Arthritis – Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment
Arthritis refers to the active inflammation of one or more joints. It is a common condition seen in older individuals.
It is very important to remember that the term “arthritis” is not a disease condition in itself, but is rather a description of a symptom of many related conditions.
In other words, arthritis doesn’t appear to be a single disease, but there are many medical conditions, if not 100s that can cause arthritis.
During arthritis, inflammatory cells get recruited to the joint capsule and start to release pro-inflammatory substances, such as cytokines, prostaglandins, and interleukins.
As a result, the joint will present with the four cardinal symptoms of inflammation:
- Rubor (redness)
- Calor (warmth)
- Tumor (swelling)
- Dolor (pain)
In this article, we will briefly discuss the different types of arthritis, as well as the effect of turmeric on this condition.
The different types of arthritis
While there are many causes of arthritis, the most common cause is a medical condition known as rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease seen in women between the ages of 20–40.
Other causes of arthritis include vasculitides, systemic autoimmune diseases, and drug-induced arthritis.
Typically, the treatment of arthritis focuses on reducing the local inflammation, which we can achieve by taking Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroids, and immunosuppressive drugs (e.g., cyclosporine, methotrexate).
However, the curative treatment of arthritis should focus on managing the underlying medical conditions (e.g., systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis).
Turmeric and arthritis – the secret homemade ingredient
Turmeric can help patients with arthritis due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Turmeric supplements act at the levels of prostaglandin receptors found in different body tissues. To study the effects of turmeric on inflammation and pain, scientists conducted several studies.
One classic study found that turmeric can downregulate the production of cytokines and chemokines, which are pro-inflammatory molecules that get secreted when we trigger the immune cells.
Cytokines, in particular, are the cornerstone of several diseases, including arthritis.
Additionally, turmeric can upregulate the activity of T-cell Reg, which is a type of immune cells responsible for maintaining a proper balance of inflammation and immune reaction.
After several studies that proved the potent anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric, scientists linked this feature to other positive effects of turmeric on diseases. For instance, the analgesic effect of this substance when it comes to arthritis relates to a reduction in inflammation and oxidative stress.
Note that before taking any dietary supplement to treat arthritis, you should talk to your primary care physician about the safety of this step.
Arthritis is a common chief complaint seen in hospitals that varies in severity from mild to debilitating cases.
Hopefully, with the integration of new biological treatments, such as stem cell therapy, scientists will come up with a curative treatment soon.