by Lawrence Wilson, MD
©December 2009, The Center For Development
Osteoarthritis, which means stiff and/or painful, inflamed joints, affects over half the American adult population. Most of the time, medical doctors do not even bother to look for underlying causes. The usual treatment is anti-inflammatory drugs, many of which have devastating side effects if one takes them long enough and often enough.
Hair mineral analysis, on the other hand, offers excellent information regarding the causes and how to properly correct many cases of arthritis. Hair mineral patterns reveal many correctable causes. Among the most common are glandular imbalance, deposition of toxic metals and nutrient deficiencies.
A pattern of tissue breakdown is another important contributor to most cases of arthritic pain and swelling of the joints. Let us examine some of the most common causes.
BIOCHEMICAL IMBALANCES THAT CAN CAUSE ARTHRITIS
Sluggish thyroid and adrenal activity are closely associated with arthritis. The adrenal glands produce cortisone and cortisol, which are powerful anti-inflammatory hormones. When the adrenals are weak, hormone production decreases. Inflammation of the joints is often one result. This type of arthritic pain is often worse in the morning. As the day goes on, the adrenals may function better and the pain often lessens.
Deposits of calcium and other minerals often occur in the joints and soft tissues of slow oxidizers. High hair calcium often indicates abnormal tissue deposition of calcium and other elements as well, such as iron, manganese, copper and others.
Adequate sodium and potassium are needed to keep calcium in solution. When these are low in the hair tissue, due to adrenal insufficiency, calcium leaves the blood and precipitates into the tissues. Serum levels of sodium and potassium are rarely low, however, so blood tests are not helpful to make this assessment.
Toxic metal poisoning is also associated with slow oxidation. The body lacks the energy needed to remove toxic metals. Deficient vital minerals are replaced by toxic substitutes. Metals including copper and iron are well known to settle in the joints.
Nutrient Deficiencies. The presence of toxic metals also destroy other nutrients. Vitamin C, for example, is deactivated by an excess of copper. Vitamin C is required for regeneration of joint cartilage. Thus toxic substances act as anti-nutrients, interfering with maintenance of vital body tissues.
Digestive Problems. Slow oxidizers often have deficient digestion. Even if they eat a good diet, absorption may be impaired by low hydrochloric acid and often by intestinal infections. The joints require many vitamins, minerals and fatty acids. Many such as zinc, selenium, manganese and others are deficient in typical American diets. This is another cause of arthritis in millions of people.
Protein is also very important for joint regeneration. Joint cartilage is protein and must e renewed continuously. A low hair phosphorus level often indicates impaired protein metabolism. This may be due to dietary deficiency, zinc or copper imbalance or impaired digestion for another reason such as a stressful lifestyle.
Low energy production is another important cause of arthritis in the slow oxidizer. Energy is needed to rebuild all tissues, including of course the joint cartilages and other tissues in the area of the joints. Low energy can prevent the complete healing of traumas, for example, such as minor falls and twists of the joints.
This is even more of a problem in one who is overweight, as there is more stress on their joints. If this process goes on for years, as it usually does, the joint surfaces slowly degrade and become rough, with resulting scarring and inflammation in most cases.
Those with a fast oxidation rate are also prone to arthritic disease. It can be acute and very painful. However, these individuals have somewhat different nutritional needs. Often they require more copper, zinc and magnesium, nutrient needed to rebuild cartilage and to avoid inflammation.
However, they also need more anti-inflammatory oils and fatty acids, such as the omega-3 fatty acids in their diets. While everyone needs some of these, the fast oxidizers usually need a larger amount for a while.
They also need more of other fats and oils, while faring much worse on sugars in the diet. Unfortunately, few doctors are aware of this, so they allow their arthritic patients to continue eating a lots of carbohydrates and sweets.
Wheat is particularly bad for many arthritic cases. Today’s wheat is quite pro-inflammatory and high in phytates and other nutrients that impair healing and regeneration of the joints by interfering with the absorption of zinc, calcium and other vital minerals from the diet. Also, most all refined wheat products are enriched with iron, which can make joint problems much worse.
Certain other foods cause joint irritation in both slow and fast oxidizers. These include spicy foods and particularly the nightshade family of vegetables. These include potatoes, tomatoes, all peppers and eggplant.
Many fast oxidizers have low sodium/potassium ratios. This pattern, called an inversion, is associated with tissue catabolism. This means that tissues do not repair themselves and regenerate as fast as they are lost. While it can affect any body tissue, catabolism often affects the joints. Discs and cartilages may break down, leading to serious joint problems.
Fast oxidizers are also very prone to excessive muscle tension and high stress. Calcium and magnesium, needed to relax, are often deficient in these individuals. Excess tension may add stress to already weakened joints.
STRESS, OBESITY, ALLERGIES AND EXERCISE
Obesity can contribute to joint disease by placing more weight on the joints. Causes include imbalanced body chemistry, diet and other stress factors. Poor quality food contributes, as it does not satisfy the appetite. One eats more and more, attempting to get one’s nutrients. However, since the food is of poor quality with relatively low nutrient density, and many vital nutrients have been removed or were never there to begin with, the unknowing eater just eats more.
Both fast and slow oxidizers are prone to obesity, though for different reasons. Sluggish thyroid and adrenal glandular activity can lead to weight gain in slow oxidizers.
In fast oxidizers, water retention is common. High insulin and cortisone also lead to fat deposition, usually in the belly area or chest on women.
Food sensitivities, a contributor to obesity, can also directly affect the joints. Many people report improvement when wheat and dairy or other allergic foods are removed from the diet.
Trauma. Excessive activity and exercise is occasionally a cause. Running and high-impact activities may easily damage joint surfaces.
Often one doesn’t realize it until the damage is done. On a positive note, the joints will often recover if one is willing to change the diet and lifestyle and do a nutritional balancing program to restore joint health.
Everyone in America is exposed to harmful chemicals in food, air and drinking and bathing water. We are also eposed to chemicals through contact.
For example, we live with thousands of harmful chemicals, from fluoride to pesticides. They affect the joints by a variety of mechanisms. Some are simply stored in the joints, where they cause their damage.
Others act as anti-nutrients, producing deficiencies and imbalances. They may impair digestion, absorption or utilization of vital elements needed for joint health. Often toxic chemicals poison the thyroid and adrenals. This, in turn, leads to many health problems. Others affect the immune response, allowing infections to remain.
Chronic or even acute infections are other possible causes of arthritis. The focus of the infection may not even be in the joints themselves. Endotoxins and exotoxins produced by bacteria and even viral infections from an infection elsewhere in the body such as in old root canals can cause symptoms at a distance.
Other common sites of hidden infections include the sinuses, bladder and bronchials. Bacteria and fungi produce toxins that often affect the joints. It won’t show up on x-rays and you may have few other symptoms.
Sometimes a hair analysis will tip one off to the possibility of an infection as a cause of arthritis because the sodium /potassium ratio will be less than about 2.5:1. this is a chronic infection indicator, though it is not considered a diagnostic tool. It tells the doctor or practitioner that chronic infection is likely somewhere in the body.
Most often, however, the infections only reveal themselves as one “retraces” or cleans up the diet and lifestyle and balances body chemistry. As adaptive energy builds, the body begins to fight the infections. Often a flare-up or retracing occurs, in which the infection becomes acute. Usually it resolves itself without the need for medical intervention. If needed, natural substances such as colloidal silver, bee propolis and other remedies will help heal the infection once it is flaring up.
This process can take a number of years. Often there are layers of infections one on top of another. As one layer is healed, the next is exposed. This is why we say there is a time factor in healing.
ARTHRITIS, EMOTIONS AND ATTITUDES
Attitudes have a lot to do with certain kinds of arthritis. Rigidity will cause joints to stiffen, in particular. Anger and rage will also cause joints to harden and inflame. Other emotions can also affect the joints such as an attitude of rigidity, interestingly enough. Since most people are unaware of this connection, it can be an important factor that is hidden from view. By working on one’s attitudes and letting go of rigidity and anger, in particular, joint pain can sometimes quickly vanish.
Chiropractic misalignments can be an important other cause of arthritis. It is a simple one to have checked by a competent chiropractor and have corrected. Rolfing or body work are also often very helpful for some tensions that cause arthritic conditions in a few cases.
Rarely, other causes are responsible for arthritis, such as a genetic defect, a growth such as tumor, or something else. However, these are rare.
CORRECTION WITH NUTRITIONAL BALANCING SCIENCE
Rather than just go after the symptom of pain, a scientific and individualized nutritional balancing program based on a properly performed and correctly interpreted hair mineral analysis will identify many causes and slowly undo them. As a result, most cases of arthritis will improve, especially when combined with chiropractic or bodywork, if needed.
Patience and persistence may be required, but the results are well worth the effort. Many cases respond very rapidly, within a few days to a few weeks. Others take longer if toxic metals, for example, have built up in the joints and must slowly be replaced by physiological minerals. Sauna therapy and coffee enemas, our extra procedures, are often very helpful to speed up progress. At times, they are essential to reverse and break old chronic patterns of stress in the body that can cause arthritis.