Chronic muscle fatigue, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are auto-immune, pro-inflammatory disorders. What this means is that the body is being damaged by its own immune system. While the immune system is the body’s way of fighting off viruses and bacteria, when inflammation occurs the body perceives these conditions as invasive. The resulting symptoms are stiffness in the joints, pain and swelling.
While chronic muscle fatigue includes other areas than the joints of the knees, hips, hands and spine, it shares the same symptoms of these areas as arthritis when inflammation arises.
Treatment for arthritis are non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs called NSAIDS. These drugs are effective in reducing inflammation and they enhance joint strength, but they do have their risk factors. NSAIDS allow absorption of toxins in the gut and promote gastrointestinal antigens. NSAIDS can cause inflammation along the lining of the blood vessels that contribute to atherosclerosis and heart disease. NSAIDS are used to treat the symptoms of chronic fatigue and arthritis rather than relying on understanding the causes.
Reducing the risk factors of chronic muscle fatigue and arthritis will aid in reducing the symptoms of the disease. A diet that contains high levels of wheat, sugar, and fat will increase the symptoms while a diet high in fruits and vegetables will lower the symptoms of these diseases.
Colas and other high acidic foods and beverages will irritate these conditions as well as arthritis. Obesity and inactivity are risk factors that put stress on the joints and when combined with a poor diet will cause the pain and swelling of the joints to increase. Lack of sufficient sleep causes undue stress on the mind and body which puts added stress on the immune system. High intake of processed foods which have lower nutritional value causes a micro deficiency of needed minerals and vitamins. An over consumption of potatoes, white flour and other high starch foods promote a high concentration of bad bacteria in the gut which can lead to leaky gut as well as irritating the symptoms of chronic muscle fatigue.
A stressful work environment and toxins at home can cause hormone imbalances that can lead to inflammation in the intestines which allows these toxins to permeate through out the body which will irritate the joint.
A strategic approach is needed nutritionally in order to reduce the symptoms of inflammation of these diseases. Avoid wheat and dairy as they are pro inflammatory and if a patient has arthritis or chronic fatigue syndrome these foods will irritate the already inflamed joints. Foods that elevate the blood sugar level such as: sugar, potatoes, white flour, and other starchy foods will nourish the bad bacteria in the gut which affects inflammation in the body. Foods high in saturated fats, hard cheeses, processed meats, and dairy leads to obesity which will promote chronic inflammation.
Allergic responses to foods can lead to symptoms of arthritis. Tomatoes, peppers, oranges, plums, rhubarb, aubergines, plums and eggs can trigger allergic reactions that lead to chronic inflammation, pain and swelling of the joints.
An increase in certain foods will reduce inflammation. Lean protein, preferably organic, foods such as: Chicken, fish, turkey, soy fed beef will help maintain a static blood sugar level. This will then prevent the fluctuating blood sugar that leads to inflammation.
Apples, pineapple, grapes, kiwi, bananas, blueberries, blackberries, cherries, and grapes if eaten in their whole state contain anti oxidants and acidic lowering properties which prevents the damaging effects of inflammation that are found in chronic muscle fatigue and arthritis.
Kale, chard, carrots, cucumbers, spinach and other mixed greens are alkaline foods that will lower the acidic levels of the body and will reduce inflammation.
Foods that are natural high in Omega 3 such as: Walnuts, herring, tuna, mackerel, seeds, flax seeds/oil, anchovies, salmon, and sardines are anti inflammatory and will comfort the joints of patients with arthritis and chronic muscle fatigue .
Nuts and seeds also contain Omega 6 which is anti inflammatory.
A deficiency of vitamin D can lead to chronic pain of the muscles and bone. Foods that contain a higher concentration of vitamin D are cod liver oil, egg yolk, beef liver, and deep water oily fish (tuna, sardines, herring, salmon and mackerel).
Rice, spelt, barley, millet, rye, and amaranth are good alternatives to wheat as these foods will not cause the upset in the gut or promote breeding of bad bacteria.
Rosemary, cayenne, and turmeric are anti-inflammatory spices that when added to food help decrease inflammation as well as chronic fatigue herbs.
Almond, rice and soy milk are good alternatives to dairy milk as they are high in protein and essential nutrients that help in reducing inflammation.
Lifestyle has a profound effect on patients that suffer from arthritis and chronic fatigue.
Daily exposure to sunlight for at least 20 -30 minutes daily significantly increases the absorption of vitamin D. This vital vitamin plays an important role in reducing inflammation.
An increase in physical activity of 30-60 minutes at least 5 times a week increases the metabolism and will assist in lubricating the joints, reduce pain and inflammation and increase mobility.
Learning ways to decrease stress in all levels of lifestyle is important in maintaining an anti inflammatory lifestyle. Work, personal and social relationships that are stressful because hormonal shifts that have a profound impact on patients that suffer from arthritis and chronic fatigue disease. Yoga, meditation, and Pilates will increase the flexibility of the joints while reducing stress in the body.