Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune diseases that causes chronic inflammation of joints. It may also cause inflammation of tissues around the joints, and other organs of the body. In autoimmune diseases, tissues of the body are mistakenly attacked by its own immune system. Immune system of a body is a complex organisation of antibodies and cells, and they are designed to find and kill any invaders in the body. This is how infections are treated. Antibodies in patients suffering from autoimmune diseases target their own body tissues. Rheumatoid arthritis is also known as systematic illness, as it affects many other organs.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic illness, and it can last for years. Sometimes, there are no symptoms for many years, however it is a progressive illness and can cause functional disability and joint destruction.
Causes Of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Even though bacteria, fungi and viruses have been suspected to cause it, real causes of rheumatoid arthritis are still unknown. There is a lot of research going on regarding this subject worldwide, and some scientists believe that it may be genetically inherited. It is also believed that certain factors in the environment or infections may trigger immune system to attack body’s own organs and tissues.
Signs And Symptoms Of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis don’t stay forever, and they come and go as per the degree of tissue inflammation. Disease is active when tissues of the body are inflamed. When the inflammation subsides, disease is in remission. When the disease is active, symptoms include lack of appetite, inactivity, muscle and joint aches, low-grade fever and stiffness. Joint and muscle stiffness is more acute during morning and after a period of inactivity.
Treatment For Rheumatoid Arthritis
Till date, the treatment for rheumatoid arthritis includes reducing the pain and inflammation, preventing joint deformity and destruction, and maximizing joint function. The treatment includes rest, medications, joint protection, patient education and strengthening exercises. The treatment is customized based on age, general health, types of joints involved, disease activity, and patient’s profession. Close co-operation from patient and family members usually helps in making treatment more effective and fast.
There are also few things that can be done along with medications that can help deal with signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Gentle exercise everyday strengthens the muscles around joints, and it also helps fight fatigue. Taking healthy diet that includes lots of whole grains, vegetables and fruits help control and maintain th weight. Find ways to take the stress off the painful joint and ake use of assistive devices that take stress off them. Try to apply heat, as it can ease pain, and relax painful, tense muscles. Applying cold dulls the sensation of pain. Find ways to relax, and reduce stress in your daily life to help deal effectively with rheumatoid arthritis.