What is Inflammatory Arthritis?
There are many forms of arthritis. Inflammatory arthritis is any form of arthritis that involves the immune system and inflammation. The characteristic symptoms of inflammation are swelling, heat, redness of skin, pain, and loss of function. There are different types of inflammatory arthritis.
- The body treats it own tissues as a foreign object and reacts to this foreign object with inflammation
- Rheumatoid arthritis – antibodies produced by the body attack the synovial membrane that encloses each joint
- Lupus – systematically affects connective tissues and organs
- Ankylosing Spondylitis – a progressive form of arthritis that causes inflammation of the spine and large joints
- Reiter’s Syndrome – a chronic, progressive disease that can affect the joints, tendon attachments, skeleton, and the eye’s conjunctiva and mucous membranes
- Psoriatic arthritis – causes inflammation of the skin and joints
- Inflammatory bowel disease – inflammatory arthritis can be associated with this disease
Other Causes of Inflammatory Arthritis
Inflammatory arthritis can be caused by other conditions, as well. Reactive arthritis is caused by certain types of bacteria and can develop from an infection in another part of your body. The deposit of crystalline structures in the joints causes gout and pseudogout. Elevated blood levels of uric acid, which is a waste product, can form in the joints when the kidney does not properly dispose of the waste.
Symptoms of Inflammatory Arthritis
The symptoms of inflammatory arthritis can include the following:
- Pain in one or more joints
- Swelling in one or more joints
- The affected joint is usually warmer than other joints
- Stiffness and decrease of ability to move affected joints
- Symptoms may appear after a minor illness or emotional stress
- Skin around joints may become red and tender
Treatment of Inflammatory Arthritis
The symptoms of inflammatory arthritis can be treated with medicines or natural remedies. However, it is very important to find the cause of the arthritis so that the root problem can be treated as well. Medications can be used to treat the pain and inflammation, but there are many natural remedies that have been more successful in treating the cause of the inflammatory arthritis. If you use medications to relieve the symptoms of inflammatory arthritis, be sure to learn of any side effects or reactions to other medications or food.
Some natural remedies for the treatment of inflammatory arthritis include:
- Exercise – a regular exercise regimen helps to avoid stiffness of the joints associated with inflammatory arthritis
- Water aerobics – endorphins produced in the brain during water aerobics can help ease the pain of inflammatory arthritis
- Valerian – this can be used to treat the pain of inflammatory arthritis. This natural medication is a known sedative and caution should be used – some people have experienced withdrawal symptoms when stopping abruptly.
- Comfrey – a comfrey salve can be used to reduce the inflammation of the affected joints
- Mangosteen – this fruit has been shown to relieve both the inflammation and pain associated with inflammatory arthritis
- Omega-3 fatty acids – can be found in foods such as cold-water fish, walnut, and flaxseeds.
Diet for Inflammatory Arthritis
Diet is also another way that you can prevent or lessen the symptoms associated with inflammatory arthritis. A healthy diet is important for overall health. There are some foods that can trigger the onset of inflammation in the joints and some foods that decrease the onset of inflammation. If you suffer from inflammatory arthritis, you should eliminate milk and milk products. You should avoid polyunsaturated fats and products that are made with partially hydrogenated oils. The best kind of diet for those who suffer from inflammatory arthritis is low in protein and high in carbohydrates. Some of the common foods that can trigger the symptoms of arthritis are milk and dairy products, beef, corn, and wheat. Avoiding these foods can help you to avoid triggering the symptoms. In general, a healthy diet and regular exercise can help you to avoid many of the symptoms of inflammatory arthritis.