Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
What is Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)?
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that can cause joint pain and damage throughout body. The joint damage that RA causes usually happens on both sides of body. So if a joint is affected in one of the arms or legs, the same joint in the other arm or leg will probably be affected, too. This is one way that doctors distinguish RA from other forms of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis (OA).
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. In Rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system’s antibodies attack the synovium, which is the smooth lining of a joint. When this happens, pain and inflammation result.
Inflammation causes the synovium to thicken. Eventually, if left untreated, it can invade and destroy cartilage — the connective tissue that cushions the ends of the bones.
The tendons and ligaments that hold the joint together can also weaken and stretch. The joint eventually loses its shape and configuration. The damage can be severe.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a long-term or chronic disease marked by symptoms of inflammation and pain in the joints. These symptoms and signs occur during periods known as flares. Other times are known as periods of remission — this is when symptoms dissipate completely.
RA symptoms, which can occur throughout the body, include:
- Joint pain
- Joint swelling-Tender, warm, swollen joints
- Joint stiffness- Joint stiffness that is usually worse in the mornings and after inactivity
- Loss of joint function
- Fatigue, fever and weight loss
Symptoms can vary from mild to severe. It’s important not to ignore your symptoms, even if they come and go.
Early rheumatoid arthritis tends to affect your smaller joints first — particularly the joints that attach your fingers to your hands and your toes to your feet.
As the disease progresses, symptoms often spread to the wrists, knees, ankles, elbows, hips and shoulders. In most cases, symptoms occur in the same joints on both sides of your body.
About 40 percent of the people who have rheumatoid arthritis also experience signs and symptoms that don’t involve the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis can affect many nonjoint structures, including:
- Salivary glands
- Nerve tissue
- Bone marrow
- Blood vessels
In its early stages, it may be difficult for a doctor to diagnose RA as it can resemble other conditions. However, early diagnosis and treatment are essential to slow the progression of the disease.
A doctor will look at the person’s clinical signs of inflammation and ask how long they have been there and how severe the symptoms are. They will also carry out a physical examination to check for any swelling, or functional limitations, or deformity.
They may recommend some tests.
Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR): This test assesses levels of inflammation in the body. This test is not specific for RA and is a useful test for other inflammatory conditions or infections.
C-reactive protein (CRP): A higher CRP level suggests that there is inflammation in the body. This test is not specific for RA and CRP can occur in other inflammatory conditions or infection.
Anemia: Many people with RA also have anemia. Anemia happens when there are too few red blood cells in the blood.
Rheumatoid factor: If an antibody known as rheumatoid factor is present in the blood, it can indicate that RA is present. However, not everyone with RA tests positive for this factor.
Imaging scans and X-rays
Homeopathic medicines provide symptomatic relief in Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). The medicines are selected basis the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity by using Homoeopathic holistic approach.
Following remedies are highly effective in the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA):
- Patients who may have developed Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) after prolonged stress in the form of grief.
- It is the emotional trauma that leads to the disturbance of immune system, in turn, leading to the disease like RA.
- Patients may be reserved, less expressive, emotionally governed, with the tendency to get hurt.
- Arthritis of large or medium joints such as knee joint, spine or shoulders.
- Pain on waking up in the morning or while getting up from a sitting position.
- Joint pains are better by hot application.
- Useful especially for RA of small joints affected, especially fingers and toes.
- Useful for all forms of arthritis.
- Pain in joint is worse with initial movements such as getting up from bed or chair, and better by continuous movements.