Millions of Americans suffer from arthritis every single day. I get asked questions about it all the time. So I’m going to answer some questions about arthritis.

Elisa came in to my office saying that her hands were hurting. She wondered if that was arthritis. Arthritis is caused by inflammation in your joints. When you have pain in one or several of your joints, you have arthritis. But arthritis isn’t a diagnosis in and of itself, it is just a symptom of an imbalance. Then you have to find out what is causing it. And when you find the root cause of it, you can heal it. It’s not necessarily something you have to live with forever.

There are many kinds of arthritis. One of them is rheumatoid arthritis, which is well-known – it’s considered to be an auto-immune disease, where your immune system is attacking your joints. Another type is osteoarthritis, which is more common as you get older, and my belief is that you do not have to have pain in your joints just because they’re old. You can have joints that are damaged physically, but they don’t necessarily hurt. Therefore, when you have pain in your joint, you are actually having some kind of imbalance that needs to be treated. The most common causes of joint pains are various kinds of infections or food allergies, things that cause inflammation in your body.

One of the common causes of rheumatoid arthritis is Lyme disease. There are also parasites that can cause joint pains and I have, over the years, discovered many different patients with different types of infections and food allergies that were the cause of their rheumatoid arthritis. Once we treated the underlying cause, the arthritis improved. I have seen hundreds of patients with these diagnoses and found different causes for each. One man had an allergy to nightshades (foods that come from the nightshade family – tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, and all peppers) which caused his RA, when he quit eating them, he felt better.

Hormone imbalances are also a cause of joint pains. As our hormones decline with menopause, we are more prone to injuries, and aches and pains. The lubrication in our joints changes. Your nervous system, hormones, and immune system form a triad that is the foundation of balance from my perspective of Chinese medicine. So when I work with any chronic issue, I work to balance those three elements.

Arthritis like so many other inflammatory disorders can be healed with the right interventions.

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