There are three different types of arthritis:
Rheumatoid Arthritis – which tends to occur in both hands or both hips simultaneously
Osteoarthritis and Psoriatic Arthritis, which tend to be the result of damage or wear and tear.
What is common to all three is inflammation – originally only thought to be through the Cox-2 pathways, but now understood to also be the result of toxins and chemicals, and through molecules produced by gut bacteria in response to foods.
- Stress – Stress hormones cause inflammation in the body by directly affecting Cox-2, and also by causing a bad gut response and more inflammatory molecules to be produced. Learn to sleep better and longer and use stress reducing exercise, including yoga and meditation techniques.
- Toxic in-home products, toiletry and personal care products – These can affect receptors on the surface of cells and even the DNA causing great changes in tissues and chronic inflammation (see ‘Live Clean’).
- Tobacco and Alcohol – both increase free radical formation in the body and, amongst other harmful effects, they are known to cause inflammation.
- Avoid Advanced Glycation End Products – Cooking foods at high temperatures produces AGEs – harmful compounds that accumulate in the body as you age. Of course then, certain foods, like Red meat and dairy, contain these too. The Mediterranean Diet has been proven to be a low source of AGEs. The best foods to eat are thus olive oil, fish, nuts and seeds, colourful vegetables and fruits. It’s time to adopt ‘the Rainbow Diet’). Consider cutting these inflammation causes:
- Sugar and refined carbs – Foods high in these cause inflammation by raising insulin levels which turn on Cox-2. Cut the empty carbs, processed and refined foods.
- Salt and preservatives – these can play havoc with your gut bacteria. Time to reduce levels in your diet especially as you age.
- Dairy – consumption of any dairy today will bring higher levels of inflammatory molecules in the blood stream tomorrow. This includes cows’, sheep’, and goats’ milk and cheese products. In part this is due to the involvement of gut bacteria in breaking down lactose. Cut this out.
- Gluten – while 40% of us are genetically intolerant, all but 1% have gut bacteria that will do the job for us. But sometimes this goes wrong – in whole or in part resulting in more inflammatory molecules in the blood stream. Better safe than sorry.
- Red meat – has been shown to affect a bile acid and turn on Cox-2 in the gut. A similar system operates throughout the body. Reduce consumption.
- Processed meats – much the same system operates as with Red meat. Avoid.
- Fried foods – Mount Sinai School of Medicine showed that lowering the consumption of fried food reduced inflammation in the body. Choose other ways of eating food.
- ‘Bad’ oils – avoid Trans fats, refined oils, saturated fats and cooking oil at high temperature – all cause inflammation by increasing levels of bad cholesterol. Stick to nut oils and extra virgin olive oil.
The Rainbow Diet written by Chris Woollams is an execellent starting point in reviewing your diet; its an eye opener and your taste buds will love you!!
Go to: How to cut your inflammation