arthritis (RA) is a chronic disease that inflames and deforms the joints in a
body. Additional problems such as inflammation of blood vessels (vasculitis),
the growth of lumps (rheumatoid nodules), lung disease, blood disorders, and
weakening of the bones (osteoporosis) may also develop across the body. Rheumatoid Arthritis can often be characterized as a chronic, systemic, inflammatory disorder, that attacks the peripheral joints and close muscles, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels. It may additionally have an effect on several tissues and organs. The joints inflammation of their lining (synovium), leads to pain and swelling that eventually results in deformity. It’s characterized by spontaneous remissions and unpredictable exacerbation. Rheumatoid Arthritis may be a medical condition that has multi-faceted reminder presentation, as well as several general complaints because the malady progresses. The aim of treating a rheumatoid arthritis patient is to arrest the progress of the disease and stop the onset of any abnormality. With persons in whom the deformity has already set in, the aim is to cut back pain and deformity.
The skeletal system of the human body consists of different
types of strong, fibrous tissue called connective tissue. Bone, cartilage, ligaments,
and tendons are all kinds of connective tissue which have different
compositions and attributes.
The joints are structures which hold two or more bones
together. Synovial joints allow for movement between the bones being linked,
the articulating bones. The most straightforward synovial joint involves two
bones, separated by a slight gap called the joint cavity. The ends of each
articular bone are covered by a layer of cartilage. The articular capsule has
two elements: the fibrous membrane on the outside and the synovial membrane, or
synovium, on the interior. The fibrous membrane may include tough bands of
tissue called ligaments, which are responsible for providing support to the
joints. The synovial membrane has special cells and several tiny blood vessels
called capillaries. This membrane produces a supply of synovial fluid that
fills the joint cavity, lubricates it, and assists the articular bones move
easily about the joint.
In rheumatoid arthritis, the synovial membrane becomes
severely inflamed. Usually thin and delicate, the synovium becomes thick and
stiff, with numerous in-foldings on its surface. The membrane is invaded by
white blood cells, which produce an assortment of harmful chemicals. The
cartilage across the articular surfaces of the bones might be attacked and destroyed,
and the bone, articular capsule, and ligaments may start to erode. These
processes seriously interfere with movement in the joint.
RA exists all around the world and affects people of all
races. In the USA alone, about two million people suffer from the disease.
Women are three times more likely than men to have RA. About 80 percent of
people with RA are diagnosed between the ages of 35 and 50. RA appears to run
in families, although certain factors in the environment can also influence the
development of the disease.
The underlying event that promotes RA in a individual is
unknown. Given the genetic factors involved in RA, some researchers have
suggested that an external event occurs and triggers the disease cycle in a
individual with a specific genetic makeup. The discovery should soon aid
research into diagnosis and treatment of this disease. Recent research has also
demonstrated that many autoimmune diseases, including RA, share a common genetic
link. In other words, patients with RA may share common genes with household
members that have other autoimmune diseases like systemic lupus, multiple
sclerosis, and others.
Many researchers are examining the possibility that exposure
to an organism (a virus or bacteria ) may be the first event in the progression
of RA. The body’s normal response is to create cells that can attack and
destroy the organism, protecting the body from the foreign invader. In an
autoimmune disease like RA, this resistant cycle spins out of control. The body
generates misdirected immune antibodies, which unintentionally identify
portions of the individual’s body as foreign. These immune cells then produce
an assortment of substances that injure and destroy parts of the body.
Reports in late 2001 suggest that particular stress hormones
published during pregnancy may affect development of RA and other autoimmune
diseases in women. The symptoms then worsen in the year following pregnancy.
Further, girls appear to be at greater risk of developing new autoimmune
disorders following pregnancy.
RA can start very slowly or it may strike without warning.
The most commonly involved joints include feet, hands, wrists, elbows, and
ankles. The joints are generally affected in a symmetrical fashion. This
implies that if the ideal wrist is involved, the left wrist is also involved.
Patients often experience painful joint stiffness when they first get up in the
morning, lasting maybe one hour. Over time, the joints become dimmed. The hands
and feet can also curve outward in an abnormal way.
Many patients also detect increased tiredness, lack of appetite, weight
reduction, and sometimes fever. Rheumatoid nodules are lumps that look under
the skin around the joints and also on the very top of their arms and thighs.
These nodules may also occur in the tissues covering the surface of the lungs
and lining the chest cavity (pleura), also at the tissue covering the brain and
spinal cord (meninges). Lung involvement can lead to shortness of breath and
can be seen more in guys. Vasculitis, an inflammation of the blood vessels, can
interfere with blood flow. This could lead to bloated pits (ulcers) in the
epidermis, gangrene, and interference with nerve function that triggers numbness
The joints become swollen, tender and the stiffness limits
their movement. With time, RA can affect multiple joints ( polyarthritis). Most
typically, little joints of the hands, feet and cervical spine are affected.
However larger joints just like the shoulder and knee also can be concerned.
inflammation may end up in tethering of tissue with loss of movement and
erosion of the joint surface, inflicting deformity and loss of operate.
Augmented stiffness early in the morning is commonly a distinguished feature of
the malady which can last for an hour or more. In many cases, RA follows a
course that allows normal activity, although some can suffer total disability
from severe articular deformity, associated extra-articular symptoms, or both.
The prognosis worsens with the development of nodules, vasculitis, and high
titers of rheumatoid factor (RF). The malady has been shown to put a big burden
on society at large. The studies show that RA tenth of the population can
suffer from some type of RA – and about half of that set has joint (or related)
diseases. Women are affected by RA thrice typically than men.
Treatments and therapies
There’s no cure available for RA. However, treatment is
available to fight the inflammation to be able to reduce destruction of the
joints and other complications of this disease. Efforts are also made to offer
relief from the symptoms and to preserve maximum flexibility and mobility of
A wide range of holistic therapies are advocated for
patients with RA to manage the painful effects. Meditation, hypnosis, guided
imagery, relaxation, and reflexology techniques are used effectively to control
pain. Acupressure and acupuncture have also been used for pain; operate on the
stress points need to be performed daily in combination with other remedies.
Bodywork can be soothing and is considered to enhance and restore chemical
balance in the body. A massage with rosemary and chamomile, or soaking in a hot
tub with these vital oils, can provide additional relief. Stiff joints may also
be loosened up with a hot sesame oil massage, followed by a hot shower to
further heat the oil and permit entry to the pores. Movement therapies such as
yoga, t’ai chi, and qigong also help to loosen up the joints.
A large number of nutritional supplements can be useful for
RA. Fish oils, the enzymes bromelain and pancreatin, as well as the
antioxidants (vitamins A, C, and E, selenium, and zinc) are the principal
supplements to take into account.
Anti-inflammatory herbs may be useful, such as turmeric
(Curcuma longa), ginger (Zingiber officinale), feverfew (Chrysanthemum
parthenium), devil’s claw (Harpagophytum procumbens), Chinese thoroughwax
(Bupleuri falcatum), and licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra).
Homeopathic practitioners recommend Rhus toxicondendron and
bryonia (Bryonia alba) for acute prescriptions, but inherent therapy, generally
used for chronic problems like RA, is more often recommended. Yoga has been
used for RA patients to encourage relaxation, alleviate stress, and enhance
flexibility. Nutritionists recommend that a vegetarian diet low in animal
products and sugar may help to reduce both inflammation and pain from RA. The
enzyme bromelain, found in pineapple juice has also been proven to have
significant anti-inflammatory consequences.
RA, considered an autoimmune disease, is often connected
with food allergies or intolerances. An elimination/challenge diet can help
decrease symptoms of RA in addition to identify the foods which need to be eliminated
to stop flare-ups and recurrences.
Hydrotherapy can help greatly reduce
inflammation and pain. Various yoga exercises performed once a day may also
help in maintaining joint flexibility. Review natural therapies with research, case studies, and success stories from experts to evaluate what may be best for you.
Risk Factors related to arthritis can be associated with many factors such as:
Age – the foremost common onset of arthritis is between the ages of 40-60, although there are cases at variable ages.
Family History – If a loved one has arthritis, you will be at augmented risk. it’s additionally thought that there is also a genetic predisposition to developing arthritis however no correlational statistics has been created.
Gender – Females have augmented the risk of developing arthritis than men
Smoking – significant smoking will increase your risk of developing arthritis
is no known way to prevent the development of RA. The most that can be hoped
for is to prevent or slow its progress.