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In commemorating the World Arthritis Day, medical experts have called on people to stop self-medicating, improve their life style and imbibe health promoting behaviors to aid Rheumatoid Arthritis treatment. This year’s event themed ‘Time to Work’, is focused on reminding the world that arthritis is a real disease that reduces quality of life.
During a webinar organized by The Nigerian Society of Rheumatology, Consultant Physician and Rheumatologist at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Dr. Hakeem Olaosebikan, explained that arthritis is a manifestation of other bone diseases in the body just like malaria is a manifestation of fever, headache, cough and the likes. He added that arthritis is the swelling and tenderness of one or more joints pain and stiffness which however worsens with age citing the factors that can increase the risk of developing Rheumatoid Arthritis as obesity, cigarette smoking, sex hormones, infections, inflammatory diet, and exposure to asbestos/silica.
Dr. Olaosebikan highlighted the symptoms and signs of rheumatoid arthritis as fever, tiredness, weight loss (Non-Specific Complaints), joint pain/swelling, morning joint stiffness, ball like/lumpy, ball like swellings. He explained that the specific causes of rheumatoid arthritis are unknown and according to World Health Organization (WHO) estimates shows that more than 23 million people live with this disease and about 75% of these statistics are women, 1-3% of women may get the rheumatoid arthritis in their lifetime, beginning from ages 30 and 50.
He further advised as he concluded his presentation that early diagnosis and treatment should be carried out to prevent joint damage, deformity and disability adding that fruits intake should be increased and the reduction of fatty foods and meats should be encouraged while Physical therapy should also be practiced from time to time.
October 12 is celebrated as World Arthritis Day. It was first celebrated in 1996. It was started by the Arthritis and Rheumatism International to increase global awareness about rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases.
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