- Arthritis and gout cause significant inflammation in the joints
- Medical treatments are often ineffective in inflammation and potentially harmful
- Blueberries naturally relieve inflammation
Note inflammatory arthritis and gouty people. You may be able to fight the inflammation associated with your condition with something that is already in your kitchen. That's right, blueberries, which we already know are healthy superfood, are associated with a significant reduction in inflammation.
How inflammation develops in arthritis
As the name suggests, a major symptom of inflammatory arthritis is inflammation of the affected joints and sometimes other tissues. Some of the most common diseases associated with inflammatory arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus.
All of these are autoimmune diseases, which means that the immune system gets messed up and starts attacking healthy tissue in the joints. It leads to telltale symptoms such as swelling, stiffness and pain in every affected joint. The disturbed immune response leads to inflammation in the joint mucosa.
Inflammation in people with gout
Arthritis is defined as painful inflammation and joint stiffness. So gout is actually another type of inflammatory arthritis, but it develops in people with unusually high uric acid levels in the blood. Family history of gout or people with kidney problems may be more prone to this condition. When uric acid accumulates, sharp crystals form in the joint. This leads to pronounced, often sudden bursts of pain, swelling and sensitivity.
Gout is most likely to occur in the big toe joint and can also occur in the ankles or knees. It typically affects more men than women, and men can develop symptoms between the ages of 30 and 50, while women tend to develop gout after menopause.
The medical answer to inflammation
When your doctor diagnoses you with inflammatory arthritis or gout, one of the first things that is recommended is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) to relieve swelling and pain. However, over-the-counter versions of these drugs are also not safe, especially as long-term treatment that would be needed to treat a chronic condition.
NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and aspirin can quickly relieve symptoms, but they are also associated with serious problems such as stomach ulcers, headaches, dizziness, and liver problems. Another common form of medical treatment is the use of corticosteroid pills or injections to reduce inflammation. However, these can also cause side effects such as osteoporosis, diabetes, high blood pressure and cataracts. Even worse, in more severe cases of autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, doctors sometimes prescribe drugs that block immune system responses, increasing the risk of infection and making treatment more difficult when it occurs.
Blueberries to save inflamed joints
Blueberries are packed with antioxidants that can help repair cellular damage, and polyphenols that reduce inflammation throughout the body. A 2017 study at Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia showed that a diet rich in blueberries is associated with a reduction in blood inflammation markers.
The polyphenols in blueberries achieve a reduction in inflammation, which is ideal because it is natural and has no potentially harmful reactions or side effects. In addition, when blueberries reduce inflammation in the joints, they eliminate the symptoms at their source, rather than just treating them for a short time. This can prevent diseases such as arthritis and gout from worsening over time.
Additional health benefits of blueberries
In addition to their anti-inflammatory properties, blueberries will benefit your health in a number of other ways:
Now is the perfect time to take advantage of these cute little gems. Blueberries are in season in many regions and July is even the national blueberry month. So get fresh local products and freeze everything you don't eat. Once frozen, you can enjoy them for up to 10 months.