ARTHRITIS IS NOT FOR THE OLD
By: Sbongakonke Mbatha
Arthritis is not an illness of the aged, but a disease that can affect anyone.
Ignorance and lack of understanding of the disease makes people reach their own conclusions about it without taking medical and factual information into consideration.
That is why there are organisations such as the Arthritis Foundation, South Africa’s leading non- profit organization dedicated to the prevention, control and cure of arthritis. They also serve to inform and educate society about the disease.
According to MedicalNewsToday.com, arthritis affects the musculoskeletal system, especially the joints. Arthritis is the main cause of disability. The inflammation of joints, pains and stiffness are the most common symptoms of the disease.
Most people might know how to identify its symptoms but do not know what exactly causes arthritis. There are different types of arthritis. According to Arthritis Today.org, Osteoarthritis, knee arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, Psoriatic arthritis and juvenile arthritis are the most common types of arthritis out of over a 100 types.
Knowing what type of arthritis each patient has helps them understand what kind of medication to take to ease the pain. Due to a lack of in-depth understanding of the illness, my grandmother and I used to share pills that we bought over the counter at Scala Pharmacy, even though she had Osteoarthritis and I have Juvenile Rheumatoid arthritis.
Just because all types fall under the same umbrella doesn’t mean pills should be shared because they are also manufactured to cater for certain types only. Speaking of Juvenile Rheumatoid, most parents still haven’t digested that even children get arthritis and it can be very dangerous for them. The illness stands a greater chance of damaging their growing bones permanently. Parents need to understand that they might unintentionally pass on the disease to their children.
A recent study published in Reuters Health revealed that salt and smoking may interact to raise rheumatoid arthritis risk for adults. Contributing factors are usually both genetic and environmental- a combination of genes from both parents in addition to unknown environmental factors produce the trait or condition. Now you know that arthritis is not just for your granny anymore. Look out, you stand a chance of getting it too.