What is Arthritis?
The word ‘arthritis’ means inflammation of the joint. Swelling, redness, heat and pain are the signs of inflammation. Rheumatism means disease marked by inflammation and pain in joint muscles or fibrous tissue.
The term ‘arthritis’ is generally used to cover most inflammatory diseases that affect the spine, muscles, tendons and the bones, as well as the joints.
There are more than 140 different types of arthritis. The most common type is osteoarthritis, sometimes called ‘wear and tear’ or ‘degenerative’ arthritis. Almost half of all people over the age of 60 and virtually all over the age of 80 will have osteoarthritis. It occurs as a result of mechanical breakdown in the structures affecting the joints. This happens most often in the large weight bearing joints – the knees, hips and spine. It often occurs in the hands, but rarely in the feet or ankles apart from the big toe. Except as a result of injury or stress, osteoarthritis seldom affects the wrist, elbow, shoulder or jaw.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a result of changes in the body’s immune system. For reasons not fully understood, the body’s immune system attacks its own organs, in this case the tissue of the joints. This auto-immune reaction causes inflammation of the joints, particularly the synovial membrane that lines them. This causes an over-production of synovial (joint) fluid which, combined with the inflammation, causes the joints to become swollen and painful. If the process continues, damage to the cartilage and other soft tissue can cause joint deformities. Rheumatoid arthritis does not only involve the joints – it has other features, often described as “flu-like” symptoms. These are called systemic features which include tiredness, lack of energy, loss of appetite, inability to sleep, perhaps some weight loss and a low fever.
NSAIDs (Non Steroid Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) work by blocking the production of prosagladins, hormone-like substances that contribute to pain and inflammation. Salicylates, including asprin, are a part of this group. The major side effects of these drugs are stomach upsets, such as irritation and ulcers.
Analgesics. These drugs are simple in that they do not have an anti-inflammatory effect as do NSAIDs. They are pain releivers only. These drugs are most commenly prescribed for osteoarthritis and other non-inflammatory but painful forms of arthritis. These pain releivers may contain paracetamol, codeinen, aspirin or a combination.
Corticostreoids. For more than 50 years corticosteroids have played an important role in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory diseases. Prednisone is probably the best known. Similar to a homone which is produced by the body, corticosteroid medications have the ability to reduce harmful or even life threatening inflammation of the joints, blood vessels and organs. But they also carry harmful side effects, particularly when given over long periods of time.
COX 2 Specific Inhibitors. When researchers first began studying the COX enzyme they discovered that there are two types – COX 1 (the ‘good’ enzyme) and COX 2 (the ‘bad’ enzyme). By creating a drug to limit the bodys production of the COX 2 enzyme without effecting the production of COX 1, scientists believed the drug would be the perfect solution to treating painful inflammation. However, many of the chemicallly created prescription drugs made to selectively limit the COX 2 enzyme continue to negatively affect the body in other ways.
A Natural Alternative:
One in every 6 people over the age of 15 and one in every 3 people over the age of 45 will have arthritis in their lifetime. 64% of arthritis suffers use natural health products or dietary supplements in order to avoid the side effects of prescription drugs. Herbal and natural products of folk medicine have been used for centuries in every culture throughout the world. Scientists and medical professionals have shown increased interest in this field as they recognize the true health benefits of these remedies. “Let food be your medicine and let medicine be your food” was advised by the father of medicine, Hippocrates, over two millennia ago. It’s still true today that “you are what you eat.”
The Benefits of Noni:
While searching for food, people of long ago found that some foods had specific properties of relieving or eliminating certain diseases, and maintaining good health. It was the beginning of herbal medicine. The same story occurred in Polynesia. Among the medicinal plants discovered by the ancestors of Polynesians, Morinda citrifolia L (Noni) is one of the traditional folk medicinal plants that have been used for over 2000 years in Polynesia. It has a broad range of therapeutic and nutritional values.
The number one complaint from those who suffer from arthritis is pain. Noni has been used for thousands of years to treat all kinds of causes of pain, without the side effects of conventional medicine. “To take medicine only when you are sick is like digging a well only when you are thirsty — is it not already too late?” (Chi Po, c 2500 BC). This proverb suggests that prevention is more important than treatment.
But it is never too late to enjoy the health benefit that taking a daily dose of Noni Juice gives you. With the correct diet, exercise and by drinking Noni Juice daily, arthritis pain can be managed to an acceptable limit.