Dealing with…Chronic Inflammation, or Arthritis


Chronic inflammation can take many forms, the most common of which is arthritis, and is also associated with psoriasis.

Long-term inflammation of joints leads to calcium deposits forming in the ligaments and can cause pain and stiffness in the joint. When the ligaments calcify, movement becomes restricted and there can be a complete fusing of the joint.  When the joint is no longer mobile it becomes brittle and vulnerable to fractures.

Where types of chronic inflammation can also affect other joints and organs, it is a true ‘systemic affliction’, meaning the problem is not isolated to one part of the body.  It can affect peripheral joints, eyes, skin and the cardiovascular system.

Dealing with chronic inflammation with nutritional strategies has important implications on overall wellness.

Certain severe types of arthritis (Ankylosing Spondylitis – AS) have found half of patients afflicted who eliminate dairy from their diet experience immediate improvement.
Calcium and alcohol reductions can have immediate and important effects too.

Another helpful starting point is the 4-R Protocol:

  1. Remove toxins and harmful organisms, eliminate foods that may be contributing to the disease (ie: starch), supplement with L.acidophilus
  2. Replace with a focus on restoring healthy stomach acid levels, replenish enzymes and add more friendly bacteria.  Add enzymes to help with the digestion of protein, fat and lactase.  If there is low HCL, replace with betaine HCL and pepsin
  3. Reinoculate with a focus on creating a healthy bacterial balance. L.acidophilus and Bifidobacterium provide the friendly bacteria to establish more efficient digestion and they have protective effects on the gut mucosa
  4. Repair - this involves the use of supplements and nutritional support that repair and heal the intestinal wall and improve digestive function

In the main, the following guidelines apply:

  • Consume a diet that focuses on whole, unprocessed foods. Adequate intake of fresh fruits and vegetable, nuts and seeds
  •  Eat naturally raised meat, including fish, poultry, beef, lamb game and eggs
  • Use traditional oils and fats such as butter, extra-virgin olive oil, flax oil, coconut oil
  • Eliminate caffeine, alcohol, dairy and sugar
  • Low starch and gluten free diet
  • Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • pH balanced diet
  • Exercise daily, especially in the morning
  • Relaxation, stretching, Yoga, Tai Chi
  • 20 - 30 minutes a day of natural light without sunscreen
  • Get plenty of sleep, at least 8 hours
  • Investigate and embrace physical-, mental-, emotional- and spiritual-growth opportunities

This is one of our Dealing with… series and we encourage feedback and questions at any time.

Rosemary Whiteside, CNP