Healthy Aging – Arthritis Me and You
Healthy aging is one of the most significant factors concerning many people today Of the healthy aging issues, arthritis is right up there for many. What is Arthritis? Well that’s a good question. Arthritis is a “catch all” term for over 100 different diseases and conditions that affect joints. Some of these are mild and easily manageable while others can be more severe and difficult to manage. First and foremost, I am not a doctor and, if you suspect arthritis, you should be properly evaluated by your physician.
I do have arthritis and have been managing it for years so I have some practical experience, but only as it relates to me.
People of all ages, sexes and races can and do have arthritis, and it is the leading cause of disability in America. More than 50 million adults and 300,000 children have some type of arthritis. It is most common among women and occurs more frequently as people get older, hence we normally think of it as a disease of the elderly, but that is not necessarily true. Hence when we consider healthy aging and what that means, we must consider arthritis prevention, diagnosis and control.
What Are The Symptoms of Arthritis
The most common symptoms we associate with arthritis are joint discomfort and stiffness. The discomfort can be mild to severe and the stiffness can become debilitating. If you are having joint symptoms and are asking, “Do I Have Arthritis?,” you owe it to your joints and your overall health to find out. The only way to find out is to start with a medical professional who can help diagnose your symptoms and point the direction for you for further evaluation.
What Causes Pain
Quite simply, inflammation causes pain. There are many things we do to cause inflammation but, all pain comes from inflammation. If we can reduce the inflammation, we can reduce the pain. This is one of the reasons cold packs are so effective, they reduce inflammation. Unfortunately, many of the foods we eat in the modern American diet contribute to inflammation. While an exhaustive list of foods to avoid is beyond the scope of this short blog post, here is a short list of foods to consider minimizing or eliminating entirely:
Foods that are really bad for inflation
Sugar is high on the list of foods to minimize or eliminate. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition warns that processed sugars trigger the release of inflammatory messengers called cytokines. Sugar goes by many names so look out for any word ending in “ose,” e.g. fructose or sucrose on ingredient labels.
Pizza and Cheese are way high on the list of foods that contain saturated fats and trigger inflammation. Other not so good foods include red meat, full fat dairy products and pasta dishes
White flour products (breads, rolls, crackers) white rice, white potatoes (instant mashed potatoes, or french fries) and many cereals are refined carbohydrates.e flour product
Mono-sodium glutamate (MSG) is a flavor-enhancing food additive most commonly found in prepared Asian food and soy sauce, but it can also be added to fast foods, prepared soups and soup mixes, salad dressings and deli meats
Alcohol ah yes sorry to burden you with this small fact but it’s bad stuff. Now I personally can tell you I still drink, but very little compared to my youth. Alcohol is a burden to the liver. Excessive use weakens liver function and disrupts other multi-organ interactions and can cause inflammation. It is best eliminated or used in moderation.
Although most people know that maintaining a healthy weight is important for their overall health, actually achieving weight loss and being at a healthy weight are different issues. 68% of Americans are considered overweight or obese. Maintaining your ideal weight is one of the healthiest things you can do for your body and soul.
You joints will thank you as you take the pressure off of them and give them a chance to recover
It is hard to over emphasize the importance and need for exercise as we age, but without a reasonable exercise regime, our body will falter and fail on u sooner or later. I have found personally that, if I have a joint hurting me, the very best thing I can do for it is to take it to the gym. I personally target three days per week for the gym. I don’t always make it, but I am pretty consistent.
It is Your Choice
One of the most common (and distressing ) reasons people enter an assisted living facility is they are unable to get up off of the toilet without assistance. This is a simple, preventable, reversible situation. Proper diet, weight management and exercise will help you maintain your activity level and quality of life well into your senior years. The choice is yours.
Toxins And Our Environment
Since 1985, over 20,000 new chemicals have been introduced and are soaking our environment, our children and you. And yes! the FDA and EPA allow it. These industries are, to a great extent, unregulated. To learn more about toxins in your home and body and your children, check out The Toxic Truth. The magnitude of the problem will astound you.
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