For rheumatoid arthritis and joint pain sufferers, the results of a new study could be a game-changer ?¦
At New York University, a rheumatologist, Dr. Jose Scher, recently discovered something extraordinary.
Joint pain in your gut?
According to Dr. Scher, the culprit behind agonising joint pain might be an imbalance of the bacteria living in your gastrointesntial tract, known as microbiomes.
In particular, sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis are more likely to have a bacteria known as Prevotella copri in their intestines than people without the condition.
Commenting on his findings, Dr. Scher said: “This is frontier stuff. By including the microbiome, we’ve added a new player to the game.”
And it’s not just rheumatoid arthritis that possibly finds its roots in your gut…
Prevotella copri has already been linked to many other autoimmune disorders in which your immune system goes haywire and begins to attack your body, like psoriasis.
Dr. Scher is among a few groundbreaking scientists who believe that chronic joint pain and immune-system diseases can be triggered by microbiomes. And they suspect that the rising number in autoimmune disorders might be down to the overprescription of antibiotics, which destroys the good bacteria in our intestines.
One particular victim of the overuse of antibiotics is a bacteria called Helicobacter pylori. Thanks to the widespread use of antibiotics Helicobacter pylori is slowly dying out. The problem is, this bacteria helps reduce the risk of developing asthma problems.
No wonder there’s been such a rise in asthma cases in the UK, around 5.4 million get treatment for asthma that’s 1 in every 12 adults!
Researchers are still looking into the exact link between Prevotella copri and immune disorders. But they’re working on it. However, as is always the case with Big Pharma they’re also investigating new ways to use prebiotics and probiotics in new drugs to combat diseases.
Luckily, if you’re suffering from debilitating arthritis pain you don’t have to wait until some pharmaceutical giant invents a synthetic probiotic drug – selling it off at a huge price – filling their pockets with even more money.
The solution already exists.
All you have to do is restore the natural bacterial balance in your gut. And if you don’t want to spend extra cash on a probiotic supplement, Finnish researchers recently discovered that vegan diets can alter the microbiome balance in your gut in a way that improves arthritis symptoms.
If going vegan doesn’t tickle your tastebuds, lowering your meat intake and following the Mediterranean diet (vegetables, fish, fruit and olive oil) will also do the trick.
Also try and eat more whole foods including beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fruits and vegetables… and cut down on sugar and processed foods.
And of course, unless it’s absolutely necessary, avoid antibiotics, acid blockers, and anti-inflammatories.
If you ask me, the key to good health has been right under our noses all the time: Take care of your gut, and your gut will take care of your health.
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Joint Pain, From the Gut, published online 12.01.15, theatlantic.com