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Posts Tagged ‘rheumatoid arthritis’

Discovering Arthritis

Posted by rhondascooking on May 25, 2012

Image source Medicinenet, Inc.

Throughout the month of the May, the Arthritis Foundation has been raising awareness about arthritis a through its movement called Arthritis Action Month. The organization is encouraging people to take action in a number of ways to help raise awareness. One way that the Arthritis Foundation is raising awareness is through its Tip Share application (app), which encourages people by share tips and advice. The app is now available on multiple devices.

The following are some key facts about arthritis:

What is Arthritis?
Simply put, arthritis is inflammation in the joint. Though many times the word arthritis is used as if it is one disease, there are over 100 types of arthritis that have been identified to date[1]. The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and gout. There are over 46 million Americans who have been diagnosed with some form of arthritis[2].

What are the signs and symptoms?
The most common signs or symptoms are joint pain, stiffness and inflammation. Depending on the arthritis type, a person could experience these symptoms in the following areas: wrists, fingers, knees, ankles, toes, hips, shoulders and elbows.

What is the difference between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis?
These two types of arthritis are the most common types.

    Osteoarthritis is a condition that occurs when the joint cartilage breaks down. The cartilage is the smooth, tissue that covers the ends of the bones where they meet, preventing them from rubbing each other. Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent form of arthritis, and usually effects people over age 45.
    Rheumatoid Arthritis is an inflammatory disease in which the body’s immune system attacks its own healthy tissues. RA can affect anyone at any age.

What is gout?
Gout occurs when there is a buildup of uric acid, a waste product of the urine cycle, which deposits razor-sharp crystals in the joint spaces between bones[3].

What tests can be performed to diagnose arthritis?
There is not just one test to diagnose arthritis. Depending on your health care provider and the patient’s symptoms the tests will vary. For instance, conventional medical physicians tend to start with blood tests and X-rays. On the other hand, alternative holistic physicians tend to do a variety of tests understand the cause, some of which include, allergy tests, hormone tests, digestive function tests, tests for parasites, and heavy metal toxicity.[4]

What causes arthritis?
The causes will vary depending on the type of arthritis. For osteoarthritis, some of the causes occurs from wear and tear on the joints over one’s lifetime, obesity, hormone imbalance, or food allergies. On the other hand for rheumatoid arthritis, some of the causes that drive inflammation include, but not limited to food allergies, toxicity, nutritional deficiencies, intestinal permeability and microorganisms.

How can arthritis be treated?
Depending on the type of arthritis, the treatment plan will vary. Conventional treatments (ordered by traditional medical physician) tend to start with NSAIDs (Non-steriodal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen (Motrin) or naproxen (Aleeve) and then transitions to a treatment that include COX-2 inhibitors such as Vioxx, Celebrex or Enbrel. Many of these conventional drugs have been known to increase the risk of heart attacks and sudden cardiac death! Sometimes if NSAIDs aren’t effective, some patients turn to injections of cortisone (corticosteroids) or methotrexate.

Are there any alternative treatment therapies for arthritis?
There are a number of treatment options such as dietary changes (food, vitamin supplements), detoxification, exercise, and stress reduction. However, food is a major factor in triggering inflammation in the joints and by reducing one’s daily intake of foods that are pro-inflammatory, can minimize and stop the pain! To see a list of foods that trigger inflammation, click here.

Even if you do not have arthritis, do your part in raising awareness about arthritis and share this with your loved ones and your social network! Don’t forget to download the Tip Share app!


Sources:
[1][3][4]Kamhi, Ellen and Zampieron, Eugene. Arthritis. Celestial Arts: California, 2006.
[2]”Link Between Arthritis and Heart Disease.” Arthritis Foundation. http://www.arthritis.org/heart-disease-connection.php

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What’s cooking for Easter?

Posted by rhondascooking on April 23, 2011

Easter holiday is a special time for many people around the world, especially for Christians; it’s a time for celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Easter holiday marks the end of Lent, which is a time of fasting and praying.  Easter is celebrated in many different ways throughout the world and even within the United States, but the one common thread is FOOD!  Most people celebrate this holiday with a big feast!   I can remember growing up in Angie, Louisiana, my mom would cook a huge meal which included cornbread dressing, collard greens or cabbage, turkey, cream cheese pound cake and pecan pie or sweet potato pie!  In my home town, this was the traditional celebration feast, but it varies throughout Louisiana, because in southwest Louisiana  it was about crawfish boils and boudin!  What type of dinner do you typically cook for Easter?

As time progressed, dinners like the one I grew up eating have become a little different, as a result of my rheumatoid arthritis.  Corn, which is the main ingredient of cornbread dressing,  is on the list of potential inflammatory foods, as well as other foods such as wheat, dairy, eggs, coffee, poultry, pork, potatoes, tomatoes, egg plants, bell peppers, etc, which makes it not a good choice for those dealing with some form of arthritis.  Needless to say, I no longer cook my mom’s infamous cornbread dressing, instead I’ve created my own version—a twist on the old—that I call “Cornless Cornbread Dressing”!  This recipe is perfect for me and those who struggle with joint problems or food allergies to corn or wheat.  My recipe is not only corn free, but it also does not contain, dairy, eggs, soy or wheat!  I know what you’re thinking, and you’re wrong!  This recipe is absolutely delicious!  In fact, it is so delicious that I decided to put it in my cookbook, So, What Can I Eat Now?!, which  is available for purchase now on my website or on Amazon.com.  To prove that this is really a tasty dish, one customer who purchased the book said that she cooked this recipe for Thanksgiving and her husband and other people who came for dinner loved it!  This recipe is not lacking flavor at all and the best part about it is that it is healthy!  My mouth is watering as I write this post!  I wasn’t planning on cooking Sunday, but after this post, I think I’m heading to the store to purchase the ingredients to cook some “Cornless Cornbread Dressing” (or stuffing)!

So, my Easter dinner menu will indeed be a remix on my momma’s traditional dinner for sure!  My menu will include the following:

  • Cornless Cornbread dressing (free of gluten, dairy, corn, soy, eggs)
  • Southern style petite green beans
  • Candied butternut squash
  • Decadent Apple cinnamon cake (free of gluten, dairy, corn, soy, eggs)

If you’re celebrating Easter, I would love to know how you and your family celebrate.  Are you planning to throw down in the kitchen and prepare a huge feast or will you just go to someone’s home and enjoy their delicious dinner?    I’d love to read about it!

Happy Easter or Resurrection Day!

Posted in Arthritis, Diet, Food, Health | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Resources to help understand Arthritis

Posted by rhondascooking on March 31, 2011

(photo source: Rhonda's Cooking)

How did I learn how to live a drug free life after being diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis?  That’s the question that I always get whenever I meet people who struggle with this or have family members who do.  For the record, when I say drug free, I mean free from the prescription medications like Plaquenil, Prednisone, Vioxx, Celebrex, Arava, Methotrexate injections (weekly), and cortisone injections, etc.  I took ALL of of those drugs for several years thinking that they would help cure me.  Needless to say, I was wrong!!  Besides a miracle from God, there is no cure for arthritis today.  Did you know this?  I really had no clue, at that time, I was only 25 and I did whatever the doctor told me to do.  So for TEN long years, I just learned how to deal with this dreadful pain that felt so bad that I could not even hold a toothbrush or put on my clothes.  The inflammation in my wrist was so intense that it felt like someone was squeezing my wrists so hard until there was no blood flowing to the fingers!

Thank goodness in 2005, I met Dr. Colbert!  He talked about healthy eating being the natural cure to heal various diseases.  I purchased his books, followed his recommendations and over a period of time, I no longer consumed prescription medication for the arthritis!  Can you belive it???  I couldn’t, but I felt great!  So I continued to study and research, more and more to understand the healing properties of certain foods and I never looked back.!

Listed below are the books that freed me from the dreadful pain and inflammation of Rheumatoid Arthritis. As I read more, I’ll add to this list.

  • The Bible Cure for Arthritis, Dr. Don Colbert
  • The Inflammation Free Diet Plan, Monica Reinagel
  • Arthritis, Ellen Kamhi and Eugene R. Zampieron
  • The Glycemic Index Diet, Rick Gallop

Do you have any books or resources that you have read that has helped you overcome your pain with arthritis?

Follow Me on Twitter: @rhondapeters

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Ever Wonder about Omega-3’s?

Posted by rhondascooking on March 14, 2009

Omega-3 essential fatty acids, simply called Omega 3’s for short, are essential for a healthy life, particularly a healthy heart.1 The body cannot make omega-3 by itself, but it is essential for a person to consume these through foods (hence the name Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids).  There are other types of essential fatty acids, but the two principle types are omega-3 and omega-6; both are important in the right proportion.2  Most Americans have a diet that is imbalanced in the consumption of omega-3 and omega-6.  One reason is because we are a “quick and easy” processed meals society.  The ideal amount, is 1 to 2 ratio omega-6 to omega-3 instead of being 25 times more Omega 6!2  Since our diets are already rich in omega-6s, this article will focus on how to get more omega-3s. 

 

First, let’s start with the benefits of omega-3s. Many studies have shown that people who consume a high intake of omega-3 fatty acids1:

·        Have a decreased risk of developing heart disease

·        Have a reduced risk of death from a cardiac causes, when taken after a heart attack

·        Ease depression and bipolar depression

·        May protect against Alzheimer’s disease

·        May lower chance of developing dementia

·        May help in treating hyperactivities disorder (ADHD)

·        May help to treat joint pain, stiffness and inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis

 

You can obtain omega-3 by eating cold-water fish, ground flaxseeds, or supplements.  Consult your doctor to schedule a physical assessment; then work with your doctor, dietician, or fitness/nutrition counselor to determine the appropriate amount you need.

 

1Schulman, Robert MD.  Solve It With Supplements.  New York: Rodale, 2007.

2”Introduction to Probiotics.” National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.  Jan 9, 2009. Jan 17, 2009 <http://nccam.nih.gov/health/probiotics/#uses>. 

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Can Food Really Help Arthritis?

Posted by rhondascooking on July 19, 2008

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is something that I have been challenged with

Normal & Arthritic Joints

(picture from medicinenet.com)

since 1995. RA is an inflammatory, autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks its own healthy tissues.1 I spent many years in excruciated pain in my hands; so much pain that I couldn’t even hold my toothbrush or button my pants/shirts. The pain would last for an entire day before calming down and then it would take 3 days before the swelling and soreness would go away. When these situations occurred, this was called a “flare-up” (inflammation). Initially, I would get these about 3 to 4 times per year. I tried every home remedy and drug, (Celebrex, Vioxx, Arava, cortisone drugs/steroids (such as prednisone), hydroxychloroquine, and methotrexate injections, but nothing worked permanently; these were all short term fixes and the pain would always return.

So after many years of dealing with yearly flare-ups, in 2005 after meeting Dr. Don Colbert, I learned that there were many different foods that could trigger one to have inflammation when diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. After reading his books as well as other studies on arthritis, I decided to put all of that information to the test. I decided to stop eating foods that would make me have a flare-up. The following is a list of foods that could trigger rheumatoid arthritic reactions:

Foods that Trigger Inflammation (“flare-ups”)
Corn Wheat
Pork Oats
Rye Eggs
Beef Coffee
Chicken Oranges
Turkey Grapefruit
Shellfish Milk & dairy products
Night shade plants (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants & bell peppers)

By now, I know that you are in shock! You are asking yourself what are going to eat if you take away these foods. Well, I am here to let you know that you can do it with time and with the right recipes. In my upcoming cookbook (available this fall), I will have a lot of recipes for people with arthritis.  Here are some of the foods that I typically eat:

Foods that Won’t Cause Inflammation
Cold Water Fish Dark Leafy Greens
Ground Flaxseeds Pineapples
Turmeric Sardines
Garlic Whole Grains (no wheat)
Ginger Fresh fruits (no oranges)
Natural Nuts/seeds Olive oil
Flax oil Fresh/Frozen Vegetables

 

 

 

I can tell you that right now in my life, I finally feel better than ever since being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis! I can now wake up EVERY morning able to hold my toothbrush and get dressed without a problem! So for me, not eating a piece of chicken or having my favorite coffee was okay.

So how do you get started? Start slow and remember that not all of these foods listed will impact everyone the same. In order to find out if it causes inflammation in your body, you must remove all of the items from your diet for 2 weeks and then slowly introduce them back one by one. If you still can’t tell and are still having pain, shoot me an email because there are a few other things/strategies that you can do to help you live pain free! I am telling you the truth, it really does work!!! I no longer take any medications for rheumatoid arthritis!

1Kamhi, Ellen, and Zampieron, Eugene. Arthritis. California: Celelestial Arts, 2006.

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