What is Rheumatoid Arthritis? Getting The Facts

Rheumatoid arthritis is a type of inflammatory disease. Generally, it causes intense pain and loss of motion in the particular joint it chooses to attack. In rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system plays a big part in the development of the disease. when a certain type of reaction triggers a rheumatoid arthritis attack, the result would be unbearable pain in and around the joints.

The Function of Joints

A joint is the intersection of two human bones. The ends of these bones are covered with a smooth and durable substance called the cartilage. it is the cartilage that allows the bones to slide along each other without much friction. a cartilage is what functions as the device that cushions and absorbs the forces created during bone movements.

When a person suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, then a certain autoimmune defect would trigger an attack toward the healthy cells. and during such process, an enzyme is released to strike tissues. and the most common types of tissues attacked are the joints. Once this happens, the joints swell and become very painful.

Chronic

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease. being such it would continue indefinitely and does not go away easily. and more often than not, flare-ups may even occur. it is also possible that rheumatoid arthritis affects all other organs present in the body. This makes it very critical for the disease to be diagnosed and treated in its early stages.

Rheumatoid arthritis can cause total disability. Even if this doesn’t happen instantly, the mere fact that a patient may eventually lose his or her mobile functions should be enough to cause concern whenever the symptoms of this disease show.

The Most Commonly Affected Joints

The most common sign of rheumatoid arthritis would be swollen, tender, and stiff joints. The human body has a lot of joints. but the most common parts that rheumatoid arthritis hits are the hands, arms, leg, shoulders, and neck. Any pain that comes and goes felt around this area should be suitably consulted with a health expert.

People with rheumatoid arthritis also feel tired easily. a few minutes of physical exercise will cause them to catch their breath and require them to immediately rest their bodies. and sooner or later, even the simplest activity such as exercising, working, and doing their hobbies becomes rather difficult. People with rheumatoid arthritis prefer not to become physically active over time.

Most Susceptible Age Group

Rheumatoid arthritis is very common in people aged 20 to 45 years of age, although this disease could occur to a person regardless of his age. People who are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis can’t do what a normal person does in terms of physical endeavors such as walking, running, swimming, and exercising. and because of this, the family and friends of the patients with rheumatoid arthritis becomes affected as well.

The diagnosis and treatment of rheumatoid arthritis should be done by a rheumatologist. a rheumatologist is a type of doctor that specializes in arthritis and all other diseases of the muscles, bones, and joints. but more often than not, they are not the only people who can help patients when it comes to treatment and prevention of the disease. Nurses, physical therapists, orthopedic surgeons, occupations therapists, psychologists, and even social workers are able to help as well.

Diagnostic Methods

The difficulty in diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis in its early stages would be the fact that there is not a single test for this type of disease. The fact that its symptom may also differ from one patient to another is one more reason why it becomes hard for doctors to assume that the disease a patient suffers from is in fact, rheumatoid arthritis. The mere diagnosis of this disease requires a series of tests in the form or x-rays, blood tests, CRP, and SED rate.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a serious disease. it is but important that the moment it is accurately diagnosed, the proper treatment procedures be carried out immediately. doing so would counteract its harmful effects on the body.

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