==== ====Check this out for all nautral arthritis remedies:http://linktrack.info/natural_arthritis==== ====Today there are about 70 million Americans with arthritis...thats one person out of every four whosuffer both pain and the expense of this crippling disease. In one year alone, arthritis will beresponsible for over half a billion dollars in lost wages. The economic consequences of arthritisare important to review because each year, arthritis takes a devastating financial toll on oursociety.Over the course of ten years, arthritis related work loss has been associated with a 37% drop inincome for arthritics - all those without arthritis had a 90% rise in income over the same period oftime!If you...a friend...or a relative has arthritis, its important to know that early treatment can helpsufferers continue with their normal daily lives and remain productive members of the community.The term "arthritis" is derived from the Greek: "arthron" meaning "joint" and "itis" meaninginflammation. Arthritis is a word that describes over 100 different conditions, some involvinginflammation and others not.Arthritis is not a single disease. It encompasses about 100 different conditions, that affect jointsand that pose unique problems for diagnosis and treatment.Some common types of arthritis include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, pseudo-gout,ankylosing spondylitis, polymyalgia rheumatica, psoriatic arthritis, Reiters disease, systemic lupuserythematosus, and fibromyalgia.Most types of arthritis involve joint inflammation. Inflammation is the bodys natural response toinjury or infection.For an example of inflammation, take a simple scratch...your body automatically releaseschemicals that cause fluids to accumulate and white blood cells to gather around the area of thescratch. As your body fights foreign substances and bacteria,inflammation...redness...heat...swelling...and pain occur at the sight of the injury.In arthritis, unfortunately, this natural defense mechanism goes awry. Elements from the blooddesigned to fight infection and repair injury attack the body instead.And, unless this inflammatory process is halted, it will continue to attack the body and cause jointdestruction.So you can begin to see how treatments that just relieve the pain associated with arthritis - but that
do not reduce inflammation - may not adequately treat this disease.Getting proper treatment early on is important...because proper care can help arthritis suffererslead more active and comfortable lives.Yet many people with arthritis delay going to a physician. Either they have fear about going to adoctor or they feel that nothing can be done for arthritis. Other reasons include the notion that allarthritis medicines are harmful or arthritis is just a normal part of aging.Some people try unproven remedies which also delay proper diagnosis and treatment.Since arthritis may evolve gradually, people often ignore its early warning symptoms or signs.These include persistent pain, tenderness, or swelling in one or more joints...symptoms thatshould not be dismissed as signs of age.Other warning symptoms are joint pain and stiffness...especially when they appear in the morning.Low back pain is one of the earliest symptoms of arthritis. For people over the age of 60, arthritisis the most frequent cause of low back pain.The activity of arthritis varies unpredictably. Symptoms are cyclic in nature and seem to come andgo.Therefore, it is important to remember that any symptoms or signs of arthritis that last for morethan six weeks - no matter how mild - should be checked by a physician. And, if symptoms aresevere, then even waiting six weeks might be too long.The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Jointinflammation is involved in both.But, these types of arthritis differ in terms of...age of patients who are affected...the jointsinvolved...the pattern of stiffness...and the potential for disability.Close to 16 million Americans have osteoarthritis - the most common type of arthritis. Althoughosteoarthritis can occur at any age, it most often begins in people in their 50s and 60s.Osteoarthritis or degenerative disc disease is a disorder of cartilage - the gristle that covers theends of long bones. Cartilage is made of cell called chondrocytes which sit inside a frameworkmade up of collagen and proteoglyens. Under normal conditions, chondrocytes make collagenand proteoglycens - in other works - they make the framework they sit inside. With osteoarthritis,chondrocytes behave abnormally and begin to make destructive enzymes such as collagenasese,stromelysin and others. These enzymes degrade cartilage...these enzymes also attractinflammatory cells which secrete substances called cytokines which cause further inflammationand damage to cartilage, underlying bone, and the joint lining.This process results in progressive pain, stiffness, and loss of function.Joint pain and stiffness are the most noticeable symptoms of osteoarthritis. Morning stiffness is
usually brief lasting less than 15 minutes. Osteoarthritis usually affects weight bearing areasparticularly the neck, low back, hips and knees.It may also affect the fingers and hands and bony knobs may appear at the finger joints. The baseof the thumb may also be affected. The typical pattern of osteoarthritis in the hands involves thedistal and proximal interphalangeal (DIP and PIP) joints of the fingers, and the carpometacarpal(CMC) joint of the thumb.Osteoarthritis is considered to be a degenerative joint disease. Along with inflammation, there iswear and tear on the inside of the joint.This causes damage to the cartilage (the substance that forms the surface of the joints and worksas a shock absorber). As the cartilage wears thin, the underlying bone is damaged. This processresults in progressive pain, stiffness, and loss of function.Osteoarthritis does not need to be disabling and with the proper medical care can be managedeasily.Rheumatoid arthritis is the other most common type of arthritis. It is more common in women andaffects 7 million Americans...or one out of every five arthritis patients. It may affect any age group,although onset is most common in middle age.Rheumatoid arthritis is usually characterized by heat, swelling, and pain in multiple joints in boththe right and left sides of the body, including the hands, wrists, elbows, hips, knees, ankles, andfeet. Spinal involvement also occurs on occasion.The typical pattern of rheumatoid arthritis in the hands involves the proximal interphalangeal (PIP)joints, the metacarpal phalangeal (MCP) joints, the wrists, and the elbows.Unlike osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis can affect the entire body. People with this disease mayfeel sick all over...tire easily...lose their appetite...and lose weight.In rheumatoid arthritis, the tissue that surrounds and nourishes the joints is attacked by the bodysimmune system. The body mistakenly perceives its own tissue as foreign, and it reacts bysending special white blood cells and toxic chemicals called cytokines to destroy the foreignmaterial. (The cytokine abnormalities that cause the damage in rheumatoid arthritis are differentfrom the abnormalities seen in osteoarthritis.) This process of white cell migration and cytokinerelease damages the joint.Although we do not know the cause of rheumatoid arthritis, researchers are investigating severalpossibilities.Another interesting point about rheumatoid arthritis is that this disease can affect the internalorgans including the lungs, skin, blood vessels, spleen, heart, and muscles.If rheumatoid arthritis is not well controlled it can damage the joints irreversibly and cause seriousdisability.
To diagnose rheumatoid arthritis, the rheumatologist establishes the presence of joint pain andinflammation lasting at least six weeks and then looks for signs of the course of the disease thatare characteristic for rheumatoid arthritis.There are also blood tests that aid in the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis.Patients with rheumatoid arthritis have a series of flare-ups followed by a period where there aremild or no symptoms. Usually, the pain and disability of rheumatoid arthritis progresses gradually.Morning stiffness generally lasts longer than half an hour and may last several hours dependingon the severity of the condition.Most forms of arthritis persist for the patients lifetime. Medication cannot usually reverse the boneand soft tissue damage caused by arthritis.However, new methods of measuring inflammation and its response to medication and othertreatments offer valuable information to physicians...and can help to evaluate the arthritissufferers discomfort.Magnetic resonance imaging is one such technique. This method using the effects that strongmagnets have on water molecules to provide exquisite images of the interior of the body. MRI hasbeen used to diagnose and also assess the degree of damage within joints of patients sufferingfrom arthritis. It is also helpful for evaluating the effect of new drugs.Although there is no cure for arthritis, proper treatment can help tremendously. The goal ofarthritis treatment is to relieve the pain and stiffness due to the progressive destruction caused byinflammation, and to maintain or increase freedom of movement.Among the advancements that have taken place in the medical treatment of arthritis are variousdisease-modifying medications that not only relieve symptoms but also help slow down theprogression of disease.Other advances include various cartilage sparing drugs, cartilage growing drugs, and also biologicremedies. These drugs act by blocking the destructive effects of enzymes such asmetalloproteases in osteoarthritis and cytokines in rheumatoid arthritis. By targeting specificprocesses, relief of symptoms and healing of damage can take place with presumably fewer sideeffects.What can you do if you think you have arthritis?First, you can consult your doctor. This is important because medical issues are complicated andyour doctor, who understands your health needs, can prescribe the best treatment for you.The type of doctor who can best evaluate arthritis is called a rheumatologist. These arephysicians who have completed four years of medical school, three years of internal medicineresidency, and three years of rheumatology fellowship.While arthritis can be a serious disease that can progress and cause disability, science has come
up with some new answers for arthritis sufferers. It is now up to the arthritis sufferer to recognizeearly warning signs and symptoms and to see a rheumatologist. With proper medical care, thecourse of this crippling disease may change and people can help to be returned to fully active lives- without pain and crippling disability.Dr. Wei (pronounced Â“wayÂ”) is a board-certified rheumatologist and Clinical Director of thenationally respected Arthritis and Osteoporosis Center of Maryland. He is a Clinical AssistantProfessor of Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and has served as aconsultant to the Arthritis Branch of the National Institutes of Health. He is a Fellow of theAmerican College of Rheumatology and the American College of Physicians. For more informationon arthritis and related conditions, go to: Arthritis Pain ReliefArticle Source:http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Nathan_Wei==== ====Check this out for all nautral arthritis remedies:http://linktrack.info/natural_arthritis==== ====