Osteoarthritis is a wear and tear arthritis also called degenerative joint disease or degenerative arthritis. This condition is the most common chronic condition of joints. This condition can affect different joints. It’s more common on knees, small joints in fingers, thumb of the big toe, hips, lower back, and neck area of the body.
In normal joints cartilage is the rubbery material that covers the ends of the bones. Cartilage provides a smooth surface for the movement of the joints. However, in osteoarthritis the cartilage breaks down. This causes pain in the area affected by the condition.
Left untreated, Osteoarthritis will get worse. It can cause the breakdown of bones. Enzymes may develop, which will damage the cartilage. This will cause rubbing of the bones, which can then cause swelling, pain and loss of motion in the joint.
But unlike other arthritis osteoarthritis affects only the joints and will not damage internal organs. This condition is common in older people but younger people can develop osteoarthritis because of joint injury.
Risk Factors of Osteoarthritis
- Aging: Aging is the usual cause of developing the condition
- Joint injury: You can develop osteoarthritis if your has been injured before. Your joint is not as strong as before.
- Family history: You can inherit Osteoarthritis from your family, especially if your family has genetic joint defects.
- Gender: Gender plays a role of developing the condition, women are prone to osteoarthritis than men.
Who are at risk of developing osteoarthritis?
All people are prone in developing osteoarthritis but it’s more common on people, who are at the age of 65 above, obese, previous injury usually sports injury, genes, weak thigh muscles, and over using of the joints.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis
- Stiffening of the joint after getting out of the bed and sitting for a long time.
- Tenderness of joints.
- Sound of joints rubbing each other
Osteoarthritis can be treated by physical activities, losing weight, stretching and if the condition is advance it can be treated by surgery.
But you can avoid having osteoarthritis if we eat the right food and if we are already suffering from eat we can eat the best food to manage the symptoms.
Best Foods for osteoarthritis
Eat oily fish
Oily fish like sardines, tuna, mackerel, and salmon contain a polyunsaturated fats omega-3 which is anti-inflammatory which is beneficial to those who are suffering from osteoarthritis.
Rich in calcium food and drinks like milk, yogurt and cheese can help the bones to get stronger that can help the joints to lower the risk of developing osteoarthritis.
Dark leafy green vegetables
Dark leafy green vegetable is rich in Vitamin D that will fight the infection that will attack the body.
Antioxidant from green tea can reduce inflammation of the cartilage and it can also slow the damage in the cartilage.
Nuts are good for the heart and contain calcium, magnesium, vitamin E, zinc and fiber. They also are good in boosting your immune system because of alpha-linolenic acid.
Mediterranean diet is also advisable for those who are suffering from osteoarthritis because it can help to reduce the inflammation of the joint. It is a type of diet comprise of eating vegetables, fruits, fish, whole grain and you need to limit your intake of unhealthy fats.
Mediterranean diet emphasizes the following:
- Replacing butter with healthy fats like olive oils and canola oil
- You need to eat plant-based foods like fruits vegetables, legumes, and whole grain foods.
- Keep moving, you need to do a lot of exercises
- Only eat poultry products and fish two times a week
- Instead of using salt to make the food tasty use herb instead.
- Limit your meat intake
Supplements for Osteoarthritis
- Glucosamine: Glucosamine is usually used as a supplement for osteoarthritis through our body can produce this but if we are suffering from osteoarthritis our body cannot produce enough of it, the main use of glucosamine is to treat osteoarthritis of the knee and hip.
- Chondroitin: Chondroitin is a building block of the joint structure; condrotin can reduce the pain of joint and can slow down the joint space narrowing.
- Methylsulfonylmethane: This supplement has properties that will reduce the swelling of the joint but it cannot relieve the stiffness of the joint.
- Turmeric: Turmeric active ingredients curcumin has anti-inflammatory properties that will help lessen the pain.
- S-adenosylmethionine: This supplement can increase cartilage thickness that can help to reduce the damage of the joint.
There are foods that we need to avoid if we are suffering from osteoarthritis and they are the following.
- Sugar: You should avoid foods that are rich in sugar like sweetened beverages and soda if you are suffering from osteoarthritis. Sugar can be a trigger of releasing cytokines that acts as an inflammatory messenger in the body.
- Refined carbohydrates: Refined carbohydrates like potato chips, white bread, and white rice can trigger inflammation in the body.
- Saturated fats: Eating red meat should be avoided because of saturated fats, it can cause inflammation in the fat tissue that can cause different disease not just osteoarthritis like heart disease, and obesity
Facts about osteoarthritis
- Knee and hip are the common parts of the body affected by osteoarthritis.
- Osteoarthritis is the most common arthritis
- Older people are prone to developing osteoarthritis
- Women are prone to osteoarthritis than men
If you are already experiencing various symptoms see your doctor immediately for medical intervention because the sooner you will know your condition the sooner you will start the treatment and the condition will be well managed.
Treatment options are available, your doctor will advise you what kind of medication and treatment to control the pain and progression o is right for you because every patient is different even though they have the same illnesses or disease.
Early diagnoses can lead to early treatment that’s why it’s very important to us to see our doctor to prevent diseases that can be life-threatening if taken for granted.