Frequently Asked Questions about Arthritis
Arthritis can be a real pain, and more and more people are experiencing it every day. As we baby boomers reach maturity, arthritis is becoming a bigger problem in our country. It seems that most people don't have a clear picture of arthritis and how it affects the human body. For some reason, people have terrible misunderstandings about this awful disease. The following are the most common questions rheumatologists hear when patients ask them questions about arthritis.
What Do You Mean I Have a Special Type of Arthritis?
Unbeknown to most people, there are many forms of arthritis. The most common type of arthritis is called osteoarthritis, and it is caused by degeneration and wear and tear. Though others are less common, they're not all rare. Some are even caused by disorders that cause a person's immune system to attack their joints to facilitate degeneration.
Will My Insurance Cover the Cost of the Cure?
Sadly, this is a loaded question. The ugly truth is that there isn't a cure for arthritis; only products and treatments to help minimize the symptoms. There are many things you can do to increase your quality of life, though. Many arthritis treatments are focused on the mitigation and abatement of negative symptoms, including pain management.
Other types of treatments are used to combat the types of arthritis caused by immune system disorders. In these cases, the goal of treatment is remission to prevent further damage to the joints. You should know, however, that you need to begin treatment as soon as possible. Treatment can delay further damage to your joints and protect your quality of life.
What Options Do I Have to Lessen the Symptoms?
There are many options you have at your disposal to lessen the symptoms of arthritis. The most common is likely over the counter pain relievers, but many people feel that these are inadequate. Another option is joint replacement surgery, but this is not always attractive because other health problems may lessen the feasibility of surgery. Lastly, for arthritis in the hands, there are topical creams and ointments that have been proven to relieve pain.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin Helps Alleviate Symptoms, Right?
Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a unanimous, clear answer to this question. In fact, there is a lot of controversy around this debate in the medical world, and there have been many studies performed that produced mixed results.
Most studies agree, however, that there are benefits when Glucosamine and Chondroitin are used together by reducing bone deterioration. Conversely, other studies have concluded that Glucosamine may act as a placebo.
Should I Change My Diet?
This question depends entirely on the current state of your diet. There are things you can eat to promote joint health, though. Foods that contain omega 3 fatty acids—salmon and many fish, walnuts, fresh basil, soybeans, flaxseeds, and brussel sprouts to name a few—can help protect you against inflammation. In addition, a great many vegetables, as well as ginger and turmeric, have been shown to have natural anti-inflammatory properties, and adding these to your regular diet will help mitigate symptoms in the long run!