Written By Michael Greger M. It is characterized by persistent pain, stiffness, and progressive joint destruction leading to crippling deformities, particularly in the hands and feet. What can we do to prevent and treat it?
In rheumatoid arthritis, your immune system erroneously attacks your joints. Here are 10 essential facts about RA: Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease.
In RA, your immune system, which normally defends the body from foreign substances like bacteria and viruses, attacks your joints — making it an autoimmune disease.
Approximately three times as many women have rheumatoid arthritis as men. Arthrits facts can start at any age even children can get it — cases that are often referred to as juvenile RA or juvenile idiopathic arthritisbut the most common window is between ages 20 and 60 for women.
Men can get it, too, though often later in life. Rheumatoid arthritis is different from osteoarthritis. Unlike osteoarthritis, which usually affects weight-bearing joints such as the knees and hips, RA more typically affects the small joints in the hands, wrists, and feet.
Rheumatoid arthritis usually occurs on both sides of the body, so if the joints in one hand are red, hot, swollen, and painful, those in the other one are, too. Unlike people with osteoarthritis, those with RA may also experience fatigue, occasional fevers, and loss of energy, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.
Having a family history of an autoimmune disease such as RA, lupus, or autoimmune thyroid disease increases the risk of getting RA. Other things that play a role include hormones, obesity, exposure to cigarette smoke, and other environmental factors. Instead, doctors look for certain signs and symptoms during a medical exam and take a thorough medical history.
These signs and symptoms include persistent joint pain, tenderness, swelling, or stiffness; morning stiffness that lasts at least 30 minutes; and symmetrical symptoms for example, both ankles or hands are affected.
Sometimes, though, the blood test results are negative but the signs and symptoms are positive, so a diagnosis of seronegative RA is made. The primary goals of treatment are to stop the inflammation, slow the damage RA causes, and decrease the rate of progression.
This is not a disease where you can wait and see if it goes away. In addition, many people with RA can take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or corticosteroids to ease pain and stiffness, Ruderman says. Having rheumatoid arthritis can increase your risk for developing osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, or brittle bones.
Even if your RA is under control, you can end up with secondary degenerative osteoarthritis in your weight-bearing joints, such as the knees, hips, and ankles.
RA can affect your health from head to toe. Unlike in osteoarthritis, the chronically elevated inflammation that occurs with RA can cause problems that extend well beyond the affected joints, including to your eyes, mouth, skin, lungs, and heart.
Other complications include carpal tunnel syndrome and depression. Staying active can help reduce your RA pain and protect joint health.
Contrary to popular belief, exercise does not make rheumatoid arthritis worse. In fact, research has found that regular physical activity — such as walking, swimming, and cycling — helps preserve joint mobility and maintain muscle strength, Kaplan says, which can in turn relieve pain, improve mood, and help you manage your weight.Arthritis is a broad term which covers a number of different conditions.
Some of them are: Osteoarthritis affects 33% of people aged over 45, making it the most common form of rutadeltambor.com://rutadeltambor.com · Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a serious, painful, and chronic (long-lasting) disease. It is an autoimmune disease - a disease where the body's immune system attacks healthy cells.
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Osteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic and painful condition. There is no cure, but treatments and lifestyle changes can help you manage pain and improve joint rutadeltambor.com://rutadeltambor.com Arthritis affects million US adults, more than 1 of 4. It is a major cause of work disability in the United States and one of the most common chronic conditions in the rutadeltambor.com://rutadeltambor.com