Rheumatoid Arthritis : Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Rheumatoid Arthritis, the autoimmune disease is one of the major health disorder that is common among the elderly adults. This article deals with the common concepts regarding the causes, symptoms, diagnosis and possible treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis.

There are many instances when you may experience a somatic sensation of acute discomfort in joints and get diagnosed to be suffering from any sort of joint disease. These types of disease are generally denominated as Arthritis in the book of medical science. One of the most well-known form of Arthritis is that of the Rheumatoid Arthritis which seems to be a workaday problem for many in the present day world. It is also known as RA and is usually very painful in nature as it causes the specific tissues that lines the joints to turn swollen and stiff. There is also a high risk of getting the joint tissues damaged if the inflammation arising out of Rheumatoid Arthritis are not treated properly. This may bring many problems to the outpatient in carrying on with his daily activities as any annihilated joint tissue may make it a painful experience and affect its gait or use of the hands in a proper way. This particular ailment is seen to be more common among the woman's as it is with man and usually starts developing within an age group of 40 to 60 years on average. Rheumatoid Arthritis is usually chronic in nature and may gradually increase with the passing days to turn out to be a potentially serious and painful illness thereby making a person more prone to functional disability caused by the joint destruction.

Causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis

There is no defined or distinct explanation of what actually leads to this autoimmune disease. It is very contra-distinct form of disease that is seen to develop in a human body. Normally, our immune system is regarded as the protection shield of our body against harmful infection but in the case of autoimmune disease, it is the main cause of the affliction where one's own immunity becomes the source of the painful health disorder. The various antibodies that prevails in the immune system of the human body which are expected to seek and destroy the various harmful infections that evades our body are seen to be targeting their own tissues which is normally not the case with that of a healthy individual. However, there are some factors that are suspected to be cause of this ailment like smoking of tobacco which gradually increases the risk factor of developing a Rheumatoid Arthritis. However, this is only one possibility but there may be other factors that contributes in the growth of the disease without any incautiousness on part of the ailing person, one of which may also be pointed out as that of the changing and rather polluted environment.

Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Even in deciding the prevalence of the disease, it is very hard to ascertain any particular symptoms and thereby come to conclusion whether any individual is suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis. The main reason behind it is that these symptoms keeps on varying and may not be visible for longer versions. Only if there is very high inflammation then the degree of symptoms will be more obvious as it will induce more pain and functional instability. But there are many cases when the inflammation may be subsiding on regular interval which makes the Rheumatoid Arthritis last for a few days only as opposed to the other serious conditions where one might be experiencing the symptom or rather the illness itself for a long period extending to months and years. Infact, when the remissions occur the sufferer may turn out to be totally healthy and may ignore the chances of getting the illness. But, it does return back after initial remissions and the different symptoms may continue to appear depending on the degree of damage already done. Inspite of all these facts, we can assume the the following conditions that may be identified as possible symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis.
  • Pain in joints

  • Feeling of stiffness

  • Swelling in various organs like
    • Joints of hand
    • Wrist
    • Elbows
    • Feet
    • Ankles
    • Kneesneck
  • Bumps in elbows and lower leg bones.
There are also many reports where scientist claims that the disease under severe conditions may even cause harm to the eyes, lungs, heart and other sensitive organs of a human body.

Diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis

There are no specialized test that the doctor may perform or otherwise prescribe at the initial checkup for any possible symptoms that is resembling Rheumatoid Arthritis. In the first instance, the doctor may possibly go through examining the various affected regions and thereby analyse all the symptoms before drawing any conclusion on its findings. Usually, the doctor will try to summarize all the symptoms and try to associate it with the past medical history of the patient and also the various details regarding the occurrence of the reported disorder. After going through all the informations provided by the patient and considering various visible symptoms, the doctor may prescribe some test to be done like X-Rays or blood tests to make sure if there are some other factors that are contributing to show similar symptoms of the patient.

Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis

There is no definite cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis, but the same can be controlled and the various symptoms may be avoided by going through different treatments and therapies. The doctors usually prescribes courses of medicines to relieve the pains and swellings and also recommends various diets and regular exercise. The mode of treatment may vary according to the age and occupation of the patient as well as his health condition. Normally, rest and certain joint strengthening exercise are found quite effective to control the disease and the symptoms from reappearing. There are two general category of medications that is provided to treat the Rheumatoid Arthritis. This usually includes the FLD (first-line drugs) and the SLD (second-line drugs) which are also commonly known as the DMARDs (Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs). The FLD are generally used to provide instant relief from pain and swellings while the SLD is given to control and extend the remission of the disease so as to prevent any further damage of the joints. But there are various known side effects which makes using any common mode of treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis difficult. It is on the doctor to decide the various medications to be used considering the progress of the treatment and its effectively on the individual patient. This will also require a close communication between the doctor and the patient so that the various side effects and further degradation of the condition may be restricted.

Rheumatoid Arthritis: Summary and conclusion

It is true that Rheumatoid Arthritis is not curable but there are various ways that can help one recover and control the disease. Rest, proper diet, daily exercise and regular checkups are the key to lead a healthy life restraining all symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis from reappearing. There are however chances of surgery for some cases which can relieve an individual in case of severe joint destruction. There is common quote of advice that medical science always keeps on repeating which is that a disease is much easier to be cured when diagnosed and treated in the initial stage, the case with Rheumatoid Arthritis being no exception. One must therefore take it seriously as any ignorance on their part may make them suffer disability throughout their life and may lead one to severe depression. So, whenever any symptoms are noticed one must immediately go and see the doctor without any reluctance to find out the root of the problem so that the proper treatment may be taken which in turn will help him recover fast and avoid any further problems in the days ahead.

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