The Arthritis Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects character joints and their joints.
It usually manifests itself symmetrically and in the form of joint pain, stiffness, or numbness. Normally, when one knee (or any other joint) is affected, the other is affected.
In general, it affects women more than men and, although it is more common in older people, it can occur at any age, even in young people.
Symptoms of arthritis
As the main symptom, it could be said that arthritis causes pain and inflammation in the joints, although people who suffer from it can also suffer other manifestations.
The most common symptoms of this disease are:
- Joint pain
- The inflammation.
- Tingling and numbness in the extremities.
- Loss of mobility in the affected joint.
- Sensation of heat in the skin of the affected area, even redness.
- Stiffness when getting up in the morning that disappears as the day progresses.
- Unexplained tiredness It is often a manifestation of the disease prior to joint problems.
How to diagnose rheumatoid arthritis
If you have the symptoms mentioned above or it is suspected that you may have rheumatoid arthritis, it is best to see your GP and discuss it. If the doctor deems it appropriate, he will refer the patient to the rheumatologist to confirm the diagnosis.
The doctor will carry out a physical exam of the joints and will inquire about the symptoms that are suffered, as well as the family history.
During the physical examination, fluid may be detected in the joints, redness, tenderness or warmth around them, difficulties in movement or deformities (in case the disease has advanced further).
In addition to the physical exam, it is common for the doctor to order blood tests and X-rays or an MRI to look at the joints. Sometimes a synovial fluid sample may also be ordered for testing.
Causes of arthritis
The exact causes of arthritis are unknown. Medicine knows that it is an autoimmune disease, that is, a disease in which the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissues; but the cause for which it is triggered is not clear.
It is suspected that it may be due to hormones or recurrent infections by viruses or bacteria.
It can also be caused by the natural wear of cartilage due to age.
Many times, after receiving a treatment that attacks the cause, the inflammatory process disappears. If you don’t, you are talking about chronic arthritis.
Treatment for arthritis
Treatments for this disease, especially when it comes to its chronic version, are more focused on improving the well-being of the patient and preventing further deterioration of the joints or the development of complications.
Changes in lifestyle
To improve the quality of life of the person, it is important to make some adjustments in daily habits.
Regular exercise can help improve joint stiffness, reduce pain, and increase the patient’s vitality. Increasing muscle mass contributes in a positive way to alleviating symptoms, in addition to strengthening the person and helping them face their day to day with more energy and better spirits.
Your doctor may recommend a series of low-impact aerobic exercises, such as walking, elliptical cross trainer, or swimming. Exercises designed to increase flexibility are also beneficial. Above all, aggressive exercises such as jumping or running should be avoided.
Depending on the degree of affectation, the doctor may suggest physiotherapy sessions, application of cold or heat, hydrotherapy, massage or the placement of splints to help improve certain positions.
On an individual level, the patient can adopt some simple measures to improve their quality of life, such as:
- Resting the necessary hours will help to prevent fatigue from being disabling. If necessary, the person can take a nap throughout the day.
- Reduce stress through practices such as yoga, meditation or tai chi, among others.
- Not staying in the same position for a long time.
- Avoid forced postures that cause more joint pain.
- Eat a balanced diet rich in foods that contain vitamin E, as it is an excellent antioxidant, and omega-3 fatty acids, such as some fish, pumpkin seeds or walnuts.
- Avoid alcohol and tobacco. Smokers have a higher incidence of this disease, although it is not known if it is directly related.
- If the person is overweight, it is advisable to lose weight so as not to load the joints more than necessary.
- Cinnamon and lemon infusions on an empty stomach help reduce inflammation.
Medicines that help against arthritis
Your doctor may prescribe corticosteroids to reduce inflammation during an outbreak of this condition, as well as other antirheumatic medications. It is important to follow the prescribed medication and not self-medicate.
Before starting a treatment, it is important to consult with the doctor who is treating the disease.
Expectations when suffering from arthritis
Sometimes, with proper treatment, the disease can be completely cured. However, most of the time it becomes a chronic ailment.
Arthritis can occur permanently, although the usual is that there are outbreaks alternating with asymptomatic periods.
The quality of life and health of patients with this disease improve substantially with adequate treatment. Although it cannot be cured, it is preferable to see a doctor immediately if you have symptoms that make you suspect this ailment; the sooner the discomfort begins to be tackled, the better the prognosis, even joint damage and the deformations derived from it can be avoided.
Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.