Arthritis is chronic, painful condition of the joints that affects over a million people in the country. There are two types of arthritic diseases, i.e., inflammatory and noninflammatory. They are characterized by distinctive causes, symptoms and treatment options. Inflammatory arthritis is a relatively less common condition; therefore you must be aware of it.
The following article will guide you about inflammatory arthritis and how you can treat it.
What is inflammatory arthritis?
An autoimmune disorder, inflammatory arthritis is described as a group of diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, etc. which leads to the inflammation of joints and the surrounding healthy tissues. Interestingly women are more likely to develop this condition. However, the exact cause behind this is still unidentified. It usually affects the wrists, knees, elbows, ankles, feet, and hands.
What are the different forms of inflammatory arthritis?
The common types of inflammatory arthritis are:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Gouty arthritis
What are the causes of inflammatory arthritis?
In this health condition, the body’s immune system attacks the healthy tissues of the body. Some of the frequently observed causes of inflammatory arthritis are as follows:
- Gender (more prevalent among women)
How to identify the symptoms of inflammatory arthritis?
Inflammatory arthritis is characterized by signs such as:
- Constant or erratic pain in the joints
- Swelling of the affected area
- Stiffness that lasts for a long time
Certain forms of arthritis project additional symptoms like skin rashes, hair loss, inflammation of the eyes, fever, hair loss, etc.
How is inflammatory arthritis diagnosed?
The doctors will identify the presence of inflammatory arthritis by using the following methods.
- Blood tests
- MRI scans (magnetic resonance imaging)
- Synovial fluid test
- Urine test
- CT scans (computerized tomography)
- Ultrasound scan
What medical treatments are used to alleviate the discomfort caused by inflammatory arthritis?
There is no cure for inflammatory arthritis so doctors will prescribe different types of medical solutions to minimize pain, cease inflammation, prevent any further damage to the tissues and joints and lessen long-standing complications. Some medications that are used to manage inflammatory arthritis are –
- NSAIDs – These are accessible via prescription as well as an over-the-counter product. NSAIDs comprise drugs such as ibuprofen, ketoprofen, etc. You can take these medications orally or use it as a skin patch. NSAIDs help ease the pain and inflammation caused by arthritis.
- Corticosteroids – These are prescription medications which are used to bring swelling and tenderness under control instantly. Since there are some side-effects associated with it, they are only used for a brief period until the symptoms subside.
- DMARDs – Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs help to slow down the effects of arthritis. These medications can be taken orally, injected by yourself or the doctor. It can also be given as an infusion at a healthcare center.
The medicines mentioned above should only be taken if your doctor recommends them, even the OTC variants. In extreme cases, where there is some permanent damage a corrective surgery might be needed so that physical functions can be restored back to normal. This might involve replacement procedures, i.e., substituting damaged joints with metal or plastic portions.
What foods can help fight inflammatory arthritis?
For keeping the tenderness in control, you need to adopt an anti-inflammatory diet. This will help your body to fight arthritis efficiently. Some of the foods that help reduce inflammation are –
- Fatty fish such as mackerel, sardines, salmon, anchovies, herring, etc.
- Tart cherries
- Whole grains
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Green tea
- Vitamin C rich foods such as kiwi, pineapple, strawberries, kiwis, oranges, grapefruits, etc.
- Brussel sprouts
- Sweet potatoes
What lifestyle changes can help ease the condition of inflammatory arthritis?
- Quit smoking
- Have alcohol in moderation or quit it entirely
- Sleep well
- Adopt a low-impact daily exercise regime