4. Why You Have Arthritis
Despite the many forms that arthritis may have, the underlying cause remains the same for all types. A joint may be injured and the development of arthritis follows. The joint didn’t heal perfectly but remained stiff and painful with the end result being a weakened, or even crippled, limb.
The reason for the failure of the injured joint to heal is that the individual is already toxemic and the stage is set for the development of arthritis. Chondromalacia develops in athletes whose activities place a great strain on their joints, although it is not likely that these strains do more than determine the location of the development. The excesses in eating, especially wrong combinations and refined foods, for which athletes are noted, are the more likely causes.
Arthritis may develop at any season of the year in any climate. In many people, the cold weather seems to make the symptoms worse but this does not indicate that the cold, damp weather is the cause of the arthritis. This may be a secondary factor but often during the winter months, people tend to stay indoors, depriving themselves of fresh air and eating larger amounts of richer foods. These influences produce enervation and check excretion, resulting in toxicosis.
4.1 Poor Eating Habits
4.1.1 Uric Acid in Flesh Foods
Arthritis is often associated with uric acid poisoning. Flesh-eating animals secrete hydrochloric acid about twelve times as strong as that of humans. Carnivores also have an enzyme called uncase, that breaks down uric acid into allantoin. Man does not possess this enzyme. Vegetable proteins, including fruits and nuts, contain enough carbohydrates to make this enzyme unnecessary. Beef contains about fourteen grains of uric acid per pound. If you are eating meat, you are consuming a lot of this poisonous end product without having the means of breaking it down and disposing of it. It is therefore deposited in tissues and can readily be carried into the tissues of the joints where they accumulate along with other toxins.
4.1.2 Purines in Food
Purines are catabolized to uric acid in the body. Besides flesh foods, other foods that contain a significant amount of purine include dry beans, dry peas, lentils, spinach, sugar, cereals, bread, eggs, cheese, and milk. Below is a table that indicates the amount of purines in certain foods.
Group A: High concentrations (150-1000 mg per 100 grams)
Group B: Moderate amounts (50-150 mg. per 100 grams)
|Meat, game, and fish other than those in Group A|
|Whole grain cereals||Spinach|
|Beans, dry||Peas, dry|
Group C: Very small amounts
Refined cereals, spaghetti and macaroni, sugars and sweets, tapioca, yeast
*Fats interfere with the urinary excretion of urates and thus should be limited so as not to interfere with excretion of uric acid.
4.1.3 Sugar-Starch and Starch-Protein Combinations
Members of the legume family consist of a protein-starch combination. This combination is handled poorly by the body resulting in putrefaction. The end result is the formation of many toxins that contribute to toxicosis (the underlying factor in all arthritis). This is in addition to the formation of uric acid.
All refined sugars including white sugar, honey, molasses, maple syrup should not be included in the diet. They are unbalanced and “borrow” needed minerals from the bones and tissues. This is a contributing factor in osteo-arthritis where a degeneration of bone is evident. In addition to this, many toxic byproducts from the refinement process are found in these products that also contribute to toxicosis.
All cereals, including grains and bread, are not digested efficiently since humans are not biologically equipped to deal with large amounts of starches. We do possess the enzyme ptyalin in the saliva and starch digestion will begin if food is chewed proper. However, this enzyme will not be secreted if the starch food is combined with protein foods such as bread and peanut butter or cereal and milk. The starch is not digested at all and fermentation occurs in the digestive tract.
Sugar-starch combinations will also result in fermentation. As in protein-starch combinations, when sugar is eaten with starches such as bread and jelly or fruit with cereal, no ptyalin is secreted for starch digestion. Monosaccharides and disaccharides ferment more quickly than the polysaccharides (in starches). No digestion of sugars takes place in the mouth or stomach. The sugars are delayed in the stomach awaiting the digestion of starch and fermentation is the inevitable result.
Toxins resulting from fermentation of starches and sugars, and putrefaction of proteins, enter the bloodstream. Some are eliminated by the body in the urine or through other channels and some toxins are deposited in the tissues such as the connective tissues of joints and muscles. The stage is now set for arthritic diseases.
4.2 Enervating Habits
Any enervating habit such as smoking, alcohol, coffee drinking, etc. contributes to toxicosis and may result in arthritis.
It is known that cigarette smoke contains approximately one to five percent carbon monoxide (a poisonous gas) and the concentration of this gas increases as the cigarette burns down. The carbon monoxide combines with hemoglobin in the blood to form a union called carboxy-hemoglobin (COHb). Heavy cigarette smokers reach levels of five to fifteen percent COHb concentrations. The nicotine in the tobacco is also a deadly poison. These agents, together with many other poisonous products found in tobacco, contribute to overall toxicosis. Some of these toxins are inevitably deposited in the joints.
Alcohol results in damage to all tissues where it comes in contact. The presence of this substance in the blood results in enervation and toxicosis of all organs and tissues in the entire body. The ability of the body to heal and eliminate normal metabolic waste products is greatly reduced and degenerative diseases result when such habits are continued.
Caffeine in coffee, cocoa, and soft drinks results in stimulation of the central nervous system and impairment of all bodily functions. It has a deterimental effect on the entire endocrine system and has been proven to alter release of certain hormones which are associated with arthritic conditions.
4.3 Lack of Exercise
While arthritis is frequently observed among athletes, a lack of exercise may also contribute to its causation. It is impossible to obtain optimum health without adequately meeting the normal needs of life. A sedentary lifestyle lowers the tone and functioning vigor of the body. If you are inactive, your circulation will be sluggish. This prevents normal tissue renewal and nutrition. The ground is thus prepared for the development of disease (a healing crisis).
4.4 Insufficient Sleep
Only a vital organism can perform all physiological functions with the utmost efficiency. If you get insufficient rest and sleep, all bodily functions become sluggish. This enervated condition always leads to toxicosis. Sleep is a great restorer of vitality and is essential for our general well-being. Rest is the means of restoring normal nerve energy—rest of the body and mind. Physiological rest (fasting) is the surest, best, and most satisfactory means of promoting the excretion of accumulated toxins.
4.5 Fresh Air and Sunshine
Respiration involves the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. The body rids itself of a poisonous waste product (carbon dioxide) and takes in oxygen. Oxygen is required for all cellular functions and if this air is impure, our cells will be correspondingly contaminated. It is important that our homes are well-ventilated so there is a constant flow of fresh air from outdoors. Stay away from smoke-filled rooms as much as possible. This is also harmful, even if you yourself don’t smoke.
A daily walk in the fresh air and sunshine is a healthful activity. Besides the vitamin D that is synthesized in the skin from the sunlight, being outdoors in the sun (even for short intervals) is very beneficial. Research is still being done on this subject and details concerning all the benefits of sunlight still need to be discovered. However, this is one component of healthful living that should not be neglected.
4.6 Emotions and Stress
Emotions and stress are physiological occurrences. Under a stressful situation, the body responds by initiating a series of hormones to maintain stability. Repeated stress could exhaust this homeostatic mechanism and the entire endocrine system may be affected. The adrenals secrete anti-inflammatory hormones. If the adrenals were not performing normally, there would be a lack of this and other hormones in the body. This could lead to many abnormal conditions throughout the body and arthritis is one possible outcome.
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Structure And Function Of Joints
- 3. Types Of Arthritis
- 4. Why You Have Arthritis
- 5. Treatments
- 6. Erroneuous Theories
- 7. What To Do If You Have Arthritis
- 8. Questions & Answers
- Article #1: Why You Have Arthritis By Dr. Herbert M. Shelton
- Article #2: Arthritis By Dr. Robert R. Gross
- Article #3: Well! You Wanted to Know! By V. V. Vetrano, B.S., D.C., M.D.
- Article #4: How to Deal With Bursitis by Dr. Herbert M. Shelton