By Steven Horne, RH (AHG) & Kimberly Balas, ND
Most people are at least somewhat familiar with two of the most common forms of arthritis. These are:
By contrast, rheumatoid arthritis is much more rare, occurring in less than one percent of the population. Unlike osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, meaning the tissues that surround and cushion the joints are attacked by the body's own immune system. This happens throughout the whole body, not just in joints that have been subjected to wear and tear. It usually occurs between the ages of 25 and 50, bur it can develop at any age, and generally strikes women three times as often as men.
Symptoms of rheumatoid archritis include:
� Swollen, warm, painful joints, especially after long periods of inactivity.
� Fatigue and occasional fever.
� Symmetrical pattern of inflammation�if one wrist is involved, the other will be also.
� The small joints of the body (hands, fingers, feet, toes, wrists, and ankles) are usually affected first.
As the disease progresses, the joints often will become deformed and may freeze in one position, making it difficult to move them.
Other Forms Of Arthritis
In addition to these most common forms of arthritis there are some other recognized forms.
Allergic arthritis, as the name implies, is trigered by an allergic reaction. This type of arthritis has actually been produced in the laboratory by injecting research subjects with allergenic substances. The connection between allergies arthritis is easier to understand if we consider that both these conditions are caused by inflammation in the body and that the inflammation itself can become chronic when an individual is repeatedly exposed to allergenic substances over time.
� Gonorrheal arthritis is inflammation of the joints resulting from gonorrheal infection.
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