Arthritis is one of the inflammation that affects the joints. It mostly occurs in aged people of up to 65 years or older. Arthritis is a chronic disease and can last for a very long time.
Arthritis is a general term used to summarize up to 200 forms of joint disease or other inflammations in the joint. The symptoms can range from swelling of the joints, stiffness, pains etc.
The most common type of arthritis that people suffer from is ostheoarthritis. Forms of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus affects multiples organs and other vital parts in the body. It has no cure but it can be managed.
Over 1,500,000 (one thousand five hundred) cases of arthritis are being reported in Nigeria every year.
In the United States, 54,400,000 (fifty four million, four hundred thousand) adults have been diagnosed of arthritis and up to 23,700,000 (twenty three million seven hundred thousand) persons have restricted most of their activities because of this condition.
Types of Arthritis
We have as many types of arthritis as possible but here we are going to list the common types of arthritis people suffer from.
- General Arthritis: From the name general, it is used to refer to all types of inflammations in the joints.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis: It is an autoimmune disorder where the synovial fluids in the joints is being attacked by the body which results in stiffness of the joints, pains etc.
- Ankylosing Spondylitis: This type is usually affects the spinal cord. It is usually accompanied by pains and stiffness.
- Juvenile Arthritis: It occurs in children and it also includes other forms of autoimmune conditions e.g Kawasaki disease, juvenile.
- Gout: Gout results from the building of uric acid in the joint. It leads to swelling of the toe, and also affects the knee joint, wrist joint, elbow joint etc.
- Fibromyalgia: This is a chronic type of arthritis it occurs in the muscuoskeletal tissue resulting in amplified pains, tenderness and fatique.
- Osteoarthritis: This is the most common type of arthritis. When one gets older the cartilages in the body break into the joints leading to osteoarthritis.
- Pseudogout (CPPD): This type of inflammatory arthritis occurs when calcium pyrophosphate crystals are being accumulated in the joint. Mostly occurs in the knee joint.
- Psoriatic Arthritis: It occurs when the psoriasis of the skin is linked to inflammation in the joint.
- Joint arthritis: Pains in the joint is one of the primary cause of arthritis.
- Reactive arthritis: This type of arthritis occurs whenever organisms like fungus, bacteria and virus reacts and infects the joint. Such infections are salmonella, gonorrhea, hepatitis C, etc.
- Bursitis: This is an inflammation on the bursa, although it is not a type of arthritis but it symptoms is similar to arthritis symptoms which may later result into a full grown arthritis.
Other types of arthritis are;
Adult-onset Still’s disease, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Back Pain, Behçet’s Disease, Bursitis, Calcium Pyrophosphate Deposition Disease (CPPD), Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Chondromalacia Patella, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, Cryopyrin-Associated Periodic Syndromes (CAPS), Degenerative Disc Disease, Developmental-Dysplasia of Hip, Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis, Ehlers-Danlos , Familial Mediterranean Fever, Fibromyalgia, Fifth Disease, Giant Cell Arteritis, Gout, Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis, Hemochromatosis, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Juvenile Dermatomyositis (JD), Juvenile Scleroderma, Kawasaki Disease, Lupus, Lupus in Children & Teens, Lyme Disease, Mixed Connective Tissue Disease, Myositis (inc. Polymyositis, Dermatomyositis), Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis, Pagets, Palindromic Rheumatism, Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome, Pediatric Rheumatic Diseases, Pediatric SLE, Polymyalgia Rheumatica, Pseudogout, Raynaud’s Phenomenon, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, Reiter’s Sydrome, Rheumatic Fever, Rheumatism, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Scleroderma, Sjögren’s Disease, Spinal Stenosis, Spondyloarthritis, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus in Children & Teens, Systemic Sclerosis,Tendinitis Vasculitis.
Causes of Arthritis
- Reduction in the amount of cartilage
- Wear and tear in joints
- Break down of tissues
- Injury in the joints
- Lack of minerals and vitamins.
Symptoms of Arthritis
- Stiffness in the joints
- Swollen legs, knees etc
- Fatigue or malaise
- Bony outgrowth in the fingers or toes
- Bump on the finger
- Pains in the joints, ankle, back, fingers, muscles etc
- Pains when trying to sit
- Intermittent pains or sharp pains
- Stiff neck and physical deformity.
Factors that triggers the risk of Arthritis
- Existing joint disease
- Chronic infections such as diabetes, sickle cell etc
- Bacterial, viral and fungal infection
- Intravenous drug use or use of injections
- Previous injuries in the joints
- Health conditions the weakens the immune system such as HIV
- As one gets older in age the risk of arthritis increases
- Artificial joint implant
Medical ways of treating Arthritis
- By use of non-pharmacologic therapies
- Also by use of pain reducing medicines
- By medical surgery including replacing a new joint.
- Use of joints assistive aids
- Use of anti-inflammatory medicines such as corticosteroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDSs) also NSAIDs are available in creams and gels which can be applied on the affected joints, disease modifying auto-rheumatism drugs.
- The use of biologics example of biologics drugs are etanercept and infliximab.
- I recommend Calcium and GI which gives 100% cure to arthritis.
Common drugs for treating arthritis
- Use of analgesics- they are very good pain relievers but has no inflammatory effect examples are tramadol, acetaminophen and narcotics.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs example ibuprofen, naproxen sodium.
- Disease-modifying anti-rheumatism drugs (DMARDS) examples of drugs are Methoatrexate and hydroxychloroquine.
- Corticosteroid drugs.
5 (five) Natural ways of treating arthritis
- Diets: Diets are one of the primary factors that help in preventing diseases in the body. Most diets are disease causing while some when eaten in the correct proportion are disease preventing. In order to prevent arthritis, eat diets that contains omega-3 fatty acids example salmon fish, diets that are high in sulphur.
Garlic contains sulphur which contains methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) which helps to reduce inflammation in the joints and rebuild tissues. Other natural plants that contain sulphur that helps in preventing arthritis are onions, cabbage and asparagus.
- High Fiber Plants: Foods and fruits that are rich in fiber helps to stimulate the immune system giving it to the ability to fight viruses and bacteria causing arthritis. They include vegetables, carrot, soaked legumes/beans, nuts, etc.
- Flax seeds: This is another very vital natural therapy for preventing arthritis. Flax seeds are rich in fiber, and omega 3 fatty acids which helps to reduce inflammations as well as boasting the immune system.
- Fruits: Fruit is one of the best natural therapy for treating lot of diseases and infections. Eating fruits that are high in fiber antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, digestive enzymes and other anti-inflammatory enzymes offers 60% reduction to arthritis fruits with the following nutrients are pineapple, orange, banana, carrot, pawpaw, berries, papaya, avocado, water melon.
Other natural therapies for arthritis are cruciferous vegetables, leafy green, green tea, walnuts, chia seeds etc.
How to Cope With Arthritis
- Do regular exercise such as walking, running, squatting, sit ups, yoga, etc
- Stay physically active
- Avoid engaging in activities that stresses the joints
- Have enough rest
- Do not eat foods that causes fats
- Feed on healthy diets mostly fruits and diets with high anti-oxidant properties that helps reduce inflammations.
- Sleep well
- Avoid hitting the joint.
- If possible always go out for swimming
- Also engage in physical activity like riding bicycle.
- Avoid intake of foods with high sugar.
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