This is a term that refers to a group of diseases involving inflammation and damageto the joints of the body (the area where two bones meet). There are many typesof arthritis (over 100 that have been identified, and the number is gettingeven bigger). The most common types are osteoarthritis and rheumatoidarthritis.
Osteoarthritis (also called degenerative joint disease) occurs when thecartilage that covers the end of the bones gradually wears away. When there isno cartilage that serves as a protection, the bones rub against each other, andthat friction leads to pain and swelling. This wear and tear of the cartilage can occurover many years, or it can be hastened by a joint injury or infection.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a lifelong disease in which the body’simmune system mistakenly attacks the joints and causes the joint lining(synovium) to swell. The inflammation then spreads tothe surrounding tissues, and eventually it can damage cartilage and bone.
Regardless of the type of arthritis that a person has, the common symptoms ofthis condition include: joint pain, swelling, stiffness, warmth, decreasedrange of motion, and redness. Sometimes it can even cause fever, inexplicableweight loss, muscle aches and pains, fatigue, and insomnia etc.One should consult a doctor assoon as the symptoms have presented themselves.
The treatment of arthritis is very dependent on the precisetype of arthritis that the patient is experiencing. An accurate diagnosisincreases the chances for successful treatment. Arthritistreatment focuses on relieving symptoms and improving joint function.
The treatments available are: medications (the doctor will determinewhich type of medication is best for the patient; he may prescribecorticosteroids, analgesics, counter-irritants, etc.), therapy (exercises thatimprove range of motion may be needed with some types of arthritis), andsurgery (only if the other measures have not worked; the doctor may recommendsynovectomy, joint fusion or joint replacement).
Eating right and eating at the right time is the key tomaintaining one’s health. It can also be of great help when one is dealingwith arthritis. Relief from the symptoms can be attained, and a vital aspect ofthat is diet.The following tips should help one battle this disease more successfully:One should include glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate in their diet. Thesehelp strengthen the joints.Having plenty of vitamins A, B, C, D, and E in one’ diet,as well as minerals calcium and copper will help the body heal faster. These canbe obtained by food or dietary supplements.Taking more omega-3 fatty acids is beneficial when it comes to reducing theinflammation. These can be obtained by eating more cold water fish, like tuna,salmon, etc.One should cut down on processed food. They are bad for one’s overall healthand may slow the healing process down.Citrus fruit (that contain flavonoids) has ananti-inflammatory effect on the body, so it is recommended that one eat as manyas possible. Also, the antioxidants in them help heal the joint.