Rheumatoid Arthritis – About The Disease
Rheumatoid arthritis affects roughly one percent of the worldwide population. It’s a chronic inflammatory disease, characterized by the inflammation of the soft tissue lining the inside of the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is also an autoimmune disease, which means that the immune system malfunctions and attacks healthy tissues within the body in the same manner as invading bacteria. Rheumatoid arthritis inflammation mostly damages the soft tissues of the joints, in spite of this, the soft tissue linings of the blood vessels, heart and lungs may also become inflamed.
The joints in the hands and feet are frequently attacked by rheumatoid arthritis, but any joint membrane can be involved. Prescription drugs can control the inflammation; if the inflammation isn’t controlled, deformity of the joints can result. This often leads to permanent joint damage over time, resulting in chronic pain, lost range of motion and disability.
There are 3 stages of rheumatoid arthritis. The initial stage begins with the inflammation of the synovial lining, producing swelling, pain, redness, and stiffness around the affected joints. The 2nd phase is the rapid growth and division of cells, or pannus, which causes the thickening of the synovium. By the 3rd stage, the inflamed cells release enzymes that bone and cartilage may absorb causing the affected joint to produce more tenderness, deformity and loss of movement.
Rheumatoid arthritis patients suffer from cycles of severe and light symptoms. The following are symptoms and effects of rheumatoid arthritis:
– Joint swelling in the small joints of the feet and hands
– Joint inflammation, inflexibility, and throbbing especially in the am
– Calcified lumps in joints
– Cartilage and bone destruction
Rheumatoid arthritis often has a serious effect on a person’s quality of life, particularly if it isn’t detected and treated early. Receiving the proper diagnosis early is essential as it helps you start the correct treatment right away thus giving you the best probability to avoid disability and deformity.
It’s always recommended to talk to your physician concerning the diagnosis and treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. With the correct diagnosis, you can begin management of the disease with the proper medication. Doctors have many ways to manage this disease, the objectives of which is to eliminate pain, reduce swelling, slow down or stop joint damage, help people feel better, and help people stay active.
Presently, the exact cause of the disease is unknown, although there are several theories, like abnormal autoimmune response, genetic propensity, and a number of environmental reasons. Scientists are well on their way to deciphering the events that result in abnormal responses of the body’s immune system. And while there isn’t any cure, managing the disease through the use of recent drugs, exercise, joint protection techniques and self-management techniques have been done by patients to have happier, healthier plus much more normal lives.
December 15 2010 09:16 pm | Uncategorized