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Arthritis - A Life Long Disease?

Sep 10, 2008
INTRODUCTION: Arthritis is defined as the presence of swelling, the presence of effusion (The escape of fluid into another part), or the presence of 2 or more of the following symptoms: limited range of movement (ROM), tenderness, pain on motion, or joint warmth. It is a chronic disease that will be with you for a long time and potentially for the rest of your life and is diagnosed through a careful evaluation of symptoms and a physical examination.

Arthritis is one of the most rapidly growing chronic conditions in North America and is a major reason for lost work time and serious disability for many people. It is not just an old person's disease. The 2 most common forms are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS: Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that happens when the body's own immune system mistakenly attacks the synovium (cell lining inside the joint). It seems to have been described in paintings more than a century before the first detailed medical description of the condition in 1800 by Landre-Beauvais. The disease can be hard to diagnose early because it can begin gradually with subtle signs. Rheumatoid arthritis often starts in middle age and is most common in older people.

TREATMENT: Treatment options include drugs, reduction of joint stress, physical and occupational therapy, and surgical intervention. Treatment choices involve careful consideration of the risks and benefits.

Treating rheumatoid arthritis may involve: Lifestyle modifications, Drugs, Surgery, Regular physician visits as well as Alternative therapies. The aim of treatment in this chronic disease must be two-fold: to ease the suffering of the patient here and now, and to prevent the future destruction of the joints and resulting handicap if the disease is left untreated.

RISK: The risk of first developing the disease (the disease incidence) appears to be greatest for women between 40 and 50 years of age, and for men somewhat later. It is important to recognize that patients with rheumatoid arthritis have an increased risk of developing lymphoma as a consequence of their autoimmune disease, independently from any potential medication effects.

It is important to note that rheumatoid arthritis itself is a risk factor for non-Hodgkins lymphomas. A modest increase in the risk of serious infection was observed in rheumatoid arthritis patients in clinical trials treated with anakinra in combination with DMARDS and other TNF inhibitors, compared to a placebo with DMARDs (2 % vs 1%).

CONCLUSION: Arthritis is a term that groups together over 100 rheumatic conditions and other related problems that cause stiffness, swelling and pain in the joints of the body. It is exploding in an aging US population and is one of the most rapidly growing chronic conditions in The United States. Arthritis is a chronic disease that will be with you for a long time and possibly for the remainder of your life.
About the Author
Concerning The Author: Richard H. Ealom is an author who has written many articles on Diseases,Causes,Cures. To learn more about Arthritis go to The Ultimate Arthritis Cure! You have the right to use this article as long as this box stays unchanged.
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