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One of the most common ailments the elderly suffer from is arthritis. However, arthritis can affect people of all ages. It is a rheumatic disease as in, it affects joints and bones. It can be of many types and the term covers a number of inflammatory and non-inflammatory joint diseases. Some of the most well-known types of arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis, bone spurs, gout and osteoarthritis.
The causes of arthritis have not been defined but there are a number of factors that increase a person's chances of getting it. Foremost amongst these is increasing age and excess weight. Arthritic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and lupus are said to be hereditary and linked to certain genes. Sometimes, injuries can also cause arthritic conditions. Misuse of steroids can also result in arthritis.
Here is a look at the most common symptoms of the disease :-
- Pain around the joints is the most well-known symptom of arthritis. Along with pain, you may also notice swollen or stiff joints.
- Increased body temperature around the affected joints and redness in the area is also a symptom of arthritis. These symptoms range from mild to severe, and can be constant or may come and go.
- Everybody suffers from occasional joint pains but if any of the above symptoms persist for a long duration, it is best to consult a doctor. The sooner you seek treatment, the easier it becomes to deal with arthritis. If left untreated for too long, arthritis can result in permanent joint damage.
While there is no single cure for arthritis, it can be effectively controlled if treated in time. Since the type and severity of arthritis differ from person to person, treatment for the same must also be tailored to the needs of the individual.
- Drugs for arthritis can be categorized as those that treat symptoms such as pain and stiffness, and those that suppress inflammatory conditions.
- In some cases, surgery may be advisable.
- Physical therapy and regular exercise are very important when dealing with arthritis.
- It is equally important to eat a healthy, nutritious and well-balanced diet. If you are overweight, try and lose the excess kilos.
- You must also look after your joints to ensure that there is no further degradation of bone or muscle tissue. Avoid staying in one position for a long time, and try and maintain a good posture.
These simple techniques can be very effective when dealing with all types of arthritis.
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Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, as it is commonly known is a digestive disorder that is caused primarily due to intestinal distress. GERD is caused in the muscle that lies between the oesophagus and the stomach, when the acid produced in the stomach starts to flow backwards. For patients suffering from GERD, the acids flow back into the oesophagus instead of the stomach, causing symptoms like severe heartburn, chest pain and nausea, among others.
So what does one do to deal with GERD? Here's a brief list:
- Control weight: Being overweight and obese are two of the most important factors that contribute to discomfort in GERD patients. Working towards a healthier weight is a sure shot way of dealing with this ailment.
- Avoid alcohol and smoking: The LES or the muscle ring that can be found between the stomach and the oesophagus relaxes with the intake of alcohol or with smoking, which prevents it from closing, in order to stop the stomach's juices from reaching the oesophagus. So, giving up both substances would be a good idea if you are a GERD patient.
- Go gluten free: Adopting a gluten free diet can help you cut ingredients, including grains and dairy products that contain more protein than what your digestive tract can handle.
- Other dietary measures: In order to handle GERD effectively, you will need to remove or reduce chocolate, fatty food, spicy food, and even oily and fried food from your diet. You may need the help of food with extra fibre, like fruit, so that food can pass through the digestive tract faster.
- Smaller and well timed meals: Eating meals regularly and dividing them into smaller meals that can be digested quickly and more efficiently is one of the best ways of dealing with GERD to prevent the onset of backward flowing stomach acids.
- Exercise: Ensuring that you do not take a nap or lie down right after a meal and doing exercise everyday will also help in doing away with the uncomfortable and painful symptoms of this disease.
Making lifestyle changes is one of the best ways to deal with GERD. Yet, it would be best to see a doctor regarding severe cases where the symptoms do not abate and medication may be required.