Rheumatoid Arthritis is an auto immune disorder in which the body’s immune system causes trouble by attacking the joints. Ideally, the role of the immune system is to protect our body and body parts when they invaded by viruses or bacterium. Such an attack on the joints causes the synovium to become thick. The synovium is a tissue that exists inside the joints. It prepares fluid which keeps the joints lubricated and causes smooth movement.
The joints get inflamed and it can damage the cartilages. As time passes by, the cartilages and the space between joints and bones can get reduced. Gradually joints can become loose and unstable and one can experience trauma because of pain in the joints. The joints can also get deformed.
Unfortunately the damage which is done cannot be reversed and hence doctors usually recommend this trouble to be diagnosed at an early stage.
Who can experience such a trouble? What are the risk factors?
This trouble can occur at any age. However usually the trouble begins after the age of 40 years. The trouble is more common in women.
A history of the disorder can cause in your family can increase risk of rheumatoid arthritis.
What are the symptoms of such a trouble?
Symptoms of the disorder are:
High levels of fatigue
Stiffness in the morning
Bumps of tissues which could be firm
The disease is progressive in nature and usually spreads to locations like the hips, wrists, elbows, shoulders, ankles, knees.
The disease is characterised by episodes of tremendous pain called as flare and when the pain and swellings fade out it is termed as relative remission.
What causes such a trouble?
The exact cause is not known of the disorder although the disorder is an auto immune effect. However it is believed to be linked with a person’s genes. Your genes can make you susceptible to factors of the environment. These may include infections of viruses or bacteria. These could trigger the disorder.
What are the complications that can arise due to rheumatoid arthritis?
Such a trouble can increase your risk of developing:
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Disease of the lungs
How is the issue diagnosed?
Doctors would conduct a physical examination of the joints to learn about tenderness, swellings, stiffness, redness and warmth. Further the diagnosis would involve conduction of blood tests and X-rays. X- Rays will help the doctors to understand progression of the disease.
How is the tissue treated?
The trouble of arthritis cannot be cured. However the symptoms of the disease can be controlled using medications.
The treatment requires rest, exercises and sometimes a surgery when the joints are badly damaged.
Doctors prescribe use of anti-inflammatory medications and pain killers that help ease pain and swellings. They may also prescribe pain killers that can be applied on the skin.
Doctors also recommend using those drugs that help in reducing or suppressing the attack of the immune system on joints.
Rest and exercises are also important. During an episode of flare, one should take rest. When the symptoms improve one should exercise to keep the joints moving. This will help improve flexibility.
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