Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)

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Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. In this disease inflammation of the lining of the joints occurs.   It is an immune system condition or autoimmune disorder.  The disease also affects the skin, eyes, lungs, heart, blood, and nerves. Early treatment  is the best way to slowing or stopping it. Autoimmune disease occur when occur when the body’s tissues are mistakenly attacked by their own immune system. The research on this disease Rheumatoid arthritis shows that it comes and go but carelessness on this disease can make life very painful or it may not go away.

Symptoms(Rheumatoid arthritis)

Rheumatoid arthritis originates with pain, warmth, and swelling. The inflammation is typically symmetrical.  It  occur  on both sides of the body and originate at the same time like  the wrists, knees, or hands. Other symptoms are joint stiffness, particularly in the morning or after periods of inactivity, ongoing fatigue, and low-grade fever. Symptoms develop gradually over years, but they can grow rapidly in some people.

Who Gets It?

It generally attacks between ages 30-60.  But even younger and older people can get it. Around 1% of the U.S. population has this disorder. Women could have this problem more than men by 2-3%. People who smoke most likely to get it or it can be heredity too

Causes(Rheumatoid arthritis)

Scientist says the exact cause of this disease in unknown. To some people the cause may have a genetic risk. It triggered by a particular infection that experts have not yet identified.

How Does It Affect?(Rheumatoid arthritis)

Irritation of the coating of the joints can abolish cartilage and bone distorting the affected joints. As the illness progresses the joints can develop hurting and not work in the later stage as well.

 It Affect in Rest of the Body?(Rheumatoid arthritis)

RA also affects organs and parts of the body other than the joints including:

  • Rheumatoid nodules:- firm lumps under the skin and in the internal organs
  • Sjogren’s syndrome: irritation and injury of the eyes and mouth glands tother with other parts of the body .
  • Pleuritic: swelling of the lining of the lungs
  • Pericarditis: swelling of the lining surrounding the heart
  • Anemia: not sufficient healthy red blood cells
  • Fealty syndrome: not sufficient white blood cells.
  • Vasculitis: blood vessel swelling, which hamper blood supply to tissues

What Doctors Will Check On

  1. Early stage diagnosing of RA is challenging. To identified the doctor may order the following tests: Morning joint difficulty, Swelling or fluid around joints at the same time, Inflammation in the wrist, hand, or finger joints and Stable lumps under the skin (rheumatoid nodules)
  2. Blood Tests: – If the doctor suspects you are having RA, blood tests may recommend checking for signs of inflammation in the body. Above that the common tests are Rheumatoid factor (RF) and Anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide test ( which most people with RA have).
  3. Imaging Tests: – X-rays is helpful in diagnosing RA. It provides a baseline to compare. The doctor also ask for MRI or ultrasound to look damage and inflammation in joint.

Treatments for RA

It is said that there is no treatment to cure it though treatment can lower joint inflammation and pain, prevent joint damage and helps to keep your joints working.  Doctor may suggest a plan   According to your case requirement (including your age, affected joints and how severe the disease is). The doctors may also suggest suitable exercise to strengthen muscles around the joints. In Some cases people may need surgery.

Other Treatments(Rheumatoid arthritis)

Moist heat, acupuncture, and relaxation are also helpful to get relief from RA . Supplements such as fish oil, borage seed oil, and cat’s claw are also helpful for RA relief.  However doctor advice is essensial in using these supplements.

Diets

No rheumatoid arthritis diet exists though people with RA think eating or avoiding certain foods helps their symptoms. Diets high in saturated fats like bacon, steak, butter raises inflammation.   Diets rich in Omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, tofu, walnuts may be helpful. Some people feel that other foods like tomatoes, citrus fruits, white potatoes, peppers, coffee, and dairy deteriorate RA symptoms.

Exercise

Consistent exercise can help stiff, painful joints. It helps to keep bones and muscles strong. One should choose gentle exercises of stretching, resistance training, and low-impact aerobics like swimming, water aerobics. Keep caution with any activity that puts pressure on the joints, like jogging or weight lifting. In case of flare take a short break from exercise.

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