All posts in Arthritis

I’m getting alot of questions about non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

NSAID’s are  inexpensive, we have easy access to them, and they do help pain go away.  BUT, are they safe? 

Answer:  Even short term use may increase the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding. Long-term use of prescription NSAIDs prompts well over 100,000 hospitalizations every year due to upper gastrointestinal adverse events.  More than 16,500 of those patients die–every year! 

One study found that NSAID use after age 60 may increase heart failure risk by 30 percent. And that risk rises sharply in the presence of other heart problems such as high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes. 

Another potential side effect is stroke. Researchers out of Denmark (Gentofte University) followed prescription records for two “COX-2 selective” NSAIDs: Celebrex and Vioxx. Also followed: three “non-selective” NSAIDs: naproxen (Aleve), diclofenac (Cataflam), and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin).

When prescription data was analyzed alongside hospitalization and death registry data, ibuprofen was linked with a 30 percent increased risk of stroke.  Ibuprofen, used for a limited time by healthy people appears to significantly increase stroke risk.  

Diclofenac may sharply increase stroke risk (more than 85 percent!), but that Aleve did not appear to increase stroke risk much at all.  In all five medications, higher doses produced increased stroke risk.

Now you decide – what’s better, the natural anti-inflammtories I prescribes to you or these over the counter meds?

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Paleolithic diet and its implications in rheumatoid arthritis

On his DVD How to Treat Multiple Sclerosis with Diet, Dr. Cordain thoroughly explains the dietary mechanisms of autoimmunity in MS which are almost the same for all autoimmune diseases, including RA. These include: increased intestinal permeability, increased passage of luminal antigens into peripheral circulation, molecular mimicry and genetic susceptibility (genes encoding for the HLA system), among other factors.

In recent years, new substances have been discovered which might be responsible for increased intestinal permeability – namely saponins – found in legumes, potatoes, soya, quinoa, amaranth, alfalfa sprouts or tomatoes. If you’ve seen Dr. Cordain’s scientific paper entitled “Modulation of immune function by dietary lectins in rheumatoid arthritis”, I am sure you are aware of the role lectins play in autoimmunity.

Adjuvants are used by immunologists in order to boost the immune system and induce immune response. It turns out that certain foods possess bioactive compounds that have adjuvant-like activity. This is the case for tomatoes or quillaja (a foaming agent used in beers and soft drinks).

Gliadin is a prolamine found in wheat which has been shown to increase intestinal permeability, and hence the risk of suffering from an autoimmune disease. While several clinical trials conducted have shown promising results, unfortunately they have used a gluten-free diet or vegan diet instead of a whole paleolithic diet, which is probably superior.

In the vegan diets, authors often claim that the benefits cited might be due to the lack of meat, but what if the positive effects relie on the lack of diary proteins and gluten. Meat has historically been seen as the “bad guy” of inflammation, but the data to support that notion is not sufficiently compelling.

Listed below are some references that may be helpful.

References:

  1. Modulation of immune function by dietary lectins in rheumatoid arthritis. Cordain L, Toohey L, Smith MJ, Hickey MS. Brit J Nutr 2000, 83:207-217.
  2. Gluten-free vegan diet induces decreased LDL and oxidized LDL levels and raised atheroprotective natural antibodies against phosphorylcholine in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: a randomized study. Elkan AC, Sjöberg B, Kolsrud B, Ringertz B, Hafström I, Frostegård J. Arthritis Res Ther. 2008;10(2):R34. Epub 2008 Mar 18.
  3. A vegan diet free of gluten improves the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis: the effects on arthritis correlate with a reduction in antibodies to food antigens. Hafström I, Ringertz B, Spångberg A, von Zweigbergk L, Brannemark S, Nylander I, Rönnelid J, Laasonen L, Klareskog L. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2001 Oct;40(10):1175-9.
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Whole Body Vibration Update

 A 12-week course of low-frequency vibration appears to be safe and feasible for improving dynamic balance in women with fibromyalgia, new research findings suggest.

Narcis Gusi, PhD, with the University of Extremadura in Caceres, Spain,
and colleagues reported their findings in the August 2010 issue of
Arthritis Care & Research.

As most of you know I use the Deep Muscle Stimulator (DMS) for neural and musculoskeletal rehab, but this article discusses whole-body vibration (WBV).  In WBV, a patient stands on a platform that oscillates at a particular frequency and amplitude, causing muscle contractions through stimulation of sensory receptors.

The study included 41 women aged 41 to 65 years who were randomized
either to a control group or to the vibration intervention, which
included a 30-minute session of instruction plus 3 sessions of
self-administered WBV per week for 12 weeks. Each session consisted of 6
repetitions of a 45- to 60-second, 12.5-Hz vibration.

WBV  has been shown to improve body balance and bone mass density (osteoporosis) in women. It may help muscle conditioning, endurance, and pain.

Arthritis Care Res. 2010;62:1072–1078.

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Eat to feel great – Paleo Diet

I’m still recommending the eat like a cave man Paleo Diet to lose weight, build muscle and feel healthy. The “Paleolithic”, or Paleo diet consists only of meat, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and mushrooms. I have way too many clients that are getting great workouts, but  few that  follow a  healthy diet. I offer individual diet recommendations to all of my patients, and most of the time the program is the Mediterranean Diet or Paleo Diet, or a combo of the two.

I really want my clients to feel healthy. I see so many people with all kinds of  problems, especially inflammation, arthritis, over- weight issues, aches and pains, and all of these problems can be helped with diet and supplements. After 3-4 weeks on the diet, I see clients able to drop excess weight and achieve better body fat percentages.

The key to the Paleo diet is to avoid all refined sugars, grains, dairy products, beans, legumes and anything processed. Though difficult, sticking to a Paleo diet fits the human genetic makeup better than most modern diets because it represents the foods that our ancestors ate and thrived on. The Paleo diet has other benefits, including helping to clear up acne.

The Paleo Diet might not entirely clear up acne in every single person who has acne, but it will almost always have an important positive effect on blood sugar and weight.
Call me for a session so we can individualise a program for you.
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B-6 May Improve Arthritis Measures

European Journal of Clinical Nutrition Published online ahead of print.

A daily dose of vitamin B-6 at the current upper tolerable levels may reduce amounts of inflammatory compounds in people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, a new study says.

Levels of the pro-inflammatory compounds interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) significantly decreased following 12 weeks of supplementation with 100 mg of vitamin B-6, according to findings published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

However, scientists from Chung Shan Medical University in Taiwan said that no changes were observed for pyridoxal-5-phosphate (PLP), the active form of vitamin B-6, in relation to levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), another marker of inflammation.

After 12 weeks of supplementation with B6, significant decreases in levels of IL-6 and TNF-alpha were observed.

“A large dose of vitamin B-6 supplementation (100 mg per day) suppressed pro-inflammatory cytokines (that is, IL-6 and TNF-alpha) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis,” the researchers concluded.

Vitamin B-6, a water-soluble vitamin that exists as pyridoxine, pyridoxal and pyridoxamine is found in beans, meat, fish and some fruits and vegetables, like spinach and avocado. I recommended UltraInflamX medical shakes from Metagenics as a great source of B6 and other i,portant nutrients for RA and other inflammatory conditions. www.DrJeffreyTucker.meta-ehealth.com to purchase UltraInflamX.

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