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Let’s Talk About Joint Pain

Let’s Talk About Joint Pain


By Nutritionist Beatrice


Q: Joint pain is very common nowadays and what really causes joint pain?

Any damage to the joints from disease or injury can cause a lot of pain, swelling and difficult in moving. One of the most common causes of joint pain is arthritis. There are two main forms of arthritis, which are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). OA is usually thought to be a progressive disease of the older adult. Apart from age, it is more likely to occur in people who are overweight or obese and in those with jobs that stress particular joints, or people who have high-impact physical activities like athletes. The condition most frequently affects the joints of knees, hips, hands, lower back and neck.  


Q: What about RA?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune, chronic systemic inflammatory disorder, in which the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues and it can cause permanent joint destruction. Some patients with RA develop joint deformities in the hand and feet. 


Q: Joint pain can affect people of all ages. What is the main difference of OA and RA. 

OA, also known as ‘wear and tear’ arthritis and is primarily a degenerative joint condition. While RA is an autoimmune condition, that causes chronic abnormal inflammation. 


Q: Does it have any way to prevent joint pain or arthritis?

Osteoarthritis (OA) can prevented by staying active, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding injury and repetitive movements.  There is no known way to prevent RA. Studies have shown that stress and smoking are linked to the development of RA. Lifestyle modification will be suggested for reducing risk of developing RA. 


Q: Any diet helps improve joint pain? Any food to avoid?

A typical modern diet that is high in omega-6 fatty acids and low in omega-3 fatty acids leads to chronic inflammation in your body. Overproduction of arachidonic acid (AA) in the body, as a result of consumption of foods high in omega-6 fatty acids such as red meats, dairy products, eggs and refined oils, causing inflammation, distorted joints and tissue destruction. So, it is very important to eat a balanced diet and avoid inflammatory foods. 


 Q: I’ve read that turmeric and some herbs can help with arthritis. Is it true?

Yes. There are many herbs can actually help in joint inflammation. Many people who have joint pain will substitute health supplement for pain relief medication (NSAIDs - Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), which may cause side effects such as gastric discomfort.  Research suggests turmeric and its active constituent curcumin potentially alleviate joint pain and reduce inflammation in the body. Turmeric potentially prevents connective tissue break down through inhibiting destructive enzymes.


Q: How to choose a good turmeric product or supplement containing turmeric?

Curcumin are poorly absorbed by the body as it dissolves in fat, rather than in water. It is advisable to choose a turmeric supplement in combination with black pepper extract (piperine), which can greatly improve the bioavailability of curcumin.  

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