Thank Your Parents for Your Ailments

Thank Your Parents for Your Ailments

Hereditary indications of inflammatory illnesses – fact or fallacy?

How much do you know/remember about the health of your parents? For some of us, that’s easy to recall, others not so much. Understanding your genes and the hereditary nature of your arthritis symptoms may not take them away, but will improve how you manage them now for the sake of your children.

I recall my mother encouraging me to do a bone density test when I was in my early 50’s. Pity that at the time the doctor didn’t agree and didn’t authorize it. Mom had osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. I inherited both. Had I known at that stage that I already had risk factors, I might have done things differently. But that’s water under the bridge now (or rather, cartilage lost in the blood…) What matters now is how I care for myself and how I help protect my daughter from any symptoms later in life.

My father also suffered from Gout. While not unheard of in women, gout is mostly suffered by men. The body’s inability to process uric acid creates a flare up – most often felt in the big toe. I’ve seen the suffering and I can only imagine the debilitation. For those readers who have gout flare ups, you really need to consider starting your course of Haraka a.s.a.p. Why wait for another flare up to sneak up and flatten you? Learn more about gout from this informative article.

In my research on various aspects of arthritis, it always irritates me that the first option offered is inevitably a pain medication. Nothing wrong with these of course, but should they be the first course of action? If you maintain your diet, physical and mental health, and use effective supplements like Haraka, life can be a whole lot more fun, and the less pain killing drugs you will need. Speaking from my own experience with NSAID’s, I know how immediate help can become an ongoing crutch that ultimately causes your body more harm than good.

I digress. Let’s get back to genetics. If osteoarthritis is genetic, and a progressive, incurable disease – wouldn’t you want to educate your children about prevention? I know I would!

Let’s start by talking about Osteoarthritis (OA) – the wear and tear, and subsequent breaking down, of tissues, cartilage, synovium, and bone in a joint.

If your parent (usually the female) had osteoarthritis it’s not a given that you will get it, too. Research shows that the likelihood of recurrence is dependent on several factors. The factor is known as “hereditability” and this article does a superb job of explaining the science behind that.

However, what you DO know, as a child of a person who suffers/suffered with OA, is that you should take care of yourself and do whatever you can to prevent the onset in your senior years.

Here are just a few steps to preventing OA for yourself:

  • Remain at a healthy weight.

    Being obese adds risk to your equation, as it increases inflammation in your body. Maintaining a healthy weight, and following a disciplined routine of healthy eating, with exercise, is one of the best things you can do to protect against several health risks, including OA.
  • Increase your water intake. Maintaining a healthy level of fluid intake is critical. Swap out other drinks for water whenever you can. Make sure you take in roughly half your weight – in ounces – every day. That means, if you weigh 160 pounds, your baseline water intake should be 80 ounces a day. That amounts to ten 8oz glasses, or two 40 oz bottles, per day. Water keeps your body hydrated and helps your joints stay limber. It also helps flush toxins that cause inflammation in the body.
  • Keep moving.

    Lack of exercise is a key contributor to joint inflammation as you get older. Take up a regular cardiovascular exercise – walking, golfing, tennis, running, swimming, aerobics – and keep at it no matter what your age.
  • Avoid injury. If I could turn back time… Many of my arthritis issues occurred as a result of spinal injury, which was not treated properly at the time. Do whatever you can to keep strong and fit, so you have less chance of injury. If accidental injury happens, be sure you get full use of the joint back and keep it in motion, while treating it with physiotherapy and/or massage. If you get a set of exercises designed to rehabilitate the joint, keep doing them, even when you’re done with PT appointments.
  • Take a whole body health approach. If you’re a regular reader, you know our focus is on whole body health. Helping your body ward off illness as you age, is a multi-faceted approach. Keep yourself emotionally and spiritually healthy, too. Focus more on integrated wellness, than just treating concerns when they happen. In the case of OA, an ounce of prevention is worth a whole lot more than just one pound of cure!


What about Gout?

This blog is specifically discussing hereditary factors and in doing research, I found this article very helpful, to a degree. Blaming all your gout issues on your genes, I think, is too one-sided. Preventing gout is as important as preventing OA. You may be at risk for it, but you can live your life in a way that prevents flare ups as much as possible.

The body’s inability to process uric acid may well be aggravated by dietary intake of certain foods. Speak to any gout sufferer and they can often predict the foods that cause flare ups. Not everyone is alike.

If certain foods or alcohol intake increases the occurrence of pain – why do it?

 A lot like the prevention of OA, warding off gout includes:

  • Maintain a healthy diet and weight.

    While certain foods are not good for your gout (alcohol, red meat, etc.) – the more important action is to default to health eating to maintain your body weight at an optimum level.
  • Keep moving.

    Yup – this pesky little reminder to stay active shows up again. Get moving and stay moving. This will ward off inflammation, but will also prevent obesity.
  • Watch your mindset.

    Your brain controls your body, not the other way around. Don’t allow your thoughts to stay negative, stressed, and toxic. This is as unhealthy over the long term, as it would be to eat hamburgers every day of your life. Whole health management is critical if you are at risk for gout.

In summary - hereditary factors are real and we don’t minimize their role and impact on your life. The bigger takeaway is that you can get out ahead of any health risks. Take ownership for your health and engage in healthy habits all through your life. That way you can be sure to enjoy a long, and more limber, life. Consider adding Haraka to your prevention and protection regime. Reducing inflammation naturally, will also reduce your risk.

Here’s to your limber life!

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