Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a severe, chronic inflammatory connective tissue disease which is commonly manifested on the joints. In this disorder the immunological system is attacking the bone marrow, bones and sometimes even internal organs. Small hand joints, shoulders, knees and ankles are commonly affected by this condition. With proper measures taken against this condition, patients may experience long and quality lifestyle.
In this article we will discuss the topic by taking a detailed look at rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, treatment and prognosis, which will give you a better overview of the whole condition and how can one cope with it.
One of the most common and famous symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis is morning stiffness which lasts at least half an hour. Other symptoms like weakness, loss of body weight and fever may indicate rheumatoid arthritis in its beginnings. Some say that symptoms of this condition are very much alike cold and flu symptoms except for the fact that these can last for years. Swelling and pain in the joints last at least six weeks before the RA is even diagnosed. Even though RA is developed in finger joints and other smaller joints, it’s common for it to affect knees and ankles. Pain is usually symmetric but it can be more severe on one side, depending on which leg or arm is used to a more significant extent. Inflamed joints are always swollen and warm on touch. In about 20% of RA cases, the inflammation of the arteries can cause small under skin knots to appear, which are usually painless.
Rheumatoid arthritis is treated with medicines and a change of lifestyle. In order to relieve yourself from pain and slow down the progress of the condition there are many preparations to be used, but with no specific treatment program. Goal of most medicine therapies is to reduce the intensity of the inflammation process. In the beginning phase of the illness, NSAIDs are used which are non-steroid anti-inflammatory medicines. If these don’t prove to be efficient within a period of about 4-6 weeks, the therapy is fulfilled with other preparations. Traditionally, anti-rheumatics are used which have a slow effect. These tend to be more efficient than NSAIDs and can improve bodily functions in long term.
Experts divide rheumatoid arthritis into two groups – type 1 and type 2. The first type is rarer, lasting a couple of months with no permanent disabilities to be noted of. The second type is a chronic form of rheumatoid arthritis which lasts for years; sometimes it’s a long term arthritis condition. Treatment is becoming more efficient by each year, introducing new and aggressive anti-inflammatory medicines which have definitely proven to be extremely effective against this condition. Aggressive treatments used for this can also stop development of any tumors which usually come hand to hand with inflammatory conditions such as this, which is a huge benefit. Long term prognosis of rheumatoid arthritis can be very serious. People suffering from this condition today have a much higher chance of living a normal life than 25 years ago.