Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder where the body’s own immune system attacks the body’s joints, resulting in inflammation, deformity, and disability. This chronic, debilitating condition affects an estimated 1.5 million Americans, and is the second most common type of arthritis in the United States.
RA typically affects the joints in the hands, feet, and wrists, as well as the small joints in the spine, resulting in joint pain, stiffness, and swelling. In some cases, RA can also cause pain and swelling of the organs, such as the heart and lungs. The cause of RA is unknown, although it is believed that some combination of genetic and environmental factors may contribute to its development.
While there is no cure for RA, treatments are available that can help to reduce the symptoms. The type of treatment used will depend on the type and severity of the arthritis, as well as the individual’s overall health.
Types Of Rheumatoid Arthritis
There are several different types of Rheumatoid arthritis. The most common type is known as seropositive RA, which is caused by a specific antibody found in the blood called rheumatoid factor (RF). RF is an antibody produced by the body’s own immune cells that causes the destruction of the cartilage and tissues around the joints.
Other types of RA include seronegative RA, which is not caused by the presence of RF, and juvenile RA, which is most commonly found in children and adolescents. There is also a rare form of RA, known as Felty’s syndrome, which affects the white blood cells.
In addition to the treatment options available for RA, there are also several lifestyle modifications that can be beneficial for those with the condition. These may include lifestyle changes such as good nutrition, adequate rest, physical activity, and stress management. By making these lifestyle changes, individuals can improve their overall quality of life and reduce their risk of disability.
Overall, while there is no cure for Rheumatoid arthritis, there are a variety of treatments and lifestyle modifications that can help to reduce the symptoms and improve overall quality of life. By diagnosed early, individuals can begin to experience relief from their symptoms and improve their outlook for the future.
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