Numerous people suffer from arthritis these days, and this condition affects people of all ages, even children. It is manifested by debilitating pain and inflammation in the joints, and other common symptoms include swelling, stiffness, and reduced range of motion.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that about 52.5 million adults and 300,000 children in U.S. were diagnosed with some kind of arthritis in a period of two years, from 2010 to 2012. It also suggests that by 2040, there will be around 78 million adult arthritis sufferers. The intensity of arthritis can range from mild to severe, and if severe, it greatly interferes with the daily activities of a person, making it extremely difficult to walk, climb stairs, and the like.
RA is the most common form of autoimmune arthritis, affecting more than 1.3 million Americans. Of these, about 75 percent are women. In fact, 1–3 percent of women may get rheumatoid arthritis in their lifetime. The disease most often begins between the fourth and sixth decades of life. However, RA can start at any age.
RA is a chronic (long-term) disease that causes pain, stiffness, swelling and limited motion and function of many joints. While RA can affect any joint, the small joints in the hands and feet tend to be involved most often. Inflammation sometimes can affect organs as well, for instance, the eyes or lungs.
The stiffness seen in active RA is most often worst in the morning. It may last one to two hours (or even the whole day). Stiffness for a long time in the morning is a clue that you may have RA, since few other arthritic diseases behave this way.
For instance, osteoarthritis most often does not cause prolonged morning stiffness. Other signs and symptoms that can occur in RA include:
- Loss of energy
- Low fevers
- Loss of appetite
- Dry eyes and mouth from a related health problem, Sjogren’s syndrome
- Firm lumps, called rheumatoid nodules, which grow beneath the skin in places such as the elbow and hands
RA is an autoimmune disease. This means that certain cells of the immune system do not work properly and start attacking healthy tissues — the joints in RA. The cause of RA is not known. Yet, new research is giving us a better idea of what makes the immune system attack the body and create inflammation. In RA, the focus of the inflammation is in the synovium, the tissue that lines the joint. Immune cells release inflammation-causing chemicals. These chemicals can damage cartilage (the tissue that cushions between joints) and bone. Other things likely play a role in RA as well. For instance, genes that affect the immune system may make some people more prone to getting RA.
Arthritis can be of more than 100 types, including rheumatism, gout, and fibromyalgia, but the two most common types are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Today, we decided to present Susie’s story, a woman who suffered from arthritis. Her hands started swelling as soon as a weather change was about to happen, so her friends often called her “the weather”.
However, Susie managed to fight this painful condition and restore her optimal health by making a simple lifestyle change. Namely, she stopped consuming milk and other dairy products which contain animal protein.
After two months of following this diet plan, she noticed great improvements, as she no longer felt the extreme pain. Nowadays, she claims she feels her body as new. Her theory is that everyone who suffers from arthritis should avoid dairy products and meat, as animal protein has a huge impact on the body acidity.
Excessive acidity in the body is one of the main culprits for the incidence of arthritis. She also says that it is of high importance to be physically active and maintain a healthy body weight.