Created: Monday, November 12, 2007

Easing arthritis pain

Updated: 10:59 a.m. ET Aug. 10, 2o13

Nearly 70 million people suffer from arthritis or some form of chronic joint pain.  But with proper diet, you may be able to reduce and even possibly prevent join inflammation, stiffness and discomfort. Nutritionist Joy Bauer was invited on the "Today" show to share some suggestions that will hopefully ease the pain.

The word arthritis actually means joint inflammation. The term arthritis is used to describe more than 100 rheumatic diseases and conditions that affect joints, the tissues which surround the joint and other connective tissue. The pattern, severity and location of symptoms can vary depending on the specific form of the disease. Typically, rheumatic conditions are characterized by pain and stiffness in and around one or more joints. The symptoms can develop gradually or suddenly. Certain rheumatic conditions can also involve the immune system and various internal organs of the body.

Types of arthritis
Is a degenerative joint disease in which the cartilage that covers the ends of bones in the joint deteriorates, causing pain and loss of movement as bone begins to rub against bone. It is the most prevalent form of arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis
An autoimmune disease in which the joint lining becomes inflamed as part of the body's immune system activity. Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most serious and disabling types, affecting mostly women.

This condition mostly affects mostly men. It is usually the result of a defect in body chemistry. This painful condition most often attacks small joints, especially the big toe. Fortunately, gout almost always can be completely controlled with medication and changes in diet.

Ankylosing spondylitis
A type of arthritis that affects the spine. As a result of inflammation, the bones of the spine grow together.

Juvenile arthritis
A general term for all types of arthritis that occur in children. Children may develop juvenile rheumatoid arthritis or childhood forms of lupus, ankylosing spondylitis or other types of arthritis.

Systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus)
A serious disorder that can inflame and damage joints and other connective tissues throughout the body.

A disease of the body's connective tissue that causes a thickening and hardening of the skin.

Widespread pain affects the muscles and attachments to the bone. It affects mostly women.

Foods that help prevent or manage arthritis

Omega-3 fats

In numerous studies over the years, participants with inflammatory diseases have reported less joint stiffness, swelling, tenderness, and overall fatigue when taking Omega-3s. In 1998, an exciting review of well-designed, randomized clinical trials reported that omega-3 fatty acids were more successful than a placebo ("dummy drug") in improving the condition of people with rheumatoid arthritis. The research also showed that getting more omega-3 fatty acids enabled some participants to reduce their use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Green Tea
Green tea contains polyphenols - powerful antioxidants that may fight inflammation. The leaf boasts the presence of a superstar antioxidant called EGCG (epigallocatechin-gallate) as well as other notable healing substances, including fluoride, catechins, and tannins.

Antioxidants in green tea may prevent and reduce the severity of osteoarthritis. Studies have shown that if you consume approximately four cups of green tea a day you may be able to protect yourself from developing arthritis, and if you already have arthritis, consuming green tea can help to diminish the inflammation it causes.

Three to four cups a day can help protect you against developing arthritis and if you have it, green tea can help diminish inflammation caused by arthritis

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