Athritis mutilans (AM) is a kind of arthritis that causes serious inflammation in the joints.
It happens in people who have severe rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis. However, it is rare. Only around 5 percent of psoriatic arthritis patients and 4.4 percent of people with rheumatoid arthritis have AM. It causes joints to become deformed. If your aging relative has AM, knowing more about it can make you a more effective caregiver.
Causes and Symptoms of AM
-Doctors don’t know what makes some people develop AM while others don’t. Though it is possible for people with other forms of arthritis that are classified as autoimmune diseases, it seems that people who have rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis are most likely to get AM. When these kinds of arthritis begin to destroy the bones and cartilage in the joints of hands and feet, the patient is considered to have AM.
-The primary symptom of AM is a serious destruction of bone tissue. Because of the destruction, joints become deformed and don’t bend the way they should. Joint deformity becomes obvious in the hands and feet. Sometimes the bones in the joints even fuse together, making them completely immobile.
-AM is a progressive disease. However, the way it progresses varies by the individual. For some, it moves very quickly in the first few years. Then, it slows down. Others experience intermittent progression.
Dealing with AM
AM is usually treated with medications and therapy. In fact, experts recommend that people with AM begin aggressive treatment as soon as they are diagnosed. There is some evidence to suggest that it may slow the progression of the disease.
Even with medical treatment, living with AM is difficult at best. It can make doing simple, everyday tasks like getting dressed hard or even impossible. Occupational therapy can help older adults with AM to learn to do some things in a new way. However, it’s likely they will need assistance for many daily activities.
People with AM are also advised to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Eating well, getting enough sleep, exercising, and managing stress all support overall health, which may slow the progression of the disease or at least make it easier to live with.
Senior care can also make it easier for older adults to live with AM. Senior care providers can assist them to get out of bed and get dressed each morning. They can also help with grooming tasks like brushing teeth and combing hair. In addition, senior care providers can keep the house clean and prepare meals for the older adult.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring a Caregiver in Lake Oswego, OR, please contact the caring staff at Integrity In-Home Care.
Call today (503) 660-3755