Bechterew's disease in women is relatively rare. However, such cases are recorded. And today many patients with a similar diagnosis are interested in additional information about the disease. What are the reasons for its occurrence? What symptoms should be pricked up? Are there effective methods of treatment? Answers to these questions will be useful to many readers.
What is Bechterew's disease?
Bechterew's disease is a chronic inflammatory lesion of the intervertebral joints, which is accompanied by a pathological transfer of calcium into the tissues of the ligaments and discs and, consequently, the ossification of the spine. In addition, the lesion can migrate to the peripheral joints and even internal organs, causing various complications.
It is worth noting that Bekhterev's disease in women is diagnosed about 5 times less often than in men. Moreover, in the fair sex, the disease has some features of the clinical picture that complicate the diagnostic process. In any case, it is worthwhile to know about the main manifestations of the disease, as the earlier the diagnosis and therapy begin, the higher the probability of avoiding various kinds of complications.
The mechanism of development and the main causes of the disease
Unfortunately, for the time being it is not known to the end how and why Bekhterev's disease develops in women, and in men too. Nevertheless, there is an assumption that the disease has a genetic character and is inherited. The matter is that in 96% of the examined patients with this disease the hereditary damage of the specific gene of the HLA system was detected.
Bechterew's disease is a pathology that is accompanied by a malfunction of the immune system, as a result of which it produces antibodies that attack the body's own cells. This is how the inflammatory process develops.
Unfortunately, to date, the factors that activate the disease have not been fully studied. There is evidence that the disease begins to develop against the background of infections of internal organs, including the digestive system. Risk factors include inflammatory diseases of the genitourinary system, severe hypothermia, disruption of the endocrine system, as well as fractures of pelvic bones and some other injuries.
The main forms of the disease
There are several schemes on which Bekhterev's disease can develop. Feedback from specialists, collected data and scientific research has made it possible to identify several main types of this disease:
- The central form of the disease is accompanied by the defeat of the spinal column alone.
- For the rhizomelic type, not only the spine, but also the shoulder and hip joints are characterized.
- Peripheral form of the disease is accompanied by damage to the spine and large peripheral joints.
- There is also the so-called Scandinavian form, which is characterized by the defeat of the spine, small joints of the hands and feet.
Bechterew's disease: symptoms of the disease
Certainly, the signs of a particular ailment are extremely important. So what does Bekhterev's disease look like? Symptoms of it are a little greased, especially when it comes to the initial stages. Moreover, in women, the disease can be hidden for quite some time.
The first signs are low back pains that are localized, as a rule, in the sacrum area and can be given to the buttocks. Soreness often occurs in the form of an attack after physical exertion (sometimes at night). As the development of pain becomes pronounced and appear even in a state of rest.
In later stages women complain of stiffness in movements in the mornings - in the evening this sensation, as a rule, passes. Sometimes there are quite characteristic pains in the Achilles tendon and heels. Depending on the form of the disease over time, inflammation of other joints also develops.
What are the possible complications?
In the absence of proper treatment, and sometimes even with constant therapy, Bekhterev's disease in women leads to serious complications. In particular, sometimes a serious violation of posture is observed, which makes normal movements almost impossible. In addition, against the background of the disease, internal organs, in particular, the aorta and the cardiovascular system, sometimes suffer - patients also suffer from persistent shortness of breath, chest pains and heart rhythm disturbances. Complications also include amyloidosis and kidney failure.
What are the methods of diagnosis?
In this case, early diagnosis is extremely important, which, however, may be difficult due to a blurred clinical picture in sick women. As a rule, the first suspicions of the presence of the disease appear even during the examination, as the gait is changed in the patients, the posture is bent, they complain of pain in the back and joints.
In the future, x-ray studies are performed, the results of which show lesions of sclerosis, as well as the unevenness and fuzziness of the articular surfaces. You can also notice a violation of pulmonary ventilation, which is associated with loss of mobility of the chest. In some cases, additional tests are needed, including blood tests, urine tests, etc.
Modern methods of therapy
How to treat Bekhterev's disease? These questions are asked by women who have already managed to face this ailment. Unfortunately, to date there are no drugs that can completely cure the disease. Therapy in this case is a permanent process. It is aimed at slowing the disease and maintaining the skeleton's mobility.
As a rule, in the first place, doctors prescribe the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, including Ketoprofen, Diclofenac, Voltaren, Indomethacin, etc. These medications are really effective in this disease: they help to remove soreness and stiffness, to slow down further damage to the skeleton. Preparations take courses. In some cases, steroid agents are required.
Sometimes the scheme of therapy includes the use of cytostatics, immunosuppressants, muscle relaxants (with a strong spasm of muscles), etc. depending on the form of treatment.
The most important is the right diet. The diet should be dominated by protein products, but from flour and confectionery products will have to be abandoned. The main treatment is constant physical activity. Depending on the capabilities and condition of the patient, doctors select suitable exercises - exercises in curative gymnastics should be held regularly, until the end of life. Positive on the condition of the body will affect swimming. Physical activity helps to keep joint mobility, strengthen muscles and relieve strain on the spine.
Also, other methods may be included in the treatment plan, including paraffinotherapy, balneotherapy, massage, hirudotherapy (leech therapy), ultrasound therapy, phonophoresis, sanatorium treatment, etc. Using all these tools, you can make significant progress and improve the quality of life .
Bechterew's Disease: a prognosis for women
Immediately it is worth saying that it is almost impossible to cure this disease completely. Nevertheless, early diagnosis and properly selected treatment help to slow the development of the disease, while maintaining a relatively normal skeleton mobility for many years and even decades. Taking medication, the right diet, regular special gymnastics classes - all this will help to slow down Bekhterev's disease. Disability, however, is almost inevitable. In the most severe cases, patients even require the installation of joint implants.