How Nitric Oxide can Help Manage Arthritis
All over the world, musculoskeletal disorders have become the second most common cause of disability and a global threat to healthy ageing. Arthritis, a musculoskeletal disorder, contributes significantly to the global disability burden. In New Zealand, arthritis affects more than 17% of all people aged over 15 years and at least 45% of the people over 65 years old. In 2018, NZ’s economic and wellbeing cost of arthritis was about $12.2 billion! This amount included $1.2 billion in production losses, $1 billion spent on healthcare and $8 billion lost through reduced quality of life from premature death and disability. Drugs prescribed by doctors can keep it under control but they have adverse side effects. Luckily, nitric oxide can help to manage the condition safely.
What is arthritis?
The word “arthritis” is the informal name for joint pain or joint disease. There are more than 100 types of arthritis. It is prevalent among older people but even children and young adults are prone to it. Osteoarthritis (or degenerative joint disease) is the most common type of arthritis which occurs when cartilage is worn out and bone rubs against bone, causing pain, swelling and stiffness. Inflammatory arthritis, (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis), is caused by an autoimmune disease that eats away on the joints and is also very common. The problem with arthritis is that it is chronic and, it as it progresses, it can have a considerable impact on the quality of life.
Symptoms of arthritis
The symptoms of arthritis include swelling, pain, and stiffness of joints with reduced range of motion. They generally get worse over time, resulting in chronic pain, struggle to walk or climb stairs, and inability to perform daily activities. Arthritis can even cause permanent joint changes such as crooked finger joints and other changes that can only be seen on X-ray.
Medical treatment of arthritis
Medical intervention involves reduction of pain and inflammation through prescription painkillers, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroids, disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, capsaicin or menthol creams, or immunosuppressants. Sometimes, surgery is performed to replace or fuse joints. The chronic medication causes side effects such as the cardiovascular side effects of NSAIDs. That is why it is necessary to look for alternative therapies such as nitric oxide.
How nitric oxide can help manage arthritis
A healthy person naturally produces nitric oxide on demand. However, due to gradual degeneration over the years, the body begins to produce less citric oxide than it needs. The resulting deficiency of nitric oxide leads to a number of chronic diseases including inflammation, atherosclerosis and high blood pressure. Unfortunately, once the body has high cholesterol, high blood pressure, inflammation and atherosclerosis, it fails to produce enough nitric oxide. This results in a vicious cycle of nitric oxide deficiency and continued progression of these conditions. Uncontrolled inflammation, which is made worse by smoking, causes many degenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease and arthritis. Deficiency can be corrected by taking foods and dietary supplements that help the body to produce nitric oxide.
The role of nitric oxide in the body was unknown until after 1998 when three scientists were awarded a Nobel Prize for discovering its crucial role in heart health. After that, it was found that it also plays a powerful role in many chronic conditions and diseases (e.g. erectile dysfunction, chronic inflammation and cancer). This prompted scientists to focus on it as a potential target for medical therapies. Now, there is a move to create drugs that chemically link NSAIDs to nitric-oxide-releasing compounds to prevent damage to the blood vessels and the heart. Nitric oxide’s painkilling and anti-inflammatory effects offset the negative effects of NSAIDs on heart health.
You can also take advantage of nitric oxide’s painkilling and anti-inflammatory action, to directly relieve the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. Incidentally, inflammatory arthritis is linked to dysfunction of the endothelial. Therefore, you can take nitric-oxide-producing supplements to improve the health of your blood vessels. Once the endothelial starts functioning properly, you can reverse inflammatory arthritis.
Take nitric oxide supplements
If you don’t have arthritis yet, don’t wait until you have it. If you have developed sexual dysfunction or mild high blood pressure, you most likely have a deficiency of nitric oxide. If you don’t correct the problem, your high blood pressure will progress and you will end up with heart disease and inflammation. The inflammation will trigger many problems including arthritis.
You can arrest the problem by increasing the production of citric oxide in your body. The best way is to take nitric oxide supplements such as L-arginine and L-citrulline to help increase the production of the compound. If you are young, you will benefit more from taking beetroot supplements than if you take L-arginine and L-citrulline. Beetroots are rich in nitrates which are converted to nitric oxide as well.
Nitric oxide has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. So, it will reduce any inflammation that you may have in the blood vessels and elsewhere in the body. If you already suffer from arthritis, it will be relieved.
Naturally, you will benefit from nitric oxide in many other ways. It will improve the elasticity of your blood vessels, prevent the clumping together of your blood platelets and prevent white blood cells from sticking to the walls of your blood vessels. That way it will reduce blood pressure to normal levels and prevent heart disease. It will also help to heal chronic wounds, protect your bones from osteoporosis, improve your sexual function, and reduce sun damage to the skin. If you are taking heart medicine or anti-depressants, nitric oxide will make the anti-depressants and heart medicines more effective.
Increase nitric oxide production in your body!
If you are beginning to have arthritis and/or other chronic health problems, it’s time to take control of your health by increasing the levels of nitric oxide in your body. For faster effects take supplements. For long-term effects, eat foods that are rich in nitrates such as beetroot and dark green leaf vegetables. Take also foods that are rich in L-arginine and L-citrulline such as chicken, red meat, beans, soy been and dairy.