Rheumatoid Arthritis – Symptoms and Treatment
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a condition arising from an abnormal immune response from the body. In this unusual scenario, the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the healthy joint tissues, causing the joint lining to get inflamed. This inflammation will result in pain, swelling, tenderness and stiffness of the joint. The pain associated with RA is not constant throughout. There are sudden spikes in the pain level followed by periods of normality. RA can happen in different types of joints as well as important organs such as the lungs and the heart. Let’s look at some of the symptoms and treatments for RA.
The role of the joints in our body is to provide unparalleled flexibility and freedom of movement. In-between the cartilage of the bones, there exist a thick fluid known as the synovial fluid. This is responsible for providing non-stop lubrication to the joints in order to provide a smooth and unhindered movement. In patients suffering from RA, the antibodies are against this synovium where the synovial fluid is stored.
RA is also a chronic disease which effectively means that it is long lasting. As with all lasting diseases, the extent of seriousness is often not well known. Some people may experience frequent flare-ups while some may not. Below are some of the most common symptoms of RA:
- Experiencing pain for more than an hour following prolonged periods at rest such as upon waking up in the morning
- Joint inflammation in knee, elbow, ankle, wrist and fingers
- Feverish feelings followed by lethargicness
- Growth of small lumps of tissues under the skin
Currently, there is no cure for RA. However, there is a wide range of medication aim at helping to reduce the symptoms associated with it and slow down the progress. Due to the intrinsic nature of our body, there is no “one medication fits all” pill out there. The main role of the medication is for remission, which means to effectively control it in a way that it appears to be gone. A specialist doctor will alter the drug composition during the follow up sessions.
Rheumatoid Arthritis can range from a mild case to a severe case requirement surgery. Due to its complex nature, it is not easy to predict the expected outlook of the patient. A variety of medication will be administered in an attempt to find the best through trial and error. In order to reduce the chances of contracting RA, a healthy lifestyle seems to be an effective method.