MEDICAL SECOND OPINION

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Understanding Rheumatoid Arthritis: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

I want to inform you about Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). As a practicing rheumatologist at Medicana Health Group, I know this widespread autoimmune disorder affects millions worldwide.

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

A persistent autoimmune condition called rheumatoid arthritis (RA) damages and inflames the joints and other organs. It happens when the immune system unintentionally targets the body's healthy tissues, resulting in joint stiffness, edema, and discomfort. This may cause abnormalities and reduced movement over time. RA is more frequently found in women than in men, and it usually strikes persons between the ages of 40 and 60. But it can strike anyone, regardless of age or gender.

Although there is no established cause for RA, there are several things that can raise the risk, such as smoking, family history, and exposure to specific viruses or toxins. Several criteria, including a patient's medical history, physical exam, and imaging tests like X-rays or MRI scans, are commonly used to diagnose RA.

To reduce inflammation, manage pain, and maintain joint function, treatment for RA typically entails a combination of medication and lifestyle modifications. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), disease-modifying antirheumatoidal medications, and biologic agents are examples of medications. The management of RA symptoms and preservation of joint function can also be aided by physical therapy, exercise, and other rehabilitation techniques.

It's crucial to visit a rheumatologist for an accurate diagnosis and the best course of treatment if you think you have RA. It is feasible to control RA symptoms, avoid joint deterioration, and enhance the general quality of life with early and efficient treatment.

Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis

As a rheumatologist with Medicana Health Group, I'd like to describe the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). RA is a long-term autoimmune condition that affects the joints and results in discomfort, swelling, stiffness, and function loss. RA symptoms can affect many joints and might emerge suddenly or gradually.

Some typical RA signs and symptoms include:
• Joint discomfort, swelling, and tenderness: RA frequently affects the hands, feet, wrists, and knees. These joints could feel tender to the touch, uncomfortable, and swollen.

• Stiffness: People with RA frequently have joint stiffness, particularly after periods of inactivity, as when they first get out of bed in the morning.

• Fatigue: From mild to severe, fatigue is a frequent symptom of RA. Even after a restful night's sleep, people with RA may still feel weak, worn out, or tired.

• Fever: Low-grade fevers are a common symptom of an active illness flare and can occur in RA patients.

• Function loss: People with RA may experience function loss in the affected joints. As a result, daily chores like typing, dressing, or opening jars may become challenging.

• Rheumatoid nodules: In RA patients, elbows and other bony areas may develop tiny, firm lumps under the skin. These are rheumatoid nodules, and they can indicate RA.

Some of the following symptoms are associated with rheumatoid arthritis. I strongly advise you to visit a doctor if you encounter any of these signs. Early diagnosis and therapy can enhance your quality of life and slow the progression of RA.

Diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis

A thorough evaluation involving numerous processes is needed to determine whether someone has Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). Typically, the RA diagnosis procedure entails:

• Medical history and physical exam: Your physician will inquire about your symptoms and perform a physical examination of the afflicted joints to check for any signs of swelling, soreness, or redness.

• Blood testing: Your doctor may order blood tests to check the levels of particular antibodies or RA-related indicators, such as the rheumatoid factor (RF) test, anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP) test, or erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) test.

• Imaging examinations: X-rays or other imaging examinations may be used to examine the joints and nearby tissues to determine the degree of joint damage and rule out other illnesses with comparable symptoms.

• Joint fluid analysis: Your doctor may also perform a joint fluid analysis to assess whether there is inflammation or an infection in the joint. This procedure involves taking a tiny sample of fluid from the affected joint and analyzing it.

The combination of these tests enables your doctor to establish the severity of the ailment and confirm the RA diagnosis. If your doctor suspects you have RA, you may be referred to a rheumatologist- a specialist in diagnosing and treating rheumatic disorders- for further assessment and management.

Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis

A persistent autoimmune condition called rheumatoid arthritis can lead to joint pain and inflammation. The main objectives of treatment are reduced inflammation, pain relief, improved joint function, and slowed or prevented joint deterioration.

Rheumatoid arthritis is most frequently treated with:

• Medication: To treat RA, physicians frequently give non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), and biologic response modifiers (biologics).

• Physical treatment: Physical therapy can help keep joints mobile and functional or improve them.

• Occupational therapy: Occupational therapy can assist you in figuring out how to carry out daily tasks with minimal joint stress and pain.

• Physical activity: Regular physical activity can increase joint mobility, flexibility, and overall physical function.

• Joint injections: Corticosteroids or lubricating agents can be injected into painful joints to reduce swelling and pain temporarily.

• Surgery: In extreme circumstances, joint replacement or repair surgery may be advised.

Every case of rheumatoid arthritis is distinct, and the best course of therapy depends on the patient's particular needs and health situation. Together with you, your doctor will create a thorough treatment strategy that is appropriate for you.

Why Choose Medicana for Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment

At Medicana Health Group, we are committed to giving our patients the best treatment and assistance possible. Our skilled rheumatologists and other professionals collaborate to offer a specialized and all-inclusive approach to treating RA. Our cutting-edge technology and state-of-the-art facilities guarantee that our patients receive the most advanced and efficient care possible.

If you have RA, I strongly advise making an appointment with one of our specialists as soon as possible. We are here to assist you in controlling your condition and raising your standard of living. Our phone number is +90 850 460 1010, and our email address is [email protected].

Created at 11.10.2023 06:19
Updated at 05.04.2024 06:39
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