Arthritis affects around 10 million people and can affect anybody at any age with Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis being the two main types.
Osteoarthritis is the most common arthritis generally affecting people over 50 years of age but can occur at any age as a result of an injury or another joint related condition. Osteoarthritis is known as a degenerative or
mechanical arthritis and commonly affects the hands, spine, knees and hips.
Rheumatoid arthritis affects over 400,000 people often occurring between the age of 40 and 50 with women
being three times more likely to be affected than men. It is caused by the body’s immune system targeting joints resulting in swelling and eventual joint shape change with sufferers also susceptible to problems occurring within other tissues and organs.
As anyone can be susceptible to arthritis it is important to be aware of the most common signs to enable
appropriate treatment to be sought quickly. These signs are joint pain and stiffness in the morning, swelling joints, decreased range of motion within the joints, redness of the skin around the joint, weakness and muscle wasting. In the case of Rheumatoid arthritis signs can also consist of tiredness, loss of appetite, anaemia, slight fever, and can cause joint deformity.
Treatment available consists of drug therapy – paracetamol and Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS)which help to control pain and inflammation, for Rheumatoid arthritis corticosteroids or disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) are used to suppress the immune system slowing the progression of the arthritis; manual therapies – physiotherapy, Chiropractic, Osteopathy; and self help involving regular exercise and eating a balanced diet.
We all try to have a balanced diet inclusive of fruit and vegetables but if you suffer from arthritis there are some
foods which can aggravate symptoms and others that can reduce inflammation and pain.
Food to avoid – that trigger inflammation.
It is commonly thought that citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons and grapefruit should be cut out from the diet
but in fact they are rich in antioxidants with oranges and peppers containing ß-cryptoxanthin and are shown to
slow the progression of arthritis.