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 four possibilities:
  • Low Estrogens
  • A Weight Problem
  • Manganese Need
  • Overtraining

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

Identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
hot flashes during & after period
green tea consumption
macrocytic red cells
slow fingernail growth
high air pollution exposure
short term history of obesity
poor milk production
night sweats
severe fatigue after slight exertion
reduced mental clarity
significant abdominal distension
... 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 98% Confirm
Overtraining 24% Unlikely
Low Estrogens 1% Ruled out
A Weight Problem 1% 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.

Problems Caused By Being Overweight

Forcing joints to carry more weight than they were designed for often results in premature failure.

The Effects Of Overtraining

Cortisol – a hormone produced by the adrenal gland during periods of intense physical exercise – interferes with bone-building and reduces bone density by breaking down bone faster than it is made.

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