Rheumatoid arthritis is a very debilitating autoimmune disease that affects people both young and old. In fact, it can affect young children with a condition known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.
Currently rheumatoid arthritis affects one and half million people in the US, a rate that is rising each year. In the United Kingdom arthritis has become the most widespread disease.
Although the condition affects both sexes, women are three times more likely to be affected than men.
Osteoarthritis generally begins at the age of 40 with risk factors increasing as your get older, however rheumatoid arthritis can occur at any age.
Causes And Risk Factors
Its not completely clear what actually causes rheumatoid arthritis, however there are a range of potential triggers as follows;
- genetically inherited
- poor nutrition
- bacterial or viral infection
- hormonal imbalance
- repetitive stress on the joints
- environmental factors
What we do know is that the symptoms of rheumatic arthritis are linked to a malfunction of the immune system. Instead of protecting the joints, the immune system attacks the joints causing inflammation and pain.
Common Symptoms Of Rheumatoid Arthritis
As rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic condition the symptoms come and go. Depending on the individual the symptoms can go into remission for weeks, months and even years.
During these periods of remission you can feel normal and relatively free of pain, however the condition will always need careful and constant management.
- swollen and painful joints
- muscle aches
- morning stiffness
- constant tiredness and fatigue
- lack of energy
- loss of appetite
The most apparent symptom of rheumatoid arthritis are painful swollen joints that affect the fingers, wrists, knees, feet and neck.
The joints become tender,warm and painful because the synovium, the lining that protects the joints, becomes inflamed. The inflammation of the synovium lining also causes an excess of synovium fluid which causes the joints to swell up.
Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms either appear gradually over a number of months or within a few days. In most cases the symptoms develop gradually effecting the joints of the hands and feet first.
As this happens you may find the simple tasks of turning a door knob or twisting the cap off a jar more difficult than before. The disease can also effect the toes which makes walking difficult and painful, especially in the morning when the joints are stiff.
In severe cases rheumatoid arthritis can erode cartilage, muscle and bone resulting in joint damage. Cartilage is a softer form of bone that grows on the outer surface of the joint to enable smooth movement between the joints. If the erosion is allowed to continue it eventually leads to bone and joint deformity.
When the pain becomes unbearable and mobility in the joint is severely restricted joint replacement surgery is often considered as an option to reduce the pain and inflammation.
Rheumatoid nodules can also appear on pressure points such as the elbow and back of the forearm. With severe rheumatoid arthritis these nodules can become painful and may also require surgery to have them removed.
Treatment Of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Anti-inflammatory rheumatoid arthritis drugs are the conventional way to treat the condition and fall into two categories – cortisone based and non-steroidal drugs (NSAIDS).
These anti-rheumatic drugs can help suppress joint pain and reduce swelling and inflammation, however they don’t solve the problem.
In fact, these drugs are toxic and only put the immune system under further stress. Its no surprise that NSAIDS are responsible for more side effects and drug related deaths that any other class of drug.
Green Lipped Mussels – A Natural And Safer Solution
The good news is that there are natural and highly effective alternatives for the management of rheumatoid arthritis.
One of the most popular is green lipped mussel extract which contains compounds that carry out 2 important functions to reduce joint inflammation.
Green lipped mussels are considered a ‘whole food’ and are a rich source of a rare omega 3 oil called Eicosatetraenoic Acid (ETA).
ETA is an essential fatty acid that the body converts into anti-inflammatory prostaglandins that counteracts PG2′s, which are enzymes that cause inflammation in the joints.
The truth is good quality omega 3 fish oil can do this, however ETA goes one step further as it can also reduce the production of PG2′s. This dual effect makes green lipped mussels a highly effective way to relieve joint pain.
If you decide to use green lipped mussels – and we highly recommend you do – you may be thinking which is the best one to choose.
Unfortunately, the quality of green lipped mussel supplements vary greatly. In order to keep costs low many manufacturers resort to using cheap mussels and inefficient manufacturing processes. The price of these products maybe cheaper, but there effectiveness is greatly reduced.
After many months of extensive research, we found one product that we could confidently recommend to our readers because it uses the highest standards in relation to selecting the best and freshest mussels and superior manufacturing processes.
In fact, this company uses a unique extraction technique that converts fresh mussels into high grade powder within 30 minutes. This unbelievably fast turnaround means the mussels potent nutrients are preserved.
The product we recommend is Xtend Life’s Green Lipped Mussel Powder Extract to learn more click here.