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Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): Symptoms And Treatments

rheumatoid arthritis (ra) symptoms and treatments

Introduction To Rheumatoid Arthritis Disease

Rheumatoid Arthritis, also known as RA, is a chronic inflammatory arthritis disorder that can affect more than just your joints. It is an autoimmune and inflammatory disease, meaning your body’s immune system attacks healthy cells, mistakenly causing inflammation in the affected parts.

RA majorly attacks the joints, usually multiple joints at once. Some of the most commonly affected joints by RA are the hands, knees, and wrists. Unlike osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis affects the lining of the joints, causing painful swelling and bone erosion, and joint deformity.

According to research, RA affects more than 1.3 million people in the USA, and women are 2.5 times more likely to develop this condition than men. The disorder gradually develops between 30-60, but anyone can be diagnosed with it. In children and young adults between the age group of 16-40, the condition is called young-onset RA (YORA). The people who develop such symptoms after the age of 60, the condition is called later-onset RA (LORA).

Additionally, RA can affect other tissues throughout the body and lead to problems with organs like the lungs, heart, and eyes.

Signs And Symptoms Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Each individual’s symptoms of RA are different. In some, joint symptoms may develop over several years, while in some people, the symptoms progress might happen rapidly. The disease tends to begin slowly with minor symptoms that come and go, most probably on both sides of the body.

Symptoms and signs of rheumatoid arthritis vary from person to person and can change as time passes. Flares and remissions are two ways for RA to present symptoms. Flares are when symptoms worsen, and remissions are when symptoms improve.

Some of the inflammatory arthritis symptoms include:

  • Aching and pain in multiple joints.
  • Tenderness, swelling, and stiffness in joint or joints.
  • Fever, Fatigue, and loss of appetite.
  • On both sides of the body, there is stiffness and pain in the same joints.
  • Weakness and weight loss.

It is observed that about 40% of people suffering from RA also experience symptoms that do not involve joints. Some of the areas that may be affected are the skin, eyes, lungs, heart, kidneys, bone marrow, blood vessels, salivary glands, etc.

This arthritis symptom can vary in severity and may even disappear and reappear. It can lead to deformation and shifting of joints over time. Furthermore, men suffering from RA have a two-thirds risk of developing erectile dysfunction compare to men without the disease. Oral medications such as Vidalista 20mg, Cenforce 100mg, and much more might help you deal with ED issues.

Treatments And Medications Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Although there is no cure for RA, early treatment and assistance such as medications, changes in lifestyle, supportive surgery, and treatments can reduce the risk of joint damage and restrain the condition’s impact. Moreover, there is nothing as the best treatment for rheumatoid arthritis as the situation may vary from person to person.

Treatments for RA can help reduce inflammation in joints, prevent or slow down joint deformity, relieves pain, reduce disability and help you be active again. If you have been diagnosed with RA, you will be offered DMARD medication tablets (Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs) as a part of your initial treatment.

The types of medication recommended by your healthcare provider will depend on the severity of your symptoms and how long you have had this disease. Some of the usual medications used in arthritis include:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – The use of these drugs can relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Some of the drugs under this category include ibuprofen – Advil, Motrin IB, etc., and naproxen sodium – Aleve.
  • Steroids – As corticosteroids are quickly effective at relieving symptoms, they are often prescribed to gradually taper them off over time. Medications such as prednisone are given to the patient.
  • Traditional DMARDs – These drugs block the effects of the chemicals released when the immune system attacks your joints, which could otherwise cause further damage to nearby body parts. The conventional DMARDs that may be used include methotrexate, leflunomide, hydroxychloroquine sulfate, and sulfasalazine.
  • Synthetic DMARDs – The drugs such as Baricitinib (Olumiant), Tofacitinib (Xeljanz), and Upadacitinib (Rinvoq) are used when conventional DMARDs and biological modifiers have not been effective.
  • Biologic Agents – Biologic response modifiers are usually the most effective when paired with traditional DMARD such as methotrexate.

If medicines fail to prevent or reduce joint damage, your healthcare provider might consider surgery to repair damaged joints. Some common surgeries performed when dealing with RA are Synovectomy, Tendon repair, Arthroscopy, joint fusion, and total joint replacement.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What does Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate do?

 Hydroxychloroquine Sulphate tablet uses are numerous. It is a disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD). Your healthcare provider will usually start on a full dose of Hcqs 200mg to Hcqs 400 mg and later may reduce the dosage. This medicine can decrease the pain and swelling of arthritis and may prevent joint damage or deformity.

2. What are the leading causes of rheumatoid arthritis?

 The specific causes of RA are unknown, but certain essential factors increase the risk of developing the disease. It is an autoimmune disease, and there is no theory about what starts this process. Although factors like your family history, age, gender, obesity, smoking, inherited traits, etc. may trigger the disease.

3. What are the three symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis?

 The first signs of rheumatoid arthritis may include pain in the joints, stiffness in multiple joints, tenderness, Fatigue, weakness, the same symptoms visible on both sides of the body, etc.

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