Arthritis: Causes, Symptoms, & Types
Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. According to the Arthritis Foundation, more than 50 million adults have some form of the disease. Symptoms include joint pain, swelling, and stiffness, and can range from mild to severe. Severe arthritis can result in chronic pain, and effect everyday life.
This is the most common form of arthritis. This is when the cartilage wears away, leaving bone to rub against bone. This can be painful, as well as cause swelling and stiffness in your joints. You may be at risk for osteoarthritis if you are overweight, have a family history of it, or have a previous injury. You can manage this condition by maintaining a healthy weight, being physically active, using hot and cold therapies, or even taking pain relievers or anti-inflammatory medicines.
2. Inflammatory Arthritis
The immune system is key in protecting your body. When your immune system loses its balance, it can attack the joints with uncontrolled inflammation, which can cause joint erosion. Rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis are forms of inflammatory arthritis. This condition is the result of your genetics and environmental factors, such as smoking. You can slow the disease down by catching it early and treating it with medication.
3. Infectious Arthritis
Your joints can get infections which trigger inflammation. A number of infectious organisms can cause this type of arthritis, including salmonella, shigella, hepatitis C, and even some STDs. Timely treatments and antibiotics are used to combat it, but in some cases, this form can become chronic.
4. Metabolic Arthritis
Every body breaks down nutrients differently. Uric acid is formed as the body breaks down purines, a substance found in your cells and in food. Some people have higher levels of uric acid because they naturally produce more. In this case, the body can’t get rid of the uric acid quickly enough. The uric acid can build up, causing need-like crystals to form in the joints which can result in pain or even gout.
If you think you are experiencing symptoms of arthritis, see your doctor. Your primary care physician can diagnose you and recommend treatment.
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