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Trusting Your Youth Could Lead to Arthritis

Posted October. 05, 2003 00:15,   


The number of young people that are suffering from arthritis is increasing. Historically, arthritis has been considered as “the disease of the rich” or as “the king’s disease,” meaning that only people who lived a prosperous life suffered from it.

Arthritis is caused by the production of uric acid by a type of protein known as “purine.” Pain is caused as the uric acid accumulates. Arthritis is commonly seen in men over the age of forty who have high levels of uric acid in their blood. When the level of uric acid reaches 7.5 mg per dL of blood in men and 6.5 mg for women, arthritis can easily occur.

The cases of people in their twenties and thirties suffering from arthritis have been increasing. The Seoul Samsung Hospital reported last March that out of 372 arthritis patients treated between 1994 and 2000, 52 patients (14 percent) were under 30 years old, and 76 patients (20.4 percent) were in their thirties. This leads to a simplified statistic of 3 out of 10 arthritis patients being in or under their thirties.

The reason why there have been so many cases of young patients suffering from arthritis is claimed to be because eating habits have become Westernized. Moreover, the consumption of alcohol and obesity also contributes to the suffering of arthritis by young people. In the report by the Seoul Samsung Hospital, 61 percent of the young patients suffering from arthritis were also suffering from obesity.

There is also a genetic factor as well. If a father suffers from arthritis, the chance of his son suffering from it also increases. Arthritis also affects young women who intake substances that make them urinate for a prolonged period of time in order to lose weight because the level of uric acid in their blood increases.

One medical scholar stated that, “People who are likely to suffer from arthritis in the distant future are being affected at a young age.”

Arthritis in young people is more dangerous not because of arthritis, but because it makes a patient more vulnerable to suffer from other diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and the hardening of arteries.

Most young people are vulnerable to disease because they take their health for granted. Doctors state that young people who suffer from arthritis often times overlook the seriousness of symptoms as temporary aches or just a simple inflammation in the joint.

However, arthritis in young people in their twenties and thirties is more dangerous than arthritis in people over the age of forty. Doctors have claimed and warned that, “if arthritis is not treated in young patients, the kidneys start to malfunction and could lead to acute renal failure. Moreover, if uric acid is accumulated to a high degree, joints can dilapidate and the patient will never be able to use that joint again.”

In most cases of patients suffering from arthritis, they suffer from other diseases as well. In the report by the Seoul Samsung Hospital, 153 patients (35.2 percent) suffered from high blood pressure, 76 patients (17.5 percent) suffered from organ failure, and 61 patients (14 percent) suffered from Hyperlipidemia.

Arthritis patients often times wake up from their sleep at night because of the pains. From this point, the next 24 hours are the most painstaking. However, the pains are relieved in around ten days. If the symptoms do not show up again, then immediate treatment is not needed.

50 percent of the patients who suffer from their first fit experience a second one. If a second fit occurs, then there is a serious problem because from this point on, fits will frequently occur. This is also the point when uric acids start to accumulate near the joints.

Therefore, if proper treatment is not received, the uric acid spreads to other parts of the body, making the patient vulnerable to other diseases.

Complete recovery from arthritis is almost impossible and therefore can last a lifetime. Rest is very important in the treatment of arthritis. While resting, proper drugs and dietary treatment must be taken.

After a first fit, patients are often times given colchicines, adrenal cortex hormones, or anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve the pain. However, if pain fits continue to occur, drugs that drop the level of uric acid are prescribed along with the pain relievers.

Even if the level of uric acid drops to that of a healthy person, the patient must have caution for around a year. If a patient has the tendency to easily accumulate uric acid, then he or she may have to consume drugs that drop the level of uric acid forever.