Learn To Recognize The Symptoms Of Arthritis
Learning to recognize the symptoms of arthritis is important for those who at risk for developing the disease. Some signs are obvious. Others are more subtle and may be easily passed off as temporary issues from some other cause. Knowing what to look for can help an individual get a correct diagnosis, by relaying all the signs with his or her physician. Early diagnosis may also make the difference in how well the disorder is managed.
There are different types or causes of the Disorder. Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disorder and can be genetic. Women are more prone to the disorder, though men also get this disorder. It can begin during childhood or any time during adulthood. The first signs often occur during the childbearing years for women and in the 20s and 30s for men.
Osteoarthritis affects some of the same joints, but is associated with osteoporosis. Therefore, it tends to occur later in life, when degenerative joint diseases commonly occur. It is caused by demineralization of bone, though some of the signs and difficulties are similar.
There is a type of the disorder associated with Diabetes. Generally this occurs due to intermittent blood flow or period of less flow to the affected joints. Usually the bones of the feet and hands are affected in Diabetes and joints become unstable. The best treatment for this form of the disorder is to improve circulation and provide additional stability to the joints. Keeping blood glucose levels under control can also help with circulation and blood flow.
With Rheumatoid Arthritis, fatigue may precede other signs by months or years. Fatigue after exercise or a general feeling of being tired may occur. It may be accompanies by inflammation of the lymph nodes. A slight or low grade fever may also be present. Joints will be tender to touch, swollen and stiff. Morning stiffness may occur before swelling and pain. Any joint can be affected, but the hands, feet and knees are commonly hit hardest.
Blood tests can help to diagnose this form of arthritis. A complete blood count and tests for rheumatoid factor and other autoimmune antibodies will help confirm the diagnosis. Joints may develop small nodules when inflammation has been present for a while.
Osteoarthritis that is associated with degenerative joint disease can involve swelling and redness. It can occur in the spine, hands, feet or anywhere in the body. It is usually diagnosed with x-rays or scans, to determine the level of joint destruction.
For many forms of joint pain, anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs are options for treatment. For the kind associated with autoimmune disease, a different type of medication that regulates the immune system may be used. In severe cases of flare ups that come on very quickly, steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be injected.
People who have any symptoms, whether obvious joint swelling and redness or a mild bout of unusual fatigue can be treated by a knowledgeable bone specialist or rheumatologist. Such a specialist will know exactly which tests are necessary and will b able to offer options in treatment.