Sixty percent of people with inadequate treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis are unable to work in ten years. Since rheumatoid arthritis has always had a connotation with women it has been traditionally difficult for men to openly learn about and discuss this ailment. It is crucial to gain awareness as this condition can affect men too.
Ignoring rheumatoid arthritis and its warning signs can put you at great risk. With the perils increasing, it is important to know what this type of arthritis is. You need to learn how it affects you, and how to treat and manage it.
What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition that starts to reveal itself in the 40 to 50-year-old range of one’s life. This arthritis occurs when the immune system targets your joints and causes a lot of pain and swelling in the lining on the outside of your joints and begins to spread shortly thereafter.
It causes your bones to begin weakening and wither away at a rate much faster than normal aging. This disease does not stop at your joints and can have a significant effect on other parts of the body.
The disease can affect your autoimmune system and can cause complications to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, brain, lungs, skin, and nerves. Rheumatoid arthritis can leave you two times more likely to experience cardiovascular issues such as heart attacks or cardiac arrest.
In fact, 40 percent of people who have rheumatoid arthritis do not exhibit symptoms in their joints. This highlights just how dangerous this can be. This disease has the ability to affect your life in more ways than one.
How Arthritis Affects Men
This condition can eat away at muscle mass and atrophy your physical build and strength. This can greatly reduce your productivity at work, around the house, and with your physical exercise.
This decrease in traditionally male responsibilities can make it hard to discuss and reveal for some men. Because of this, men have not been open about their symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Men have therefore been left to deal with its potentially debilitating effects on there own.
In fact, the relative youth of rheumatoid arthritis reporting in men has led to a lack of data and research on the details of rheumatoid arthritis in men. Due to this lack of information, it is crucial that you do everything you can to properly diagnose and treat your arthritis. Keeping this ailment to yourself to ‘tough it out’ can lead to more serious complications in the future.
Recognizing Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
You should be vigilant in spotting the symptoms for rheumatoid arthritis. And while you are diagnosed in your middle ages, these signs can start as early as 18 years old. The first and most common symptom is joint pain.
Rheumatoid arthritis usually begins affecting small joints such as those intertwining your hands and works its way to bigger more powerful joints.
Other symptoms include tenderness in joints, swelling of joints, warm tingling sensations in your joints, and stiffness or rigidity for more than 30 minutes in your joints in the morning.
Be careful to not be fooled, as these symptoms can be mild and infrequent, or mirror another ailment such as a cold or flu. These symptoms may also come in waves or flares, lasting a few days or a week before subsiding.
These are still causes for concern and signs to get to your doctor for a check up. Not diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis within the early stages of its onset can make treatment and managing the condition very difficult depending on the severity.
How To Manage Your Arthritis
Living with rheumatoid arthritis can significantly increase the amount of pain you feel in your joints on a day to day basis. It is important to begin treatment as soon as you’ve confirmed the signs you’ve seen are indeed rheumatoid arthritis.
Beginning treatment early in the stages of the condition can not only slow the disease, but help prevent against other compounding conditions such as heart disease.
Aspirin and over the counter pain relievers are the common choices for daily pain relief. Stronger antibiotics may be needed if OTC remedies don’t seem to work.
Talk to your doctor about medicine and what supplements and medication make you feel like you. Other than medicine, lifestyle changes are all ways you can manage your arthritis. This can include getting plenty of low impact exercise, 7-8 hours of sleep, maintaining a healthy weight, and eliminate smoking.
Combine medicine and a healthy lifestyle to fight back against the difficulties of the condition.
Learn And Implement
Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition that affects joints such as your back, hip, fingers, and knees. It fills them with inflammation, swelling, and pain.
With the lack of information on its full effects on men, it is important to take steps to identify and treat rheumatoid arthritis as early as possible.
By arming yourself with knowledge of this arthritis, you will be better prepared to understand and manage life with it.
Jane Sandwood has been a freelance writer and editor for over 10 years. Her main interest is exploring how people can improve their health and wellbeing in their everyday life. When she isn’t writing, Jane can often be found with her nose in a good book, at the gym, or just spending quality time with her family.