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Rheumatism - People suffering from rheumatic diseases

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PEOPLE SUFFERING FROM RHEUMATIC DISEASES Key words: arthritis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, to relieve the pain, fatigue, tiredness, stiffness, swelling of joints, prevention of contractures and deformities, knee and hip replacement. The most commonly sold drugs indicated for rheumatic diseases: Non-narcotic analgesics (pain relievers). As one of the main symptoms of rheumatic diseases is pain, most people will need pain relief as part of their medication regimen. For some this may be short-term, until the problems that cause the pain, such as inflammation, are eliminated. For others, whose symptoms cannot be fully resolved, pain relief may be part of a long-term treatment plan. Non-narcotic analgesics include acetaminophen (Tylenol), which although widely available should only be used long-term if carefully monitored, as serious side effects include liver damage and death. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) are also non-narcotic pain relievers. Narcotic analgesics. For severe pain unrelieved by non-narcotic medications, it may be necessary to use narcotic drugs, also known as opioids, for a brief period. Narcotics include codeine, morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and many others. They should only be used under professional guidance, as tolerance and addiction can occur after long-term use. Side effects include nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, constipation, and drowsiness, which can often limit their use on a day-to-day basis. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs). These are some of the most commonly used drugs for both short- and long-term management of a number of rheumatic diseases. In addition to relieving pain, NSAIDs block the activity of the enzyme cycloxygenase (COX), which is involved in inflammatory pathways. NSAIDs are divided into the salicylates, of which aspirin is the most well-known; "traditional" NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen, naproxen sodium (Aleve, Naprosyn), diclofenac (Voltaren), and ketoprofen (Orudis); and COX-2 inhibitors. Currently, the only FDA-approved COX-2 inhibitor is celecoxib (Celebrex). Side effects of NSAIDs can include stomach upset and ulcers, so they are usually also given with stomach acid-reducing drugs. Long-term use of NSAIDs can cause fluid retention, high blood pressure, and increase the chance of a heart attack, so use should be under professional guidance. Corticosteroids. This class of dugs is used for the treatment of sometypes of rheumatic diseases because corticosteroids decrease inflammation and suppress the immune system, which results in decreased inflammation and swelling of the joint. They can be administrated orally, intravenously, or injected directly into the affected tissue or joint. Examples of corticosteroids include betamethasone (Celestone), cortisone (Cortone), dexamethasone (Decadron), hydrocortisone (Cortef), methylprednisolone (Medrol), prednisolone (Prelone), and prednisone (Deltasone). Side effects that can occur after short-term use include swelling from fluid retention, increased appetite, weight gain, and emotional ups and downs. Side effects that may occur after long-term use of corticosteroids include stretch marks, excessive hair growth, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, blood glucose increases, and cataracts. ARTHRITIS Arthritisis the inflammation of one or more joints. Causes, incidence, and risk factors Joint inflammation, which causes redness, swelling, pain and sometimes loss of motion, is a body’s normal reaction to damage or the presence of a foreign agent in that area. This is seen frequently when there is an injury to a joint (including fracture) or the presence of a virus or bacteria. Most of the time inflammation goes away after the injury has healed or the virus or bacteria have been wiped out by the immune system. With some injuries and some disease the inflammation does not go away and this is consideredarthritis. Altogether there are more than 100 kinds of arthritis, and there are many different diseases that can cause it. Arthritis can occur in males and females of all ages. Some of the disease associated with arthritis includes: - osteoarthritis systemic lupus erythematosus rheumatoid arthritis juvenile rheumatoid arthritis gout sclerodema psoriasis (psoriatic arthritis) ankylosing spondylitis Reiter’s syndrome septic arthritis tuberculosis (tuberculous arthritis) gonorrhoea (gonococci arthritis) RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS Rheumatoid arthritisis a chronic inflammatory disease that primarily affects the joints and surrounding tissues. Causes, incidence, and risk factors The cause of rheumatoid arthritis is unknown, but infectious, genetic, and endocrine factors may play a role. The disease can occur at any age, but the peak incidence of disease onset is between the ages of 25 and 55. Women are affected three times more often than men. The incidence increases with age. Approximately 3% population is affected. The course and severity of the illness can vary considerably. The onset of the disease is usually slow, with fatigue, loss of appetite, weakness, and vague muscular symptoms. Eventually, joint pain appears, with warmth, swelling, tenderness, and stiffness after inactivity of the joint. The disease usually only involves a couple of joints initially, but slowly progresses into many other joints. At first, rheumatoid arthritis affects the synovium, which becomes inflamed and secretes more fluid. Later, the cartilage becomes involved and becomes rough and pitted. The hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, knees and ankles are the most frequently affected. Characteristic deformities result from cartilage destruction and destruction of the supporting tissues around the bones. Occasionally, the hips, jaw and neck may be affected. Anaemia may occur due to failure of the bone marrow to produce enough new red cells to make up the lost ones. Muscle weakness and atrophy may occur. If the heart becomes weakened, congestive heart failure may result. Pr

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