Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that results in chronic inflammation of the joints. The condition also causes inflammation of surrounding tissues of the joints or other organs of the body. It is considered as debilitating disease that affects approximately 1% of world's population. As per one of the studies revealed by current census data of the U.S. "It is believed that approximately 1.3 million people suffer from the disease in United States". Moreover, women affect by the condition most, more likely three times as compared to men. Normally, rheumatoid arthritis progresses in three stages. In the first stage, swelling takes place of synovial lining, after that at a fast pace division of growth of cells takes place. And in the third stage, enzymes are released by inflamed cells. Apart from joints of the body, wrists, knee, fingers, ankles etc are other common body parts that are affected by the condition.
Main causes and Symptoms
The main cause of the condition is unknown. Being considered as autoimmune disease, body's immune system does not able to differentiate between healthy tissue and foreign substances and attacks on the body. Some other factors like genes, virus or bacterial infection also contribute towards rheumatoid arthritis.
Person experiences symptoms like:
- Loss of appetite
- Morning stiffness
- Redness and swelling around joints
- Loss of movement, misalignment of joints, etc
The condition requires lifelong treatment, therefore it is necessary to seek medical assistance as soon as person experience its symptoms.
Treatments-Ways to reduce its effects
Although, no cure exists for rheumatoid arthritis, by following several methods one can reduce its symptoms and improve quality of life. Some of the most common treatments of the condition are assorted below:
- Adequate rest on getting physically exhausted– Taking adequate rest after getting physically exhausted aids in treating the condition significantly. It is advised to the patients of rheumatoid arthritis to take frequent breaks while performing exercises, so that they won't get too tired.
- Eat balanced diet- One of the simplest yet effective treatment is consuming anti-inflammatory diet. Consuming foods like small cold water fish, foods containing omega 3 fatty acids, fruits, leafy vegetables, etc aids in treating the condition to a great level.
- Protecting Joints- Joints can be prevented by adopting joint protection techniques such as recommended by specialist. Joint protection techniques like cold and heat treatments, providing support and aligning joints by making use of splints or orthotic devices are recommended by most of the specialist. Reducing pain and improving joint mobility by applying electrical stimulation also assist in treating joints adequately.
- Exercise- Depending upon the condition of patient, individualized exercise programs and other range-of-motion exercises are recommended by physical therapist. Practicing right kind of exercises at regular basis aids in delaying the loss of functioning of joint pains.
- Prescribed medications and drugs- DMARDs (disease modifying antirheumatic drugs) drugs like methotrexate, etc are commonly used for treating the condition. Anti-inflammatory and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen etc are also recommended for treating rheumatoid arthritis. Other medications like corticosteroids and Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors are also prescribed by professionals. However, it is advised that do not administer any medication without consulting with the professionals.
Aforementioned are some of the methods by which condition can be treated and people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis can lead a normal and healthy life.
Summary: Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition that leads to chronic joint inflammation. Swelling, redness of the skin, swollen glands, etc are considered as common symptoms of the condition. The disease can be treated effectively by adopting a number of measures like taking medications, rich diet, adequate rest, etc.