What Causes Osteoarthritis?

To successfully treat and prevent recurrence of osteoarthritis we need to understand and — if possible — remove the underlying causes and risk factors.  We need to ask: "What else is going on inside the body that might allow osteoarthritis to develop?"

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Accurate diagnosis of the factors behind osteoarthritis consists of three steps:

Step 1: List the Possible Causative Factors

Identify all disease conditions, lifestyle choices and environmental risk factors that can lead to osteoarthritis.  Here are three possibilities:
  • Manganese Need
  • A Weight Problem
  • Low Estrogens

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

Identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
being lean or underweight
slow scalp hair growth
elevated MCH
having hot flashes
low HDL cholesterol level
dry eyes
green tea consumption
night sweats
minor health decline
hot flashes between period
slow fingernail growth
having high percentage body fat
... and more than 20 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of osteoarthritis:
Cause Probability Status
Manganese Need 94% Confirm
A Weight Problem 19% Unlikely
Low Estrogens 5% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate joint problems, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
Have you been diagnosed with Osteoarthritis (wear-and-tear / age-related arthritis)? This is not the same as Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Possible responses:
→ No / don't know
→ It is suspected
→ Yes, mild in one or two joints
→ Yes, mild in several joints / severe in one or two
→ Yes, severe in several joints / I'm disabled by it
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate suspected osteoarthritis, mild osteoarthritis, osteoarthritis or severe osteoarthritis, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Estrogens Low

In studies of older women, a lower risk of osteoarthritis was found in women who had used oral estrogens for hormone replacement therapy.  The researchers suspect that low estrogen levels could increase risk for the disease, but further studies are needed.

Manganese Requirement

Bone cartilage can't grow or repair itself adequately without manganese – an essential part of glucosamine, which is in turn a major joint building block.  When glucosamine is in short supply, various forms of arthritis tend to arise, eventually leading to joint deterioration.

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