The Diagnosis, Treatment and What The Future Looks Like

Category: Health

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I shared with you briefly this past week that I went to North Carolina last week and was at the point of barely walking. I met the most impressive Sports Medicine Orthopedic surgeon who administered shots in both knees.

Well, he asked me about my health in general and I told him I was extremely healthy with no medical issues. We discussed my x-rays before I received my shots. We went over the degenerative joint disease in my shoulder, both the left and right hand, both he left and right knee, and the base of my neck bone and skull.

He took a look at my hand and the awful hand surgery I had and the other hand which I did not have surgery on yet. He advised for now to wait. I left very optimistic about my future, but I knew this was not going to be easy. I did not discuss the details with anyone in my family because I didn’t want to waste my time. I blew it of and kept on with my busy schedule.

He described the stages of this disease and let me know where I stood at this point in my life.

I have been diagnosed with severe stage 4 osteoarthritis in 7 places in my body.

Stage 0- Normal

When the knee shows no signs of osteoarthritis, it is classified as Stage 0, which is normal knee health, with no known impairment or signs of joint damage.

Stage 1- Minor

Patients will develop very minor wear & tear and bone spur growths at the end of the knee joints. However, at this stage it is unlikely you will feel pain or discomfort.

Stage 2-Mild

In Stage 2, diagnostic images or X-rays of knee joints will show more bone spur growth, and though the space between the bones appear normal, people will begin experiencing symptoms of joint pain. Typically, the area around the knee joints will feel stiff and uncomfortable, particularly when sitting for an extended period, after rising in the morning, or after a workout.

Stage 3- Moderate

Stage 3 is referred to as “moderate”, where there is obvious erosion to the cartilage surface between bones and fibrillation narrows the gap between the bones.  With the progression of osteoarthritis of the knee, there is obvious joint inflammation which causes frequent pain when walking, running, squatting, extending or kneeling. Along with joint stiffness after sitting for long or when waking up in the morning, there may be popping or snapping sounds when walking.

Stage 4- Severe

Stage 4 is considered to be severe. In stage 4 the joint space between the bones are considerably reduced, causing the cartilage to wear off, leaving the joint stiff. The breakdown of cartilage leads to a chronic inflammatory response, with decreased synovial fluid that causes friction, greater pain and discomfort when walking or moving the joint. The advanced stage of the disease shows development of more spurs causing excruciating pain, which makes even everyday chores, including walking and descending stairs a challenge

I have had my knee injections and if the other locations need injections he will give them, but he is limited to how many at one time. He gave me hope in saying that these injection would give me a narrow window of time to see if I can possible reverse this disease. Yest his is totally reversible. It takes very aggressive treatment, especially if I want to go natural instead of medical.

So now that I am home for the next 9 days until I go back to NC I will be planning the treatment plan It consist of very rigorous exercise. Aggressive exercise is really necessary. Strength training will build muscle around the joints and aerobic exercise done carefully will increase blood flow to the joints. Heat therapy also send blood flow to the area instead of inhibiting blood flow as when you use ice. So the old thought of “Icing your knee” is wrong advice.

Second is the large amounts of a broad glucosamine and chondroitin. Not just any supplement, but a very broad one that will be taken in a safe large amount daily. Next will the the physical therapy and moist heat therapy every single day.

Next are the things I have to stop. I cannot stay in one position more than 30 minutes. This will be challenging for me with my job, but I must do it. Next are the dietary changes that inflame this disease and make it progress rapidly. I must give up coffee. Now this is really going to be hard. I am allowed once in a while to have organic coffee, and I am allowed green tea a few times per week. I also have to make some really strict dietary changes. First I will have to embrace dairy, which I hate. I need large amounts of foods containing natural Vitamin D, not supplements. I can eat only cage-free eggs and probiotics. I also should have my diet contain 80% raw vegetables with occasional pieces of fruit, but not juicing. Juicing actually is not good for joint health. I know this is so contrary to what we hear about juicing.

I found this new item in the store. Precooked ready to eat hard boiled CAGE FREE eggs.

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The bottom line is there is substantial evidence that osteoarthritis can be reversible. A new term introduced describes the actions of two categories of nutrients found to aid in reversal of osteoarthritis. Chondroprotective agents promote repair of cartilage by stimulating anabolic metabolism of chondrocytes and/or inhibiting catabolic processes found in osteoarthritis. This concept of helping chondrocytes to heal cartilage, rather than reliance on palliative analgesics, is a relatively new concept that gets more to the actual causes of osteoarthritis, as well as treating the symptoms. Joint cartilage can be repaired using a combination of glucosamine sulfate ( 750 mg 2 times a day for at least 6 weeks), MSM (2-3 grams a day), and Chondroitin (400 mg 3x day).

On another note I am blessed to have a hot tube where I live as that is also important treatment.

If I fail to take hold  of this now, right now while I have been given the shots to mask the disease, I will be totally disabled within 12-24 months.

The very last thing is the cause and the one single factor that makes this disease speed up at epic proportions. Emotional Stress. Both reduction of emotional stress and adequate sleep are totally necessary for healing. So I have taken care of that.

Today I came home to my family and I put the hammer down, so to speak. I am now in the planning phase of making alternate living arrangements for various periods of time. Since I am a caregiver for my father and another household situation which I am not at liberty to discuss, it will be crucial that I schedule a time and place to leave. I have not really shared this because I have not had time to sit down and discuss it. I also have no interest in discussing it with family members because most of them are so wrapped up in themselves and my caring for them that it would be pointless. Absolutely pointless.

I am going to video blog this treatment in case someone is suffering from this. This does run in my family and has been debilitating for my mother and grandmother.

This is my last chance to decide that I am going to take care of myself and do what I need to do for me. I will be preparing for this the rest of this week and beginning on Sunday.

I will be bringing updates as they happen.