Live Total Wellness

Friday, July 06, 2007

How Vitamins Deficiencies and Joint Pain Are Related

By: Rebecca Prescott

If you suffer from an illness that causes joint pain, such as osteoarthritis, it is possible that vitamin deficiencies might be contributing to the problem. Although using vitamin supplements including vitamin D, the antioxidant vitamins A,C and E, and essential fatty acids will not cure your joint pain, they can significantly relieve your symptoms and prevent the illness progressing.

Arthritis takes many different forms and is the most common chronic illness in America. It is occurs when the cartilage that naturally protects and cushions the joints is worn away causing inflammation and a great deal of pain. Vitamin D deficiency does not cause arthritis but can increase its severity and consequently the symptoms.

Some vitamin D occurs naturally in the body and is produced by the skin when it is exposed to sunlight for a limited period of time. People who live in climates where they are exposed to very little sunlight are particularly encouraged to take Vitamin D supplements for this reason. Although vitamin D is found naturally is some foods such as eggs and fatty fish, most people need to eat foods fortified with vitamin D to get their recommended daily allowance.

Vitamin D deficiency means that the body is not able to naturally rebuild cartilage in your joints when it is worn away. This leads to a more rapid development of arthritis. A deficiency of vitamin D can also lead to bone diseases such as osteoporosis and rickets, so it is recommended that young babies are given vitamin D supplements if they are breast fed as breast milk will not provide them with sufficient vitamin D.

Deficiencies of antioxidant vitamins accelerate the development of joint pain in a very different way. Vitamins A, C and E are able to neutralise free radicals in the body that can attack joint tissue and contribute to the symptoms of arthritis. Free radicals also cause other serious diseases such as cancer, so making sure you get enough antioxidant vitamins either in your diet or in supplements is essential.

Vitamin A is found naturally in retinol from dairy products, as well as egg yolks, oily fish and beta-carotene in orange and yellow vegetables. To ingest vitamin C naturally you need to eat citrus fruits, broccoli, peppers or tomatoes. Vitamin E can be gained by eating vegetable oils, wheat germ, nuts, seeds, spinach, and avocado. These vitamins are widely available in vitamin supplements if you think you may not get enough in your diet.

Another vitamin substance that you may be deficient in if you have joint pain is essential fatty acid. Taking this as a supplement will not prevent the onset of arthritis, but it will reduce inflammation and therefore reduce pain.

If you are suffering from joint pain, ask you doctor or pharmacist to recommend a vitamin supplement that incorporates all of these substances. Reversing your vitamin deficiencies may not cure the source of your joint pain, but it will certainly allow you to lead a more comfortable and active life.

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For more information about joint health and supplements that can be used to help with joint pain, contact me.


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