Arthritis is defined as inflammation of one or more joints, leading to pain and stiffness that can worsen with age. There are as many as 100 types of arthritis with distinctive symptoms and causes. Arthritis affects the joints, the tissue that surrounds the joint and tissues connected with joints. Arthritis affects more than 180 million people in India. Arthritis is mainly divided into groups which are described below:
Causes of Arthritis
- Connective Tissue Disease (CTD)- Connective Tissue is the tissue that holds together or divides other body tissues and organs. Pain in the joints is a common symptom of CTD. Scleroderma and dermatomyositis are popular examples of CTD.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis- Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects both the joints of the hand, wrist or knee. It can occur in any age group and often results in long lasting stiffness and fatigue.
- Metabolic Arthritis- Uric acid is a chemical developed as a body classifies the substance called purine, which is found in human cells and food. This arthritis creates sudden spikes of unbearable joint pain and even gout attack.
- Infectious Arthritis- This arthritis is the result of virus or fungus that enters the joint and stimulates inflammation.
There is no definite cause of arthritis. Causes of arthritis depend upon the particular form of arthritis. Probable causes of arthritis are:
- Immune system dysfunction
- Unusual Metabolism
Warning signs of this chronic disease are:
Diagnosis of Arthritis
- Swelling-Arthritis causes an abnormal enlargement of a part of the body. This is due to the accumulation of fluid.
- Pain- The feeling of constant pain in the many parts of the body.
- Stiffness- Stiffness in the muscles upon waking up, or sitting at one place for long, upon waking up in the morning or after sitting at a desk. One may feel stiffness in finger, wrist, elbow, knees, ankles, shoulder or in any other joint.
- Fever, chills, fatigue, loss of appetite and headaches are some other common symptoms of arthritis.
Diagnosis of the arthritis disease is done, to know its current and past status. The combination of radiography, laboratory test and physical examination may be carried out. Diagnostic tests to diagnose arthritis include:
- Blood Culture
- Joint X-Ray
- Tear Test
- Thyroid Function Test
- Uric Acid Test
Arthritis can be treated by following methods:
Prevention of Arthritis
Following methods are used in order to prevent arthritis:
- Stay Active
- Diet Rich In calcium
- Control Weight Gain
- Plenty of water intake
- Yoga and other light exercise