Treating depression in arthritis patients

Many Americans are all too familiar with arthritis – there are so many types and it can affect people of all ages. Osteoarthritis is one of the most common forms of the joint condition, as it often accompanies old age. As we get older, the cartilage located between joints begins to wear away, which can lead to pain and discomfort.1 It's not uncommon for people who have osteoarthritis to also battle depression, potentially due to limited mobility. In fact, according to Fox News, it's twice as likely in someone who has been diagnosed with osteoarthritis.2

Signs of depression
There are a number of symptoms associated with depression, and these can vary patient to patient. Osteoarthritis sufferers may experience the following signs of depression:3

  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Changes in dieting patterns – loss of appetite or overeating
  • A decrease in energy, or feeling fatigued
  • Differences in sleep schedule – insomnia or excessive sleeping
  • Loss of interest in once enjoyed activities
  • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Anxiety and sadness that will not go away
  • A hopeless or pessimistic attitude
  • Becomes easily irritated

These are just some of the symptoms that are associated with depression. In the event any are experienced, individuals should contact a doctor for proper diagnosis.

Treatment routine
"The relationship between depressive symptoms and chronic pain is complex, and important," David Walsh, director of Arthritis Research UK Pain Centre, told Fox News.

Of course, there are antidepressants and therapy treatments available to help ease symptoms of depression. However, new research indicates that the right NSAIDs may just do the trick. Medical professionals, led by Rupa Iyengar of St. George University, recently conducted research that found ibuprofen to be more effective than Celebrex for depression in osteoarthritis sufferers.4

This indicates that an individual who is experiencing discomfort due to damage of their joints may want to opt for ibuprofen to help ease inflammation. An added bonus may be reduced feelings of sadness.

This non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) can be used to treat small issues such as a headache, but can also ease arthritis pain. The medication works to block the production of chemicals that cause inflammation – and thus pain – in the body. However, it is recommended for anyone beginning treatment with the drug for a serious medical condition to first consult their doctor. In some cases, it may have unwanted side effects like nausea, vomiting or drowsiness. Any of these issues should be immediately reported to a health care professional.5

Medex Supply provides health care professionals, caretakers and individuals who require medical supplies for treating a number of wellness issues. This includes surgical equipment, respiratory suppliesinsulin syringes and other necessities for living with chronic medical conditions.

1 Mayo Clinic, "Osteoarthritis: Basics" April 9, 2013
2 National Institutes of Health, "What is Depression?"
3 Fox News, "Ibuprofen may ease arthritis patients' depression" September 26, 2013
4 The American Journal of Medicine, "NSAIDs are associated with lower depression scores in patients with osteoarthritis" August 30, 2013
5 WebMD, "Drugs & medications – ibuprofen oral"

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