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Symptoms of Arthritis and its Treatment

Arthritis can really cripple down your life and make you less mobile and can add to a lot of frustration if you are leading a very active lifestyle. Many of us are still very ignorant about the facts of arthritis until it gets to us then many of us actually start searching for answers for many questions starting with “What is Arthritis and what are it symptoms?

Arthritis is a condition in which there is an inflammation in one or more joints that can cause occasional or a chronic pain in the joints. This condition generally affects as they cross 60 but it is not surprising to find cases in young adults these days. Even children may get affected from arthritis, but managing arthritis and recovery is easier in them, the problem occurs when you are an adult and you are not even aware that it has got you in its clutches.

What are the types of Arthritis?

The two main types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.


Osteoarthritis is the arthritis of the knee joint where there is pain and inflammation in the knee joint.

The knee joint is supported by a layer of cartilage, a connective tissue on the end of the bones which provides smooth movement for the bones and due to which you are able to walk and run without any problems.

As you age the cells (chondrocytes) in your cartilage start depleting due to various reasons like excess stress on the joints, obesity, free radical attack, auto immune response of the body. This causes the cells to produce more inflammatory mediators due to which you feel the pain in your joints.

At this age, regeneration of these cells in very very slow and on the other hand cells keep going down in number.


This causes loss of precious cartilage and the space in your knee joint becomes less (as shown in the picture above). This is a progressive condition and finally the bones touch each other and actually rub each other when you walk. At this point of time your doctor recommends total knee replacement for you to be able to walk normally again.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

The basic mechanism is same here only the joints that get affected here are the smaller joints like that of your toes, fingers, wrists . The fingers lose their normal shape and also become become very stiff as cartilage is present in your smaller joints

Basic activities like buttoning your shirt, tying shoe laces, grabbing a cup, etc. become difficult and overall quality of life gets affected.


In this type of arthritis, the body’s immune system attacks its own tissue, which also includes the joint and affect the joint linings causing arthritic pain and inflammation. Over a period of time this causes erosion of bones and joints give a deformed appearance.

How Arthritis Happens?

Now that’s a million dollar question and literally million of dollars are spent every year on research of arthritis.

The exact cause is unknown, but the damage caused may be due natural wear and tear of the body, excessive stress, sports injuries in the past or it can also be hereditary in nature as the genes involved in manufacturing the cartilage may also be a one of the factors.

What are the symptoms of arthritis?

Arthritis is a very slowly  progressive disease and its very difficult in the initial stages of the disease to diagnose the symptoms. A doctor in the initial stages will definitely be able to diagnose it, but the point is that the person who feels the initial symptoms many a times ignores and misses out on the chance of its initial diagnosis.

In just the start of the disease there may or may not be any pain associated with the joints of the knees or the fingers. And when there is pain in the joints, many adults just ignore it associating the pain with their increasing age and even worse have pain killers to get the temporary relief from pain. It is to be well understood that relief is only temporary and the pain is going to return again.

So basic symptoms of arthritis will be occasional pain with certain loss in mobility of the patient.  He or she will have some difficulty in carrying out day to day activities like walking up the stairs, getting up from sitting position because of the stiffness of the knees, buttoning up the shirt, etc. These symptoms start becoming more severe as the disease progresses and thus it is very important to seek care in the initial stages of arthritis so that the disease can be managed properly.

Treatment of Arthtritis

Arthritis is a slowly progressing disease and the treatment varies depending at what stage the patient is diagnosed at.

If the patient is diagnosed early or in the mild stages of arthritis, then the doctor may immediately not start any prescription drugs. The doctor may ask the patient to have a lifestyle modification in terms of weight loss so as to reduce the mechanical stress on the joints and exercises to improve the mobility and flexibility of the joints.

When the pain starts increasing as the patient starts gradually moving towards the moderate stage, the prescriptions of pain killers, natural disease modifying therapies like glucosamine, chondroitin, diecerin, collagen, rose hip, etc are prescribed depending on the condition of the patient.

The therapies have a two way approach, one is to take care of the pain in the patients and the other is to protect the cartilage in the joints and to protect from further damage.

When the pain in under control and cartilage is protected, the flexibility of the joints is improved which helps the patients with increased mobility. This also encourages them to exercise more, control over the symptoms of arthritis and thus get control over arthritis.

The severs stage of arthritis however is a different ball game altogether. If the doctor is still hopeful of cartilage repair, depending on the amount of articular cartilage left, then the doctor has some options like collagen therapy plus injecting hyaluronic acid directly in the knee joints in case of knee arthritis.

This will help in providing much needed lubrication to the joints and hopefully improved mobility and flexibility to the patient.

If the doctor is not hopeful about restoring the lost cartilage then the doctor has to opt for surgical options like arthroplasty and total knee replacement (TKR).

In arthroplasty, instead of total knee replacement only a small part of bone is removed and the gap between the two joints is removed and is filled with tissue. This helps in relieving pain and improved range of motion for a knee arthritis patient.

In TKR, the complete knee joint is removed and is replaced with an artificial knee made of metals like stainless steel or alloys, titanium, polyethylene and more research is still being carried out in making the best kind of artificial knee joint.

This is just an overview in understanding what exactly is arthritis, what are the symptoms of arthritis and what one can do and diagnose arthritis early so that proper treatment can be started in time to take control over the disease and live a pain free and an independent life.

Lack of awareness and ignorance of arthritis takes the disease from a mild to severe stage and as it progresses, managing the disease becomes altogether difficult. So if you are young or old and if you don’t know a lot about arthritis, make sure you try to read as much as you can about it and help others if you find them with symptoms of arthritis.

How Collagen Helps To Maintain A Younger Looking Skin

A young looking wrinkle free skin is what everyone desires for and also tend to take some serious efforts to make the skin look really beautiful and adorable. But many try to undergo skin treatments externally without understanding what really makes the skin look supple, radiant and young. A lot of money is spent on buying expensive cosmetics but some don’t like to spend that amount of money on eating the right food that can do wonders for your skin.

If you are not really aware of the facts about what really gives your skin life, please keep reading.

Collagen, a protein that is present in your body is the key to having a beautiful young looking wrinkle free skin. Now imagine why are there no wrinkles on your skin when you are young or how much do you love pulling those chubby cheeks of a cute kid or your loved one. Isn’t it because when you pull those cheeks, you feel some elasticity in them. Try pulling your cheeks for a second, yeah just try it, you may be well 50 year old as well, but still you can pull those cheeks out right? This is possible only because of collagen that is present in your skin. A collagen is nothing but a combination of unique amino acids that make makes up the elasticity in it. 

When you are young, the body’s capacity to generate collagen is very good, but as you cross 35 the collagen degradation starts slowly and in some years the collagen degradation is more than the collagen production. So your skin naturally loses the support to hold it and fine folds start to appear in it and as you age further this process continues.

Although the process occurs naturally, we can certainly slow down this process to maintain a younger looking skin for long.

So let us have a look at how we can help our body build up more collagen and other care that you can take towards a beautiful young looking skin.

1. Bone Broth

Yes you used to have it a lot when your mom used to make it for you, but of late fast food is ruling your stomach. Collagen is important not only for humans but animals as well. Collagen is an important part of bone joints where it helps in the building of cartilage, which helps to ease bone movement and avoid friction. It is in the tendons which help attach muscles to the bones. So boiling down the bones gets this matter in the broth and you are able to consume direct collagen. Make a habit of having bone broth at least once in a week.

2. Good Fats

Consuming fats form fast foods is not only bad for your health but bad for your skin too. But consuming good fats like Omega -3 fatty acids will be beneficial to your skin. Food rich in Omega-3’s like fish (salmon & tuna) or walnuts provide certain amino acids that are beneficial in collagen generation. Omega-3’s have the ability to protect your skin cells and make them fuller which in turn make your skin look really young. Make a habit to have a handful of walnuts every day and have fish curry or tuna sandwich in your meals.

3. Antioxidants 

Antioxidants are your kinghts in shining armour as they are going to scavenge free radicals in your body that can damage the cells. Free radicals breakdown collagen and in the absence of antioxidants they can be really dangerous for your body. Have food rich in Vitamin C as oranges and other citrus fruits that are rich in antioxidants. If you are not having enough vegetables in your diet you should start having at least one portion every day. Daily antioxidant intake will help you to maintain a supple youthful skin for long.

4. Say No to Excess Sugar

The next time you are going for that chocolate layered donut or even the cute looking choco chip cookie, think of what it can do your skin. These delicious gifts are hard to resist but having them too very often is certainly not going to be good for your skin. Excess sugar molecules in your body attach to the protein in the collagen and that too directly, without the influence of any other enzyme. This causes the skin to lose its flexibility and also makes it vulnerable to damage from sun exposure. So keep your sweet cravings in check for the benefit of your skin. Read more on what sugar can do to your skin here.

5. Working Out The Skin

Well this one is a no brainer, when you exercise the skin also works out for itself. Those stretches you give to your body makes the collagen in the skin to expand and relax, this helps to keep the collagen activity in check and also helps to improve collagen generation and if have a good protein intake this can do wonders for your skin. Also when you exercise you start sweating and impurities are thrown out through the pores of your skin making your skin clean from within and helping your skin to glow and making you feel really good when you see your charming face in the mirror.

We naturally have a skin that can keep itself wrinkle free for years, but it’s the choices that we make early on in our life that accelerates the process of ageing. Stress also is one main factor today that can add wrinkles on your skin in your middle age. So eat good, stay fit and help yourself to relax with a nice 8 hour sleep every day to maintain a younger looking skin for long.

Top 5 Foods That Source Lean Protein

When you get enough proteins in the diet, your overall health is benefited. Studies have shown that proteins can not only help you lose the extra weight but also improve your cardiovascular health and boost energy. So, any healthy well-balanced diet program must include a fair share of lean proteins. Proteins from lean sources are important for your health because there are many protein foods that are quite rich in saturated fats. These may prove harmful because they can raise cholesterol levels in the blood and make you prone to heart diseases. Fatty protein sources are basically fatty meat cuts and full-fat dairy products, hot dogs and ground beefs while lean protein choices are turkey and skinless chicken, eggs and beans.

Why lean protein is important

Lean proteins can aid in weight loss efforts because they offer satiety and stop you from overeating. Proteins are also useful for shedding the extra pounds without making you hungry. However, it is important to understand the quantity of proteins to include in the diet. The following are some of the best sources of lean proteins which we can easily incorporate in our daily diet:

Fish and sea foods: Fish is perhaps the healthiest lean protein source since it contains less saturated fat compared to either beef or poultry. Fish like salmon and tuna are rich in omega 3 fatty acids which are considered to be “good” fats extremely helpful for the heart. Seafood is also a rather good source of lean protein since it contains low fat.

White meat poultry: While dark meat is high in saturated fats, white meat is believed to be a good source of lean protein. Lean proteins are also low in calories and help to restrict your daily calorie intake. You should try to remove the skin before cooking it. The best ways to cook white meat are grilling, baking or roasting. To control your calorie consumption, you do not need to eliminate foods like beef from your diet; rather you can choose round cuts and loin beef cuts to enjoy this animal protein healthily.

Eggs: While many people may ask you to avoid eggs because they are responsible for high cholesterol levels, eggs are considered as an integral part of any healthy diet. They offer about five grams in each serving and are very budget friendly. Eggs can be prepared easily and eaten for all main meals like breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Low fat dairy foods: These are held as ideal lean protein sources since they are devoid of saturated fats. Low fat dairy foods are also excellent sources of calcium and vitamin D. For instance, yogurts, low fat cheese and low fat milk are good additions to a healthy diet because you can easily include them as part of your main meals and snacks. The high calcium content in these foods helps to prevent osteoporosis and makes bones stronger.

Beans: Half a cup of beans will offer as much protein as a single ounce of steak that has been broiled. Beans are packed with fiber which gives a sense of satisfaction and keeps you feeling full for longer hours. Lentils and peas are also equally good protein sources for vegetarians. You can use these for preparing meals like soups and salads.

These five lean protein food sources can help you build muscle mass without making you put on unwanted weight. They are essential for a healthy balanced diet and can contribute significantly to weight loss.

A few popular weight loss programs use the above ingredients to ensure the dieters get their share of lean protein to build lean muscle as well as prevent weight gain. For example, Nutrisystem, which is an accredited weight loss program, delivers diet meals such as Egg and Turkey Sausage Roll, Black Beans and Rice, Red Beans and Rice, White Bean Chicken Chilli, Tuna Salad, Roast Beef and Gravy with Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Hearty Beef Stew etc., which source lean protein. Joining these meal delivery services help you receive nutritionally balanced meals and stay healthy.

Author Bio:

Jessica Robert avidly blogs about weight loss ideas and diet tips. Her blog ‘the diet circle’ displays informative articles on trouble free dieting methods and weight loss ideas.

Coffee Can Boost Your Memory !

Are you like me, who just can’t do without coffee? If yes, there is some good news for coffee lovers. This ecstatic dark brown liquid can actually do your brain some good. Coffee can actually boost your memory !

Coffee has long been a subject of debate whether it is good or bad for your health, but anything over the limit will certainly do damage to you. But how about having a cup hot steaming coffee just after revisions for an exam or after preparing for a presentation, which will help you remember all the stuff ? Well, it won’t really hurt to gulp down a couple of cups.

Scientists have been able to show that the effects of coffee can last for at least 24 hours. In a clinical, trail volunteers were given 200 mg caffeine pills (which would be roughly equivalent to a double espresso) and some were given placebo 5 minutes after studying a series of images. The next day these volunteers were tested on how better they were able to recall the images they had seen the previous day. The tests showed that those who had caffeine pills their memory had been enhanced at a deep level.

Dr.Micheal Yassa from the John Hopkins University, Baltimore said, “We have always known that caffeine has cognitive-enhancing effects on strengthening memories and making them resistant to forgetting  has never been examined in detail in humans. We report for the first time a specific effect of caffeine on reducing forgetting over 24 hours.”

There were over 100 participants in the study who were not regular users of coffee or caffeine products. They were shown a series of images before giving caffeine pills or placebo. The next day both the caffeine and the placebo groups were tested on their ability to recognize the images which had been shown to them earlier. Some of the images were same as they had seen the previous day, some were new and some were similar but not identical.

Almost all of the participants were able to identify between the new and the old images, but those who had taken caffeine were better able to spot the ‘similar’ images. The identification of similar images required deep level of memory retention and this was very much provided by caffeine to some participants.

This is what a double shot of espresso can do to you as well. Just before the big day if you are really feeling nervous, don’t worry and relax with a cup hot cup of coffee. Now that you know how coffee can boost your memory, you know what to do.

Photo Credit: Timothy Boyd

Are you having trouble getting an erection?

Life can take a plunge if you are having trouble getting an erection, also known as erectile dysfunction. These problems are majorly associated with older men but of lately many young men have started to experience these problems. But there is an even bigger problem than this, which is men not speaking up about the apparent condition they are suffering with.  Acting like this is only stupid as these erection problems are very much curable and also more easy to be cured in young men.

If you are having a trouble getting an erection, you would want to know how to get rid of the problems and you would definitely would want to surf the net. You would be instantly bombarded with tons of adverts showing magical medications that will cure your problem in just a few days. Well don’t get fooled by these adverts as the problem may not be that complicated and is more that often associated with psychological parameters or if you are suffering from problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, atherosclerosis or any physical injury.

How does one get an erection?

If you don’t know it yet then get this in your mind that your brain controls everything. Well when sex is on your mind or when you are fantasizing, your brain sends signals to the nerves to pump blood in the blood vessels which go through your penis and makes it hard enough for you to have a go.

So obviously somewhere between this entire process something goes wrong and you are not able to hold your pride up longer or you can’t get it up at all.

Many factors can come into play to disturb this process and you may have trouble getting an erection. Well more than often men are able to overcome this problem with the help of some good advice from the doctors which are mostly related to psychological conditions.

What you can do to overcome erection problems?

1. Stress  Or Anxiety

Stress or Anxiety issues may affect up to 20% of all erection problems. When you are stressed, your body releases adrenaline which leads to constriction of blood vessels and this will definitely affect your ability to get an erection.  If  you feel stressed due to work or financial issues you should seek the help of a good councilor who will guide you out of it and most importantly don’t forget to discuss these issues with your partner. When your partner understands you, half your worries will disappear and you will be relaxed, so don’t hesitate.

2. Depression

Well basically you are not your true self when you are depressed and you allow negativity take the better of you. It’s common for men who are depresses to lose interest in sex and even if you are encouraged by your partner you are not sure about your erection. You need to work on getting your brain right first, finding your true self and things will automatically improve. Learn the art of meditation and seek advice from a mental health practitioner.

3. Smoking

You know it’s bad for your health and don’t be surprised if this habit of yours has found a way to wreck your sex life too. Nicotine is known to constrict blood vessels and has long-term effects. So it’s better to get rid of it. Enroll for a ‘get addiction free’ program and detoxify yourself and naturally improve your sexual health.

4. Alcohol

You simply can’t do without it, don’t you? Well you have to pay the price for anything overdone and here you have lost your erection to alcohol. Alcohol acts as a depressant and it can depress your erection. So if you are already having erection problems it’s really a bad idea to drink before having intercourse. Limit your alcohol to just one or two drinks. If you drink daily, reduce the frequency to once or just twice a week. You will get definite improvements.

5. Work that body out

Your body is bound to get fatigued by the hours that you are putting at work. But how much time do you give for your body? Even if you would have given 30 mins of exercise to your body, you would have not encountered erectile problems. You body can only stay in shape and function perfectly when you keep your body fit by regular exercising.

Erectile dysfunction problems can be frustrating and it will be only wise of you if you seek help from a medical practitioner. Well doctors will prescribe you drugs which will help you for the night, but even they will advice you things which are mentioned above for a good long-term sexual health.

So if you are having trouble getting an erection, don’t panic. Talk to your partner and address the issue well for a better sexual life.

The Amazing Benefits Of Weight Training

Are you terrified of imagining yourself lifting weights? Or do you think weight training is not for you? I used to think the same when I weighed 84 Kg and I thought that I would lose weight if I started running, which I did, but soon my legs couldn’t keep up with my determination. Going to the gym was not at all on my mind until one fine day, when I was really ashamed to look at my self in the mirror I went to the near by gym.

I explained the gym manager what I wanted to achieve in terms of weight loss and I don’t want to build muscles as I feared that I would look really bulky. The manager who had a vast experience said to me, “You don’t have enough knowledge and you will do much better with weight training.” Without giving a second thought I got myself enrolled in the gym only to discover the amazing benefits of weight training.

My 1st gym had very basic equipment with literally no cardio equipment like the treadmill or elliptical. I lost close to 20 kg just by weight training and diet control.

If you think weight training is only for professionals like body builders or athletes, you are completely wrong. Everyone can do weight training and benefit from it. Think it this way, man initially had to all strenuous work of hunting, cooking, farming, etc. There were no offices then or junk food to eat or television to watch the whole day. Man was naturally capable of living the cave life. As the world advanced and physical work became less, some smart brains thought if man lost his natural strength he would die of diseases and hence this is how gyms came into the picture  (Please don’t think seriously over it, but think how important it is for you to do weight training).

Why should you do weight training?

Apart from just the muscular stuff there are many amazing benefits of weight training.

1.Weight Loss

If you are seriously planning to lose weight and if you want faster results then you will have to embrace weight training with your whole heart.  Well to keep it simple, more the muscles in your body, faster will be your weight loss.

Muscle tissue burns more calories and influences the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) so you will burn calories even when your body is at rest.

2. Clothes fit really nice

When you build muscles you may actually not see the weight difference as the muscle density per inch of your body is more than the fat density per inch. But the muscles are compact and take up less space which means stronger muscles are will make clothes fit great on you.

3. Increased Bone Density

Studies have shown that people who weight train at least 3 times a week are less prone of osteoporosis. It’s important that you do some weight baring activities to give your bones a healthy long life.

4. Improves Athletic Performance

Do you think the international athletes can do without weight training? Apart from the regular practice they also invest time in building overall muscles. More muscles will give extra power, so be it kicking the ball, pulling a swim stroke or sprinting, muscles will just boost your performance (think of Usian Bolt, he is all muscles in there!).

5. Boost Your Self Esteem

Imagine yourself with a flatter stomach and a toned body. Everyone respects a person who is able to maintain good fitness even at 50. Having a toned physique helps you add confidence to whatever you do in life. 

Don’t get scared  – Especially women who think they will develop muscles and will lose their curves. Well, women don’t produce enough testosterone which naturally won’t make them go pumping iron like men do. In fact, proper weight training will help women with good posture, healthy bones and a good toned body which will highlight their curves and not lose them and that jeans is going to look so fab on you lady!

For amazing benefits of weight training start as soon as you can. Start with lighter weights and the initial repetitions should be really easy to pull, only the last 2 or 3 should be the hard ones. Slowly your muscles will grow and you will be able to life more weights for the same no.of repetitions. 

Give your body a whole new meaning with the amazing benefits of weight training.