Arthritis is not a single health problem. The disease means joint disease or joint pain, and about 100 types of arthritis and various related conditions exist. It is not a disease connected to aging, although it affects older people more than younger ones. In the United States, arthritis is the primary cause of disability.
Symptoms of arthritis vary, but the more common are the limited range of motion in joints, stiffness, pain, and swelling, which may range from mild to severe. The symptoms can progress and grow worse after some time. Once arthritis becomes severe, people have trouble walking, climbing stairs, and performing their daily tasks.
Arthritis can permanently damage the joints. The damage is sometimes visible, but more often, the damage will only show on X-ray results. Aside from the joints, arthritis can likewise affect the skin, kidneys, lungs, eyes, and heart.
Sadly, a cure for arthritis is not yet available. Still, people afflicted with the disease can avail of various treatments to improve their condition, from medication to massages, low-impact exercises, and herbal solutions. Learn more about arthritis right here. Further, learn how to recognize the different symptoms, so you can seek medical help to ease the condition.
There are three main types of arthritis—osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout, that damage the human body joints differently. The most common is osteoarthritis due to the natural wear and tear to the cartilage in the joints. The cartilage cushions the bones’ ends. But infection and injuries could cause the cartilage to deteriorate and affect the joint lining, which causes pain and swelling.
In the case of rheumatoid arthritis, the body’s immune system attacks the joint lining (synovial membrane), causing swelling and inflammation of the joints. When left untreated, it could destroy the joint’s bone and cartilage.
Gout is a complex type of arthritis that can affect any person. The disease is characterized by sudden attacks of tenderness, redness, swelling, and severe joint pain. Gout often affects the feet and toe joints. The common cause of gout is the buildup of urate crystals, which form when a person’s blood has high uric acid levels. The body produces uric acid naturally to break down purines, which come from some fish, shellfish, alcoholic beverages, and organ meats. Purines are also present in cruciferous vegetables, mushrooms, oatmeal, anchovies, and sardines