Health Matters
ARTHRITIS - A Natural Cure

     Arthritis is the most common disorder that affects the musculoskeletal system. It is characterized by pain, swelling, deformity, stiffness, and/or diminished range of motion. Statistics show that over 50 million North Americans suffer from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and related conditions such as fibromyalgia, gout, lupus, and ankylosing spondylitis. In fact, from 16 to 37 million Americans alone have osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, the two most wide spread types.

     Osteoarthritis involves deterioration of articular cartilage resulting in painful grinding of joint bones against one another; most often occurring in the shoulder, arm, knee or spine. Osteoarthritic changes begin in the joint cartilage, caused either by previous injury, wear and tear, nutritional stress or a defect in the protein that makes up the cartilage. Continued irritation from any source including physical trauma, nutritional, and/or environmental stress, increases both bony and cartilaginous growth resulting in what is known as spurring and causes an ever greater degree of mechanical interference of joint function.

     Rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic disease often involving the entire body, in particular the bilateral joints of the knee, thumbs, elbows and hips. Sufferers often experience fatigue, swelling, stiffness, fever, crippling pain, weight loss and anemia. Although the exact cause of  rheumatoid arthritis is not well understood, the most widely accepted theory involves an underlying metabolic disturbance or possibly an autoimmune disorder, since this disorder appears to be associated with abnormalities in immunoglobulins. The inflammatory process involved in the disorder causes destruction of the cartilage and tissues around the joints and is replaced by scar tissue. As a result the bones begin to fuse together creating stiffness and loss of range of motion. Like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis is also exacerbated by insults from various sources such as digestive imbalances, malnutrition, high fat diet, emotional stress, allergies and adrenal exhaustion.

     Arthritis sufferers have been brainwashed with the defeatist opinion that there is no cure for their disorder, and so have, for too long , depended on the use of conventional medicine for some relief of pain. The primary drugs used in the treatment of arthritis are nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAID, including aspirin. Although these drugs are used and prescribed extensively, research now indicates that these drugs although aid in the relief of pain for the short term actually accelerates the progression of the joint destruction by inhibiting the formation of compounds known as glycoaminoglycans. Glycoaminoglycans are responsible for maintaining the proper water content in the cartilage matrix, thereby helping cartilage keep its gel like nature and shock absorbing qualities. Aspirin and other NSAIDs not only accelerate the progression of arthritis, but are also associated with many other side effects including headaches, vomiting, gastrointestinal bleeding, abdominal pain, stomach ulcers, fluid retention, allergic reactions, dizziness and liver and/or kidney damage, therefore their use should be avoided or at least minimized.

     What may be surprising to most people is that cartilage can regenerate. Studies have shown that if there is even a little cartilage left in the joint, it can be thickened and improved if the right conditions are met. The “right conditions” include following a low acid diet (avoid dairy, meat, tomatoes, white refined flour and sugar, coffee and soda), eating plenty of raw fruits and vegetables (preferably organic), whole grains and fish such as salmon and mackerel. In addition, plenty of pure water is necessary to remove toxins, replenish the cartilage and cushion the joint. It is also a good idea to include in your diet supplements such as garlic, bromelain, primrose or flaxseed oil and vitamins and minerals such as vitamin E, C, calcium, magnesium, silica and manganese. Botanicals such as yucca and devil’s claw have shown to reduce the pain due to

     Mucopolysaccharides, such as glucoamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate have recently sparked a great deal of interest. A rich source of these mucopolysaccharides is shark cartilage. Glucoamine and chondroitin sulfate team together to stop further bone and cartilage destruction and has been shown to reverse the disease by revving up the production of glycoaminoglycans - the building blocks of cartilage which will in turn deliver water and nutrients into the cartilage matrix. The result is an increase in cartilage thickness, a reduction in pain and improvement of joint mobility. With supplementation most people experience significant improvement within four weeks. However the longer it is used the greater the improvements.

     There are also many homeopathic remedies that are specific for the pain and damage of joints due to arthritis.

Arnica, is useful in the case of rheumatism where the patient is sore all over. Joints are inflamed, red, shiny and hard.
Bryonia, presents with pain with slight redness, heat and swelling; worse for movement, better for rest and pressure.
Rhus Tox, is associated with pain with slight redness, heat, swelling, made worse by damp weather. Pain is described as tearing and tends to migrate from joint to joint.
Ruta is indicated in injuries and damage to the periosteum of the bone as seen in osteoarthritis.
Causticum is suitable for chronic rheumatoid arthritis since symptoms involve stiff and deformed joints.
Nux Vomica is used when pain in the joints are due to a build -up of toxins in the system.

The above homeopathic remedies are only a few of 100 possibilities used for the treatment of arthritis.
It is important to consult a professional homeopath to ensure that the proper remedy is found.

Instead of suffering in silence or resigning to the inevitable, we now see that we can take advantage of a great deal of nutritional and lifestyle factors that help prevent the onset of arthritis and ease the severity of symptoms, increase mobility, and create a healing environment in those who are already suffering from the disorder.


Robbins, Stanley et al Pathologic Basis of Disease W. B. Saunders Co. 1994.

Theodosakis, Jason M.D. The Arthritis Cure, St Martin’s Press 1997.

Dr. Lydia D’Astolfo, B.A., DI Hom. has a degree from York University  and is a  Homeopathic Doctor, CranioSacral Therapist, Applied & Educational Kinesiologist.

Dr. Connie J. D’Astolfo, Hons. B.A., DI Hom, has a degree from The University of Toronto and is a Homeopathic Doctor and CranioSacral Therapist.

Dr. C. D’Astolfo is presently completing her doctorate in chiropractic medicine in the United States.

Both Dr. Lydia & Connie D’Astolfo have been featured on T.V. stations though out Canada and the United States. They have also  published many articles on natural health care in various popular magazines.


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