Arthritis Causes, Types, and Treatments

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rheumatoid arthritis
rheumatoid arthritis

Arthritis simply refers to joint inflammation. However, types of arthritis may refer to more than 200 conditions that affect joints, as well as the tissues that surround the joint, and other connective tissue. It is a rheumatic condition.

The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis. Other common rheumatic conditions related to arthritis include gout, fibromyalgia, and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

There are some forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus (SLE), which can affect a good number of organs in the body.

Causes

Even after a long period of the disease existing, no single reason has been discovered for types of arthritis. The cause or causes differ in the nature of arthritis. Generally, some causes include;

  • injury, which leads to degenerative arthritis
  • abnormal body metabolism,
  • dysfunction of the immune system
  • inheritance for example osteoarthritis
  • infections

Some types of arthritis develop suddenly without anyway trace to their cause. Arthritis can also arise due to genetic reasons. More factors as having been stated above may also be a reason for arthritis.

arthritis symptoms
arthritis symptoms

Management

Since diet types are not found to be a major cause of arthritis (except gout), the consumption of certain food types can help lower the risk of arthritis. On the other hand, foods that increase inflammation, particularly foods with animal origin and meals with high sugar content, can make symptoms worse, as such foods can provoke an immune system response.

Diets that contain high-purine foods, such as seafood, red wine, and some vegetables should be avoided to reduce the symptoms of arthritis. Plants such as tomatoes have certain chemical compounds that are linked with arthritis pain.

Arthritis can also be managed by doing the following.

  • Keeping tracks of body changes during the period of having this condition
  • Properly observing medication
  • Engaging in exercise or workout programs
  • Eating a healthy diet that controls inflammation (more on a diet later)
  • Take enough time to rest

Treatment

Treatment of the symptoms of arthritis mostly involves the aid of a doctor. Most patients have to undergo weight loss programs, joint assistive aids, therapies, education and support programs, and even surgery when there needs to be a replacement of the joints. Medications are also administered as an approach towards treatment.

Non-inflammatory types of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis, are often treated with pain relief medications, physical activity like exercises, weight loss for an overweight person, and self-management education.

These treatments are also applied to inflammatory types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, alongside anti-inflammatory medications such as corticosteroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), and a new type of medicine known as known as biologics.

Medications usually depend on the type of arthritis.

arthritis treatment
arthritis treatment

Natural Remedies

With the consumption of a healthy and balanced meal coupled with appropriate exercise and less alcohol can help individuals with arthritis maintain overall health.

When it comes to dieting, no specific diet treats arthritis, but some may help reduce inflammation. Some of such foods include;

  • Fish
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Beans
  • Olive oil
  • Whole grains

Some foods to avoid include foods and vegetables that have purine contents since this has been found to escalate the symptoms of the condition.

Another step will be to avoid sitting in the same position for long periods.  It is best to take regular breaks and be on the move to keep your body active.

Types

There are around 200 types of arthritis all categorized into seven groups. Let’s have a look

  • Inflammatory arthritis which includes Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Degenerative or mechanical arthritis that refers to the damage of the cartilage
  • Soft tissue musculoskeletal pain
  • Back pain which can originate from problems with organs or muscular activities
  • Connective tissue disease
  • Infectious arthritis relates to inflammation that is caused by a bacterial infection
  • Metabolic arthritis: uric acid is a chemical created when the body breaks down substances called purines. These substances go on to form crystals that cause extreme joint pain.

However, the most common types of arthritis are:

osteoarthritis
osteoarthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis

Osteoarthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis have similar characteristics probably because they are both classified under inflammatory arthritis, though they are different types. Rheumatoid arthritis usually occurs when the body’s immune system attacks the connective tissues of the body, leading to joint inflammation, pain, and degeneration of the joint tissue.

Osteoarthritis is a result of a reduced amount in the of cartilage tissue in the body.  Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that affects the cartilage, joint lining, and ligaments. The breakdown of the tissues gradually leads to pain and joint stiffness which is a symptom of arthritis. The joints most often affected by osteoarthritis are those that get heavy use, such as hips, knees, hands, the spine, the base of the thumb, and the big toe joint.

In conclusion, arthritis is a prevalent joint condition that affects a vast number of individuals and can display small to chronic symptoms which may, later on, need medication or professional help. Some arthritis symptoms are temporary, but in cases of prolonged joint pain, it is advisable to seek professional help.

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