Joy Bauer https://joybauer.com Life is hard, food should be easy Tue, 04 Apr 2017 18:58:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8.3 A spicy solution for aches and pains https://joybauer.com/healthy-eating/spicy-solution-aches-pains/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=spicy-solution-aches-pains Tue, 14 Mar 2017 19:05:24 +0000 http://www.joybauer.com/?p=6415 Can turmeric really ease aches and pains...and just how much do you need? Learn more about the super spice.

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QUESTION:
I’ve heard the spice turmeric can ease aches and pains. If this is true, how much do I need each day to feel better?
—Cynthia from Los Angeles, California 

ANSWER: It’s true that turmeric may help alleviate the aches and pains associated with arthritis. In fact, some research suggests it could potentially work as well as ibuprofen. (But don’t toss your arthritis medications just yet! Be sure to talk to your doctor before making any changes to your diet or medications.)

The beneficial effect is likely a result of curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, which functions as both an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.  

While there is no exact amount proven to jump-start pain relief, try incorporating a small amount into your diet—about ¼ to ½ teaspoon per day. (For some people, large amounts may cause stomach upset.) 

You can find the powdered form of this gold-colored spice in the seasonings section of your local grocery store. If you’re looking for ways to add it to your daily regimen, try this simple recipe for Golden Milk Shots.  And, adding a pinch of black pepper may help to improve turmeric absorption. 

 

Have a diet or nutrition question you’d like me to answer? Send it my way.

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Arthritis 101: What You Need to Know https://joybauer.com/arthritis/arthritis-101-what-you-need-to-know/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=arthritis-101-what-you-need-to-know Sun, 14 Feb 2016 20:25:10 +0000 http://www.joybauer.com/?p=76 Think arthritis is just the inevitable aches and pains that come with age? Think again.

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Arthritis is not a single disease but a complex family of more than 100 inflammatory conditions affecting the musculoskeletal systems of men, women, and children of all ages. Even though it is the leading cause of disability in the US and affects more than 50 million Americans, arthritis is poorly understood.

While there’s currently no cure for arthritis, understanding the disease and how diet can help manage symptoms can make a world of difference. Here we review the most common types of arthritis.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most common types of arthritis that occurs when cartilage in the joints begins to break down. Without that cushion, the bones rub against one another, causing symptoms like stiffness, joint pain, and loss of movement, especially in the knees, hips, and lower back. Sore or stiff joints may be worse after not enough or too much activity, and may improve with rest or gentle movement. The pain of OA is often worst toward the end of the day.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder, which means your body’s immune system turns on you. In RA, the joints are the target of immune attack. This causes inflammation that can damage the joints and other organs. RA symptoms can vary from person to person and from day to day, and commonly include pain, fatigue, and joints that are warm, swollen, and reddish, especially in the small bones of the hand and wrist. RA flares, or sudden worsening of symptoms, can last anywhere from several days to several months.

Juvenile arthritis (JA) refers to a number of autoimmune and inflammatory conditions that occur in children age 16 and younger. The most common of these is called juvenile idiopathic arthritis, or arthritis of spontaneous or unknown origin. JA is an area of intense research and may be caused by an interaction of genes and foods, toxins, or allergies.

Psoriatic arthritis is arthritis that occurs in people with psoriasis, a skin condition that causes red, inflamed patches on the skin. Symptoms of psoriatic arthritis may be milder than other types of arthritis, affecting only a few joints, particularly those at the ends of the fingers and toes. But in some people, the arthritis may be more severe and cause stiffness, burning, and pain in the lower spine and sacrum. Psoriasis may worsen at the same time that arthritis symptoms flare.

Gout, or gouty arthritis, occurs when uric acid accumulates in the blood and causes painful inflammation of the joints. Joints affected by gout may suddenly become warm, red, swollen, and so sensitive that even a light touch is excruciating. Gout may be acute and affect only one joint such as the big toe, knee, or ankle. Or it may be chronic and cause repeated episodes of pain, damage, and loss of movement in multiple joints. Tophi, lumps under the skin made of uric acid crystals, may accumulate around joints affected by chronic gout.

Learn about the best and worst foods for the different types of arthritis and easy-to-make anti-inflammatory home remedies.

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Arthritis Basics https://joybauer.com/arthritis/about-arthritis/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=about-arthritis Wed, 03 Feb 2016 22:33:53 +0000 http://www.joybauer.com/?p=275 Many people don't realize how much nutrition can reduce the pain of arthritis.

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Because arthritis is a disease of inflammation, an anti-inflammatory diet can go a long way toward reducing painful symptoms.

Arthritis is not a single disease but a category that includes about a hundred joint-related disorders. According to the National Institutes of Health, arthritis affects just over one in every five people in the United States — most of whom don’t realize how much nutrition can improve the way they feel.

What Is Arthritis?
As anyone with arthritis can tell you, arthritis sufferers truly suffer: Osteoarthritis can wear down the knees. Rheumatoid arthritis can twist and deform the fingers. And gout can make the simple act of walking agony.

In medical lingo, the suffix “itis” means inflammation. Arthritis, then, means any disease that involves inflammation of the joints — the places where bones come together (such as in the knees, wrists, hands, fingers, elbows, feet, and toes). Of all the different types of arthritis, the two most common are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

  • Osteoarthritis (OA) occurs when the cartilage covering the end of the bone deteriorates, causing pain and swelling when bones rub against each other. In some people, the damage can be so extensive that the joint may have to be replaced. OA is due to a combination of factors, including genetics, past injury, joint use and overuse, and the aging process in general. We can’t help our genetics, past injuries, or the aging process and overuse; however, stress caused by excess weight can be reduced by losing weight. Every pound of weight you lose equates to four pounds less stress and pressure on your knees.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a disease that causes inflammation of the lining of the joint capsule — the synovial membrane. Early in the disease process, affected joints can feel swollen, painful, hot, and tender to the touch. As the disease progresses, the synovial membrane begins to release enzymes that can dissolve bone and cartilage inside the joint. If these enzymes eat away enough tissue, the joint can become deformed — and the pain can be excruciating. Scientists don’t know what triggers the process, why it goes into remission, or why it flares up periodically. Genetics plays at least some role. Hormones are also believed to play a part, as RA affects women more often than it affects men and because flares often occur after a pregnancy. RA cannot be cured, but it can be managed with medication and lifestyle changes.

Many people with these two conditions don’t realize how much their food choices can worsen the pain or, on the flip side, improve the way they feel.

How Food Affects Arthritis
Because arthritis is a disease of inflammation, the most effective — and logical — treatment is anything that fights inflammation. Medical management of arthritis usually starts with ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatory medications, and nutritional care starts with anti-inflammatory foods.
Discover more Food Cures for your health.

 

NEXT: Which Foods to Avoid and Which Foods to Add

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How Food Affects Arthritis https://joybauer.com/arthritis/how-food-affects-arthritis/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-food-affects-arthritis Mon, 18 Jan 2016 22:26:48 +0000 http://www.joybauer.com/?p=272 Because arthritis is a disease of inflammation, an anti-inflammatory diet can go a long way toward reducing painful symptoms

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Because arthritis is a disease of inflammation, an anti-inflammatory diet can go a long way toward reducing painful symptoms.

Now that you understand Arthritis Basics, begin an anti-inflammatory diet: exclude foods that fan the flames of inflammation and embrace plenty of foods that reduce it. To get the most out of nutritional changes, you should adopt both sets of recommendations.

Foods to Avoid
I already mentioned that being overweight puts extra stress on the joints, which escalates the risk of wear and tear. But there is another reason being overweight is a problem. Body fat is not an inert substance; it is metabolically active, capable of producing hormones and chemicals that actually increase levels of inflammation. By losing weight — and avoiding excess calories that can cause weight gain — you’ll automatically reduce inflammation in your body.

Specific food groups that increase inflammation include:

  • Saturated Fats: This category includes fats in and from animal products, such as fatty beef or pork, poultry skin, and full fat dairy foods. Saturated fats are also found in palm oil and palm-kernel oil, which you may find in the ingredient lists of any number of items on your shelves, including crackers, cookies, bars, nondairy creamers, and other packaged baked goods. Try to dramatically limit your intake. In addition to carefully reading labels, choose reduced-fat or fat-free dairy products, lean cuts of beef and pork, and skinless chicken and turkey.
  • Trans Fats: Trans fats were created by scientists to give baked goods a longer shelf life. Trans fats are thought to be at least as damaging as saturated fats in terms of inflammation and other health problems. They may even be worse. You won’t have to go to great lengths to determine whether a food contains trans fats or not. Manufacturers are now required to list the amount of trans fats right after listing the saturated fats on the nutrition label.
  • Simple and Refined Carbs: Sugary foods, white-flour baked goods, white rice, bread, crackers, and other refined carbohydrates set up a state of inflammation in the body, causing increases in pro-inflammatory compounds. Limit these foods if you want the best chance of reducing arthritis pain and limiting its progression.

Foods to Add

These Food Cures all help to reduce some aspect of inflammation:

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: The healthiest of fats for people with arthritis or other inflammatory disorders are omega-3 fatty acids. More than a dozen studies have demonstrated that omega-3 fish oils can drastically reduce symptoms of RA. I recommend an omega-3-rich diet (and in some instances, fish-oil supplements) to all my clients with arthritis. I’ve seen some amazing success stories. Some of the best foods for omega-3 fatty acids include salmon (wild, fresh, or canned), herring, mackerel (not king), sardines, anchovies, rainbow trout, Pacific oysters, ground flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, seaweed, and soybeans (edamame).
  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: In addition to healthy monounsaturated fats, olive oil contains a natural compound called oleocanthal which may help prevent arthritis-related inflammation. These compounds block the same inflammatory pathways as ibuprofen and aspirin, medications commonly used to fight arthritis pain. I recommend using olive oil when cooking instead of vegetable oil or butter (substitute in equal or lesser amounts). For the highest antioxidant content, choose “extra virgin” olive oil; the stronger the taste, the higher the amounts of oleocanthal the oil is likely to have.
  • Antioxidants — vitamin C, carotenes, bioflavonoids: Antioxidants protect the body from the effects of cell-damaging free radicals and are a critical part of an anti-inflammation diet. Research has also demonstrated that certain antioxidants may help prevent arthritis, slow its progression, and relieve pain. The best are: Vitamin C — found in guava, bell peppers, oranges, grapefruits, strawberries, pineapples, kohlrabi, papayas, lemons, broccoli, kale, potatoes, and brussels sprouts. Beta-carotene — found in sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, butternut squash, turnip greens, pumpkins, mustard greens, cantaloupes, sweet red peppers, apricots, and spinach. Beta-cryptoxanthin — found in winter squash, pumpkins, persimmons, papayas, tangerines, peppers (red chili and red bell), corn, oranges, apricots, carrots, nectarines, and watermelon. Quercetin — found in onions, kale, leeks, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, blueberries, black currants, elderberries, lingonberries, apricots, red apples with skin, and red/purple/black grapes. Anthocyanins — found in blackberries, black currents, blueberries, eggplant, elderberries, raspberries, cherries, boysenberries, red/black/purple grapes, strawberries, plums, cranberries, rhubarb, red onions, and apples.
  • Vitamin D: Studies have shown that getting adequate amounts of vitamin D reduces the risk of both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Among people who already have osteoarthritis, those who have a vitamin D deficiency are more likely to develop worsening disability over time. Getting even the basic daily requirement of vitamin D (at least 600 IU until age 70, and at least 800 IU for folks 70 and older) leads to greater muscle strength, improvement in physical functioning, and preservation of cartilage. Some of the best foods for vitamin D include wild salmon, mackerel (not king), sardines, herring, milk (skim or 1 percent low-fat), soy milk, egg yolks, and UV-treated mushrooms.
  • Spices — ginger and turmeric: Certain spices seem to have anti-inflammatory effects and therefore should be considered for arthritis treatment. Among the most promising are ginger and turmeric. Ginger has been shown to lessen the pain of knee osteoarthritis when taken in highly purified, standardized supplement form. Scientific studies have shown that turmeric may help arthritis by suppressing inflammatory body chemicals. The research isn’t strong enough yet to support taking ginger or turmeric in supplement form, but I highly encourage adding generous amounts of these spices to food (they’ll add delicious flavor, too!).

 

PREVIOUS: Arthritis Basics


Discover more Food Cures for your health.

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The Benefits of Ginger https://joybauer.com/arthritis/ginger/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=ginger Mon, 18 Jan 2016 22:20:28 +0000 http://www.joybauer.com/?p=270 Does eating ginger really reduce the painful symptoms of inflammation of arthritis?

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Does eating ginger really reduce the inflammation of arthritis?

Q: I was told to eat ginger to help my arthritis. What is it, and where can I find it?

A: There are multiple benefits of ginger for arthritis. Ginger is a versatile spice that has anti-inflammatory properties, and early research shows it may be helpful in alleviating arthritis pain, making it one of the best foods for arthritis. This potent flavoring agent can be used in any course, from appetizers to dessert. Look for fresh ginger in the produce section of most grocery stores — it is a tan root about the size of very fat fingers. Powdered ginger, found in the spice aisle, is used most often in baking and gives a stronger taste to foods — so don’t substitute the same amount of powdered ginger for fresh ginger or it will be overpowering! Candied or crystallized ginger is sweet and can be enjoyed as an occasional treat or added to muffin and pancake batters. A common accompaniment to sushi, pickled ginger (also called gari) is made by soaking thin slices of fresh ginger in rice vinegar and sugar for a week or longer. Another health benefit of ginger: it’s touted as a digestive aid, helping nausea and stomach upset; and, when sliced and steeped in hot water, it makes a delicious ginger green tea.

 

If the aches and pains of arthritis have you down, check out these home remedies that may help.

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Dining-Out Tips for Arthritis https://joybauer.com/arthritis/dining-out-tips-for-arthritis/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=dining-out-tips-for-arthritis Sun, 17 Jan 2016 22:16:53 +0000 http://www.joybauer.com/?p=267 Making smart menu choices is key to dining out without triggering joint pain.

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If you have arthritis, making smarter menu choices is key to dining out without triggering joint pain.

Q: I have arthritis, and there are so many different kinds of foods to avoid! I think I can figure this out for meals I cook at home, but are there guidelines for what to eat in restaurants?

A: You’re right — it can be difficult at first, but after a few weeks, making smart food choices will become second nature. I recommend the following menu selections for these favorite restaurant categories:

American Fare

  • Grilled fish or skinless chicken breast in olive oil and seasonings — with brown rice or a baked potato or sweet potato and lots of grilled, roasted, or steamed vegetables.
  • Salad entrées: variety of vegetables (request extra red peppers) with grilled chicken, shrimp, turkey breast, or lean ham. For dressing, use vinaigrette or request olive oil and vinegar on the side.
  • Sandwiches: turkey breast, lean ham, or grilled chicken breast on whole-grain bread, in a whole-wheat pita, or rolled in a whole-grain wrap. Optional avocado, roasted peppers, onion, tomato, and other vegetables.
  • Soups: gazpacho, black bean, lentil, vegetable, and low-fat butternut squash.

Japanese Food

  • Edamame, seaweed salad, California rolls (take advantage of sliced ginger!), and steamed vegetables.
  • Chicken or salmon teriyaki with steamed or sautéed vegetables and brown rice.

Chinese Food

  • Steamed whole fish with ginger — plus steamed brown rice and sautéed or steamed vegetables.
  • Steamed chicken, shrimp, or tofu with any vegetable combination — request “with ginger” and black bean or garlic sauce on the side) — use 1 to 2 tablespoons of the sauce on your entrée and enjoy with steamed brown rice.

Indian Food

  • Chicken/fish/tofu tikka (no masala), tandoori, or vindaloo with curried vegetables.
  • Dal (made with lentils) with side of curried vegetables.

 

Do you know the best foods for arthritis?

Discover more Food Cures for your health!

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Different Types of Arthritis https://joybauer.com/arthritis/different-types-of-arthritis/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=different-types-of-arthritis Fri, 15 Jan 2016 22:15:13 +0000 http://www.joybauer.com/?p=264 While there's no cure for arthritis, understanding the disease and how diet can help manage symptoms can make a world of difference.

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Think arthritis is just the inevitable aches and pains that come with age? Think again! Arthritis is not a single disease but a complex family of more than 100 inflammatory conditions affecting the musculoskeletal systems of men, women, and children of all ages. Even though it is the leading cause of disability in the US and affects more than 50 million Americans, arthritis is poorly understood.

Arthritis 101: What you need to know

While there’s currently no cure for arthritis, understanding the disease and how diet can help manage symptoms can make a world of difference. Here we review the most common types of arthritis.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most common types of arthritis that occurs when cartilage in the joints begins to break down. Without that cushion, the bones rub against one another, causing symptoms like stiffness, joint pain, and loss of movement, especially in the knees, hips, and lower back. Sore or stiff joints may be worse after not enough or too much activity, and may improve with rest or gentle movement. The pain of OA is often worst toward the end of the day.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder, which means your body’s immune system turns on you. In RA, the joints are the target of immune attack. This causes inflammation that can damage the joints and other organs. RA symptoms can vary from person to person and from day to day, and commonly include pain, fatigue, and joints that are warm, swollen, and reddish, especially in the small bones of the hand and wrist. RA flares, or sudden worsening of symptoms, can last anywhere from several days to several months.

Juvenile arthritis (JA) refers to a number of autoimmune and inflammatory conditions that occur in children age 16 and younger. The most common of these is called juvenile idiopathic arthritis, or arthritis of spontaneous or unknown origin. JA is an area of intense research and may be caused by an interaction of genes and foods, toxins, or allergies.

Psoriatic arthritis is arthritis that occurs in people with psoriasis, a skin condition that causes red, inflamed patches on the skin. Symptoms of psoriatic arthritis may be milder than other types of arthritis, affecting only a few joints, particularly those at the ends of the fingers and toes. But in some people, the arthritis may be more severe and cause stiffness, burning, and pain in the lower spine and sacrum. Psoriasis may worsen at the same time that arthritis symptoms flare.

Gout, or gouty arthritis, occurs when uric acid accumulates in the blood and causes painful inflammation of the joints. Joints affected by gout may suddenly become warm, red, swollen, and so sensitive that even a light touch is excruciating. Gout may be acute and affect only one joint such as the big toe, knee, or ankle. Or it may be chronic and cause repeated episodes of pain, damage, and loss of movement in multiple joints. Tophi, lumps under the skin made of uric acid crystals, may accumulate around joints affected by chronic gout.

Learn about the best and worst foods for the different types of arthritis and easy-to-make anti-inflammatory home remedies.

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Rheumatoid Arthritis Diet: Foods to Eat https://joybauer.com/arthritis/foods-that-fight-the-inflammation-of-rheumatoid-arthritis/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=foods-that-fight-the-inflammation-of-rheumatoid-arthritis Thu, 14 Jan 2016 22:14:46 +0000 http://www.joybauer.com/?p=261 While there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), effective treatment can help control your symptoms.

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While there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), effective treatment can help control your symptoms. A treatment plan usually includes a combination of medication; therapeutic exercises and modification of your daily tasks, if necessary; regular exercise, as approved by your physician; hot or cold compresses; relaxation and stress management; and diet, of course.

Anti-inflammatory foods such as those found in a Mediterranean diet not only cool the fires of RA, but also help you to maintain a healthy weight and decrease your risk of other conditions such as cardiovascular disease.

Omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish help decrease levels of cytokines, inflammatory compounds found in the blood that tend to be elevated in people with RA. The best fish sources of omega-3s include salmon, mackerel, lake trout, sardines, herring, and anchovies. The American Heart Association recommends eating at least two 3.5-ounce servings of fish per week. Omega-3 fatty acids are best preserved in fish that is not overcooked, so opt for baking or grilling until just done like my Pesto Salmon with Roasted Artichoke Hearts.

Non-fish omega-3 sources: If you’re not a fish fan, there are plenty of other sources of these healthy fats, including walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, hemp seed, and soybeans. Try my edamame hummus for a healthful omega-3-rich snack.

Whole grains: Eating more whole grains such as whole wheat, quinoa, faro, barley, oats, and brown rice may decrease another marker of inflammation found in the blood: C-reactive protein, or CRP. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who ate more whole grains decreased their CRP levels more than people who didn’t include these fire-fighting foods. Whole grains also contain micronutrients like selenium that add to their anti-inflammatory effect. And eating more whole grains like in my Quinoa and Black Bean Stuffed Peppers often means you are consuming fewer refined carbohydrates like white rice, white bread, and white flour, which can make RA worse.

Brightly pigmented foods: You might have heard that you should “eat the rainbow” or incorporate brightly colored foods into your diet. This is because the carotenoids and flavonoids that give fruits and vegetables their brilliant hues are also antioxidants that can decrease inflammation.

  • The red, blue, and purple hues found in tomatoes, watermelon, red cabbage, red peppers, and red grapes come from health-promoting lycopene, while those found in raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, purple cauliflower, and purple carrots come from anthocyanins.
  • Orange and yellow foods such as oranges, golden raspberries, and yellow peppers contain high levels of vitamin C while carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and cantaloupe are rich in beta-carotene.
  • And green foods, especially kale, Swiss chard, collards, beet greens, and spinach contain the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin.

Olive oil: A staple of the healthful Mediterranean Diet, olive oil contains monounsaturated fatty acids and a compound called oleocanthal that reduce levels of inflammatory enzymes in the blood similarly to medications like ibuprofen and aspirin. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people consuming the lowest amounts of olive oil were more likely to develop RA than those consuming the highest amounts of this liquid gold. Choose extra-virgin varieties, which contain the highest levels of anti-inflammatory components and try to use EVOO mostly in low-heat preparation methods like salad dressings, as some of the beneficial compounds can be destroyed by heat.

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Gouty Arthritis Diet https://joybauer.com/arthritis/diet-tips-for-gouty-arthritis/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=diet-tips-for-gouty-arthritis Wed, 13 Jan 2016 22:08:41 +0000 http://www.joybauer.com/?p=256 The “rich man’s disease” is becoming increasingly common.

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In gout, or gouty arthritis, spiky crystals made of uric acid collect around joints, causing painful inflammation.

When you have gout, or gouty arthritis, spiky crystals made of uric acid collect around joints, causing painful inflammation. Uric acid is a chemical that is produced when the body breaks down purines, which are found naturally in the body as well as in certain foods, like organ meats, herring, anchovies, asparagus, and mushrooms. Most uric acid dissolves in the blood and is carried to the kidneys to be eliminated in the urine. But, if the body produces too much uric acid or doesn’t eliminate enough, it can accumulate in the blood and form crystals around the joints.

Symptoms of gout include warm, red, swollen joints that can become so sensitive to the touch that even placing a lightweight sheet over them can cause excruciating pain. Gout may be acute and affect only one joint such as the big toe, knee, or ankle. Or it may be chronic and cause repeated episodes of pain, swelling, damage, and loss of movement in multiple joints. In long-term, chronic gout, tophi (lumps composed of uric acid crystals) can form under the skin around affected joints.

Though there is no cure for gout, effective treatment can significantly improve its signs and symptoms. Although a low-purine diet has traditionally been recommended, there is little evidence to suggest that cutting out high-purine foods actually reduces gout attacks and long-term joint damage. Current treatment plans for gout include uric acid-lowering medications and dietary modifications that reduce inflammation and lower the level of uric acid in the body. Keep in mind that obesity may contribute to gout risk – as well as its co-morbidities heart disease, hypertension, chronic kidney disease, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes – so maintaining a healthy weight can also reduce the frequency and severity of gout attacks.

Reduce fructose: Fructose, including the high-fructose corn syrup found in processed foods, baked goods, and many sweetened beverages – is known to increase uric acid levels in the body. A study in British Medical Journal found that consumption of sugar-sweetened soft drinks and fructose was strongly associated with risk of gout. Put the cap back on sweetened sodas and fruit drinks, and instead choose unsweetened beverages like water and seltzer or diluted 100% fruit juice.

Reduce or eliminate alcohol: Alcohol reduces the body’s natural ability to eliminate uric acid. And a Lancet study found that drinking alcohol increased the risk of gout. Beer increased this risk more than spirits, and moderate wine drinking did not appear to have an effect. If you are in the middle of an attack, it may be wise to cut all alcohol, and opt for a mocktail like my Berkshire Iced Tea (simply omit the rum and vodka for a refreshing alcohol-free beverage).

Limit animal proteins to 4-6 ounces daily: A study in New England Journal of Medicine found that higher intakes of high-purine meat and seafood – but not high-purine vegetables – were linked to increased risk of gout. Many animal proteins that are naturally higher in purines are also high in saturated fat, which may interfere with the body’s ability to eliminate uric acid. With that in mind, choose more plant-based proteins such as beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds like in my Hearty lentil vegetable soup.

Choose low-fat dairy: That same study found that consumption of dairy foods was associated with decreased risk of gout while another study suggested low-fat dairy might temper gout by lowering both uric acid levels and inflammation. Choose from the list of lower-fat versions of yogurt, milk, and cheese like in my Cheezy Egg Wich.

Consider coffee and cherries: Two antioxidant-rich foods that may be beneficial for gout include coffee and cherries. While more research is needed, some studies have shown that consumption of these foods may decrease gout attacks.

Learn about other ingredients that may help decrease arthritis pain.

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Home Remedies for Arthritis https://joybauer.com/arthritis/home-remedies-for-arthritis/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=home-remedies-for-arthritis Tue, 12 Jan 2016 22:05:15 +0000 http://www.joybauer.com/?p=253 The pain of arthritis can keep you from doing the things you love.

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Learn more about the home remedies that can ease your arthritis pain naturally.

Maintain movement: When it comes to joint mobility and arthritis, think “move it or lose it.” Try not to stand, sit, or lie down in a single position too long; rather adjust your position frequently to prevent stiffness and pain and lessen the signs and symptoms of arthritis. Use this as a reason to wiggle your fingers and toes, tilt your head from side to side, stretch your lower back, and bend and straighten your legs in ways that feel comfortable. Pay attention to what feels right and never push yourself into a painful position.

Exercise regularly and gently: Choose types of activities that you enjoy and that feel good to your body. Low-impact activities like walking, swimming, water exercises, and cycling, help strengthen the muscles surrounding joints with less potential for causing damage. Gradually increasing resistance training (especially under the supervision of a qualified trainer or physical therapist) and range-of-motion exercises can be particularly helpful in building strength and maintaining mobility. Avoid exercises that cause too much stress on the joints like running, jumping, and tennis. Added benefits of regular, gentle exercise include weight management and mood elevation.

Indulge in massage. Whether in a spa, a physical therapy office, or at home by yourself (on the parts of your body you can comfortably reach), massage can have many benefits for arthritis sufferers. A study at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey found that adults with knee osteoarthritis who received two Swedish massages per week for eight weeks had significant improvements in knee pain, stiffness, range of motion, and function compared with those who received no massage.  In another study in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, adults with hand or wrist arthritis who received four short, moderate-pressure massages per week – and instruction on how to massage sore joints at home – experienced less pain and anxiety and improved grip strength compared with a control group.

Remember, getting a rub-down should help you feel better, not worse, so listen to your body and it will tell you what to do. Massage should not be used during an arthritis flare or in people who have severely damaged joints, brittle bones due to osteoporosis, high blood pressure, or varicose veins.

Cool it down or warm it up. Hot and/or cold compresses may provide some comfort to sore joints. Both alter the sensation of pain, but while heat dilates blood vessels to stimulate circulation, cold constricts blood vessels to reduce swelling. If using heat, find a warm (not truly hot) temperature that you can tolerate. You can try heating pads, hot packs, disposable heat patches, a warm bath or shower, wrapping an affected joint in a scarf or blanket, or even a pair of gloves on suffering hands and fingers. If using cold, you can try cool packs, ice packs, or a towel soaked in cool water. Effectively using hot and cold compresses for arthritis relief might require some trial and error. Work with your physician and/or physical therapist to find a system that works for you.

Epsom salts. A natural hot compress with the added anti-inflammatory benefit of magnesium, Epsom salts baths are often very comforting to those with arthritis. Dissolve two cups of Epson salts in a bathtub full of warm water and allow yourself to soak for about 15-30 minutes. Speak to your physician first if you are pregnant or have high blood pressure or heart disease.

Meditation. Practicing meditation, mindfulness, and even simple breathing exercises can improve both the physical pain of arthritis and the emotional ways of coping with it. These practices involve quieting the body and the mind, staying in the present moment, and noticing what thoughts and emotions come up. Though you don’t choose to have arthritis, you can certainly choose how to relate to it.

A study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research found significant improvements among chronic pain sufferers (including those with arthritis) using a form of meditation called mindfulness-based stress reduction; participants had improvements not only in the physical aspects of pain but also in measures of quality of life and psychological distress. And as an added benefit, meditation and mindfulness have mounting scientific evidence for improvement of anxiety and depression, two conditions that often accompany the chronic pain of arthritis.

Want more natural arthritis remedies? Learn how to find relief in your kitchen cabinet.

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