Arthritis affects millions of people and comes in several different forms. There are over 100 different types of arthritis that can cause painful inflammation and swelling of the joints. Due to the large variety and symptoms that go along with suffering from arthritis, it is important to see a doctor to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
Arthritis is generally considered to fall into two main groups. Osteoarthritis is known as joint pain caused by wear and tear. Rheumatoid arthritis is the other category of arthritis and is characterized by chronic inflammation caused from the immune system not working properly. Gout is another common form of arthritis, which is caused by crystals that form around the joints. Determining what kind of arthritis is causing your pain will help to get you the right treatment.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis that people suffer with. Symptoms of osteoarthritis may include: deep, aching joint pain, difficulty gripping objects, difficulty bending or sitting, fatigue, and a feeling of warmth in the affected joints. This kind of arthritis is usually caused from aging, over use of joints from strenuous physical activity, being overweight, a misalignment of the joints, and several other factors.
Rheumatoid arthritis is considered an autoimmune disease. This means that the body‚Äôs immune system is confused and is attacking the joints causing harmful inflammation. It is not understood why the immune system starts to attack otherwise healthy tissue and it is important to determine if this is the cause of your joint pain. Both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can co-exist with each other and with gout. Rheumatoid arthritis usually affects women. The American College of Rheumatology determined that 75 percent of rheumatoid arthritis cases are suffered by women.
People with rheumatoid arthritis can experience redness, swelling, and hot joints. Typically a person with this kind of arthritis will experience pain in both wrists, both knees, and both ankles. This symmetry is an important indicator of the disease. The inflammation can cause fatigue, loss of appetite, and weight loss. Blood tests and x-rays are used to determine which type of arthritis you may be suffering from.
The treatment options for osteoarthritis can include loosing weight if this applies to your situation, taking pain blocking medications, and in some cases you may be prescribed disease modifying drugs that will slow the progression of the damage. Rheumatoid arthritis is treated through a variety of drugs. Steroids like prednisone can be used to relieve some of the symptoms and often biologic medications that suppress the immune system can be used to manage the inflammation. Surgery is also an option for both kinds of arthritis if necessary.
Arthritis pain can be frustrating especially when it impairs your ability to do simple things like get dressed or brush your hair. Luckily, there are several treatment options available to help you manage your condition. With the proper care, you can live a pain free and active life with arthritis.
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Arthritis is the term for a large group of medical conditions that occur when joints become inflamed and cause reduced mobility, pain, and stiffness. Arthritis is not just one medical condition, but the name for a group of more than 100 conditions that are all related to inflammation of the joints to some degree.
Most people who are diagnosed with this condition will have a break down in the joint fluid (synovial fluid) that wears down the cartilage until the connection of bone-to-bone is made. When the bones rub against each other because of the breakdown that is occurring, this causes stiffness, inflammation and pain. These are the three main symptoms of arthritis of any kind.
Whenever you have joint pain or inflammation, you should do something to prevent worsening symptoms. Some types of arthritis can not only cause immobility and severe joint pain, but also things like skin rashes, fevers, other chronic conditions and illnesses, and more.
There are some severe types of this condition that will affect internal organs, as well. There are over 75 million people affected by arthritis in the Western world, as well as many more throughout the Middle East and Asia.
Understanding arthritis and your options for prevention and improving your joint health is the first step in figuring out how to protect your body against this seriously debilitating condition. Read through the rest of this guide to learn more about arthritis types, symptoms, diagnosis, treatments, and our recommended supplements for helping your joints.back to top
30% of all women suffer from arthritis of some kind.
23% of men are affected by arthritis.
People who are overweight are more likely to develop arthritis.
40% of the patients who are diagnosed with arthritis are obese.
9 out of 10 Lupus diagnoses occur in cases with female patients
RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis) affects twice or three times as many women as men.
Over 500,000 children around the world are affected by arthritis.back to top
Types of Arthritis
With more than 100 diagnoses to choose from in the arthritis category, people might be worried that their diagnosis will never be correct. However, about 98% of the cases of arthritis that are diagnosed are one of five main types:
- Degenerative (Age-related) Arthritis
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
Degenerative arthritis is caused by age. Typically, when doctors cannot find a cause for arthritis pain beyond the body’s natural wear and damage due to age, they will diagnose patients with this type of condition. Many times, this is a very preventable condition simply because taking care of your joints can stop a lot of the symptoms from occurring and even put off the onset of the disease for some time. Proper joint health can make a big difference with this condition, whereas others might not have any means of prevention or being put off.
Osteoarthritis is diagnosed when the inflammation and pain of arthritis is caused by a loss of bone density or poor bone health. This condition typically is also diagnosed at the same time as osteoporosis or within a reasonable amount of time before or after. If your bones are deteriorating to a point where they are affecting the joints, it is very likely that you have osteoporosis as well. There isn’t much that can be done to cure this ailment, but prevention and symptom relief are possible with supplements that contain calcium, glucosamine and chondroitin, among other ingredients.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a long-lasting condition that affects almost any joint in the body aside from the lower back. The most commonly affected areas include the hands, knees, and wrists. The immune system is the cause of this type of arthritis, attacking itself and causing the joints to swell. Over time, this attack can lead to severe cartilage damage and degeneration. This can eventually lead to complete immobility if not treated properly. In some cases, rheumatoid arthritis (RA for short) can affect other parts of the body like the nerves, eyes, lungs, and skin.
Gout is a very painful type of arthritis that is caused by the body’s inability to eliminate uric acid. This acid creates crystals in the various joints throughout the body, which cause pain and swelling. Typically, patients who are diagnosed with gout will have it in the wrists, knees, and the big toe.
Lupus, which is most commonly diagnosed in women, is a form of arthritis that causes the body to attack itself.
The immune system cannot recognize good cells and bad cells, and therefore will create antibodies to attack the body’s healthy cells and tissues. Symptoms of lupus include inflammation and pain in the joints, rash, sensitivity to light, problems with various bodily organs, fever, anemia, abnormal clotting, and hair loss.
There are four types of lupus, but systemic lupus is the one that is most likely to cause arthritis pain and symptoms.
Other Types of Arthritis
Some of the other forms of arthritis that people can be diagnosed with include:
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Juvenile Arthritis
- Cervical Arthritis
- Psoriatic Arthritis
- Lumbar Arthritis
- Polymyalgia Rheumatica
- Reactive Arthritis
- Lyme Disease
- Septic Arthritis
- Traumatic Arthritis
- Spinal Stenosis
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Gonococcal Arthritis
- Parvovirus Arthritis
- Reiter’s Syndrome
All types of arthritis are different, and will therefore require much different treatment. However, if you are able to get good nutrition and take care of your joints, you will be less likely to develop arthritis of any kind in your lifetime. Some of the conditions are genetic or systemic, which may make them harder to avoid, but being in your best health will give you the best chance of having to be diagnosed with any of these arthritis forms.back to top
There are many different causes of arthritis. Some of the forms of this condition have no known cause, as well. The most common factor in arthritis is age, but arthritis can also be caused by:
- Genetics:The exact amount of weight that is put on genetics in the cause of arthritis isn’t specifically known. However, the genes do contribute to this disorder and there isn’t really much that can be done to prevent arthritis in regards to genetics.
- Weight:Since this is a disease that affects the joints, carrying excess weight will always play a role in the development of arthritis. People who have excess body weight are far more likely to develop arthritis in their hips and knees because of the excessive strain that is placed on those joints.
- Injury:A previous injury to a joint or joints can become a cause for arthritis to form. If the cartilage is damaged in an injury, it will be far easier for the joint to become arthritic than it would be for a healthy joint.
- Occupational Hazard:Some people work in environments where they do a lot of moving, standing, lifting, and other activity that can break down the joints faster and create arthritis much faster than a person working in a less hazardous environment. Heavy construction workers and assembly line workers are examples of those at risk.
- Infection or Illness:Gout and Septic Arthritis are specifically prone to develop after an infection or illness, although other types of arthritis can form as well. When joints are compromised in any way, including by illness or infection, they can break down more quickly and cause arthritis to form.
Of course, the exact type of arthritis that a person has will have its own cause. It is important that you take the time to learn about all the causes of arthritis that you can so that you can do your best to prevent the condition from developing in your body. Sometimes, there isn’t much that you can do. Other times, there are plenty of preventative measures that you can take to avoid becoming afflicted with arthritis conditions.back to top
There are many different symptoms that go along with arthritis. First and foremost, you have to understand that each different type of arthritis will have different symptoms. Typically, joint pain and inflammation that is coupled with stiffness or a lack of mobility is going to point to just about every type of arthritis that you might have. Typically, if a fever presents itself along with your pain, you may have infectious arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. It is difficult to pinpoint all of the symptoms of every type of arthritis, but here are some basic tips for when you should visit the doctor:
- If you experience sudden onset of pain and/or stiffness in the joints
- If the pain in the joints comes with a fever
- When the joint has redness and tenderness accompanied by severe pain that is sudden
- If you notice stiffness or pain the legs, arms, or your back after waking in the morning or after sitting for short periods of time.
- If you develop a rash or other unexplained symptoms along with joint pain and inflammation
The symptoms of one type of arthritis might be very different from the symptoms of other types of arthritis. However, if you keep the tips above in mind it should be easy for you to discern that something needs to be done and that you might have some form of arthritis. To prevent arthritis symptoms or to alleviate them before they become severe, consider supplementing your diet with nutrients and vitamins that will improve your joint health like MX High Potency Joint Aid.back to top
Diagnosing arthritis is never easy simply because there are so many types of the condition to choose from. The ideal solution is to talk to your doctor as soon as you start experiencing any joint pain or unusual symptoms. Be sure to ask questions and talk about ALL of your symptoms, even if you don’t think they are related. That rash on your arm could be related to the stiffness in your hands (Rheumatoid Arthritis) and you might not even realize it.
Diagnostic testing can be performed to determine which type of arthritis you have, but typically a doctor can diagnose basic arthritis for a patient easily if they present with chronic pain and inflammation of the joints that is otherwise unexplained. Only your doctor can determine what type of arthritis you have, if any, so you should talk to him or her as soon as you notice changes or differences in your mobility or joint health.back to top
There are many forms of conventional treatment for arthritis conditions. Occupational therapy or physical therapy will be prescribed in most cases, as will moderate exercise (to promote flexibility and joint mobility). In some cases, prescription medications and surgeries will be recommended, but not when it can be prevented. Doctors would much rather treat with OTC pain medications and anti-inflammatory drugs than narcotics and they would prefer exercise and therapy to surgery for their patients.
The exact treatment for every patient is different, but there are options that are available to just about everyone depending on their specific situation. Medications, surgeries, and other treatments are all important to learn about so that you know your options.
Medications for Arthritis
There are many different types of medications that are prescribed to treat arthritis, including:
- Topical creams:
Provide instant relief from pain for people with moderate or mild pain in just a few joints or areas.
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs are available as OTC products and prescriptions, and will help relieve the symptoms of inflammation and pain that people feel as a result of arthritis. These are drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen, and can be very effective when taken as recommended by a doctor. Chronic use is not something that should be done without the guidance of a healthcare professional.
These drugs help with inflammation, but are also known to have many side effects. Therefore, doctors will try to improve the symptoms in other ways or find ways to use as little of this type of medication as possible.
- Disease Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs:
are relatively new drugs, referred to as DMARDs. These work to target the problematic joints and actually treat the arthritis itself instead of just relieving the pain and inflammation.
- Gout medications:
are prescribed specifically for the form of arthritis known as Gout.
in low doses, this has show many benefits for treating autoimmune and inflammatory diseases by slowing the cell reproduction rate. The dosage is much, much lower than that which is used for cancer treatment.
- Biologic Therapy:
uses drugs to biologically modify the immune system response to help improve the symptoms of arthritis. These medications are rarely used and are much more expensive than other drugs for arthritis treatment.
Other treatments for arthritis conditions include:
which uses supplements and natural remedies to treat and prevent the symptoms of arthritis. Many people who want to avoid the damaging effects of prescriptions and other medications will consider this alternative therapy for arthritis pain or prevention.
- Physical/Occupational Therapy:
offers relief from pain and stiffness and helps to improve mobility and flexibility in the joints for people who are suffering from arthritis or for those who don’t get enough exercise and want to prevent the onset of arthritic conditions.
- Alternative Medicine:
used by people who want to try natural solutions, things like acupuncture, massage therapy, magnetic therapy, and other treatments that aren’t practiced in traditional Western medicine.
Surgery for Arthritis
In the event of severe arthritis pain or serious conditions, people will seek surgical treatment to relieve their symptoms and their pain. There are many different surgical procedures that people can have performed to help alleviate the pain and damage caused by various types of arthritis, including:
- Knee replacement
- Hip replacement
- Joint fusion surgery
- ACL surgeries
These procedures are not the only surgeries performed for arthritis treatment. There are other procedures that can be performed, based on the type of arthritis a person has as well as the recommendation of their doctor or specialist. Some people will have different options than others, so it is always important to discuss things with a healthcare provider so that you can get the right treatment for your arthritis.
Currently, there are no surgical procedures that will prevent or cure arthritis. The procedures available will only repair damage caused by the disease or alleviate symptoms of arthritic conditions.back to top
Glucosamine and Chondroitin
The two most important ingredients to healthy joints are glucosamine and chondroitin. These two molecules help make up the cartilage that is in your joints and are also responsible for help repairing damage and making sure that cartilage is not completely destroyed by arthritis or other conditions that cause damage to the joints. Each has its own method of operation and job to do within the joints, and each is necessary for optimal joint health. Here, you can learn a little more about these molecules and how you can get more of them when your body isn’t producing enough.
Glucosamine is a precursor to glycosaminoglycan, but you don’t have to remember that name. Just know that your body needs glucosamine to help build up the synovial fluid (joint fluid found in the cartilage) and to help form and repair the cartilage in your body. Glucosamine, like almost all substances in the body, can become depleted and unable to regenerate effectively with age or as a result of other factors. In order to ensure that your joints are at optimal health, you need to have enough glucosamine production. When you don’t, there are supplements available that can help you rebuild your supply and promote the production of glucosamine within the body.
Chondroitin is a molecule that belongs to the gylcosaminoglycan group of molecules, and is the most abundant one in the cartilage of your joints. It is responsible for making sure that your cartilage is resilient and able to withstand the pressure that is put on it on a regular basis. Chondroitin is essentially a building block for joint health, and is critical to keeping your joints working properly. To prevent arthritis, keeping your joints in optimal health is essential.
Benefits of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Supplements
There are many potential benefits of these two substances when they are taken in supplement form. Understanding which types of arthritis will benefit most is important, as is understanding that taking supplements BEFORE a condition develops will be more effective in the end. Here are some of the key benefits to taking glucosamine and chondroitin supplements
- Decrease in inflammation of the joints, which can occur as a symptom of arthritis or a precursor
- Inhibition of cartilage damaging enzymes
- Stimulating cells that maintain and produce cartilage, known as chondrocytes
- Increase in hyaluronic acid, which is a key element in the synovial fluid (joint fluid) and cartilage
- Decrease in production of cartilage damaging compounds
- Improved mobility and flexibility in the joints
- Relief from pain caused by inflammation and irritation in the joints
- Prevention or delay in the onset of arthritis because joints are healthier
These are just a few of the potential benefits that you will find when taking glucosamine and chondroitin supplements. There are so many different possible outcomes for taking these supplements that they sometimes have to be tried on an individual basis to see what benefits can be appreciated. Remember that these supplements will not be miracle ‘cures’ or provide instant success, but will assist in improving joint health over time.
Improvement and Prevention through Supplementation
Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements can help to improve your joint health, as can other supplements that will help improve the production of these molecules within your body. Finding the best products is going to be important, and there are many that you can choose from. Take the time to check out products like MX High Potency Joint Aid to learn about the benefits of supplementation in your diet and how you can help keep your joints and your entire body in a state of optimal health to avoid serious conditions like arthritis, or at least hold them off for a while.
These two substances and the supplements that contain them are NOT intended to cure or treat any disease specifically. However, they can help give the body the boost that it needs to be healthier, which can in turn alleviate the symptoms of conditions like arthritis and may be able to keep these conditions from occurring if the body remains in optimal health.back to top
Whether you have already been diagnosed with arthritis or if you are trying to prevent the disease from affecting your life, you need to find ways to improve your joint health. Maxalife is proud to offer a few different products that can help, including the following:
All of these supplements can help with your joint pain and arthritis issues, no matter how severe or mild they might be. MX Slender Factor isn’t going to help arthritis, obviously, but it can help you lose excess weight so that you are less susceptible to arthritis. If you are not overweight, cross this product off your list when you are searching for the best joint health supplements. Maxalife is committed to health and wellness, and our natural line of supplements is specifically designed to cater to the most prevalent health needs that people have, including prevention and relief of arthritis symptoms.back to top
Mandatory Legal Disclaimer: The products and supplements mentioned here have not gone through FDA approved testing and protocols for the cure or alleviation of any disease or medical condition. Therefore we are required by law to say that these products should not be construed as treating any specific disease. Please consult with your family or holistic physician if you have any questions regarding the health benefits of natural products and supplements.