Cartilage loss can affect your day-to-day activities and quality of life. Understanding why you are suffering from cartilage loss (osteoarthritis), as well as what you can do about it, will improve your lifestyle. Let’s dig into what’s potentially going on inside your body.
1. Obesity (Increased Forces)
If you are obese, all of your joints and bones are subject to more gravitational forces due to the extra weight. The extra force will wear down your cartilage over time.
The fix: All you have to do is lose weight. Easier said than done; we know. Take it one day at a time and remind yourself why you are losing the weight. Your bones will thank you later.
2. Obesity (Chemical Change)
Not only will your body be subject to more forces, but your body will also respond to the extra weight by producing more insulin. The extra insulin will break down your cartilage.
The fix: Improving your diet by lowering your carbohydrate and sugar intake will in turn decrease your insulin levels. Fasting is also a great way to lower your insulin levels.
3. Traumatic Events
A car crash or even a sprained knee could lead to long-term wear and tear in your cartilage. The initial damage can be exacerbated over the years and destroy your cartilage.
The fix: Receiving stem cell injections or platelet-enriched plasma can repair your cartilage to the levels they were at before the trauma.
4. Ligament Damage
Your ligaments hold your joints together, and if they are damaged there is little chance for your cartilage to remain healthy.
The fix: Again, stem cell injections could revitalize your ligaments and restore your joints. Surgery is a last resort (if the ligament damage is severe).
5. Your Diet
A diet that creates inflammation in the body can lead to cartilage damage over time.
The fix: 1,500 mg of Glucosamine and 1,200 mg of Chondroitin have been shown to protect cartilage. A multivitamin could help with your overall health as well as your cartilage.
Some of the most common anti-arthritic injections and medications can kill the vital cartilage cells that you need to stay alive.
The fix: Talk with your pharmacist and physician about changing your medications, and stay away from cortisone shots.
Leptin is the hormone that tells your body that you are full. If you overeat, your body will produce too much insulin, thus leading to more cartilage loss.
The fix: Control your portion size to reduce the amount of leptin your body produces. Fasting is a great way to reset the leptin hormone as well.
8. Repeated Damage
Activities such as running are great for your heart, but over a long period of time running could wear down your cartilage.
The fix: Incorporating low-impact activities into your routine, such as swimming, can increase the likelihood that your cartilage will last longer.
9. Body Alignment
If all of your joints are not lined up your body alignment could be off, which will affect your posture and your cartilage health.
The fix: Seeing a physical therapist and correcting your alignment can protect your joints for years to come.
10. Age & Genetics
Aging is an inevitable part of everyone’s life. As you age, your cartilage will be worn down. Genetics is also another factor that is taken into account when considering your cartilage loss.
The fix: Find the Fountain of Youth. All jokes aside, taking care of your body is the best thing you can do no matter your age or genetic makeup.