Do You Have Arthritis?

Arthritis, the leading cause of disability in the United States, manifests in more than 100 different forms, the most common being osteoarthritis, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia.

It’s estimated that this painful disease affects one in five Americans, or a total of 46 million people, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As the population ages, these numbers are expected to keep rising. By 2030, experts believe 67 million people will have arthritis.

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Dr. Bastomski’s Comments

Besides the good advice the article has, a few other words of wisdom are in order.  Arthritis by definition is an inflammatory condition.  One of the most common causes of an inflammatory situation is eating an inflammatory diet otherwise known as the standard American diet or the SAD diet. Sad indeed because anywhere where fast food, sugar and chemical laced packaged food are imported to, those countries people suffer a significant rise in chronic conditions of all kinds including arthritis.  

If you have arthritis, from a diagnostic perspective the question is what are the root cause issues?  If for example you had a whiplash injury and you’re left with neck pain years later at least we have a known trauma to account for why the neck is having pain issues.  What about the case of folks who have neck, back, shoulder, knee etc. pain with no significant trauma to account for setting it off?  In particular, I look at the situation of a patient having multiple joints / regions involved being a big clue that the situation is being caused by a systemic metabolic issue.   Even the neck pain situation described above remaining from an old whiplash injury, can have as one of it’s significant underlying driving factors of why it is not healing, to be an inflammatory diet and lifestyle. 

There are multiple ways of trying to get at the root cause issues involved.  Most chronic conditions are caused by multifactorial reasons.  For example one’s diet, the intake of food sensitivities, a disruption of one’s gut microbiome with resulting leaky gut causing an inflammatory state and the potential release into one’s systemic circulation problematic microbes,- some of which rather enjoy hanging out in the environment that joints provide.   So, a two to three week detox type of diet where one eats only whole non packaged foods, and avoids foods that frequently cause issues – the top three being sugar, gluten and dairy – is an inexpensive way to do a good test to see if one’s diet may be a significant source of their chronic inflammation.  If after this trial diet your joints are feeling better, then with a bit more experimentation, you can figure out how much you can deviate before triggering your pain again.  The only problem being that often a reaction to a food that one is sensitive to, does not make itself known immediately after eating it but rather can slowly show itself over the next two or three days.  Google modified allergy elimination diet for more information on this topic.  

If you do a two-to-three-week detox diet and no change in pain is noted, then a more sophisticated amount of detective work may be in order.  I would start with a good blood lab test that looks at the basics like checking on your blood lipids, liver, kidneys, blood cells, and sugar levels and to these tests add additional tests that are not necessarily routinely done to include more tests on sugar stability as 40-50% of our population are sensitive to sugar, blood iron, vitamin D, a closer look at the thyroid and a look at a number of generalized inflammatory markers like hsCRP and homocysteine.   Additional tests if indicated would include those that look at your gut microbiome makeup, a urine test that give feedback as to your vitamin, mineral, essential fatty acids and other metabolic factors and yet other blood tests that can assist in identifying your food sensitivities, toxic chemicals or metal or mold status and list can go on from there.   Point being that if you correct enough of the underlying factors that are causing you to be in a state of chronic inflammation then your body should then be able to go about its innate ability of repairing itself.

For those looking for relief without the desire to correct any underlying imbalances then it is well known that fish oil in sufficient quantity as in 2-4 grams per day of EPA/DHA and/or Turmeric (Curcumin) in a dose of standardized turmeric powder 400-600 mg three times per day can be helpful for joint pain.  

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If you would like to discuss this further please email me or contact my office at 805-569-5000 to schedule an appointment.


Dr. Bastomski

Dr. Jacob Bastomski, a board-certified chiropractic neurologist, has served the Santa Barbara area since 1981. As a Santa Barbara chiropractor, Dr. Bastomski seeks to improve health through functional neurology and clinical nutrition.

Please contact us anytime at (805) 569-5000 if you’re looking for a holistic approach to alleviate a chronic condition, especially if traditional medical approaches have failed. Dr. Bastomski’s Back to Health Wellness Center is located at 1900 State St. Suite H in Santa Barbara.