Tag Archives: Hyaluronic Acid

Arthritis is a Pain!

ArthritisPainJacquie Eubanks RN BSNLiterally meaning joint inflammation, arthritis is a general term used for more than 100 different rheumatic diseases and conditions that relate to joint pain or joint disease. Now considered a common ailment, especially among women and those advancing in years, doctor-diagnosed arthritis affects approximately 54.4 million American adults, a number expected to rise to 78 million by 2040. Symptoms of pain, stiffness and swelling in and around the joints and surrounding tissues, as well as loss of mobility and reduced joint flexibility, may develop gradually or suddenly, may be mild, moderate or severe, and may come and go with periods of time between flare-ups.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is an often painful, degenerative joint disease that can affect the hips, knees, neck, lower back and smaller knuckle joints. OA generally begins with the gradual deterioration of cartilage, the strong and flexible fibrous connective tissue that cushions the joints, absorbs shock, and allows for bones to glide over each other with movement. Over time, cartilage breakdown leads to joint damage and loss of the synovial fluid that lubricates the joint, resulting in bone-on-bone friction, pain, and inflammation. Initial signs of OA might include morning joint stiffness that lessens with movement, or joint pain after exercise or strenuous activity. Osteoarthritis may develop with aging, sports participation, repetitive overuse or joint stress resulting from injury or obesity.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory autoimmune disorder in which the body releases enzymes that attack joint linings, causing swelling, pain, stiffness, and malformation, as well as reduced movement and loss of functionality. This abnormal immune response plays a leading role in the inflammation and joint damage that occurs. RA often affects the fingers, thumbs, wrists, elbows, shoulders, knees, ankles and feet. Because RA causes high levels of systemic inflammation, it can affect organ and body systems, resulting in symptoms of dry eye, eye sensitivity and irritation, dry mouth, gum irritation or infection, inflammation of the blood vessels and lungs, anemia and skin nodules. As there is no cure, RA must be managed to target remission, control pain and fatigue, and prevent damage to joints and tissues. Typically, a combination of medication, exercise, lifestyle changes, and an anti-inflammatory diet high in omega-3 essential fatty acids, are recommended protocols for treatment.

Gout is another form of inflammatory arthritis that causes extremely painful joint inflammation, largely affecting the big toe. Gout occurs when the body produces an excess of uric acid or is unable to eliminate it quickly enough. Initially symptomless, when the blood level of uric acid is high, sharp needle-like crystals can begin to form in the joint. A gout attack generally occurs suddenly without warning, causing an episode of severe pain, tenderness, warmth and swelling that may last for up to a week or longer. Certain health conditions, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and heart disease may contribute to a higher risk of gout. Although some will experience chronic gout flares, lifestyle and dietary changes can help with reducing interval flare-ups. Avoiding red and organ meats, shellfish, excessive alcohol, and fructose sweetened drinks can help reduce gout risk. Following a life-long heart healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and engaging in physical activity are important strategies for uric acid reduction and gout management.

Exercise that emphasizes stretching, strengthening and range of motion, such as tai chi, swimming, low-impact aerobics, and restorative yoga, is often helpful and encouraged to support dexterity and protect against further degeneration, while periodic rests from repetitive movement help to reduce inflammation and fatigue. Topical analgesics or patches applied directly to the affected areas, such as those than contain eucalyptus or capsaicin, help to reduce pain by stimulating the nerve endings that distract the brain from joint pain. Heat treatments, such as warm compresses, heating pads and 15-20-minute bath soaks can soothe affected joints, improve pain tolerance and help to maintain flexibility. For acute flares, cold treatment is best as it helps to reduce inflammation and numb pain. Acupuncture or acupressure, relaxation techniques, massage and chiropractic manipulation can also help to relieve stress, pain, inflammation, and other symptoms associated with different forms of arthritis. The following science-backed supplements may be effective in the management of arthritis:

Hyaluronic Acid – Hyaluronic acid is found in all connective tissues and is a major component of cartilage and synovial fluid that surrounds the joints. It’s hyaluronic acid that retains the moisture that lubricates and protects cartilage. Research has shown that hyaluronic acid helps to relieve achy joints.

MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) – This organic sulfur compound, found naturally in fruits, vegetables, and grains, is an important building block for healthy bones and joints. Evidence shows that MSM may have a moderate effect in improving joint pain and swelling and may improve general functional wellbeing in those with OA.

Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids – EPA and DHA essential fatty acids found in cold water fish block powerful inflammatory cytokines and provide anti-inflammatory compounds that protect against inflammatory conditions, including arthritis, heart disease, and high blood pressure.  According to the Arthritis Foundation, extensively studied omega-3’s significantly decrease joint tenderness and stiffness.

Bromelain – Found naturally in pineapple, bromelain has been shown to cause uric acid crystals to decompose, helping to relieve pain associated with gout. Taken regularly as a supplement, bromelain can help reduce swelling, pain and tenderness and may also help prevent future attacks.

Spices – Turmeric and ginger contain natural anti-inflammatory and pain relieving compounds. Applied topically, capsaicin provides pain relief and helps to temporarily reduce bodily chemicals that contribute to inflammation.

As always, if you pregnant, taking medications or have a medical condition, please consult your healthcare provider before beginning a supplement regimen.

Professional Supplement Center carries many high quality supplements to support a healthy inflammatory response and overall health.

Bromelain-5000 (7500...Bromelain-5000 by Douglas Laboratories: Obtained from pineapple, bromelain is a blend of enzymes shown to support a healthy inflammatory response, aid digestion, and promote muscle and joint comfort. Gluten, soy, wheat, and dairy free.

 

Uric Acid FormulaUric Acid Formula by Pure Encapsulations®: This formula provides vitamins and botanicals to support healthy uric acid metabolism by promoting healthy liver enzyme activity, immune mediator activity and alkalization. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

 

Advanced Bio...ON SALE Advanced Bio-Curcumin® with Ginger Tumerones by Life Extension: Formulated with BCM-95® Bio-Curcumin®, standardized ginger extracts, turmeric oil compounds and phospholipids, this highly absorbable formula promotes a healthy inflammatory response by inhibiting key inflammatory factors.

 

Hyaluronic AcidON SALE Hyaluronic Acid by Olympian Labs: This product provides a blend of hyaluronic acid and BioCell collagen in support of properly hydrated joints and skin. Soy free formulation.

 

MSM Capsules ...MSM by Pure Encapsulations: Well known for maintaining connective tissue heath, MSM is a source of organic sulfur, which supports healthy joint function as well as hair, skin and nails. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

 

Hyaluronic Acid with...ON SALE Hyaluronic Acid with MSM by Now Foods: This product provides hyaluronic acid as well as MSM in support of connective tissue and joint lubrication and shock absorption. Gluten, soy, wheat, yeast, and milk free.

 

ProOmega Lemon 1000...ON SALE ProOmega Lemon 1000 mg by Nordic Naturals: This popular product provides high potency omega-3 fatty acids derived from purified deep sea fish oil. Shown to clinically support cardiovascular health and the body’s natural anti-inflammatory response, this double strength formula is guaranteed to be fresh and pure. Gluten free, Non-GMO formulation.

References:
What Is Arthritis? http://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/understanding-arthritis/what-is-arthritis.php
Arthritis Basics. https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/index.html
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). https://www.rheumatoidarthritis.org/ra/
Arthritis. http://www.health.harvard.edu/topics/arthritis
What is Cartilage? http://www.arthritis-health.com/types/joint-anatomy/what-cartilage
Osteoarthritis Symptoms and Signs. http://www.arthritis-health.com/types/osteoarthritis/osteoarthritis-symptoms-and-signs
Gout Self Care. http://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/types/gout/self-care.php
Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment. http://www.arthritis-health.com/types/rheumatoid/rheumatoid-arthritis-treatment

Understanding Osteoarthritis

UnderstandingOsteoarthritisJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as many as 27 million Americans, approximately one third of adults over age 65, may suffer from osteoarthritis (OA). OA is a degenerative joint condition marked by inflammation, pain, swelling, loss of motion, and frequent morning joint stiffness. OA occurs largely in the knees, hips, spine, and the small joints of the fingers. This common form of arthritis is often referred to as “wear and tear” or degenerative arthritis, as the cartilage that cushions the joint erodes, often resulting in painful bone-on-bone friction. While OA can develop as a direct result of an earlier, traumatic joint injury, as well as age-related gradual wear and tear, investigators at the Stanford University School of Medicine concluded that osteoarthritis may also be driven by low-grade inflammatory processes.

When OA develops in the hand, a gradual thinning of the cartilage, which normally cushions the finger joints, occurs and eventually leads to bone on bone contact and bone loss. All joint tissues become highly active, as the body attempts to repair any damage. The body reacts to this bone loss, by forming firm, knobby, often times painful bone spurs on the finger joints. Known as Heberden’s nodes when they form on the sides of the joints closest to the fingertips, or Bouchard’s nodes when they form on mid-finger joints, these spurs are a common clinical sign of OA. The loss of cartilage and the erosion of bone, as well as the growth of bony spurs, can force bones out of position, and many times results in deformity and limited range of motion. However, once nodes are fully formed, pain and tenderness often improves.

Factors that increase the risk of developing osteoarthritis include:

  • Age – OA is more common in older adults, often appearing in both males and females once they reach their late 40’s.
  • Gender – When adults reach their mid-fifties, OA tends to be more common and more severe in women. Joints that are particularly affected include the knees and hands.
  • Obesity – Carrying too much weight increases the chances of developing OA in the knee joints, which tends to worsen over time.
  • Joint injury – A major joint injury, joint surgery and long term repetitive or physically demanding stress on a joint can increase the risk of developing OA later in life.
  • Genetics – OA tends to run in families with genetic joint abnormalities who tend to have an earlier onset and more severe symptoms. Studies suggest that women whose mothers developed Heberden’s nodes are genetically predisposed to developing nodes themselves when they have a family history of hand osteoarthritis.

As a chronic illness, there is currently no cure or treatment that can stop the progression of OA, but symptoms can be managed. Physical activity is most beneficial in reducing pain and helping to maintain a healthy weight. Strengthening activities can help improve muscle strength around OA-affected joints, which helps to ease pain. Range of motion exercises can help to relieve stiffness and improve flexibility. Physical and occupational therapy or gentle stretching may also help with flexibility and pain management. Over the counter or prescription pain medications can help to relieve inflammation and ease pain. Dietary changes can help to relieve the pain and inflammation associated with OA. Avoid refined cooking oils, processed white foods and added sugars that increase inflammation. Strive for a well-rounded healthy diet that includes anti-inflammatory omega-3 rich foods and spices, as well as antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables, which may help to reduce inflammation-related tissue damage. Be sure to hydrate sufficiently to keep joints lubricated and support overall bodily functions.

Well-designed clinical trials have shown science backed supplements to be effective in the management of OA:

Hyaluronic AcidHyaluronic acid is present in all connective tissues and is especially concentrated in moving joints. As a major component of cartilage and synovial fluid that surround joints, hyaluronic acid is responsible for retaining moisture that lubricates and protects the cartilage. As we age hyaluronic acid levels fall. In addition to supporting healthy skin, one of the most well-researched benefits of hyaluronic acid is an ability to relieve aching joints.

Spices Turmeric and ginger contain natural anti-inflammatory and pain relieving compounds. Applied topically, capsaicin provides pain relief and helps to temporarily reduce bodily chemicals that contribute to inflammation.

MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) – This organic sulfur compound, found naturally in fruits, vegetables, and grains, is an important building block for healthy bones and joints.  Evidence shows that MSM may have a moderate effect in improving joint pain and swelling and may improve general functional wellbeing in those with OA.

Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids – EPA and DHA essential fatty acids found in cold water fish block powerful inflammatory cytokines and provide anti-inflammatory compounds that protect against inflammatory conditions, including arthritis, heart disease and high blood pressure.  According to the Arthritis Foundation, extensively studied omega-3’s significantly decrease joint tenderness and stiffness.

SAM-e – A naturally occurring compound found in most bodily tissues and fluids, SAM-e provides support for multiple processes. Studies suggest that SAM-e acts as an analgesic and contains anti-inflammatory properties that may help to relieve the pain associated with OA.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality products to help relieve inflammation and pain associated with osteoarthritis:

Hyaluronic Acid by Pure Encapsulations

Hyaluronic Acid by Pure Encapsulations – One capsule provides 70 mg of hyaluronic acid in support of healthy lubrication, shock absorption and overall joint function. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO formulation.

 

Advanced Bio-Curcumin® with Ginger & Turmerones by Life Extension

Advanced Bio-Curcumin® with Ginger & Turmerones by Life Extension15% Off  This advanced formula contains highly absorbable curcumin extract along with compounds that complement curcumin health benefits.

 

MSM Sulfur™ by Jarrow Formulas

MSM Sulfur™ by Jarrow Formulas® – Found in high concentrations in connective tissues, the product supplies 1000 mg of MSM per capsule in support of strengthening joint and skin structure. Gluten, soy and dairy free formulation.

 

SAMe 200 mg by Source Naturals

SAMe 200 mg by Source Naturals –  40% Off  This stable, bioavailable form of SAM-e is formulated to support joint comfort, function and mobility. Gluten, soy and dairy free, vegetarian formulation.

 

Eskimo PurEFA 1000mg by Integrative Therapeutics

Eskimo® PurEFA 1000 mg by Integrative Therapeutics – This product supplies EPA and DHA omega-3 essential fatty acids in support of healthy heart, brain, joint and skin health. Gluten and dairy free formulation.

 

References:
Osteoarthritis results from inflammatory process, not just wear and tear, study suggests. https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2011/11/osteoarthritis-results-from-inflammatory-process-not-just-wear-and-tear-study-suggests.html
What is osteoarthritis? http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information/conditions/osteoarthritis/what-is-osteoarthritis.aspx
What is osteoarthritis? http://arthritis.com/osteoarthritis_symptoms
What Are Heberden’s Nodes? Symptoms and Significance. https://www.verywell.com/what-are-heberdens-nodes-2552023
9 Supplements for Arthritis. http://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/treatments/natural/supplements-herbs/9-supplements-arthritis.php
Fish Oil. http://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/treatments/natural/supplements-herbs/guide/fish-oil.php
Osteoarthritis & Joint Pain Relief. http://www.msmguide.com/jointpain/osteoarthritis-treatment/