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Does Diet Soda Aggravate Osteoarthritis Pain?

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What is osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a form of arthritis that causes breakdown of joint muscles. This disease can affect any joint in the body. It causes the joint's cartilage to wear and tear causing severe pain on the patients. Osteoarthritis is commonly found to affect joints that carry a lot of weight, such as joints in the hips, spine and knees. The disease also affects the joints in the thumb, fingers, large toe as well as joints found on the neck.

This disease causes the joint's cartilage to lose its elasticity. Consequently, the joints become stiff and more susceptible to damage from internal and external pressures. With time, some areas within the cartilage breakdown, thus compromising the cartilage's functionality as a shock absorber. This destruction of the cartilage also causes the ligaments and tendons of the muscles to stretch. If this condition worsens the bones may also start to rub against each other. This is what causes the pain in osteoarthritis patients.

In America, there are over 27 million people suffering from Osteoarthritis. Age is a factor here that determines the disease's development. Older people have the highest chance of developing the disease than the young generation. You will find that most people who are over age 50 suffer from this disease. But here, it is the severity of this condition that varies. This does not mean that the younger generation cannot get osteoarthritis. Young people can also develop this disease when they are subjected to adverse joint stress or repetitive joint injury.

Link between Diet Soda and Osteoarthritis Pain

The first question to ask is whether diet soda is a healthy diet to take. It is definitely not. Taking diet that contains soda has been linked to the development of many health conditions such as diabetes and respiratory problems. But the alarming concern here is the correlation between diet soda and osteoarthritis pain. Researches indicate that taking diet soda regularly aggravate knee Osteoarthritis in men.

Support from Studies

New studies which were conducted at Boston's women's hospital and Harvard Medical School, found that men with knee injuries who consume higher levels of soda are more likely to have their condition worsening than those who don't. In carrying out their osteoarthritis study, they selected 2, 149 participants comprising of adult men and women. All of the participants were diagnosed with this disease after conducting an x-ray on them.

The researchers monitored the participants within a period of 4 years. After recording various risk factors of this disease such as body mass index, they found out that people who consumed more diet soda reported an increase in severity of their osteoarthritis condition than those who consumed less diet soda.

Also, the study found out that those participants with lower body mass index had their arthritis condition worsen faster when they compared them with normal IBM. This study also shows us how muscles are important when it comes to joint protection.

What is wrong with diet soda?

Sodas in these diets contain ingredients such as sugars, artificial sweeteners and colorings. But the dangerous ingredient to watch in diet soda is phosphoric acid. This acid makes the ratio of phosphorus to calcium to have an imbalance. The level of calcium increases making it to dissolve out of the bones. This is the start of osteoarthritis development. This disease weakens the skeletal structure leading to severe pain during body movement. If this condition persists, there is a high risk of bones breaking. Some diet soda such as cola contains chemicals like Aspartame. This chemical is used as sugar, and it can increases the body's acidic PH. This imbalance aggravates the osteoarthritis pain.

Soda to Relieve Arthritis

Some people have been claiming that drinking large quantities of soda help their osteoarthritis pain to diminish. Of course yes. High doses of soda can relief their pain but temporarily. As we mentioned earlier, phosphate in the soda leads to an imbalance of the levels of phosphorus-calcium causing calcium components to dissolve out of the bones.

Control and prevention measures

Abstain from taking any diet that has soda ingredients in them. You may start by preventing the pain from this disease. Try as much as possible to lose weight if you are overweight or obese. Some Chinese medicine and practices such as massage and acupuncture may be applied to help you heal your pain. A research that was conducted by Plymouth University in the UK on the effectiveness of acupuncture in the treatment of osteoarthritis, found that this method can successively relieve pain of those patients suffering from osteoarthritis. Also, supplements like avocado soy can rebuild and protect your joint cartilages. You can try this practices rather than relying on pain relieving medications that come with other complications.

Conclusion

The bottom line is, diet soda has little nutritional value in our body and is linked with the development or worsening of several health issues. For those who are already suffering from osteoarthritis condition, you have to be more careful on the kinds of food that you take into your system.

References
Nielsen SJ, Popkin BM. Changes in beverage intake between 1977 and 2001. Am J Prev Med 2004;27:205-10
Vartanian LR, Schwartz MB, Brownell KD. Effects of soft drink consumption on nutrition and health: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Public Health 2007;97:667-75
Issa SN, Sharma L. Epidemiology of osteoarthritis: an update. Curr Rheumatol Rep 2006;8:7-15

Acupuncture is superior to sham for painful conditions - Plymouth University in the UK
http://ebm.bmj.com/content/early/2013/04/30/eb-2013-101303

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