Nearly 40 million people in the United States alone are affected by arthritis and back pain, and what surprises so many is that more than half of those with arthritis are under 65 years of age. Nearly 60% of Americans with arthritis are women, and over a quarter of a million victims are children. The most common type of this disease is osteoarthritis and the second most common type is rheumatoid arthritis. As we do each week, we'll help you understand what arthritis is, who is at risk and what the dangers of having it are. We'll also discuss the symptoms and how to diagnose the disease, as well as the treatments and therapies available. Finally, we'll talk about how insurance providers address the costs. For osteoarthritis, the over-the-counter food supplements glucosamine and chondroitin have been helpful for some, though their benefits are still controversial according to national research studies. These supplements are available in pharmacies and health-food stores without a prescription. Another type of dietary supplementation are fish oils which have been shown to have some anti-inflammation properties. Moreover, increasing the dietary fish intake and/or fish oil capsules (omega-3 capsules) can sometimes reduce the inflammation of arthritis. Weight reduction is recommended for patients who are overweight and have early signs of osteoarthritis of the hands, because they are at a risk for also developing osteoarthritis of their knees. Of note, even modest weight reduction can be helpful. Obesity has long been known to be a risk factor for osteoarthritis of the knee.
Each week we bring you vital information about common diseases in easy to understand language. Whether we’re talking about cholesterol or breast cancer, hypertension or obesity, we'll help you get accurate and credible information critical to managing your health care challenges with access to top experts as well as those currently living with the disease. We’ll provide you with on demand access to the show archive and many other resources, available on all platforms so it’s there when you need it.