Osteoarthritis: Symptoms & Natural Treatments [transcript][audio]

Guest: Teneille Newton

Presenter: Tabetha Moreto

Guest Bio: Teneille Newton is a degree-qualified naturopath, clinician, educator and wholefoods guru with more than 20 years’ experience in the natural medicine industry. She have focussed her clinical practice, research, technical writing & educational seminar presentations on the influences of nutrition, herbal, dietary and lifestyle protocols on optimising wellness. Teneille is the founder of The Naturopath’s Kitchen (www.thenaturopathskitchen.net.au) where she creates and shares delicious recipes to create health through fabulous food. Teneille has a passion for understanding genetic variations and how these can influence chronic disease states, as well as the utilisation of clinically relevant health assessments to further advance patient evaluation. Additionally, Teneille specialises in the use of specific dietary strategies to optimise patient outcomes.

Segment Overview: In today’s interview, Teneille Newton, the founder of The Naturopath’s Kitchen comes on the program to discuss all about osteoarthritis ranging from the causes to the treatments for it. She also talks about her passion for naturopathy.

Transcript – Osteoarthritis

Tabetha Moreto: Hello everyone, welcome to Health Professional Radio. I’m your host for today, Tabetha Moreto. Our guest today is Teneille Newton, she is a clinician, a degree qualified naturopath, educator and a guru when it comes to whole foods with 20 years experience in the natural medicine industry. Today, we’re going to talk about osteoarthritis which is a condition that affects around 1 in 11 Australians. Without further ado, welcome to the show Teneille. It’s so nice to have you here.

Teneille Newton: Thanks Tabetha. It’s great to be here with you today.

T: My pleasure. So Teneille, please tell the audience more about yourself and the nature of your work.

N: Sure. I’m a degree qualified naturopath and I’ve been working in the industry as you mentioned for more than 20 years. I’ve also completed some postgraduate study in health promotion and also in fitness. I’ve worked extensively during this time not only in clinical practice as a naturopath but also doing an awful lot of research, technical writing, working on product formulations and presenting a wide range of different educational seminars to doctors, naturopaths, nutritionists, herbal practitioners all around Australia and New Zealand as well. I’m also the Founder of the Naturopaths Kitchen which is a website in the online space where I create and share a whole range of different delicious recipes that people can use to help support their health as well.

T: Wow, sounds very delicious. You’re making me hungry now actually Teneille. I got to check out your recipes.

N: Fabulous, they’re pretty delicious.

T: Yes, thank you so much. Speaking of recipes, if you don’t mind, what would you recommend to me?

N: What are your favorite foods?

T: I like pastas. What kind of recipes would you recommend?

N: Well there’s a few things that you can do to improve your pastas’ nutritional content and that’s actually swapping out, say your spaghetti or a zughetti, where you can use a spiralizing machine and actually make your pasta out of zucchini and it is delicious. You can also do things like jazz up your gnocchi and substitute the potato for something like sweet potato where you’re going to get far more nutritionally dense nutrients in that particular vegetable instead of the potato.

T: Fantastic, I love it. Thank you so much for sharing that recipe with me. I’m going to try that very soon.

N: Perfect.

T: So now, let’s go back to the topic. Let’s talk about osteoarthritis. As we know, this is a condition that affects particularly older people. So please explain to the audience what is osteoarthritis exactly.

N: Okay Tabetha, Osteoarthritis is generally referred to as wear and tear arthritis and we do associate it with ageing because it is a long term degenerative condition affecting the cartilage in our joints and particularly, we tend to see it in the knee and the hip because they’re the two main weight-bearing joints within the body. But we are actually seeing a great deal of increase in younger individuals with it and some of the drivers behind the increase in younger people is due to the increases in overweight and obesity in our society and of course, that’s increasing the weight-bearing load on the joint and increasing the damage caused to those joints. And this is accompanied by an increasing inflammation and again, we see that a lot in conditions like overweight, obesity and metabolic disturbances such as diabetes and all of these increase your likelihood of developing osteoarthritis as we age.

T: I see. Yes, I agree with you. Wear and tear, that’s the part of getting old. Unfortunately, we can’t do something to that.

N: None of us get out of that, do we?

T: Unfortunately, that’s a normal part of ageing. And speaking of osteoarthritis, how is this treated and diagnosed?

N: Sure. Well generally, people would visit their general practitioner and that would be diagnosed thru a physical exam. So they would be asking about the symptoms – is there pain, is there stiffness, does this impact your daily activities? And then there may be some diagnostic tests as well where they may do x-rays, MRIs or aspiration of the joint to see how severe that osteoarthritis may be. So that’s really how it’s identified, but most people are familiar with that increasing pain and stiffness of the joint particularly when they wake up in the morning.

T: I see. And speaking of physical activity, does physical activity help people with osteoarthritis or does it make it worse?

N: It’s a bit of a catch-22 in one of those old sayings, if you don’t use it, you lose it. That is definitely applicable to osteoarthritis. And people do tend to find that the more physically active they are, the better their symptoms will be. However, if you have done a lot of sports and physical activity where you may have injured yourself in a lot of impact sports when you’re younger, that is going to increase your likelihood of potentially developing osteoarthritis as you age as well.

T: That’s very interesting. And now aside from age, what are the other causes of osteoarthritis?

N: Well age is the main one that’s linked to it but definitely we are seeing this issue with overweight and obesity increasing the likelihood of this as well. And the really big one for me is inflammation and increased oxidative stress within the body. And a lot of people may not even know that they are suffering with a low-grade inflammation and this again is just going to impair the repair mechanisms of the cartilage and therefore we’re going to see a more rapid deterioration of the cartilage within the joint space.

T: I want to ask you something, how can this be treated? Should people take medication or if there some type of surgery that they can have?

N: Sure. Now, common management of osteoarthritis from a medical perspective, we generally utilize the prescription of non-steroidal anti-inflammatories like Ibuprofen, some pain relieving medications like Codeine and also things like Paracetamol. But of course, all of these have got issues over the long term where they can cause issues with bleeding and also gastric damage over the long term and also with Codeine that will be restricted to prescription only use as of February. If the osteoarthritis has progressed significantly, there are quite often surgeries that will be performed as well. But a lot of people are really wanting to seek some natural solutions for this that they can use over the long term that are effective as well and this is really where I really focus on and that’s where I would be prescribing a practitioner only herbal formulation to address these issues of inflammation for osteoarthritis relief.

T: That’s fantastic to hear that there are also natural ways in order to manage osteoarthritis.

N: Some of the research coming out on these is really quite exciting because they don’t have the damaging effects potentially long term that we often see with some of the pharmaceutical medications but they are finding them as effective for relieving pain and inflammation and improving mobility as some of these medications. So the two that I’m really, I guess smittened with at the moment, is a form of Curcumin from Turmeric and extract called ‘Meriva’ and another extract called ‘Univestin’ and this is a combination of two herbs called ‘Baikal Skullcap and Acacia Catechu.’

T: Wow, that sounds interesting. So Teneille, I want to ask you a personal question if you don’t mind.

N: Sure.

T: Why are you so passionate about natural remedies and specifically why do you want to help people with osteoarthritis?

N: That’s a question really close to my heart really. I started studying natural medicine back in the 90s when I personally got quite ill myself and couldn’t find any solutions from standard medical management. I had Epstein-barr infection and chronic fatigue and I went and saw a naturopath and then I went, “Oh this is what I want to do. I want to be able to help other people as well.” I’ve also grown up doing an awful lot of sports and have tended to injure myself quite a bit as well. So I’m pretty well-versed in soft tissue injuries and the pain and impact that can have on your day to day life. A lot of people that osteoarthritis is not just a bit of stiffness in the morning. It’s impacting their ability to go out and socialize, go to work. It really can have a really big impact on people’s quality of life. So that’s really why I love helping people with these issues.

T: That was a wonderful story. I hope you don’t injure yourself nowadays most often.

N: A bit less often.

T: Good, that’s wonderful to hear.

N: Occasionally.

T: So you got to be careful about that.

N: You sure do, yes.

T: Yes. And I’m speaking of natural medicine, what are the misconceptions about natural medicines or remedies that drive you crazy and it keeps you up at night?

N: Well there’s a couple. But one of the ones that really drives me crazy is that they don’t work and there’s no evidence. But one of the reasons why some practitioners and also patients feel that complementary medicines don’t work is that when it comes to herbs, there are different parts of the herb and there’s also different qualities of herb available and also with nutrients, there’s different forms of safe folate available and a lot of formulas out there on the market that are available are not using the right part of the herb or they’re not using the correct dose to actually elicit the benefits to that patient and see the improvements that we’d expect. So for an example of this, Curcumin which is from Turmeric and one of my absolute favorite herbs of all time. Although Curcumin is one of the active compounds in Turmeric but this is really easily broken down in the stomach and has poor absorption and bioavailability. So it’s not as simple as just going and grabbing some Turmeric off the shelf. You really need to get an extract like the Meriva Curcumin which is bound to a phospholipid and what that does is protect the Curcumin from damage within the digestive tract but also enhances its bioavailability and using the body by up to 29 times greater than a non-complex Curcumin. So really people need to seek the help of a qualified healthcare practitioner who can prescribe these practitioner-only formulas with the extracts, with the evidence for their benefits and at the right doses as well to really get those good health outcomes that we all want.

T: That’s excellent. That’s good to hear that nowadays that people are starting to realize that there are so many natural remedies or natural medicine rather that can help them with their various conditions.

N: Definitely. And we even see quite a few of the standard modern medicines are based on ingredients or actives that have come out of herbal medicines as well. So things like aspirin that was developed out of a herb called ‘White Willow Bark.’ So a lot of these things that we utilize now in standard medicine practices are actually based on herbal compounds as well.

T: That’s the power of mother nature.

N: It sure is.

T: I would love to talk to you more Teneille but I’m sorry we’re running out of time. So before we go, please tell the audience what is your main takeaway message for them.

N: Make sure that you take the power of your own health into your own hands. But also seek the help of a qualified health care practitioner. You can get real improvement for your osteoarthritis and inflammation and pain but you do need to be utilizing the right herbs at the right dose.

T: Excellent message. And now for those who want to contact you, what is the best way to get in touch with you?

N: Sure thing. I’ve got my website, the Naturopath’s Kitchen. So they can contact me via the website at www.thenaturopathskitchen.net.au and also by the Facebook page. And also if they are looking to see a healthcare practitioner in their local area that could actually prescribe them is Meriva and Univestin extracts, they can contact Eagle Natural Health or their website eaglenaturalhealth.com.au and they can be referred to a qualified healthcare practitioner in their area.

T: Fantastic. Thank you so much Teneille for coming on the show today. It was such a pleasure.

N: My pleasure as well Tabetha.

T: And that was Teneille Newton. We just had a fascinating conversation about Osteoarthritis. If you liked this interview, transcripts and archives are available at www.hpr.fm. We’re on all social media platforms so don’t forget to follow, like and subscribe. We’re also available for download on SoundCloud and iTunes. I’m Tabetha Moreto and you’re listening to Health Professional Radio.

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