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Arthritis and Your Gut

Doctors may still be arguing on the best term and definition for leaky gut, but they can all agree that arthritis can originate and be exacerbated by inflammation created in the gut. As more studies are carried out, we have more facts about this debilitating disease that affects over 30 million Americans. There is no cure, but there may be a way to prevent it, slow it and ease its effects when it takes hold. Take a look at what arthritis is, how it comes about and what you can do keep your body as pain free and mobile as possible well into old age.

What is arthritis?

To defend your body against something, it is important to know what you are up against. Arthritis is a catch all term for many types of pain and inflammation in the joints. Often spoken of is osteoarthritis, the “wear and tear” disease that can cripple you even at a young age. There are nearly 100 types of arthritic conditions, but some of the most common are rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, fibromyalgia and gout. Most conditions begin with the deterioration of the cartilage which cushions and lubricates the joints. When this padding begins to fail, the joints become drier, stiffer and eventually are nothing more than bone grinding on bone which creates a lot of pain. From the beginning, each phase has one component in common, inflammation.

If we can lower the inflammation, we can protect the joints and lessen the pain. That’s where gut health comes into play.

Lab studies confirm the connection.

The New York University of Rochester Medical Center has set out to discover this vital connection between what we eat and how much pain we feel. They used a controlled study evaluate the changes in the gut microbiome on a high fat diet. There were significant and expected fluctuations with a decline in good bacteria and a sharp rise in inflammatory bacteria. This imbalance creates what doctors have termed dysbiosis and is the root of many diseases.

They then examined damaged menisci, the cartilage at the knee joint, which is a common initial injury that is known to cause further arthritic activity. Within 12 weeks, subjects with this damage along with a poor diet had developed clinical osteoarthritis. As this experiment yielded conclusive results between diet, gut health and the emergence of osteoarthritis, they followed with the same test but supported subjects’ healthy gut bacteria growth. By supplying prebiotics and building up good gut health, there was a substantial decrease in inflammatory bacteria which resulted in little to no inflammation in the joints and less degradation of the cartilage in the knees. They concluded that inflammation caused by poor gut health is a major cause of osteoarthritis and its continued pain.

Doctors and scientists continue to examine this process and study the direct link between intestinal impermeability and inflammation throughout the body. They are coming to definitive studies proving that healing the gut can reduce your physical pain and when treated before the appearance of cartilage damage, may help prevent the tissue break down in the first place.

Treatments without a cure.

Unfortunately, there is no current cure for arthritis or the breakdown of cartilage and joints from age and use. To make matters more difficult, many of the medicines prescribed for pain, inflammation and arthritis also affect the gut microbiome which can cause a vicious circle of pain, treatment and more pain. Many prescriptions are for powerful NSAIDS which cause further damage in the body, particularly to the gastrointestinal tract and the heart. Physical rest may also be required in large doses along with giving up favorite activities that aggravate your joints. These treatments can make chronic arthritis a permanent handicap, but don’t lose hope. There are solid advances in treatment and prevention that are based on healthy eating and rebuilding the gut microbiome.

Scientists studied the gut of a test group all diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and found each one of them also had dysbiosis with low levels of Haemophilus, a bacteria known to cause breathing issues, bone and joint pain, and issues of the nervous system. They found that 75% of people recently diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis also had levels of Prevotella copri. Gut bacteria may be your answer!

Supplements to save your gut.

Science may not be able to cure arthritis, but they have made great strides in healing the gut. It’s about rebalancing the microbiome and feeding the good bacteria in your body what they need to thrive. This is where Terra Origin can lend a hand. Start with any one of the Healthy Gut powders which provide glutamine, glucosamine, MSM and many other incredible intestinal healing herbs and compounds. To find out how it works, read How To Heal Your Gut.

Then reach for the restorative powers of collagen formed in bone broth. If you have 24 – 36 hours to simmer your own batch, then get started immediately. If you don’t, incorporate your favorite flavor of Terra Origin Bone Broth Collagen Protein in your daily diet.

Once you’ve got the healing started, now it’s time to focus on the bacteria. Start with a digestive aid to augment your dietary enzymes and help break down the foods and make them more bioavailable. Food allergies are one of the primary symptoms of leaky gut as the GI tract struggles to do its work. Take a look at Terra Origin Digestive Enzymes.

Be sure to choose a good probiotic that can make it past the stomach acid and a prebiotic to reinforce the good bacteria.

The rest is diet.

Arthritis is painful and inflamed due to gut health and too much weight on the joints and bones. A healthy diet with moderate exercise to keep your weight within a healthy bracket for your body type are extremely important. Food will play a large role in your inflammation. It’s important to avoid naturally inflammatory foods like dairy and high fat animal products, including meat. This does not mean you need to become a vegan, but reducing your animal intake, along with sugar, trans-fat, gluten and processed foods can go a long way in healing your digestive tract and reducing the inflammation in your joints.

Instead choose whole foods, natural and plentiful fiber and drink plenty of water. When we you take care of your body, it will take care of you!