RE: Up, close, and personal with rheumatism


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Arthritis is a very common condition especially with advancing age. I once did my rural posting in a community in Rivers State where most of them are predominantly farmers and fishermen. Majority of the cases we saw on daily basis was Arthritis especially amongst the elderly women. And most of them resorted to chronic use of NSAIDS to ameliorate the pain and continue their farm work in search of daily bread. The chronic use of NSAIDS in turn predisposed many of them to peptic ulcer disease while some few had acute kidney injury.

But predominantly, it was a coexistence of Arthritis and Peptic Ulcer Disease in most of them. And the challenge here is that you cannot even advice the patient to quit the source of her daily bread because hunger will do her more harm than the Arthritis. That is a low socioeconomic society, so surgery is not even an option. It was just to keep managing the symptoms till whenever. It's really a big challenge.

No. The doctor could be wrong on this one. Some arthritis could be hereditary. Not that it is 100% certain that this particular one is hereditary.

Yeah, you're right. It's heredity in the sense that the first degree relatives are at increased risk of having Arthritis compared to someone who does not have any case of Arthritis in the family. But as you rightly said, it's not 100%, it's just a probability.

And diseases occur by nature and nurture. So if nature (heredity) predisposes someone to a disease, the nurture (environment) can protect them from it. That is by avoiding other further risk factors and lifestyle that may manifest the hidden potential of the disease occurring. So it's very possible that a family member may have a hereditary disease and no other family member will inherit it.

Thanks alot for sharing the very important topic sir.