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Living with Arthritis (Your Personal Health Series): Everything You Need to Know

Overview

Part of the informative Your Personal Health Series, Living With Arthritis offers readers the most up-to-date information available on the causes, diagnosis and treatment of this often debilitating condition. Look for updated segments on fibromyalgia, Lyme disease, osteoporosis and treatments -- including the new COX-2 specific drugs -- as well as information on: how a diagnosis is made the many different types of arthritis the symptoms of arthritis, and how to interpret them arthritis in children the various ...
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Overview

Part of the informative Your Personal Health Series, Living With Arthritis offers readers the most up-to-date information available on the causes, diagnosis and treatment of this often debilitating condition. Look for updated segments on fibromyalgia, Lyme disease, osteoporosis and treatments -- including the new COX-2 specific drugs -- as well as information on: how a diagnosis is made the many different types of arthritis the symptoms of arthritis, and how to interpret them arthritis in children the various treatments for arthritis, from drugs and physiotherapy to surgery the promising new antibody therapies and COX-2 specific drugs alternative treatments to conventional medicine
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781615599080
  • Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 10/6/2001
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

John Marcus Thompson, MD, FRCPC, is Chief of Rheumatology at St. Joseph's Hospital and a professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Western Ontario. He studied rheumatology at Duke University and Hammersmith Hospital in London, England and has been practicing in Canada for more than thirty years.

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Read an Excerpt

Excerpted from Chapter One:

First Things First

Rheumatology is the name given to the medical specialty that deals with people who have problems with their joints. Diagnosis and non-surgical treatment of these is the focus. Since a joint problem is often not the only one the patient has, the specialty spills over to include diseases that also affect muscles, the nerves, the blood, the skin, the kidneys, in fact, almost every part of the body.

I am a rheumatologist. After medical school I went on to spend three years learning the art of general internal medicine, and a further two years working exclusively with people with arthritis. For a little over 30 years I have been a practicing rheumatologist. Several days each week, I see patients who are referred to me because of joint pain.

Very often, after I've completed my examination, my patient will ask, "Tell me, doctor, is it arthritis?" The diagnosis may be one of a dozen very different conditions — osteoarthritis of the big toe, rheumatoid arthritis, back pain and gout are all common — but my answer to that particular question has to be "Yes." I then have to go on to explain, because I know that my patient is thinking, "Wheelchair."

I explain that "arthritis" means, literally, "joint inflammation." I add that we, doctors and patients, have come to lump just about anything that hurts in the muscles and the skeleton under this heading. My grandparents would have used the term "rheumatism."

"Arthritis', includes dozens of different conditions. Some are temporary, some are permanent. Some are harmless and some are disabling. Some are curable, some are not. So the word "arthritis," as most of us use it, is meaningless. We must be specific. That's the purpose of this book — to be specific, and to give meaning to the specific.

Another term to describe what we often call "arthritis" or "rheumatism" is "Musculoskeletal disorder" (MSD). MSDs include joint disease (about 60 percent), back and neck pain (about 30 percent) and a wide variety of other problems, including tendinitis and bursitis (about 10 percent).

The 1990 Ontario Health Survey helps to put MSDs in perspective. This survey, which roughly confirms what earlier studies in Canada and the United States had shown, pointed out that roughly 14 percent of all adults are affected by MSDs (or between 3 and 4 million Canadians). This is equivalent to the entire population of British Columbia.

Estimates of some of the more common types of adult MSDS:

  • osteoarthritis ————- 1 in 10
  • fibromyalgia ————— 4 in 100
  • rheumatoid arthritis —- 1 in 100
  • crystal arthritis ——— 1 in 100
  • ankylosing spondylitis - 1 in 1,000
  • psoriatic arthritis —— 1 in 1,000
  • systemic lupus ————- 1 in 2,000

MSDs cause long-term disability in one North American out of 20. This is more than twice the rate of disability from heart and lung disease combined. MSDs rank higher than heart and lung disorders as a reason for visiting the doctor, and rank just after coughs, colds and flu as a cause of "sick days." They are the second most common reason prescriptions are written (after high blood pressure) or over-the-counter pills are purchased (after colds and flu).

How to Use This Book

This book covers a lot of territory. Chapters 2, 3, 4 and 5 deal with specific types of arthritis, and for most readers just one or two will be of uppermost concern. There are sections, however, that are generally relevant. The next section, "How a Diagnosis Is Made," Is a good starting point for anyone, particularly someone who has just recently begun to hurt. The distinction between "inflammatory" and "non-inflammatory" pain is important.

Chapter 6, "What's Going On?," provides information on symptoms as they crop up in various parts of the body. Some may be part of a larger arthritic problem, but many are not. Some aren't important at all, except as a source of worry. This is a "how-to-do-it" chapter.

Finally, Chapter 7, "The Treatment of Arthritis," is very important and generally applicable. Almost every person with pain is treated with pills. Because these may harm as well as help, patients have to learn to recognize side effects as they arise. This chapter should help with that. It also touches on a number of treatment possibilities that may not have been considered.

Obviously, this book is not meant to be read at a single sitting, but to be consulted, and reconsulted, over time.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v
Dedication vii
Preface ix
Chapter 1 First Things First 1
Chapter 2 Inflammatory Arthritis 19
"No-Name" Inflammatory Arthritis 19
Rheumatoid Arthritis 21
Psoriatic Arthritis 49
Ankylosing Spondylitis 60
Bowel Inflammation Arthritis 70
Reactive Arthritis (Reiter's) 73
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus 78
Polymyalgia Rheumatica 101
Chapter 3 Arthritis Caused by Crystals 109
Gout 109
Chondrocalcinosis 121
Chapter 4 Non-Inflammatory Arthritis 127
Osteoarthritis 127
Low Back Pain 148
Fibromyalgia 163
Chapter 5 Uncommon Types of Arthritis 175
Lyme Disease 175
Arthritis in Children 182
Polymyositis and Dermatomyositis 187
Scleroderma 191
Sjogren's Syndrome 196
Chapter 6 What's Going On?--A Guide to Symptoms 199
Chapter 7 The Treatment of Arthritis 227
Glossary 292
Further Resources 297
Index 300
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Recipe

Excerpted from Chapter One:

First Things First

Rheumatology is the name given to the medical specialty that deals with people who have problems with their joints. Diagnosis and non-surgical treatment of these is the focus. Since a joint problem is often not the only one the patient has, the specialty spills over to include diseases that also affect muscles, the nerves, the blood, the skin, the kidneys, in fact, almost every part of the body.

I am a rheumatologist. After medical school I went on to spend three years learning the art of general internal medicine, and a further two years working exclusively with people with arthritis. For a little over 30 years I have been a practicing rheumatologist. Several days each week, I see patients who are referred to me because of joint pain.

Very often, after I've completed my examination, my patient will ask, "Tell me, doctor, is it arthritis?" The diagnosis may be one of a dozen very different conditions -- osteoarthritis of the big toe, rheumatoid arthritis, back pain and gout are all common -- but my answer to that particular question has to be "Yes." I then have to go on to explain, because I know that my patient is thinking, "Wheelchair."

I explain that "arthritis" means, literally, "joint inflammation." I add that we, doctors and patients, have come to lump just about anything that hurts in the muscles and the skeleton under this heading. My grandparents would have used the term "rheumatism."

"Arthritis', includes dozens of different conditions. Some are temporary, some are permanent. Some are harmless and some are disabling. Some are curable, some are not. So the word "arthritis," as most of us use it, ismeaningless. We must be specific. That's the purpose of this book -- to be specific, and to give meaning to the specific.

Another term to describe what we often call "arthritis" or "rheumatism" is "Musculoskeletal disorder" (MSD). MSDs include joint disease (about 60 percent), back and neck pain (about 30 percent) and a wide variety of other problems, including tendinitis and bursitis (about 10 percent).

The 1990 Ontario Health Survey helps to put MSDs in perspective. This survey, which roughly confirms what earlier studies in Canada and the United States had shown, pointed out that roughly 14 percent of all adults are affected by MSDs (or between 3 and 4 million Canadians). This is equivalent to the entire population of British Columbia.

Estimates of some of the more common types of adult MSDS:

  • osteoarthritis --------- 1 in 10
  • fibromyalgia ---------- 4 in 100
  • rheumatoid arthritis --- 1 in 100
  • crystal arthritis ------ 1 in 100
  • ankylosing spondylitis - 1 in 1,000
  • psoriatic arthritis ---- 1 in 1,000
  • systemic lupus --------- 1 in 2,000

MSDs cause long-term disability in one North American out of 20. This is more than twice the rate of disability from heart and lung disease combined. MSDs rank higher than heart and lung disorders as a reason for visiting the doctor, and rank just after coughs, colds and flu as a cause of "sick days." They are the second most common reason prescriptions are written (after high blood pressure) or over-the-counter pills are purchased (after colds and flu).

How to Use This Book

This book covers a lot of territory. Chapters 2, 3, 4 and 5 deal with specific types of arthritis, and for most readers just one or two will be of uppermost concern. There are sections, however, that are generally relevant. The next section, "How a Diagnosis Is Made," Is a good starting point for anyone, particularly someone who has just recently begun to hurt. The distinction between "inflammatory" and "non-inflammatory" pain is important.

Chapter 6, "What's Going On?," provides information on symptoms as they crop up in various parts of the body. Some may be part of a larger arthritic problem, but many are not. Some aren't important at all, except as a source of worry. This is a "how-to-do-it" chapter.

Finally, Chapter 7, "The Treatment of Arthritis," is very important and generally applicable. Almost every person with pain is treated with pills. Because these may harm as well as help, patients have to learn to recognize side effects as they arise. This chapter should help with that. It also touches on a number of treatment possibilities that may not have been considered.

Obviously, this book is not meant to be read at a single sitting, but to be consulted, and reconsulted, over time.

Read More Show Less

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