Did You Know?

Woman are more likely to get arthritis than men.

Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Inflammation of joints is referred to as arthritis. There are basically two types of arthritis – osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. While osteoarthritis refers to the wearing away of joints, rheumatoid arthritis is am autoimmune disease. Generally, the immune system of the body generates proteins and white cells called antibodies so as to annihilate foreign substances like bacteria and viruses.

In autoimmune diseases, the immune system of the body mistakes the tissue of your own to be a foreign substance. It therefore attacks your tissue that leads to inflammation. Therefore, in case of RA, the lining of joints i.e synovial membrane is attacked by the immune system. This disease thereby causes inflammation of sheaths around tendons of the patient. Gradually, this leads to thinning of cartilage which covers end of bones and eventually causes bones to wear away.

There are some measures that can be taken to check if you have rheumatoid arthritis, in case you are dubious about it. The symptoms of rheumatoid can be recognized as the ones that are related to joints. Swollen, tender and warm joints are quite common with such patients. Also, this effect can be noticed in a symmetrical fashion, i.e if the patient has a swelling and pain in right knee, the left knee will also be affected in a similar way.

Wrists and finger joints are quite commonly affected in rheumatoid arthritis, but certain affects may also be noticed in neck, hand, feet, hips, elbow, shoulders and ankles. Stiffness and pain that last for around 30 minutes after waking up is another symptom that is noticed in patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. General fatigue, occasional fever and the feeling of being unwell also accompanies rheumatoid arthritis patients.

In case, these symptoms are noticed by you, it is advisable to consult a rheumatologist for early diagnosis. A physician who specializes in arthritis may also be consulted to confirm if you are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and further treatment if required. Rheumatoid arthritis can occur in any age and is thrice more common in women than men.

These are mainly caused to women at the time of or after pregnancy. Though there are no specific reasons that have been discovered by researchers or doctors that leads to rheumatoid arthritis, but a combination of certain environmental, genetic and hormonal factors are considered to be an important cause. Last but not least, it is very important for patients with RA to keep a check on their weight as an increase in weight will put more pressure on joints, worsening the condition even more.