EP 55: What Is Arthritis?

There are more than 100 different types of arthritis and related conditions. People of all genders, races and ages can and do have arthritis, and it is the leading cause of disability in America.

More than 50 million adults and 300,000 children have some type of arthritis.

In this episode, we discuss what is arthritis, what causes it and the types of arthritis.

Arthritis is a common disorder that affects your joints. It can cause pain and inflammation, making it difficult to move or stay active. There are many types of arthritis with different causes and treatments 123The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis 1.

Osteoarthritis is caused by wear and tear on your joints over time, while rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that causes your immune system to attack your joints 1Other types of arthritis include psoriatic arthritis, gout, lupus, and fibromyalgia 2.

If you have joint pain or stiffness that lasts for more than a few weeks, it’s important to see a doctor so they can find out what’s causing it 1.

Arthritis is caused by various reasons such as wear and tear of cartilage in joints, metabolic abnormalities, infection (Bacterial or Viral), autoimmune disease (the body mistakenly fights its own cells), and injury1Risk factors include family history, obesity, age (increases with age), and gender (women are more likely to develop arthritis)123.

Arthritis cannot always be prevented but the risk of arthritis can be reduced by altering eating habits and proper exercise1If arthritis is left untreated, it can lead to serious complications such as joint damage (joint deformities, damage to nearby tendon), widespread inflammation (inflammation can spread to other parts of the body like lungs, heart, and eyes), and cardiovascular damage (people with rheumatoid arthritis are at higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease)1.

Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints that can cause debilitating joint pain. There are more than 100 kinds of arthritis and related conditions. Many types of arthritis are autoimmune in nature, meaning that your immune system mistakenly attacks your healthy cells, thinking they’re dangerous invaders like a virus or bacterium. The most common types of autoimmune arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and psoriatic arthritis (PsA), but many other types exist 1.

Autoimmune diseases are conditions where the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells in the body. In the case of autoimmune arthritis, the immune system attacks the joints and causes inflammation.

Some types of autoimmune arthritis include:

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
  • Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA)
  • Reactive Arthritis
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis
  • Axial Spondyloarthritis
  • Juvenile Arthritis
  • Palindromic Rheumatism 1

While there is no cure for autoimmune diseases, including autoimmune arthritis, there are ways to manage symptoms and reduce inflammation naturally. This can include eating a healthy diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein; getting regular exercise; managing stress; getting enough sleep; and avoiding triggers such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.