Where Your Arthritis Really Comes From {And How To Fix It Naturally}

It’s estimated by the CDC that 54.4 million adults have been diagnosed with arthritis with a higher prevalence in woman versus men. They also speculate that by 2040 an estimated 78.4 million adults 18 and over will have doctor-diagnosed arthritis and two-thirds will be women. This doesn’t even tackle the stats on childhood arthritis which is becoming increasingly prevalent.

These staggering statistics are absolutely unacceptable. Arthritis is not an inevitable condition that we must succumb to because we age. In fact, it is altogether avoidable! We must call it out for what it is and address this epidemic at the root cause.

I endeavor to show you where arthritis really comes from and share solutions to prevent and overcome it.

Types of Arthritis

There are three common types of arthritis that much of society deals with today.

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
    • It’s autoimmune in nature in which our own body attacks the joint tissue between our bones. It can be excruciatingly painful, deforming and chronic.
  • Osteoarthritis
    • This type is not autoimmune in nature but nonetheless painful and can be debilitating and chronic as well. It often appears with aging and is avoidable even in old age.
  • Gout
    • An inflammatory type of arthritis caused by elevated levels of uric acid in the blood where crystals form in joints, tendons, and tissues. It usually appears in the feet and is quite painful and often chronic.

The Root Cause of Arthritis

Bottom line, arthritis always stems from inflammation which is triggered by one or more specific factors. These inflaming factors can include certain foods, oxidative stress, chronic physical stress and chronic mental stress.

The aforementioned triggers can cause an increase of cytokines which talk with our cells. Cytokines are proteins secreted by our cells and can be the pro-inflammatory type of cytokines like IL-Iβ (Interleukin 1 Beta), IL-6 (Interleukin 6), and TNFa (Tumor Necrosis Factor Alpha). These upregulate inflammatory reactions in our bodies which are not necessarily a bad thing if we have an acute trauma to our body that needs healing. However, a chronic increase in cytokines can lead to all types of arthritis. Therefore it is important to identify and eliminate the reason your body may be producing more pro-inflammatory cytokines on a chronic basis. Without getting too much more sciency, let’s talk about specific types of arthritis in tandem with how to reduce the inflammation, and in turn, reduce the cytokines, which can lead to the disappearance of painful symptoms.

Foods That Increase Pro-Inflammatory Cytokines

First, let’s dive into foods that are inflammatory and increase the presence of pro-inflammatory cytokines. The typical Standard American Diet or Western Diet is loaded with inflaming foods that increase cytokine production and potentially trigger chronic inflammation as in arthritis.

The foods are:

  • ALL refined sugar – specifically fructose
  • transfats
  • vegetable oils – which are highly refined and man made, not God made.
  • high intake of omega 6’s -which come in CAFO meat, oils mentioned above and processed foods
  • refined soy products
  • gluten loaded products
  • sweetened beverages
  • refined grains
  • processed meats
  • pasteurized dairy – which is always laden with antibiotics and hormones
  • processed foods – which are loaded with toxic chemicals for the body

If we consume any of these foods we can guarantee that our body is inflamed. When we eat them consistently, on a regular basis the inflammation becomes chronic and leads to various diseases – one being arthritis.

What to do About Rheumatoid Arthritis

In the case of RA, which, as I stated before, is autoimmune in character, it has been discovered that a certain traumatic event along with a poor western diet is often a trigger for the body to start attacking its tissue at the joints. If you lack the traumatic event in your life you can still have RA due to a food or, most likely, several foods you’re eating that your body doesn’t like and is sensitive too.

While removing trigger foods are often not the only solution to improving or remitting RA symptoms (stress, sleep, toxins, and parasites can play a role), it is usually the main factor causing the body to attack the joints and surrounding tissues.

Focus On

An Autoimmune Paleo Diet is recommended to reduce the debilitating pain and stop the progression of the damaged tissues. This diet is void of all trigger foods above as well as the top eight allergenic foods and instead focuses on consuming nutrient-rich, whole, unprocessed foods.

What to do About Osteoarthritis

You’ll remember that this type of arthritis is not autoimmune in structure. The body is not attacking itself in the case of Osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis can come from old injuries, chronic stress – both mental and physical and oxidative stress as well as certain foods that increase overall inflammation of the body.

I recommend reading this scientific publication about the inflammatory cytokines in the presence of Osteoarthritis.

Focus On

If you want to prevent OA or if you already have been diagnosed with it, it’s important to address any chronic stressors you have in your life. Make it a priority to reduce the stressors as much as you possibly can. You can learn 15 ideas to reduce chronic stress holistically here. Remember, mental stress is just as important to look at as physical stress is. Both should be evaluated and managed in your life.

You’ll also need to focus on your levels of oxidative stress. Oxidative stress comes from physical and mental stressors that alter our cell functionality. Typical examples are toxins from our houses, toiletries, and the environment as well as alcohol, tobacco and radiation. These things can dramatically overburden our cells allowing free radicals to float unhindered all over our body and our cells not to work properly. Eliminate these from your life and work with a trained alternative practitioner to detox and cleanse your body (really your cells) and you will see marked improvement in the pain in your joints.

It’s important not to forget the importance of consuming highly nutritious foods. You’ll need to get rid of western diet pro-inflammatory foods (as stated in the Food section) and introduce only whole foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals, quality fats and meats and organic vegetables. Be sure what you eat is as free of GMO’s, toxins, and pesticides as possible. EWG’s Dirty Dozen list is a great place to start and the Paleo and GAPS diet can be instrumental in healing.

What to do About Gout

This painful type of arthritis is not autoimmune in nature either. The pain actually stems from the presence of elevated uric acid levels in the blood. The increased acid forms solid crystals around the joints and can be painful. Uric acid is what comes from the process of breaking down the foods we eat. Generally, it’s removed by the kidneys.

Focus On

The first root to address is how your kidneys are functioning. Getting to the bottom of why your kidneys aren’t filtering out the uric acid is vital. Could it be a parasite infection or a silent infection of some sort?

The second area to inspect is medications you are taking. Certain medicines like aspirin and niacin, coumadin, etc., can also cause increased uric acid levels in the blood.

The third and most beneficial solution to look at in terms of root causes is what foods and drinks you are consuming. Alcohol can cause high levels of uric acid in the blood. It’s best to eliminate it to reduce uric acid levels in the blood and in turn, reduce inflammation. Fructose is an ingredient that you will need to eliminate as well since it further increases uric acid levels. A diet high in organic vegetables, at least three-quarters of your plate, with a small piece of quality animal protein, a tablespoon or so per meal of quality animal fat and proper hydration will greatly reduce uric acid and consequently curtail your inflammation.

I would encourage you to read this article by Chris Kresser about the Paleo Diet and Gout.

Arthritis is Not a Necessary Evil In Life

As I’ve shown you, it’s not mandatory to suffer from chronic joint dysfunction. The foundation of arthritis is always inflammation. Discovering your root cause or trigger for your body and your particular type of arthritis as well as determining to make proper changes in diet and lifestyle will reduce and often eliminate the debilitating symptoms you experience.

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  1. This is a great article! So many people suffer from arthritis and this is such an important message to spread. I will share this to help spread the word!

    • Jennifer

      Thank you, Stephanie! I am so glad you found it helpful and you’re right, we need to spread the word! Blessings, Jennifer



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Jennifer | Feasting On Joy

Hi! I’m Jennifer

It's great that you stopped by. I am thrilled to help you create your own holistic life and guide you to healing your autoimmunity.

Welcome to Feasting On Joy!


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