Sep 30, 2016
20 Things Everyone Should Know About Rheumatoid Arthritis
19. Rheumatoid Arthritis Is a Modern Disease (Relatively Speaking)
You may find it quite interesting that no evidence of rheumatoid arthritis was found prior to the 1400s. In fact, none of the mummies uncovered during archaeological excavations showed any signs of rheumatoid arthritis, which can show in the bones of corpses for thousands of years.
Martin J Bergman, a renowned rheumatologist at Ridley Park’s Taylor Hospital in Pennsylvania, is convinced that this is because rheumatoid arthritis and the malfunctioning of your immune system that causes it is based solely on environmental factors. His theory is certainly worth considering when you think of the fact that most people in ancient civilizations had far more sun exposure than modern cultures, and cigarettes were not invented until the 20th century. These are two major risk factors that were not present centuries ago.
20. Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis Exists
Many people are under the erroneous impression that arthritis–regardless of the type–is an “old person’s disease.” However, if you have ever known a child with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, you know that this is not the case. In fact, among children who develop arthritis, rheumatoid is the more common form of the disorder.
This condition can manifest as early as five years old, and many parents overlook it because they believe the child has simply fallen or sustained some injury while playing. For example, children with rheumatoid arthritis who play baseball may think the swollen joints are simply from catching the ball. Therefore, if you have children, it is important to know that this disorder is a possibility and always follow up with a medical doctor if your child has swollen joints or stiffness that you cannot account for in any other way.
Ultimately, if you have a history of RA in your family or you are experiencing the most common symptoms of the disorder or otherwise suspect it is present, you should contact a medical professional as soon as possible. This will ensure that proper treatment is offered as soon as the diagnosis is made.