What is rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a long lasting autoimmune disorder that primarily affects joints. It typically results in warm, swollen, and painful joints. Pain and stiffness often worsen following rest. Most commonly the wrist and hands are involved with typically the same joints involved on both sides of the body. The disease may also affect other parts of the body. The disease may also affect other parts of the body. This may result in a low red blood cell count, inflammation around the lungs, and inflammation around the heart. Fever and low energy may also be present.Often symptoms come on gradually over weeks to months. Patients can get best arthritis treatment in Jaipur. Dr. Rahul Jain is one of best doctor for arthritis in Jaipur. Jaipur Arthritis Centre also offers affordable rheumatoid arthritis treatment in Jaipur.
Rheumatoid Arthritis primarily affects joints and it also affects other organs such as skin, lungs, kidneys, heart and blood vessels, eyes, liver, blood, neurological, constitutional symptoms, bones and cancer.
What causes it?
The cause of rheumatoid arthritis is not yet known. Most scientists agree that a combination of genetic and environmental factors is responsible. Researchers have identified genetic markers that cause a tenfold greater probability of developing rheumatoid arthritis. These genes are associated with the immune system, chronic inflammation or the development and progression of RA. Still, not all people with these genes develop rheumatoid arthritis and not all people with the disease have these genes.
Researchers are also investigating infectious agents, such as bacteria or viruses, which may trigger the disease in someone with a genetic propensity for it. Other suspects include female hormones (70 percent of people with RA are women) and the body's response to stressful events such as physical or emotional trauma. Smoking may also play a role - it not only boosts the risk of developing RA among people with a specific gene, it can also increase the disease's severity and reduce the effectiveness of treatment
What are the effects?
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease, meaning it can't be cured. Most people with RA experience intermittent bouts of intense disease activity, called flares. In some people the disease is continuously active and gets worse over time. Others enjoy long periods of remission - no disease activity or symptoms at all. Evidence shows that early diagnosis, early treatment, and aggressive treatment to put the disease into remission is the best means of avoiding joint destruction, organ damage and disability.
The symptoms and course of rheumatoid arthritis vary from person to person and can change on a daily basis. Your joints may feel warm to the touch and you might notice a decreased range of motion, as well as inflammation, swelling and pain in the areas around the affected joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is symmetrical, meaning if a joint on one side of the body is affected, the corresponding joint on the other side of the body is also involved. Because the inflammation is systemic, you're likely to feel fatigued and you may become anemic, lose your appetite and run a low-grade fever.
In the long term, rheumatoid arthritis may affect many different joints and cause damage to cartilage, tendons and ligaments - it can even wear away the ends of your bones. One common outcome is joint deformity and disability. Some people with RA develop rheumatoid nodules; lumps of tissue that form under the skin, often over bony areas exposed to pressure. These occur most often around the elbows but can be found elsewhere on the body, such as on the fingers, over the spine or on the heels. Over time, the inflammation that characterizes RA can also affect numerous organs and internal systems.
How Is it diagnosed?
To diagnose rheumatoid arthritis, your physician will take a medical history and perform a physical examination. The doctor will look for certain features of RA, including swelling, warmth and limited motion in joints throughout your body, as well as nodules or lumps under the skin. Your doctor may also ask if you have experienced fatigue or an overall feeling of stiffness. The pattern of joints affected by arthritis can help distinguish rheumatoid arthritis from other conditions. Your physician should recommend certain blood tests to identify antibodies, levels of inflammation and other markers that aid diagnosis and assessments. He'll likely call for X-rays to determine if you have bone loss at the edges of joints - called erosions - combined with loss of joint cartilage.
Although there is no cure for RA, highly effective treatments exist. Once you have a diagnosis, you should begin treatment right away to slow disease progression and lower chances for joint damage.