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One step ahead of osteoarthritis

One Step Ahead of Osteoarthritis book cover

One Step Ahead of Osteoarthritis, Frances Ive, published by Hammersmith Health Books, available at Waterstones and Amazon.

As many as 8.75 million people have osteoarthritis and I am one of them, but I wasn’t prepared to give in to it. I wanted to carry on playing tennis, do yoga and tai chi. So as any health journalist would do, I researched osteoarthritis and found there were loads of things I could do and now I’ve put them in my book, One Step Ahead of Osteoarthritis.

Three years ago I decided to do something radical about the osteoarthritis in my hands and knee. I was already doing a few things, but now the time had come to ensure it got no worse, and in fact it has got better. It involved a variety of changes involving exercise, losing weight and excluding certain foods and drinks from the diet.

Did you know?
• 8.75 million people see their GP every year in the UK about osteoarthritis.
• It affects eight out of ten over 50 year olds to some degree.

Exercise – yoga and t’ai chi are particularly good, while cycling and swimming are great for building muscle.  Doctors consider that any exercise you already do (within reason) is worth continuing with, but take it easy.  Also, there are plenty of exercises that actually help to improve osteoarthritis in the hips, knees and hands.

Supplements – especially turmeric capsules taken on an empty stomach in the morning at the same time as (a good brand of) fish oils.  Also Vitamin B3, Niacin (No Blush – it can have a strange blushing effect if you don’t get these).

Cider vinegar (with mother, which means it’s not been purified) – a dessertspoonful in water every morning to reduce acidity in the body.

Losing weight – being heavy puts enormous strain on hips, knees and feet.

Regular acupuncture and massage

Diet changes

  • Turkey, chicken and fish are good  – sea food and red meat are not.
  • Alcohol is very acidic so best to avoid it when the joints are painful.
  • Most fruit and vegetables are good.
  • All of these should be avoided (as much as possible):  citrus fruits and tomatoes which           are acidic; potatoes, peppers, and aubergines, (but sweet potatoes are fine).
  • Sugar, of course, is not good and that means anything that contains it too.
  • Caffeine is strictly off limits.
  • You can  follow a strict diet for 14 days  to ease symptoms and lose weight.   If this
    seems too radical,  you can give up some of the problem foods and see if it makes a

Turmeric contains the essential ingredient, curcumin, which is released when it is heated up/cooked with oil, or extracted with alcohol, and the addition of pepper increases its absorption. It’s essential that the turmeric you take has been extracted this way. Golden Paste (which I give to my dog once a day) is made by boiling up turmeric powder in water, adding coconut oil and pepper at the end, and then cooling. You can find lots of recipes online.

After three years  of following this regime most of the time, my fingers are straighter, I have a negligible amount of pain in my knee or fingers and don’t get stiff  after exercise or being sedentary.

You can get Pukka Herbs Wholistic Turmeric, £15.95 for 30 days’ supply and  Patrick Holford No Blush Niacin 60 Tablets, £16.11 at  Put in the promotion code: HSoul1 and you can get a 5% discount.

More articles by Frances Ive at 

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