Arthritis is a widespread disease throughout the world. More than 47 million Americans suffer from one of several forms of arthritis according to the Arthritis Foundation. Approximately 355 million people have the disease worldwide. Yet many people still know very little about arthritis. Misperceptions abound.
One of the most deeply held myths about arthritis is the idea that it only strikes the elderly. Going hand in hand with that belief is the thought that ‘everyone ” will develop arthritis as they age. In fact, there are more than a hundred forms of arthritis, and these diseases affect people of every age – including babies and children. In fact, two thirds of people with arthritis are under age 65. The Arthritis Foundation estimates that about 300, 000 children in American have some kind of juvenile arthritis.
Moving Forward With This
The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis, or ‘wear-and-tear ” arthritis. This does tend to affect mainly older people. It’s true that most of us will develop osteoarthritis as we get older, since it occurs as cartilage in the joints slowly wears down. But even osteoarthritis can strike younger people – for example, athletes who injure their joints. And the effects of osteoarthritis can be avoided and minimized. View this related blog post; arthritis treatment.
Since many people believe they must inevitably get arthritis as they age, they also believe there is not much they can do about it. But the fact is that some forms of arthritis are curable. Almost all forms can be addressed to reduce pain and other symptoms and minimize joint damage.
Some examples of curable forms of arthritis include Lyme disease and infectious arthritis, both of which can be interpreted with antibiotics, and gout. This can be cured with a mixture of dietary changes and medication to reduce uric acid levels in the bloodstream.
In addition, in just the last five years, a wide range of new medications have become available to treat psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. These biologic drugs not only reduce symptoms but can even slow or stop the spread of the disease. This is critical because, according to the Arthritis Foundation, the bulk of joint damage happens during the first two years after the start of the disease.
Besides medication, doctors, researchers, and physical therapists are constantly finding new and better techniques for tackling the symptoms of arthritis. These can range from pain to swelling and stiffness, skin rashes, fatigue, depression, and low fevers. But arthritis patients who exercise, watch their diet and to engage in self-help courses can improve their ability to deal with these effects.
Many people do not go to a doctor or do much for their arthritis pain, particularly when it seems minor, because they do not believe that it is a serious or life-threatening condition. Unfortunately, some kinds of arthritis can be extremely serious indeed – especially if they go untreated. In fact, arthritis is the nation’s No. 1 cause of disability, affecting one in six Americans. This number could reach one in five within another 10 years.
Some forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, can reduce the patient’s life expectancy by as much as eight to 15 years. These are serious autoimmune conditions that affect not only the joints but the skin, eyes, ears, glands and internal organs. What’s more, some of the strong medications used to treat them have rare but dangerous side effects.
Arthritis can greatly reduce the patient ability to look after himself or herself independently. The majority of people with rheumatoid arthritis are not able to work within eight to 10 years of being diagnosed with the disease. Severe arthritis limits their ability to walk, exercise, drive, clean house or do laundry, cook or take good care of pets and children.
There are many form of arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, septic arthritis, Gouty arthritis, osteoarthritis (the most frequent form of arthritis).
Gouty arthritis is caused by deposition of uric acid crystals in the joints that results in subsequent inflammation.
It can also deal a blow to the family funds, owing to the cost of doctor visits, lab tests, hospitalizations, medications, and medical device such as walkers, wheelchairs and reachers. In fact, arthritis is estimated to cost our country about $128 billion a year – the equivalent of a moderate recession – in medical costs and lost productivity at work.
It may seem contradictory to say that arthritis is highly treatable, even curable in some cases – then to add that it needs to be taken seriously. But both facts are true. The word ‘arthritis ” represents a set of more than 100 related diseases, many of whom are extremely debilitating, even life-threatening. But people with joint symptoms who see a doctor and to obtain a diagnosis early can also begin treatment quickly – thus minimizing the long-term effects.
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