Rheumatoid arthritis(RA) is a chronic inflammatory disorder that occurs if your immune system mistakenly attacks your body tissues. It not only damages your joints but also affects the other body parts adversely. Here in this blog, you will learn everything about RA, including its symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment.
- Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that adversely affects your joints, including your wrists, hands, and knees.
- A severe type of rheumatoid arthritis can cause physical disabilities.
- Some of the most common RA signs involve joint pain, joint deformity, tender joints, fatigue, and swollen joints.
- Several factors, including gender, age, smoking, obesity, family history, and environmental exposure, contribute to rheumatoid arthritis development.
- Blood tests, X-rays, and Ultrasound scans are used to determine the inflammation and damage to joints.
- Healthcare providers’ primary concern is to provide you the best available treatment that manages pain and inflammatory response.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that adversely affects your joints, including your wrists, hands, and knees. It may be responsible for the swelling in your feet and hands. There are chances that it can damage your whole body involving the eyes, skin, heart, lungs, and blood vessels, in several cases.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that appears if your immune system mistakenly attacks your body tissues. It affects both sides of the joints, i.e., if one side of your leg or arm joint is affected, the same joint in the other arm or leg will be affected, too. It may help your doctor to distinguish different types of arthritis, like osteoarthritis.
Your other body parts may get damaged because of the inflammation that occurs due to rheumatoid arthritis. Severe RA can cause physical disabilities.
Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
For an accurate diagnosis, it is essential to know about its signs and symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms of RA may include:
- Joint pain.
- Joint redness.
- Joint deformity.
- Loss of range of motion.
- Tender joints.
- Swollen joints.
- Loss of joint function.
Approximately 40 percent of patients may experience signs that don’t involve the joints. It can affect many non-joint structures, including skin, heart, lungs, eyes, salivary glands, blood vessels, nerve tissue, and bone marrow.
Causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Doctors are still working to know the exact reason that starts this process. Several factors play a vital role in the occurrence of RA and increase the risk of rheumatoid arthritis. One of the factors includes the genetic component. Although your genes are not responsible for rheumatoid arthritis, they can make you more sensitive to environmental factors like infection with several viruses and bacteria responsible for triggering the disease. The risk of developing a RA is high in a person experiencing trauma or some injury including, bone breakage, joint dislocation, ligament damage.
Other risk factors that involve:
- Family history.
- Environmental exposures.
Diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Your doctor will diagnose rheumatoid arthritis after examining your symptoms and the results of your x-rays and blood test reports. A patient needs to talk about all the symptoms he feels to healthcare providers, even if those signs don’t seem related, as RA can affect other parts of the body.
Doctors use blood tests to determine changes in your blood that occur due to inflammation. These tests also tell whether you are anemic or not, as anemia is common in RA patients.
X-Rays and Other Tests
X-rays are helpful for doctors to determine the damage to the joints caused due to inflammation. Ultrasound scans are also used to show the inflammation and damage to joints.
Treatment Options for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
RA is a chronic disease with no proper cure for it, but several treatment options can help you manage it. Your healthcare provider will determine the best means to treat the symptoms and slow down the condition’s progression. With the advancement in treatment strategies, quality of life has improved for people experiencing rheumatoid arthritis. The patients diagnosed with RA condition are subjected to a treat-to-target approach.
The main objective of RA treatment is to manage and control pain and inflammatory response. Your doctor’s primary concern is to decrease the inflammation rate as it will help prevent further joint and organ damage.
Some of its effective treatment options may include:
- Dietary changes.
- Physical therapies.
- Specific types of exercises.
Your doctor will work with you to prepare the best treatment plan for your medical needs. These treatment options help patients improve their quality of life and reduce the risk of long-term complications.
If you are experiencing Rheumatoid Arthritis, it is time to see a professional specialist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Please don’t stay in pain; liberate yourself from it.