Arthritis is a group of conditions involving damage to the joints of the body. It is characterized by inflammation and is accompanied by pain, swelling, and stiffness. It can occur as a result of magnesium deficiency, infection, trauma, degenerative changes, metabolic disturbances, or auto-immune disorders (where the body mistakenly starts attacking itself).
There are over 100 types of arthritis and related diseases. The most common ones include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, auto-immune disorders (such as fibromyalgia, MS, systemic lupus erythematosus), scleroderma, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and gout.
The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are:
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, affecting over 20 million people. This type of arthritis is caused by the breakdown and loss of cartilage in the joints. Cartilage is the cushion between the bones of the joints. Osteoarthritis is commonly associated with signs of aging. It affects hands, feet, spine, and weight-bearing joints such as the hips and knees. The cause of osteoarthritis is not totally known.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that causes pain and swelling of the lining of the joints. The body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the cells within the joint capsules. The joint cells respond by producing enzymes that actually eat away at cartilage and bones, causing permanent damage in some cases. Rheumatoid arthritis may come and go, with periods of remission and flare ups. Joint pain is commonly associated with fever and fatigue, and it affects 1% of the population. Rheumatoid arthritis can coexist with other autoimmune disorders such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, adrenal fatigue syndrome, or lupus.
Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis also occurs, where the disease strikes children under the age of 16. Inflammation of the joints is accompanied by other autoimmune disorder symptoms, such as fever, fatigue, and rashes. Some children may outgrow this type of arthritis once they reach adulthood.
Additional Information about Arthritis