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Fibromyalgia
Haemochromatotic arthritis
Polymyalgia Rheumatica
Reactive Arthritis
Ross River & Barmah Forest
Sjögren’s Syndrome
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (Lupus)
Spondyloarthritis
Osteoporosis
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Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS)

Fibromyalgia is a name given to a group of symptoms marked by generalised pain and muscle stiffness. These symptoms can be felt in all different areas of the body.

Extreme fatigue (tiredness) and sleep problems are also common in fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia does not cause inflammation or damage to the painful areas, but seems to be due to an over active pain system.

Fibromyalgia is different to polymyalgia rheumatica, a type of arthritis in which symptoms are felt more in the muscles.

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Haemochromatotic Arthritis

Haemochromatosis is a condition caused by a build up of iron in your body.

Individuals with haemochromatosis absorb too much iron from food (iron overload) and the extra iron can damage organs, particularly the liver, pancreas, bones and joints.

To learn more about haemochromatosis, download the inforamtion sheet to help you understand how you may be affected and what you can do to manage it, as well as where to find further information and advice. Please note that this sheet has been written for people with joint pain and damage resulting from haemochromatosis.

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Polymyalgia Rheumatica

Polymyalgia rheumatica means ‘pain in many muscles’. It is a condition that causes inflammation of the joints and tissues around the joints.

This causes muscles to feel painful and stiff, especially in the shoulder, neck and hip areas. Polymyalgia rheumatica is different to fibromyalgia, a condition that does not cause inflammation.

To learn more about polymyalgia rheumatica download the information sheet to understand how you may be affected and what you can do to manage it, as well as where to find further information and advice.

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Reactive Arthritis

Reactive arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation, pain and swelling of the joints.

It usually develops after an infection, often in the bowel or genital areas. The infection causes activity in the immune system. The normal role of your body’s immune system is to fight off infections to keep you healthy. In some people this activity of the immune system causes joints to become inflamed, however the joints themselves are not actually infected.

About one in ten people with specific types of infections will develop reactive arthritis.

To learn more about reactive arthritis download the information sheet to help you understand how you may be affected and what you can do to manage it, as well as where to find further information and advice.

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Ross River Virus and Barmah Forest Virus

Ross River virus and Barmah Forest virus are infections that are spread to humans through mosquito bites.

They cause similar illnesses, including joint inflammation and pain. People of all ages are at risk of developing these infections. Ross River virus is the most common and widespread of mosquito borne diseases that infect humans in Australia. It is also known as epidemic polyarthritis.

To learn more about these conditions download the information sheet to help you understand how you may be affected and what you can do to manage it, as well as where to find further information and advice.

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Sjögren’s Syndrome

Sjögren’s Syndrome is an autoimmune condition.

The normal role of your body’s immune system is to fight off infections and diseases to keep you healthy. In an autoimmune disease like Sjögren’s Syndrome, your immune system starts attacking your own healthy tissue. This results in abnormal dryness of the mouth, eyes and/or other tissues.

Around half of the people who have Sjögren’s Syndrome also have some form of arthritis (conditions affecting the joints, such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis). This is known as a secondary Sjögren’s Syndrome. Primary Sjögren’s Syndrome occurs in people who do not have one of these forms of arthritis.

To learn more about Sjögren’s Syndrome, download the information sheet to help you understand how you may be affected and what you can do to manage it, as well as where to find further information and advice.

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Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (Lupus)

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE or lupus) is an autoimmune condition.

The normal role of your body’s immune system is to fight off infections and diseases to keep you healthy. In an autoimmune disease like lupus, your immune system starts attacking your own healthy tissues. For some people lupus may just affect the skin and/or joints. In others the lungs, kidneys, blood vessels, brain or other parts of the body may also be affected.

To learn more about lupus, download the information sheet to help you understand how you may be affected and what you can do to manage it, as well as where to find further information and advice.

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Spondyloarthritis

‘Spondylo’ means affecting the spine and ‘arthritis’ means joint disease.

Spondyloarthritis (also known as spondyloarthropathy or seronegative arthritis) is a name for types of arthritis that commonly affect the spine.

These types of arthritis all have the following signs in common:

  • inflammation of
    • the spine and sacroiliac joints (joints that connect the base of your spine to your pelvis), felt as poin and stiffness in the buttocks, back and/or neck
      joints in the legs and less commonly the arms, causing pain, stiffness and swelling
    • tendons (strong cords that connect muscles to bones) and ligaments ( which connect bones to each other), often felt as pain in the back of the heel or underneath the foot
    • eyes, skin and other parts of the body
  • seronegative (meaning ‘absent from the blood’). Types of arthritis that test negative for rheumatoid factor in the blood are called seronegative arthritis.
  • associated with a gene called HLA-B27

Another name used for this group of conditions is spondylitis, meaning inflammation of the spine. There are several types of arthritis that can be classified as spondyloarthritis

To learn more download the information sheet about the main types of these conditions and how they are managed, as well as where to find further information and advice.

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Osteoporosis

Over 1 million Australians have osteoporosis.

In those aged 50 years and over 66% have osteoporosis or osteopenia. There are over 173,000 broken bones each year due to poor bone health.

Visit the website Healthy Bones Australia for more information on bone health.

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