Rheumatism, also known as rheumatoid arthritis is a condition that affects the joints especially synovial joints. It may also attack other tissues and organs in the body. Women are more likely to be affected by rheumatism unlike men. The symptoms are usually seen when women approach 50 years. The disease often leads to a permanent damage to the articular cartilage and where the joints fuse. It can also cause a destruction of the heart membranes, the lungs, clear and the pleura. The causes of the disease are not quite clear although medical experts have enough evidence as to what triggers the disease. According to a medical survey, about 1% of the world’s population suffers from rheumatism women being more affected than men. Even though the disease may affect people who are between 40 to 50 years, any age group can be affected. This conditional can be both painful and disabling for people who are affected and can lead to substantial damage if the disease is not tended to.
A diagnosis is usually made after a thorough physical exam and a variety of treatments administered afterwards. A person who studies rheumatism is known as a rheumatologist.
Causes of Rheumatism
The following are the likely causes of rheumatism:
- When the blood accumulates toxic waste, the toxins accumulate around the joints. Toxic waste comes from some of the food products that we consume such as sugar, meat, refined cereals and meat. These foods tend to leave behind a lot of toxins in the blood. The toxins are transported around the body and accumulate near the joints. This often results in rheumatism. In addition to eating these food products eating foods with too much acids is also harmful to the joints. Other artificial food products can also contribute to the development of rheumatism.
- Rheumatism can also be as a result of a disorder in the autoimmune system in our bodies. For instance if the white blood cells start accumulating in the membranes around our joints, symptoms of rheumatism are likely to develop. This is because the cells stop fighting infections in the body and start attacking the membrane lining around the joints. They create inflammation around the joints causing pain.
- Genetics are also said to play a role in the development of rheumatism later on in life. Although this issue is still under research, it is not uncommon to see that close family relatives who have suffered the disease before, will more likely pass it on to the next generation.
- Certain infections are known to trigger the disease. Such infections include teeth infections, tonsils, etc. which are likely to trigger the body’s immune system to respond. This mostly affects those who have an abnormally functioning auto immune system such that instead of the body fighting off the infections, it begins to attack the membranes around the joints.
- Hormonal changes are also likely to trigger rheumatism.
- Problems with the gall bladder are also another likely cause of the disease.
Symptoms of Rheumatism
The following are some of the symptoms of rheumatism:
- Lack of sleep.
- Pain around the joints.
- General body pain.
- Soreness around the infected areas.
- Improper urination.
- Muscle stiffness.
Rheumatism Home remedies
We have seen that rheumatism has a variety of triggers some of which cannot be controlled. However, there is proven evidence that some of the natural remedies can be used to relieve some of the symptoms of rheumatism. The following are some of these home remedies: Remember, you should always consult with your physician in order to get a proper diagnosis and before trying to incorporate these home remedies and herbal remedies yourself! Here are some of the home remedies that you can try.
- Potatoes- Juice from raw potatoes has been seen to be quite effective in relieving some of the symptoms. Two table spoons should be taken just before meals in order to ensure that the treatment is effective.
- Try This– A mixture of orange juice and cod liver oil can be used to also treat rheumatism. All you have to do is to mix a tablespoon of cod liver oil with orange juice and drink it just before going to bed.
- Honey and Apple Cider Vinegar– Honey and apple cider vinegar when mixed with warm water can be a really effective treatment for rheumatism. This mixture should be taken at least twice a day.
- Lemon and Carrot Juice– Equal proportions of lemon and carrot juice when taken twice a day can be quite effective in curing rheumatism.
- Lime Juice– A table spoon of limejuice mixed with warm water everyday is effective in treating rheumatism. This mixture should be taken twice a day, at night and in the morning.
- Try This– Three table spoons of Epsom salts mixed with warm water and lemon juice when taken just before going to bed and in the morning is a proven remedy fro curing rheumatism.
- Try This– When sugar is crashed with green stalk of rhubab, and taken four times a day, can be a good cure for rheumatism.
- Try This– For inflamed joints, you can rub a mixture of chloroform, alcohol and wintergreen on the affected area.
- Magnesium, Vitamin C, and Calcium– Foods that are rich in magnesium, vitamin c and calcium are also effective in treating rheumatism.
- Rosemary Oil– In order to relieve swelling and joint pain, mix rosemary oil in a bucket of water and dip the affected area.
- Walnuts– Walnuts are another proven home remedy for rheumatism. When they are consumed everyday, they can be quite beneficial to the body.
- Cranberry Juice– Take four table spoons of cranberry juice every day in order to cure rheumatism.
- Potato Juice- Raw potato juice is one of the most effective remedies for rheumatism. You should mash raw potatoes and take 1 or 2 tsps of this juice before having your meals. It works by eliminating toxic condition and relieving rheumatism. Potato skin is also an effective remedy and this is because it is rich in essential mineral salts. As such, you can boil the peelings, sieve the water and drink it. 30 grams of potato peelings should be thoroughly washed and boiled in ½ a litre of water making sure that it is reduced to half. Once it cools down, you should drink 2 to 3 glasses a day to enjoy rheumatism relief. This is effective since it provides long term relief as well.
- Bitter Gourd- This is also considered beneficial herbal remedy for the treatment of rheumatism. You should extract the juice of this vegetable and mix it with 1 tsp of honey. Drink this daily in order to treat your condition. For the purpose of providing constant relief, you should use this for at least 3 months continuously.
- Celery- Celery extract is also essential for the treatment of rheumatism. The extract is more beneficial than the vegetable. Add 5 to 10 drops of the fluid in hot water and drink this before your meals. You can also use powdered seeds as condiment.
- Lemons- Lemons are also considered as effective herbal remedies for rheumatism and in this case, you are supposed to drink the juice of 2 or 3 lemons everyday till you get relief from the condition.
- Rhubarb- This herb is beneficial for the treatment of rheumatism. In this case, the green stalks of the rhubarb should be used to get the desired results. They should be pounded, mixed with equal amounts of sugar. In order to get relief, you should use at least a teaspoon everyday.
Diet for Rheumatism
We have seen that rheumatism can greatly affect the joints and other body organs subsequently causing irreversible damage if not tended to properly. There are certain diets however that can help one to prevent the development of rheumatism. The following are some of the foods that should be included in the diet in order to prevent rheumatism:
- Fruits and vegetables help to improve the body’s immune system and are a great source of anti oxidants. Fruits are known to be great sources of vitamin C, A and B which have been known to relieve some of the rheumatism symptoms. Fruits and vegetables such as strawberries, cherries, pineapples, broccoli, cabbage, watermelon among others are good sources of anti oxidants.
- According to experts, a diet that is rich in omega 3 helps to prevent and relieve some of the rheumatism symptoms. Sources of omega 3 include fish such as lake trout, salmon, halibut, tuna, mackerel, herring and cod. Other sources of omega 3 include seeds, nuts, canola oil and flaxseed.
- Whole grains have a greater advantage to refined grains because of their nutritional content. Whole grains are known to contain amino acids which help to reduce inflammation of the joints as well as prevent inflammation. Whole grains include wheat, brown rice, wild rice, oats, bulgar, millet and spelt.
- According to medical experts, foods that are rich in sulfur are useful in preventing rheumatism as well as reducing some of the symptoms. Sulfur improves the health of the joint membranes, tissues and bones. Eggs are a great source of sulfur as well as proteins which is essential in the repair of muscles and joints. Eggs are also a great source of vitamin B.
- Sources of complex carbohydrates such as starchy vegetables and whole grains. These help to improve the immune system of our bodies and provide great sources of antioxidants. They also have a positive effect on energy levels in the body by maintaining a healthy level of blood sugar. Experts believe that a diet that is rich in complex carbohydrates and low in proteins is the best for those that are suffering from rheumatism. Sources of complex carbohydrates include walnuts, flaxseed oils, sardines, tuna, etc. Avoid trans-fats and saturated fats which are likely to increase the risk of developing rheumatism.
Prevention of Rheumatism
The following are some of the proven ways of preventing rheumatism:
- The first thing that you should do in order to prevent rheumatism is to improve your diet. A healthy diet is necessary for a healthy body and also helps us to maintain a healthy body weight. A heavy weight is likely to cause more strain on our joints and thus increase the chances of developing rheumatism. In addition, having a normal weight will ensure that rheumatism symptoms are not so severe as compared to being overweight.
- Engage in physical activities or enroll in an exercise program. How we work our joints during a work out will determine how strong our joints will be. Ensure that you in cooperate stretches and warm ups into your daily routine work outs. This will ensure that your joints are stronger and are not subjected to so much strain.
- Stress has been known to be a trigger for many diseases including rheumatism. Try and control your stress levels by engaging in relaxing activities.
- If you have a family history of rheumatism in your family, try and be pro active about it. See your doctor and get treatment if need be. Combine this with a healthier lifestyle and you might just delay the onset of rheumatism symptoms.
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