What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory illness. It is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks normal tissue components as if they were invading pathogens. This illness affects about one percent of the world's population. The inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis primarily attacks the linings of the joints. However, the membranes lining the blood vessels, heart, and lungs may also become inflamed. The hands and feet are most often affected, but any joint lined by a membrane may be involved. The inflammation can be controlled by medication. If the inflammation is not controlled the joints may become deformed.
arthritis usually manifests itself over a period of a few months. However for
some, the disease may appear over night. Rapid onset does not mean the individual
is at greater risk of disease progression.
What are the symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Some of the most common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are:
on Rheumatoid Arthritis
suffer from it two to three times more than men.
patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis have antibodies called rheumatoid
factors in their bloodstream that are part of the inflammatory process of the
disease. The presence of rheumatoid factor is used by doctors to help confirm
a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. However, rheumatoid factor may not be a definitive
test for rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid factor is also found in cases of chronic
infection and in some other types of autoimmune disease. High levels of rheumatoid
factor are often seen in severe cases of rheumatoid arthritis.
Rest, splinting of affected joints and exercise programs. Good nutrition is also very important. It is important because patients with a more advanced disease often experience anemia and weight loss. Medication to control pain and stiffness and reduce the risk of joint deformity.
you are taking the medication Vioxx, contact your doctor immediately. Vioxx has
been pulled off the market because it increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.
A small number of patients will go into remission, usually within the first two years.
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