Stress and Arthritis

Stress, both mental and physical, is a major cause of arthritis. Dr Robert Bingham in USA states that almost all his , patients could date the onset of their arthritis to a mentally-stressful situation, a single illness or a period of ill-health. That is, times when nutritional requirements were not adequately filled. I have found this to be a truth in most of my patients also. The condition often starts from an emotional upheaval like a major family upset, the death of a family member, redundancy or the shock of a cancer scare. It may also arise after longer-term lower-grade stress such as the constant emotional upheaval of caring for a retarded or very difficult child, continuous financial worries, an unhappy marriage, or a serious illness.

Aside from stress acting as a trigger for the onset of the disease, attacks of pain often occur when an arthritic has been worrying or pushing himself too hard. This causes a release of inflammatory chemicals in the joints and must be treated as a warning to stop and reassess the effectiveness of stress-control methods. If this happens to you, stop and ponder over whether you have got it right. Are you still absorbing emotional pain and pressure instead of pushing them aside? Are you absorbing worry instead of dealing with it objectively? Does your daily life involve periods of anxiety, tension or undue pressure? Small stressful events have been found to be positively related to an increase in anti bodies and inflammatory chemicals, which is what occurs in an auto-immune disease. Major life events also have a profound effect on the ratio between the ‘helpers’ and ‘suppressors’, which control antibody formation.

Helper T-cells raise antibodies, and arthritics produce an excess of these along with an ex of inflammatory chemicals.


The anti-stress B vitamin known as pantothenic acid is very often significantly lowered in the blood of arthritics, and some studies indicate that the lower the level, the more severe the pain and inflammation.