Pretty In Pink: The Glamorous World of Arthritis

by Emily Hecker, DC, MBA, CNC

Sixty-two percent of women are more sensitive to weather changes than men. For patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), Osteoarthritis (OA), and Fibromyalgia, weather changes result in INCREASED pain.  Changes in barometric pressure, temperature and rain affect inflamed joints. How can you tell if the barometric pressure is changing? Look at a flag! The stronger the wind, the closer the pressure gradient and the more likely you will feel that ache. Just ask the one in five (20%) adults in the United States who report having doctor-diagnosed arthritis.
There are two steps to change the course of arthritic symptoms:  1. Receive regular chiropractic care to restore joint mobility. 2. Find and treat the source of the inflammation or immune compromise.

Arthritis results from inflammation. Inflammation is a systemic entity and the main culprit can start with the integrity of the digestive tract. If the barrier systems in the body are compromised, it will lead to many other health-related diseases. In my practice, I use extensive testing to evaluate the specific type and source of inflammation. For example, I recently had a patient rejected from donating blood. She was told she needed to take iron, however, history and analysis of her labwork indicated iron would have made her inflammation and arthritis worse.
Inflammation has many potential subclinical causes: underlying infection, immune overload, toxins, food intolerances, genetic predispositions, chronic stress and hormonal imbalances.  Testing may include:
• Blood Nutrition Analysis
• Adrenal Saliva Index
• Diet/Nutrition Consultation
• Family History Review
• Assessment of Digestive
Tract Integrity
• Antibody Testing

Here are six anti-inflammatory lifestyle and nutrition tips to start off your new year:
1. Swim. Your body is more buoyant in water. Warm water helps with pain and rigidity.
2. Take a fish oil higher in DHA than EPA.
3. Take 4,000-20,000IU of Vitamin D (consult your physician).
4. If you have insulin resistance or diabetic tendencies, never use flax seed/oil products.
5. Avoid supplements with Iron, an inflammatory metal.
6. Choose real sugar over aspartame, an artificial sweetener and neurotoxin.
Are you getting enough inflammatory support? Have you had testing that identifies the root cause of inflammatory cytokines? Is your arthritis an autoimmune disease? Call us to discuss testing and treatment options for arthritis symptoms.
Emily Hecker, DC, MBA, BS, CNC, is a board certified chiropractic physician, licensed nutritional consultant, ex-meteorologist & mommy. She practices at Wellness Alternatives (www.stlwa.com), specializing in gentle structural and cranial bodywork for kids and pregnant mothers and providing nutritional support for autoimmune and chronic health conditions. Dr. Emily blogs at www.broccolimama.blogspot.com, facilitates health seminars and is available for speaking engagements.