According to the Arthritis Foundation,
“Arthritis is very common but is not well understood. Actually, “arthritis” is not a single disease; it is an informal way of referring to joint pain or joint disease. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis and related conditions. People of all ages, sexes and races can and do have arthritis.”
Among the many conditions broadly called Arthritis, Osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are the most common.
Arthritis – Whom does it affect?
It has long been believed that Arthritis is a condition affecting th
ose past their 60s, but that is not true.
It also has been observed in children, teens and young adults. Women in general seem more susceptible to the condition than men, while obesity seems to be another cause.
Observable Symptoms of Arthritis
While Arthritis symptoms generally develop slowly over time, in some cases, they might even appear suddenly.
Those who develop Arthritis start to suffer from intense pain and stiffness in the joints, especially early in the mornings. Others might experience swelling, redness of the skin, surrounding joints and restricted motion.
Causes of Arthritis
Since Arthritis includes such a wide range of conditions, there is no single cause. However, certain factors that might cause the condition include injuries that result in degenerative conditions, hereditary issues, infections and dysfunctions of the immune systems.
An early diagnosis of Arthritis is always helpful. Medical practitioners will often use X-ray, MRI or CT scans to inspect bones and cartilage around the joint area. In some case, doctors might even ask for a physical examination, in case they suspect the build-up of fluids around the joints.
What an early diagnosis of the condition provides is the luxury of restricting the pain that a patient suffers and preventing any additional damage to the joints.
Since pain alleviation is such an integral part of Arthritis treatment, a lot of methods from the sporting disciplines have been borrowed including heating pads and ice packs.
In certain severe cases, patients might be recommended ways to assist in mobility, such as canes and walkers.
Prevention – A healthier lifestyle choice
The most important preventive measure is ensuring an optimum weight, through a healthy diet and regular exercise. Doctors will often recommend foods high in antioxidants such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and fish.
These are also recommended in situations where a patient has already been diagnosed with Arthritis, since they help reduce inflammation in the joints.
High calorie foods such as processed or fried foods and red meat are to be avoided.
Are women more prone to Arthritis?
There does seem to be a connection between women nearing menopause and Arthritis. Research shows that a lot of women in their 40s start to suffer from joint pain even as their Estrogen levels start to drop.
Women also tend to suffer from osteoarthritis, a condition that causes intense joint pain around the hips, knees and fingers, before and during their menstrual cycles.
Estrogen levels are known to drop just before menstruation and climb back up at the end of the cycle. Since levels of Estrogen have a direct relationship with Arthritis, many women experience an increase and decrease in joint pain, depending on how balanced their hormones are.
If these levels are well looked after, they offer the best safeguard against Arthritis.
There is no known cure for arthritis but, by working in conjunction with a Magna Code Endocrinologist specially trained in hormone therapy treatments or an Osteoporosis Expert, the debilitating effects of arthritis can be greatly diminished.
Make an appointment today to get relief from arthritis pain.