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Keeping An Eye Out For Diseases And Illnesses

Jan 30, 2008
Pleurisy, also called pleuritis, is an inflammation of the pleura. Pleurisy can be generated by a variety of infectious and non-infectious causes. Pleurisy is caused by swelling and irritation of the membrane that surrounds the lungs. Certain autoimmune diseases (such as systemic lupus erythematosus) can irritate the pleura. It is usually a symptom of another illness. It is also called Pleuritic Chest Pain. Pleurisy can develop from many things, including bacterial or viral infections of the lungs (such as pneumonia), TB, lupus, chest injury or trauma, a blood clot in the lung, or cancer. Sometimes a cause cannot be found. The effects of pleurisy can often be felt long after the condition has gone away.The hallmark of pleurisy is severe chest pain that starts suddenly.

The pain is often strong or stabbing when you take a deep breath. It usually subsides or disappears between breaths. It's usually felt on one side of the stomach area or lower chest. Deep breathing and coughing often make it worse. Pleurisy causes fluid to collect inside the lung area. Breathing may be rapid and shallow because deep breathing induces pain; the muscles on the painful side move less than those on the other side. When an accumulation of fluids (pleural effusion) is associated with pleurisy, the pain usually disappears because the fluid serves as a lubricant. Treatment depends on what is causing the pleurisy. Bacterial infections are treated with antibiotics.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory form of arthritis that causes joint pain and damage. It affecting more than two million people in the United States. Rheumatoid arthritis attacks the lining of your joints (synovium) causing swelling that can result in aching and throbbing and eventually deformity. Sometimes rheumatoid arthritis symptoms make even the simplest activities -- such as opening a jar or taking a walk -- difficult to manage. Rheumatoid arthritis is two to three times more common in women than in men and generally occurs between the ages of 40 and 60. But rheumatoid arthritis can also affect young children and older adults. It is commonly polyarticular; that is, it affects many joints.

About seventy-five percent of those affected are women, and 1-3% of women may develop rheumatoid arthritis is their lifetime. The disease most often begins between the fourth and sixth decades of life; however, RA can develop at any age. RA usually affects joints on both sides of the body equally. Wrists, fingers, knees, feet, and ankles are the most commonly affected.Rheumatoid arthritis is two to three times more common in women than in men and generally occurs between the ages of 40 and 60. But rheumatoid arthritis can also affect young children and older adults. Inflammation, soft tissue swelling, and the involvement of multiple joints are common signs and symptoms that distinguish rheumatoid and other inflammatory arthritis from non-inflammatory arthritis such as osteoarthritis.

Treatments include medicine, lifestyle changes and surgery. These can slow or stop joint damage and reduce pain and swelling. To quickly reduce joint inflammation and symptoms, first-line treatment usually consists of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Motrin and others), naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve), celecoxib (Celebrex) and many others.
About the Author
Jon Caldwell is a health critic. Much of his reviews can be found at http://www.healthnook.net/healthnooknetcat/healthnooknetlink.php
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