Rheumatoid Arthritis
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Rheumatoid Arthritis

Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and Diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease, an inflammation of the joints caused by immune reaction against joints. The lung and kidney are also affected, but the synovial joints are most affected with Rheumatoid Arthritis. By inflammation of the joints, pain and functional disorders of the joints gradually develop; with difficultly in mobility, indicating the sure sign of Rheumatoid Arthritis.

  • In Rheumatoid Arthritis, the body's immune system fights the joints, and causes chronic inflammation of joints leads to pain and immobility of the joints.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic systemic disease. It takes a long time, maybe years, for symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis patients to surface out.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis affects millions of people worldwide.
  • Most people are affected with age by Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis

The exact cause of Rheumatoid Arthritis is not known, but the following causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis are believed to be the cause:

  • Caused by immune system disorder.
  • Viruses, bacteria and other pathogens.
  • Genetic inheritance.
  • Smoking increases the risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Signs and symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Swollen, tender and reddened joints.
  • Severe chronic inflammation of the joints
  • Increase in joint pain, if infection is high
  • Stiffness of the joints
  • Pain in small joints such as ankle, foot, neck,
  • After inactivity, muscle and joint stiffness are noticed
  • Increases in inflammation, weight loss and fatigue

Diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Early diagnosis is important, because the earlier the disease is diagnosed; the easier it is to prevent joint damage.

The doctor recognizes the Rheumatoid Arthritis by questioning (medical history), physical examination-particularly the joints, and with the help of blood tests that measure various signs of inflammation (erythrocyte sedimentation rate ESR , C-reactive protein = CRP ). By blood test, Rheumatoid Factor, and a specific antibody, which only occurs in Rheumatoid Arthritis (anti-CCP) is determined.

Imaging tests such as X-ray, ultrasound, scintigraphy and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) are also used in the diagnosis and monitoring the progression of the disease.

Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Physical therapy and occupational therapy are the most important non-pharmacological treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis.
  • Steroids are used to reduce inflammation and reduce joint pain.
  • Aceclofenac analgesics, such as Diclofenac and Nimisulide are used to treat pain from Arthritis.
  • Opiates are used for the treatment of short-term treatment (acute) of severe pain.
  • Elevation of Blood Rheumatoid Factor is also the possibility of treatment in some individuals.
  • Rest and/or exercise help to reduce pain, improve joint function and treat Rheumatoid Arthritis.

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