Sunday, April 17, 2011
International Autoimmune Arthritis Movement Awareness!
Please feel free to share this info! These facts came from IAMM's Facebook Page. You may also visit their main site here.
Can a baby have degenerative, wear and tear arthritis in his/her joints? Of course they cannot. The commonly used term “arthritis” refers to Osteoarthritis, a condition where cartilage around the joints becomes thin due to wear and tear, age, or injury. A baby has not lived long enough to endure this kind of damage. A child’s form of ‘arthritis’, therefore, is of an autoimmune nature. Autoimmune Arthritis is an autoimmune disease which causes the body to attack the healthy tissues of the joints, connective tissues and surrounding areas (including organs).
So before you say, “that person/child/baby is too young to have arthritis”, realize it may be a different strand of arthritis that is not caused by aging. See Stacey's amazing awareness video here.
Osteoarthritis, a degenerative arthritis often referred to as simply “arthritis”, is caused by age, wear-and-tear, or injury. Autoimmune Arthritis (Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriatic Arthritis, Lupus, Scleroderma, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Still’s Disease, Juvenile Arthritis) is caused by the immune system mistakenly attacking its own cells, causing inflammation in connective tissue, joints, and organs. Autoimmune Arthritis is NOT caused by degeneration, age, weight, or malnutrition.
“Arthritis”, defined, means joint pain. The term “arthritis” refers to Osteoarthritis, a degenerative, localized joint condition caused by wear and tear, age, or injury. Symptoms of “arthritis” include joint pain and some inflammation, but rarely swelling. It is localized to the weight bearing joint that has begun wearing down.
Autoimmune Arthritis (Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriatic Arthritis, Lupus, Scleroderma, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Still’s Disease, Juvenile Arthritis), is a systemic autoimmune disease. Symptoms of Autoimmune Arthritis also include joint pain but there is massive inflammation which often causes swelling. Systemic arthritis, unlike degenerative arthritis, is not localized; it can affect any part of the body at any time, even at rest. It is often accompanied by low-grade fevers, rashes, flu-like symptoms and debilitating fatigue.
Do you know that over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or heating creams, used often to treat the symptoms of degenerative arthritis (Osteoarthritis, often referred to as “arthritis”) are not the same medications prescribed to treat Autoimmune Arthritis (Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriatic Arthritis, Lupus, Scleroderma, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Still’s Disease, Juvenile Arthritis). Autoimmune Arthritis medications include anti-inflammatory, disease modifying drugs, including low-dose chemotherapy treatments.
Total average cost to purchase a month supply of ibuprofen and other topical ointments: $18.
Total average cost to purchase Autoimmune Arthritis medications: $2,500* (*number may decline based on insurance coverage).
Osteoarthritis, commonly referred to simply as “arthritis”, is caused by degeneration. This wear and tear arthritis (unless caused by injury) affects weight bearing joints and can take years to cause damage. Once the cartilage begins wearing away from the joints, it is referred to as “arthritis”. Pain begins once damage occurs.
Autoimmune Arthritis, an autoimmune disease, is caused by a problem within the body’s immune system. This type of arthritis affects any area in the body that contains joints or connective tissues (including organs). Pain often begins in the form of an unexplained injury, for it mimics that of a sprain. However, outside of the pain, it is often paired with an unexplained fever, flu-like symptoms and massive fatigue. Because blood work may return normal for several months or years, diagnosis becomes difficult until the damage can be seen on an x-ray or MRI. The pain begins often years before damage occurs.