Osteo arthritis help/advice

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Hi all. I'm looking to find info/advice on how to deal with progressive osteo arthritis.  In 2008 I suffered a very bad accident which destroyed all the cartilege in one ankle.  This joint developed arthritis and is getting progressively worse due to wear and tear.  I have had a subsequent arthroscopy surgery which helped a little.  I also had tenosynivitis diagnosed in both thumb joints some 30 years ago but for many years this was self determining and only flared up occasionally.  Now both thumb joints are quite severely arthritic also.  My GP just advises to take over the counter anti inflammatories, eg voltarol or even ibuprofen but the discomfort is such that even taking the max recommended amount there are days when my hands are agony and I'm unable to do the most basic tasks (eg opening a bottle, holding a cup etc).  I experience quite nasty side effects too from anti inflamms, for example stomach upsets and headaches.  Does anyone have any suggestions for other ways I might help myself to cope with this condition.  Thank you

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  • Posted

    loxie, I don't know whether you've tried concentrating on your diet and trying to include plenty of foods known to be anti-inflammatory whilst reducing those known to be inflammatory.  I have osteoarthritis in a few different areas, mostly controlled I believe my my diet which I researched and tried to stick to following diagnosis of a a long term autoimmune illness which affected all the large muscle area in my body for almost 7years. (now in remission).  Although I had to take steroid medication I found that sticking to a largely anti-inflammatory and organic diet seemed to reduce my pain levels, which included oily fish several times a week, garlic, avocados, beetroot and pinches of turmeric in appropriate meals such as casseroles, risottos etc.  I avoided all those foods known to be inflammatory such as coffee, alcohol, sugar, all processed meats, at the same time reducing my intake of red meat.  I hope it might help you.  
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    • Posted

      Thank you MrsO for your reply.  I do eat quite a healthy diet, my partner is vegetarian so I eat very little meat at all with red meat only maybe once every couple of months as a treat.  I cook mostly from scratch and we love garlic and spicy foods, so turmeric features quite heavily.  I must admit to being a bit of a coffee fiend, so I'll definitely try to cut that down if it's something that affects the arthritis.   I only drink red wine and then only about once a week at weekends and I don't like sugary foods, so sugar doesnt feature much in our house. On the subject of food triggers, I heard anecdotally that tomatoes and red peppers can have an adverse effect.  We use a lot of both as I'd assumed they were 'healthy foods' and they form a staple of a lot of dishes I cook, so I hope I dont have to cut them out of my diet.  Thank you very much for your post and I'm very glad to hear that you've managed to control your pain levels.  I was feeling a little forlorn as my doctor only seems to suggest otc anti inflamms and has given me no other advice or guidance about other ways to relieve the condition.
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    • Posted

      Yes, you're right, loxie, tomatoes and peppers and all the nightshade family are considered to be inflammatory by the dietitians, although a few sufferers with the condition I experienced say they haven't found that to be the case.  I think researching acidic food can also help as apparently it can benefit our bodies to be in more of an alkaline state.

      Also, if you haven't had your Vit D levels checked, it might be an idea to do so by a simple blood test.  Many of the population have been found to be deficient and such deficiency can lead to all sorts of problems.  A three month course of pure Vit D3 returned my levels to normal.

      A little word of warning:   it isn't wise to take any of the NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as Ibuprofen continuously or long term.  Pre my diagnosis and treatment for my auto-immune condition, I took a small dose of Ibuprofen daily for some 7 months just to enable to me get off the bed etc, at the end of which I was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease.  Prior to that I had lived quite happily with one healthy kidney for over 50 years after having one removed aged 12.  Whether I was more at risk because I just had the one kidney, who knows?  But I am pill phobic so only took the tiniest daily dose that I could get away with.

      You could try giving up the coffee and the wine - and the tomatores if you possibly can, for just a few months, and see if it makes a difference.  I do hope so.

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    • Posted

      Hi Loxi

      I could be wrong but I always thought that the tomato andred peppers mostly affected people with RA not Osteo?? Open to correction. I've got Osteo arthritis in hips, one ankle {after an accident} lower spine and neck.,

      You say anit inflamms upset your stomach.....your GP should prescribe a stomach protector eg omneprozol or lansoprozol {spelling ??}

      If he has.....what about voltorol cream or any of the other anti inflamm creams/gels  would that affect you the same?

      Sorry thats all I can think of.....apart from the self help things like heat or cold, physio...you can do that on your thumbs/fingers

      Love

      Eileen

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    • Posted

      Eileen, any medication-induced stomach upsets can be helped by taking a 'live' (probiotic) yoghurt to line the stomach and replace the good bacteria before the medication.  I had nasty side effects from both Omeprazole and Lansoprazole which are usually prescribed alongside steroids to protect tummies - they had the opposite effect on my, upsetting my bowel.  Perhaps I'm just awkward as far as drugs are concerned, but the yoghurt worked a treat throughout 5+ years on steroids.
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    • Posted

      Hi

      Thanks for that information....for others reading this thread.

      I've been on both omneprozol and lansoprozol and neither upset my stomach or gave me nasty side effects so I never thought about taking anything else.

      Love

      Eileen

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    • Posted

      Thanks Eileen for your reply.  There's so much confusing information out there re what foods are 'good' and 'bad'.  Someone just mentioned in passing about tomatoes and peppers so maybe they hadn't got the full story.  I did take omeprazole but although that helped with the acid reflux it didnt stop the cramping and at times chronic diarrhoea.  Voltarol was the worst for that.  The ibuprofen caused severe headaches, which my GP said was a known factor.  Topical treatments offer very little relief I'm afraid.  They do help a little with the thumb joints but not enough to bring it down to a bearable level and they seem to have no effect on the ankle.  I'm a bit like Mrs O as she has commented above and just totally sick of taking pill after pill, then having to take even more pills to counteract the side effects of the first ones.  I got to feeling I was poisoning myself in the end.  I did have a couple of physio appointments on referral from my GP but they didn't actually do any exercises etc., just gave me some rubber bands and told me to use them to flex the ankle.  I wasn't offered any physical help re the thumb joints and can't afford to book private physio appointments.  I do wrap them up in heated towels when theyre very bad and it helps a little but the effect wears off very quickly.  I'll see if I can research more about foodstuffs that have known anti inflamm effects.  

      Although my doctor poo-pooed the idea that weather affects my arthritis, it was interesting to note that on holiday in Fuerteventura (with a hot dry climate almost all year round) the locals didnt even have a word for arthritis and some were totally confused at its existence.  So warmth must help somehow.

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    • Posted

      Hi Loxie

      I'm not sure about the food stuff but thats what I've always been led to believe and like I say I have OA

      Sorry about the anti inflamms

      Did you pick up MrsO's tip about priobotic yoghurts......it might help to try that if you cant take the other stomach ones

      On a slightly different angle its normally heat that helps my arthritis but on my ankle I find tha cold is better.....deep freeze as opposed to deep heat.

      Just thought I would mention that.

      As for docs......they dont have the pain do they...we know our own bodies.....damp weather makes me worse as does humid weather....warm weather is great for me

      Love

      Eileen

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    • Posted

      Thanks Eileen and Mrs O.  I'll try the cold pack on my ankle as it's a totally different kind of pain in that location to that in my thumbs.  It does swell up if I stand or walk for too long and I've used a bag of frozen peas before now to take the swelling down.  

      A work colleague has told me to get my uric acid levels checked as there is something called polyarticular gout which affects thumb joints, as the pain in those is very different from the arthritis pain in my ankle.

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    • Posted

      Hi Loxie

      Its weird isnt it...I was told arthritis in hips back etc and then arthritis in ankle....you would think it would be the same pain but like you my ankle is a completely different pain

      Good Luck

      Love

      Eileen

       

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    • Posted

      loxie, I've just turned up some further information from professionals in the medical field concerning anti inflammatory foods, and thought you might be interested from the tomato prospective especially.

      I run a support group under a Charity set up for sufferers of the auto immune illness I had and came across some newsletters following a couple of meetings where our guest speakers included a dietitian and an ophthalmologist.  Interestingly, the dietitian refers to phytonutrients in plants, predominantly flavonoids, being anti-inflammatory substances, adding that these are found in cruciferous vegetables, berries, soya, red peppers, tomatoes, beetroot, carrots, green and black tea and 70% dark chocolate (needless to say she went up in my estimation following the latter comment!wink)  There are lots of other foods mentioned but too lengthy to go into - just thought you'd be especially interested in the tomato/red pepper comment!

      Interestingly, the ophthalmologist, also discussing anti inflammatory and pro inflammatory foods, advised that some items, including green potatoes, aubergines and green  tomatoes were known to potentially aggravate inflammation.  So from these two professionals it looks like a thumbs up for the red tomatoes!

      We have also recently learned of a new product called Flexiseq Gel which is used as a lubrication for the stiffness and pain of arthritic joints in osteoporosis.  It is very expensive at £18.49 for a 50g tube and is available from pharmacies, including Lloyds, who have reported that customers are giving good feedback and returning for more.

      I do hope some or all of this helps.

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much MrsO, you're a star.  Other than the green tea (gag reflex) I love all of those items mentioned above, particularly the high cocoa content chocolate (no surprise there!). Very good news about red peppers and ripe tomatoes as I probably use those in almost every dish I make.  As we're vegetarian, nuts, berries and soya also feature quite heavily which is good news for me.  Cant think of anyone who would want to eat green potatoes, I believe theyre toxic smile  I'll look into the Flexiseq gel for sure - who knows I may even persuade my doctor to prescribe it which will cut down the cost considerably (slim chance but worth a try).  Thank you again for your help.  I got none of this from my doctors, just always told to go buy ibuprofen, which as I've commented before, firstly didn't work and secondly had rotten side affects. xx
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    • Posted

      Thanks for the list Mrs O...will try some of them more often LOL

      As for the flexiseq gel......On another forum I heard of it when it came out in Southern Ireland...One of the ladies sons was going over and got her a tube of it....she didnt think it worth the price at all....since that a lot of others on the forum have got it over here and thought the same......but....you try it Loxie.....as we always say different meds suit different people

      Love

      Eileen

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    • Posted

      Eileen, thank you for relating the experiences of members on another forum with regard to Flexiseq, which seems contrary to the reports coming out of Lloyds Pharmacy.  I must admit I'm always quite sceptical about any such products  However, I agree our bodies are all different both in  response to our illnesses and to medications etc and what might suits one person will not suit another.  
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    • Posted

      Hi Mrs O

      Don't you think that people in pain {arthritis mostly} are a better judge than Lloyds who are trying to seel it  biggrin

      I use pernaton.....a bit cheaper and just as good.

      But like I said and you have just said we are all different and we all react differently to meds etc....I would never suggest someone doesnt try a product...just a warning

      Good Luck Loxie

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    • Posted

      I certainly am not about to rush out and buy it, cant afford it for one thing but I will research it and see what the active ingredient is and why it's reported to help.  I do note that it has no pharmaceutical ingredients so it may be that the phospholipids it states it contains are present in other otc remedies too.  The blurb from the manufacturers is akin to the total cobblers we endure from the cosmetic industry - full of made up trade names that sound technical and medical but mean sod all.  However the description of the logic behind why it would work sounds very plausible.  I too am skeptical about 'new and innovative' ways to reduce crinkles, grow less hair, grow more hair, plump up eyelashes, lips, and heaven help us, boobs and so the list goes on.  A friend's son who is a GP once told me that if something actually works it's likely to have to be licensed and won't be sold over the counter until thorough testing is undertaken, so basically otc meds are pretty low down on the effectiveness scale.  However, products with no drug content are exempt so cosmetics and products like this which are pharmaceutical content free can be marketed freely without regulation.  Having regard to all the cobblers that abounds, the logic of a phospholipid containing lubricant being able to increase the lubrication in a joint, thus easing movement and pain, does sound very plausible - it's one of those 'why wouldnt it work'.  I will however save my pennies for the moment til I've read and understood whether this is something that is proven in practice or just a great way of selling 'snake oil' with fancy names and terminology.  I'm very grateful that I've been made aware of its existence though.
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