Thursday, April 28, 2011

VIII. Arthritis

There are over 100 different forms of arthritis, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and related autoimmune diseases. Arthritis is defined as a health condition with characteristics of redness, swelling, accompanied with pain and loss of function due to inflammation that occurs around the joint, damage to the joint.
There are 2 types of inflammation
a. Acute inflammation
Acute inflammation happened in a short period, the symptoms may only last for a few seconds but no longer in a few days due to increased blood flow, permeability of the and migration of neutrophils out of the venules and into interstitial spaces.

b. Chronic inflammation
Chronic inflammaory disease may persist over av long time days, months or years. In chronic inflammation, the system has gotten hung up, and instead of protecting the organism (our bodies) it starts to kill the organism, slowly but surely, leading to connective tissue become inflamed and swollen in the joints.

1. Symptoms
Depending to the types of conditions
a. Stiffness on awakening or after prolonged rest
b. Pain in a joint during or after use
c. Discomfort in a joint before or during a change in weather
d. Swelling and a loss of flexibility in a joint
e. Bony lumps (nodules) that develop on the end or middle joint of the fingers
f. Pain and swelling in the smaller joints of the hands and feet
g. Overall aching or stiffness, especially after sleeping or periods of motionlessness
h. Joints that are swollen, painful, and warm to the touch during the initial attack and ensuing flare-ups
i. nodules, or lumps, that most commonly occur near the elbow (but can occur anywhere)
j. Etc.

2. Causes
a. Genetic or inherited
Although the cause of arthritis is not unknown, researchers suspect it may be caused by alternation of gene such as NOS2 or on the X chromosome that inherited from you parent.

b. Autoimmunity
Autoimmunity is a disorder of immune system has lost its sensitivity to differentiate the body cells and foreign invaders, as it begins to attack the cells of the body, leading to inflammation due to effects of free radicals.

c. Wear-and-tear
Some theories suggested that wear and tear over the year may increase the risk of suffering of joint injuries such as people works in a job that puts daily stress on the joints, athletics, etc.

d. Bacterial or viral infections
Due to an abnormal immune response that destroys the body's own tissues - in the case of RA, the joints are the target.

e. Gout
Gout and Pseudogout are caused by crystal deposits within the joints. 80% of gout sufferers are men. It is a medical condition usually characterized by recurrent attacks of acute inflammatory arthritis—a red, tender, hot, swollen joint due to elevating levels of uric acid in the blood which crystallize and are deposited in joints, tendons, and surrounding tissues.

f. Etc.

3. Free radicals and Arthritis
Researchers found that rheumatoid joint fluid contains significant amounts hydroxyl radical. Its presence suggests a failure of the normal immune defense system within the joint as transferrin has no longer performed its normal function in chemicals binding, leading to inflammation.
Other study suggested that once the inflammatory condition is progressing, free radicals and the chain of free radicals reaction cause radicals occur in high numbers in the affected area, elevating the swelling and promoting degeneration as it becomes a cycle process.

4. Antioxidants and Arthritis
a. Vitamin C
Vitamin C beside is vital in restoring the antioxidants vitamin E in scavenging the free radicals before they can become harmful to the body, it also protects the capillaries by preventing them from breaking off, triggering an inflammatory reaction. Other study found that vitamin C also reduces the risk of cartilage loss and developing knee pain.

b. Vitamin E and fish oil
In genetically altered mice study, researcher found that diet included fish oil plus vitamin E significantly reduce the levels of inflammation by analyzing the pro and anti-inflammatory cytokines in the blood serum.

c. Glucosamine
Since glucosamine, a compound of the simple sugar glucose and the amino acid glutamine, is a precursor for glycosaminoglycans, and they are a major component of joint cartilage. Study found that supplemental glucosamine may help to prevent cartilage degeneration and treat arthritis.

d. DLPA (dl- phenylalanine)
DLPA, a mixture of D-Phenylalanine and L-Phenylalanine, is a nutritional supplement amino acid. Researchers found that DLPA effectively reduces arthritis pain and joint inflammation in many patients.

e. Glucosamine and Methylsulfonylmethane
In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study with osteoarthritis of the knee were given a combination of glucosamine and MSM, or placebo. After 12 weeks, the results suggested combination of MSM and glucosamine may improve arthritis symptoms as compared to placebo.

f. Etc.