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October 11, 2021

What is arthritis?

Arthritis is the common term used to call the inflammation of joints where you can experience pain, swelling, stiffness and decreased mobility. Rheumatic conditions can also affect the immune system as well as various internal organs of the body such as the heart, kidneys, lungs etc.

The Orthopaedic Specialty Group stated that there are more than 100 types of arthritis, but the most common types are osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), fibromyalgia, lupus and gout.


Who can experience arthritis?

Rheumatic or musculoskeletal conditions could affect people regardless of their age, gender, nationality or social class. 

At some point in your life, you could experience any form of arthritis, especially if you are already in your 60s since it is more common in older people. Sadly, it can also affect children and even newborn babies.

It can run in your family and you might inherit it. Aside from this, your way of living could also trigger chances of having non-traumatic bone and joint disorders.


Arthritis Statistics and Facts

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs) such as spinal disorders, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis are leading causes of disability and morbidity in developed countries that result to increasing healthcare expenditures, premature retirement and loss of work.

As stated by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), around 3.5 million or 1 in 7 Australians reported having a form of arthritis.

In 2014-15, about 2.1 million (9.0%) Australians reported having osteoarthritis (OA) while 405,900 (1.8%) have rheumatoid arthritis (RA). 

In addition, Arthritis New South Wales said that by the year 2050, around 7 million Australians will suffer from arthritis.

According to a report from Arthritis Australia, when it comes to healthcare expenses, the direct costs associated with arthritis amount to an estimated $1.9 billion dollars annually in Australia, where the average cost of arthritis for each individual is $6,200 dollars per year. 

In addition, as a result of workers withdrawing from the labour market because of having arthritis, there will be significant losses to the economy. The estimated cost would be $8.6 billion dollars in the year 2025 and $9.4 billion dollars in 2030.


Best Foods for Arthritis 

Here are foods that can help ease your arthritis and joint pain. Make sure to include these on your diet:

  • Omega-3 rich foods (salmon, mackerel, sardines, eggs) experts recommend two servings or 3.5-ounce portions every week. You can also take fish oil supplements to reduce the pain and swelling of joints.
  • Vegetables like broccoli, eggplants and spinach contain nutrients that can prevent or may slow the progression of osteoarthritis (OA). 
  • Fruits (cherries, berries, grapes, avocados, oranges) help lower inflammation and prevents you from having osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and gout attacks.
  • Monounsaturated fat (extra virgin olive oil, canola oil, sunflower oil) Contains healthy fats that are good for the heart. Also, has oleocanthal a compound that has similar properties to anti-inflammatory and non-steroidal drugs.
  • Nuts and seeds (walnuts, almonds, pistachios) rich in calcium, magnesium and protein which are essential for bone and muscle development.
  • Legumes (soybeans, edamame, chickpeas) are known to be good sources of protein for muscle health.
  • Low-fat dairy products (cheese, milk and yoghurt) are high in calcium and vitamin D which promotes bone health.
  • Whole Grains (brown rice, oatmeal, cereals) can lower C-reactive protein (CRP) levels in the blood which is associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). 


Supplements for Arthritis Pain Relief

If you are suffering from any form of arthritis, you should include supplements in your diet that could help ease the swelling and pain you are experiencing.  

Some of the supplements are effective in slowing down the progression of your rheumatic and musculoskeletal disease (RMD).

But, it is very much important to consult your doctor before taking any medications to make sure about the right dosage you need to take.

The following vitamins and supplements were scientifically proven to give you relief with your arthritis pain:

1. Calcium

They say prevention is better than cure. So, for you to prevent acquiring osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and other chronic bone diseases you should increase your calcium levels. You can also drink skimmed milk or take calcium supplements on a regular basis for this mineral is very essential for your bone health to prevent the loss of bone density.

2. Vitamin D

Vitamin D, also known as the “sunshine vitamin” is not only good for your skin but it also plays a vital role for bone health as it helps in the absorption of calcium and provides bone and muscle support. Even if you are taking enough calcium, it might go to waste if you are running low on vitamin D.

3. Glucosamine

Improves mobility, prevents joint damage and plays a vital role in the construction of cartilage. It has been proven that glucosamine is effective in treating and slowing the progression of rheumatic conditions such as osteoarthritis.

4. Chondroitin Sulfate

Chondroitin is often taken with glucosamine. This supplement is said to be beneficial in the treatment of arthritis for it eases the pain, has an anti-inflammatory effect and improves joint function. It was also proven to be a safer alternative to strong painkillers.

5. Omega-3 fatty acids

It has been proven that this kind of fat is good for your health as well as decreasing your chances of having arthritis because Omega-3 reduces inflammation. You can take supplements that are rich in omega-3 like fish oil that helps in preventing chronic inflammation.

6. MSM

MSM or methylsulfonylmethane could possibly reduce the pain and inflammation when you are suffering from arthritis. It also helps in the improvement of joint function for it is vital in the formation of connective tissue and repairs ligaments, tendons and joints.

7. Turmeric

A natural painkiller that contains anti-inflammatory properties that help in reducing pain and swelling of joints if you are suffering from osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. You can include it in your diet through curries, teas as well as taking it as a dietary supplement called curcumin.

8. Ginger

Aside from using it in the kitchen for cooking and treating different conditions such as nausea, digestive problems, hypertension, colds and flu etc. It has also anti-inflammatory properties similar to ibuprofen, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used for treating pain and inflammation.

9. Magnesium

It has anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic properties. An essential mineral to strengthen bones and muscles.  Aside from this, it also regulates your blood sugar levels, heart health and maintains joint cartilage. 

10. Boswellia

Also known as Indian frankincense, its extract comes from boswellia serrata tree and is native to Pakistan and India. Studies show that boswellia is one of the effective remedies for arthritis due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Disclaimer: The vitamin health information published on this web page is solely intended for educational purposes. VitaminsOnly strongly recommends to consult health care professionals for any questions concerning your health.

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