Tuesday, October 12, 2010

World "Arthritis" Day

Today is World "Arthritis" Day. The term "arthritis" is generally used by people to refer to any form of arthritis. Types of arthritis include Juvenile Arthritis, Autoimmune Arthritis, and "Arthritis" which is commonly called Osteoarthritis. Of the three only the Osteoarthritis has localized pain and only affects the joints. It can be controlled with over the counter medications. Juvenile and and Autoimmune Arthritis both are systemic meaning they affect the whole body system. Out of over 100 types of arthritis only 7 are classified as Autoimmune Arthritis diseases. These are serious and can include organ involvement. Autoimmune Arthritis typically occurs between the ages of 0-40. The above information was taken directly from the website http://www.iaamovement.org/ When I was growing up arthritis was known as an old person's disease. Statistics show that 80% of people will experience this type of arthritis at some point in their life. This type is called "degenerative arthritis". It comes from the wear and tear to our joints over the years. Only a small percentage of people will develop the serious form of arthritis known as Autoimmune Arthritis. I am one of those people. Although I was not diagnosed by a rheumatologist until 2001 I displayed the symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis in 1974. I was 21 years old newly married and in college. What most people do not understand is that Autoimmune Arthritis is not just the aches and pains in your hands, feet or hips. It is throughout the whole body. You feel tired and constantly ache. Even with wonderful biologic drugs like Remicade which I take, you feel like you have the flu all the time. One of the most frustrating things for person with an Autoimmune Arthritis to have to deal with is not the pain of the disease. It is the lack of understanding from other people over how this disease affects our lives. It can control how and what we are able to do. I get frustrated over seeing commercials on TV that say you can "cure"arthritis with this or that medication. Or well meaning people who have come across a "new and improved way" to cure arthritis. Those of us who deal with Autoimmune Arthritis know that while those "cures" might work on "old fashioned arthritis" they do nothing for what rages through our bodies. Lest I sound like I am going on a tear let me say I am blessed to have found a fantastic rheumatologist and great biologic meds that keep me functioning. Please visit http://www.iaamovement.org/ . There is so much information available there. Do you know the differences in the types of Arthritis? Go there and find out.

No comments: