than one in seven Americans experience the nagging pains and physical
limitations of arthritis. There are more than 100 forms of arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is among the most debilitating of them all, causing
joints to ache and throb and eventually become deformed. Sometimes these
symptoms make even the simplest things — like opening a jar or taking a
walk — difficult to manage.
osteoarthritis , which results from normal wear and tear on the joints,
rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory condition. The exact cause of it
is unknown. But it's believed to be caused by the body's immune system
attacking the synovium — the tissue that lines the joints.
arthritis affects about 2.5 million Americans and about 20 million in the
world. It's three times more common in women than in men and generally
strikes between the ages of 20 and 50. But rheumatoid arthritis also can
affect very young children and adults over age 50.
no cure for rheumatoid arthritis. But with proper treatment, a strategy
for joint protection and changes in lifestyle, you can live a long,
productive life with the condition.
Signs and Symptoms
signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis may come and go over time. They
and swelling in the smaller joints of your hands and feet Overall aching
or stiffness of the joints and muscles, especially after sleep or after
periods of rest Loss of motion of the affected joints Loss of strength in
muscles attached to the affected joints Fatigue, which can be severe
during a flare-up Low-grade fever Deformity of the joints as time goes on
arthritis usually causes problems in many joints at the same time. Joints
in the wrists, hands, feet and ankles are the ones most often affected.
The disease can also involve your elbows, shoulders, hips, knees, neck and
jaw. It generally affects both sides of the body at the same time. The
knuckles of both hands might be one example.
lumps, called rheumatoid nodules, may form under the skin of your elbow,
your hands, the back of your scalp, over your knee or on your feet and
heels. These nodules can range in size — appearing as small as a pea to
as large as a walnut. Usually the lumps aren't painful.
contrast to osteoarthritis, which affects only your bones and joints,
rheumatoid arthritis can cause inflammation of tear glands, salivary
glands, the lining of your heart and lungs, the lungs themselves and, in
rare cases, your blood vessels.
rheumatoid arthritis is often a chronic disease, it tends to vary in
severity and may even come and go. Periods of increased disease activity
— called flare-ups or flares — alternate with periods of relative
remission, during which the swelling, pain, difficulty in sleeping and
weakness fade or disappear.
flexibility of your joints may be limited by swelling or deformity. But
even if you have a severe form of rheumatoid arthritis, you'll probably
retain flexibility in many joints. You may also have less pain than the
appearance of deformed joints suggests.
with other forms of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis involves inflammation
of the joints. A membrane called the synovium lines each of your joints.
When you have rheumatoid arthritis, white blood cells — whose normal job
is to attack unwanted invaders such as bacteria and viruses — move from
your bloodstream into your synovium. There, these blood cells appear to
play an important role in causing the synovial membrane to become
inflammation results in the release of proteins that, over months or
years, cause thickening of the synovium. These proteins also can damage
cartilage, bone, tendons and ligaments. Gradually, the joint loses its
shape and alignment. Eventually, it may be destroyed.
researchers thinks that rheumatoid arthritis is triggered by an infection
— possibly a virus or bacterium — in people with an inherited
susceptibility. Although the disease itself is not inherited, certain
genes that create a susceptibility are. People who have inherited these
genes will not necessarily develop rheumatoid arthritis. But they may have
more of a tendency to do so than others. The severity of their disease may
also depend on the genes inherited.
Medical Advice Timing
western or Chinese doctor if you have persistent discomfort and swelling
in multiple joints on both sides of your body. Your physician can work
with you to develop a pain management and treatment plan. Also seek
medical advice if you experience side effects from arthritis medications.
Side effects may include nausea, abdominal discomfort, black or tarry
stools, changes in bowel habits, constipation or drowsiness.
Screening And Diagnosis
arthritis symptoms, your doctor will likely conduct a physical examination
and order laboratory tests to determine if you have this form of
arthritis. A blood test that indicates your erythrocyte sedimentation rate
( "sed" rate) can indicate the presence of an inflammatory
process in your body. People with rheumatoid arthritis tend to have
abnormally high sed rates. The sed rates in those with osteoarthritis tend
to be normal.
blood test looks for an antibody called rheumatoid factor. Four out of
five persons with rheumatoid arthritis eventually have this abnormal
antibody, although it may be absent early on in the disease. It's also
possible to have the rheumatoid factor in your blood and not have
may take X-rays of your joints to differentiate between osteoarthritis and
rheumatoid arthritis. A sequence of X-rays obtained over time can show the
progression of arthritis.
arthritis causes pain and may also cause fatigue and stiffness. It can
lead to difficulty with everyday tasks, such as turning a doorknob or
holding a pen. Dealing with the pain and unpredictability of rheumatoid
arthritis can also cause depression.
the past, people with rheumatoid arthritis may have ended up confined to a
wheelchair because damage to joints made it difficult or impossible to
walk. That's not as likely today because of better treatments and
for arthritis until today still depends on steriod for the western world,
it is to help to reduce pain and to delay.
for rheumatoid arthritis can relieve its symptoms and slow or halt its
progression. They include:
taking NSAIDs can lead to such side effects as indigestion and stomach
bleeding. Other potential side effects may include damage to the liver and
kidneys, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), fluid retention, and high blood
pressure . However, there is evidence that by suppressing COX-1, NSAIDs
may cause stomach and other problems because COX-1 is the enzyme that
protects your stomach lining. The jury is still out, but some doctors are
concerned that COX-2 inhibitors may increase a user's risk of HEART
ACTTACK . Further review by the Food and Drug Administration is needed.
. These medications reduce inflammation and slow joint damage. In the
short term, corticosteroids can make you feel dramatically better. But
when used for many months or years, they may become less effective and
cause serious side effects. Side effects may include easy bruising,
thinning of bones, cataracts , weight gain, a round face, diabetes and
high blood pressure . Doctors often prescribe a corticosteroid to relieve
acute symptoms, with the goal of gradually tapering off the medication.
Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) . Physicians have begun to
prescribe DMARDs to limit the amount of joint damage that occurs in
rheumatoid arthritis. Taking these drugs at early stages in the
development of rheumatoid arthritis is especially important in the effort
to slow the disease and save the joints and other tissue from permanent
damage. Because many of them act slowly (it may be weeks to months before
you notice any benefit), DMARDs typically are used with a NSAID or a
CHILD RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS HERBS CURE
Rheumatoid arthritis (often called RA) is a chronic (long-standing) disease that damages the joints of the body.
ARTHRITIS HERBS TREATMENT
Rheumatoid arthritis should not be confused with other forms of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis or arthritis associated with infections. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. This means that the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the tissues it is supposed to protect.