Arthritis and Colitis – Arthritis Cause The Colitis Connection
Perhaps the most crippling ailment to which the human flesh is subject is arthritis. It surely is one of the most widespread of all ailments as it is to be found in all ages and in all lands. The origin of the disease must indeed be lost in the mists of antiquity. Not long ago, I observed with great surprise the evidences of arthritis in the skeleton of an Indian found in the cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde. The skeleton was over seven hundred years old, and I was amazed that any disease of our civilized times could date its ancestry that far back. My companion, a man who had made a study of fossils, laughed and later showed me the arthritic changes in the bones of a dinosaur who had lived long before the present administration. Thus it may be seen that we have in arthritis a disease venerable in its antiquity and universal in its distribution.
Medical science has progressed to the point where it realizes that infection, particularly what is known as focal infection, may have a great influence in the production of arthritis. Foremost in the possible localities where this infection may occur is the food digestion canal since it harbors from shortly after birth a host of bacterial organisms. Normally these bacteria are harmless and during our periods of health they remain so. However if, as does occur, the character of the intestinal bacteria changes, then the food digestion canal becomes the central depot for infection.
It is perhaps for this reason that a truly high proportion of people afflicted with arthritis show upon examination evidences of spastic colitis, as well as localized spasticity elsewhere along the food digestion canal.
Though there are many facts about arthritis which we do not know, there are some that are very definitely established. We know, for instance, that the progress of arthritis is definitely influenced by variations in nutrition. We also know, quite as definitely, that arthritis is aggravated by the presence of toxins in the body. You can readily understand, therefore, how logical it is that we consider the food digestion canal of such importance in a condition like arthritis. The functions of the food digestion canal are nutritional since it makes ready for body-use the food we eat. It must be obvious that any failure in the function of the food digestion canal will greatly interfere with the absorption of those food substances essential for the health and growth of connective tissue and cartilage cells. It is upon such a basis that arthritis comes into being.
On the other hand, the colon is eliminative since it prepares for expulsion the residue from the food we eat and from the body itself. It is for the foregoing reasons that any disturbance of the food digestion canal predisposes toward arthritis or greatly aggravates an existing case. If and when putrefaction occurs in the body, this putrefaction usually occurs in the colon. The products of this putrefaction, the bacterial toxins, and possibly the bacteria themselves, affect the permeability of the colonic wall. This allows the absorption into the blood stream of any or all of these harmful or unnatural substances.
I am quite aware of the fact that there are many of my colleagues who do not share my belief in either the importance or the existence of auto-intoxication. However, any interference with the normal rate of passage of the intestinal contents tends to partake of the nature of an intestinal obstruction. Experimental studies made by Drs. Murphy and Brooks have adequately demonstrated that an obstructed bowel contains a toxin which, if absorbed in sufficient amounts, produces definite damage locally and to the body in general. Indeed, the effect can be fatal. They further proved that these toxins were the result of bacterial growth, and that it does pass through a normal mucus membrane. When, however, the circulation of the intestine is interfered with, increased absorption tends to occur.
Please understand clearly that I do not say that cases of colitis are cases of obstruction. The two conditions are very far removed. However, there is the same factor present in both and that is an abnormal stagnation of the intestinal contents. The effects of both are identical though widely differing in degree. To my way of thinking, every case of arthritis should be suspected of inefficiency of colonic function. An examination is very simple and if the basic cause of the arthritis is found at the beginning, it will save the hapless victim the sad experience of a long series of tests and treatments which time will show are both useless and costly. Written By: J. F. Montague, M.D., Continue Reading: Oh! My Aching Back!