Aloe And Its Amazing Benefits For ArthritisAloe And Its Amazing Benefits For Arthritis

Although arthritis won't really kill you, it can literally cripple you. Arthritis causes a lot of limitations and cuts back even the most undemanding activities such as bathing, walking or dressing up. Arthritis can be rather debilitating because of extreme pain on the joints. And worse, it's a chronic disease.

Thousands are afflicted with arthritis each year and statistics show that one in every three adults over 40 suffer or will suffer from arthritis as they move on to the retirement years. There is no specific age or gender for susceptibility since arthritis can develop even in infants, but most sufferers begin to experience symptoms when they near their fifties, with more than 50% occurring before the age of 65. The sad thing about arthritis is that it can be debilitating both to the body and to one's finances. It is estimated that arthritis can cost a single person a whopping $150,000 in medical or support treatment and lost wages during his or her lifetime.

The two most common types of arthritis that afflict the greater percentage of the population are Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis. Osteoarthritis is a condition that results from normal wear and tear of the knees, hips, or ankles since they bear much of the weight in the body. It also affects the shoulders and the highly mobile joints of the cervical and lumbar spine. Like grease on joints and gears in a mechanical structure, synovial fluid maintains lubrication and ease of movement within our joints. It is also responsible for overall health and maintenance of the cartilage. Synovial fluid inevitably shrinks with age and cartilage undergoes wear and tear with heavy use, eventually causing the bones to grind against each other. This grinding action is what causes arthritis pain and the difficulty in movements.

Rheumatoid Arthritis on the other hand is caused by anti-bodies attacking the synovial lining of the joints. Although these anti-bodies are produced by our own immune system, genetics, certain infections or environmental factors can trigger a misdirected immune system and cause destruction of the synovial membrane and the cartilage. Inflammatory conditions such as swelling, stiffness and pain manifest as a result of this. Rheumatoid Arthritis may arise at any age, and this type of immunologically induced arthritis can be part of other systemic illnesses such as Lupus and Scleroderma.

The symptoms of arthritis can come and go - the disease is said to be active when inflammation is present and that period is known as a "flare". When the symptoms go away, it is said that the disease is "in remission". Remission is usually brought about by treatment, although it can also happen spontaneously and may last for months or even years.

Arthritis has long been successfully treated with the use of anti-inflammatory drugs and steroids. Typically, cortisone injections and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have been used to treat symptoms. And although these drugs can help to ease the pain, they don't repair the damaged tissues - hence relief is said to be merely symptomatic.

Undesirable side effects may also arise with constant use of NSAIDs and steroids. Osteoporosis and skin thinning are two of the most common side effects, and NSAIDs also tend to irritate the digestive tract and cause stomach ulcers.

While there is no known cure for arthritis, there is growing evidence that tissue repair and replacement can delay disease progression. In fact, controversial stem cell research has focused on this as a cure for arthritis. Whether or not stem cell replacement will eventually emerge as the cure for arthritis, it is a welcome relief to know that natural substances are available to relieve arthritis pain and discomfort, and slow progression of the disease - without the side effects.

One of the best known natural substances for its anti-inflammatory properties is Aloe Vera. Aloe generally provides analgesic relief but it has also been observed to stimulate the immune system and speed up cell growth and replacement. Aloe Vera contains basic sugars which are also found in every cell of the body - it is packed with nutrients that include vitamins E, C, and the B series, as well as iron, manganese, calcium and zinc. Aloe Vera also contains essential amino and fatty acids needed by the body.

Possibly more than its nutritional benefits is the ability of Aloe Vera to assist the body in repairing damaged tissue by regenerating cells. Glucosamine and chondroitin are two other joint supplements that combined with aloe have created a breakthrough formulation aimed at helping with arthritis. Glucosamine increases fluid maintenance in the cartilage, while chondroitin, an ingredient of cartilage tissue, takes charge of drawing in fluids and nutrients. As we age, the body's capacity to produce these natural elements of healthy cartilage is diminished, thus leading to painful joint conditions. Combined with Aloe Vera which aids in tissue repair and cell regeneration, natural relief for arthritis without the side effects may simply be found in a glass of naturally occurring substances!
by Lisa Gylsen
References and Bibliography
Lisa Gylsen - I'm British American currently living in Mauritius. My husband and I have been in the natural health and personal growth field for over 25 years. We've helped hundreds of people lose weight and increase their health & vitality with natural products. We now run our online business from home so we can spend time swimming and surfing with our daughter, when we're not helping others improve their health!
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