Did You know about rheumatoid arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a type of chronic inflammatory autoimmune condition in which the sufferers joints become inflamed throughout the body. It is a symmetrical disorder, meaning that if one joint or area of the body is affected, the same joint or area on the other side of the body is also affected. RA is most often diagnosed in middle-aged adults, though it can affect people of any age including children. The main symptoms of RA include joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. Other symptoms include fatigue, loss of appetite, fever, and general malaise.
The exact cause of RA is unknown, but it is believed to be linked to genetics, environmental factors, and the body’s own immune system. Generally, it is thought that the bodies own immune system mistakenly attacks the joint tissue and causes inflammation. There appears to be a link between genetics and RA, but the exact path of inheritance remains unknown. In some cases, environmental factors such as air pollution and smoking are thought to trigger the onset of RA.
Those suffering from RA can experience joint deterioration and deformity. Commonly affected joints include the wrist, hands, elbows, shoulder, hips, knees, ankles, and feet. In some cases, the condition can cause swelling of the entire joint, erosion of the bone, and displacement of the joint/cartilage. The symptoms can vary widely in each person and can range from mild to severe.
Treatment of RA is most often done through medications or lifestyle changes. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory ***** (NSAIDs), corticosteroids, and newer medications such as biologics are often prescribed to reduce swelling and pain. Physical therapy and exercise may also be prescribed by the physician to strengthen the muscles and joints and increase mobility.
Living with RA can be difficult and the symptoms can be disabling. Those who suffer from the condition require physical, emotional, and social support. A medical team of specialists, such as a rheumatologist, physical therapist, psychologist, and dietitian should be consulted for the best management of the condition. There are also support groups available for those with RA to provide support, understanding, and resources.
Overall, RA is a very prevelant condition that affects millions of people around the world. While the cause remains unknown, it is believed to have genetic, environmental, and immune system components. Those suffering from RA often need an entire team of specialists in order to properly manage the condition and keep the symptoms at bay. Fortunately, with the right treatment and support, those living with RA can manage the condition and lead full and productive lives.