What Causes Rheumatoid Arthritis?
There is no known cause for RA. However, a combination of genetic and environmental factors are thought to be responsible.
When the immune system of the body attacks the tissues of the joints, RA develops. This results in joint inflammation, which can cause discomfort, swell, and stiffness. The bone and cartilage in the joints may become harmed over time by this inflammation.
What are the Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Each person has a unique set of RA symptoms. They can range in severity from mild to severe and fluctuate over time.
RA symptoms frequently include:
- Joint discomfort, stiffness, and pain
- Appetite loss
- Losing weight
- Joint malformation
It's crucial to see a doctor if you experience any of these symptoms so they can properly diagnose and treat your illness.
How is Rheumatoid Arthritis Diagnosed?
The diagnosis of RA cannot be made by a single test. Instead, to make a diagnosis, medical professionals frequently combine a patient's medical history, physical exam, and lab tests.
Medical history: Your symptoms and medical background will be discussed with a doctor. They might also inquire about your family's history of autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.
Physical examination: Your joints will be checked by a doctor for warmth, redness, and swelling. In addition, they might look for joint deformity.
Blood tests can be used by doctors to look for antibodies or inflammation-related markers that are frequently found in RA patients.
X-rays, MRIs, and ultrasounds are imaging tests that can be used to look for joint damage or deformity.
How is Rheumatoid Arthritis Treated?
For RA, there is no cure. There are, however, treatments that can lessen symptoms and halt the spread of the illness.
Options for RA treatment include:
- Prescription drugs: Physicians may advise patients to take biologic agents, corticosteroids, disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
- Surgery: In some circumstances, joint damage may require surgery to be repaired.
- Lifestyle changes: Exercise and relaxation techniques are two simple lifestyle modifications that can help reduce symptoms and enhance quality of life.
If you have RA, it's critical to work with your doctor to develop a personalized treatment plan. Many RA sufferers can lead normal, active lives with the right care.