All our activities of day-to-day life like- sitting, standing, running, walking, stretching, holding depends on integrity and healthy condition of our joints. We cannot imagine life with painful, swollen and stiff joints. In this article, we are going to discuss lifestyle and easy home remedies for various types of arthritis like- Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Gout.
It is an auto-immune disorder which affects mainly joints having a covering called synovial membrane. It often leads to the destruction of cartilage between the joints. Rheumatoid Arthritis can also affect other parts of body such as- covering sheet of lungs, covering sheet of heart etc.
What are the causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Exact causes are not known. Immunity plays a major role in manifestation. It is mainly caused due to auto-immunity when immune cells of the body start killing its own cells. The condition is like soldiers of the country fighting against their own country.
Rheumatoid Arthritis according to Ayurveda
It is known by the name Amavata in Ayurveda. Amavata is an altererd state of digestion and metabolism caused by unhealthy eating habits when there is dimnished digestive power (Mandagni). Ayurvedic treatment includes correction of digestion and metabolism, treatment of joints with Panchkarma therapy and prescription of various Ayurvedic medicines.
What are the symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Inflammation in joints
Development of a flap in the synovium
Stiffness in the joints
Swelling, pain and warmth
Erosion and destruction of the joint surface
The pain in the joints is similar to the sting bite of scorpion
Constipation, indigestion, fullness of stomach
2. There is another type of arthritis which when affects the joints makes us feel that life is definitely a curse. Osteoarthritis is such a condition. "Osteo" means bones and "Arthritis" means inflammation and stiffness of the joints. It occurs when protective cartilage on the ends of bones wears down over a period of time which results from the breakdown of joint cartilage and underlying bone. It can affect joints of hands, joints near the finger ends, base of the thumb, neck, lower back, knees, hips, spine are commonly afflicted by osteoarthritis. Unlike other types of arthritis, only joints are typically affected in Osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis according to Ayurveda
Osteoarthritis is called as Sandhigata Vata in ayurveda which means the invasion and localisation of morbid Vata in the joints of body thereby producing pain, swelling and disturbed movements.
Another type of Arthritis is a disorder in which the crystals of monosodium urate monohydrate derived from hyperuricaemic body fluids gives rise to inflammatory arthritis(swollen and inflamed joints), bursitis(swelling in the spaces of joints), tenosynovitis(swelling of muscle tendon covering its sheath) or cellulites(swelling with redness and fluid collection). It is also related with kidneys.
Causes of Gout
Uric acid concentration in the body depends between the balance between purine synthesis and uric acid elimination through kidneys. Due to the presence of excess purine and when it is not excreted properly, this condition leads to the formation of crystals.
What are the symptoms of Gout?
The joint of great toe (metatarsalphalangeal joint) is the site of first acute gout in 70% of cases. In other cases, it affects knee, ankle, small joints of feet and hand, sometimes the onset may be very sudden, waking up the patient from sleep.
Gout according to Ayurveda- Vatarakta signs and symptoms can be co-related with gout.
Home Remedies for Arthritis:
All the 3 types of arthritis are entirely different from treatment and management point of view.
Few home remedies are mentioned for management of each of these individually:
Garlic- Research indicates that micro-nutrients present in garlic helps in preventing arthritis changes of bones. 2 garlic pearls with 2 ounces of buttermilk is an excellent daily drink for Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Ginger, long pepper and pepper must be included in diet on regular basis to correct digestion and metabolism.
Fruits and leaves of drumstick must be included as it is rich in calcium and vitamin C.
Drinking warm water helps to improve digestion. Regular drinking of warm water helps to bring lightness to the joints thus helps in improving flexibility of the joints.
Bitter melon improves digestion and it is a good source of vitamin B1, B2 and B3. It is a good detoxifying herb.
Mix fine powder of Haritaki(Terminalia chebula) with castor oil to make a fine paste. This is to be consumed with warm water. It helps to clear Ama out of the body by cleansing stomach and intestines by inducing purgation.
In osteoarthritis, exercise is very important as it increases the endurance and strength of muscles around the joints. It makes the joints stable. Walking, swimming are the best exercises for osteoarthritis patients.
Being obese or over-weight can increase the stress on weight bearing joints such as knees and hips. Weight loss is also important in osteoarthritis.
Good eating habits such as Vitamin C, Omega 3 fatty acids reduce joint inflammation, Vitamin D is related to osteoarthritis progression. Sources include exposure to sunlight for 45 minutes daily.
Giloy( Tinospora cordifolia) in the form of water decoction, powder, juice should be used to treat Vatarakta(Gouty arthritis).
Ginger is an anti-inflammatoryand anti- arithritic drug. It acts specifically over affected joints to bring about quick relief from pain and inflammation.
Milk boiled with Dashmoola (group of 10 herbs) poured warm over the affected joints gives relief from pain.
Diet for Arthritis:
According to Ayurveda, foods that cause Ama formation must be avoided which is the main cause for Rheumatoid Arthritis and foods that cause imbalance of Kapha and Vata which inturn worsen stiffening, pain and inflammation. Anything which is heavy to digest, that takes long time to digest is to be avoided.
Intake of curd by rheumatoid arthritis patients is not ideal. Fish, Spinach (Basella rubra), black gram, contrast foods like- fish with milk etc. must be avoided. Avoid suppression of natural urges cause increase in Vata. Skipping night sleep is not recommended as it causes utter Vata imbalance.
Oil massage is not advised in rheumatoid arthritis.
Low purine intake, no alcohol consumption is advised for patients suffering from gout. Purine rich foods like- beer, alcoholic beverages, fish, yeast, legumes (dried beans, peas), spinach and cauliflower must be avoided.
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