If you feel pain and stiffness when you wake up in the morning, you might have inflammatory arthritis. Read more about this disease below.
In this article:
- What Is Inflammatory Arthritis?
- What Are the Inflammatory Arthritis Symptoms?
- What Causes Inflammatory Arthritis?
- What Are the Different Types of Inflammatory Arthritis?
- Is Inflammatory Arthritis a Disability?
- How Long Does Inflammatory Arthritis Last?
- How Is Inflammatory Arthritis Diagnosed?
- How Can Inflammatory Arthritis Be Managed?
- How Do You Treat Inflammatory Arthritis Naturally?
- What Is the Recommended Diet for Inflammatory Arthritis?
What You Need to Learn About Inflammatory Arthritis
What Is Inflammatory Arthritis?
Inflammatory arthritis (IA) is a health condition which affects the joints.
The body’s defense system attacks tissue the same way it fights off bacteria and viruses. The result is swelling in the affected joint.
Inflammatory arthritis may lead to extreme pain and organ damage if left unmanaged.
What Are the Inflammatory Arthritis Symptoms?
A person suffering from inflammatory arthritis may experience the following symptoms:
- Pain in the affected area
- Morning stiffness that lasts for more than 1 hour
- Limitations in movement
This condition is typically systemic, meaning it can affect the entire body. With that said, other symptoms like the following may also occur:
- Organ damage
- Skin rashes
- Eye inflammation
- Hair loss
What Causes Inflammatory Arthritis?
Research shows that genes play a vital part in developing this condition. But usually, inflammatory arthritis is brought on by an autoimmune disorder; the body’s immune system attacks its own the cells and tissue resulting in the destruction of the joint structure.
There are instances when an infection or injury causes this condition as well.
What Are the Different Types of Inflammatory Arthritis?
The most common types of inflammatory arthritis are the following:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis. This type affects the distant body parts like the knees, hands, and wrists.
- Psoriatic Arthritis. This happens side-by-side with a skin disease called psoriasis.
- Gout. This type of inflammatory arthritis occurs as a result of an excessive amount of uric acid in the body. The uric acid creates crystals around the joints causing pain.
- Osteoarthritis. People also call this health condition degenerative arthritis. In this condition, the cartilage or the protective barrier between the joints thins out; the resulting rubbing and contact cause pain and inflammation.
Other kinds of inflammatory arthritis include but are not limited to:
- Systemic Lupus Erythematosus – a chronic autoimmune disease affecting the connective tissues and organs such as the lungs, skin, joints, kidneys, nervous system, and hematopoietic or blood-forming system
- Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis – inflammatory condition that happens among children
- Ankylosing Spondylitis – inflammation affecting the spinal joints
Is Inflammatory Arthritis a Disability?
Generally, a health condition may be considered a disability if it causes limitations to a person’s physical ability, movement, and bodily functions. The Social Security Administration follows a “Blue Book” when it comes to classifying inflammatory arthritis conditions as disabilities.
How Long Does Inflammatory Arthritis Last?
There are instances when an arthritis flare lasts for days or weeks. In worst case scenarios – when left unmanaged – pain and swelling may last for months.
This is why it is important to immediately consult a doctor at the earliest onset of the condition.
How Is Inflammatory Arthritis Diagnosed?
The doctor will conduct a physical exam to see if the individual has fluid around the joints. The body will also be checked for any warm or red areas.
The doctor may require the patient to take blood tests to look for particular types of antibodies and imaging scans such as X-ray, MRI, and CT Scans to determine the level of affectation.
How Can Inflammatory Arthritis Be Managed?
This disease can be managed, but it takes time. Early detection may prevent grave and long-term complications.
Doctors may prescribe the following medications to help manage the symptoms of inflammatory arthritis:
- Non-steroidal inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs)
Non-invasive treatment options such as physical therapy and heat or ice application may also be advised to help relieve pain and inflammation.
How Do You Treat Inflammatory Arthritis Naturally?
Individuals with inflammatory arthritis may use natural remedies to relieve the pain and swelling. These can also help prevent arthritis flares:
- Balance the time for rest and physical activities. Long periods of inactivity and strenuous physical activities can both cause arthritis flares.
- Regular exercise is key. Constant movements can make the joints flexible. But, resort to less intense exercises such as swimming.
- Make an effort to reach your ideal body weight. Losing some pounds can ease the pressure placed on your joints.
- Get a massage. Book regular appointments with a reliable massage therapist. Learn how to properly massage own joints.
- Talk to a physician and ask about joint supplements. Take them as prescribed.
What Is the Recommended Diet for Inflammatory Arthritis?
An anti-inflammatory diet can make a major difference in the treatment of IA. The following food items may be included in the meal plans of a person with inflammatory arthritis:
- Fatty acids. The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish like trout, salmon, herring, and tuna help lessen stiffness, pain, and inflammation in joints.
- Fiber. This helps lower blood substances, such as C-reactive protein (CRP), that induce inflammation. Increase the consumption of fiber by eating more fruits, vegetables, and grains.
- Olive oil. This oil contains enzymes that can reduce inflammation in the body. Use it when cooking meals and preparing salad dressings.
- Vitamin D. This vitamin can be a powerful aid in regulating the body’s immune functions. Increase intake of food rich in Vitamin D by eating eggs and drinking low-fat milk.
- Selenium has antioxidants which can lessen inflammation in the joints. This kind of mineral is found in whole grains, shellfish, and crab.
Remember to stay away from foods that cause arthritis and increase inflammation such as hamburgers, chicken, and meat that were cooked at very high temperatures.
It is also important for adults to consume a healthy mix of daily Vitamins. We recommend this Vitamin D3 supplement.
For a summary on inflammatory arthritis, check out this video from Arthritis Society:
There are countless ways to manage or treat inflammatory arthritis, whether through prescribed medications or natural means. But do remember that prevention is always a better option.
Start living healthy and reduce the chances of having health conditions that can impair your quality of life.
How do you respond to the symptoms of inflammatory arthritis? Tell us your story or share your thoughts in the comments section!