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Rheumatoid Arthritis

What is Rheumatoid arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common type of autoimmune arthritis that causes chronic inflammation of joints and also affects other body systems like skin, eyes, lungs, heart and blood vessels. Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when your body’s immune system is not working properly as it mistakenly attacks your own body’s tissues.

 

What are the causes of Rheumatoid arthritis?

The immune system of your body is supposed to attack foreign particles in your body like bacteria and virus. But due to autoimmune disease, it attacks own body’s healthy tissue by sending inflammation. A lot of inflammation is created that causes joint pain & swelling. If this condition persists for longer time, it can damage the joints and this can’t be reversed. There are certain risk factors that are considered responsible for Rheumatoid arthritis, namely:

  • Gender: Females are more likely to develop Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Older age
  • Family history
  • Environmental factors
  • Obesity
  • Smoking

 

What are the symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis?

The various signs and symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis include:

  • Joint pain especially in feet, hands and knees
  • Tender, warm and swollen joints
  • Stiff joints usually in morning and after  inactivity
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Same joints on both sides are affected

 

How can Rheumatoid arthritis be treated?

There is no cure for Rheumatoid arthritis but with the help of various treatment options, symptoms can be relieved and one can get rid of joint pain and stiffness. Various treatment methods include:

  • Medications: NSAIDs, steroids, DMARDs
  • Physical or occupational therapy
  • Surgery: Synovectomy, Tendon repair, joint fusion, total joint replacement