Rheumatoid Arthritis | What Are The Early Signs Of Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Facts about Rheumatoid Arthritis in Nigeria: There are not less than 200 rheumatic diseases and conditions that affect the joints and tissues around the joint. Rheumatoid Arthritis is usually characterized by inflammation especially of the joints. It can as well involve other parts of the body.This post will cover all the facts about arthritis in Nigeria you need to be aware of, so stay tuned.
What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Arthritis can also be referred to as inflammation of the joint. It is a chronic autoimmune disease that can cause the affected part in most cases the joints to swell, painful, stiff and looses its function.
Arthritis In Yoruba:
It is mostly called Arunmolegun or Lakuregbe.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Prevalence
One of the facts about arthritis in Nigeria you should be aware of is the fact that arthritis is very common in Nigeria especially among the elderly, it is estimated that at least 1.5 million cases are recorded annually.
Causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis
The following can be the causes of arthritis:
- Genetics: when you have close relatives who once had arthritis, you might also have it in the future
- Infections: rheumatic arthritis can also be related to virus or bacterial infection.
- Hormones: certain hormonal imbalance may trigger arthritis.
Types of Inflammatory Arthritis
There are hundreds type of arthritis and related conditions. Some type of arthritis affects the joints while some affects other parts of the body. Here are just few out of the different types of arthritis:
- Osteoarthritis: this type of arthritis is also known as degenerative arthritis. It occurs as a result of breakdown of the cartilage and bones over a period of time. Part of the body mostly affected includes fingers, hips, back, neck, sometimes joints and hands.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis: this occurs as a result of immune response to certain infections. It is a long term auto-immune disorder characterized by painful warm & swollen joints on both side of the body. RA can also affect other parts of the body.
- Osteoporosis: this occurs when the bone starts to lose mass and starts to shrink. This can lead to painful fracture and reduction in height.
- Fibromyalgia: unlike other types of arthritis which are related to the joints, under this condition, the muscle and soft tissues are being affected.
- Gout: Meat and sea foods are rich in purine components which the body breakdown and produces uric acid as waste product which are then channeled out of the body via urine or feces. When the uric acid in the blood is in excess, it begins to form a crystal which will accumulate in the joint area. This condition is called gout.
- Polymyalgia rheumatica: this condition is mainly characterized by pain and stiffness in the neck, shoulder and hip.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk Factors
The following factors will determine your chance of developing arthritis:
- Age: arthritis usually occurs in the elderly. Most people who are 45 yrs and above are more likely to have arthritis, compared to those who are younger.
- Previous injury: if you have once had a serious injury on your joints or knee.
- Body weight: those who are obese are advised to do regular exercise and take measures to control their weight.
- Stress: physical activities that put more stress on the joints such as bending, carrying heavy items and staying in one standing or sitting position for prolonged hours put you at risk.
Diagnosis of Arthritis
Diagnosis is usually done by a rheumatologist who specializes in diagnosing and treatment of arthritis. X-rays, physical examination & tests using body fluids are the common used method of diagnosing arthritis.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms
Likely symptoms include:
- Painful / swollen joints
- The joint becomes stiff
- You starts experiencing fatigue & loss of appetite
- The parts affected starts becoming reddish
Prevention of Arthritis
- You should properly manage and maintain a proper body weight
- Regular exercise should be encourage
- Your diet should be healthy, processed and junk foods should be avoided.
- Whenever you are doing strenuous physical activities, endeavor to get you joints and knees adequately protected.
Complications of Arthritis
One of the indisputable facts about arthritis in Nigeria is that those who have arthritis may develop heart disease, bone loss, rheumatoid nodules, heart infection and lungs infection. Treatment should commence as soon as you identify arthritis to avoid irreversible damage to the body.
Arthritis Treatments: Can Arthritis Be Cured Permanently?
Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) can be used to reduce symptoms like pain and swelling. It can also be used to prevent bone deformation. There are also natural remedies and herbs often used in treating arthritis which are also proved to be effective.
Further Reading: How To Cure Arthritis Permanently
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