Tag Archives: Nutrition

Oh, My Aching Joints!

OsteoarthritisJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common progressive and degenerative joint disorder, as well as the leading cause of disability in the U.S. Due to the obesity epidemic and aging of the population, OA is expected to affect one in four adults, or 67 million people, by the year 2030. Arthritis is a term for a diverse group of chronic painful inflammatory conditions that negatively affect joints and surrounding structures. Many factors are involved in the epidemiology or root causes of OA, particularly in the weight bearing joints. These can include genetic predisposition, aging, obesity, muscle weakness and female gender. Additionally, joint injury or deformity, recurring joint movement, overuse such as with sports, or repetitive heavy lifting can repeatedly damage joints, tendons and ligaments and speed cartilage breakdown, resulting in painful movement and other symptoms.

As OA most often affects middle-aged and elderly people, many think of the disease as simply normal “wear and tear” on the joints. This is inaccurate, however, as OA affects not only the joint but also the cartilage, joint lining, ligaments and bone. Breakdown of cartilage that normally cushions the ends of bones between the joints occurs over time, as tendons and ligaments deteriorate. Bone spurs may develop on joint edges, accompanied by various degrees of joint lining inflammation. The estimated lifetime risk of symptomatic knee OA is approximately 40 percent in men and 47 percent in women. That risk increases to 60 percent in those who are considered overweight or obese with a BMI greater than 30. Symptomatic OA is generally defined by the presence of joint pain, aching, tenderness, stiffness and mild swelling, as well as loss of flexibility, making movements like walking, climbing stairs and even holding onto objects difficult.

As there are no proven protocols for reversing damage caused by OA, treatment is aimed at reducing joint pain and improving function. Modifying certain risk factors may reduce the risk of OA and may help prevent subsequent pain, stiffness and disability.

Weight maintenance: Carrying extra body weight puts additional pressure on weight bearing joints. Weight loss, if needed, can lessen the stress on the knees, hips and back and help prevent further damage. Metabolically active fat tissue produces cytokines that can cause harmful, painful inflammation in the joints and surrounding tissues. Maintaining a healthy weight helps to ease symptoms such as pain and swelling.

Exercise: Physical activity is considered one of the most beneficial ways to manage symptoms of OA. Regular gentle exercise such as walking, yoga, tai chi, stretching or swimming can effectively improve balance and strengthen muscles, as well as increase range of motion and reduce pain and stiffness. Exercise can help to prevent muscle weakness and may also improve balance, making one less susceptible to falls and fractures. Physical therapy can be helpful to strengthen muscles and stabilize affected joints. Exercising to the point of pain is not recommended and is an indication that the exercise intensity level needs to be lowered.

Nutrition: Following a balanced, whole food anti-inflammatory diet such as the Mediterranean diet can help to improve OA symptoms. This healthy fiber-rich diet provides immune and health supportive nutrients which mitigate painful inflammation and also keep chronic age-related diseases at bay. Sugar and refined carbohydrates are likely to worsen inflammatory conditions, while foods rich in antioxidants may help reduce inflammation induced cell and tissue damage.

Nutritional Supplements: Glucosamine sulfate provides raw material needed for the maintenance and repair of healthy cartilage and other joint structures. Chondroitin protects the cartilage and attracts fluids that help cushion joints. Botanicals such as ginger, rosemary and turmeric have naturally occurring anti-inflammatory compounds. Omega-3 essential fatty acids have been consistently shown to have anti-inflammatory activities that have a positive effect on joint swelling and flexibility.

Professional Supplement Center offers these and other high quality nutritional supplements in support of overall healthy function:

Advanced Pain...Advanced Pain Formula by Diamond Formulations: Advanced Pain Formula provides specific ingredients that relieve minor aches and pains, support healthy joint function and encourage a normal stress and inflammatory response. Ingredients include magnesium malate, MSM, turmeric, alpha lipoic acid and hyaluronic acid. Free of wheat, soy, yeast, gluten, dairy, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, and artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. Non-GMO kosher formulation.

Arthroben Unflavored...Arthroben™ Unflavored/Unsweetened by Designs for Health: This powdered formula provides collagen peptides and flavonoids for the dietary management of metabolic processes of osteoarthritis. Specific ingredients help to reduce inflammation, provide antioxidant protection to support joint health and deliver nutritional building blocks for cartilage, ligaments and skin. Gluten, dairy and soy free, Non-GMO formulation.

Glucosamine/MSM with...Glucosamine/MSM with Joint Comfort Herbs by Pure Encapsulations®: This formula provides glucosamine sulfate, MSM, ginger and turmeric in support of healthy cartilage formation, as well as joint structure and function. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO formulation.

Bone and Joint...Bone and Joint Support by Quantum Nutrition Labs: This comprehensive formula provides quantum-state support for proper joint function and a healthy inflammatory response, as well as healthy bones and joint tissues. Non-GMO vegan formulation.

 

References:
Epidemiology of Osteoarthritis. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2920533/
By The Numbers. Arthritis and Other Rheumatic Conditions (AORC). https://www.boneandjointburden.org/docs/By%20The%20Numbers%20-%20Arthritis_4E_Nov%202018%20%282%29.pdf
Osteoarthritis. https://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/types/osteoarthritis/
What is the best diet for osteoarthritis? https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322603.php

For the Love of Pets

petsJacquie Eubanks RN BSNAnyone who has loved and lost a pet knows firsthand that one of the hardest things about pet ownership is that pets have shorter lifespans than their humans. We all would like our furry family members to live a full, happy, healthy and long life. The general belief that the way to determine a dog’s age in human years is to multiply by seven. This 7:1 ratio was based on the determination that humans lived to about seventy years and dogs to about ten. This has been determined to be inaccurate, yet there is disagreement among professionals as to a more accurate method. What we all know in our hearts however, is that it is never long enough. We can help extend the lives of our pets by giving them a certain level of care, and we can improve the quality of their lives by supporting their physical and mental wellbeing.

Some professionals believe that dogs reach the equivalent of twenty-one years in only two human years and that aging then slows to an average of four years to every human year. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) estimates the first year of a dog’s life as equal to fifteen human years, the second year equal to nine human years and after that, each human year would be approximately five years. One thing they all agree on is that smaller pets have longer lifespans than larger ones. While the cause remains unknown, large dogs age at an accelerated pace after age four and succumb to age-related illnesses sooner than smaller dogs. For some pets, unfortunately, bigger isn’t always better.

Dogs have a special ability to bond with their owners, providing unconditional love and companionship, combating feelings of loneliness, and lowering stress levels. Studies have shown pet ownership provides a number of proven health benefits, including physical, emotional, and mental health improvements. Opening your home to a pet or pets can increase fitness, improve immunity and decrease depression and anxiety. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) heart-related studies’ findings suggest decreases in stroke and heart attack risk associated with pet owners, who also typically exhibit lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. Additionally, according to these studies, heart attack survivors who live with a dog or cat have consistently better recovery rates. Children exposed early on to animals tend to develop stronger immune systems and have a lowered risk of developing related allergies.

Dedicated pet parents can ensure their pet’s health and happiness and support healthy aging.

Weight maintenance – Be careful that you don’t allow your pet to become obese. Maintaining a healthy weight reduces a pet’s risk of disease and injury, contributes to a better quality of life, and supports a longer life expectancy. Dog owners who walk or run with their pets several times each day are more likely to lose or maintain their own weight, as compared to those who don’t have pets.

Exercise – Walking not only supports a pet’s physical needs, it provides mental stimulation as well. Daily walks support muscle maintenance, joint health and a healthy weight. If your pet is recovering from an injury or surgery, speak to your vet about low-impact exercise options. Aside from the obvious reasons to walk your pet, allowing some time for sniffing makes the walk more enjoyable for them. While pets need to go out in all kinds of weather, during summer avoid walking on hot asphalt, and be sure your pet is adequately covered during winter walks. It’s best to time walks to avoid the hottest or coldest time of day.

Nutrition – In addition to good quality, highly nutritious and age appropriate food, pets can benefit from supplements that support joint, digestion, immune and skin health. Provide access to water at all times and watch that your dog doesn’t get dehydrated during warm weather or long walks.

Playtime – This is good advice for both dogs and cats. Indoor cats need opportunities to climb, chase, stalk and pounce. Playing with your cat regularly and providing entertaining toys can help to satisfy the stalking instinct and provide the exercise they need to maintain health. Provide mental stimulation by taking your dog out to play catch or to teach them new tricks. Heading to dog park allows dogs to have fun, get additional exercise and socialize with other dogs when appropriate.

Routine care – Flea and tick control, as well as heartworm and parasite prevention, are a must for pets’ health and quality of life. Annual wellness visits for routine care and dental exams can detect problems in their early stages, making them more easily addressed and treated. Regular grooming is imperative for certain breeds, and others can be bathed when needed. Watch for common health problems such as ear and urinary tract infections. If you pet is showing signs of illness, see your vet as soon as possible.

Enjoy the moment – Time with pets is precious. Maintaining a balanced healthy diet, keeping your pet active in mind and body, regular preventive care, and lots of love and attention can ensure that our best friends live out their natural lifespan in the healthiest possible way.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality nutritional supplements to support your pets’ health and wellness needs:

Healthy AgingHealthy Aging by Animal Necessity: Healthy Aging Vet™ provides natural nutritional support for aging pets. Specific ingredients support overall wellbeing, stress resistance, mental concentration, healthy vision and reduced oxidative stress. Designed to support the health of large breed dogs beginning at age 3, and smaller breed dogs beginning at age 4.

 

Inflammation Support...Inflammation Support Curcumin 97%™ by Ayush Herbs: Used traditionally for centuries, this 97% pure curcuminoid product helps maintain a healthy inflammatory response, supports hepatic function and natural detoxification, and provides important antioxidant benefits. Free of milk, soy, eggs, and wheat.

 

Frontier Cat MultiFrontier Cat Multi by Nutritional Frontiers: These comprehensive multivitamin and mineral bite-sized chews provide key nutrients for overall health, omega-3 essential fatty acids, and taurine, an essential nutrient necessary to maintain eye health in cats.

 

Daily Multi For DogsDaily Multi for Dogs by Pet Naturals® of Vermont: This once daily multivitamin and mineral supplement provides over 21 healthful nutrients, vitamins, antioxidants and essential fatty acids in support of healthy skin and coat, normal brain function, cellular metabolism, and immune, bone, and nerve health.

 

Arthro Pet WafersArthroPet® Wafers by NeoCell: This innovative formula provides a natural source of collagen, glucosamine, chondroitin, hyaluronic acid, MSM and manganese in support of strong and healthy joints. Gluten, soy, wheat, lactose, yeast, starch and artificial flavor free.

 

Pets Joint Support ...Pets Joint Support for Dogs and Cats by Now® Foods: This veterinarian formulated supplement supports normal joint function and healthy joint aging in both dogs and cats. Specific ingredients help to alleviate occasional joint discomfort associated with routine daily activity. The formula includes glucosamine, MSM, curcumin, hyaluronic acid, yucca and cayenne.

References:
How to Calculate Dog Years to Human Years. http://www.akc.org/content/entertainment/articles/how-to-calculate-dog-years-to-human-years/
10 Tips to Keep Your Cat Happy Indoors. http://m.humanesociety.org/animals/cats/tips/cat_happy_indoors.html
5 ways to keep your dog happy and healthy. https://www.cesarsway.com/dog-care/routine-care/5-ways-to-keep-your-dog-healthy-and-happy
7 Things You Can Do To Keep Your Pet Healthy. https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/pet-health.aspx
Healthy Pets, Healthy People. https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/health-benefits/index.html

 

 

Fibromyalgia

FibromyalgiaJacquie Eubanks RN BSNInvisible to the eye, Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterized by symptoms of widespread muscle, tendon, ligament and body pain often accompanied by tenderness in specific areas of the body known as tender points. In many cases fibromyalgia may be initially misdiagnosed, as individuals generally experience a range of symptoms that can include joint stiffness, sleep disturbances, headaches, cognitive and memory issues, depression, irritable bowel, whole body fatigue and more. Lab tests are often used to rule out other possible co-existing conditions. Fibromyalgia can affect anyone. Yet, for unknown reasons most of those diagnosed with the disorder are adult women.

Although fibromyalgia may be attributed to a number of factors, exact causes remain a mystery. The disorder is frequently attributed to traumatic events that can be physical, emotional or medical, such as a motor vehicle accident, a traumatic life event, or an illness or infection. Hormonal disturbances linked to chronic stress, and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus may also be contributing factors. Genetic mutations are believed to play a role, as those with a family history of the syndrome are at greater risk for developing the condition.

Fibromyalgia is a life-altering centralized persistent pain state that varies in intensity from day to day. A multi-disciplinary team approach for the management and relief of symptoms is often recommended, as currently, underlying causes are not identified and addressed. As the body is designed to heal and health is the natural state, affected individuals must play an active role. Self-management strategies may help to reduce the frequency, duration and intensity of periodic flare-ups. Although fibromyalgia results in painful and uncomfortable symptoms, the condition is not life-threatening and doesn’t result in organ or muscle damage.

Like the management of other chronic conditions, healthy daily lifestyle habits can help with symptom relief, minimize the impact on one’s life, and lower the risk for other health problems. Conventional approaches include medication, exercise and physical therapy. A more balanced approach includes complementary and alternative therapies. Supplements, along with lifestyle changes and other treatments, have been shown to help lessen pain, increase energy and promote healthier sleep.

Pain relief: Take medications as prescribed. Over the counter pain relievers should only be used as needed for as short a time as possible. A long soak in the tub with added Epsom salts can help to reduce deep muscle pain and promote better sleep.

Stress reduction: Focus on recognizing and reducing signs of stress, such as shoulder tension and headaches. Restorative yoga and meditation may help to lower stress and reduce pain.

Physical activity: Due to pain and fatigue, many find it difficult to be physically active. Yet, research has shown that daily activity is one of the most effective treatments for fibromyalgia. Develop a low-impact exercise routine to help reduce pain, increase energy, reduce stress and aid more restful sleep. Walking and water aerobics for a short period a few days a week are good starting points. As pain decreases and energy increases, one may gradually increase frequency and intensity.

Sleep management: Pain makes it difficult to get restful sleep, and lack of sleep can exacerbate symptoms. Getting sufficient sleep can help to ease pain and fatigue. Establish a healthy bedtime routine and avoid afternoon naps, as well coffee, alcohol and stimulating exercise within three hours of bedtime.

Nutrition: A balanced healthy diet and proper nutrition supports energy production and good health, and reduces the risk of developing other chronic conditions. Although no specific diet for fibromyalgia has been identified certain dietary strategies, such as eating more plant foods, reducing animal foods, staying hydrated, and reducing sugar intake, support overall wellness. Fermented foods and foods rich in omega-3 fats and antioxidants can keep the digestive system on tract, and reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.

Alternative therapies: Massage therapy, yoga, tai chi, acupuncture and chiropractic manipulation may be helpful to relieve pain, reduce stress, improve function and promote natural healing.

Dietary supplements commonly used to treat fibromyalgia symptoms include:

D-ribose: D-ribose is a naturally occurring unique sugar used by all bodily cells to build energy. Well-tolerated in supplemental form, D-ribose has been shown to increase cellular energy synthesis in heart and skeletal tissue. A pilot study found that D-ribose significantly improved energy, sleep, mental clarity, pain intensity, and wellbeing in those with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.

SAMe: Naturally produced by the body, SAMe boosts levels of serotonin and dopamine, which may help improve mood, and relieve pain, morning stiffness, and fatigue. Harvard Medical School researchers have found that SAMe is safe and effective for treating symptoms of mild depression.

5-HTP: This natural amino acid is used by the body to produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate mood and behavior. Many individuals with fibromyalgia have low levels of serotonin. 5-HTP may have a positive effect on sleep, mood, anxiety, appetite, and pain sensation.

Magnesium: Magnesium deficiency is linked to fibromyalgia symptoms. Maintaining therapeutic blood levels of magnesium is associated with a lessening of symptoms of depression, tender point soreness, and fatigue.

Vitamin D: A review of published studies found that vitamin D levels may play a key role in the relationship between pain and sleep. Researchers theorize that vitamin D supplementation combined with good sleep hygiene could increase the effectiveness of pain management treatments in fibromyalgia and other pain related conditions.

Adaptogenic herbs: Adaptogenic herbs such as ashwagandha and rhodiola help to improve metabolic and cognitive function, and defend against the negative consequences of stress by inhibiting the release of cortisol, a stress hormone.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality formulations to address symptoms of fibromyalgia:

Corvalen Ribose...Corvalen® Ribose Chewable Tablets by Douglas Laboratories®: These all-natural D-ribose chewable tablets are clinically proven to help restore energy, support cardiac function, and reduce muscle stiffness, soreness, and fatigue. D-ribose helps to reduce energy loss in times of stress, and accelerates muscle and tissue recovery after exercise. Gluten, soy, wheat, dairy and artificial ingredient free, vegan formulation.

5-HTP 100 mg (5...5-HTP 100 mg by Pure Encapsulations®: Clinically studied 5-HTP supports and encourages brain serotonin levels that can lead to positive effects on emotional wellbeing, appetite control, and wake/sleep cycles. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

Malic Acid +...Malic Acid + Magnesium Tablets by Douglas Laboratories®: This formula blends malic acid, a naturally occurring organic acid, with magnesium, vitamin C and bioflavonoids. These synergistic ingredients may have a beneficial effect on fibromyalgia symptoms, as well as the healthy structure and function of the immune and skeletal systems. Gluten, soy, dairy and artificial ingredient free.

Bio-D-Mulsion ForteBio-D-Mulsion Forte® by Biotics® Research: Designed to be helpful for those with absorption issues, this formula provides vitamin D3 in a highly bioavailable, micro-emulsified form for enhanced absorption and utilization. Gluten free.

 

Bio-Adaptogen UltraBio-Adaptogen™ Ultra by Nutra BioGenesis®: This professional ayurvedic blend of adaptogenic herbs provides nutritive support during times of stress, and supports healthy adrenal function, optimal energy levels, and overall wellbeing.

 

Magnesium (glycinate...Magnesium Glycinate by Pure Encapsulations®: Important for numerous bodily functions, this product supplies highly bioavailable magnesium chelate along with vitamin C. Less likely to cause bowel discomfort than other forms of magnesium, magnesium in glycinate form provides support for neuromuscular and cardiac function, mood balance, and the proper metabolism and utilization of essential nutrients. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

References:
Questions and Answers about Fibromyalgia. https://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/fibromyalgia/
What is Fibromyalgia? https://www.fmcpaware.org/aboutfibromyalgia.html
Fibromyalgia. https://familydoctor.org/condition/fibromyalgia/?adfree=true
Everything You Need to Know About Fibromyalgia. http://www.healthline.com/health/fibromyalgia#is-fibromyalgia-real1
Fibromyalgia: Symptoms, causes, and treatment. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/147083.php
7 Natural Remedies for Fibromyalgia: http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/fibromyalgia-natural-remedies#1
Magnesium and its Role in Fibromyalgia Treatment. http://www.fmaware.org/about-fibromyalgia/magnesium-fibromyalgia-treatment/
The use of D-ribose in chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia: a pilot study. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17109576
Vitamin D Supplements, Quality Sleep Could Help Relieve Symptoms of Fibromyalgia, Other Chronic Pain Conditions. https://fibromyalgianewstoday.com/2017/06/07/fibromyalgia-chronic-pain-may-be-relieved-by-vitamin-d-supplements-qual/