Arthritis is an ailment that affects millions of people throughout the United States every year. And while many people know the name of the condition, very few fully understand it or know what dealing with arthritis can entail. Learn some of the important facts about arthritis and the treatment options available. Then, you can be sure that you see a doctor if and when you start to show signs of arthritis.
You Cannot Self-Diagnose Arthritis
Most people are under the assumption that arthritis is in and of itself a single condition that they can easily self-diagnose if they have joint pain or stiffness. However, arthritis is a much more complicated disease to diagnose. This is because there are many different types of arthritis that a person can suffer from and sometimes, a person does not have arthritis but has another inflammatory disease that is similar to arthritis.
If you want a treatment that is effective, you need to be diagnosed by a rheumatologist or other doctor. Knowing the exact type of arthritis you have is the first step towards managing your condition.
Arthritis Can Affect Anyone
Another common misconception about arthritis is that it is a condition that only occurs in older people. This is not the case. Anyone, no matter their age, can suffer from arthritis. Even young children can struggle with this disease. If you have significant joint pain, stiffness, and/or have trouble with range of motion in your joints, see a doctor about the possibility of having arthritis. Your age is not a factor.
What You Eat Makes a Difference
Did you know some foods increase inflammation in the body? Well, there are. And if you suspect you have arthritis or have received a diagnosis, paying attention to what you eat can make a major difference. Foods like red meat, sugar or sugary foods, and foods high in salt can all increase inflammation, making arthritis symptoms worse. If you suspect you have arthritis, watch what you eat. Eating a healthy and balanced diet with little sugar or salt can make a big difference in your overall well-being and your arthritis symptoms.
You Should Not Wait to See a Doctor
Many people that show early arthritis symptoms tend to wait a while before seeing a doctor. They may assume that their joint issues are temporary and will clear up all on their own. Or, they might not want to take the time out of their schedule to see their doctor. The problem is that arthritis is tougher to start treating when it is left unchecked for a prolonged period of time. If you want effective treatments that can help slow the progression of your arthritis, you need an early diagnosis and early treatment. Do not wait if you show signs of arthritis. Contact your doctor immediately.
With these facts in mind, contact your primary care doctor for a referral to a rheumatologist as soon as possible if you have arthritis symptoms. For more information on arthritis treatment, contact your local medical professional.