One Nineteen provides arthritis education

Published 6:00 am Friday, May 1, 2009

A crowd gathered in the conference room at St. Vincent’s One Nineteen Health & Wellness April 22 – members, patients and guests enjoying breakfast.

This event continued one of its series, “Breakfast with the Doc,” titled, “Managing Arthritis.”

“We offer monthly sessions with doctors,” said Registered Dietitian Donna Sibley. Upcoming topics include gastro-intestinal complaints and venous diseases. And each session earns one Continuing Education Unit (CEU) for nurses.

“And there’s no charge,” Sibley said. “We want the public to know we provide preventive care and treatments.”

Free bone density scans were offered, one of several tests performed at no charge during the week of April 20.

“What is the main thing you’d like attendees to take away from this session,” I asked Orthopedic Surgeon Matt Davis, M.D.

“That you don’t have to suffer with arthritis, and surgery is just one of many options,” Davis said.

Davis discussed many conservative ways to manage arthritis.

Arthritis is the swelling, inflammation and pain of a joint. It can be from several sources: trauma, an inflammatory disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or scleraderma or, most commonly, from osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis is known as the “wear and tear” disease, meaning extreme activity, excess weight and diet damage joints. This condition can be managed by lifestyle modification, medicine, and physical therapy. The goal is to manage symptoms, and includes over the counter (OTC) pain control: Tylenol or Advil. Some supplement these with glucosamine, plus chondroitin sulfate, Davis said.

Other conservative measures include bracing the joint and physical therapy. If these fail to relieve pain, prescriptions and injections are available. Surgery is the last resort, as man-made hardware wears out, needs repair or replacement in time.

After the session, I researched proper diet. Many patients relieve inflammation by adopting an anti-inflammatory diet, moderate exercise and a stress-free lifestyle.

Over-cooked, processed foods and “junk” foods induce inflammation. The proposed diet includes avoiding: shellfish, refined sugars, wheat, artificial sweeteners, sodas, hydrogenated oils, citrus; nightshade foods, such as tomatoes, white potatoes, peppers, eggplant and tobacco. Foods that suppress inflammation include fresh whole foods and pineapple, olive oil, papaya, turmeric and ginger.

One Nineteen holds many events. If you missed this one, there are still many opportunities to learn. See for a calendar.