Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a rheumatic autoimmune disease that causes joint pain and affects the entire body. It usually affects the joints on both sides of the body. So, if you have rheumatoid arthritis of the joints of one leg or hand, the high probability of diseases of the joints and the other. Therefore, experts draw the line between RA and other forms of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis. In women, the predisposition to the disease is higher than in men.
Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis effectively at an early stage, so it is important to know what symptoms indicate its development.
Causes of rheumatoid arthritis are unknown and are the subject of research worldwide. The disease is considered to be viruses, bacteria and fungi, but it is certainly not proven. There is a version on which the predisposition to rheumatoid arthritis can be hereditary. Certain environmental factors can trick the immune system and cause it to attack tissues of the body. Immune cells, or lymphocytes, secrete chemicals that cause inflammation.
RA happens in adults and in children. Child rheumatoid arthritis is called juvenile and affects children under the age of 16.
The disease is characterized by the following symptoms:
First, the inflammation goes on the small joints – in particular, those that connect the fingers and toes with the hands and feet. Progressing, rheumatoid arthritis affects the wrists, knees, ankle, elbows, hip and shoulder joints.
About 40% of people with rheumatoid arthritis experience pain not only in joints. Rheumatoid arthritis can also spread to the:
Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis can vary in severity, appear and disappear. Periods of exacerbation alternating with remission when inflammation and pain disappear. After some time, rheumatoid arthritis can cause deformation and displacement of the affected joints.
The diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis can take some time and tests to confirm the symptoms and prescribing the right treatment.
The first stage is preliminary examination and history taking. Joints will be tested for the presence of redness, swelling, pain. Will be tested reflexes and muscle strength. If you suspect RA, the patient goes to a rheumatologist.
A blood test in the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis in adults:
Also are used for diagnostic ultrasound and MRI they help to determine the severity of joint damage.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease. Modern medicine hasn't found him drugs. Medications only help manage pain and control inflammation. The result is remission. Reducing inflammation does not allow the inflammation to spread further and affect other organs.
Treatment of RA includes the following areas:
After the examination, the specialist must determine what to treat the disease best.
Drugs against RA are divided into several types. Some of them help to relieve pain and inflammation, others help during an exacerbation. Pain and inflammation help the following medications:
These medications slow down damage to the body from RA:
Exercises with a low intensity will improve the mobility of your joints. Gymnastics strengthen the muscles, they will remove some of the load from the joints. Try some yoga – you will regain strength and flexibility.
In the period of exacerbation is essential enough rest. Healthy sleep will help reduce pain and inflammation, relieve fatigue.
They can be hot and cold – and those and others are effective against inflammation. In addition, they are effective against muscle spasms. You can alternate the hot compress with a cold. This will help make the joints movable.
Diet for RA involves the consumption of foods rich in omega-3 fats. These can be fish, nuts. Berries, green tea, grapes and broccoli contain flavonoids – these elements are also important.
If you are thinking where to treat arthritis at home or in the clinic, check with your doctor. It all depends on the extent of damage to joints. Sometimes enough therapy and medications.
If these methods are ineffective and the inflammation continues, the doctor may recommend surgical intervention. The operation entails certain risks, so you need to weigh the pros and discuss them with your doctor.