by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR
Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.
Click here: Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit
Most cases of arthritis, unfortunately, are not preventable. A clue to a possible increased risk for developing arthritis is a family history of the disease. While the increased risk is evident, the ability to predict risk for a given individual is difficult. The goal is to diagnose and treat arthritis early.
Risk factors for osteoarthritis, in addition to a family history, are trauma or injury to a joint. This increases the risk of developing osteoarthritis.
Excess weight also increases the risk for developing osteoarthritis in the knees, and possibly in the hips and hands. Women are at special risk for this. Recent research has shown that fat cells, called adipocytes, produce leptins, proteins that aggravate inflammation. In men, being overweight increases the risk for developing gout. Research shows that overweight people who lose 11 pounds or more over 10 years can cut the risk for developing knee osteoarthritis in half.
In patients who already have knee osteoarthritis, weight loss reduces the risk of accelerated disease progression and definitely helps with symptoms.
Arthritis in the knees is often accompanied by quadricep muscle weakness and atrophy. The atrophy leads to further deterioration of the arthritis. One simple measure for reducing pain and slowing disease is to increase quadricep strength.
Regardless of any effect on the risk of getting osteoarthritis, regular exercise helps maintain physical function and slows the development of disabilities.
Intake of antioxidants has been found to be beneficial in people with osteoarthritis in at least a few studies. One study found that people with osteoarthritis who consumed more antioxidant nutrients, especially vitamin C, slowed the progression of the disease, reduced the risk of cartilage loss, and reduced the risk of developing knee pain (McAlindon et al., 1996).
For rheumatoid arthritis, risk factors include female gender (which obviously can't be changed), family history, and cigarette smoking.
The bottom line: arthritis prevention hinges on taking care of yourself and being cognizant of the early warning signs of the disease. Reducing risk factors for the development of arthritis as well as reducing the factors that promote progression are important.
Get more information about arthritis prevention as well as...
• Insider arthritis tips that help you erase the pain and fatigue of rheumatoid arthritis almost overnight!
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• Ignored remedies that eliminate fibromyalgia symptoms quickly!
• Obsolete treatments for knee osteoarthritis that still are used... and may still work for you!
• The stiff penalties you face if you ignore this type of hip pain...
• 7 easy-to-implement neck pain remedies that work like a charm!
• And much more...
Click here Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit
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