What’s rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes inflammation, stiffness, deformities and pain in the joints. Different from osteoarthritis (OA), RA usually affects both sides of your body so if one arm or leg looks swollen or loss its joint function, more likely the other one will be affected too.
Although the symptoms of RA occur during periods of exacerbation, being able to identify them in time, might help your doctor provide you a better treatment and improved ways to cope with this disease. So it is very important to know its early signs until it’s doing damage throughout your entire body.
This article will help you learn everything you need to know about RA symptoms, treatments and remedies.
Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms
- Warm, tender, swollen joints
- Joint stiffness in the mornings or after inactivity
- Rheumatoid nodules
- Loss of joint functions and joint deformities
- Fever, fatigue, loss of appetite
These symptoms can vary from mild to severe or they can alternate with periods of remission they can also spread to knees, ankles, wrists, hips and shoulders. Overtime they can shift joints out of their place, and they can affect also other structures from nerve tissue to bone marrow, blood vessels or other organs: kidneys, lungs, eyes, heart, skin etc.
Rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis
So if you suffer from persistent swelling and discomfort in your joints, make an appointment with your doctor to talk about your medical history and to see if he suspects RA
The doctor will perform multiple lab tests to diagnose RA including
- A physical examination:
- to check your inflammation/redness
- your joint function and its range of motion
- to test your muscle strength and reflexes
- to see if your joints warm and tender
- A blood test to check
- for antibodies that are associated with RA
- for acute phase reactants that elevate during inflammation
- for the rheumatoid factor
- the erythrocyte sedimentation rate/degree of inflammation
- the C-reactive protein that triggers your liver when you have a severe infection/inflammation
- Imaging tests to check how severe the damage is:
- A complete evaluation of other organs
Rheumatoid arthritis treatment
Although there is no cure for RA, there are advanced treatment strategies that can slow down its progression, resulting in a lower remission rate, fewer symptoms and an improved life quality.
Most of treatment strategies used by rheumatologists are trying to decrease inflammation and manage pain, preventing this way further organs to be damages. They usually set a specific goal that can signal a low disease state and perform constant monitoring to assess the progress, switching medication in case this progress doesn’t occur.
Most treatments include
- Medical drugs– anti-inflammatory pills, acetaminophen and corticosteroids;
- Alternative remedies- ice packs to reduce inflammation, hot compress to reduce stiffness
- Specific exercises – low-impact exercises to improve the range of motion, exercise to strengthen muscles and to relieve pressure from your joints, yoga to regain flexibility.
- Lifestyle and dietary changes – good sleep, to reduce pain and fatigue, assistive devices such as canes, grab bars, handrails and crutches
Rheumatoid arthritis diet
You need a diet rich in anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory foods and lots of omega-3 fatty acids.
- You can take your daily dose of antioxidants from fruits and veggies: blueberries, cranberries, goji berries, and strawberries, bell pepper, kale, spinach, artichoke, dark chocolate
This collagen enhancer from ALLKME stimulates muscle growth, aids tendons’ and joints’ recovery.!
- You can take your dose of omega-3 fatty acids from
fatty fish like tuna, salmon, mackerel, herring, and mackerel
nuts and seeds: chia seeds, macadamia, almonds, flax seeds, walnuts
- Fibers are also important because they can reduce the C-reactive protein levels and decrease the inflammation response
INNER HARMONY is 100% NATURAL, and can fight inflammation efficiently, helping your body to eliminate all the metabolic toxins that are responsible for organ damage.
In conclusion, is it very important what to eat so as long as you nourish your body the right way and avoid trigger foods like carbs or saturated/trans fats, you may cope with RA symptoms better.
Types of RA include:
There are three types of RA
- Seropositive RA – when your antibodies attack your joints
- Seronegative RA – the test for RA is negative but you still have symptoms;
- Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) – affects children under 17 years old and it can affect their physical development.
Rheumatoid arthritis causes
The cause of RA is not known but there are some factors that increase its risk like a previous family history of RA, a history of vital infections like mononucleosis, periodontal disease, joint, ligament trauma or injury, obesity, being a smoker or being a woman.
Rheumatoid arthritis in the hands
The first symptoms of RA in the hands start as a burning sensation that you mostly feel at the end of the day and eventually the pain increases spreading to your fingers and large joints until you won’t be able to use your hands. So if you don’t treat it in time, besides warmth, redness, stiffness, swelling you might notice deformities, knobby growths or bone spurs that will retain proper movement and function. In time your hand might have a curved, claw-like appearance. You may also notice bunions or ulcers, lumps or cluster of lumps
Is rheumatoid arthritis hereditary?
Although is not considered hereditary, if often runs in families so if you experience persistent joint pain, stiffness or swelling talk to your doctor about your family history of RA because an early diagnose can make a lot of difference.
Rheumatoid arthritis isn’t considered a hereditary disease, yet it does appear to run in families. This may