Think You Might Have Arthri­tis? Find Out Now

Reader's Digest (Canada) - - Health -

More than six mil­lion Cana­di­ans have arthri­tis, and many may be liv­ing in un­nec­es­sary pain be­cause they didn’t get help soon enough. Here’s what you need to know about the con­di­tion:

Arthri­tis is se­ri­ous

Arthri­tis causes swelling, stiff­ness, and ir­re­versible joint dam­age that can per­ma­nently im­pact your mo­bil­ity. In­flam­ma­tion can also af­fect your in­ter­nal or­gans and eye­sight, and can con­trib­ute to pre­ma­ture death or life-threat­en­ing dis­eases. Arthri­tis takes a toll on ca­reers, re­la­tion­ships, and fam­i­lies — and it’s with you for life.

Arthri­tis can af­fect any­one

Arthri­tis can strike peo­ple of any age, from any walk of life — even in­fants. That means any­one you know can develop arthri­tis, in­clud­ing your­self.

Early di­ag­no­sis is im­por­tant

There’s no cure for arthri­tis yet, but with the right treat­ment and life­style choices you can slow its pro­gres­sion and main­tain your qual­ity of life. De­lay­ing its di­ag­no­sis car­ries the risk of per­ma­nent joint dam­age.

Find out if you’re af­fected

If you have re­cur­ring symp­toms such as pain and stiff­ness in your joints, or fa­tigue, take the Arthri­tis So­ci­ety’s Symp­tom Checker ques­tion­naire on­line and speak to your doc­tor about your re­sults.

If you al­ready have arthri­tis, the Arthri­tis So­ci­ety’s SelfAd­vo­cacy Tool­kit can help you learn to man­age your disease and get the sup­port you need. Learn more at arthri­tis.ca.

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