By naturopath Margaret Jasinska
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that results in a loss of cartilage. This causes friction to occur in the bones, which causes pain and swelling. A lot of people think osteoarthritis is caused by wear and tear; from activities when they were younger, using stairs frequently, etc. Other people attribute it to excess pressure placed on the joints by being overweight. These factors play a role, but there are other causes you should be aware of.
Nearly half of all Australians experience osteoarthritis at some stage, and it affects two thirds of obese adults. It becomes more prevalent with advancing age. It’s one of the most common reasons people take anti-inflammatory medication, which can have undesirable side effects if over used. These medications cause leaky gut and can contribute to the development of immune system problems.
Osteoarthritis is most common in knees and it’s the leading cause of knee joint replacement surgery. It is also common in the hips, and eventually many people develop it in their hands. Being overweight raises the risk because fat cells produce inflammatory chemicals that attack the joints and cause progressive wear and tear. Having a fatty liver also raises the risk, because the liver produces enzymes called matrix metalloproteinases, which travel around the bloodstream, eating up your cartilage. Having elevated blood sugar can harm your cartilage, tendons and ligaments because sugar causes damage to proteins in the body (called glycation).