10 Reasons You May Have Inadequate Relief From Arthritis Pain

10 Reasons You May Have Inadequate Relief From Arthritis Pain

Discuss Your Treatment Options With Your Doctor

By 

Created April 11, 2014

10 Reasons You May Have Inadequate Relief From Arthritis PainPhoto by adamci (stock.xchng)

There are several treatment options for arthritis. You can try self-treating at first, but it is recommended that you consult with a doctor if symptoms persist. Even as you discuss your options with your doctor, there are different treatment paths for you to consider. Do you feel more comfortable with natural treatment or traditional treatment? A conservative approach or an aggressive approach to treatment? You may find that after you make the necessary choices, based largely on your doctor’s advice, relief from arthritis pain may seem inadequate. Not all treatments are equally effective. It can take trial-and-error to determine what works best for you. It is important to recognize when relief is inadequate and make necessary adjustments. Here are 10 possible reasons you may be experiencing insufficient relief from arthritis pain and other symptoms.

1 – Over-extended Period of Self-treatment. Most people try some form of self-treatment when they experience early symptoms of arthritis. Early on, you may not realize it is arthritis and attempt self-treatment with the hope it is a minor ailment or injury. People often try over-the-counter pain relievers, over-the-counter topical creams or patches, heating pads, and supports for the affected joint. While self-treatment is appropriate for short-term relief, it should not replace consulting with your doctor to get a proper diagnosis and establish a long-term treatment plan.

2 – Non-compliance With Treatment Plan. After you and your doctor agree on a course of treatment, it is up to you to stick with the plan. If you don’t take your prescribed medications as directed or if you skip your home exercises or miss sessions at physical therapy, you are non-compliant with your treatment. To achieve full benefit you must be compliant. Skipping is not an option.

3 – Fear of Medication Side Effects. When you read the list of possible side effects associated with a particular medication, you may be inclined to steer clear. It is very important to be aware of possible side effects or adverse reactions, so that if an undesirable side effect develops, you can report it to your doctor and begin to manage the problem. Don’t let fear keep you from trying a drug which may be beneficial. Weigh the benefits and risks of each medication.

4 – Exclusive Natural or Traditional Treatment Path.  Many people with arthritis prefer to follow a natural or a traditional treatment regimen. Usually, their choice is exclusive, meaning, they don’t allow for a crossover between the two treatment paths. It is possible that the optimal treatment plan for you may involve a combination of natural and traditional treatments.

5 – Need More Time. Many effective arthritis treatments do not work immediately. There are slow-acting medications, such as disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and biologic DMARDs. There are injectable treatments, such as viscosupplementation, which require a series of injections. Know when you should expect to see results before judging effectiveness.

6 – Fear Addiction to Painkillers. Some people avoid the use of opioid analgesics to help relieve arthritis pain because they fear addiction. This is something you should discuss with your doctor if you have concerns. It is important to understand the difference between tolerance, dependence, and addiction. For some people, there may be legitimate concern about addiction, but for others there is low potential for abuse or addiction.

7 – Undertreatment of Pain. Prescription drug abuse has become a huge problem in the U.S. Consequently, according to the American College of Preventive Medicine, “Physicians are currently challenged to deal with the ‘perfect storm’ — a confluence of pain control versus risk of misuse andabuse of prescription medications.” While preventing prescription drug abuse has become a hot topic, doctors who fear scrutiny of prescribing practices may become too conservative and under-treat their chronic pain patients.

8 – Prolonging the Decision to Switch Medications. With regard to your treatment plan, these are among the toughest questions you must ask yourself. Is your current treatment plan working well enough? Would another medication or treatment be more effective? The difficulty with knowing when to switch is that you could make things worse, instead of better. It’s somewhat of a gamble. Discuss your options and treatment goals with your doctor. Make informed choices.

9 – Afraid of Self-injection.  Some rheumatoid arthritis drugs (e.g., methotrexateEnbrel,HumiraCimzia, and Simponi) are administered by self-injection. Some patients are needle-phobic, even though the drug manufacturers have developed auto-injectors to make it as simple as possible. If you are avoiding biologic drugs because you can’t bear the idea of self-injection, talk to your doctor about other options. Some biologics are administered through I.V.  As for methotrexate, it is available as an oral drug, as well as injectable.

10 – The Quack Cure Lure –  People with arthritis can become so frustrated by pain and physical limitations, they are willing to try anything — even products that make sensational or false claims.Unproven remedies are a waste of time and money. Don’t be drawn in by the false promise of a cure.

Sources:

Use, Abuse, Misuse & Disposal of Prescription Pain Medication Clinical Reference. American College of Preventive Medicine. Accessed 04/10/14.
http://www.acpm.org/?page=UseAbuseRxClinRef&hhSearchTerms=%22pain+and+medication+and+abuse%22

Benefits Of Supplementation

Benefits of supplementation

It’s a tough world out there. Our air and water are often full of toxic chemicals and many of our food choices are less than nutritious. Most of us have highly busy lives and devote toolittle time to being physically active. Despite the fact that nearly 7 out of 10 Americans are overweight to obese, we are ironically often under-nourished. In fact, up to 90 percent of Americans are lacking key nutrients in our diets.

Ensuring we are getting the nourishment needed to support our bodies optimal function can be a challenge, but nutritional supplementation can help fill in those gaps that exist in just about everyone’s diet. Countless research studies and health experts agree that supplementing with key nutrients, including a multivitamin, adequate vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids provide a good nutritional foundation.

To understand the relationship between supplementation and long-term health, a first-of-its-kind Landmark Study was conducted in collaboration with researchers from the University Of California, Berkeley, School Of Public Health.

Researchers gathered a group of Shaklee long-term (20+ years) multi-supplement users and compared their health to non-supplement users. Results were adjusted to account for a number of potential confounders, including age, sex, education, income, and body mass index (BMI).

Questionnaires, on-site physical examinations, and blood work were used to compare nutritional status, serum biomarkers of health risk, and self-assessed health status between the three groups.

The dietary supplements consumed on a daily basis by more than 50 percent of the multi-supplement users included a multivitamin/multimineral, B vitamin complex, vitamins C and E, antioxidants, calcium with vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, probiotic, soy protein, glucosamine and an herbal immune supplement.

Researchers discovered that the overall health of long-term multiple supplement users was dramatically different than that of non-supplement users.

The multiple supplement users had improved levels of important heart-healthy biomarkers including 33 percent lower triglycerides, 36 percent lower homocysteine, 59 percent lower C-reactive protein levels, along with 11 percent lower cholesterol to HDL ratio when compared to the non-supplement users. As expected, the multiple supplement users also had higher blood levels of vitamin A, C, E, D, folate, and iron than non-supplement users.

Risk of disease was also much lower in these multiple dietary supplement users than nonusers. As a group, the multiple supplement users had lower risk of high blood pressure (39 percent), lower risk of diabetes (73 percent), and multiple measures of cardiovascular risk were directionally better with supplementation. Multiple supplement users were also four times more likely to describe their health as “very good” or “excellent” compared to non-supplement users.

In most cases, the single supplement users’ health markers fell between these two groups, suggesting that multiple supplementation use was both safe and effective.

why supplement chart

Quality supplements can help fill nutritional gaps left by less than optimal food choices, our overworked bodies, and our toxic environment.

Have you taken your multi today?

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

Maximize the benefits of exercise with good nutrition

Posted: 17 Mar 2014 11:00 AM PDT

The scientific evidence behind the health benefits of exercise is undeniable. Studies have shown that exercise can help you control your blood sugarimprove your mood, reduce your anxiety, and lower your risk for many common diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and more. Increasing your activity level can help you on your weight loss journey but is even more beneficial for helping keep weight off, once you’ve lost it.

One of the most visible outcomes of exercise is also one of the most beneficial to your health – an increase in lean body mass (muscle) and reduction in body fat. The health implications with carrying around too much abdominal fat are many and include an increased risk formany diseases including diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. Studies show that reducing abdominal fat improves blood sugar control and reduces cardiovascular risk factors.

It is clear that exercise is good for you, but you might also want to understand how to get the most “bang for your exercise buck” by incorporating better nutrition along with your exercise program. After all, if you put in the “sweat time”, you might as well get the maximum benefit for your hard work.

To understand the importance of nutrition and exercise, Shaklee sponsored a study published in the Journal of Exercise Physiology in 2011 that showed just how important getting the right nutrients can be for getting the most out of exercise.

The study followed 52 people for 9 months who were randomized into one of three groups: a control group that had no intervention, a group that followed an exercise only routine, and a group that did the same exercise routine and also took a nutrition regimen consisting of a post-exercise protein smoothee and a multi-component nutrition daily strip.

The chart below summarizes the groups:

Group Description of Intervention
Control
  • No changes in food or exercise.
Exercise only
  • Aerobic and strength training exercise.
  • No added nutritional products
Exercise plus Nutrition
  • Aerobic and strength training exercise.
  • Protein-rich smoothee
  • Multi-nutrient pack containing a multi-vitamin/mineral, omega-3, extra B and C vitamins and a probiotic.

 

At the end of nine months, researchers assessed changes in bone mineral density, lean body weight, and blood pressure. The results were astounding. As expected, the people who did nothing had no significant changes; but both their lean body mass and bone mineral density tended to decrease over the course of the study. The exercise only group also didn’t show any significant changes, although they did tend to maintain their bone density and they increased their lean body mass more than the people who did nothing.

The real winners in this study were the people who used nutrition and exercised. This last group significantly increased their lean body mass (33% better than the people who just exercised), improved their blood pressure, and maintained their bone mineral density. This study joins others studies that confirm exercise is good for you and that providing your body with the proper nutrition can have dramatic effects on your health. Adding supplements and protein to your day (especially immediately following exercise) is an easy way to increase the benefits you get from exercise and ultimately, to improving your overall health and appearance.

Benefits of Supplementation

 

 

It’s a tough world out there. Our air and water are often full of toxic chemicals and many of our food choices are less than nutritious. Most of us have highly busy lives and devote toolittle time to being physically active. Despite the fact that nearly 7 out of 10 Americans are overweight to obese, we are ironically often under-nourished. In fact, up to 90 percent of Americans are lacking key nutrients in our diets.

Ensuring we are getting the nourishment needed to support our bodies optimal function can be a challenge, but nutritional supplementation can help fill in those gaps that exist in just about everyone’s diet. Countless research studies and health experts agree that supplementing with key nutrients, including a multivitamin, adequate vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids provide a good nutritional foundation.

To understand the relationship between supplementation and long-term health, a first-of-its-kind Landmark Study was conducted in collaboration with researchers from the University Of California, Berkeley, School Of Public Health.

Researchers gathered a group of Shaklee long-term (20+ years) multi-supplement users and compared their health to non-supplement users. Results were adjusted to account for a number of potential confounders, including age, sex, education, income, and body mass index (BMI).

Questionnaires, on-site physical examinations, and blood work were used to compare nutritional status, serum biomarkers of health risk, and self-assessed health status between the three groups.

The dietary supplements consumed on a daily basis by more than 50 percent of the multi-supplement users included a multivitamin/multimineral, B vitamin complex, vitamins C and E, antioxidants, calcium with vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, probiotic, soy protein, glucosamine and an herbal immune supplement.

Researchers discovered that the overall health of long-term multiple supplement users was dramatically different than that of non-supplement users.

The multiple supplement users had improved levels of important heart-healthy biomarkers including 33 percent lower triglycerides, 36 percent lower homocysteine, 59 percent lower C-reactive protein levels, along with 11 percent lower cholesterol to HDL ratio when compared to the non-supplement users. As expected, the multiple supplement users also had higher blood levels of vitamin A, C, E, D, folate, and iron than non-supplement users.

Risk of disease was also much lower in these multiple dietary supplement users than nonusers. As a group, the multiple supplement users had lower risk of high blood pressure (39 percent), lower risk of diabetes (73 percent), and multiple measures of cardiovascular risk were directionally better with supplementation. Multiple supplement users were also four times more likely to describe their health as “very good” or “excellent” compared to non-supplement users.

In most cases, the single supplement users’ health markers fell between these two groups, suggesting that multiple supplementation use was both safe and effective.

why supplement chart

Quality supplements can help fill nutritional gaps left by less than optimal food choices, our overworked bodies, and our toxic environment.

Have you taken your multi today?

    

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

Maximize the benefits of exercise with good nutrition

Posted: 17 Mar 2014 11:00 AM PDT

The scientific evidence behind the health benefits of exercise is undeniable. Studies have shown that exercise can help you control your blood sugarimprove your mood, reduce your anxiety, and lower your risk for many common diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and more. Increasing your activity level can help you on your weight loss journey but is even more beneficial for helping keep weight off, once you’ve lost it.

One of the most visible outcomes of exercise is also one of the most beneficial to your health – an increase in lean body mass (muscle) and reduction in body fat. The health implications with carrying around too much abdominal fat are many and include an increased risk formany diseases including diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. Studies show that reducing abdominal fat improves blood sugar control and reduces cardiovascular risk factors.

It is clear that exercise is good for you, but you might also want to understand how to get the most “bang for your exercise buck” by incorporating better nutrition along with your exercise program. After all, if you put in the “sweat time”, you might as well get the maximum benefit for your hard work.

To understand the importance of nutrition and exercise, Shaklee sponsored a study published in the Journal of Exercise Physiology in 2011 that showed just how important getting the right nutrients can be for getting the most out of exercise.

The study followed 52 people for 9 months who were randomized into one of three groups: a control group that had no intervention, a group that followed an exercise only routine, and a group that did the same exercise routine and also took a nutrition regimen consisting of a post-exercise protein smoothee and a multi-component nutrition daily strip.

The chart below summarizes the groups:

Group Description of Intervention
Control
  • No changes in food or exercise.
Exercise only
  • Aerobic and strength training exercise.
  • No added nutritional products
Exercise plus Nutrition
  • Aerobic and strength training exercise.
  • Protein-rich smoothee
  • Multi-nutrient pack containing a multi-vitamin/mineral, omega-3, extra B and C vitamins and a probiotic.

 

At the end of nine months, researchers assessed changes in bone mineral density, lean body weight, and blood pressure. The results were astounding. As expected, the people who did nothing had no significant changes; but both their lean body mass and bone mineral density tended to decrease over the course of the study. The exercise only group also didn’t show any significant changes, although they did tend to maintain their bone density and they increased their lean body mass more than the people who did nothing.

The real winners in this study were the people who used nutrition and exercised. This last group significantly increased their lean body mass (33% better than the people who just exercised), improved their blood pressure, and maintained their bone mineral density. This study joins others studies that confirm exercise is good for you and that providing your body with the proper nutrition can have dramatic effects on your health. Adding supplements and protein to your day (especially immediately following exercise) is an easy way to increase the benefits you get from exercise and ultimately, to improving your overall health and appearance.

Leaky Gut May Be The Cause Of Several Diseases

Getty

TECH + HEALTH

03.27.14

New Research Shows Poorly Understood “Leaky Gut Syndrome” Is Real, May Be the Cause of Several Diseases

For decades, “leaky gut syndrome” was passed off as quackery. But new research shows it is indeed real, and may be the cause of asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, arthritis, and more.
Jane* was barely 40-years-old when her asthma caused her to turn blue and stop breathing. She was saved with chest compressions and weeks of intensive care. A year later, it happened again, causing the emergency medical system to convulse into action once more. For the next two years she was in-and-out of the hospital monthly for wheezing and shortness-of-breath—until I took over her care.

Following standard medical guidelines, I put her on a ludicrous amount of pharmaceuticals—and I managed to keep her out of the hospital for a year. I could have counted this as a victory if it weren’t for the fact that one thing bugged me: Why did she have asthma in the first place? She didn’t smoke and had no allergies, yet she was always on the verge of respiratory collapse.

Then I put her on a diet to heal her “leaky gut”—and she stopped wheezing completely. To me it looked like she was cured. It seemed the guidelines that the other doctors and I had followed were not only wrong—they were costly and dangerous. After all, she still landed in the ICU twice. If—as the leaky gut theory goes—bacteria and toxins were slipping into her system through a permeable intestine and wreaking havoc throughout her body, then she didn’t need impressive arsenals of expensive medicines. She didn’t even need a doctor. She needed a proper diet.

As a conventional physician, it was hard to accept.

Needless to say, the medical establishment does not accept it. The official medical societies for gastroenterologistsrheumatologists and internists don’t mention it on their websites. All three declined to comment on leaky gut for this piece. Their silence leaves conventional physicians to fend for themselves when patients inquire about it. With 10,000 published articles related to intestinal permeability, and scores of websites hyping the perils of “leaky gut,” doctors on the frontlines don’t have a fighting chance at getting to the truth. Meanwhile, sites like Quackwatch and England’s National Health Service give stern warnings about not buying into this “unproven” diagnosis.

But leaky gut is not unproven. There’s even a test for it. The original test was developed in the 1980s by UCLA researchers who were trying to understand what caused the inflammatory bowel disease known as Crohn’s. The researchers found that leaky gut preceded inflammation, implying that the leakiness plays a key role in disease development. In a fascinating retelling of events, the principle investigator Professor Daniel Hollander recalls, “We did not think that it was the only etiologic factor…but by allowing … infectious or toxic substances to penetrate the intestinal barrier…[increased intestinal permeability could] contribute to the cascade of events that culminate in active Crohn’s disease.”

“Observations should not be dismissed because they do not conform to our current medical dogma. We are simply missing too many opportunities to help people get well.”

That was 30 years ago. And in the interim, leaky gut has been found in association with several diseases including: asthmadiabetesrheumatoid arthritisirritable bowelkidney disease,psoriasiseczemadepressionchronic fatigue syndrome, and heart failure. Now we even understand how it happens. In what is likely to be Nobel Prize-worthy work, Harvard celiac researcher, Alessio Fasano, MD found that our bodies make a protein (with the nifty name, “Zonulin”) that essentially unzips the tight junctions that seal the intestinal lining.

Although we don’t know all the things that stimulate the release of Zonulin, we do know that certain bacteria and gluten can do it. Along with genetic factors, that may be enough to create a perfect storm to trigger disease. “I firmly believe that without loss of intestinal barrier,” Dr. Fasano wrote me, “it is difficult…to understand how autoimmune diseases would develop.”

The thing is that autoimmune diseases—like diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, and rheumatoid arthritis—are on the rise. It’s not an exaggeration to say they comprise most of the people who seek medical care. Maybe that’s why all the alternative practitioners are talking about leaky gut. But you don’t have to dig too far in PubMed to find some serious establishment researchers talking about it, too. In fact, a German researcher wrote a recent review that makes a good case that gut health should be our main objective in medicine.

So why isn’t it?

Admittedly, part of the problem is the name. “Leaky gut” has a deeply unserious ring to it. Dr. Fasano also believes there’s another reason the medical establishment remains skeptical about leaky gut. “Some alternative medicine practitioners have made claims that are simply ridiculous,” he offered. When I asked what he meant by ridiculous, he was clear: “That all diseases of human kind are due to leaky gut.”

“Leaky gut” may not be the unified field theory of medicine, but so far the evidence is good that its effects go way beyond the intestine. And that’s not a novel idea. As far back as the 1860s “auto-intoxication” by nasty gut microbes was thought to cause systemic disease and mental illness—and for decades well-respected scientists agreed. This idea fell out of favor in the last century—and was looked on with scorn as “unscientific.” These days when patients suggest leaky gut, doctors usually dismiss them with a hand wave and some partially informed statement about a lack of evidence.

But that’s a deeply unscientific stance. Evidence does not only come in the form of pharmaceutically-funded drug trials; it also comes from basic science and through careful observation. And those observations should not be dismissed because they do not conform to our current medical dogma. We are simply missing too many opportunities to help people get well.

Consider the asthma epidemic. Public health officials point to pollution in the air, never pointing out the pollution in the gut. Yet, Dr. Fasano’s group has found preliminarily that 40% of asthmatics have leaky gut22. Asthma is a problem in the inner cities—could it be related to the fact that they are also “food deserts?” Could the emulsifiers and other chemicals in the processed foods be causing leaky gut? And could that be causing asthma? Unfortunately, these are the kinds of questions we stopped asking in medicine—and most of us are impugned as quacks for even inquiring.

On the other hand, the fact that 7 out of 10 Americans are now taking prescription drugs should not be taken lightly. If much of our disease burden is caused by leaky gut, prescription medicines can’t do anything to get to the root of the problem. This goes a long way to explain why having access to primary care does not improve outcomes. This situation is a disaster for both our economy and our health: pills and procedures are costly, but simple, inexpensivedietary changes can frequently fix a leaky gut.

The truth will come out eventually, of course. But let’s not wait another 30 years. Let’s simply declare today, “National Heal-Your-Gut Day.” Raise awareness, tell a friend, tell everyone who’s ever been told “it’s all in your head” or sent home in pain with an, “I’m sorry, I can’t find anything wrong.” Tell everyone with rheumatoid arthritis, or lupus, or MS, or depression, or bad digestion, or chronic fatigue: Leaky gut really might be causing your problems.

Then we can start healing ourselves—and the American health care system—this time, from the inside out.

*Name has been changed.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/03/27/new-research-shows-poorly-understood-leaky-gut-syndrome-is-real-may-be-the-cause-of-several-diseases.html