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ARTHERTIS

Arthritis actually means inflammation or swelling of a joint, accompanied by pain. But nowadays it used by laymen as a general term for any disease of the joint.Arthritis is a symptom of a disease and not a disease by itself. There are over 100 different forms of arthritis. The most common form, osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease) is a result of trauma to the joint, infection of the joint, or age. Other arthritis forms are rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and related autoimmune diseases. Septic arthritis is caused by joint infection.

CAUSES

The cause of arthritis is largely non specific. But various factors like heredity, obesity, injury and stress may play a part. Other causes can be:
1. Infections from different bacteria
2. Rheumatic fever.
3. Gout.
4. Tuberculosis, psoriasis and even intestinal diseases like Crohns.

SYMPTOMS

Inability to use the hand or walk.
Malaise and a feeling of tiredness.
Muscle aches and pains.
Tenderness.
Difficulty moving the joint.
Muscle weakness.
Loss of flexibility.
Decreased aerobic fitness.
Swelling.
Red shiny skin over the joints.
Deformity of joint
Later on sometimes there may be numbness, loss of appetite, low grade fever and a general sense of being unwell.

DO'S AND DON'TS

Maintain optimum weight for your height and built. Exercise regularly, but avoid vigorous and heavy work.
Yoga can be very helpful.
A whole food, largely vegetarian diet with plenty of salads, fruits and lightly cooked vegetables is recommended.
Avoid red meat but fish or chicken in moderate amounts will do no harm. Avoid unpasteurised milk and use goat's milk if possible.
Avoid acid fruits such as lemons and strawberries, tomatoes, salt, sugar (use honey), tea, coffee, smoking and alcohol.
Take vitamin A, C, E and zinc supplements.
On waking do not rush into your routine, but start gradually and slowly.
In case of acute inflammation, do take rest till inflammation subsides.
Avoid full activity or stretching of the joints.