Unhappy and Happy Joints: The Basics
- Unhappy Joints — Arthritis 101
- Arthritis = Chronic Inflammation
- Repair Deficit: Introducing a New Perspective
- Is There a Solution to Chronic Inflammation and Repair Deficit?
Unhappy Joints 101
Arthritis is the term used to classify more than 100 disorders affecting the joints. Symptoms range from occasional joint pain and tenderness to chronic joint stiffness with severe pain. The most common form of arthritis is known as “osteoarthritis” or “degenerative joint disease.” A less common but more destructive form of arthritis occurs when our own immune system attacks our joints. This potentially crippling form of arthritis is known as “rheumatoid arthritis.”
Overall researchers estimate that more than 23% of all adults in the U.S. suffer some type of arthritis.
Arthritis Equals Chronic Inflammation
Inflammation can be looked at as our immune system’s “break down, clean up, and recycle” engine. For example, in response to a thorn in our finger, a skin bacterial infection, or joint cartilage damage, specific white blood cells are called to the site of the injury to fight any infection and clear out/recycle damaged tissue. This “clear out and recycle” inflammation is essential and life supporting.
In a healthy state this stage of painful inflammation is temporary and followed by immune-directed repair of damaged tissue and disappearance of the pain. Failure to properly repair damaged tissue leads to chronic inflammation and lasting pain. Simply put, where there is pain, there is inflammation, and chronic inflammation leads to chronic pain.
Repair Deficit: Introducing a New Perspective
The hallmark of arthritis is joint degeneration due to chronic inflammation. In this situation the “break down, clean up and recycle” immune system throttle is not turned off. Inflammation becomes chronic and the called-for tissue repair does not occur. You might ask, “Why does inflammation become chronic?”
The Answer Lies in the Concept of “Repair Deficit”
Repair deficit occurs when the body lacks the wherewithal to successfully repair a damaged joint or other tissue. For example, there may be insufficient antioxidants to quell the free radicals produced by the necessary “break down, clean up, and recycle” process. There may also be a lack of the basic building blocks like proteins, vitamins, minerals, flavonoids, and essential fatty acids. Or a cumulative toxic burden, leaky gut, or acidic pH may be impeding tissue self-repair.
Is There a Solution to Chronic Inflammation and Joint Repair Deficit?
You might have guessed it — the solution to joint repair deficit and the creation of happy joints requires a few basic elements, including:
- Body-wide house cleaning to reduce toxic burden.
- Curbing the unhealthful sources of inflammation such as inflammatory diets and a leaky gut.
- Providing an abundance of immune-supporting antioxidants.
- Generous doses of key tissue-building nutrients, such as the repair minerals magnesium and zinc, essential and under-consumed omega-3 fats, plant flavonoids like quercetin and other polyphenols, and many other vitamins.
- Creation and maintenance of a health-supporting, slightly alkaline, pH balance.