Rheumatoid Arthritis: Signs, Symptoms, Treatment
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder which mainly affects the joint and would become warm, swollen and painful. Sometimes pain and stiffness become the worst. Wrist and hands are mostly involved in the diseased portions. Sometimes it may get affected by other parts of the body too. Low red blood cell count, inflammation around the lungs and heart may result. Fever and low energy are some conditions seen during the arthritic
period. Symptoms may be seen over weeks or months. Middle age is the usual onset of rheumatoid arthritis. But once it affects, it lasts for a lifetime.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:
Inflammation of synovial membrane is seen commonly in the case of arthritis in joints. Joints may become swollen, tender and warm, also stiffness limits their movement. When time duration increases, arthritis may get affected by the other joints that are polyarthritis. Mostly small joints are involved in arthritis but also larger joints may get involved too. Small joints are that of hand, feet and cervical spine and larger joints are that of shoulder and knee. The symptoms are most commonly seen during the early morning walks or following prolonged inactivity. Another prominent feature of the disease is the increased stiffness during the early morning. It typically lasts for an hour. Symptoms could be relieved by the gentle movements from the early stages of the disease itself. Osteoarthritis which is a non-inflammatory problem of joints could be distinguished early.
The rheumatoid nodule is seen among RA patients, which is in the skin. It occurs 30% of people. Certain vasculitis is seen among RA patients. Such patients have their disease as longstanding and untreated disease. Skin ulceration and vasculitic nerve infarction are also commonly seen for rheumatoid vasculitis which is known as mono neuritis multiplex. Pyoderma gangrenosum, Sweet’s syndrome, erythema nodosum, lobe panniculitis, palmar erythema, atrophy of finger skin, drug reactions and skin fragility are some of the skin-related symptoms.
Lung fibrosis is commonly seen in the diseased condition of rheumatoid arthritis. Caplan’s syndrome is seen among RA patients having lung nodules. Exudative pleural effusions are also one of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
In Heart and Blood vessels:
Atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction and stroke are some main symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Pericarditis, endocarditis, left ventricular failure, valvulitis and fibrosis are some other complications of RA.
In kidneys, renal amyloidosis can occur. Episcleritis or scleritis can affect eyes directly. Keratoconjunctivitis sicca is an indirect side effect. Keratitis may occur when it becomes severe. Primary biliary cirrhosis or autoimmune disorders is a coexisting autoimmune liver disease which causes harm. Peripheral neuropathy and mononeuritis multiplex too may occur. Fatigue, low-grade fever, malaise, morning stiffness, loss of appetite and low weight gain are some common symptoms. Immobility, systemic cytokine release in bone marrow and all are the other symptoms. Lymphoma is increased.
No cure for rheumatoid arthritis is yet found out. As though there are some treatments for improving the symptoms and slowing the progress of the disease. Treatment should be beneficial for minimising the pain and swollen mainly. Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs( DMARDs) could effectively improve the symptom. Analgesics are used for managing the pain.
Our lifestyle itself could prevent arthritis. Regular exercises could make one’s own body stiff and devoid of diseases. It could build the muscles strongly. Anti-inflammatory agents and analgesic agents could be consumed. Surgery is done for the better improvement of health. Fingers, hands, wrists are surgically treated.