Just be a Man: How Arthritis Can Affect the Physical & Mental Health of Men

Arthritis is an umbrella term that encompasses more than 100 rheumatic conditions. It affects 1 out of 5 Canadians and according to Life with Arthritis In Canada from 2010, at least 12.6% of men and 19.2% of women in Canada will suffer a type of arthritis by 2021, In celebration of the Canadian Men's Health Week from June 15 to June 21, 2020, I will be posting about Men and Arthritis. Over the years, my husband has been my rock, my life, my caregiver, now he is experiencing caregiver's burn out and osteoarthritis of his hands. Even though arthritis occurs in more women than men (1 in 4 for women vs. 1 in 6 for men), it is important to bring awareness to the different obstacle’s that men with arthritis face.

The two common types of arthritis in men are osteoarthritis and gout. Osteoarthritis is a noninflammatory disease that happens when the joint’s cartilage and its surrounding bone break down. Gout is an inflammatory disease that is caused when small crystals filled with the uric acid form on the joints and the body attacks these crystals, which can be extremely painful. Just like women, men have to cope with the pain, stiffness, swelling and deformities that come along with having arthritis. It’s how they cope that is usually different. I have also come across men suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis,