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5 factors that increase your risk of arthritis in future

Morning stiffness in muscles and joints, coupled with fatigue could be signs of arthritis.

Written by Debjani Arora |Updated : June 20, 2017 5:27 PM IST

Read this in HINDI.

If you are in your early 20s or 30s, you don't really think that you could suffer arthritis, because for you, it is the ailment of the old. But remember, if you aren t taking care of your joints effectively, you can be a victim of this condition in your prime too. There are certain subtle signs that your body sends you to pick up the cues and act. Not just physical signs, there are many factors that increase your risk of arthritis.

1. History of arthritis: If your father or mother suffers from arthritis and complains about joint pains too often, you should get your bone density checked with a doctor by doing either a bone density test or a simple blood test. A strong family history of arthritis puts even young people at risk, says Dr Pradeep Monoot, orthopedic surgeon specialising in knee, foot and ankle surgery. There are many genetic and environmental factors that make one prone to rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic inflammatory condition where the body s immune system attacks the membranes and cartilage of the joints. So, if you have a family history, take note and chart a plan with your doctor to save yourself from the pain.

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2. Being overweight: This coupled with an inactive lifestyle is a hallmark for arthritis. It s your knees and ankle joints that have to bear the brunt of your weight and slowly the wear and tear gets to them. They start deteriorating and that s when joint pains and fatigue sets in. The best way to avoid arthritis is to lose weight and tone the muscles around your joints as they provide adequate support to the joints. Also, low-impact activities like cycling, elliptical trainer or swimming can keep your joints healthy, says Dr Monoot.

3. Morning stiffness: If there is a pain in your joints and muscles and it makes you immovable for the first few minutes after you wake up, take note of this situation. Morning stiffness is quite common in people. It can also happen when you sit cross-legged on the floor for too long, which you should be avoiding, mentions Dr Monoot. Pain even after sitting for too long on a couch or lying down is also a sign of danger. However, if it is muscle stiffness you are suffering from, you would need to do a proper blood teas and x-ray to ascertain the condition of your joints and know whether it is the onset of arthritis. Sometimes it could also be due to vitamin B3 deficiency, says Dr Monoot.

4. Pain in joints: This is a given -- pain in your joints while walking, climbing the stairs and even sitting idle are signs of arthritis. Sometimes the pain can be so severe that it can affect your sleep.

5. Fatigue: This is another subtle sign of arthritis. Fatigue coupled with fever or pain in even non-joint tissues can be a sign of inflammation that you are mistaking for flu. If this happens often, ask your doctor whether your bone health needs an evaluation, along with an overall health check-up.

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