Following are the common questions about Arthritis:
- What is Arthritis?
- Is arthritis curable?
- How many types of arthritis are there?
- What is Gout?
- Can gout affect your shoulder region?
- How is rheumatoid arthritis different from osteoarthritis?
- What are the symptoms of osteoarthritis?
- What are the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis?
- Can children suffer from arthritis?
- How do you know if your child is suffering from arthritis?
- How is hepatitis related to arthritis?
- Can autoimmune skin disorders lead to arthritis?
- What is spondylitis?
- How does your doctor confirm arthritis?
- What are the treatment options for arthritis?
- What should you eat if suffering from arthritis?
- What not to eat while suffering from arthritis?
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is a condition that refers to a group of joint diseases that result in severe pain and related discomforts. It is an inflammatory condition affecting joints in any part of your body. Body joints are protected by soft tissues known as cartilages. A fluid known as synovium flows through the joints and cartilages and lubricates them as needed. However, multiple factors that damage cartilages or the fluid expose joints to sudden shock or pressure. And this is what is known as arthritis.
Besides, an external infection, autoimmune condition affecting joints, other health issues having detrimental effect on joints can lead to a condition of excessive joint pain or arthritis.
Is arthritis curable?
NO. Arthritis becomes a life long trouble once developed and is not curable completely. However, treatments, diet and positive lifestyle changes can help to reduce severity of symptoms to a great extent.
How many types of arthritis are there?
In reality, there are more than 100 different type of arthritis. However, few of the common forms are:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Juvenile Arthritis
- Septic Arthritis
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Reactive arthritis
What is Gout?
Individuals having high levels of Uric acid in body tend to develop some crystal like structure inside joints. This condition is known as gout. Men remain more prone to gout as compared to women. Knees, ankles and toes are mostly affected with gout.
Kidney troubles make people be at high risk of gout. Therefore , opting for timely kidney function tests and also knowing your uric acid levels can help prevent this disease.
Gout is slightly different from other forms of arthritis as the symptoms are periodic - they come and go. Gout is characterized by swelling, redness and itching around the affected area. The skin also appears slightly shiny during gout.
Can gout affect your shoulder region?
Yes, gout can very well affect your neck. Although gout is first diagnosed around your toes, feet or ankle, elevated levels of uric acid may develop similar crystals around neck and thus cause gout in the neck and shoulder region as well.
How is rheumatoid arthritis different from osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis mostly relates to that condition where bone joint troubles arise due to cartilage damage. Rheumatoid arthritis on the other hand is an autoimmune disorder where the body's immune mechanism is abnormally altered and thus attacks the body joints and tissues.
Both these types however relate to family history. If any one in your family suffers from arthritis, you may also develop the disease at some point of time. However, osteoarthritis is more related to aging. Most patient who suffer from arthritis actually suffer from osteoarthritis.
Obesity and poor life style also impact your joints negatively, causing any of the two forms of arthritis. A pathogenic infection may sometimes be a reason behind Rheumatoid Arthritis, if the immune system is adversely affected during any microbial infection.
What are the symptoms of osteoarthritis?
Following are few of the common symptoms experienced with osteoarthritis:
- Painful sensation experienced deep within bones
- Difficulty in carrying away usual day to day activities - climbing stairs, sitting and standing etc.
- Movement is more difficult during mornings
- Getting back to normal work after a considerable period of rest is very difficult
- Osteoarthritis around the neck and shoulder region may give a tingling sensation
- Swelling of joints that feel warm when touched
- A grating sound is heard at later stages
What are the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis?
Following are few of the common symptoms experienced with rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
- The most distinguishable feature of rheumatoid arthritis is that it affects in pairs. This means that it will affect both your feet, ankles hands and wrists.
- Unexplained weight loss
- A feeling of fullness and lack of appetite
- Joints are swollen due to fluid accumulation and may appear red
- Rheumatoid arthritis may affect your lungs and cause breathing troubles
- Sensitive joints
Can children suffer from arthritis?
Yes, children may also suffer from arthritis, known as juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis affecting children is said to cause juvenile arthritis. Children born with this autoimmune condition, start showing symptoms at very tender age or early adolescence.
How do you know if your child is suffering from arthritis?
- Slow development
- Children who can walk may prefer crawling
- Vision trouble may also be observed
- Complaints of regular joint pain that may even swell up
How is hepatitis related to arthritis?
Septic arthritis is caused by bacterial and fungal infections. Therefore, hepatitis in any form, makes people very susceptible to develop this form of arthritis at later stages. Septic arthritis affects one single bone at a time. Mostly knee and hip bones are affected.
Can autoimmune skin disorders lead to arthritis?
Yes, people suffering from psoriasis can develop psoriatic arthritis at later stages. Factors that lead to psoriasis can bring about joint problems, if not treated at early stage.
What is spondylitis?
Spinal arthritis is known as spondylitis. Men and women equally are susceptible to develop spondylitis. It is characterized by prolonged pain around lower back, hip and shoulders. Extreme stiffness is accompanied by the pain that does not disappear within 3 months. Spondylitis is mostly hereditary. Therefore, if you have family members suffering from spine arthritis, taking prior precaution in the form of exercises is mandatory. However, always discuss this with your doctor before you start with any exercise.
How does you doctor confirm arthritis?
Bone and joint disorder can raise similar symptoms. Therefore, diagnostic tests become mandatory to confirm arthritis and rule out other bone disorders. A doctor usually orders an X ray, CT Scan, MRI Scan etc., post physical examination.
Hepatitis A, B or C tests can also be performed in case of septic arthritis. Other blood tests and genetic markers may be opted as and when need arises.
What are the treatment options for arthritis?
As already mentioned, arthritis can never be completely cured. However, treatment to reduce severity of symptoms and prevent further damage is very much available. Arthritis of any form has three treatment aspects: Medication, Surgery and Lifestyle changes.
Medication - Doctors mostly prescribe a set of medicines when patients are detected with arthritis in any form. These medicines aim at reducing severity of symptoms and allowing patients to carry on with normal activities without much hindrance. However, regular monitoring of these prescribed drugs is crucial to avoid unwanted consequences.
Surgery - At worst cases where medication and lifestyle changes are not bringing about required results, surgical treatment needs to be opted for. Knee replacement surgery, Hip replacement surgeries etc., are being performed on a regular basis in various health care centers across cities in India.
Life style changes - A lot can be achieved if proper life style and dietary changes can be adopted. Physical exercises as recommended by doctor, diet to improve bone and joint health, reduced stress levels etc., can all contribute in treating arthritis to a great extent.
What should you eat if suffering from arthritis?
Following are recommended food items that must be a part of your diet plan while treating arthritis:
- Fish such as tuna, mackerel, salmon are rich in omega 3 fatty acids
- Soybeans or tofu are also rich in omega 3 fatty acid
- Olive oil can be also good for a healthy heart and low cholesterol
- Walnut oil is also a good for rheumatoid arthritis
- Cherry, strawberries, raspberries are exceptionally good for gout
- Milk and milk products
- Broccoli can stop osteoarthritis from getting severe
- Oranges, grapes and lemons
- If diagnosed with elevated CRP levels causing Rheumatoid Arthritis, make sure to include whole grain and kidney beans in your diet
- Garlic and onions are thought to reduce arthritic symptoms
- Nuts are rich in calcium, zinc, magnesium and Vitamin E
What not to eat while suffering from arthritis?
Following are the food items you need to avoid if diagnosed with arthritis. However, you can always discuss your diet plan with your doctor before eliminating any food item totally.
- All types of fried food
- Avoid cooking food at high temperature. This can lead to production of toxins that are not good for your arthritic joint.
- Sugar and food items with high amount of sugar content
- If dairy products worsen your symptoms, avoid them. Many people suffer from this problem while there are others who benefit. Therefore, talking to doctors before hand is advisable.
- Excessive salt is not good
- Corn oil can prove otherwise and therefore needs to be avoided
- Lastly, refrain from alcohol and smoke