Arthritis and different types of
by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR
Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.
Click here: Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit
Before we talk about the different types of arthritis, it’s a good idea to talk about what arthritis means.The term arthritis is derived from the Greek: “arthron” meaning “joint” and “itis” meaning inflammation.
It refers to more than 100 different types of arthritis conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, pseudogout, psoriatic arthritis, and fibromyalgia to name a few.
Some of these conditions involve inflammation and others do not.
These 100 different conditions pose unique problems for diagnosis and treatment.
Most types of arthritis involve joint inflammation. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury or infection.
For an example of inflammation, take a simple scratch…your body automatically releases chemicals that cause fluids to accumulate and white blood cells to gather around the area of the scratch. 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 blood designed to fight infection and repair injury attack the body instead.
And, unless this inflammatory process is stopped, it will continue to attack the body and cause joint destruction.
So you can begin to see how treatments that just relieve the pain associated with the problem – but that do not completely halt inflammation – may not adequately treat this disease.
Getting proper treatment early on is important…because proper care can help sufferers lead more active and comfortable lives.
Let's examine some of these types of arthritis...
Rheumatoid arthritis Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common serious inflammatory form of arthritis. It affects roughly 2 per cent of the population and is the prototypical autoimmune form of arthritis. Because it may do most of its damage in the first year, early diagnosis and aggressive therapy is critical. Left untreated RA may shorten life expectancy by as much as 18 years!
Psoriatic arthritis Psoriatic arthritis is a potentially serious inflammatory form of arthritis that is often found in association with psoriasis. Because it may begin and progress insidiously, it can cause serious problems. Early diagnosis and aggressive intervention are recommended.
Osteoarthritis This type of arthritis is the one people think of as being associated with aging. osteoarthritis affects weight-bearing areas such as the spine, hips, knees, base of the thumbs, and feet. Genetics and mechanical factors also play a big role. Research is being done on medications that will slow down the progression of this disease.
Polymyalgia rheumatica occurs in people after the age of 50 and presents with severe stiffness and aching in the neck, shoulders, and hips. Because it is very treatable, accurate diagnosis is needed. Because so many other conditions look like it, an accurate diagnosis is not always easy.Ankylosing spondylitis
This inflammatory form of arthritis affects the spine and the sacroiliac joints. Since it often presents with low back pain, it is often misdiagnosed. AS is very treatable; accurate diagnosis and aggressive therapy are advisableReactive arthritis
Reactive arthritis is a form of arthritis that comes on after infections... the most common being types of infections being intestinal or genitourinary. Young adults are often affected. Appropriate medical treatment is very effective.Gout
This common form of arthritis is due to deposition of monosodium urate (MSU) crystals. In addition to joints, the kidneys are a big target of this disease. Dietary changes and medicines are very effective in treating this disorder.Pseudogout
This form of arthritis is also due to crystals- deposits of calcium pyrophosphate or hydroxyapatite in most instances. Pseudogout may mimic other types of arthritis such as gout and rheumatoid arthritis. Further, it may coexist with other types of arthritis making it very difficult to diagnose.Systemic lupus erythematosus
This relatively common autoimmune disease is systemic in nature and capabler of affecting many internal organ systems. SLE most often affects women in the child-bearing years. Early diagnosis and management are necessary since this disorder is potentially life-threatening.Polymyositis
This inflammatory form of muscle disease is often associated with arthritis. Because it is a systemic condition that affects all muscles- including those that are responsible for the functioning of the heart, lungs, etc., careful examination and appropriate aggressive medical therapy are necessary.Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a soft tissue form of arthritis that is due to defective neurotransmitter function in the brain. Because these neurotransmitters are responsible for many sensory functions, patients with fibromyalgia present with bizarre symptoms. It is imperative that other forms of arthritis be ruled out first. Lyme disease
Lyme disease occurs as a result of infection with Borrelia burgdorferi. The organism is transmitted by a deer tick bite. Early recognition and antibiotic therapy is effective in most cases.
Get more information about arthritis and different types of as well as...
• Insider arthritis tips that help you erase the pain and fatigue of rheumatoid arthritis almost overnight!
• Devastating ammunition against low back pain... discover 9 secrets!
• Ignored remedies that eliminate fibromyalgia symptoms quickly!
• Obsolete treatments for knee osteoarthritis that still are used... and may still work for you!
• The stiff penalties you face if you ignore this type of hip pain...
• 7 easy-to-implement neck pain remedies that work like a charm!
• And much more...
Click here Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit
Return to arthritis home page.