Osteoarthritis is the result of chemical changes in the cartilage that cause it to break into a faster pace than is produced. In most cases, scientists do not know the cause of cartilage destruction. Studies show that weight loss can reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis or the likelihood of developing these symptoms.
Excessive body weight is tensioning the joints, especially those that support weight, such as knees and hips. Even if normal daily activities can not cause osteoarthritis, certain types of activities, such as frequently lifting weights may increase the risk of developing osteoarthritis. The existence of a family history of osteoarthritis (several cases of osteoarthritis among members of same family) may influence the chemical processes in the cartilage.
Some metabolic or endocrine diseases less common, such as the existence of an excessive amount of iron (hemochromatosis) or excessive production of thyroid or parathyroid hormones, can cause cartilage damage and osteoarthritis .
Symptoms of osteoarthritis include: limitation in joint movement, pain, especially on the hands, hips, knees or legs and sometimes the spine,( pain is closely related to activities carried out during that day), joint deformities and rigidity. If the affected joints are the ones that support the weight (such as hips and knees), there are more complications.
There are some risk factors that may cause this condition like : increased bone density, low-force muscles, decreasing the amount of estrogen in women, especially after menopause, obesity.
Doctors usually set the diagnosis of osteoarthritis by evaluating the symptoms and physical examination. Sometimes the doctor may include other tests to evaluate the patient. Tests like : examination of joint fluid, radiography, C-reactive protein.
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