What is Arthritis?
Most people know that arthritis is pain that stems from chronic swelling and inflammation in damaged joints. What is less known, however, is the distinction between the various types of arthritis: rheumatoid arthritis is an active inflammation at the joints, while osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that degrades the joints’ cartilage. The pain of arthritis can be debilitating, particularly in those over the age of 65, and consideration of the patient’s lifestyle and history will inform how the disease should be treated.
According to traditional Chinese medicine, there are four different factors that can cause this disease. These factors are as follows:
• Cold arthritis: sharp, stabbing pains in specific locations.
• Wind arthritis: pain that shifts to different locations and can cause dizziness.
• Damp arthritis: a lingering, sluggish pain that induces swelling and obesity.
• Heat arthritis: swollen, painful joints that are warm to the touch.
In traditional Chinese medicine, treatment of arthritis is defined by the type of arthritis the patient is suffering from.
How can I treat Arthritis?
• Cold arthritis sufferers should eat foods that disperse heat such as garlic, ginger, and black beans, and can drink a grape vine and ginger tea three times a day.
• For wind arthritis, one can eat scallions, whole grains, and green leafy vegetables, and drink a scallion tea three times a day.
• Damp arthritis sufferers can eat diuretic foods such as barley, mung beans, and millet, and drink cornsilk tea.
• For heat arthritis, one can eat cooling foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, soybeans, and drink cabbage, dandelion, and peppermint teas.
To prevent degenerative joint and bone pain, one can practice exercises such as tai chi or qi gong.
What should I avoid in my lifestyle for Arthritis?
• Cold arthritis sufferers should avoid raw fruits and vegetables and exposure to cold environments.
• Wind arthritis sufferers should avoid stimulants such as sugar, alcohol, and smoking.
• Damp arthritis sufferers should avoid raw fruits and vegetables and dairy products.
• Heat arthritis sufferers should avoid spicy foods and green onions and other warming foods.
Anyone suffering from arthritis should also avoid smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, obesity, and stress.
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