Health Program

 Rheumatoid Arthritis

Definition


Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a disease primarily in the joints which causes inflammation and changes in the synovial membranes. It is a chronic systemic disease. It can also affect the synovium, cartilage, blood vessels, and can cause the bone to change.


Cause


The cause of RA is unknown. Infectious agents like viruses, bacteria, and fungi, have been the suspected cause for a long time but nothing has been proven. Some believe that RA is inherited. Others even believe those certain infections or other environmental factors.


Risk Factor


  • Scientists have just reported that smoking is a risk factor.

  • Certain genes play a role in the immune system which can cause you to develop RA.

  • Researchers believe that an environmental factor play a role. Something like a certain bacteria or a virus has to set off the disease if you already have the genes for getting the disease.

  • Scientists have put the thought into some hormonal factors. Hormonal deficits or changes may trigger the arthritis.

  • Higher intake of proteins and caffeine and lower intakes of vegetables and vitamin C increase the risk.


Risk Group


In general the most common group of people whom are affected are women.


Symptoms


The symptoms come and go. When the disease is in its active state the symptoms include:


  • Fatigue

  • Lack of appetite

  • Low grade fever

  • Muscle and joint aches

  • Stiffness

  • Joints become: swollen, red, painful, and tender


Treatment


There is no cure; you can only treat the disease. The most important part of treatment is to relieve the pain, swelling and fatigue, improve the function of the joint, to bring the joint damage to a stop, and prevent disability and disease related morbidity. NSAID’s act to reduce inflammation and pain. Low doses of steroids also suppress inflammation. Prevention An easy way to prevent Rheumatoid Arthritis is to control your weight.


Strengthening your muscles is also a step in prevention. Preventing injuries will also help prevent against RA. Statistics


  • Arthritis affects more than 2 million people in the United States

  • Women are also more likely to be diagnosed then men

  • Arthritis affect 1% of the US population


Sources Medicine Net Recovery Medicine