Last month my husband had a total knee replacement. It is not a procedure that I would wish on anyone although I am sure that by next year at this time it will all have been well worth it. But for now, it has completely consumed our summer. So, in the service of helping you, my clients, avoid this procedure, I decided to write about a few key ways you can prevent joint replacement.
Number One is to maintain your IDEAL WEIGHT. The less weight your joints have to carry around, the healthier they will stay. Imagine carrying two 5 # bags of flour around with you all day. That’s 10#! Check out our BeSlim™ Weight Loss Program if you need help in this area.
As Number Two I would rate: HYDRATE! Chronically dehydrated tissues deteriorate more easily. Hydration is not only about simply drinking water but also making sure your electrolytes are in balance. Consuming fruits and vegetables at every single meal and snack will go a long way towards supporting good electrolyte levels.
If you are curious about your actual mineral status, there is a good test that will tell you. SpectraCell’s Micronutrient Test, available through our office, assesses your vitamin and mineral status by measuring your red blood cell levels. This represents the three month average amount of each nutrient in your cells. There is also a special marker for Anti-Oxidant Status, which is important for joint health because oxidative stress is a major cause of cartilage degeneration.
Use this simple formula to determine how much water you need to stay well hydrated. One half your body weight in pounds is the number of ounces you should aim for each day. More if you are an athlete. For example: a 140# person requires 70 oz. water/day. And of course remember that caffeine and alcohol dehydrate so compensate for them.
Number Three would be: KEEP MOVING, BE ACTIVE. Humans were meant to move. Movement creates lubrication, detoxification, and regeneration. It improves blood and lymph flow, the circulation of which enables nutrients to reach target tissue more effectively.
But keep it moderate. A local orthopedic surgeon once told me that as soon as he learned what running on pavement did to the knee joint, he quit. Enough said!
I am a big fan of walking, yoga, tai chi, pilates, biking, spin classes, swimming…etc. All easy on the joints and they get the job done. Be kind to your body!
Number Four: EAT AN ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DIET. Maximize brightly colored fruits and vegetables. In a previous newsletter we recommended having a large bowl of veggies at the beginning of every lunch and dinner, before eating anything else. Write to us if you have been doing that and how it has changed your health!
Then there are a number of well known supplements that can keep cartilage healthy for longer. Three of the better known ones are: glucosamine, sulfur (MSM), and vitamin C for collagen synthesis (found in tendons, cartilage, ligaments). Here are the main actions of these products, with more detail about each one:
The four most destructive processes that can impair the health of the connective tissue are:
Inflammation: This could be caused by excessive joint wear and tear, and/or low body stores of anti-inflammatory fatty acids (GLA, EPA) and/or excess of the inflammatory ones (arachidonic acid). Stack the deck in your favor by using the pure fish oil compound