World Arthritis Day today; Viral infections, pollution and sedentary lifestyle are triggers

More youngsters falling prey to disease, numbers have surged after spread of Covid

Staff ReporterUpdated: Wednesday, October 12, 2022, 12:39 AM IST
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Experts during a CME on auto-immune diseases at MGM Medical College |

Indore (Madhya Pradesh): Like other diseases, cases of arthritis have also seen a surge post-Covid-19 spread and, unlike in the pre-Covid era, more young patients are approaching doctors for treatment of the disease. Moreover, city experts believe that Covid-19 has triggered the auto-immune disease among people, while increasing awareness is also a reason for the increasing footfall in the doctor’s chamber.

On the eve of World Arthritis Day, city experts discussed the reasons and myths related to the disease.

‘Environment, lifestyle and genetic factors also triggers’

‘There are various factors which trigger arthritis, including increasing pollution, a sedentary lifestyle, eating junk food and preservatives and smoking. There are many reasons and Covid-19 has emerged as one of the biggest reasons which triggered the disease, affecting a large number of people—mainly the working population between 25 and 60 years of age,’ rheumatologist Dr Saurabh Malviya said. He said there was an increase of at least 3-5 new cases of arthritis every day in the OPD. The rheumatologist added that the theme of World Arthritis Day was ‘It's in your hands, take action’, which emphasises the need for early diagnosis and treatment of the disease.

‘Arthritis is an auto-immune disease and can affect people at any age, including children of age one year or those above age 60 years. If a patient has morning stiffness, joint pain, swelling and reccurring fever, he/she must not delay consulting a rheumatologist for diagnosis and for starting early treatment,’ Dr Malviya said.

‘Arthritis a disease of elderly’ myth busted

Rheumatologist of Choithram Hospital Dr Parul Baldi said it was a myth that arthritis was a disease of the elderly and this myth has been busted now. ‘We’re seeing children of ages 1-5 years, too, suffering from arthritis (juvenile idiopathic arthritis) and, with increasing awareness, many patients are approaching us to get treated at an early stage of the disease,’ Dr Baldi said. She also expressed concern over people who did not complete treatment.

‘There are many people who don’t complete treatment and stop taking medicines after a slight improvement. Such people increase the complications and, sometimes, the disease flares up to an irreversible stage,’ she added.

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