Dr. Scott Graves
Do your joints ever feel stiff? Do you ever get pain in your joints after playing sports or doing something strenuous? When you are in colder weather, does it feel like you are not a limber as you would be in warmer weather? When you move one of your many joints do you have pain of any kind?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you may have the beginning signs of joint pain or inflammation, which is commonly known as arthritis.
What is Arthritis?
It is now estimated that over 60 million Americans now feel the effects of one form or another of joint pain. The word literally means inflammation of the joints. Two common forms exist that affect that largest number of people. Osteoarthritis is degenerative and happens when the cartilage that protects the ends of the bones from rubbing directly against each begins to wear thin. Bone on bone is the end result and it is very painful.
With rheumatoid arthritis (an autoimmune disorder) is more common for younger folks and occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks the synovial membrane of the joint. The result is inflammation and the joint becomes damaged. The body then replaces this damaged tissue with scar tissue, which can fuse the joints eventually resulting in more stiffness, swelling and crippling pain. A third form of this is called gout. This occurs when uric acid crystallizes and settles into the joints and tissues. This can be extremely painful and many times pain occurs in the big toe.
What causes Arthritis?
As a naturopath, most problems with the body can be seen as a lack or imbalance of having the proper nutrients to be able to fix, repair and maintain health in the body. Many factors and complexities are related to what we are going to talk about, but let’s talk in simple terms first. As for osteoarthritis, we have to ask the question, “What nutrients help to rebuild cartilage?”
The antioxidant vitamin, particularly vitamin C, is known not only for its role in helping to rebuild cartilage, but also for its role as an anti-inflammatory. Vitamins A and E are also essential. Most Americans don’t get nearly the amount of these vitamins in the diet. And if they are at a loss, generally they need excess amounts to help naturally repair past damage. Many other ingredients help, but these are the major nutrients needed. In the clinic, we use a special formula that is designed to give the body support specifically for this problem. It gives the body what it needs so it can fix itself. The formula contains calcium, b complex, a bone rebuilder, a cleanser for the gallbladder/liver to help bone and joint function. We also use some other whole food supplements that are specifically designed to support the body’s ability to heal itself from inflammation and joint issues. We have had great results with protocols to rebuild and heal the cartilage and joints.
In the case of rheumatoid arthritis, we must ask why the immune system is so confused or so low that it is attacking the body. You must give the body known nutrients to help fortify the strength of the immune system and reduce inflammation. We use another product in the clinic that is similar to the formula used above, but with some tweaks to it, specific to help the body with joint related to this health problem.
Other causes to joint inflammation are food sensitivities, environmental toxicities (heavy metals and chemicals), and pathogens (bacteria, virus, etc…). With Nutrition Response Testing we can determine exactly what problem is affecting a joint and help design a plan that can help to naturally remove these causes. Ninety five percent of the time, these three things lay at the bottom of the problem. By removing these problems and give the body nutrients, we see healing occur.
We also have had great success helping the body heal naturally from gout by giving the body what it needs to heal itself from this condition as well. The nutrients are different from the formulas used above. In all three of these cases I also design very specific eating plans for people that will help to give their bodies the nutrition needed to be able to reverse and heal those affected with arthritis. The diet is the most critical component to healing.
What are some natural treatment/remedies/cures for arthritis?
In western medicine, no cure exists for this condition. However, we know that if we give the body what it need, the body itself is the cure. No one product, treatment, remedy is the cure. The body is the only thing that can cure itself of anything. Very specific nutrients are able to help the body and some of those things are listed below:
- Fresh vegetable juices (green leafy veggies). These juices provide tons of great nutrients to the body. If you don’t have a masticating juicer, invest in one today. I use mine every day.
- Pineapple contains the enzyme bromelain, which has been proven to have an anti-inflammatory action.
- Cabbage Juice.
- Alfalfa is rich in chlorophyll and is a blood cleanser.
- Boswelia. We use a powerful herbal formula containing Boswelia here in the clinic. We have a very powerful formula we use, which is organic, pure and concentrated. Boswelia is perhaps the best natural herbal remedy for treatment of arthritis.
- Other things such as cayenne, comfrey, aloe vera, cod liver oil (omega 3), and minerals have a positive effect in providing the body with what it needs to heal as well.
Cleansing the body of garbage, toxins and other harmful substances can help tremendously. Avoid foods and things known to perpetuate joint problems such as wheat, dairy, sugar, white rice, white pasta, coffee, pork, fried foods, salt, preservatives, additives, food colorings, margarine and soft drinks. Eating a diet that contains 6-8 servings of raw, organic, fresh vegetables and fruits, in my opinion, is the foundation to healing and is critical for overall body health. Great homeopathic remedies for arthritis are Rhus Toxicodendron, Calcarea Carbonica, and Aconitum Napellus. Here in the clinic, we have protocols for chelation or pulling metals and chemicals from the body and through Nutrition Response Testing we can identify exact what nutrients your body needs and in what quantities so that your body can begin to heal quickly. If you are outside of the Orlando area, I also do phone consultations and have had great success with people with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout and other joint inflammation and pain issues. The natural treatment or cure can be found in nature, and the body is the great physician to promote true healing.
Dr. Scott Graves ND, MA, CNC, CNHP is a Florida-based Naturopathic Doctor who specializes in Naturopathic Medicine and Nutrition Response Testing. He offers free phone or in-office consultations and is available for radio and TV interviews. Visit his website here, friend him on Facebook, or email him at dr(at)drscottgraves.com.