As arthritis sufferers don’t have enough to worry about—did you know that osteoarthritis (OA) also comes with a host of other complications? On top of chronic joint pain, OA sufferers could also experience everything from anxiety to insomnia to weight gain. This is why we want to remind everyone of the importance of early detection. Without treatment, OA symptoms can lead to a host of other complications that will inevitably affect your quality of life. For example–
1. Sleepless nights
Stiff, aching joints are a primary complaint of people who suffer from arthritis. Unfortunately, this is also the most common and pervasive symptom of arthritis, which means it will interfere with your ability to have a restful night’s sleep.
The biggest problem here is that most of us are already exhausted during the day, simply trying to manage our symptoms. And yet no matter how tired we are, sleep will evade us at night. Our symptoms prompt us to toss and turn, leaving us even more exhausted the next day.
2. Less productivity
When you have stiff and aching joints and are completely exhausted from simply trying to manage and live with your condition, you can expect a significant dip in your productivity.
A lot of us tend to miss a lot of school or work days because our flares can be debilitating. Down the line, you may be able to find an effective course of treatment that will help manage your symptoms better, but until then, you can expect your productivity to decline significantly.
Painful joints tend to lower your drive to be active. And the frustration you feel because of your inability to engage in activities that you used to enjoy can lead you to a downward spiral of loneliness and isolation.
3. Depression and anxiety
Numerous studies highlight the link between anxiety and depression among arthritis sufferers. The main symptoms of OA have a direct impact on your mental health, with rising incidences of anxiety and depression. This is mostly due to our inability to articulate the emotional impact of the illness as well as our desire to maintain independence and not let condition bring down friends and loved ones.
4. Weight Gain
In addition to arthritis limiting our ability to move and be active, certain medications have also been known to cause weight gain. Putting on extra pounds will mean more pressure on our joints, which is why we’re constantly advised to maintain a healthy weight. Plus, extra weight can also increase your risk of diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.
Thankfully, these unexpected—albeit inevitable—complications can be managed. Start by speaking to your healthcare professional if you start experiencing early signs of these complications or reach out to our community on Facebook or Instagram to get suggestions on how you can best manage it from fellow arthritis sufferers.