Do you ever wonder if you have a certain condition or disease? In today's age of digital information, where almost anything can be at your fingertips in an instant, it is easy to get frightened by reading the wrong guide or article. An internet site could explain your symptoms perfectly and suggest it could be a life threatening disease when in actual fact, it may be a mild cold or flu.
Because of today's media, we are exposed to a vast number of conditions on a daily basis and it can easily send our imagination wild. Educating one's self about certain conditions properly can help alleviate this imagination overload. Learning more about a disease can help us answer the question of "Do I have it?" before our imagination gets the better of us. One disease in particular that we will look at now is to find out what is arthritis.
The Glue Between Our Joints
Arthritis is often associated with elderly people complaining of joint problems. This is an apt image but not entirely truly the way it is. So what is arthritis? Most types of arthritis cause aches and the enlargement or inflammation of your joints. Joints are areas between bones and represent the glue that holds our bones together and stops them from grinding against each other as we move.
An example of a joint would be a knee or an elbow. Over time, swollen joints can become impaired. Specific types of arthritis can cause difficulties within your body, including affecting the organs. Among the different types of arthritis, some only affect children or are related only to a person's immune system, aging or genetics.
Once you've learned what arthritis is, then you will be able to determine if you have it yourself.
Joints, Bones and Organs
If it turns out that you do have arthritis then you could have one of several types of arthritis. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are two of the most common. Osteoarthritis is generally the result of natural aging and will most likely affect your knees, hips or fingers. Rheumatoid arthritis however, occurs when your body's autoimmune system malfunctions. Instead of protecting your body, it mistakes healthy tissues and cells as threats and attacks them. This affects bones, joints and could affect internal organs. Rheumatoid arthritis can cause you to feel fatigues, sick and create a fever.
Once you've learned what arthritis is, you may suspect that you have the disease yourself. If this is the case then you should arrange to meet with your doctor as soon as possible because key to treating arthritis is to identify it early on and begin a course of treatment as soon as possible to prevent the disease from progressing. Remember, despite how confident you are that you have arthritis, only a doctor should diagnose you and recommend a course of treatment. Giving your doctor as much information as possible about your pain will help the diagnosis.
Through a series of blood tests and x-rays, your doctor will be able to determine which kind of arthritis you have, if you have any it at all.
Only a Doctor Can Treat You Right
Once the doctor has diagnoses you with arthritis, he will then recommend an appropriate course of treatment for you. You could be prescribed with arthritis medication to alleviate pain, stiffness and swelling.
If your arthritis still causes you pain after a prescribed course of treatment, there are other forms of self treatment you can take part in, such as regular exercise , resting properly, eating properly and applying over the counter topical creams and gels directly to the affected joints.
If you are still unable to shed the pain, then you should consult your doctor again and at this stage, after all other avenues have been exhausted, your doctor may advise surgery.