What Exactly is Arthritis? Part 2

by on Sep.20, 2011, under Arthritis

Lupus is another inflammatory form of arthritis. There are two forms of lupus: systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) (about 70% of the people with lupus) and Discoid lupus (about 15% of people with lupus). SLE affects joints, skin, kidneys and other parts of the body. Discoid lupus is primarily a skin disease that can cause scarring. Symptoms of lupus include swelling, pain and redness in affected organs. It is a chronic condition, but some people experience times when the symptoms flare and then go into remission.

The cause of lupus is still unknown, but it is labeled as an autoimmune disease. If this form of arthritis is undiagnosed and untreated many health problems may occur. It is essential to see a rheumatologist and start treatment early on in the disease process to avoid complications.

The onset of lupus can occur between the ages of 18 and 45. About 90% of the people who have lupus are women. It can also occur in young children or older adults. African Americans tend to get lupus more often than Caucasians.

Fibromyalgia syndrome is characterized by generalized muscular pain and fatigue. It is not called a disease because it is solely diagnosed by a number of signs and symptoms. Signs are found during a physical examination by the doctor and symptoms are what the patient reports to the doctor.

Fibromyalgia can be a more difficult condition to diagnosis due to a variety of symptoms that are common to other forms of arthritis and other conditions. This syndrome mainly affects muscles and their attachments to the bones. Fibromyalgia does not cause deformities of the joint. One of the distinguishing signs of this condition is tender points at specific locations on the body. A person with fibromyalgia may also experience fatigue, sleep disturbances, mood changes, numbness and tingling in their hands, arms, feet, legs or face.

Fibromyalgia can occur in people from teenage years to older adults. It is not easily diagnosed because of the variety of signs and symptoms found during the evaluation process. There are no definitive medical tests that can be performed to pin point this syndrome, therefore, it may take several different tests and trips back to the physician before a proper diagnosis can be made.

Gout is a disease that causes warmth, severe pain, redness, tenderness and swelling in the joints. It most often affects only one joint at a time. The large joint of the big toe is the most commonly affected with gout. It also occurs in other joints, such as the wrist, knee, foot, ankle, elbow and hand.

Gout usually has a fairly predictable pattern; sudden joint pain and swelling for a period of 5 to 10 days, followed by a period of no symptoms at all, and then followed by another episode. If this pattern persists over a number of years and is left untreated, the acute pain can become more on going and joint damage can occur.

Gout is one of the few forms of arthritis that usually can be diagnosed by testing for the level of uric acid in the blood, a physical examination and ruling out other forms of arthritis. The uric acid build up causes crystals to form and to be deposited in the joint. These crystals are the cause of inflammation and pain.

Uric acid crystals can also form stones in the kidneys, the ureters and the bladder. This form of arthritis can be managed with medication and proper diet. Gout can occur at any age, but the sudden onset usually occurs in men between the ages of 40 and 50.

As you can see, the diseases of arthritis are varied and complex. Some forms are more difficult to diagnose than others. Even though some arthritis diseases have very distinct symptoms, every individual presents differently. This makes the original diagnosis difficult and the continued treatment plan variable.

So, if you suspect you have one of the more than 100 forms of arthritis, go to the doctor as soon as possible and get a proper diagnosis. With early detection and aggressive treatment, most people who have arthritis can remain independent and productive for a lifetime.

Pain medicines may be successful and effective in curing a lot of kinds of pain, such as back pain, earaches, pain from arthritis, pain after surgery. Pain killers are remedies that you can order without a prescription.

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