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Metabolic or Endocrine Conditions and Osteoarthritis

Metabolism refers to all of the chemical processes that take place in the body, such as the burning of natural sugar substances (such as glucose) in the body for energy. The endocrine system controls the body's hormones, such as estrogen.

It is possible that more rapid breakdown of cartilage in joints is partly due to a metabolic problem. In osteoarthritis, cartilage breakdown occurs more rapidly than cartilage repair.

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Osteoarthritis Treatment Now

While there's no cure for osteoarthritis, you can still do much to relieve pain and stay active. Your osteoarthritis treatment will depend on several factors, including the severity of your pain -- and how much it affects your everyday activities. Osteoarthritis often progresses slowly, with periods when there's little or no change. If you have mild-to-moderate osteoarthritis, you can probably control your symptoms with nonprescription pain relievers. When those don't work, your doctor will...

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Examples of metabolic and endocrine conditions that can lead to osteoarthritis are:

  • Hemochromatosis (abnormally high levels of iron in the blood and tissues).
  • Wilson's disease (abnormally high levels of copper in the body).
  • Acromegaly (a disease characterized by long, large bones in the extremities and parts of the head and jawbones due to excessive growth hormone).
  • Hyperparathyroidism (abnormally high levels of parathyroid hormone, the hormone that regulates calcium levels in the bones and blood).
By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Stanford M. Shoor, MD - Rheumatology
Last Revised April 8, 2011

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 08, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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