By Elizabeth DeGrie
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that nearly 23 percent of American adults have some form of arthritis now and that 67 million adults will be diagnosed with arthritis by 2030.
Osteoarthritis, which the Mayo Clinic says is the most common type of arthritis, is a painful condition involving damage to the cartilage surrounding joints.
Rheumatoid arthritis, also common, is an autoimmune disease in which an individual’s own immune system attacks the lining of the joint, causing pain and inflammation.
Because arthritis is heavily linked to inflammation, following an anti-
inflammatory diet aids in prevention and treatment of arthritis. According to the Arthritis Foundation, sugar, saturated fats, trans fats, omega-6 fatty acids, refined carbohydrates, MSG, gluten, casein, aspartame and alcohol can all cause inflammation.
While no one can eliminate the risk of developing arthritis, there are a number of steps individuals can take to lessen the danger. Research suggests maintaining a healthy weight, staying active, avoiding smoking and eating a healthy diet low in sugar, alcohol and purines all contribute to reduced arthritis risk.
Exercise can help reduce and alleviate arthritis symptoms. A combination of aerobic and strength-training exercises has been proven to ease arthritis symptoms. Leg-focused strength training exercises are especially helpful for the knees. Exercise has also helped individuals with arthritis from being debilitated by the disease.
Research shows certain foods help alleviate arthritis. Fish, soy, healthy oils, cherries, low-fat dairy, broccoli, green tea, citrus, whole grains, beans, garlic and nuts all have anti-inflammatory properties. These foods are also part of a healthy diet that can help one maintain a healthy weight, further reducing arthritis risk.
Some people are at a higher risk of developing arthritis. Risk factors include:
• A family history of arthritis
• Age – risk goes up as
• Gender – women are more
likely to develop rheumatoid
arthritis, while men are more
frequently diagnosed with gout
• Previous joint injuries