Rheumatoid arthritis is also known as RA. It is an autoimmune disorder that develops when the body’s immune system turns on itself and begins attacking healthy tissues. RA is a complicated condition that can cause a variety of other health issues. Here are some important things to keep in mind about rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is characterized by a specific set of symptoms that set it apart from other types of arthritis. Below are some of the most common symptoms seen in people who have been diagnosed with RA:
- Weight loss
- Joint stiffness that is worse in the morning hours
- Swollen joints
- Joint pain
- Reduced range-of-motion in joints
- Redness around joints
- Deformed joints
This type of arthritis can also affect other parts of the body. cheap nfl jerseys It has been found to affect the skin, heart, kidneys, lungs, eyes and the salivary glands. Even bone marrow and bone vessels can be affected by RA. These symptoms can flare up at times and disappear for weeks or even months. Some people manage to achieve symptom free periods of remission.
RA is caused by the attacking of the lining of the joints as a result of autoimmune disorder. When this happens, the lining around the joints becomes thicker than normal. This can eventually lead to destruction of the bone and joint. As it worsens and tendons stretch, the joint becomes misaligned. While medical experts still do not know why certain people develop rheumatoid arthritis, it is believed that viruses, infection or bacteria may bring it on in people who are predisposed to it.
There are certain things that place some people at an increased risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. Some people have an antibody known as the “rheumatoid factor” which is found in over half the people diagnosed with RA. Other risk factors for developing this condition include genetics, dental disease, smoking and exposure to silica. Below are some other things that are considered risk factors for RA:
- Being female
- Falling into the age range of 40 to 60 years of age
- Smoking tobacco products
- Exposure to asbestos
- Being overweight
- Having family members diagnosed with RA
Doctors will take a detailed medical history in order wholesale nfl jerseys to diagnose rheumatoid arthritis. A doctor will ask questions such as family history, date of symptom onset and previous medical conditions. After taking a history, classement the doctor then examines the patient. During the exam, the doctor checks for joint mobility, joint tenderness and overall wellness.
Doctors often draw blood and run a battery of laboratory tests to diagnose the condition. A CBC, complete blood profile and urinalysis are the most commonly performed. X-rays may reveal bony changes and damage to joints. If doctors feel they need more detailed images, they may order a CT scan or MRI.
Once a diagnosis is made, primary care doctors typically refer patients to a rheumatologist. This is a Qualifying specialist experienced in treating arthritic conditions.
When treating people who have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, the long term goal is always remission. The first order of business in cheap jerseys treating this condition is to get joint inflammation under control as quickly as possible.
There are medications used in the treatment of RA with good success. Doctors often prescribe NSAIDs to relieve pain and reduce inflammation in the affected joints. These medications are available over-the-counter or stronger ones are available by prescription. The downside of NSAIDs is stomach discomfort. Using these medicines at high doses or for long periods of time can cause stomach pain, bleeding and ulcers.
Doctors often prescribe corticosteroids to reduce joint inflammation. These medicines are typically used in short courses to get inflammation under control and to reduce the negative side effects that come with long term steroid use. Drugs known as DMARDs or disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, are often used to achieve remission in the long term. People being treated with these medications are closely monitored by their doctor.
People diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis may also help keep symptoms at bay by making a few lifestyle changes. Gentle but regular exercise often helps reduce the pain and inflammation associated with this condition. Eating a healthy and well-balanced diet can keep weight within normal limits. This reduces the stress placed on joints and keeps pain at a minimum.
In Valley severe cases of RA, portfolio doctors may recommend surgery to replace joints. The damage from RA is irreversible and replacing severely damaged joints with prosthetic joints can help patients achieve remission from pain for periods of time There are no magic treatments when it comes to controlling rheumatoid arthritis. It often takes time for doctors and patients to find what works best for them. However, there are medications that are effective in achieving remission in many patients. In addition, new research is revealing promising new treatments that may one day greatly reduce the pain associated with this autoimmune disorder.