Arthritis – Childhood Arthritis – Fibromyalgia – Gout – Osteoarthritis (OA) – Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

What really causes arthritis?
An infection or injury to the joints can exacerbate this natural breakdown of cartilage tissue. Your risk of developing OA may be higher if you have a family history of the disease. Another common form of arthritis, RA, is an autoimmune disorder. It occurs when your body’s immune system attacks the tissues of the body.
Can arthritis be cured?
Although there’s no cure for arthritis, treatments have improved greatly in recent years and, for many types of arthritis, particularly inflammatory arthritis, there’s a clear benefit in starting treatment at an early stage. It may be difficult to say what has caused your arthritis.
What does arthritis pain feel like?
You may notice that your joints feel hot and painful with a throbbing ache. The small joints in your hands and feet are often affected first and the disease tends to strike symmetrically on both sides of the body.
Can arthritis go away on its own?
A.: Most people fully recover from reactive arthritis, but it may take a few months to a year. Some people have symptoms long-term. Reactive arthritis is joint pain and swelling triggered by an infection in another part of your body.
What are the 5 worst foods to eat if you have arthritis?
In the Kitchen with Arthritis: Foods to Avoid
  • Processed foods. Avoid processed foods, such as baked goods and prepackaged meals and snacks. …
  • Omega-6 fatty acids. …
  • Sugar and certain sugar alternatives. …
  • Red meat and fried foods. …
  • Refined carbohydrates. …
  • Cheese and high-fat dairy. …
  • Alcohol.
How do you stop arthritis from progressing?
Slowing Osteoarthritis Progression
  1. Maintain a Healthy Weight. Excess weight puts additional pressure on weight-bearing joints, such as the hips and knees. …
  2. Control Blood Sugar. …
  3. Get Physical. …
  4. Protect Joints. …
  5. Choose a Healthy Lifestyle.
Is coffee good for arthritis?
Coffee could potentially benefit people with rheumatoid arthritis because of the anti-inflammatory properties of coffee. 5 Reducing inflammation in the body could help reduce joint pain. Also, the stimulating effects of caffeine help to fight physical and mental fatigue that is common with rheumatoid arthritis.
What fruit is good for arthritis?
Best Fruits for Arthritis
  • Fruit Basics. All fruits have health benefits, but some have more disease-fighting properties than others. …
  • Tart cherries. Tart cherries get their dark red color and many of their powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits from the flavonoid anthocyanin. …
  • Strawberries. …
  • Red Raspberries. …
  • Avocado. …
  • Watermelon. …
  • Grapes.
What food causes arthritis?
8 Food Ingredients That Can Cause Inflammation
  • 8 Food Ingredients That Can Cause Inflammation. When you have arthritis, your body is in an inflammatory state. …
  • Sugar. It may be hard to resist desserts, pastries, chocolate bars, sodas, even fruit juices. …
  • Saturated Fats. …
  • Trans Fats. …
  • Omega 6 Fatty Acids. …
  • Refined Carbohydrates. …
  • MSG. …
  • Gluten and Casein.
How do I know if I’ve got arthritis?
Symptoms of arthritis, joint pain, tenderness, and stiffness. inflammation in and around the joints. restricted movement of the joints. warm red skin over the affected joint.
Can arthritis hurt all the time?
Many people who have arthritis or a related disease may be living with chronic pain. Pain is chronic when it lasts three to six months or longer, but arthritis pain can last a lifetime. It may be constant, or it may come and go.
What is the best vitamin for arthritis?
Top 4 Supplements to Treat Arthritis Pain
  1. Curcumin (from turmeric root) Evidence suggests the turmeric root has anti-inflammatory properties. …
  2. Vitamin D. If you have arthritis pain or are at high risk for arthritis, your doctor may recommend a vitamin D supplement. …
  3. Omega-3 fatty acids. …
  4. Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate.
Are bananas bad for arthritis?
Bananas and Plantains are high in magnesium and potassium that can increase bone density. Magnesium may also alleviate arthritis symptoms. Blueberries are full of antioxidants that protect your body against both inflammation and free radicals–molecules that can damage cells and organs.
What drinks are good for arthritis?
Best Drinks for Arthritis
  • Tea. Tea is one of the most-studied drinks when it comes to its benefits for arthritis patients. …
  • Coffee. Research shows coffee also has antioxidant polyphenols. …
  • Milk. …
  • Juices. …
  • Smoothies. …
  • Alcohol. …
  • Water.
Is chocolate good for arthritis?
Dark chocolate and green tea, which you mentioned, have anti-inflammatory properties. These foods contain natural inflammation fighters, such as antioxidants and phytochemicals (natural chemicals found in some plant foods). Below are some other foods that may ease the inflammation associated with RA.
Are eggs bad for arthritis?
Studies have shown that having Omega-3 acids in your diet may reduce the severity of inflammation. Omega-6 fatty acids convert in the body producing gamma-linoleic acid (GLA). Omega-6 fatty acids are found in meats, poultries, and eggs, which may contribute to inflammation.
What vegetables should you not eat if you have arthritis?

Nightshade Vegetables

Eggplants, peppers, tomatoes, and potatoes are all members of the nightshade family. These vegetables contain the chemical solanine, which some people claim aggravates arthritis pain and inflammation.

Does exercise help arthritis?
Exercise is crucial for people with arthritis. It increases strength and flexibility, reduces joint pain, and helps combat fatigue. Of course, when stiff and painful joints are already bogging you down, the thought of walking around the block or swimming a few laps might seem overwhelming.
Can loseing weight cure arthritis?
A key study published in Arthritis & Rheumatism of overweight and obese adults with knee osteoarthritis (OA) found that losing one pound of weight resulted in four pounds of pressure being removed from the knees. In other words, losing just 10 pounds would relieve 40 pounds of pressure from your knees. Ease pain.

Facts

 Arthritis is very common but is not well understood. Actually, “arthritis” is not a single disease; it is an informal way of referring to joint pain or joint disease. There are more than 100 types of arthritis and related conditions. People of all ages, sexes, and races can and do have arthritis, and it is the leading cause of disability in America. More than 50 million adults and 300,000 children have some type of arthritis. It is most common among women and occurs more frequently as people get older.

Common arthritis joint symptoms include swelling, pain, stiffness, and decreased range of motion. Symptoms may come and go. They can be mild, moderate, or severe. They may stay about the same for years but can progress or get worse over time. Severe arthritis can result in chronic pain, inability to do daily activities, and make it difficult to walk or climb stairs.

Arthritis can cause permanent joint changes. These changes may be visible, such as knobby finger joints, but often the damage can only be seen on X-ray. Some types of arthritis also affect the heart, eyes, lungs, kidneys, and skin as well as the joints.

Degenerative Arthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. When the cartilage – the slick, cushioning surface on the ends of bones – wears away, bone rubs against bone, causing pain, swelling, and stiffness. Over time, joints can lose strength and pain may become chronic. Risk factors include excess weight, family history, age, and previous injury (i.e., an anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL tear).

Regular physical activity, hot and cold therapies, over-the-counter pain relievers, and assistive devices are commonly used to help manage mild to moderate osteoarthritis symptoms. If joint symptoms are severe, causing limited mobility and affecting the quality of life, joint replacement may be necessary. Osteoarthritis may be prevented by staying active, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding injury and repetitive movements.

Inflammatory Arthritis

A healthy immune system is protective. It generates internal inflammation to get rid of the infection and prevent disease. But with inflammatory types of arthritis, the immune system doesn’t work properly and mistakenly attacks the joints with uncontrolled inflammation, potentially causing joint erosion. Inflammation can also damage internal organs, eyes, and other parts of the body. Rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and gout are examples of inflammatory arthritis.

Researchers believe that a combination of genetics and environmental factors can trigger autoimmunity. Smoking is an example of an environmental risk factor that can trigger rheumatoid arthritis in people with certain genes.

With autoimmune and inflammatory types of arthritis, early diagnosis and aggressive treatment are critical. Slowing disease activity can help minimize or even prevent permanent joint damage. Remission (little to no disease activity) is the goal and may be achieved by using one or more medications known as disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). Other treatment goals include reducing pain, improving function, and preventing further joint damage.

Infectious Arthritis

A bacterium, virus, or fungus can enter the joint and trigger inflammation. Examples of organisms that can infect joints are salmonella and shigella (food poisoning or contamination), chlamydia and gonorrhea (sexually transmitted diseases), and hepatitis C (a blood-to-blood infection, often through shared needles or transfusions). In many cases, timely treatment with antibiotics may clear the joint infection, but sometimes arthritis becomes chronic.

Metabolic Arthritis

Uric acid is formed as the body breaks down purines, a substance found in human cells and in many foods. Some people have high levels of uric acid because they naturally produce more than is needed or the body can’t get rid of it quickly enough. In some people, uric acid builds up and forms needle-like crystals in the joints, resulting in sudden spikes of extreme joint pain, or a gout attack. Gout can come and go in episodes or, if uric acid levels aren’t reduced, can become chronic, causing ongoing pain and disability.
The most important first step is to get an accurate diagnosis of what’s causing your joint pain.  Talk to your primary care doctor about your symptoms.  You may be referred to a rheumatologist or orthopedist, a doctor who specializes in arthritis and related conditions. There are many things that can be done to preserve joint function, mobility, and quality of life. Learning about the disease and treatment options, making time for physical activity, and maintaining a healthy weight is essential. Arthritis is a commonly misunderstood disease.

Childhood Arthritis

What causes childhood arthritis?
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis occurs when the body’s immune system attacks its own cells and tissues. It’s not known why this happens, but both heredity and environment seem to play a role
Does juvenile arthritis go away?
Not everyone with juvenile arthritis will have the same experience as Daily because there are different types of juvenile arthritis. Sometimes juvenile arthritis will go away by the time a child reaches adulthood, but for other people, it will continue to cause pain.
What are the symptoms of childhood arthritis?
What are the signs and symptoms of childhood arthritis?
  • Joint pain.
  • Swelling.
  • Fever.
  • Stiffness.
  • Rash.
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Inflammation of the eye.
Can you grow out of childhood arthritis?
Very few stats exist to tell us exactly what to expect, but it is estimated that about half of children with juvenile arthritis will “outgrow” their disease, while half might still need treatment into adulthood. Additionally, things such as joint damage can have lasting effects, even after JA is in remission.
At what age does juvenile arthritis start?
JIA is a form of arthritis in children ages 16 or younger. It causes joint inflammation and stiffness for more than 6 weeks. The disease may affect a few joints or many joints. It may cause symptoms all over the body.

Overview

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis, formerly known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, is the most common type of arthritis in children under the age of 16.

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis can cause persistent joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. Some children may experience symptoms for only a few months, while others have symptoms for many years.

Some types of juvenile idiopathic arthritis can cause serious complications, such as growth problems, joint damage, and eye inflammation. Treatment focuses on controlling pain and inflammation, improving function, and preventing damage.

Symptoms

The most common signs and symptoms of juvenile idiopathic arthritis are:

  • Pain. While your child might not complain of joint pain, you may notice that he or she limps — especially first thing in the morning or after a nap.
  • Swelling. Joint swelling is common but is often first noticed in larger joints such as the knee.
  • Stiffness. You might notice that your child appears clumsier than usual, particularly in the morning or after naps.
  • Fever, swollen lymph nodes, and rash. In some cases, high fever, swollen lymph nodes, or a rash on the trunk may occur — which is usually worse in the evenings.

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis can affect one joint or many. There are several different subtypes of juvenile idiopathic arthritis, but the main ones are systemic, oligoarticular, and polyarticular. Which type of your child has depended on symptoms, the number of joints affected, and if fever and rashes are prominent features.

Like other forms of arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis is characterized by times when symptoms flare up and times when symptoms may be minimal.

When to see a doctor

Take your child to the doctor if he or she has joint pain, swelling, or stiffness for more than a week — especially if he or she also has a fever.

Causes

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis occurs when the body’s immune system attacks its own cells and tissues. It’s not known why this happens, but both heredity and environment seem to play a role.

Risk factors

Some forms of juvenile idiopathic arthritis are more common in girls.

Complications

Several serious complications can result from juvenile idiopathic arthritis. But keeping a careful watch on your child’s condition and seeking appropriate medical attention can greatly reduce the risk of these complications:

  • Eye problems. Some forms can cause eye inflammation. If this condition is left untreated, it may result in cataracts, glaucoma, and even blindness. Eye inflammation frequently occurs without symptoms, so it’s important for children with this condition to be examined regularly by an ophthalmologist.
  • Growth problems. Juvenile idiopathic arthritis can interfere with your child’s growth and bone development.

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory, and mood issues. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain and spinal cord process painful and nonpainful signals. Fibromyalgia syndrome affects the muscles and soft tissue. Symptoms include chronic muscle pain, fatigue, sleep problems, and painful tender points or trigger points, which can be relieved through medications, lifestyle changes, and stress management.

 Fibromyalgia

What does a fibromyalgia attack feel like?
Usually, increased pain and worsening fatigue are the hallmarks of a fibromyalgia flare-up. Additional symptoms may also occur during flare-ups these flare-ups, including poor sleep, trouble thinking (cognitive dysfunction), digestive difficulty (such as acid reflux), swollen extremities, and numbness and tingling.
How does a person get fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is often triggered by a stressful event, including physical stress or emotional (psychological) stress. Possible triggers for the condition include an injury. a viral infection.
Is fibromyalgia an autoimmune disorder?
But fibromyalgia is not an autoimmune disease, which occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks your own cells and tissues.
What can be mistaken for fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia may be mistaken for one of the following six conditions, among others:
  • Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
  • Hypothyroidism/Hashimoto’s disease.
  • Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome (myalgic encephalomyelitis)
  • Myofascial pain.
How are you tested for fibromyalgia?
There are no laboratory tests that can detect it, so it’s up to your doctor to recognize the symptoms and exclude other conditions. One way that doctors try to narrow down a diagnosis of fibromyalgia is by exerting pressure on 18 small spots located throughout the body. These spots are known as tender points.

 

Fast Facts

  • Fibromyalgia affects two-four percent of people, women more often than men.
  • Fibromyalgia is not an autoimmune or inflammation-based illness, but research suggests the nervous system is involved.
  • Doctors diagnose fibromyalgia based on all the patient’s relevant symptoms (what you feel), no longer just on the number of tender places during an examination.
  • There is no test to detect this disease, but you may need lab tests or X-rays to rule out other health problems.
  • Though there is no cure, medications can reduce symptoms in some patients.
  • Patients also may feel better with proper self-care, such as exercise and getting enough sleep.

Fibromyalgia is a common neurologic health problem that causes widespread pain and tenderness (sensitivity to touch). The pain and tenderness tend to come and go and move about the body. Most often, people with this chronic (long-term) illness are fatigued (very tired) and have sleep problems. The diagnosis can be made with a careful examination.

Fibromyalgia is most common in women, though it can occur in men. It most often starts in middle adulthood but can occur in the teen years and in old age. You are at higher risk for fibromyalgia if you have a rheumatic disease (a health problem that affects the joints, muscles, and bones).

What causes fibromyalgia?

The causes of fibromyalgia are unclear. They may be different in different people. Current research suggests the involvement of the nervous system, particularly the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). Fibromyalgia is not from an autoimmune, inflammation, joint, or muscle disorder. Fibromyalgia may run in families. There likely are certain genes that can make people more prone to getting fibromyalgia and the other health problems that can occur with it. Genes alone, though, do not cause fibromyalgia.

There is most often some triggering factor that sets off fibromyalgia. It may be spine problems, arthritis, injury, or another type of physical stress. Emotional stress also may trigger this illness. The result is a change in the way the body “talks” with the spinal cord and brain. Levels of brain chemicals and proteins may change. More recently, Fibromyalgia has been described as a Central Pain Amplification disorder, meaning the volume of pain sensation in the brain is turned up too high.

Although Fibromyalgia can affect the quality of life, it is still considered medically benign. It does not cause any heart attacks, stroke, cancer, physical deformities, or loss of life.

How is fibromyalgia diagnosed?

A doctor will suspect fibromyalgia based on your symptoms. Doctors may require that you have tenderness to pressure or tender points at a specific number of certain spots before saying you have fibromyalgia, but they are not required to make the diagnosis (see the Box). A physical exam can be helpful to detect tenderness and to exclude other causes of muscle pain. There are no diagnostic tests (such as X-rays or blood tests) for this problem. Yet, you may need tests to rule out another health problem that can be confused with fibromyalgia.

Because widespread body pain is the main feature of fibromyalgia, health care providers will ask you to describe your pain. This may help tell the difference between fibromyalgia and other diseases with similar symptoms. Other conditions such as hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland) and polymyalgia rheumatic sometimes mimic fibromyalgia. Blood tests can tell if you have either of these problems. Sometimes, fibromyalgia is confused with rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. But, again, there is a difference in the symptoms, physical findings, and blood tests that will help your health care provider detect these health problems. Unlike fibromyalgia, these rheumatic diseases cause inflammation in the joints and tissues.

Criteria Needed for a Fibromyalgia Diagnosis
1. Pain and symptoms over the past week, based on the total number of painful areas out of 19 parts of the body plus level of severity of these symptoms:
a. Fatigue
b. Waking unrefreshed
c. Cognitive (memory or thought) problems plus a number of other general physical symptoms
2. Symptoms lasting at least three months at a similar level
3. No other health problem that would explain the pain and other symptoms

How is fibromyalgia treated?

There is no cure for fibromyalgia. However, symptoms can be treated with both non-drug and medication-based treatments. Many times the best outcomes are achieved by using multiple types of treatments.

Non-Drug Therapies: People with fibromyalgia should use non-drug treatments as well as any medicines their doctors suggest. Research shows that the most effective treatment for fibromyalgia is physical exercise. Physical exercise should be used in addition to any drug treatment. Patients benefit most from regular aerobic exercises. Other body-based therapies, including Tai Chi and yoga, can ease fibromyalgia symptoms. Although you may be in pain, low-impact physical exercise will not be harmful.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a type of therapy focused on understanding how thoughts and behaviors affect pain and other symptoms. CBT and related treatments, such as mindfulness, can help patients learn symptom reduction skills that lessen pain. Mindfulness is a non-spiritual meditation practice that cultivates present moment awareness. Mindfulness-based stress reduction has been shown to significantly improve symptoms of fibromyalgia.

Other complementary and alternative therapies (sometimes called CAM or integrative medicine), such as acupuncture, chiropractic, and massage therapy, can be useful to manage fibromyalgia symptoms. Many of these treatments, though, have not been well tested in patients with fibromyalgia.

It is important to address risk factors and triggers for fibromyalgia including sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, and mood problems such as stress, anxiety, panic disorder, and depression. This may require the involvement of other specialists such as a Sleep Medicine doctor, Psychiatrist, and therapist.

Medications: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved three drugs for the treatment of fibromyalgia. They include two drugs that change some of the brain chemicals (serotonin and norepinephrine) that help control pain levels: duloxetine (Cymbalta) and milnacipran (Savella). Older drugs that affect these same brain chemicals also may be used to treat fibromyalgia. These include amitriptyline (Elavil) and cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril). Other antidepressant drugs can be helpful in some patients. Side effects vary by the drug. Ask your doctor about the risks and benefits of your medicine.

The other drug approved for fibromyalgia is pregabalin (Lyrica). Pregabalin and another drug, gabapentin (Neurontin), work by blocking the overactivity of nerve cells involved in pain transmission. These medicines may cause dizziness, sleepiness, swelling, and weight gain.

It is strongly recommended to avoid opioid narcotic medications for treating fibromyalgia. The reason for this is that research evidence shows these drugs are not of help to most people with fibromyalgia and will cause greater pain sensitivity or make pain persist. Tramadol (Ultram) may be used to treat fibromyalgia pain if short-term use of an opioid narcotic is needed. Over-the-counter medicines such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (commonly called NSAIDs) like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox) are not effective for fibromyalgia pain. Yet, these drugs may be useful to treat the pain triggers of fibromyalgia. Thus, they are most useful in people who have other causes for pain such as arthritis in addition to fibromyalgia.

For sleep problems, some of the medicines that treat pain also improve sleep. These include cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril), amitriptyline (Elavil), gabapentin (Neurontin) or pregabalin (Lyrica). It is not recommended that patients with fibromyalgia take sleeping medicines like zolpidem (Ambien) or benzodiazepine medications.

Living with fibromyalgia

Even with the many treatment options, patient self-care is vital to improving symptoms and daily function. In concert with medical treatment, healthy lifestyle behaviors can reduce pain, increase sleep quality, lessen fatigue and help you cope better with fibromyalgia. With proper treatment and self-care, you can get better and live a more normal life. Here are some self-care tips for living with fibromyalgia:

  • Make time to relax each day. Deep-breathing exercises and meditation will help reduce the stress that can bring on symptoms.
  • Set a regular sleep pattern. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. Getting enough sleep lets your body repair itself, physically and mentally. Also, avoid daytime napping and limit caffeine intake, which can disrupt sleep. Nicotine is a stimulant, so those fibromyalgia patients with sleep problems should stop smoking.
  • Exercise often. This is a very important part of fibromyalgia treatment. While difficult at first, regular exercise often reduces pain symptoms and fatigue. Patients should follow the saying, “Start low, go slow.” Slowly add daily fitness into your routine. For instance, take the stairs instead of the elevator, or park further away from the store. As your symptoms decrease with drug treatments, start increasing your activity. Add in some walking, swimming, water aerobics, and/or stretching exercises, and begin to do things that you stopped doing because of your pain and other symptoms. It takes time to create a comfortable routine. Just get moving, stay active, and don’t give up!
  • Educate yourself. Nationally recognized organizations like the Arthritis Foundation and the National Fibromyalgia Association are great resources for information. Share this information with family, friends, and co-workers.
  • Look forward, not backward. Focus on what you need to do to get better, not what caused your illness.

Gout

Gout is a common and complex form of arthritis that can affect anyone. It’s characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, swelling, redness, and tenderness in the joints, often the joint at the base of the big toe.

An attack of gout can occur suddenly, often waking you up in the middle of the night with the sensation that your big toe is on fire. The affected joint is hot, swollen and so tender that even the weight of the sheet on it may seem intolerable.

Gout symptoms may come and go, but there are ways to manage symptoms and prevent flares.

Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of gout almost always occur suddenly, and often at night. They include:

  • Intense joint pain. Gout usually affects the large joint of your big toe, but it can occur in any joint. Other commonly affected joints include the ankles, knees, elbows, wrists, and fingers. The pain is likely to be most severe within the first four to 12 hours after it begins.
  • Lingering discomfort. After the most severe pain subsides, some joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks. Later attacks are likely to last longer and affect more joints.
  • Inflammation and redness. The affected joint or joints become swollen, tender, warm, and red.
  • Limited range of motion. As gout progresses, you may not be able to move your joints normally.

If you experience sudden, intense pain in a joint, call your doctor. Gout that goes untreated can lead to worsening pain and joint damage.

Seek medical care immediately if you have a fever and a joint is hot and inflamed, which can be a sign of infection.

Causes

Gout occurs when urate crystals accumulate in your joint, causing the inflammation and intense pain of a gout attack. Urate crystals can form when you have high levels of uric acid in your blood.

Your body produces uric acid when it breaks down purines — substances that are found naturally in your body.

Purines are also found in certain foods, such as steak, organ meats, and seafood. Other foods also promote higher levels of uric acid, such as alcoholic beverages, especially beer, and drinks sweetened with fruit sugar (fructose).

Normally, uric acid dissolves in your blood and passes through your kidneys into your urine. But sometimes either your body produces too much uric acid or your kidneys excrete too little uric acid. When this happens, uric acid can build up, forming sharp, needlelike urate crystals in a joint or surrounding tissue that cause pain, inflammation, and swelling.

Risk factors

You’re more likely to develop gout if you have high levels of uric acid in your body. Factors that increase the uric acid level in your body include:

  • Diet. Eating a diet rich in meat and seafood and drinking beverages sweetened with fruit sugar (fructose) increase levels of uric acid, which increases your risk of gout. Alcohol consumption, especially beer, also increases the risk of gout.
  • Obesity. If you’re overweight, your body produces more uric acid and your kidneys have a more difficult time eliminating uric acid.
  • Medical conditions. Certain diseases and conditions increase your risk of gout. These include untreated high blood pressure and chronic conditions such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and heart and kidney diseases.
  • Certain medications. The use of thiazide diuretics — commonly used to treat hypertension — and low-dose aspirin also can increase uric acid levels. So can the use of anti-rejection drugs prescribed for people who have undergone an organ transplant.
  • Family history of gout. If other members of your family have had gout, you’re more likely to develop the disease.
  • Age and sex. Gout occurs more often in men, primarily because women tend to have lower uric acid levels. After menopause, however, women’s uric acid levels approach those of men. Men are also more likely to develop gout earlier — usually between the ages of 30 and 50 — whereas women generally develop signs and symptoms after menopause.
  • Recent surgery or trauma. Experiencing recent surgery or trauma has been associated with an increased risk of developing a gout attack.

Complications

People with gout can develop more-severe conditions, such as:

  • Recurrent gout. Some people may never experience gout signs and symptoms again. Others may experience gout several times each year. Medications may help prevent gout attacks in people with recurrent gout. If left untreated, gout can cause erosion and destruction of a joint.
  • Advanced gout. Untreated gout may cause deposits of urate crystals to form under the skin in nodules called tophi (TOE-fie). Tophi can develop in several areas such as your fingers, hands, feet, elbows, or Achilles tendons along the backs of your ankles. Tophi usually aren’t painful, but they can become swollen and tender during gout attacks.
  • Kidney stones. Urate crystals may collect in the urinary tract of people with gout, causing kidney stones. Medications can help reduce the risk of kidney stones.

Prevention

During symptom-free periods, these dietary guidelines may help protect against future gout attacks:

  • Drink plenty of fluids. Stay well-hydrated, including plenty of water. Limit how many sweetened beverages you drink, especially those sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup.
  • Limit or avoid alcohol. Talk with your doctor about whether any amount or type of alcohol is safe for you. Recent evidence suggests that beer may be particularly likely to increase the risk of gout symptoms, especially in men.
  • Get your protein from low-fat dairy products. Low-fat dairy products may actually have a protective effect against gout, so these are your best-bet protein sources.
  • Limit your intake of meat, fish, and poultry. A small amount may be tolerable, but pay close attention to what types — and how much — seem to cause problems for you.
  • Maintain desirable body weight. Choose portions that allow you to maintain a healthy weight. Losing weight may decrease uric acid levels in your body. But avoid fasting or rapid weight loss, since doing so may temporarily raise uric acid levels.

Osteoarthritis (OA)

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting millions of people worldwide. It occurs when the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of your bones wears down over time.

Although osteoarthritis can damage any joint, the disorder most commonly affects joints in your hands, knees, hips, and spine.

Symptoms

Osteoarthritis symptoms can usually be managed, although the damage to joints can’t be reversed. Staying active, maintaining a healthy weight and some treatments might slow the progression of the disease and help improve pain and joint function.

Osteoarthritis symptoms often develop slowly and worsen over time. Signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis include:

  • Pain. Affected joints might hurt during or after movement.
  • Stiffness. Joint stiffness might be most noticeable upon awakening or after being inactive.
  • Tenderness. Your joint might feel tender when you apply light pressure to or near it.
  • Loss of flexibility. You might not be able to move your joint through its full range of motion.
  • Grating sensation. You might feel a grating sensation when you use the joint, and you might hear popping or crackling.
  • Bone spurs. These extra bits of bone, which feel like hard lumps, can form around the affected joint.
  • Swelling. This might be caused by soft tissue inflammation around the joint.

Causes

Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that cushions the ends of bones in your joints gradually deteriorates. Cartilage is a firm, slippery tissue that enables nearly frictionless joint motion. Eventually, if the cartilage wears down completely, the bone will rub on bone.

Osteoarthritis has often been referred to as a “wear and tear” disease. But besides the breakdown of cartilage, osteoarthritis affects the entire joint. It causes changes in the bone and deterioration of the connective tissues that hold the joint together and attach muscle to bone. It also causes inflammation of the joint lining.

Risk factors

Factors that can increase your risk of osteoarthritis include:

  • Older age. The risk of osteoarthritis increases with age.
  • Sex. Women are more likely to develop osteoarthritis, though it isn’t clear why.
  • Obesity. Carrying extra body weight contributes to osteoarthritis in several ways, and the more you weigh, the greater your risk. Increased weight adds stress to weight-bearing joints, such as your hips and knees. Also, fat tissue produces proteins that can cause harmful inflammation in and around your joints.
  • Joint injuries. Injuries, such as those that occur when playing sports or from an accident, can increase the risk of osteoarthritis. Even injuries that occurred many years ago and seemingly healed can increase your risk of osteoarthritis.
  • Repeated stress on the joint. If your job or a sport you play places repetitive stress on a joint, that joint might eventually develop osteoarthritis.
  • Genetics. Some people inherit a tendency to develop osteoarthritis.
  • Bone deformities. Some people are born with malformed joints or defective cartilage.
  • Certain metabolic diseases. These include diabetes and a condition in which your body has too much iron (hemochromatosis).

Complications

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that worsens over time, often resulting in chronic pain. Joint pain and stiffness can become severe enough to make daily tasks difficult.

Depression and sleep disturbances can result from the pain and disability of osteoarthritis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that can affect more than just your joints. In some people, the condition can damage a wide variety of body systems, including the skin, eyes, lungs, heart, and blood vessels.

An autoimmune disorder, rheumatoid arthritis occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks your own body’s tissues.

Unlike the wear-and-tear damage of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis affects the lining of your joints, causing a painful swelling that can eventually result in bone erosion and joint deformity.

The inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis is what can damage other parts of the body as well. While new types of medications have improved treatment options dramatically, severe rheumatoid arthritis can still cause.

Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis may include:

  • Tender, warm, swollen joints
  • Joint stiffness is usually worse in the mornings and after inactivity
  • Fatigue, fever, and loss of appetite

Early rheumatoid arthritis tends to affect your smaller joints first — particularly the joints that attach your fingers to your hands and your toes to your feet.

As the disease progresses, symptoms often spread to the wrists, knees, ankles, elbows, hips, and shoulders. In most cases, symptoms occur in the same joints on both sides of your body.

About 40 percent of the people who have rheumatoid arthritis also experience signs and symptoms that don’t involve the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis can affect many non-joint structures, including:

  • Skin
  • Eyes
  • Lungs
  • Heart
  • Kidneys
  • Salivary glands
  • Nerve tissue
  • Bone marrow
  • Blood vessels

Rheumatoid arthritis signs and symptoms may vary in severity and may even come and go. Periods of increased disease activity, called flares, alternate with periods of relative remission — when the swelling and pain fade or disappear. Over time, rheumatoid arthritis can cause joints to deform and shift out of place.

more info at:
https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/gout.html
*Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider.
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