Celiac disease is a malabsorption syndrome and chronic digestive disorder. The intestine is not able to absorb vital dietary nutrients from foods containing gliadin, an alcohol-soluble portion of gluten. This condition which is often hereditary means the sufferer has a serious intolerance to wheat (including durum, semolina and spelt), rye, oats, barley, and related grain hybrids such as tritaclae and kamut.

Arthritis refers to inflammation of the joint. The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis which is characterised by joint degeneration and loss of cartilage. Rheumatoid arthritis is a type of inflammatory arthritis which is also an autoimmune disorder. In this case the body's immune system attacks its own cartilage and tissue surrounding the joints.

Some detoxification experts advocate fasting, while others do not. It is known that the components of any well-designed detox program will stimulate the body to cleanse itself, but people who are underweight, are undernourished, have weak hearts, have blood sugar issues or are ill should avoid fasting. Some studies have shown that restricting food intake can actually lead to bingeing.

Hemorrhoids are extremely common in industrialised countries and it is estimated that fifty percent of persons over fifty years of age have symptoms of hemorrhoidal disease. Although most people may begin to develop hemorrhoids in the twenties, the symptoms do not become evident normally until in ones thirties!

ARTHRITIS: natural treatments and remedies

What is arthritis?
Arthritis refers to inflammation of the joint. The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis which is characterised by joint degeneration and loss of cartilage. Rheumatoid arthritis is a type of inflammatory arthritis which is also an autoimmune disorder. In this case the body's immune system attacks its own cartilage and tissue surrounding the joints. Gout is the other main types of arthritis that occurs in adults (please see gout in this website, for treatment protocol). In this file we are mainly discussing oseotoarthritis treatment. We plan to include a rheumatoid arthritis file soon.

How can I treat arthritis naturally?
The goals of OA treatment are to relieve symptoms, maintain mobility, and minimise disability and hopefully also reverse any degeneration. A combination of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) may be very effective.

It is possible, if not preferable, to treat OA without the use of medications. Pain-killers and anti-inflammatory medications should not be used as the primary treatment for OA. We advice that they should be used only in addition when really necessary to other forms of treatment. Lifestyle approaches, including exercise, and many alternative medical therapies are safe and effective for the treatment OA.

Some of the most promising complementary approaches for treating OA include the following:

  • Reducing physical stress on the joint (such as by losing weight or improving posture)
  • Lifestyle changes with the emphasis on exercise
  • Supplements including S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe), glucosamine and/or chondroitin, and antioxidants
  • Herbs with anti-inflammatory properties, including devil's claw, willow bark, and capsaicin (cream)
  • Acupuncture
  • Chiropractic
  • Physical therapy and magnet therapy
  • Yoga
  • Tai chi

Arthritis: Natural treatments and remedies
Diet for arthritis
Eat a diet high in sulphur containing foods, such as asparagus, eggs, onions and garlic. Sulphur is needed to repair and rebuild cartilage and connective tissue.

Eat lots of fresh vegetables and and fresh fruits. Concentrate especially on green leafy vegetables, and non acidic fresh fruits. Lemon and pineapple are recommended as they stimulate the digestive secretions but watch other very acidic fruit. Vegetable juices, especially celery, carrot and wheat germ are highly recommended

Whole grains, oatmeal, brown rice, fish and avocados are also recommended.

Make sure you get good fibre in your diet (both soluble and insoluble) such as ground flaxseed's, oat bran or rice bran daily. Be careful with the nightshade family as often people with arthritis are particularly sensitive to the solanine it contains. Foods in this food group are peppers, eggplant, tomatoes and potato's.

Sugar can be a big trigger in many sufferers. Cut back where possible.

Also cut right back on pro inflammatory foods. These are; saturated animal fats, processed foods, hydrogenated oils, refined carbohydrates such as white breads, alcohol and caffeine.

Eat lots of dark, cold water fish as these are very anti inflmmatory. Add olive oil, rape oil and flax seed oil in cooking and salads,(dont cook with flaxseed oil)

Check for food intolerances, (particularly in rheumatoid arthritis). There is a big link here with the autoimmune properties of the disease. Also check for leaky gut (see file on leaky gut on this website)

Ginger tea is highly beneficial as it is antiinflammatory. Slice fresh ginger and seep in hot water or boil.

Dietary Supplements for arthritis
Glucosamine and chondroitin are compounds that occur naturally in human cartilage. For use in supplements, they are derived from bovine and calf cartilage. Both compounds have been several reviews severel reveiws and clinical trials to inhibit inflammation in laboratory experiments.

Glucosamine; 1,500 mg a day. In its most commonly used form, glucosamine sulfate, it has been shown to:

  • Decrease pain more effectively than placebo or NSAIDs (particularly ibuprofen)
  • Take longer to begin working than ibuprofen but alleviate pain for a longer period of time
  • Have significantly fewer adverse effects than ibuprofen
  • Significantly improve pain and range of motion compared to both placebo and the NSAID piroxicam
  • Have longer-lasting improvement of symptoms compared to piroxicam

Some experts believe that another form of glucosamine known as glucosamine hydrochloride may be absorbed more readily by the body than glucosamine sulfate. Since most research to date has been conducted on glucosamine sulfate, this is the form generally recommended for OA.

Chondroitin; 500 - 1,000 mgper mg per. It has been found to produce the following results in several well-designed clinical trials:

  • Reduce the need for NSAIDs and other pain relievers
  • Alleviate pain (sometimes more effectively than conventional medications; this effect even lasts up to 3 months after chondroitin supplementation is discontinued)
  • Increase mobility
  • Decrease swelling
  • Reduce amount of fluid in the joint
  • Enhance walking pace
  • Slow the progression of the disease

Although glucosamine and chondroitin have been studied separately, both supplements together may be a safe and effective treatment for OA.

S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe): 400mg twice a day. SAMe may reduce pain and inflammation specifically : diminishing morning stiffness, decreasing pain, reducing swelling and improving the range of motion. It has few side effects compared to pharmaceutical drugs like NSAIDs.

Vitamin D is essential to bone and cartilage health. Studies evaluating vitamin D use for OA have found the following:

  • Vitamin D prevents breakdown of cartilage
  • Lower intake of vitamin D may be linked to greater risk of hip OA in older women and OA-related joint changes (visible on X-rays) in both men and women

Antioxidants Antioxidants appear to significantly ease oxidative stress and inflammation caused by free radicals and may therefore slow the progression of OA. Free radicals can be produced in the joints and have been implicated in many degenerative changes in the aging ageing, including destruction of cartilage and connective tissue. Antioxidants appear to offset the damage caused by free radicals. Specifically eat a diet high in these antioxidants or take an antioxidant supplement. Vitamin A and beta-carotene, Vitamin C, Vitamin E (please see see food - mineral , vitamin vitamin on this site). Drink lots of green tea.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: 3000 mg - 5,000 mg a day. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in cold water cold water fish (such as salmon, mackerel, and herring), flaxseed, rapeseed, and walnuts. In New Zealand the green lipped mussel is also another good source. Research suggest that diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids (and low in omega-6 fatty acids) benefit people with inflammatory disorders, such as OA and rheumatoid arthritis. This is because omega-3 fatty acids decrease inflammation and reduce the activity of enzymes that break down cartilage. and inflammatory disorders, such as OA. Eat plenty of cold a water fish or take quality omega 3 supplementation.

Other Supplements
According to anecdotal reports and preliminary studies, other supplements that may potentially alleviate the symptoms of OA include:

  • Bromelain (Ananas comosus)—compared favourably to NSAIDs for pain reduction
  • Boron—population, animal, and preliminary human studies suggest that this trace element may reduce occurrence of symptoms of OA
  • Manganese is one of the substances we need to build cartilage and low levels of manganese may contribute to degenerative joint conditions and bone loss

Herbs for arthritis

Herbal remedies are among the most popular alternative therapies used by individuals with arthritis. The following herbs are most effective for treating OA:

  • Devil's claw (Harpagophytum procumbens)
  • Willow bark (Salix spp.)
  • Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica)
  • A combination of aspen (Populus tremula), ash (Fraxinus excelsior), and goldenrod (Solidago viraurea)
  • An Ayurvedic herbal mixture containing extracts of ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), boswellia (Boswellia serrata), and turmeric (Curcuma longa)
  • A combination of willow bark (Salix spp.), black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa), sarsaparilla (Smilax spp.), guaiacum (Guaiacum officinale) resin, and poplar bark (Populus tremuloides)

or a combination of rosemary, hops and olive which is highly antiinflammatory

Other herbs that have shown promise in the treatment of OA include:

Capsaicin (Capsicum frutescens) Capsaicin is the main component in hot chili peppers (also known as cayenne). Applied to the surface of the skin, it is believed to deplete stores of a substance that contributes to inflammation and pain in arthritis.

Avocado/Soybean extracts. Avocado /soybean extracts stimulate the growth of collagen (the principal protein of the skin, tendons, cartilage, and bone) in cartilage cells.

Cat's claw (Uncaria tomentosa). Cat's claw can help reduce the pain

Ginger (Zingiber officinale). Ginger extract has long been used in traditional medical practices (such as Ayurvedic and Chinese) to decrease inflammation.

Kava kava (Piper methysticum). Kava has traditionally been used as a pain reliever,
Your herbalist may also consider meadowsweet, celery seed or black cohosh amongst others

Physical Therapy for arthritis

Acupuncture The ancient Chinese practise of acupuncture is an effective treatment for pain associated with OA, as well as for other aspects of the condition, including diminished joint function and reduced walking ability

Chiropractic, osteopathic and massage therapy are also often very useful in reducing stiffness, reducing pain and improving functional ability. Magnet Therapy has also had a good effect on some that work with this.

Homoeopathy for arthritis

Although people with OA are best treated with an individualised homoeopathic remedy chosen by a professional homoeopath, potential remedies include:

  • A topical homoeopathic gel containing comfrey (Symphytum officinale), poison ivy (Rhus toxicodendron), and marsh-tea (Ledum palustre)
  • A combination homoeopathic preparation containing R. toxicodendron., Arnica Montana (arnica), Solanum dulcamara (climbing nightshade), Sanguinarra Canadensis (bloodroot), and Sulphur
  • A liquid homoeopathic preparation containing R. toxicodendron, Causticum (potassium hydrate), and Lac vaccinum (cow's milk).
  • Calcarea carbonica (carbonate of lime or calcium carbonate)
  • Bryonia (wild hops)
  • Graphites
  • Guaiacum

Lifestyle Guidance for arthritis

Meditation, breathing and relaxation exercises
Chronic pain and disability can make daily functioning difficult. A holistic approach to care in these clinical circumstances may positively affect both lifestyle and how one feels overall. Many people report that relaxation techniques, such as guided imagery and meditation, are an important part of comprehensive, holistic care, and help to alleviate pain and other symptoms of OA.

Exercise to strengthen, stretch, and relax muscles around affected joints is almost always included in a treatment plan for OA. Several studies support the value of exercise for people with OA. One recent study, for example, found that people with OA of the knee who participated in a home exercise program experienced a 23% reduction in pain compared with only 6% reduction in people who did not exercise. Other studies also suggest that in addition to reduction of pain and disability, exercise improves strength, range of motion, balance and coordination, endurance, and posture.

This ancient Indian practise is well known for its physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual benefits and is often recommended in the West to relieve musculoskeletal symptoms. Certain yoga "asanas" (postures) strengthen the quadriceps and emphasise stretching, both of which benefit people with OA of the knee. People with arthritis should begin asanas slowly and they should be performed only after a warm up. Yoga is best performed under the careful guidance of a reputable instructor.

Tai Chi
This ancient form of classical conditioning practised in China for centuries has been shown to produce a number of benefits, including the following:

  • Improved fitness
  • Increased muscular strength
  • Enhanced flexibility
  • Reduced percentage of body fat
  • Diminished risk of falls in the elderly