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October 13, 2017



‘Only qualified physicians can help arthritis patients, not faith healers’

Arthritis is a painful condition in which patients feel stiffness and swelling in their joints, causing immense difficulty in walking and climbing up the stairs. It is caused by the wear and tear of bones and cartilages in the body. However, unhealthy lifestyle, growing age and family history are some of the major causes of the painful disease.

A change in lifestyle, modification in dietary habits and regular exercise can help in living a normal life for the people with arthritis but they also need to consult trained and qualified physicians instead of approaching quacks and faith-healers for treatment.

These views were expressed by consultant rheumatologists and orthopaedic surgeons while speaking at a seminar on management of arthritis at a hotel on Thursday.

The seminar was organised by the Mir Khalil-ur-Rehman Memorial Society (MKRMS) in collaboration with a pharmaceutical firm. The consultant rheumatologists who spoke at the event were Saeed Mahmood Khan, Prof Dr Saleha Ishaque, Dr Amir Riaz, Dr Intekhab Taufiq, Dr Pervez Anjum and Dr Muhammad Nizamuddin Jamali.

Dr Saeed Mahmood Khan said joints pain, difficulty in walking and swelling of joints was a common issue in the country among people with growing age but many of the patients didn’t know whom to consult for the treatment of this agonising and frustrating condition.

“Such patients should consult a qualified consult or physician and with their help, the patients can approach the experts who are trained and qualified to diagnose such conditions known as arthritis,” he observed.

He said smokers having arthritis were at the highest risk of having cardiac arrest and stroke. Such people should immediately quit smoking and improve their lifestyle, he added.

Dr Saleha Ishaque deplored that patients with arthritis often approached their physicians and surgeons very late and due to that it became very difficult to provide any timely relief to such patients.

She called for adopting a healthy lifestyle for the people with growing age, saying they should walk regularly, eat healthy and balanced diet along with using milk products in their daily diet to avoid many diseases, including arthritis.

Dr Intekhab Taufiq said the deficiency of Vitamin D was a very serious issue in Pakistan which was being faced by many people, including youngsters and children. He urged people to take special care for having a balanced diet with dairy products to have required amount of Vitamin D.

Another expert, Prof Dr. Pervez Anjum, said women were more prone to having joint pains in the country due to malnourishment and nutritional deficiencies. He said women in the early 40s started complaining of pains in joints and bones while men started making such complaints in the 50s.

“Both men and women should consume less calories in older ages, reduce their weight through diet control and exercise and take medicines prescribed by the experts to live a normal and healthy life,” he suggested.

Other experts also called for preventing children from junk food and giving them healthy and balanced diet, including milk on a regular basis, so their bones could absorb sufficient amount of calcium and Vitamin D. They also praised the MKRMS for regularly holding awareness seminars.

MKRMS Chairman Wasif Nagi thanked the experts for apprising people of the symptoms, causes and treatment of the painful condition of bones and joints. He vowed that their society would continue holding such awareness activities to apprise people of living a healthy and disease-free life.