The average prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis across the world is around 1%. That translates to the total number of arthritis sufferers being around 70 million people. Women are three times more likely to be affected by rheumatoid arthritis than men. In this article we will look at the prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis and how we can reduce people's suffers of this awful condition.
70 million people in the world. That is a lot of people disabled by this disease. In the UK there are 400,000 suffers and in the US there are around 1.5 million, out of a total of 50 million being told they have some sort of arthritis related disease.
What is rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis normally pays between the ages of 40 and 50, although it can appear at any time. It can be a painful condition and lead to a disability because of a loss of movement in the hands, legs or other jointed areas. It causes the joints become inflamed and very stiff and it can be diagnosed through x-ray imaging and blood tests.
Often the treatments for rheumatoid arthritis centres on pain relief, reducing inflammation and preventing further damage to the joints. The medication that is available includes painkillers such as paracetamol, NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen and corticosteroids which are normally used when standard painkillers fail. All of these medications aim to allow you to live a normal and healthy life.
What should you do?
If you think you might have rheumatoid arthritis then you should do the following things;
1. Don't panic
This is pointless and will not achieve anything, as much as you might want to do it.
2. Go to a doctor
This will let them see if the illness is getting better or worse, see what effects the drugs are having and if they are having any side effects. The doctor may also decide to change treatments when needed and take urine, blood and other tests.
3. Remember that there are lots of treatments and that this is a manageable disease
Painkillers, exercises, surgery and lifestyle changes are potential treatments for this disease. Research is being carried out into gene therapy and as the rich western population gets older, there is going to be a lot of money in solving this illness.
The prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis is already extremely high and can only get higher as our populations become older and we want to remain active into the later years of our lives. Do you have rheumatoid arthritis? Do you have any advice you want to give to suffers? Please write any comments below.