Arthritis is a common disease that affects over 50 million people in the U.S. Although more women are diagnosed than men it’s not by a very big margin, and this disease doesn’t discriminate based on age – over 300,000 children under the age of 18 are afflicted in the U.S.
Despite the prevalence of arthritis, there are also a number of prevailing myths about the disease. We’re going to bust those myths in a 2-part series. Below – Myths 1-3.
Myth 1: Arthritis is not really a serious disease.
Truth: When left untreated, arthritis can severely interfere with Activities of Daily Living. This means that you might not be able to perform even the simplest of everyday tasks.
In addition, certain types of arthritis, such as inflammatory and rheumatoid, can cause internal organ failure, including your heart. To say nothing of causing depression.
Myth 2: Everyone eventually gets arthritis.
Truth: Arthritis isn’t inevitable, like gray hair, nor is it catching. It is a disease that some people get, and some people don’t. A number of factors usually combine to create a predilection for the disease, including heredity, weight, and previous injury.
While nothing can be done about your genes, there are still things within your control that can help strengthen your immune system and keep your body as fit as possible.
Taking measures now can help your body later. Do strengthening exercises for muscles around joints, especially the knee; and help prevent the inflammatory disease process by eating these healthy – and delicious – anti-inflammatory foods.
Myth 3: A few extra pounds only affect my hips and knees.
Truth: While extra weight does put a strain on weight bearing joints, such as the knee and the hip, excess weight will also affect non-weight-bearing joints.
Studies have shown that fat releases chemicals throughout the body that can damage cartilage in both types of joints, causing the cartilage to wear out faster.