The Mother of the author has had in the past a very bad experience with the symptoms of OA. This work details the efforts on her behalf by the author for the successful abatement of those symptoms.
OA is mostly a dis-ease of the major weight-bearing joints of the body. Please go to this link for symptoms: http://arthritis.about.com/od/oa/a/osteo_symptoms.htm and here for the effects upon the body: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/277177.php in males and females.
Symptoms start to appear after the age of 60 years, in most cases. In women, symptoms appear especially after the start of female menopause. In males, it is after the start of male testosterone reduction. The woman's ovaries produce most estrogen hormones, although the adrenal glands also produce small amounts of the hormones. In addition to regulating the menstrual cycle in women, estrogen affects their reproductive tract, their urinary tract, their heart and blood vessels, bones, breasts, skin, hair, mucous membranes, pelvic muscles, and their brains. in addition, estrogen stimulates increased body fat and weight gain with salt and fluid retention. Estrogen produced by the ovaries helps prevent bone loss and works together with calcium, vitamin D and other hormones and minerals to build bones. Your body constantly builds and remodels bone through a process called resorption and deposition. Up until around age 30, your body makes more new bone than it breaks down. But once estrogen levels start to decline, this process slows. After menopause your body begins to break down more bone than it rebuilds. In the years immediately after menopause, women may lose as much as 20 percent of their total bone mass. Although the rate of bone loss eventually levels off after menopause, keeping the remaining bone structures strong and healthy to prevent osteoporosis becomes more of a challenge.
Many organs of the human body have estrogen receptors, as stated above but also progesterone receptors. These receptors are prominent in skin, bone, breast tissue, the uterine lining, and blood vessels. Progesterone (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progesterone) has characteristics that balance and counteract the adverse effects that estrogen can have. Progesterone is mainly produced by the ovaries in order to prepare the uterus for inplantation of the developing fetus. Progesterone also stimulates new bone formation. Topical application of progesterone cream is used to prevent brittle bones in post-menopausal women.
These links: http://www.womenlivingnaturally.com/articlepage.php?id=179 , http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/progesterone-summaries.shtml, have a great deal of information concerning the balance between estrogen and progesterone in the body. Not much information may be found online concerning the production of progesterone apart from the ovaries. It is usual for the ovaries also to be removed when the uterus is removed during a hysterectomy.
Pertainent to this discussion is the fact that there seems to be a balance between estrogen and progesterone after female menopause. In males, this balance is hardly mentioned and then only in passing. However, it appears that in older people, excess estrogen seems to overstimulate the production of cartilage and blood supply to the growing structures in and around joints. The pain is due to the peripheral neuropathy (http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/peripheralneuropathy/detail_peripheralneuropathy.htm) in the nerves that supply these areas. The estrogen receptors on the surface membranes of the nerves of the area involved become more sensitized to the estrogens. Thus there exist the classic symptoms of osteoarthritis: pain, inflammation and redness of the area involved.
One of the actions of estrogen is to stimulate the release of cortisol by the adrenal glands. Cortisol stimulates the adipose tissue, fat tissue, to store more triglycerides (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triglyceride) as fat. Addipose tissue in turn produce and releases estrogen (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adipose_tissue). Thus there seems to be a positive feedback here that results in the accumulation of excess body weight as fat tissue. Excess body weight is but 1 of the symptoms of the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) diagnosis of Dampness (http://www.diamondhead.net/dampness.htm). Dampness is a condition that is difficult to recover from and as we can see, it is partly hormonally based. The body reaction to chronic stress is to produce more cortisol which can then result in the accumulation of fat tissue. Another source of weight gain is the eating of much of the manufactured foodstuffs in a developed country. The use of white flour, refined sugar, hydrogenated oils and soybean products in the manufacture of foodstuffs is a quite serious problematical health issue in itself. Also, the ingestion of xenoestrogens (https://womeninbalance.org/2012/10/26/xenoestrogens-what-are-they-how-to-avoid-them/) that are found in our foodstuffs severly complicates the problem. Xenoestrogens are a sub-category of endocrine disruptor compounds that specifically have estrogen-like effects in the body. These compounds are found in multiple aspects of contemporary life. Please read the above link to discover these sources and how to avoid them. When you go to the grocery store, it is suggested that you always read the labels on the food products. Avoid trans-fats, all soybean products (especially soybean oil), red dyes, Butylated-hydroxy-anisol (BHA), non-organically grown meats and vegetables. Look up the vegetables that are sprayed with pesticides and herbicides during their growth cycle (http://gaiahealthcare.com/list-of-the-most-heavily-sprayed-fruits-and-vegetables/). This may all seem like a hopeless task but doing all that you can do to avoid these types of compounds will greatly assist your efforts to relieve your arthritis symptoms. Please do visit the Environmental Working Group (www.ewg.org) for much needed information about your lifestyle and working environment.
A drastic reduction of ingested estrogenic factors in the diet of the Mother (94 years) of the author has reduced the symptoms of osteoarthritis to quite manageable levels. She only weighted 89 pounds when married and over the years gained weight to finally weigh about 125 pounds when she became bedridden. She had eaten lots of icecream and constantly took acetaminofen for the pain of her osteoarithis. Upon becoming bedridden, her diet changed dramatically and over the years, her weight has dropped to around her early 20s weight. Now, she does not need to take supplemental pain medications and only complains when moved. She receives Ibuprofen in the morning after being in one position over night. Her present diet now is such that all whole milk, all soybean products and all xenoestrogens as possible have been eliminated. Her diet mainly consists of the following: 1. yogurt with real fruit (Raspberry, Strawberry, Cherry) 2. oatmeal cooked in chicken broth with an egg stirred into it and upon cooling, cashew milk and real maple syrup added 3. mashed 1/2 ripe avacado and 2 boiled eggs 4. pureed baby-food chicken meat 5. various stage 3 baby-food vegetables 6. "Boost" brand, high protein, Rich Chocolate, nutritional supplement 7. 70% Semi-sweet Dark Chocolate chips (desert). As an aside, the author discovered that controled feeding with olive oil, grapeseed oil, sunflower oil and ripe avacado seems to have greatly decreased her boughts of dementia. However, she still suffers from Alzheimer's disease. She was able to eliminate all high blood pressure medications due to a no salt added diet. Her blood pressure is at a stable normal level and remains so.
The exact causes of the symptoms of osteosrthritis (pain, inflammation and redness) are not known as yet. However, it seems that a drastic reduction in ingested estrogenic factors contributed to the elimination of the symptoms of OA in the author's Mother.