By Dr Chethana D
Joint and back pain, one of the most common ailments, can disable people if the symptoms become chronic. Arthritis has a big impact on the lives of millions of people worldwide. It affects them physically, emotionally and socially as well. It is important to diagnose and treat the condition before arthritis takes the upper hand.
Arthritis & Its Types
Arthritis means joint inflammation, causing pain and stiffness.
The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis which occurs due to wear and tear of joints. It commonly affects knees, hips and lower back.
The other type of arthritis is inflammatory arthritis, which comes under the purview of a rheumatologist. This group includes rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and many more.
Rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease, tends to affect women more than men, primarily in the age group of 30-60 years. Genetic, environmental factors and smoking can lead to developing this condition. About 1 in 100 people are affected by rheumatoid arthritis in India.
The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include pain in multiple joints, especially hands, wrists, feet and knees lasting for more than 4 to 6 weeks. There may be swelling in the joints, and severe joint stiffness early in the morning.
Fatigue and feverishness are common signs during the condition.
Treatment should be initiated under the guidance of a rheumatologist within 6 to 8 weeks of the onset of symptoms.
The treatment is usually long-term, and includes medications called disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs. The medication may include simple pain-killers or a short course of steroids during the initial stages.
For people with very severe arthritis, biologic drugs can be given in the form of tablets, injections or through intravenous route. Novel targeted treatment can halt joint destruction. Apart from medications, adapting to lifestyle changes like working out regularly, quitting smoking, eating healthy and maintaining an ideal weight are important.
The treatment options for people suffering with rheumatoid arthritis are improving everyday with new and more effective medications. It is possible to lead a normal and active life by taking regular medications, and making necessary lifestyle changes. The key is to start treatment early and take it regularly.
(The author is Consultant-Rheumatology at Aster CMI Hospital)
World No Tobacco Day: Smoking Can Hurt Eyes, Bones And Brain
31 May, 2018
Most smokers believe smoking is cool. No matter how you indulge in it, tobacco is harmful to your health. Tobacco contains over 7,000 toxins and 70 known carcinogens (chemicals that increase cancer risk) and can damage nearly every organ of the body. Dr Sachin Kumar, Senior Consultant – Pulmonology at Sakra World Hospital explains how smoking affects every part of your body. The next time you are tempted to take a drag, just pause for a minute and think of the consequences of your indulgence.
Source : https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/magazines/panache/dont-ignore-joint-pain-with-fever-fatigue-it-can-mean-rheumatoid-arthritis/articleshow/66164765.cms