasts around two weeks if it is not treated, or less if it is treated. The symptoms may not reoccur for weeks, months or even years.

Often happening during the middle of the night, symptoms such as pain, swelling and redness can occur. Even a very light touch can be extremely painful and you may have difficulty in moving the joint or bending it. Usually you'll see this occurrence in one joint at a time, and the most common one is in your big toe. Other joints that may be affected, however, include your feet, keens, hands, wrists and ankles. The symptoms start suddenly and during the first 12 to 24 hours are when they are most severe, although they can last as long as ten days.

Chronic tophaceous gout – this is when your affected joint is inflated and uncomfortable more often. You can also see more than one joint affected with symptoms during this stage. The chronic pain felt during these attacks typically disappears between attacks, but repeated attacks of acute gout will cause you more permanent damage.

Tophi, which are lumps underneath your skin caused by the collection of crystals may show up due to untreated gout. The will feel like hard nodules and will become quite inflamed and painful during any gout attacks. As the tophi build up in your joints you can experience chronic pain, limited mobility and they will destroy your joints entirely ever if left untreated. They can also partially break through or erode through your skin and cause infection.

You may see the development of kidney stones during this stage as well. When the urate crystals build up in your kidneys, they will cause kidney stones. This could eventually affect your kidney's ability to filter out waste products from your body.

If you feel that you are experiencing any symptoms of gout, such as intense, sudden pain in a joint, call your doctor. If you do have gout and you leave it untreated you could be doing a lot of damage to your joints. If you are experiencing a fever and the joint is heat and inflammation in the joint, seek medical help immediately, as this could be a sign of infection.

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Understanding What Gout Is and If You Could Have It

If you are experiencing a sudden, intense pain and swelling in your joints which may be warm and red as well, you could have what is called gout. A lot of these attacks happen during the night and can be brought on by alcohol or drugs, a stressful event, or another illness being present. This disease was once known as the disease of kings and it has long been associated with heavier men, especially those who had the money to over-consume alcohol and rich foods. It is still more common in men between the ages of forty and fifty though, women can experience this disease as well once menopause sets in. By the age of 60, gout affects both sexes about evenly, and after the age of 80 it is more commonly seen in women. In total, around 2.1 million Americans experience this disease.

What Causes Gout?
Hyperuricemia, or high uric acid levels can lead to gout, and they either happen because your body is producing too much uric acid or your body is not efficient enough in excreting the uric acid into your urine. For over 90% of people with this disease, the cause is the latter reason. There are genetic disorders that can cause hyperuricemia, but this is only in a very small amount of the cases of gout.

The painful attacks associated by this disease are caused when the uric acid building up in your blood. As your uric acid levels get higher, your chance of gout and gout flares goes up as well. This excess uric acid will form crystals which then cause inflammation in your joints which leads to chronic pain and swelling. It is difficult to know exactly what triggers an attack, as they sometimes happen for no apparent reason. However, besides the known triggers previously stated, gout can also happen after surgery, an infection, eating too much of foods containing purines, a joint injury, a fast lowering of uric acid levels with medicines made to do so or after going through a crash diet.

Gout is frequently seen in your big toe, which is a medical condition called podagra, and it accounts for about 50% of the cases of this disease. It can also affect other joints such as your heels, ankles, hands and knees, especially in its chronic stages. This disease can also cause impaired function to your kidney and kidney stones, plus the formation of lumps of crystals under your skin in your bone and joints which are known as tophi.

Chronic Gout and Tophi
In some cases, gout can occur as something that is chronic rather than several painful attacks. The chronic type can be less painful but can also be confused with forms of arthritis. You may first notice this disease as nodules, or tophi on your elbows, hands or ears. Tophi are lumps that can be seen on the affected joints and they are made up of the crystallized uric acid. They are usually small lumps to begin with but over time can become much larger. These lumps generally occur after many years of chronic gout and will form after many untreated bouts of the disease or when the treatment to manage your uric acid levels is ineffective.

Tophi can go unnoticed until they begin to protrude above your skin and they will have likely grown into your joint by then. This means that it will likely have started to damage that joint already, and can possible destroy much of the cartilage and bone of the joint. If a tophus breaks the skin, it can cause a severe infection of your bloodstream or bone.

Do You Have Gout?
In order to correctly diagnose gout, your doctor will need to remove a small amount of fluid with a syringe from your joint and then look at it under a microscope to see if there are uric acid crystals present. This is because it can be commonly look like certain forms of arthritis, and many times this is why the disease is wrongly diagnosed for a long time. If you have a lot of pain in your joints, with possible red or purplish skin, a fever, less flexibility or inflammation in your joints with redness you could possibly have gout.

If you feel you have any symptoms of gout, you should speak with your doctor about your concerns. The earlier you discover this and can diagnose it, you can greatly reduce your chances of this chronic pain flaring up again. Being able to at least manage your lifestyle and the flare ups will help you in dealing with this painful disease.

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Foods That Help Arthritis

We get the word arthritis from the Greek, and the literal meaning is inflammation of the joint. There are over a hundred different types of arthritis, the most common of which is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is degeneration of the joint due to trauma, infection, especially over time, so we see this condition frequently in the elderly person. Pain and reduced mobility are common, and muscle strain from forging stiff joints to function is possible, along with fatigue.

There are a plethora of advertised treatments available, as well as a pile of prescription medication, so to simplify things, let's look at what we eat, and our lifestyle.

There are many natural foods that are listed to improve our health, and reduce infection in our body.

Firstly, a diet high in protein can increase uric acid deposits, causing pain. Animal protein is particularly known for this, so consider using more vegetable proteins like potatoes and legumes. Did you ever think when enjoying some hummus dip and crackers that you were getting a nice serve of protein?

Have lots of fiber from fresh raw fruit and vegetables and whole grains as this will help to sweep away mineral and acid build up, and reduce harmful bacteria. Dark green leafy veggies contain the carotenoidslutein and zeaxanthin, and saponins and flavonoids. These wonderful foods are said to be beneficial in preventing breast cancer, skin cancer cells, and lung cancer and stomach cancer by inhibiting their cell growth. They also help to build and maintain bone cartilage. Did you know that the vegetable Kale contains more calcium than milk?

It is also more easily adsorbed than milk, so go for the veg! Sounds good to me! The silica found in alfalfa sprouts, lettuce and cage is also helpful. Plant based essential fatty acids are great for reducing pollution, grind flax seeds fresh as you want them, and the oil is great in a salad dressing. Bromelain found in the core of fresh pineapples is also helpful in reducing pollution, and cruciferous vegetables also such as cauliflower and brocoli, and foods high in sulfur Help to repair bone and cartilage, so serve up some asparagus garlic and onion every day.

Water is essential, and aim for at least one glass every 2 hours you are awake. Foods to avoid? Acid forming foods as these; red meat, eggs, saturated fats, fried foods, dairy foods, refined foods, and high gluten foods such as bread, pastries and pasta. Along with these avoid caffeine and refined carbohydrates and alcohol. Sounds impossible? Have a think about this easy meal plan: Have some fresh fruit for breakfast, with some freshly ground flax seed (a coffee grinder works perfectly) on mashed banana, and a handful of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and almonds, or some raw mixed nuts . This is very filling and well satisfying.

Lunch can be a jacket potato with a chickpea salad, adding in sprouts logo, grated carrot, lettuce, celery, onion and fresh garlic to taste, with lemon juice and a good tablespoon of flaxseed oil, and I like a sprinkle of cayenne pepper as well. If you want a lighter lunch, swap the potato with a whole grain bread or wrap.

Dinner could be a walnut / roled oat rissole, with fresh salad again, or some fresh steamed veg, or stir-fries veg on steamed brown rice. Rice contains an amino acid called histidine, which is helpful in removing heavy metals, as people with arthritis often have high levels of copper.

As a rough guide, you can see how easy it is to put the elements of this way of eating into practice once you give it a bit of thought. Do not make drastic changes to your diet at once, introduce new foods slowly, especially if you have not been used to eating many legumes, and soaking legumes overnight before cooking can aid digestion.

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How Does Provailen Work? The Most Comprehensive Online Review

A Comprehensive Provilen Review How the Drug Works

Provailen is a natural supplement that is used to treat arthritis, muscle pains, joint inflammation and other conditions that affect bone and muscle tissue. Many people from all over the world have taken Provailen to treat such conditions and they report that the drug is highly effective. Provailen has a ninety percent success rate meaning that it is able to eliminate all the pains associated with arthritis.

Provailen review – how does Provailen work?

Provailen works through a simple systematic process that is guaranteed to get rid of arthritis pain. Basically, the drug works internally in the body to treat the inflammation that the autoimmune system causes. This is the main source of discomfort and pain that people suffering from arthritis feel. Provailen obtains to the autoimmune system directly and conducts a physiological process that begins alleviating the symptoms of inflammation and pain.

After this physiological process is effectively completed, the drug initiates an auto response to the autoimmune system where it balances the attacks conducted on the joints. In this way, Provailen eliminates many of the common arthritis symptoms quickly, reliably and effectively. It also provides therapeutic alternatives which repair any muscle that might have suffered damage during the periods of inflammation.

Provailen uses a unique combination of three natural ingredients which are powerful and proven to treat arthritis symptoms. These three ingredients have their own benefits even when they are used on their own. However, when they are combined together in Provailen, they help balance the immune system to work on the cause of arthritis and to eradicate pain. These ingredients are Tongkat Ali, Reishi and Capsaicin.

Tongkat Ali – This ingredient is derived from a longevity plant from the Far East. It was traditionally used in Asian medicines to treat energy loss and fatigue. Tongkat Ali strengthens bones and muscles and in this way it ensures that joints have adequate support. Tongkat Ali also enhances bone density and firmness. Structuring joints helps them cope with daily stress easily and improvements their repair

Reishi – This is a mushroom that is reputed in Japan and China for its disease reducing and immune improving qualities. It is also known to have anti-aging effects. This ingredient helps the body's defense mechanism get rid of the causes of illness.

Capsaicin – Capsaicin enhances the working of the other ingredients by ensuring that the body absorbs them effectively. It works by triggering receptors, which increase blood circulation and this improves the manner in which the affected tissues absorb ingredients. It also supports blood circulation in constrained blood vessels and this helps the ingredients get into areas where they are needed.

Provailen is designed to work by getting to the root of the problem and attacking it from 3 different directions. This is the reason why this drug is very effective in getting rid of joint pain.
Provailen is safe to use both for the long and short term. It helps relive stiffness, reduce inflammation and increase joint suppleness. This supplement can be used safely by people of any age group. It is affordable and comes with a six month money back guarantee.

Since it is made with natural ingredients, it does not cause side effects. If you are looking for a solution that will allow you to get rid of arthritis pain, you should try taking Provailen.

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What You Need To Know About Psoriatic Rheumatoid Arthritis

If you are a psoriasis sufferer, you may already have thought of all the complications that could accompany this disorder. Psoriatic rheumatoid arthritis is probably the most troublesome of all the complications that you will encounter. Somewhere between 10% and 30% will develop this debilitating affliction. Your main joints are the ones that are most affected with possible involvement into some secondary joints. While the disorder can occur at any age level, it most commonly starts in the fourth decade of life with woman being affected more so than men.

Trying to get out of bed or hold items or walk from a stationary position requires a great deal of effort. You will need to perform some stretching exercises to get the joints operating properly. Once in motion, leisure walks are a great therapy. As with all forms of arthritis, psoriatic rheumatoid arthritis will require a regimen of anti-inflammatory agents to help you get through the difficult times. The most common over the counter drugs used for this include acetaminophen, ibuprofen and good old-fashioned aspirin. Some buffeting in stomach such as food or milk is well advised to guard against any gastrointestinal upset.

If stronger agents are indicated, your doctor has a large selection of prescription drugs to choose from. Other non-steroidal drugs include celecoxib, meloxicam and ketorolac. Beyond these nsaid's as they are called we see the use of steroids such as cortisone and prednsione. Unfortunately all of the aforementioned agents do not protect the joints from further destruction. If your physician would like to use more aggressive therapy which will protect the joints, he or she can choose from two newer categories of drugs. The first is a class of DMARD's or disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs such as azathioprine or methotrexate and the second category of biologic agents known as biologic response modifiers. This second class includes agents such as etanercept and infliximab.

As with everything in life, greater reward comes with greater risk. As such, these newer agents can bring much relief and joint protection but they also come with some serious side effects. That does not mean you should not try them if your physician feels they are right for you. You should consider all forms of therapy by learning about them, when deciding upon a course of action.

While no drug, prescription or otherwise, is without side effects, the goal of any therapy is to control the symptoms, bring relief to the patient and increase the quality of their life while keeping the side effects to a minimum. Working with your physician to achieve these goals is something you can definitely do to control your psoriatic rheumatoid arthritis!

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Living With and Learning From Arthritic Pain

What does it feel like to put a piece of toast in a toaster, and feel as if you have whiplash? Yes, this is fibromyalgia for you. Fibromyalgia is a form of arthritis that falls in between rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. The doctors are sometimes astounded at how well I am doing. I'm going to share my tips to you fellow sufferers.

Rheumatoid arthritis has swollen joints and redness, and lupus has more internal symptoms, such as kidney failure and chronic fatigue. These symptoms vary with each patient, but all arthritis is an ongoing challenge for the doctors. Fibromyalgia is found by pressing on pressure points, about twelve, such as neck, elbow, hips, knees and ankles. If the patient feels pain, he qualifies. Some theorists believe that fibromyalgia is thought about by untreated infection early in life, and later trauma. I've had both: I endured a ruptured appendix at the age of two, which was misdiagnosed as polio until the appendic burst and peritonitis set in. I survived to tell the story, but I later put my body through just as much by keeping late hours, and drinking too much alcohol. I must have liked trauma. Oh, excuse me, I mean I must have liked “drama” because I lived in a state of over-excitation for many of my youthful years.

Some in the medical field theorize that fibromyalgia is brought on by a diet lacking in nutrition. All arthritis, according to these sages, is due to food sitting in the bowel too long. Added to the heavy starch in the diet, we have the additives and the preservatives which are toxic and cause the joints to ache. I have always felt much better when I'm eating loads of greens and fruit. “Grazing” as the vegans call it, is even more important for the fibromyalgia patient.

Most of the pain of fibromyalgia is found in the upper torso. I first noticed it in the legs, but then I'm usually the exception to many rules anyway. Or, you might say, I take exception with some rules that have been given me by the medical field. I do not take much pain medication, but I do watch my diet and exercise. I have taken a couple of shots in my right arm: I have inherited the tension in that shoulder joint, to develop bursitis. Once when I was right in the middle of explaining something in a crafts class my arm became utterly useless and extreme pain shot through it with even the slightest movement.

I was first diagnosed with fibromyalgia at age forty-five, and it is now some twenty-five years later. This disease is diagnosed much more frequently now as at one time it was called “fibromicitis” and was almost unknown. It probably occurs more often now as our diet has not really improved. There is probably not more trauma, as life is more comfortable now, although changes in employment and relationships occur more often. Supposedly, we are valued more effectively for infection, that is, unless the “super bug” is out to get us. Mercer is on the rise, and we still have rare flu's and immune system difficulties. I believe immune difficulties to be due to chemical bombardment, but I'm not prepared to develop a theory.

What I do know is that good old common sense comes to play in my yard. By watching my diet like the hawk on the fence, I deserve to feel okay. Right? I'm still ten pounds overweight. I do have fresh vegetables every day, although frozen are considered acceptable. I once had a cook who could fry wonderful catfish nuggets and southern chicken, and those foods were my nemesis. Nowadays, I try to be more prudent and stick to what is sometimes referred to as the “glamorous” Mediterranean diet. I eat many salads, sometimes for dinner. I've often heard that if I eat light, I can sleep better. The other ingredients are cooked with olive oil. I remember an Italian lady I helped, jumping with glee at a large tin canister of olive oil she found in a ninety-nine cents store. I should be so lucky! But it's well worth the additional cost.

However, do not overdo your oils or your meats. Meat, in past history, was used for celebrations and was not everyday fare. Meat tend to sit in the bowel longer, so beware of the cow and the chicken. Too much oil affects the rippling effect of the bowel and is high in calories. The ideal situation is frequent bowel movements. I have come to agree with the doctor who says, “Life and death begin in the bowel”. Using loads of laxatives (which I have not done) probably reduces the body's ability to produce waste on its own. I'm far from being a nurse, but these suggestions have really helped me.

I eat whole foods, by and large. You may complain that this is expensive, but I have gone vegan on a very limited diet. The tip for grocery shopping is to stick to the side aisles: the vegetable stands, and the fresh fruits. God gives us these foods and we're meant to eat them. In the Bible, meat was used for special occasions, and I have at least partially managed to eliminate everyday meat eating. I need protein, and was raised eating meat almost everyday, so I eat fish, chicken and eggs but not as frequently as I used to.

This ideal diet must be coupled with an exercise plan. The reason is that food is a great pleasure, especially since it's abundant in this country. Choosing foods at the market, blending these foods and tasting these delights, are enjoyable past times. So, substitute the activities associated with exercise for the activities involved with food. Exercise is the best substitution and will not bring further pain. This exercise includes pulling on the rubber exercise band, swimming, walking etc. I live in southern California so I walk outside almost every day, and also use the rubber pulls for the upper torso. A person can walk anywhere, and swim just about anywhere where there are indoor pools. This is exercise which is completely natural, does not involve extra machinery and gimmicks, and is free.

We are one of the healthiest areas in the country, so given the fact that I have lived here for most of my life, how did I end up with fibromyalgia? I accept the fact that I have this condition and must live with it. That's the important first step. A physical therapist gave me the exercises with the rubber band, and I've been a walker all of my life. You can buy the workout band at any athletic equipment store. My doctor constantly tells me to swim. although I'm a little hesitant in public pools due to a bladder problem. I'm probably just imagining things. You may not feel that way about pollution that may occur. The rubber band has strengthened my shoulders and upper chest muscles and I walk much more uprightly.

I have been walking all of my life. As a young girl, I walked to school for a mile or two. I can remember running my hands along the metal gaps, for attention, I suppose. The next memories are walking about one fourth mile to and from junior high school, across the railroad tracks in Lemon Grove, a small suburb of San Diego. It can get very hot during the summer, so walking outside is not possible for about four months, if you are elderly or disabled. I made it year round when I was young. The next walk down memory lane was the two mile or so walk to my high school, each way. I would often stop at my friend's house at the top of a steep hill to spend the night or the weekend. While there, I would sometimes ride her horses and this is very good exercise which I do not recommend unless you can take a fall, and I've taken quite a few of them. It's an interesting view of a horse if you are hanging happily around her neck and looking up at her frothing mouth. I knew I should not have been riding an ex-rodeo horse.

I did some professional walking, well, marching; I was in baton corp and tambourine corp in school. We marched in many parades. The Mother Goose was three miles long and the sun is always bright in this part of the country. I was tired but exhilarated at the end of these parades; one time we won the Sweepstakes. I always loved to perform. In college, whenever I wanted to take a break from studies I would walk the tree-lined streets of the campus, whistling a tune. The area around the fraternity houses was particularly beautiful as this was in Oakland where the weather is decent and everything is very green from rain. Walking to and from the college camp was at least two miles round trip and it was no wonder I was very trim. This walk sometimes became a desperate race to my first class.

When I lived briefly in the beach area of ​​this community I walked along a canal that had a beautiful bridge, with a picture perfect arch over it. I did some jogging then, but am not supposed to do it now as it's too hard on the joints. If I am fit at all, it's because of the walking. So choose something athletic that you are familiar with and just do it. Doctors recommend one half hour per day. Currently I live in an older section of San Diego and during my travels, I enjoy seeing the individual Touches on some of the vintage homes, and looking at the park at the end of the street. Please choose safe areas, though, and, if possible, walk with a buddy for company. This really does make the time go faster.

So, if you are walking in marathons you are preventing arthritis, as long as you do not damage your joints. I've used common sense throughout my walk with fibromyalgia, and I've been cheered on by a very good woman doctor what I've seen for fifteen years. She does not over-prescribe and takes the time to sit and talk to me. The main medicine that I've taken that has helped is Lyrica, but you need to check with your doctor. For years, there was nothing to be recommended and Lyrica was finally discovered. As a neurological medicine, it treats the tension of the nerves in fibromyalgia sufferers, to overreact to pain.

I am very pleased with Lyrica and I have few side effects. I can do all kinds of things that I could not do before they found this treatment. I can walk longer and participate in a local drama class, which involves practices and being on stage. I do not feel as if I have to sit much of the time. I also take some herbs, most notably magnesium malate as I was told by a natural practitioner that this type of arthritis involves a lack of magnesium. This vitamin seems to help with the sweating results from overheating in the muscles. Unlike many forms of arthritis, I have a disease of the soft tissues, muscles and ligaments, rather than the bones. And muscles can overheat. Each person may have his / her own set of symptoms and I take a few additional medicines for mine.

Swimming has been a challenge for me but I've swam in my share of gorgeous pools. I lived in Hawaii, and swimming in a green tile pool amidst a garden of green tropical plants, dotted with birds of paradise flowers and orchids was my idea of ​​living. I swam often and hard, competing with my friend in games we made up. Our city at one time had an Olympic size pool with salt water in it. I, of course, had to go in it with my dad. It's now changed to a sanitized pool but I tried swimming in it again a few years ago; I dove in the deep end and it was twelve feet deep. I did not count on the water being so heavy as it is a huge pool. I went under, and with some effort, I rose to the surface and found myself staring into the face of the lifeguard .. My friend and I spent the rest of the time frolicking about in the deep end, and hanging onto the ladder for security . But I did it, I faced a challenge, and I was very proud of myself.

As far as attitude, after accepting the ailment and keeping up on essential doctor's appointments, I've found that I can help others in spite of my limitations. I've kept the lawn watered for my apartment building: this is about one quarter acre and involves pulling a hose around. Also, I have sewn for other people as I like to design outfits. This has become harder and I have retired from this as it has hurt my neck (I have three bulging discs). I still tutor some very gifted children whom I feel I can keep up with as they are eight to eleven years old. I so enjoy the slow pace they seem to appreciate and it's so wonderful to be needed. I try to share the Lord's love to those around me because He does not care what condition I'm in, He can use me.

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The Natural Relief For Arthritis Pain You Can Use, Why Doesn’t Your Doctor Tell You?

In the profit driven health care industry, it is not profitable to develop a cure either for Arthritis, nor in helping a patient control their own condition. The goal of pharmaceutical companies is to mass manufacture expensive prescription drugs to treat the symptoms of arthritis that do nothing towards curing the disease. Why? The real money is made in ongoing treatment of the patient not in getting rid of their arthritis condition altogether. Both the pharmaceutical industry and the medical community team up in this pursuit, and both find it very profitable to do so. Notice that medical doctors seldom recommend taking patients off a prescription drug once they are on it. Doctors also encourage patients to make repeat office visits, before their prescriptions can be re-filled. There is a reason for this, which I'll get into later in the article. Since drugs do nothing to cure Arthritis condition itself, and only treat the patient's painful symptoms, it is necessary to keep scheduling on-going appointments with the doctor in order to get needed re-fills. The result is, both the doctor and pharmaceutical companies make out like bandits with an ongoing flow of income adding up to billions of dollars in costs to our healthcare system. How sweet of a deal is that?

Listen, the system of robbing Arthritis patients (insurance companies) of thousands or millions of dollars by prescribing drugs that only treat the pain symptoms of arthritis, require daily consumption for ongoing relief, and require continued doctor visits is not that bad in itself. However the issue for concern is this. Prescription drugs are manufactured synthetically in the laboratory, derived from chemicals that have dangerous side effects for arthritis patients that take them. For example; there are about ten different pharmaceutical drug products being used to treat Arthritis. Of the ten, there are four that are the most advertised and well known, they include Prednisone, Celebrex, Vicodin and Lyrica.

All these drugs have serious and potentially life threatening side effects for patients who take them. The drug Prednisone, from the steroid family, is a drug that is effective in controlling the inflammation that enterprisescompanies, and, is effective in relieving pain. But, it does so by shutting down the immune system, making it incapable of fighting off infections and potentially lethal virus's like Tuberculosis. Prednisone also can cause osteoporosis, muscle and joint pain. Celebrex which is related to aspirin, but more powerful, can cause heart attacks and or strokes. Plus, there can be accompanying allergic reactions, and it can cause high blood pressure and kidney problems. Vicodin, another very common pain reliever for Arthritis, has side effects, including, light headedness, dizziness, sedation symptoms, nausea and vomiting. Taking Vicodin can also be very adverse to people with gastro intestinal disorders like Crohn's disease or Colitis. Patients using the drug Lyrica can experience dizziness, sleepiness, weight gain, trouble concentrating or a feeling of being high. In addition there could be accomplicing allergic reactions including swelling and difficulty breathing.

So, why do not doctors recommend vitamins and supplements (that have fewer side effects) for their patients instead of prescription drugs, and why do not pharmaceutical companies manufacture vitamin supplements? The reason is this. Unlike pharmaceutical drugs, natural vitamin supplements are non-patentable, making profit margins low. Also, as mentioned earlier, unlike natural supplements, pharmaceutical drugs can be dangerous and consumption has to be monitored and regulated constantly. That is why it is necessary to schedule several office visits over the course of the year.

So how do pharmaceutical companies and the medical community continue to dominate the healthcare market? Actually much of the blame goes on the pharmaceutical industry and its manipulation of the medical profession, federal government and media. They do it by keeping both the doctors and consumers in the dark. Here is how they do it:

  • The pharmaceutical companies advertise advertising campaigns to push the deception that patentable synthetic drugs are the answer to the arthritis problem, spending millions on countless ads on TV, radio and the print media.
  • They spend millions to promote a pharmaceutical lobbying effort to bring pressure on regulatory agencies pushing legislation to disallow established health claims for vitamins and other natural supplements. The FDA (Federal Drug Administration) practically ignores alternative medicines.
  • They discourage studies about the health benefits from vitamins and make sure few are ever published in medical Journals and other media.
  • Make sure that little or no teaching is done in medical schools through textbooks and research about the benefits of vitamins and supplements, resulting in generations of doctors leaving medical schools lacking sufficient knowledge in the benefits of these healthier alternatives.
  • On-going promotion of huge sales forces mobilized to push pharmaceutical drugs in doctor's offices through the country. Often drug companies reward doctors for promoting their products with incentives like expensive trips.

So are there healthier alternatives available? Yes, but they are not readily available, you have to dig for the information on your own. Fortunately, there is the internet you can use for this research. There are a variety of natural products that are very effective against Arthritis and have few if any side effects.

For example, simple grape seed extract has been proven to be both safe and effective in reducing inflammation, the cause of Arthritis and fibromyalgia. In addition, grape seed extract reduces the risk of arterial plaque formation in the blood, helps maintain heart health, and fights against the effects of asthma and allergies. There is also evidence that grape seed inhibits angiogenesis (growth of blood vessels feeding cancer cells). The abundance of the benefits of grape seed extract is absolutely astounding if you take the time to check it out for yourself.

Pine Bark, also referred to as Pycnogenol is also very effective in controlling Arthritis, particularly knee pain. Like grape seed extract Pycnogenol is a premium herbal supplement. The extract from this pine bark is loaded with a concentration of active bioflavonoids, (also referred to as Anti-Oxidants) which are the colored part of vegetables, fruits, flowers, herbs and grains which have anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, antiviral and anti-cancer properties. Yes, you do have healthier alternatives to controlling your Arthritis condition, but you need to open your mind to other possibilities. Obviously you want to check with your doctor to make sure you do not experience any complications from supplements, or find a holistic doctor if your present doctor is uninformed in alternative medicine.

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