- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Arthritis Types Symptoms and Treatment
The question "What is arthritis" is a very
complex question as there are over 100 types of arthritis and the very nature
of the condition will give you a sense of its complexity. It refers to
inflammation of the joints including the joint lining, bones, cartilage or
supporting structures. In the United
States, about 21 million people live with
osteoarthritis, and it is common among adults over 65 but people may develop the
disease in any age. The prevalence rises significantly after age 50 in men and
after age 40 in women.
The most common symptoms of arthritis are pain, stiffness and swelling of the joints. This condition may involve one or several joints throughout the body. Osteoarthritis is certainly more common as we age our cartilage becomes more brittle and it has less capacity to repair itself. For instance, my husband recently started having a problem with his knees when he gets up in the morning. They're very stiff and painful, but once he gets moving the pain and stiffness ease off. That's a fairly typical description of beginning arthritis. Other factors that cause arthritis include genetics, weight, previous injury, occupational hazards, some high–level sports or illness and infection. Treatment varies according to what type of arthritis you have.
Comparison – normal knee, rheumatoid and osteoarthritis
More Common Types of Arthritis
Arthritis may be mild, moderate or severe, causing chronic health problems. Of the more than 100 different types of arthritis, these are the most common:
- It is also called degenerative arthritis and occurs when the cushioning cartilage and joint breaks down.
- It most commonly affects feet, knees, hips and fingers.
- It affects 16 million Americans, mostly 45 year of age and older.
- The disease is responsible for more trouble walking and stair climbing any other disease, and it is the most common indication for total joint replacement of the hip and knee.
- This is an immune system disease that attacks the lining or synovial membranes of the joints.
- Joint damage can become severe and deforming, plus it involves the whole body which also causes fatigue, weight loss anemia and it can affect the lungs, heart and eyes.
- It affects 2.1 million Americans, three times more women than men.
Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis:
- Symptoms include pain, swelling, tenderness and stiffness of joints causing limited motion.
arthritis is one of the most common childhood diseases in the United
States and usually it is rheumatoid arthritis, although there are
different levels of severity.
- It affects approximately 294,000 children under the age of 18.
Gout arthritis X-ray
Ankylosing Spondylitis Arthritis Spine Damage
- It causes sudden severe attacks, usually in big toe.
- It is a metabolic disorder where uric acid builds up in the blood and crystals form in the joints and other places.
- Drugs and attention to diet can control gout.
- It affects 1 million Americans, 70 to 80% are men, with the first attack starting between 40 and 50 years of age.
- This is a chronic inflammatory disease of the spine that can result in fused vertebrae and rigid spine.
- It is primarily a genetic disease and affects 318,000 Americans, usually men between the ages of 16 and 35.
Phil Mickelson –Recently Diagnosed with Psoriatic arthritis
Psoriatic Arthritis in Hand
- Bone and other joint tissue becomes inflamed, and it can affect the whole body.
- It primarily affects the fingers or spine.
- The symptoms are often mild but for some people it can be quite severe.
- Phil Michelson has psoriatic arthritis and his interview appears in the magazine Arthritis Today
- Affects about 160,000 Americans.
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus:
- Involves skin, joints, muscles and sometimes internal organs, particularly the kidneys.
- Symptoms usually appear in women of childbearing age but can occur in anyone at any age.
- It can be mild or life-threatening.
- Affects at least 131,000 Americans, 9 to 10 times as many women as men.
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Other Types of Arthritis
- Arthritis can develop as a result of infection. For example, bacteria that causes gonorrhea or Lyme disease can cause arthritis. Infectious arthritis can cause serious damage but usually clears up completely with antibiotics.
- Scleroderma is a systemic disease that involves the skin, but may include problems with blood vessels, joints and internal organs.
- Fibromyalgia syndrome is a soft tissue rheumatism that doesn't lead to joint deformity, but affects an estimated 5 million Americans, mostly women.
Arthritis Dietary Suggestions
It is clear that specific nutrients to prevent arthritis needs more research, but enough is known to conclude that the appropriate levels of vitamin C, D, E, antioxidants and Omega-3 fatty acids have protective properties and reduce inflammation. Also, vitamin D deficiency has been in associated with an increased risk of joint space narrowing and progression of osteoarthritis.
Some other arthritis diet suggestions are drink green tea and eat your omega-3 fats foods which are found in seafood, particularly salmon, and grass–fed beef and chicken; plus you can use over-the-counter supplements such as fish oil. Both of these will help reduce inflammation and relieve the symptoms of arthritis. Take at least 5 g to 10 g of omega-3 fats per day and a glass or two of green tea should help. Low–carbohydrate diets have also been shown to help curb inflammation in the body.
My Upcoming Surgery
The joints in the fingers of my right hand have fused abnormally due to the osteoarthritis and one finger is actually out of alignment. I'm having a lot of difficulty functioning using my right hand. When you have arthritis to this degree it makes it difficult to type, for instance, and I drop things frequently. I have a lot of difficulty doing anything that takes much dexterity in my right hand.
I had my left hand operated on four years ago and it gave me amazing relief. However, it is painful surgery and recovery takes 6 to 8 weeks with pins through the joints that are being fused. I am also having Carpal Tunnel and Cubital tunnel surgery also which is done by releasing a nerve at the elbow and is the least painful part of the surgery. Cubital tunnel cause pain to run down the outside of your lower arm, making your two small fingers numb. I have put the surgery off for over two years, but now I feel I have no choice. I will be glad when it is over and healed. In the meantime I will have physical therapy. As I don't have a drop of ambidextrous blood in me I have been practicing brushing my teeth with my left hand and I'm not sure I can feed myself, so it may be a perfect time for a diet! :-)
I may not be able to spend much time on Hubpages during this recovery but I hope I have that worked out..
Common Signs and Symptoms of Arthritis
I purchased a software program called Dragon Naturally Speak which I am working with now. As I use this program it becomes more accustomed to my voice, and I can train it to spell words correctly. So, I hope to be able to make comments and put up some hubs because 6 to 8 weeks is a long time. The other good thing is I can talk a lot faster than I can type, so there is an upside and once the fused joints heal they will no longer hurt like they do now. So I will have a hand that functions much better than it does at the present time.
All the forms of arthritis affect millions of people and it is the very difficult disease due to the pain, stiffness and the limitation of mobility. I hope you have a better understanding of some of the more common types of arthritis and listed in this hub because as I said there are over 100 types of arthritis.
The copyright to this article is owned by Pamela Oglesby. Permission to republish this article in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.
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