If you are unlucky enough to contract one form or another of arthritis, then it may seem as if your world is suddenly falling apart.
All of a sudden for one reason or another you cannot do the house work, you cannot take the dog for a walk, you cannot play tennis, you cannot play sport in general......life has changed! But why? All of a sudden your body is stopping you from taking part in activities that you once enjoyed. (maybe not the housework?)
As previously mentioned there are many forms of arthritis, the 2 most well known are osteo and rheumatoid. If you have osteoarthritis, then it could be the result of an old sports injury, or just wear and tear on your joints, and as you know both hip and knee replacements are common and very successful. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and It can affect most of the joints in the body, including the hands, feet, back, hips and knees. Osteoarthritis begins with damage to the cartilage and eventually leads to the two opposite bones (of a joint) rubbing into one other. The condition will start with minor pain in the affected joint, but soon can be continuous. Osteoarthritis is typical of the weight bearing joints and can also affect the spine. Unlike rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis is a more common disease of the elderly. Over 30 percent of women have some form of osteoarthritis by age 65 and if you are overweight this really adds to the pressures exerted on these weight bearing joints, you can really help yourself by losing those extra pounds!. Also physiotherapy to build up the muscles around the joint is very important. The muscles act as a support for the affected joints, but, if the joint is too badly damaged, surgery is the last option.
I would like to add that I have rheumatoid arthritis, and that I use a diet to control it, but the diet also works for osteo!
Rheumatoid arthritis differs in that in can affect any age, any joint in the body and is an auto-immune disease.
That is, that the body's own defence mechanisms attack the lining of the joints, creating inflammation, pain and eventually distortion of the bones. It is important to get treatment at an early stage if you think that you have the disease. Your doctor should be able to diagnose very quickly with the aid of a blood test. An early diagnosis could prevent damage to the joints.
Rheumatoid arthritis usually attacks the joints in the fingers, wrists, feet and ankles first (ie the smaller joints), then the larger joints, eg; knees, elbows and shoulders. The disease can lead to severe deformity in a few years if it is not treated. The experts do not know why rheumatoid arthritis occurs and all treatments are focused on easing the symptoms. With an early diagnosis and aggressive treatment, you can lead a good quality of life.
Unfortunately there is no cure, as yet to any form of arthritis, but with care you can stay fit and healthy.
Lupus is also a form of arthritis, and is a disorder that can be present with severe arthritis. Other features include a skin rash, sensetivity to light, kidney problems and possibly hair loss, along with constant joint pains.
Gout is caused by uric acid crystals building up in the joint, causing inflammation. Gout was traditionally known as a disease of the rich, as fine food and drink seem to amplify the problems. Affected joints will become very inflamed, most painful and virtually useless. To avoid gout you have to control your diet, and the doctor can help with medication.
It is essential to get proper medical help if you believe that you may be affected at all. The first thing that you have to do, is have the correct diagnosis. The doctors will probably prescribe drugs to combat the relevant type of arthritis that you have, but what you must be aware of is the side effects. All these drugs have side effects, and you should be made aware of these by the medical authorities that treat you.
It is possible to treat both osteo and rheumatoid by way of a diet, and avoid the drugs altogether. Nowadays the doctors are slightly better in recommending diet as a controlling factor, but will concentrate on the drugs. It will be up to you to explore the world of the arthritis diet, and how you can lead a pain free life without any medication.