Arthritis and Rheumatology are terms that are used to describe around 200 conditions that affect the joints, the tissues surrounding the joint and other connective tissues of a person’s body. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, and other common conditions fibromyalgia, gout and rheumatoid arthritis.
These conditions usually include symptoms like pain, stiffness, and swelling in one more joints of the body, which can gradually or suddenly develop. Certain conditions of arthritis also include other parts of the body like the immune system and other internal organs.
Certain forms of arthritis such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis are likely to affect multiple organs of your body thereby causing widespread symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have revealed that about 54.4 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with some forms of arthritis. Even though arthritis is common in adults who are aged more than 65 years, it can also affect people of all ages.
The cause can vary according to the type of arthritis a person is diagnosed with. Degenerative arthritis is often caused due to injuries; gout and pseudogout are mainly caused by abnormal metabolism. Osteoarthritis is often caused by inheritance whereas arthritis of Lyme disease is formed from infections. Rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are caused as a result of the dysfunction of the immune system.
Many types of arthritis are linked to a collective of factors whereas some form of arthritis has no obvious cause. For people who are genetically more likely to develop arthritis, the aid of certain additional factors including infections, previous injuries, smoking, and physically demanding jobs can interact with the genes to increase the risk of arthritis.
In addition to this, certain foods that are derived from animals can increase the inflammation caused due to arthritis. Therefore, eating foods that provoke the response of the immune system can increase the risks of arthritis.
The common type of arthritis that is closely linked to diet is gout, as gout is caused when the level of uric acid is elevated. This can be caused by having a diet that is high in purines.
Diets containing purines in a high amount such as red wine, seafoods, meats, etc. can trigger the flare0up of gout. However, vegetables and other foods which are derived from plants contain high levels of purines but do not appear to exacerbate the symptoms of gout.
Types of Arthritis
There are around two hundred types of arthritis which are mainly categorized into some main groups.
Inflammation is seen as a normal part of the healing process of the body, which tends to occur as a defense against bacteria and viruses. It can also occur as a response to injuries and burns. However, inflammation occurs in arthritis patients for no particular reason.
This condition is mainly characterized by damaging inflammations, and it does not occur as a normal reaction to burns or injuries. Such kinds of inflammation are very unhelpful and also cause damage to the joints that are affected by arthritis that result in causing pain, swelling, and stiffness.
Several joints can be affected by inflammatory arthritis and the inflammation can cause damage to the surface of the joints and underlying bones.
This type of arthritis refers to a group of conditions that mostly involves cartilage damage. The body begins to remodel the damaged bone to restore its stability to compensate for the changes in the joint, it causes bony growths which are called osteophytes.
As the body breaks down purines, uric acid is created in the body, most of which dissolves in the blood and then move towards the kidneys. Excess uric acid accumulates needle-like crystals in the joints for some people which results in experiencing sudden spikes of joint pain or gout attacks. The latter can come and go or can become chronic if the levels of uric acid are not reduced.
It can mostly affect a single joint as well as a number of joints including the big toe or hands.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
RA occurs when the immune system of the body keeps attacking the tissues of a person’s body. It mostly affects the connective tissues which can lead to pain, inflammation in the joints, and its degeneration.
Continuous inflammation in the synovial can result in the degeneration of bone and cartilage, thereby leading to symptoms like redness, pain, swelling, joint deformity, etc.
Rheumatoid Arthritis can cause premature disability as well as mortality which can compromise the quality of life of the patient. Cardiovascular diseases like stroke and ischemic heart disease are common conditions that are linked to RA.
The diagnosis of RA can provide people with better chances of learning to manage the symptoms in a successful way which can, in turn, reduce the impact of the disease on the quality of the patient’s life.