Osteoarthritis and arthritis

What is it?

Osteoarthritis and arthritis are rheumatic diseases, both affect the joints and are characterized by swelling and pain in the affected joints. Because these two conditions have similar symptoms, they are very often confused among patients. Yet they are two completely different pathologies.
Arthritis is an autoimmune chronic inflammatory disease, which can develop in people of any age, while osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that arises especially after the age of 50.
Arthritis has stronger symptoms such as swollen joints, redness, joint  stiffness, increased temperature of the affected area, chronic pain and inflammation, making it difficult to move or stay active.. In the most severe cases, it can also cause joint deformity. It can affect people of all ages and over time the inflammation tends to worsen if the disease is not recognized and not treated correctly. There are different types of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout and arthritis affecting the connective tissue, such as systemic lupus erythematosus.
Osteoarthritis, unlike arthritis, is not an inflammatory disease, but a chronic degenerative disorder. It mainly affects people of a certain age, as it involves wear and tear of joints. Although osteoarthritis can damage any joint, the disorder most commonly affects joints in your hands, knees, hips and spine.
Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that cushions the ends of bones in your joints gradually deteriorates, resulting in bone deformation and associated chronic pain.


The main symptoms of arthritis are joint stiffness, joint swelling, difficulty in joint movement, heat and redness in joints.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis can vary, but it manly involve stiffness and pain in joints, above all after walking or bending down. In many cases it can eventually lead to paralysis if it affects the back, knees or femur.


Symptoms such as pain, swelling, stiffness in the joints should be reported to a doctor immediately. Accurate diagnosis is typically made through X-ray examination, patient history, or blood tests.


Patients with newly diagnosed osteoarthritis should stay at rest and follow a correct diet and a lifestyle.
Physiotherapy is also an important part of treatment for most people with arthritis. Exercises such as swimming or light walking help maintain joint mobility, muscle tone and relieve pain.
Examples of low-impact aerobic exercises that are easier on your joints include walking, bicycling, swimming and using an elliptical machine. These types of exercises help lose weight and not burden the load of body weight on the joints and strengthen muscle tone.Llight dance or pilates relax the joints, making them more flexible.


Surely for the treatment or prevention of both osteoarthritis and arthritis, it is necessary to follow a healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet.
In general, for both cases, the diet must be low in carbohydrates, both simple and complex, in saturated fats and with the right amount of good fats and noble proteins.
What is important is that there is a right balance between all types of macronutrients, as even an excess of animal proteins creates acidification of the pH of the blood, resulting in hypercalciura, or subtraction of calcium from the bones and subsequent loss in the urine.
Certainly the foods to be eliminated or reduced in frequency are red meat rich in saturated fats and with an immunostimulating action, as having a genetic heritage very similar to that of humans, it can trigger conditions of self-reactivity.
The same goes for milk and its derivatives, all forms of cereals with gluten, as lactose and gluten, are considered pro-inflammatory molecules par excellence and immunostimulants.
Coffee because it involves the formation of crystals in the joints, with associated states of pain and chronic inflammation.
Instead, among the functional foods we have those rich in selenium, as scientific studies show that patients suffering from arthritis or osteoarthritis have low selenium levels and strong oxidative stress. Selenium performs very important functions to alleviate the symptomatic state of these pathologies, that is, it slows down cellular aging, improves the function of the thyroid gland, has an antioxidant action and preserves the elasticity of the tissues.
It is present in foods such as mushrooms, broccoli, onion, salmon, anchovies, cod, brewer’s yeast, walnuts, almonds, parmesan, beans and lentils.