Anti-Inflammatory/Anti-Aging Strategies
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An article in a recent trade publication opened with the following: “Charles couldn’t believe the intensity of the pain – and he had been shot during a tour in Iraq with the Marines. “I was lying in my sleeper and my big toe just went on fire. It was like nothing I had ever experienced. I thought I was going to pass out from the pain,” Charles explained. “My big toe was red, swollen and when I touched it, even a little, it hurt like hell”. Charles’ problem is that he suffers from gout.

 Gout is a type of arthritis that seems to run in families and results from the presence of crystals that form in the body. For example, during digestion and metabolism, the body produces uric acid which is eliminated via urine. Any uric acid that the body cannot excrete accumulates in the blood. For reasons not understood, about 30% of people with high levels of uric acid in their blood form needle-like, sharp urate crystals that end up in their joints and/or other parts of the body.

 Herbert Baraf, MD, Chevy Chase, MD, has a great analogy: “Imagine pouring packets of sugar into a glass of tea; can only hold so much in solution. And sooner or later, the sugar is going to start accumulating on the bottom of the glass.

 People with gout may go weeks or months without an attack, but when it flares up it can be excruciating and last for days. Over time, repeated attacks can eat into bone and cartilage, causing permanent damage to affected joints.

Inflammation

The presence of crystals triggers an intense inflammatory response and painful swelling the result of the body’s attempt to break down the crystals. Typically the crystals end up in joint cartilage, and for unknown reasons, especially the big toe.

gouty toe

In others, crystals settle in kidneys or the urinary tract, impairing their function or forming stones. White blood cells migrate into the joint spaces and fluids and the lubricating membranes that line the joints, the synovial membranes trying to eliminate the crystals. The immune cells attracted to the area release biological factors, cytokines and chemokines, into the surrounding area. This attracts more inflammatory cells with a result of redness, swelling and debilitating pain.

Certain immune factors are typically only in small amount in normal uninflamed joint fluids, but in individuals undergoing a gout attack (flare) the levels of the factors are significantly increased.

 Since inflammation is associated with many diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular health, it is not surprising to find that patients with gout are at higher risk of these diseases when compared to the general population.

 Summary:

Gout is caused by an overactive immune system using inflammation unsuccessfully to get rid of the crystals that are causing the discomfort.

Returning the immune system to balance, immune homeostasis, can result in a higher level of quality of life (QOL) for people with gout.

For years I have helped people promote  joint, digestive, energy and overall health.   Feel free to contact me DrHellen@DrHellenGreenblatt.info, use the form, or give me a call at 302.265.3870 (ET) and let us talk. Let me help you help yourself, it is  time!

www.nature.com/icb/journal/v88/n1/full/icb200999a.html
fleetowner.com/driver-management-resource-center/truck-drivers-crosshairs-gout
www.nytimes.com/2013/04/27/booming/why-do-i-have-gout.html
rheumatology.oxfordjournals.org/content/44/9/1090.short
www.hopkinsarthritis.org/ask-the-expert/heredity-and-gout/
www.uptodate.com/contents/gout-beyond-the-basics
www.internationaljournalofcardiology.com/article/S0167-5273(15)30342-9/abstract?cc=y=
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28093417
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25332119
www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2015/680853/

 

TheseI grew up in a poor neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY. During the summers I spent most of my days sitting on the stoop, the front steps, reading piles of books that I carried home weekly from my local library, and watched people go by.

It hurt me, even at a young age, to see how hard it was for some people to get around. It broke my heart watching them as they struggled to get across the street. It seemed that everyone was in a hurry, beeping their horns, and telling them to “come on already!”. No respect for people who had dedicated their lives to working and bringing up children.

My father was known as the “Mayor” of Hopkinson Avenue, because if anyone needed his help, he was there. He was kind to people and animals. So perhaps this is why watching the older folks, I promised myself that I would make a difference in the lives of others.  This goal, of being of service to others, has governed my life.

I was lucky that The College of the City of New York, CCNY, had low tuition rates. Working during school breaks for the money I needed, I became the first person in my family to graduate from College, and staying within public education systems, eventually went on to get a PhD in the sciences from SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY.

My reasoning in becoming a scientist, rather than a medical physician, was that as the former, I might only affect the life of a patient one at a time, but as a scientist, my findings might help hundreds or thousands with a single approach.  And my hopes panned out, since I have been fortunate to help thousands change their quality of life.

To see comments of some folks for whom I have made a difference, please see http://drhellengreenblatt.info/notes . Some that I am reminded of:

A physician in Manhattan, NY had such significant fatigue and joint discomfort that she was forced to stop her practice and ended up in a wheelchair. Visits to other physicians, physical therapists, massage therapists, and other allopathic and complementary health practitioners did not change her quality of life. After our discussions about a protocol she might follow, she’s back in practice.

There’s Shirley F. who owns a charming restaurant on a scenic part of the Bay. Shirley does most of the preparation and cooking for her guests, but was finding it increasingly difficult to work in the kitchen. Chopping and cutting vegetables, fish, and meats was especially becoming harder and harder. Her fingers had become misshapen as well. Standing and walking around the kitchen and restaurant wasn’t becoming any easier either. After following my suggestions, Shirley found that she no longer had thoughts of giving up on her restaurant .

There’s Candy A. who had suffered from extreme gastrointestinal discomfort for years; nothing she tried made a difference. Within10 days of following my suggestion, Candy found that she was a new person.

These are just a few people who I have helped. You too deserve to feel better. It doesn’t cost you anything to talk with me. My passion is helping people improve their quality of life, naturally, and I would be delighted to help you as well. Feel free to contact me via phone 302.265.3870 (ET) or email me @ DrHellen@DrHellenGreenblatt.info.

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