Ignorance is bliss! Not always – Dr Rajadhyaksha

  • Approximately 1 % of world’s adult population suffers from Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
  • Around 15 % of Indian population (180 million) are affected with arthritis

Mumbai: Medical science has made tremendous progress in last couple of decades, and now people are undergoing kidney, liver and heart transplantation. There are over 120 kind of joint problems, but our general population is only aware of a few. Approximately 1 % of world’s adult population suffers from Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). Over 180 million people in India are affected with arthritis and the prevalence is higher than many well-known diseases such as diabetes, AIDS and cancer.

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This year’s World Arthritis Day, which falls on October 12th, the theme is ‘It’s in your hands, take action’, and encourages people with Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Diseases (RMDs), their care takers, families and the general public to seize every opportunity to take action and make a difference to the quality of life of people suffering from RMDs.

Rheumatoid arthritis predominantly affects females but can be seen in males as well. The Musculoskeletal Diseases are more prevalent in today’s times, due to poor conditioning of the body, lack of exercise and improper work ergonomics.

Sometimes, we say that ignorance is bliss, but this is not always the case, at least not in Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). We have seen many elderly people in our families who are bed-ridden and cannot perform their daily chores independently. They otherwise may look hale and hearty, but their joints are definitely not due to arthritis. Lack of awareness and timely treatment would have prevented it.

“Early diagnosis and treatment is pertinent to prevent further joint damage in patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA),” asserts Dr. Samir Rajadhyaksha, Consultant Rheumatologist, Global Hospitals, Mumbai. About two-three decades ago, dedicated treatment for arthritis was not available, but now there are medications for controlling arthritis. Unfortunately, joint damage which has already occurred cannot be reversed, adds Dr. Rajadhyaksha.

Disease-Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs (DMARDs) are very effective in various types of arthritis, but these drugs need to be taken under the supervision of qualified medical professionals. The key is to start early and curb progression of joint damage. In extreme cases, surgical intervention such as total knee replacement is needed.

Now days, we all are becoming more prone to joint problems, due to the poor lifestyle, stress, unhealthy eating habits and lack of exercise.

In conclusion; to be healthy, one must watch our eating habits, exercise regularly, sleep well and also, consult our doctors in case of joint pain.

Always remember that ‘A stich in Time Saves Nine’, so it is better to take action when we have sufficient time in hand, instead of waiting for the damage and repenting later.