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Inside Out: ALTERNATIVELY SPEAKING: Gone with the pain of arthritis; Devil's Claw can also rebalance immune function.

Byline: Valerie HILL

I'VE developed arthritis in my right foot. It's jolly painful and has obviously put paid to my regular vigorous exercise regime. It twinges in the morning and by the end of the day I feel as though my foot is about to drop off.

But it's not all badnews. When journalist Margaret Mitchell was confined to her house with the same condition she took to writing to pass the time and ,hey presto, Gone With the Wind was born. This sore foot may beablessing in disguise.

However,hoping it won't get that bad, there a remany self-help measures I am actively considering.

All arthritis sufferers should increase their intake of oily fish such as herring, mackerel, salmon and tuna, which have positive effects on inflammation.

Luckily,I'm not a dairy products fan because they are problematic for this condition as they contain large amounts of calcium which may not be well assimilated by the body. Calcium which is deposited in tissues and around joints creates more painful inflammation and contributes to immobility, so it is important to get calcium from sources which also contain plenty of magnesium, a mineral humans need to utilise calcium.

Citrus fruits a realso thought to exacerbate symptoms,as a rehighly processed foods which contribute to the build-up of acid in the body,causing arthritic symptoms. The deadly nightshade family,which includes potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and aubergines a recertainly deadly for many people, as the alkaloids they contain seem to inhibit collagen repair in joints and create inflammation.

I'm not a coffee drinker but those addicted to caffeine beware-it is an inflammatory substance and can promote fatigue. If you are tired, puttingDeadSea salts in the bath in the evening can draw toxins from the tissues and eases pain.

The herbal supplement Devil's Claw is renowned for its beneficial effect on inflammatory pain and unlike conventional treatments for arthritis, it will not upset the stomach. When used long-term, it can also rebalance immune function.

Glucosamine sulphate can be taken alongside, which helps to repair cartilage and ligaments in affectedjoints.

For arthritic conditions involving calcified deposits in the joints such as gout, Knotgrass Complex is a unique combination of herbs that works to dissolve the deposits,improving joint mobility and strengthening the soft tissue around the joint.

It cleanses uric acid from the tissues, reducing the painful symptoms of gout and gouty arthritis. In the same way nettles taken in the form of tea willalsodispel uric acid and reduce harmful acidity in the bloodstream.

But if you've got an ache or pain, it's always soothing to rub something on it. Arnica montana is a cream which contains lac tones which give it an antiinflammatory effect,dispelling pain.

Soan overall treatment plan encompassing diet,lifestyle and supplements as well as creams and herbs for immediate pain relief is the best option for dealing with arthritis in the long term.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Nov 18, 2003
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