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Are You Suffering From Arthritis?

Aug 17, 2007
As soon as you hear the term Arthritis you rightly picture in your mind someone with constant pain and/or stiffness often accompanied by swelling in the joints. That pretty describes it pretty well in a nutshell.

Arthritis, however, is more than that. It actually covers more than 120 different diseases. Classified as one of the rheumatic diseases, Arthritis is generally chronic, meaning that it rarely changes, or progresses very slowly. As it is an unpredictable disease, treatment can be difficult.

It is the number one cause of disability in people aged 15 and older, as well as the most prevalent disability of the working age population. It's the leading cause of absenteeism.

It is the general consensus of medical opinion that Arthritis is a disease caused mainly by an impaired metabolism and toxemia, or poisons in the blood and tissues. High acidity in the body, which is usually is the result of incorrect dietary habits, can cause the destruction of the cartilage and bones.

Some of the factors doctors base their diagnosis of Arthritis on are the patient's symptoms of pain, crackling sound in the joints, and difficulty in walking up and down the stairs

Arthritis pain is caused by several factors: Inflammation is the process that causes the redness and swelling in your joints. Damage to joint tissues may be the result of either the deterioration of the disease or from stress, injury or pressure on the joints. Fatigue is the most common result from the disease process, and can make your pain seem worse and harder to cope with. Lastly, depression or stress, which may be the result of limited movement or lack of doing activities you used to enjoy.

Arthritis may limit some of the things you can do, but it doesn't have to control your life. Arthritis pain can be dealt with through proper diet, exercise, medication and determination.

By eliminating acid foods, such as coffee, tea and sugar from your diet you can greatly reduce pain and inflammation. Special exercise may help you get pain relief by natural means and increase your mobility.

It is interesting to note, according to one study, that Arthritis pain is processed in the areas of your brain concerned with emotions and fear, thus indicating a target for pain-relieving therapies.

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, affecting more than 21 million Americans. Some people suffer from arthritis pain in the extremities, though many others also suffer arthritic pain in the spine as well as the hips. Joint fusion is often the preferred surgery for relief of arthritis pain in these smaller joints.

Osteoarthritis primarily affects cartilage, which normally cushions the joints, causing it to thin and eventually wear away. It is associated with the aging process and generally refers to joint pain, stiffness, reduced joint motion, and deformity.

Rheumatoid arthritis attacks the whole body at once and is accompanied by swelling. This form is a chronic, multi-systemic disease, which is most frequently seen in children and teenagers.

It must be noted here that some medications used widely to treat arthritis and relieve pain can have side effects. Be sure to get all the medical and nutritional information you can find. It is important to consult both with your doctor and a health professional. The pain and inflammation can be totally controlled and even eliminated by natural means. It is, therefore, advisable to make an effort to explore this route before succumbing to toxic medication which may eventually lead to further grief elsewhere in the body.

More tips are available in a brochure by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) on arthritis and exercise. The Arthritis Foundation has a variety of programs that help you understand the pain and symptoms.
About the Author
Ann Stewart, author, inspirational writer and wellness coach, shares tips on how to fight off disease and feel your best in her weekly newsletter, Youth Makeover: http://youthmakeover.com
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