1. The most common inflammatory arthritis in men is gout, over 8 million Americans have gout, and the majority are men. Gout is actually rare in women until menopause, but men can get gout as early as age 20. The good news is that gout is extremely treatable. Ask your doctor if you should be on medication to lower your uric acid, and discuss your diet.
2. Even though rheumatoid arthritis is more common in women, many men also have RA. If morning stiffness lasts over 30 minutes, and you suffer from swelling in small joints, such as in the hands or feet, get checked for rheumatoid arthritis. There are successful treatments and starting early makes a big difference.
3. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis in both men and women. It’s not as inflammatory as rheumatoid arthritis or gout, but can make a big difference in your activity level. Exercise and weight loss can help a lot, as can medication, local injections, and in more severe cases, surgery.
4. Keep active. Whatever type of arthritis you have or may develop down the road, exercise helps keep you functioning. If you have significant arthritis in hips, knees, ankles or feet, it may be very helpful to do low-impact exercise, such as swimming, cycling or the Elliptical machine, rather than running.
5. Watch your weight. This is especially important for people with osteoarthritis of the lower extremities, such as the knees or hips. It takes a lot of pressure off the joints if your weight is close to your ideal weight.
Dr. Theodore P. Fields, Rheumatologist, specializes in the treatment of gout, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis. Throughout his career, Dr. Fields has remained active in many professional organizations and has had his work recognized numerous times. Dr. Fields holds many professional appointments, including Director of the Rheumatology Faculty Practice Plan and Co-Chairman of the Hospital for Special Surgery Web Editorial Committee.