Arthritis & its precautions
Once a person is over the age of 50 years, more often the word ‘Arthritis’ becomes part of his or her vocabulary. For those of us who are younger, we too associate the word with ageing. But, this may not be the case always. Kids as young as five years old are at risk too- says experts.
What is Arthritis?
Answer: Arthritis is inflammation of bone joints.
Types of Arthritis?
Answer: Though there are more than 100 kinds of Arthritis but the most common ones are
(OA) Osteoarthritis: It results from wearing out of protective cartilage layer of joint surfaces. But most common factor is aging. Osteoarthritis is a usual phenomenon in joints like the knees, feet, hips, thumb and spine.
(RA) Rheumatoid Arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis commonly affects the hands, wrists, knees, and feet. In some cases it can also affect spine, hips, shoulder lungs, eyes, skin, eyes, lungs, and nerves.
(AS) Ankylosing Spondylitis: It is another type of Arthritis affects spine and sometimes hips in young adults.
Gout: Gout occurs when the body cannot eliminate its natural uric acid. Excess uric acid, if deposited in joints intensifies inflammation. Gout usually affects the big toe, knee, and wrist joints.
Does age play a role in Arthritis?
Answer: Basically, arthritis strikes an elderly person who is above the age of 50 years. But a type of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, has no such age limit. Kids might also be attacked. It is sometimes known as “Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis”, but still, it is arthritis. Ankylosing Spondylitis mainly affects young adults.
Is arthritis genetic? If not, what is the reason behind a person getting arthritis?
Answer: Though it is very common, osteoarthritis is not genetic. It is generally a part of getting old. It happens because of the cartilages getting damaged. This is due to degenerating process in or body and attacks mostly the weight –bearing joints of our body.
Other reasons are overweight and hormonal changes. Those who do hard physical work or even sit by folding legs over long stretches get affected. Even spondylitis is a kind of osteoarthritis. But rheumatoid arthritis, the second most common type of arthritis is genetic. It is an auto-immune disorder sickness and there is no specific reason for it.
Are women more prone to Arthritis?
Answer: Yes, it has been noted that more women get affected by arthritis, as they tend to put on more weight than a man over the years- says experts. Apart from this, hysterectomy at an early age causes deficiency of estrogen & progesterone, which are female hormones and important to control calcium balance in a woman’s body. This deficiency may predispose a lady for OA.
How does osteoarthritis differ from rheumatoid arthritis?
Answer: Osteoarthritis is basically a result of human body deteriorating and it mainly affects the body’s weight-bearing joints like the knee, hip joints and/or ankles. Base of thumbs are also affected though they are not weight bearing. Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune disorder of our body and affects bilaterally symmetrical multiple joints.
Diagnosis of Arthritis – tests
Answer: The tests required for the diagnosis depends on the type of arthritis suspected.
•In case of OA, no specific blood test is available, x-rays are the main in this case
•Inflammation is tested by ESR and CRP.
•In case of RA, RA factor and Anti CCP are often prescribed.
•In AS, HLA B27 tests are helpful.
•Blood Haemogram WBC, RBC. HGB, HCT, MCV, MCH, MCHC, PLT, DC, RWD-CV, PDW, MPV,
•Blood Sugar (Fasting)
•Digital X-Ray Chest (PA)
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How can we treat Arthritis?
Answer: Treatment of arthritis focusses on suppressing the pain and its reoccurrences. Some exercises are prescribed to lessen the pain. For most of the people recovery is possible though it takes a year or two. A recurrence is also possible.
Can diet result in Arthritis? (prevention of arthritis)
Answer: Basically, gouty arthritis is a result of too much uric acid in the blood. Consuming loads of animal’s protein might result in gouty arthritis as it increases uric acid. Apart from this, putting on weight is another major reason; if we consume loads of calories, junk foods, soft drinks, as well as alcohol, we will definitely get arthritis, it’s quite natural, says experts.
Is arthritis curable?
Answer: No, arthritis is not curable but it can be controlled.
Does arthritis increases chances of cardiac arrest (heart attack)?
Answer: The risk factor for cardiac arrest is very nominal for Osteoarthritis and gouty arthritis patients. But it is more for rheumatoid arthritis, an effect of rheumatoid fever, an inflammatory disease that may develop after Group A streptococcus bacterial infection that basically affects children between the ages of five to 15 and needs regular monitoring as it can cause cardiac problem.
Myths and Facts:
Myth 1: Arthritis is just like other minor aches and pains related to old age.
Fact: Arthritis is not just a disease of old age. Two-thirds of people with arthritis are under the age of 65, including 300,000 children.
Myth 2: Arthritis is not a serious health problem.
Fact: Arthritis may lead to disability.
Myth 3: People with arthritis should avoid exercising.
Fact: Exercise is a valuable tool in the fight against arthritis.
What are the general Symptoms of Arthritis?
Answer: Symptoms of arthritis vary according to the type but commonly the symptoms include fatigue, fever, a rash, and the signs of joint inflammation with pain, swelling, stiffness, tenderness, and redness.
People Awareness Post by Desun Hospital and Heart Institute