There are many different reasons for stiff and painful joints. One of the two most common causes are rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. From a Nutritional Therapy perspective these conditions can be managed through diet (weight loss to take the pressure off joints) or by focusing on inflammatory and anti-inflammatory foods.
Supplements may also be prescribed.
By improving your dietary approach you will get the most from your physiotherapy appointments. The two work very well together!
Dehydration can play a large role in joint flexibility and range of motion, as can environmental stresses and nutritional deficiencies. Trauma injury can cause calcium dominance through the joint, which can increase pain, inflammation and tissue cell retraction. These tend to be characterised by painful and/or inflamed joints.
Tightness within and surrounding the joint can be caused by low magnesium intake and a diet rich in inflammatory foods such as salt and sugar. These foods can also cause an acidic environment within the joint, causing tissue swelling and inflammation.
There are many different options from a nutritional therapy point of view. Once a diagnosis has been made by your GP and Physiotherapist as to which type of arthritis or joint issue you have, a very specific nutritional approach can be taken.
There are many different things to avoid and to include in your diet and lifestyle – the most important to begin with is dehydration. This is a very simple issue to correct! Simply, if you don’t consume enough fluids i.e. water, herbal teas, fruit juices, diluted squash (not tea, coffee or fizzy drinks) the synovial fluid can become more viscous which can lead to uric acid depositing in the joints leading to inflammation.
Ensuring you adopt a well-balanced diet is also important so that essential minerals such as magnesium, potassium and calcium are consumed in appropriate quantities can help to reduce inflammation.
Increasing natural anti-inflammatory foods such as turmeric, ginger, chilli, garlic, nuts, seeds and oily fish can help significantly to bring down any inflammation within the joints.
Avoiding acid-forming foods such as red meat, poultry, dairy, fried foods, processed meats, processed foods, take-away meals and sugar can also help to reduce inflammation.
Enriching your diet with magnesium could also help to reduce joint pain. Foods rich in this mineral include: beans, nuts, pumpkin seeds, brown rice, whole wheat breads and leafy greens.
There are also specific supplements that can help to reduce inflammation. We have all heard of cod liver oil to ‘help the joints’ and to an extent this is true and very effective for some people. However there is one other type of oil that is really showing impressive results……
What is exciting is the discovery of KRILL OIL.
As it naturally originates from the ocean it is rich in chlorophyll and magnesium. It is sourced from a pure environment so is not affected by heavy metals or PCBs. The krill are so small they contain no marine contamination.
Phospholipids within the krill work as ‘gate keepers’ for membrane structures within the body to receive nutrients. They work as ‘nutrient transport’ facilitators. This means that even general nutrient uptake can be boosted by taking a krill oil supplement.
Krill is also very useful for liver and brain health, can mix with water and is therefore very easily absorbed via the gastrointestinal tract. It has a 50% greater bioavailability compared with other fish oil (and at lower dosages).
Krill oil has 48x the antioxidant capacity of other fish oil and has been clinically proven to be more effective than cod liver oil.
In studies, krill has been found to reduce NSAID intake (ibuprofen) by patients.
It is not only joints that can benefit but also:
Brain – Krill can improve concentration
Cardiovascular disease – Krill reduces blood lipid levels
Type 2 Diabetes – Krill can improve insulin sensitivity, promote liver health and protects cells from oxidative damage (high antioxidant properties)
Liver – Krill can benefit non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and liver disease, reduces fat formation, promotes bile production and lowers the risk of developing gall stones
PMS – Krill can help to reduce emotional and physical symptoms each month
Also useful for: anti-aging (due to high antioxidant levels), depression, obesity (high omega 3 content can influence appetite and satiety)
You can see, that by making slight alterations to the diet and by introducing a specific supplement you can start to have a positive effect on your symptoms.
This is just one example of how working with a specific supplement and nutritional approach can help to reduce inflammation, joint pain and hopefully reliance on pain relief.
Nutritional Therapy is a complementary therapy and can work very well with conventional medicine.
If you would like to know more about Nutritional Therapy and how it could help you, or if you would like to book a consultation with Caroline then either ring 01276 37670 or email firstname.lastname@example.org/thorpes
Caroline Rumsey MBANT CNHC