Arthritis is a disorder of the joint ( s) characterised by inflammation and presents with pain and swelling.
There are several different types of arthritis .
The commonest types are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis .
Signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis
Typically , osteoarthritis begins as a dull ache in the affected joint , which increases as time progresses .
The pain is usually more severe after the affected joint has been put into use. The joint may become swollen and tender.
Stiffness of the joint is also a common symptom .
The stiffness is more severe if the joint has been rested for sometime or after waking up from sleep .
Risk factors associated with osteoarthritis
Arthritis is commoner in older individuals than the younger ones.
It is a chronic disease , which takes a long time to manifest. Osteoarthritis seen in younger individuals is usually due to trauma .
Arthritis affects both men and women but it is more frequently seen in women than men . However , before the age of 45 years it is more often seen in men.
This is an important risk factor in that osteoarthritis tends to affect the weight bearing joints more .
In the case of an obese individual therefore, the knees , hips and spine are more frequently affected .
Injury to the joint or over utilization of a joint
The risk of osteoarthritis increases as a result of a traumatic injury to a joint .
Also a joint that is more frequently used as in sportsmen and women or at work will be more susceptible to osteoarthritis than others .
Wrong alignment of joints
An individual with bowlegs , knocking knees or a dislocated hip may more likely develop arthritis in those affected joints than others that are better aligned.
A history of arthritis in a family may increase the risk of arthritis in members of such a family .
Cause( s) of arthritis ( osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis )
According to orthodox medicine, the causes of these two conditions are unknown.
The risk factors of osteoarthritis have already been listed above .
Concerning rheumatoid arthritis , genetic and environmental factors have been sited as possible predisposing factors .
Be that as it may, proponents of dehydration as the cause of the chronic degenerative diseases are agreed that it is also the cause of arthritis .
Here is a brief account of how this happens
The human body is 75 per cent water ( 65 per cent in women ) and this amount of water is distributed in the intra and extra cellular fluid spaces .
The different compartments of the body ( the eyeball , spinal canal , the liver , the joints etc.) have an optimal amount of water allocated to them for their proper functioning .
In this , the joint spaces are not left out . In fact, for the cartilage in the joints to glide frictionlessly against each other , there is an optimum amount of water that should be present there .
Anything below this level will increase the friction and cause the cartilage covering the two bones in the joint to rub against each other .
As this happens the individual will begin to experience a slight ache in the joint .
Dehydration, a condition brought about by not drinking sufficient water , is usually reflected in all the compartments of the body, one way or another .
In a state of dehydration , the body goes into a redistribution mode so as to supply enough water to such organs as the brain , heart , liver , lungs and kidneys . These are the five vital organs of the body that cannot stand dehydration .
In order to survive, water is redirected from the rest of the body, including the joints to those vital organs .
The consequence is that the rest of the body suffers from lack of sufficient water for their functions .
In the case of the joints this is seen as arthritis and it manifests at the point of weakest link or an area suffering from highest regional dehydration .