Arthritis - A Friendly Chat
The Second Type of Arthritis
The second most debilitating type of arthritis is called Rheumatoid Arthritis. It is
characterized as an enduring disease that affects joints in any part of the body but most
especially the hands, wrists and knees. You may remember your grandmother or aunt with
gnarled up hands, enlarged knuckles and closed up fists. She was hardly able to lift a spoon
or a pot, but she could still cook. The only trouble is she could no longer knit, crochet or do
any fine-motor skills. The looks of the hand is the signal that rheumatism has taken over.
In this type of arthritis, the body is attacking itself, called auto-immune disease. There
were no damages or accidents to the wrist or knuckles or knees. The body is simply ganging
up on itself and causing the joints to swell up and gnarl up. The inflammation in the joints
then spreads to any surrounding tissues and can damage the cartilage or bone. In very
severe cases rheumatism can spread and do damage to the skin, eyes and nerves.
Lupus, gout and fibromyalgia are also classed under the rheumatoid arthritis branch in
which the body is attacking itself and is an auto-immune disease.
The first symptoms of any sort of arthritis are:
Pain in the joint areas of the body
Fatigue due to lack of beneficial sleep
Aches which seem to come and go with changes in the weather
Diminished capacity of active life
Joints react with severe stabs of pain
Lower back aches which start with early morning stiffness and reappear all day
Pain reappears throughout the day with normal activity
Lupus is an agonizing auto-immune systemic disease in which the antibodies start to attack
become involved and slowly fill the patient with agonizing pain. Gout occurs when crystals
gather in the joint, as in the knees, and make movement of any sort painful and difficult.
The knees, knuckles and toes are the most susceptible to gout. Fibromyalgia is another
type of arthritis in which the muscles surrounding the joints are affected with pain and
aches. There are 11 points that a rheumatologist checks and at least 8 of them have to
react in order to be determined as Fibromyalgia. It is often grouped together with Chronic
Fatigue Syndrome but I find that not to be the case. Pain and discomfort is the only
characteristic for me with bouts of fatigue on certain days.