Arthritis is the term denoted to a wide range of joint pain, systemic or localized in nature, which may differ in characteristics based on their causes. The joints affected by arthritis may range from large joints such as those of the knee, hip or elbows; or small joints such as those of the fingers or the toes. Arthritis is generally characterized by pain, redness & stiffness of the affected joints.
Types of Arthritis
Arthritis is largely categorized based on their cause such as
- Degenerative Arthritis
- Inflammatory Arthritis
- Infectious Arthritis
- Metabolic Arthritis
Degenerative arthritis has osteoarthritis as its example wherein the joint cartilage undergoes degeneration due to age, genetics, obesity or other factors. Inflammatory arthritis includes rheumatoid arthritis where there is systemic inflammation as a result of the damage caused by the body defense mechanisms against the joints (autoimmunity). Infectious arthritis is caused by the attack by foreign pathogens such as bacteria, virus or fungus against the joints. Pathogens causing STD’s, Hepatitis C or food poisoning can cause harm to joints as well. Metabolic arthritis such as gout is the result of excessive breakdown of purines in the body and impaired clearance of uric acid crystals from the body.
Management of Arthritis
Lose weight if overweight or obese
Excess body weight or fat mass can put undue pressure on the already affected joints, mainly in the lower part of the body such as hip, knees or toes.
Ditch the chair and move around often at your workplace or your residence to exercise the joints in extremities.
Avoid smoking, alcohol & consumption of sweetened, aerated drinks
Nicotine & alcohol induces inflammatory responses in the body damaging the joints in the process. Sugar & carbonic acid in aerated drinks leaches the calcium out of the bones & makes them weak.
Supplement Omega-3 in your diet
Omega-3 is anti-inflammatory and protects joints from damage.
Include Bioactive Compounds in Diet
Bioactive compounds such as curcumin from turmeric and EGCG from green tea helps in supporting the medical therapy for arthritis.
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