- Arthritis: is an acute or chronic inflammation of the joints, due to either infectious agents (bacteria, viruses) or autoimmune process such as rheumatoid arthritis. They manifest with symptoms like pain, redness, swelling, heat, and possibly a reduced mobility.
- Rheumatism: is a non-specific term for any problem affecting the joints and connective tissue (tendons, muscles, cartilage).
- Osteoarthritis: is a degradation of the cartilages without infection or particular inflammation. It is the most frequent joint disease that see more and more in younger people (40-50 years old) even though the degeneration process can start much earlier than that.
– Osteoporosis: is a decrease in bone mass, witch can increase the risk of fracture.
These diseases are prevalent in industrialised countries. They are diseases of degeneration and inflammation. Why do these diseases occur? Are they due to ageing? Can they be avoided? Are they reversible? This is what we will see in this article.
The allopathic medicine view:
These diseases are due to age, being overweight, and wear and tear of the bones, muscle and cartilage tissue (i.e., ageing). The solutions offered are: weight loss, resting, hormone replacement, calcium supplementation, bone loss reducing drugs (bi-phosphonates); painkillers, local or general anti-inflammatory drugs, and physical therapy. However, the real root causes of these diseases are never addressed.
The functional medicine view:
The causes and mechanisms are the same for all of these diseases, even if the manifestations are different :
- Poor digestion/degradation of food:
Any food that is not digested properly (sugars, starches, alcohol, or carbohydrates, or protein) will create inflammation.
- The lack of micro-nutrients (vitamins, minerals, enzymes) in modern foods.
- The lack of hydrochloric acid in the stomach.
- The lack of diversity of the intestinal flora.
- Chronic stress affects digestion, absorption of nutrients, and causes an excess of cortisol, which irritates the tissues.
- Chronic infections (bacteria, viruses, yeast, parasites, etc.) disrupt the intestinal flora, and contribute to leaky gut syndrome.
- Chemicals (heavy metals, drugs, pesticides, dioxins, phthalates, benzoates, parabens, dyes, etc.) affect digestion, flora, and overload organs and tissues.
- Lack of movement, lack of circulation, and exposure to electromagnetic waves also work against tissue regeneration.
All these root causes create a situation of inflammation either acute or chronic, will irritate the protective barriers of the body: intestines, lungs, mucous membranes, skin, or blood-brain barrier, and will make them ineffective to our protection. The absorbed toxins then pass through these barriers which are no longer protective, and will be deposited on certain tissues, such as bones, muscles, ligaments and cartilage. But also onto the organs, glands, brain, etc. and will affect their proper functioning. The toxins are then attacked by the immune system (white blood cells, macrophages, lymphocytes, T-cells, etc.). But unfortunately, the immune system attacks at the same time the tissues where the toxins are deposited, which leads to symptoms such as inflammation with pain, heat, redness, and swelling.
What can be done?
First, is prevention: We need to work on the digestive system, choosing quality foods, and improving the efficiency of digestion/assimilation. Second, test foods and eliminate for a period of time those to which you react. Reduce as much as possible the exposure to toxins, and anything that can overload the body, and exercise regularly: walking, swimming, cycling… but also weight training 3 times a week: the pressure exerted by the muscles on the bones, stimulates the production of osteoblasts (new bone cells).
Also, eat foods that are rich in nutrients and easy to digest like broths, soups and stews. Meat and fish cooked in broths, bring proteins (amino acids) and collagen, to repair tissues. Eat organic vegetable and fresh fruit juices, lacto-fermented vegetables, lacto-fermented dairy products if they are well tolerated. And finally, consume animal and vegetable fats that are rich in Omega 3 and organ meats for vitamins B12, B6, B9, vitamins A, D, E, K.
Avoid toxic foods, which are full of calories without nutrients, such as prepared or canned food, with preservatives, colouring agents, flavour enhancers, added vitamins, emulsifiers, etc. But above all, SUGAR in all its forms: sweeteners, starchy foods: white bread, pasta, rice, couscous, toast, cakes, cookies, made with white flour, and devoid of nutrients. Avoid also, stimulants such as coffee, tea and chocolate. Avoid dairy products sold in supermarkets that are pasteurised, defatted, homogenised, or sweetened, as they become poisons just like hydrogenated vegetable oils. Finally, avoid soy, which contributes to excess estrogens.
There are natural treatments:
An adult replaces its entire skeleton every 7-10 years. Children every 2-3 years. Everything in the body can be regenerated, even bones which are living tissue. We can start by cleansing the body of heavy metals and remineralising with Quinton. Bones are made up of a structure (like a framework) and minerals (the walls). It is necessary to act on both.
For the structure: collagen found in broths and proteins, vitamins and minerals: cod liver oil (vitamins A, D, E, and K): 1 teaspoon per day.
For minerals: organic fruits and vegetables + Quinton plasma: 1 to 4 ampoules per day.
We can also use essential fatty acids that are not only derived from plants (avocado, hemp, flaxseed oils), but also from animal fats (butter, cream, cheese, duck or goose fat), plus olive oil and coconut oil. Also rebalance hormones: excess estrogens, insulin and cortisol contribute to bone loss. Progesterone, DHEA and testosterone (in men) contribute to the production of bone tissue. Check proper functioning of the parathyroids, which manage calcium absorption and activate vitamin D. Check if hyperthyroidism contributes to bone loss.
The inflammatory process can be stopped with turmeric (800 mg per day) + Resveratrol (400 mg per day), which block NF-kB, an inflammatory protein. If cod liver oil is not enough, then add vitamin D: 2000 IU per day.
Arthritis, rheumatism, muscle, ligament and bone pain, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis are not normal diseases due to ageing, but they are degenerative diseases that are preventable!
The causes are: dietary mistakes, ingestion of denatured and chemical products, exposure to heavy metals and other pollutants, infections, and stress, trauma, or tissues damage.
If we eat quality food, if we digest well, if we eliminate well, if we avoid chemicals (ingested, breathed in, or put on the skin), if we avoid exposure to heavy metals, if we take unnecessary medication, if we respect our sleep patterns, if we oxygenate ourselves regularly… we should not suffer from these diseases!
The body has an EXTRAORDINARY capacity of regeneration, which we do not believe in enough… But I can tell you: we can always improve our health.
Yours in health,
Béatrice Levinson, Naturopath and Certified GAPS practitioner.