Question by Gopolang Mathaila: Is arthritis curable. How would you know when you are diagnosed with arthritis and what type do you have?
Tell me about rheumatoid arthritis, what are symptons and what can you do to treat it, more especially in winter.
Answer by Kerry
There are two types of arthiritis.
1) Osteoarthiritis- wear and tear of the cartilage (cartilage is like a cover, it allows the bones in joint to slide past one another without grinding the bones together)
2) Rheumatoid Arthiritis- this is a disease cause by you’re own immune system.
Rheumatoid arthirtis is believed to be triggered by an infection. On the bacteria that caused the infection are sequences which antibodies recognise. To fight the infection the antibodies increase in number and suppress the disease. By chance, the subunit on the bacteria that the antibodies recognise may be very similar to a subunit that makes up your bone. So, because of the increased number of antibodies, your body attacks the bone believing it is the bacterial infection leading to bone degradation.
Symptoms- inflammation and swelling of the joints. stiffness. Gentle excersise in the morning can relieve these symptoms if the disease is in it’s early form.
Treatment- there is no cure, however use of anti-inflammatory drugs can reduce swelling and discomfort. Physical therapy and joint replacement surgery are also options.
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