“Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.” Joseph Campbell’s quote is hard to appreciate when you have Arthritis! A 2013 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention1 (CDC) states that 52.5 million Americans2 over 18 years of age had self-reported doctor diagnosed arthritis! Many people had arthritis in addition to other chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension.
Here’re more disturbing facts3 about Arthritis from the CDC:
- Over 30% of obese Americans have arthritis.
- 22.7 million adults with arthritis experience limitations in everyday activities.
- Arthritis cost Americans 128 billion dollars in 2003.
- Almost half of adults diagnosed with diabetes also have arthritis.
- Almost half of adults diagnosed with heart disease also have arthritis.
- Arthritis is the most common cause of disability in the United States.
What is Arthritis?
The CDC says the word arthritis is used by clinicians to specifically mean inflammation of the joints, it is used in public health to refer more generally to more than 100 rheumatic diseases and conditions that affect joints; the tissues that surround the joint, and other connective tissue. Older people most often have osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or gout4 according to the National Institute on Aging (NIA).
Gout5 happens when uric acid builds up in your body. The NIA’s information on Gout is very helpful. Jay Harold has seen many patients in agony with this painful type of arthritis. It most often happens in the big toe, but other joints can also be affected. Swelling may cause the skin6 to pull tightly around the joint and make the area red or purple and very tender. Eating foods like liver, dried beans, peas, anchovies, or gravy can lead to a gout attack7 in people with the disease. Risk factors for gout include being overweight or obese, having hypertension, alcohol intake (beer and spirits more than wine), diuretic use, a diet rich in meat and seafood, and poor kidney function.
Osteoarthritis8 (OA) is the most common type of arthritis in older people. OA starts when tissue, called cartilage, which pads bones in a joint begin to wear away. OA symptoms range from stiffness and mild pain that comes and goes to a pain that doesn’t stop, even when you are resting or sleeping.
Rheumatoid arthritis9 (RA) is an autoimmune disease, a type of illness that makes your body attack itself. RA causes pain, swelling, and stiffness that lasts for hours. RA can happen in many different joints at the same time. People with RA often feel tired or run a fever. RA is more common in women than men.
Arthritis is Rough on Black People!
Sobering facts from the CDC about the health of African-Americans10:
- 37.9% of non-Hispanic black or African-American men 20 years and over are obese.
- 57.6% of non-Hispanic black or African-American women 20 years and over are obese.
- 39.9% of non-Hispanic black or African-American men 20 years and over had hypertension.
- 44.5% of non-Hispanic black or African-American women 20 years and over had hypertension.
- Heart Disease is the leading cause of death for African-Americans in 201311.
- Diabetes is the 5th leading cause of death for African-Americans in 2013.
African-Americans with arthritis are in a bad situation. Arthritis is much more common12 among people who have other chronic conditions. About half of US adults with heart disease (49%) or diabetes (47%) also have arthritis. Also, 44% of those with high blood pressure and 31% of those who are obese have arthritis. Having arthritis in addition to other chronic conditions can reduce the quality of life and make disease management more difficult. Black People certainly have reasons to be concerned about arthritis.
Resources are Available!
The CDC has excellent information on the management of arthritis. The CDC’s arthritis program13 promotes five key messages to help individuals affected by arthritis be in control of their condition, and their lives.
The National Institute on Aging provides a list of helpful resources14 for arthritis as does the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases15 (NIAMS). The Arthritis Foundation16 has local offices throughout the United States and can help you deal with this terrible disease.
Jay Harold has health resources for many diseases available in a convenient, easy to use format. Jay Harold wants you and your family to live a healthier life.
Click this link to get free Health and Wealth information to improve your life. Play the free “Slow Roll Through Civil Rights” Game found on the Jay Harold website. Enjoyed this post? Share it and read more here.