Arthritis - A Friendly Chat by Sandra Firman - HTML preview

PLEASE NOTE: This is an HTML preview only and some elements such as links or page numbers may be incorrect.
Download the book in PDF, ePub, Kindle for a complete version.

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 not only the joints but also the body's organs. The heart, kidneys, eyes, lungs and skin can 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.