Let’s know all the myths about arthritis spread by peoples but first understand what is arthritis?
What is arthritis?
Also known as rheumatoid disease or Rheumatoid arthritis. It is a progressive, destructive disease frequently leading to disability. Also, it affects most of the population.
It is a type of autoimmune disorder means our immune system attack body cells instead of protecting. Immune cells attack joints & organs, including the heart and lungs.
It can be divided into broad categories – Benign Arthritis and Malignant Arthritis.
Commonly referred to as arthritis that mainly affects the knees and is commonly seen in middle-aged and elderly. It leads to pain, worsens movement restricted to joints and is not life-threatening.
It can affect people of any age groups, males or females (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis, spondyloarthritis, lupus, gout, etc.) it affects multiple joints, small and large including
the back. Other symptoms include stiffness and pain during the early morning, fatigue,
tiredness, fever and loss of appetite.
MYTH: Arthritis is a simple disease which affects only elderly people.
FACT: Arthritis is a broad term used as an umbrella for many diseases, which lead to pain and swelling in the joints. Its types well proved this myth also.
MYTH: Arthritis is not a life-threatening disease.
FACT: Malignant arthritis is not restricted to the joints and can virtually affect multiple organs like the kidney, lungs, eyes and sometimes even the brain. Without any early diagnosis, it can cause deformities of the joints and sometimes even lead to death.
MYTH: There is no cure for arthritis.
FACT: Rheumatologists are a group of highly specialized doctors who diagnose and treat arthritis with highly specialized drugs which if used early and appropriately are life-saving and transforms the life of patients and helps them lead a near normal life.
MYTH: Arthritis can be diagnosed by a single test.
FACT: There is no single test to diagnose arthritis. It is important to remember that some of these tests can be positive in healthy individuals. Therefore, it is essential to consult a rheumatologist who understands these diseases and tests.
MYTH: Arthritis can be managed at home with painkillers and home remedies.
FACT: Don’t manage arthritis on your own with painkillers. Painkillers provide temporary relief and may not address the underlying disease, especially the malignant type. Consulting a rheumatologist is essential and take proper consultation.
MYTH: We can stop medications on our own as these are dangerous drugs.
FACT: No drugs are dangerous as long as they are taken under the supervision of a doctor with proper monitoring. Neither discontinue nor start any medication on your own without routine follow up with your doctor.
MYTH: Arthritis is caused due to diet and can be treated by diet alone.
FACT: Arthritis (malignant one) is a multi-factorial disease. However, a healthy lifestyle with proper exercise and a balanced diet is an essential part of any treatment. Eating plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like fish and flaxseeds are suitable for the patient.
Hence, Arthritis is just one symptom. The disease is invisible…. The pain is real!