Monday, July 02, 2007

Dietary Supplements For Treatment of Arthritis From the Cleveland Clinic

WebMD Medical Reference provided in collaboration with The Cleveland Clinic

Many people with arthritis -- especially osteoarthritis -- use supplements to ease the pain of arthritis. Glucosamine and chondroitin are the most well known and best tested. Methyl sulfonylmethane, or MSM, is another supplement used to ease the pain of arthritis, but it has not been through as much rigorous scientific testing.

What Are Glucosamine and Chondroitin?

Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are components of normal cartilage. In the body, they are the building blocks for cartilage and appear to stimulate the body to make more cartilage.
There are conflicting studies on glucosamine and chondroitin, some demonstrating a beneficial effect on osteoarthritis pain. Others, including the NIH-sponsored multicenter

Glucosamine/Chrondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial (GAIT), did not show benefit for the primary outcome measure of osteoarthritis pain measured by WOMAC (Western Ontario and McMacster Universities). However, a smaller subgroup of study participants with moderate to severe pain did show significant relief. Due to the small size of this subgroup, these findings should be confirmed in larger studies.

The supplements, which are available in pharmacies and health food stores without a prescription, are well tolerated and appear to be safe. However, there are no long-term studies to confirm their long-term safety and effectiveness. Many physicians may still recommend a trial of glucosamine at this point, and if there is not apparent improvement by 3 months, it would reasonable to stop the treatment.

It is important to check with your doctor before starting any new treatments. Your doctor can review the other medications you are taking and help you decide whether or not these arthritis supplements are right for you. In addition, always follow the instructions on the medication label. Do not take more of the supplements than is recommended. Continue Reading ...

All About Osteoarthritis and Women

WebMD Feature

If you've just been diagnosed with osteoarthritisosteoarthritis (OA), you're not alone. Many women past age 50 discover OA is the reason for their creaking knees, aching backs, and sore fingers. Suddenly life is all about osteoarthritis -- but luckily, arthritisarthritis doesn't have to take control.

Arthritis is "the most common form of disability. It's also a natural part of aging," says Primal Kaur, MD, director of the Osteoporosis Clinic at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia.

In the U.S., one in five adults has osteoarthritis -- 24 million women and 17 million men, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Continue Reading ...

Monday, June 18, 2007

The New Face of Smoothies

Smoothies have taken on a healthier and tastier flare!

By Star Lawrence WebMD Feature

Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

This year, Americans will guzzle down $6 million worth of commercially blended smoothies and countless vats of homemade snacks and meals contained in a single glass.
Smoothies have jumped out of the health food stores and into tony cafes, duking it out with specialty coffees as the "grande" drink of choice. The chalky powders and additives with the funny aftertaste are gone. Even the humblest street vendor is offering upscale jolts like wheatgrass and whey.
What role does this popular drink have in a healthy diet?

Pat Crocker, a home economist, culinary herbalist, and author of The Smoothie Bible, tells WebMD that smoothies are a valuable way to get the recommended daily intake of 5-10 fruits and veggies. Smoothies are filling, portable, and quick -- all pluses in this busy society.

Basics of Smoothie Construction

Crocker recommends each smoothie contain at least half a cup of liquid. Possibilities include:

Orange juice (could be juice concentrate diluted as directed)
Apple juice
Yogurt (unflavored or natural is best)
Kefir (enzyme-enriched yogurt-like milk product)
Soda water (this creates "sparklers," especially delicious with veggies)
Ice chips
Since smoothies are soft, often sweet, and milkshake-like, what about ice cream? "Not if you are interested in healthy smoothies!" Larrian Gillespie, MD, author of The Menopause Diet, exclaims to WebMD.
Once the liquid is in the blender, it is time to add the fun stuff. Gillespie reels off a produce department of yummy ingredients you could try:
Bananas (almost a must in smoothies because they thicken the mixture. Crocker says to cut into 4 sections -- she includes almost all peels, except banana peels)
Blueberries or other berries
Oranges and citrus (skip the yogurt with these)
Raw or cooked veggies (cooked are fine, don't forget those)
Apples (the pectin can carry off toxins, Crocker says)
Split peas
Goat cheese

Friday, May 18, 2007

Just Plane Stiff

by Linda J. Brown

Posted 2/17/07

Stiff, achy joints and muscles can be felt by anyone who sits through a long airline flight, but especially by those who have arthritis.

"You have to keep moving to keep your joints from getting stiff and painful," says Marilyn Moffat, PhD, professor of physical therapy at New York University. Moffat, who advises walking the aisles as much as possible during flights, developed the following simple moves, each repeated five to 10 times, for the American Physical Therapy Association.

Heel raises. Sit with feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Lift heels off floor, hold for five to 10 seconds and lower heels to the ground.

Ankle circles. While sitting, lift right leg slightly off the ground and circle your foot clockwise. Circle 15 times clockwise and 15 times counterclockwise. Repeat with the left foot.

Friday, April 27, 2007

ASG-SLC Next meeting & Summer Vacation 2007 (no meetings)

The next Arthritis Support Group of South Lake County meeting will take place May 4th, Friday, at 12-1:30PM, located in the National Training Center/ Education Department on the South Lake Hospital campus in Clermont. Elizabeth Morse, MDiv, Spiritual Care Coordinator at South Lake Hospital, will be giving a presentation on “Relaxation and Guided Imagery”. She is licensed as a Guided Imagery specialist and is very knowledgeable about reducing chronic pain thru relaxation. Come join us and maybe leave with LESS pain! Bring a friend, sweater and snack. Fee: FREE. Brochures, pamphlets and literature are available during the meeting.

We will not meet during the summer (June, July & August) and resume our monthly support group meetings starting again on September 7th, Friday with Dr. Kenneth Stark, Rheumatologist, as our special guest speaker.

For more information call Meg King (352) 243-2098.