The real reason your joints hurt
Clues to the real causes of arthritis
I was taught that when a person ages, their joints naturally start to break down and that is why arthritis is so prevalent. There was no discussion about causes of arthritis in my medical training, only about drugs to treat it. But I am older and wiser now. I know that “idiopathic” illnesses (“no known cause”) are exactly what pharmaceutical companies want you to believe. From the viewpoint I previously presented, however, don’t you think our research ought to be looking deeper for the causes of arthritis in addition to the best herbs and medications control pain and inflammation?
When considering what causes arthritis, these are the usual known causes for promoting any genetic predisposition you may have for arthritis:
- Previous injury to a single joint or the spinal joints.
- Infectious agents such as viruses, bacteria, mycoplasma and fungi.
However, there is a larger process of inflammation in the body that is responsible for arthritis (and many other chronic illnesses) that is not being told. We call the process immune hypersensitivity. It occurs when your immune system overreacts in response to:
- Environment chemicals that are unnatural to the human body.
- Smoking tobacco.
- Unhealthy (inflammatory) thoughts that produce unhealthy (inflammatory) emotions and the neurochemicals of stress.
- Unhealthy (inflammatory) foods.
In regard to unhealthy foods, the process begins in your digestive tract. Along the inside lining of your intestine, there are specialized microvilli that absorb every molecule of nutrient that enters your bloodstream. Over time, it is quite common for this lining to become inflamed or damaged. There are foods that contribute greatly to this due to their high sugar content or low fiber content. Sugar is clearly inflammatory. And fiber must be present for healthy bacteria to ferment and produce the short-chain fatty acids acetate, propionate and butyrate, which aid in healing and are food for the intestinal mucosa. Some of the other contributors to an unhealthy (“leaky”) gut include:
- Antibiotics: Cause overgrowth of resistant bacteria, yeast and parasites.
- Alcohol and caffeine: Strong gut irritants that wear down the mucosa.
- Chemical food dyes and preservatives: May affect your body in various ways.
- Digestive enzyme deficiency and low stomach acid:  Mean your stomach is not functioning properly.
- Motrin® and corticosteroid arthritis medications:  Affect your immune system.
To explain the unhealthy gut process, picture this: Worn and weakened intestinal lining cells become damaged and allow large, unnatural molecules to be either absorbed or leaked into the bloodstream. These foreign molecules stimulate allergic responses, resulting in white cell infiltration and inflammation. The result is an immune hypersensitivity, and the process is referred to as leaky gut syndrome. It explains why autoimmune diseases greatly improve when optimal nutrition and bowel health is instituted and maintained consistently over several months.
I’ll bet you never imagined these as being causes of arthritis. In my next article I’ll share the best of the medical, as well as natural, treatments for arthritis that I think you will enjoy learning.
To feeling good in life,
Michael Cutler, M.D.
Easy Health Options
 Kirsch M, Bacterial Overgrowth. American Journal of gastroenterology, 1990. 85:231-237.
 Jenkins, R.T., et al., Increased intestinal permeability in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: a side-effect of oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug therapy? Br J Rheumatol, 1987.26(2): p. 103-7.