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Arthritis: Understanding the Types, Symptoms, and Diagnostic Tests

Dr Rishika Agarwal 1550 Views
Updated: 16 Oct 2023
Published: 16 Oct 2023
Arthritis: Understanding the Types, Symptoms, and Diagnostic Tests

Arthritis symptoms include swelling and tenderness in one or more joints. The primary symptoms of arthritis are joint stiffness and pain, which typically worsen with age. Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are the two most common forms of arthritis.

There are several types of arthritis, each with its own distinct characteristics and causes. Here are some of the most common types:

  1. Osteoarthritis (OA): This is the most prevalent form of arthritis, commonly referred to as "wear-and-tear" arthritis. It occurs when the protective cartilage that cushions the joints gradually wears away, leading to joint pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility. Weight-bearing joints, such as the knees, hips, and spine, are frequently affected by OA.

  2. Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): RA is an autoimmune disease where the immune system mistakenly attacks the body's tissues, particularly the joints. It causes chronic inflammation, joint pain, swelling, and stiffness, and can affect multiple joints simultaneously. RA commonly affects the hands, wrists, and feet and may also cause systemic symptoms such as fatigue and fever.

  3. Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA): PsA is a form of arthritis that often occurs in individuals with psoriasis, a skin condition characterized by red, scaly patches. It can affect any joint in the body and cause joint inflammation, pain, and stiffness. PsA may also cause nail changes and inflammation in other organs, such as the eyes and heart.

  4. Gout: Gout is a type of arthritis caused by the accumulation of uric acid crystals in the joints. It typically affects the big toe, causing sudden and intense pain, swelling, redness, and tenderness. Gout attacks can occur intermittently and are often triggered by factors such as dietary choices and alcohol consumption.

  5. Juvenile Arthritis: Juvenile arthritis refers to various types of arthritis that occur in children and adolescents. It includes several subtypes, such as juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), which is the most common form. Juvenile arthritis causes joint inflammation, pain, and stiffness and can impact a child's growth and development.

  6. Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS): AS is a chronic inflammatory arthritis that primarily affects the spine and sacroiliac joints in the pelvis. It causes pain, stiffness, and fusion of the spine, leading to a hunched-forward posture. AS can also affect other joints, such as the hips and shoulders.

These are just a few examples of the many types of arthritis that exist. Each type has its own unique features, symptoms, and treatment approaches. If you suspect you have arthritis, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate management.

Individuals with arthritis experience different symptoms. However, if you have arthritis, you almost certainly have joint-related symptoms like:

  • Pain
  • Swelling in a joint
  • Redness and warmth in a joint
  • Stiffness or reduced movement of a joint

Individuals also experience issues unrelated to their joints. Other common symptoms may include:

  • Tiredness
  • Weight Loss
  • Feeling Unwell

The Arthritis Panel blood test is a group of seven tests that are performed in the case of a diagnosis of arthritis. The test aids in pinpointing the precise form of arthritis that the patient is experiencing. Consequently, it is helpful to recommend additional therapy and provide a more precise diagnosis.

  • CBC: The Complete Blood Count (CBC) aids in determining the concentrations of different blood cells, including platelets, differential and partial white blood cells, and red blood cells. It is frequently carried out as part of routine health examinations.

  • ESR: The Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR) measures how quickly red blood cells in the blood that have not clotted settle down in a long tube. Red blood cells congregate and settle more rapidly when there is inflammation, which raises the ESR. To make definite diagnoses, more research is required.

  • RA test: Rheumatoid arthritis can be identified using this blood test. The test aids in precisely identifying this condition by detecting rheumatoid factor (RF), which interacts with immunoglobulin (IgG) in the blood. A positive test results in higher blood RF concentrations.

  • CRP: The C-Reactive Protein (CRP) level is determined by a blood test. The liver produces a protein called C-reactive protein, which is released when there is inflammation. As higher CRP is a sign of more inflammation, it is helpful in the diagnosis of arthritis.

  • ANA (if): This blood test aids in identifying the presence of antinuclear antibodies (ANA), which attack cellular constituents and cause inflammation. A positive test results in these antibodies being present. Examining autoimmune diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis is helpful.

  • Anti-CCP: Anti-CCP levels in the blood are determined by this test. It is an autoimmune antibody called an anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide. This indicates that Anti-CCP injures joints by attacking them. This examination is very helpful in identifying rheumatoid arthritis.

The arthritis panel blood tests help you understand the extent of arthritis and how to combat it. You can book your own tests with Pathkind Labs through the website and also enjoy the benefit of home sample collection.

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