primal and arthritis
My mother has severe osteoarthritis and my grandmother did also. I'm 58 yrs old myself and i need to know how to prevent this happening to me through Primal eating. I've been primal since mid-August but i need to know which foods provide the best nutrition for joints and bone density. Thanks in advance!!
You can avoid a lot of joint problems by getting a good mix of saturated fats from animals (and plants) and monounsaturated fats from plants and minimizing your intake of omega 6 fats. The aim is a 1:1 ratio of omega 6 fats to omega 3 fats, but realistically, a 2:1 ratio O6:O3 is easier to achieve. Just avoid at all costs the typical vegetable oils like soy, safflower, canola, peanut etc. The consumption of healthy oils and fats reduces inflammation not just in your joints but throughout your body and in fact, NSAID pain relievers also do the same thing. This is why pain relievers help the symptoms of arthritis! But you can prevent it altogether by just eating healthy fats to begin with. I didn't even know this would be an outcome of eating this way, but one day I realized I had no more beginning arthritis and no more pains in my feet and someone told me it was because of the fats.
Other than that, arthritis is also an auto-immune issue and eating this way will minimize the propensity to develop auto-immune problems by minimizing foods that open little cracks in your intestines to let foreign proteins in. Those foods tend to be wheat and gluten and a few other things. If you are too far gone already, you might have to avoid tomatoes and white potatoes, peppers and other plants in the nightshade family.
So eat lots of nutrient-dense foods that Mark lists in his blog pages and book and you should do just fine.
thank you, sbhikes. i had already decided this week to avoid nightshades, so I'll go with it!! Thanks, again!
I also have osteoarthritis, had a hip replacement 2 years ago at age 46, and started primal this year in an effort to quell the inflammation in my body. I would say my pain levels have decreased about 90%, but I'm still looking for a way to regrow cartilage! I wish I had learned about this 20 years ago, but then I probably wouldn't have listened anyway. I only gave up grains and sugar because I was desperate. Good luck to you, primal really works.
Belle and Windy: All that sbhikes says is right. Generally speaking, the primal lifestyle is anti-inflammatory.
Additionally, you might try bone broth (there is a ton of research on these boards and on the internet) which has not only minerals like calcium but other stuff (sorry, no time to look up what it's called, among others it's the gelatin) that rebuilds cartilage and strenghtens the bones.
Also, fish oil or other sources of omega 3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory. If there is pain, there usually is inflammation too.
Heavy lifting strengthens bones, joints and ligaments.
My experience: I am 54 years old. At my age, my mother already had two artificial hip joints (is that the right word in English? Sorry, I'm not a native speaker). My brother, who is eight years younger than me suffers from chronic pain in the hips. When I started having the odd pain in my hips and knees about a year ago I started taking fish oil and making bone broth. Eight months ago I took up heavy lifting. Now I only get pains when I forget to take my omegas for more than a few days.
What do I know? Before if I walked for an hour, my hips would ache for hours and hours. Now I can walk half the day if need be, and there is no aching in my hips.
Yes, I am doing lots of bone broth and salmon! I was lucky enough to be able to harvest 45 sockeye salmon this summer, my freezer if full!
Now I'm jealous, windy! Here in Germany my cheapest source for frozen wild salmon is 250 grams for 3 € (= 3,50 $) at Aldi's ... A freezer full of sockeye is a wonderful medicine!
Jojo: Your "before" sounds just like my brother. If I could only convince him to try primal. But that won't happen; I have been trying for years without success.
Solid advice above.
More omega 3 and saturated fat.
And cut out omega 6, sugar (highly inflammatory) and deadly nightshade as far as is humanly possible.
Also, if you happen to have a strong immune system, give it something to chew on by not being afraid of dirt and not keeping your home clinically clean.
I am 71 but have had osteoarthritis since my mid-30s. Keep in mind that it's impossible to avoid a genetic tendency totally, but you can minimize the damage of arthritis. I currently take NO meds and have controlled pain and inflammation through diet and exercise. In fact, I was resigned to knee replacement because both of my knees have long been 'bone-on-bone.' However, I went to a very good surgeon in NYC (at leading hospital), and he advised me that since I'm comfortable with my limitations and have controlled the pain, I should avoid surgery as long as possible. I'm hoping to avoid it completely--although he warned me that we can only do so much--the pain can 'break through' despite our efforts. But I simply focus on my efforts.
The key isn't your bones but the level of inflammation in the body that you want to keep very low. Increasing Omega-3 is essential, and unless you eat a lot of fish, I'd suggest fish oil supplements. I eat only grass-fed bison, and keep in mind that conventially raised beef is highly inflammatory. Egg yolks are also inflammatory, and although I love whole eggs, I can tell the difference if I stay with whites only. Eliminate all grains and sugar. If I indulge in a sugary treat (very rarely) I will have pain within 12 hours in all my joints.
Since I really have no knee joints, I do strength work for the large muscles in my legs because good muscle tone relieves the work of any joints. For years, I swam laps, but my shoulders no longer allow me to swim regularly, so I now take water aerobics classes for more exercise without stressing my joints.