Rheumatoid Arthritis - Common Symptoms and Treatment

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disease which affects joints with inflammation and marked deformities. The following article would try to explain what is rheumatoid arthritis, it's common symptoms and treatment options one can pursue.
| Saturday, April 02, 2011

Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-resistant ailment that leads to persistent swelling of the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis can also lead to soreness of the tissue around the joints and also in the additional organs of the body. Autoimmune ailments are illnesses that transpire when the body tissues are erroneously attacked by their own immune system. Human's immune system is a compound group of cells and antibodies premeditated usually to "hunt for and annihilate" intruders of the body, predominantly infections. People suffering with autoimmune diseases have antibodies in their blood that aim at their own body tissues, where they can be related with inflammation. Since it can influence several other organs of the body, rheumatoid arthritis is termed to as a universal infirmity and is often referred to as rheumatoid disease.

While rheumatoid arthritis is a persistent illness, meaning it can last for several years; patients may undergo long periods without any symptom. On an average, however, rheumatoid arthritis is a progressive sickness that has the impending result to cause joint destruction and functional disability.

Factsheet

Rheumatoid arthritis arises as a result of your immune system leading to inflammation of the coating of a joint and the tissues adjoining it. It impinges on more than 350,000 people in the UK and can happen at any age. Rheumatoid arthritis may be very placid with few unnoticeable symptoms, but for about one in 20 people it affects many joints and can be harsh and immobilizing. Rheumatoid arthritis treatment comprises of painkillers and medicines to diminish soreness and avert the disease's development.

Even though rheumatoid arthritis can grip different parts the body, joints are almost always affected. When the disease plays up, joints become reddened. Soreness is the body's natural reaction to disease or other threats, but in rheumatoid arthritis inflammation occurs unsuitably and for unidentified causes.

Common Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Early Symptoms

You will most likely find that rheumatoid arthritis grows quite gradually at first. You may observe some uneasiness in your hands and feet and your joints may be inflamed. It's probable that you will feel predominantly rigid when you try to get up in the morning. For some patients, the state comes on rapidly and painfully and may make it complex for you to carry out your daily chores. You may also feel exhausted and usually ill. You may build up rheumatoid nodules which are fleshy bulge that typically appears on your hands, feet and elbows. These aren't painful but may imply you have intricacy using your hands.

Joint Inflammation

Tautness and stiffness is one of the major symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis. The joint is harder to bring into play and might have a restricted range of movement. Morning firmness is one of the traits of rheumatoid arthritis. While many patients with other forms of arthritis have taut joints in the morning, it takes patients with rheumatoid arthritis more than an hour (sometimes quite a few hours) before their joints feel movable.

Swelling

Fluid goes into into the joint and it becomes swollen; this also adds on to firmness. Pain
Soreness inside a joint makes it receptive and tender. Extended inflammation causes harm that also adds to pain.

Redness and Warmth

The joints may be fairly warmer and further pink or red than the adjacent skin.

Treatment Options for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Self-Help

There are many things you can do to aid simplify the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

  • Strike a balance between exercise and rest. You need to be energetic to avoid your joints from getting frail and sore. Swimming is a brilliant exercise because it fortifies your muscles and joints without adding any sprain on them
  • Try to shed extra pounds as this will trim down the heaviness on your joints.
  • A professional therapist can recommend ways of making everyday chores easier and may help you with specialist apparatus.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet and reduce saturated fats.
  • A hot water bottle might give you relief if your joints feel sore and aching; you can also try an ice pack if they are hot.

Medicines

There is a wide range of medications obtainable that can help alleviate the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, although no medicine can treat the state completely. Painkillers such as Paracetamol may assist to relieve soreness and tautness although they won't influence the development of arthritis. Anti-inflammatory medicines, termed as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen (trade names Advil and Motrin and Nupri) decrease soreness temporarily. With all the medicines, it's crucial to abide by the directions in the patient information brochure that comes with the medicine and don't forget to consult your pharmacist or doctor for guidance.

Complementary Therapies

Complementary therapies like acupuncture and aromatherapy can't heal arthritis completely, but they might be helpful in relieving pain and giving you temporary relief. Consultation with your doctor is highly recommended before starting any complementary therapy. Non-surgical Treatments
Non surgical treatments are offered in the form of creams or gels that can be applied on the affected areas, although these are not typically adequate for curing inflamed joints. Steroid injections are also given straight into the specific joint to provide pain relief instantly.

Surgery

Surgery is rare in the case of rheumatoid arthritis. However, if you have seriously damaged joints and medicine has not helped, your doctor might advise that you undergo a surgery. Surgery won't heal rheumatoid arthritis but it may assist to condense pain and distress. You may be offered:

  • A knee or hip replacement
  • Synovectomy to eliminate the liner of an inflamed joint
  • Amputation or restoration of severely sore tendons
  • Surgery to blend a joint to make it more secure

Right Diet for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Dietary Recommendation

In the effectual administration of rheumatoid arthritis it is imperative to modify the type of fat in the diet. Omega-3 fatty acids act an important role in the inflammatory trail of the human body and thus have amplified popularity in the nutritional management of this problem. It would be a suitable plan to boost your omega-3 fatty acid intake either in tablet form or as part of your every day diet. Additionally, increase the daily intake of uncooked or steamed foods along with fish, chicken, whole grains, fruits, vegetables and rice.

Foods to Avoid

Many types of foods can worsen this dilemma and lead to flare-ups and should thus be kept to the bare minimum. Foods that are acid and should be avoided:

  • alcohol
  • dairy
  • berries
  • tea
  • coffee
  • refined wheat
  • saturated fats
  • salts
  • processed foods
  • fried and grilled foods

Summary

Identifying the common symptoms for rheumatoid arthritis and selecting a treatment requires a joint effort between the patient and various health care professionals. Although no permanent cure for rheumatoid arthritis has been established yet, there are a range of approaches for treating rheumatoid arthritis. Regardless of the treatment opted for, the objectives are the same: to decrease inflammation, reduce soreness, stop or slow down joint injury and perk up the patient's welfare and capability to function. Open communiqué paves way for the most effectual treatment. What is important is that a patient must be informed about the common symptoms for rheumatoid arthritis and more concerned in their own care.

   
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