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Water and Arthritis
Water does many things for our body. But for someone suffering from arthritis, one of the most important tasks H20 has is lubing up joints for maximum and pain-free movement. Arthritis, meaning "joint inflammation" is the general term for many sub-forms of the disease. There are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis as well as gout, but these are just a few of the about 100 forms. About 43 million Americans suffer from one form or another.
Arthritis involves the breakdown of cartilage. Cartilage normally protects a joint, allowing it to move smoothly. Without the normal amount of cartilage the bones rub together and cause pain. Symptoms of arthritis cause joint pain, swelling, stiffness, limited movement, redness of the skin around the joint, and warmth around a joint. Arthritis, as well as osteoporosis, has been linked with fluoride exposure which seems to aggravate and increase the activity of rheumatoid arthritis. It is a known fact that higher doses of fluoride ingestion can weaken bones and ligaments.
Why is Fluoride in our Tap Water?
The purpose of adding fluoride to tap water is to reduce tooth decay; however it makes more sense to just use fluoridated toothpaste and mouthwash for that purpose. Fluoride’s benefits are far outweighed by the health problems it can cause to the brain, thyroid gland, bones, and kidneys when swallowed. Thus, drinking fluoridated tap water has little benefits, but many risks. One way to avoid fluoride is to purchase a water filter. Some water filters do not effectively remove fluoride so it is important to purchase the right kind of filter. Thus, if you are looking for a water filter to remove fluoride or any other heavy metals make sure it uses "reverse osmosis" technology. A reverse osmosis filter installed in the home will remove more than 97% of the fluoride as well as many other contaminants in your drinking water.
How to Avoiding Skeletal Fluorosis
A more debilitating disease with similar symptoms of arthritis is skeletal fluorosis. Skeletal fluorosis is a bone disease caused by excessive consumption of fluoride. Skeletal fluorosis has a number of stages. In the first two stages (preclinical), the patient feels no symptoms but changes have already taken place in the body. In the first stage, biochemical abnormalities occur in the blood and in bone composition. Symptoms include pain in the bones and joints, sensations of burning, prickling, tingling, muscle weakness, and chronic fatigue. In the second stage, the pain in the bones becomes constant and some ligaments begin to calcify. According to the National Research Council, "Crippling skeletal fluorosis might occur in people who have ingested 10-20mg of fluoride per day in 10-20 years." Common causes of fluoride exposure come from daily contact with and occasional ingestion of fluoridated toothpaste, mouthwash or tap water.