KARACHI: National and international experts and consultant rheumatologists on Thursday advised people to keep their weight under control, exercise regularly and eat balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables to prevent many diseases of bones and joints and urged them to consult medical specialists instead of quacks in case pain and stiffness of muscles and joints.
Experts said unhealthy lifestyle which include sitting idle for hours in the rooms without any movement, eating unhealthy and non-organic diet and obesity were some of the causes of rheumatic symptoms and asking people to immediately approach trained and qualified rheumatologists in case of joint and muscles pains, stiffness of joints and backache, which could result in permanent disability if not diagnosed or treated at the earliest.
They were speaking at a ‘Public Awareness Session’ on the start of 23 Annual International Conference of Pakistan Society of Rheumatology (PSR), which commenced here at a local hotel on Thursday.
Around 23 international rheumatologists and experts from several European, Middle Eastern and North American countries as well as different cities are attending the moot, which would be formally inaugurated by the President of Pakistan Dr. Arif Alvi on Friday evening in Karachi.
Speaking at the public awareness session, eminent British Rheumatologist Dr. Terrence Gibson said a large number of Pakistani population was having knee problems, and biggest cause of this condition among them is being over-weight while there could be several other causes of this condition.
Dr Terence Gibson, Consultant and Clinical Lead for Rheumatology at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London, maintained that once a person has osteoarthritis, which is one of the most common chronic condition of joints, most people stop physical activity and avoid exercise which makes their disease worst as lack of physical activity weakens their muscles.
“I would suggest such people to try to reduce their weight and exercise regularly in consultation with some qualified rheumatologist. If required, get your knee replaced but that only be suggested by a skilled and qualified rheumatologist”, Dr. Gibson said and urged people not to resort to self-medication as it could aggravate their disease.
Addressing the participants of the session, another consultant rheumatologist from Baqai Medical University Prof. Shakil Baig said 70 percent of rheumatic or diseases of joints and muscles could be diagnosed by taking history of the patient and with clinical examination and adding urged people having problems of bones, joints and muscles to consultant qualified rheumatologists instead of going to quacks and Pehalwans.
“Delay in consulting a qualified physician or approaching quacks in case of joint and muscle problems can lead to permanent disability so I would urge people not to ignore rheumatic diseases and pains. Uric acid is not the cause of every disease of muscle and joints. Avoid self-medication and try to live a healthy lifestyle to avoid complications of the disease”, Dr. Dr. Shakil Baig said.
To a query, he said school children should not be burdened with heavy school bags as they are causing backache, pain in shoulders and other problems in children and adding urged youngsters to start physical activities instead of wasting time on compute or mobile phone screens.
Speaking on the deficiency of Vitamin D, Dr. Saleha Ishaque said Vitamin D deficiency occurs when people do not go outside in the sunlight and spend more time in the rooms which makes their bones weak as sunrays when get in contact with human body, produce Vitamin D. “This vitamin is very essential but its deficiency is not the root cause of every disease of bones and joints”, she informed.
Another rheumatologist Dr. Samina Ghaznavi spoke about osteoporosis, a condition in which bones become very soft in the later years of age and added that it is a silent killer as this condition does not has any symptom. “Dexa scan, which is x-ray of bones is performed to ascertain the mineral density in the bones”, she added.
Several other rheumatologists including Dr. Asim Khan from United States, Dr. Tahira Perveen, Dr. Wajahat from PIMS Islamabad, Dr. Amir Riaz, Dr. Lubna Nazir and others also spoke and replied to queries of common people. A large number of people including patients suffering from Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis and other muscle and joint issues were present at the public awareness session. News Desk