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Age No Bar

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

It’s not uncommon to hear of people in their twenties suffering from heart attacks, but that’s not the only age-related condition that you need to be wary of. Dev Goswami tells you why rheumatoid arthritis is a condition that you need to worry about

Think of the word arthritis. If the first image that pops into your mind is that of an old man, doubling over in pain as he clutches his knee and hobbles, we won’t blame you. Arthritis — like cardiovascular conditions — is considered to be an age-related disorder. However, according to Dr. Hitesh Kubadia, orthopaedic and joint replacement surgeon at Nova Speciality Hospitals, with our predominantly sedentary modern lifestyle, this doesn’t hold true any more.  

The Risk
Dr. Hitesh explains that as per the latest WHO statistics one in every six people suffer from arthritis. And, amongst those who suffer from this condition, 25% are between the ages of 24 and 40-years-old. Remember,  this is a condition that was thought to affect only those who were over 50-years-old! There is no cure for arthritis, making it all the more important to stay aware of the condition.

The Cause
Even though researchers believe that some people have genes that make them more susceptible to the condition, rheumatoid arthritis isn’t a condition that you can inherit. Even if you do have the genes, it isn’t enough for you to be affected by the condition. A trigger (most commonly a viral infection) activates the genes and sends your system into overdrive, making your body’s self-defence mechanism inadvertently attack your joints instead of the infection. This leads to rheumatoid arthritis.

What To Do?
As we mentioned earlier, there is no definite cure for the condition. However, various treatments that will reduce pain and help you manage the condition, do exist. Dr. Hitesh tells us that there is no standard treatment — treatment is designed according to the severity of the condition and the patient’s individual lifestyle. As far as preventing arthritis is concerned, the importance of exercising cannot be stressed on enough. Dr. Hitesh explains that the foremost reason that rheumatoid arthritis is becoming common among young people is the lack of physical activity — it will not only increase your chances of suffering from this condition, it will also result in lower strength and stamina, which your body needs to manage this condition.

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