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Arthritis Articles, Tips and Information

Gouty Arthritis - An Overview

What is gouty arthritis?

Gout is a term which pertains to the presence of characteristic crystals in tissues and joints. Gouty arthritis is the result of an inflammatory response mounted against these characteristic crystals in joints. As a result of that, the affected joints become swollen, red and painful. The joints most frequently affected by gouty arthritis are the first metacarpal phalangeal joint or the thumb joint and the first metatarsal phalangeal joint or the joint of the big toe. Other joints may be affected as well and these include the knee joints, shoulder joints and rarely, the hip joints.

Gouty arthritis occurs when excess uric acid deposits in joints, forming characteristic crystals (known as monosodium urate crystals).

What are the symptoms of gouty arthritis?

Initial symptoms include sudden and rapid swolling of a single joint, the most common joint being the joint of the big toe, giving rise to a painful, red and swollen big toe, which occasionally may be confused with an infection. Other joints may also be affected in similar ways, although that is not common.

 

Factors that increase uric acid production include excessive consumption of shellfish and alcohol, obesity; some medications can increase uric acid levels, examples include aspirin, diuretics and immunosuppressants. On the other hand, kidney failure will reduce rate of excretion and thus causes an accumulation of uric acid in the body.

 

What are at risks of getting gouty arthritis?

Gouty arthritis affects 1% of the population. 10% of older men have gout. Gout is more common in men than women. However, in women after menopause, the risk is similar to that of men. Gouty arthritis is strongly associated with kidney disease, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, obesity and diabetes. People who have a family history of gout are at risk of getting gout themselves too.

 

How is gouty arthritis diagnosed?

Gouty arthritis is diagnosed by identifying typical features of an acute attack. Gouty arthritis should be suspected when a patient experiences sudden joint swelling and severe pain, usually followed by pain-free periods between attacks. Definitive diagnosis of gouty arthritis is based on identifying characteristic crystals (known as monosodium urate crystals) in joint fluid under a microscope, which the physician extracts using a needle from an affected joint. Measurement of uric acid level in the blood is not necessary in the diagnosis of gouty arthritis, as uric acid levels are often elevated in people who do not have gout.

 

How is gouty arthritis treated?

In an acute attack, gouty arthritis is treated with colchicine and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) which include indomethacin and naproxen. Corticosteroids, given orally or by injection, can be useful in dampen the inflammatory response in acute attack. Allopurinol, which blocks the production of uric acid in the body, has no role in an acute attack. However, it's use in normalizing blood uric acid level between attacks and to prevent acute gouty arthritis is invaluable.

 

In conclusion:

Gouty arthritis is the result of inflammation caused by deposition of characteristic crystals in joints. There are many causes of gouty arthritis, all of which fall under two big umbrellas, either there is an excess production, or a decrease excretion of uric acid. Risk factors that predispose an individual to develop gouty arthritis include obesity, excessive alcohol consumption, kidney disease, certain drugs and so on. Acute attack can be treated with colchicine, NSAIDs and corticosteroids, while prevention can be achieved by taking allopurinol. Allopurinol has no role in an acute attack.

 

Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Arthritis

 

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Juvenille Rheumatoid Arthritis

 

Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that attacks the joints in the body, causing inflammation and pain. It can affect anyone at any age. Children are no exception to rheumatoid arthritis. In children, this chronic disease is called as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, and it also causes inflamed and stiff joints.

 

Unlike the rheumatoid arthritis of adults, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is a group of several diseases.

 

Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis mostly affects children below the age of 16. The only common characteristic of the adult and child rheumatoid arthritis is the “inflammation of joints and pain”.

 

Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is a collective disease. The three identified forms are pauciarticular, polyarticular and systemic. In pouciarticular juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, a child may suffer from inflammation in few joints such as the knee and shoulder. If it is polyarticular, then many joints get inflamed simultaneously, for example knees, wrists, elbows, and so on. Polyarticular rheumatoid arthritis attacks symmetrically; for example, the joints of the left and right hand become inflammation at the same time.

Unlike pauciarticular and polyarticular, in systemic cases, parts of the body become affected along with the inflammation of some organs. Skin rashes, fever, inflammation of the joints and internal organs such as the spleen and liver may accompany systemic disease.

 

The cause of the disease is unknown, even in the case of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. The child complaining of joint pain is often examined to confirm for rheumatoid arthritis. The symptoms include difficulty to get up after sitting down, pain in the mornings while waking up—everything that is caused by the stiffness and swelling of the joints. They are also asked for a family history of rheumatoid arthritis. Once the disease is suspected, preliminary tests are conducted to understand the intensity of the disease. On the basis of the test results, the child is given treatment and medication. While some have an easy recovery, others suffer from more complicated symptoms. Sometimes, in some children, the symptoms of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis remain dormant for a period of time. It may suddenly emerge or “flare up” when the child least expects it.

 

Rheumatoid Arthritis provides detailed information on Rheumatoid Arthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms, Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatments and more. Rheumatoid Arthritis is affiliated with Arthritis Pain.

 

Rheumatoid Arthritis Medication

Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that has no cure. This inflammatory disease leads to swollen, stiff, and painful joints. It will also reduce movements affecting the person mentally and physically. As such, the only way to cope with the situation is by educating people with rheumatoid arthritis about the disease. This education will help them to think positively and to cope with the chronic disease. Exercise, proper rest, and a balanced diet will ensure flexibility of joints and keep inflammation under control.

Rheumatoid arthritis has a symmetrical pattern.

That is, two joints—for instance, the elbow of both the hands—develop pain, swell, and stiffen together. There is no specific cause for its occurrence or a specific cure. But once diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, a person is treated with medicines.

 

Medication is administered for relieving pain and also to reduce the inflammation of the joints. It is recommended based on the severity of the disease. There are other types of drugs that also try to reduce the intensity of the disease. While analgesics such as paracetamol are taken as painkillers, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) help to reduce inflammation and relieve pain in the joints. The analgesics always come in combination with some of the recommended drugs, as do the non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs. There are also disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) that reduce or control the intensity of the disease, reducing pain and stiffness of the joints. These are found to be very effective in combating the illness. For instance, injecting gold intramuscularly is one such disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug. All of these medications, whether controlling pain or intensity, have side effects. These may include constipation, skin irritation, bleeding in the stomach, kidney problems, and so on. As such, one must take the medicines as instructed by a medical practitioner.

 

The most recent set of medications, however, are biological therapies or biologic-response modifiers. These are considered more “body-friendly” drugs. Biologic-response modifiers stop or block the components, especially the proteins, which trigger inflammation normally as a defense mechanism. For instance the protein called interlukin 1 (IL-1) is blocked by anakinra drug. As a result, the deformity caused by damaged and destroyed bones and cartilages is reduced along with the inflammation. Often, the doctors recommend a combination of drugs. But the present sets of drugs are definitely more effective in controlling rheumatoid arthritis.

 

Rheumatoid Arthritis provides detailed information on Rheumatoid Arthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms, Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatments and more. Rheumatoid Arthritis is affiliated with Arthritis Pain.

An Introduction To Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is the second major type of arthritis - exceeded in number of cases only by osteoarthritis. It is a very serious ailment caused by inflammation of the joints. The pain associated with the disease is at times so severe that it almost completely disables sufferers. It affects women more often than men.

 

Rheumatoid arthritis advances in three stages starting with painful swelling and stiffness of the joints. In the second stage the pain aggravates and the bones and cartilage are severely affected thereby restricting the movement of the person altogether. By this time the diseases becomes chronic and just defies all treatment.

 

It is in your best interest to immediately consult a doctor as soon as you have pain in the joints. This means that don’t wait for any other symptom appear. Also, you should never try treating the disease by taking over the counter medicines. Chances are that you may aggravate the ailment.

 

It is important that you ask your doctor to diagnose whether you are actually afflicted with Rheumatoid arthritis and if so, start taking the treatment that he prescribes. If you go by your doctor’s advice you can save yourself a lot of damage by reducing the severity of the attack of the disease. Any delay in diagnosing and treating the disease may aggravate to an extent that you may have to undergo surgery. This will not only entail great pain, but also require huge costs of treatment.

 

Besides seeking a doctor’s advice early, you may take general precautions like protecting your affected areas from stress of exertion. You should also try to reduce your weight if you are obese. Also contact your physiotherapist. Seek his or her advice about certain kind of exercises that may be specific to your kind of rheumatoid arthritis and take these exercises regularly as per the expert’s advice.

 

Arthritis provides detailed information on Arthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Arthritis Pain, Arthritis Treatments and more. Arthritis is affiliated with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, is a chronic inflammatory disease of the joints that gradually reduces and disables joint movements. It is also known to affect an individual symmetrically. For instance, pain and inflammation of knee joints will appear together in the left and right leg.

 

What are the causes of gouty arthritis?

In a normal person, the rate of uric acid production (waste product of cellular metabolism) equates to the rate of uric acid excretion (through the kidneys). In people with gouty arthritis, the rate of excretion is markedly reduced, which leads to excessive accumulation of uric acid in the body and subsequently, in the joint. In certain subgroups of people with gouty arthritis, the rate of uric acid production greatly exceeds excretion and thus excess uric acid accumulates in the body.

 

A human body is a very complicated system. It is made up of very small functional units called as cells. Theses cells organize into various body parts to perform various activities, whether it is the joints in the hands or the blood circulation. They are also involved in the human immune system. The blood maintains the immune system of the body through its white blood cells, which are anti-bodies. They function towards fighting the foreign bodies or “invaders” that cause infection in the human body. Sometimes the antibodies, known for its immune services, “mistakenly” attack the “good tissues” in the body. The body reacts to the condition and as a defense mechanism causes the attacked area to inflame. One such chronic, autoimmune disease is the rheumatoid arthritis. It is a severe form of ailment caused by the inflammation of the joints or where two bones meet.

 

While in a normal case of arthritis the patient complains of just inflammation of joints, rheumatoid arthritis damages and deforms the joint, disabling its functions, especially its ability to move. RA leaves the inflamed joints swollen, stiff, and painful. In severe cases of RA, the soft tissues holding the muscle to bone, the tendons, ligaments, and fascia become affected. RA, in fact, damages the cartilages or the soft, flexible tissues causing movement of the bones, too. Rheumatoid arthritis can even extend to organs such as the spleen and liver in the body if deprived of proper health treatment. At such a stage, a person will face other problems such as low blood count, weight loss, fever, and dryness in the eyes and mouth.

 

RA begins with inflammation of joints, mainly the inner lining known as the synovial tissue. Synovial tissues are the case that holds the bones in the joint. The case contains synovial fluid, which greases the cartilages in between to help smooth movement. When the anti-bodies attack the synovial tissues, the area inflames and the joints develop pain, swell, and become rigid. Gradually, the synovial lining thickens. As the condition deteriorates, it releases fluids or enzymes that destroy cartilages and bones, reducing flexibility and leaving the joints deformed. Over a period of time, it becomes difficult to move that joint.

 

Rheumatoid arthritis can affect anyone, at any age, although, it is found more commonly in women than men. Another point to be noted is that the cause of RA need not always be genetic factors. This disease, to date, is not known to have a permanent cure. In some cases of RA, the disease remains dormant for a long period and attacks again. This is also known as a flare-up. Medical treatment, along with proper diet and exercise regime, would definitely help one to cope with rheumatoid arthritis.

 

Rheumatoid Arthritis provides detailed information on Rheumatoid Arthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms, Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatments and more. Rheumatoid Arthritis is affiliated with Arthritis Pain.

 

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