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Overview

Rheumatoid Arthritis - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

This is a condition where one or more joints may be affected due to rheumatoid arthritis which is an inflammatory disorder and is chronic in nature. In few instances, different body systems may get affected as well such as the lungs, eyes, blood vessels, heart and skin. Rheumatoid arthritis happens when the bodily tissues get attacked by mistake by the immune system. Rheumatoid arthritis unlike osteoarthritis, affects the joint linings and causes swelling and pain which may eventually lead to erosion of bones and deformed joints. The inflammation resulting from rheumatoid arthritis may damage other body parts as well. New medicines have dramatically enhanced treatment options. If the arthritis aggravates further the arthritis can however be debilitating. The synovium (lining fluid for the joints), gets attacked in rheumatoid arthritis. This occurs as the synovium gets thickened as a result of the inflammation which with time may destroy the bone, cartilage and parts of the joint. The ligament and tendons holding the joint get stretched and weakened. With time the alignment and shape of the joint changes. Doctors are baffled about what rheumatoid arthritis is caused by. Genetics may play a role in the progression.

Diagnosis:

Diagnosis in the early stages may be difficult as the early symptoms and signs resemble quite a few other diseases. No single physical finding or blood test is there to diagnose rheumatoid arthritis. In a physical exam, the doctor checks the joints for redness, warmth and swelling. Muscle strength and reflexes may be tested as well.

The erythrocyte-sedimentation rate (ESR) or C reactive protein (CRP) is higher in people having rheumatoid arthritis. This might point towards the presence of inflammation in the body.

The doctor might suggest X-rays for tracking the progression of rheumatoid arthritis with time, in the joints. Ultrasound and MRI also helps the doctor in judging the severity of the disease. Your doctor might suggest an occupational therapist or a physiotherapist who can help teach you exercises for keeping the joints flexible. The therapist might suggest ways for performing daily tasks so as to ease the pressure on the joints.

Can't be cured, but treatment helps Require medical diagnosis Lab test required Chronic: can last for years or be lifelong
Symptoms
Pain in the back, joints, or muscles. Stiffness, swelling and tenderness, of the affected muscles. Fatigue or malaise. Lumps or redness on the skin. Bump on the finger or swelling of the finger joints. Physical deformity and pins and needles sensation on the skin.

Popular Health Tips

Foot Problems Which Require Surgery!

MS - General Surgery, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
General Surgeon, Bangalore
Foot Problems Which Require Surgery!

Following are the most common foot conditions which require surgery:

  1. Plantar fasciitis: It is one of the most common causes of heel pain which is aggravated in the morning with initial few steps. Too much pressure on feet can damage or tear the ligaments because of which the plantar fascia becomes inflamed, and the inflammation causes heel pain and stiffness.
  2. Rheumatoid arthritis: It is an autoimmune condition that affects the joints and causes swelling of the joint lining (synovium). It commonly affects the small joints of the hands and feet. Surgery is required when the condition leads to deformity or cartilage loss.
  3. Sesamoiditis: It is a condition where there is a pain on the bottom of the foot at the base of the great toe. Excision of the chronically inflamed sesamoid is required.Ankle arthritis: It is usually caused by osteoarthritis where the cartilage covering the ends of bones gradually roughens and becomes thin and the bone underneath thickens. This leads to pain, swelling, and occasional deformity of the joint. 
  4. Fracture: Healing fractures require immobilizing the foot with a boot and sometimes even surgery.
  5. Bone spurs: An excessive growth of bone is causing pain or limitation of movement. These spurs develop at the edge of the joint causing pain, tenderness, and difficulty in walking. Surgery is required to remove these excessive growths.
  6. Gangrene: It is one of the most common conditions requiring amputation where the death of the tissue occurs.
  7. Clubfoot/Talipes Equinovarus: It is a foot deformity in newborns where the foot is rotated inwards (varus) and downwards (equinus).
  8. Claw Toes/Hammer Toes: It is a condition affecting the toes in people as they age causing difficulty and pain while walking. The affected joints require replacement with artificial joint or fusion (surgical stiffening). 
  9. Morton's Neuroma: The patient presents with pain in the forefoot, in the “ball” of the foot causing irritation of one or more of the small nerves, just before they travel into the toes.
  10. Hallux Valgus/Bunion: It is one of the most common conditions, especially seen among women, where bony lumps develop on the side of the foot and at the base of the big toe causing malpositioning of the foot. For some people, it is only a cosmetic problem. Bunionectomy is a surgery performed to remove the bony prominence.
  11. Hallux Limitus/Rigidus: It is an arthritic condition of the big toe joint leading to pain and loss of motion.
  12. Diabetes mellitus: It affects circulation and blood supply causing delayed healing. Ulcerations, infections, and sometimes severe infections require amputations.
  13. Cysts and ganglions: These are painful lumps that cause pressure and rub on the shoe while walking. If a change in the footwear doesn’t solve the problem, surgical removal of the cyst or ganglion is done.

Rheumatoid Arthritis - Symptoms To Watch Out For!

Fellowship in Joint Replacement and Reconstruction, MS - Orthopedics, M.Ch - Orthopaedics
Orthopedist, Jaipur
Rheumatoid Arthritis - Symptoms To Watch Out For!

Rheumatoid arthritis affects the lining of the joints and causes pain and swelling that may lead to joint deformity and erosion if left untreated. This disorder of the auto-immunological system occurs when the body's immune system attacks the body's own tissues.

This condition is progressive in nature, and can cause the destruction of joints, leading to functional and locomotive disability.Though rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that can last for years, patients may not experience any symptoms for a long time. In some cases, the disease may affect other parts of the body like the eyes, lungs, and the heart.

Symptoms of the disease:

  • Fever, fatigue and loss of weight: Fatigue is a common symptom of rheumatoid arthritis. It may be a result of the body's reaction to insomnia, anemia, and inflammation. It may also be caused due to loss of appetite and the consequent and unintended weight loss. Sometimes rheumatoid arthritis is also accompanied by fever.
  • Problems in the joints: One of the most common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis is swelling of the joints that become tender and painful. During the early days, only the smaller joints are affected, especially the finger and toe joints. However as the disease worsens, the symptoms spread to other body parts like knees, wrists, elbows, ankles etc. Joint redness and warmth are also characteristic features of rheumatoid arthritis. It is also recognized by joint deformity and stiff joints.
  • Rheumatoid nodules: Another symptom of rheumatoid arthritis is the presence of firm bumps of tissues under the skin on the arms. These bumps are known as rheumatoid nodules and may be painful. The nodules may come and go depending on the severity of the disease at a particular time. During flares, they may appear, and they may subside during the periods of remission just as all the other symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

Know About The Main Reasons Of Bone Pain In Aging People

MS - Orthopaedics
Orthopedist, Bathinda
Know About The Main Reasons Of Bone Pain In Aging People

Bone pain in aging people is a common problem that men and women experience all over the world as they cross the age of 40. It can surface in any body part such as the neck, lower back, shoulder, or even nerve and many times, people ignore it thinking that it is a part of aging. Well, it is true that bone pain is a part of aging but it is also true that it is not something that should be ignored. It should be taken seriously and not brushed aside with self-medication or quiet suffering of the pain. Otherwise, it would turn chronic and affect the quality of life by completely hindering movement.

Timely consultation with an orthopedic surgeon is a must and if someone is in the aging group, he or she must know the reasons that lead to bone pain as they grow old.

  1. Wear and tear of joint cartilage: The bones have cartilage (tough elastic tissues) on their ends that produce a liquid called synovial fluid that keeps the joints lubricated. It supports the bones and provides them a cushion of sorts so that they can move properly and do not rub against each other. However, as one age, these cartilages become weak due to wear and tear, which slows down the production of the lubricating fluid. This leads to direct rubbing between the bones against each other and it causes pain, inflammation, and joint stiffness. This condition is called arthritis and affects the joints severely.
  2. Inactive lifestyle: A sedentary lifestyle is the most common reason for people experiencing joint and bone problems such as frozen shoulder, back pain, and the like. Inactivity and sitting in the same position for long hours causes the joints to become stiff and also prevents the body from getting adequate sun exposure, which is a must for the body to manufacture vitamin D. It also causes the body to gain weight resulting in a high BMI (body mass index). A high BMI means the individual is overweight and this additional weight puts a strain on the joints. This makes them swell, leading to pain and discomfort. Therefore, one should try to maintain an active lifestyle and refrain from sitting in the same position for long hours.
  3. Hormonal changes: A change in hormones, in men as well as women, is one prime reason for bone pain. In aging men, the gradual slump in sex hormones like testosterone causes the bones to lose density and as a result, they become fragile. The same holds true for women. When they reach the menopause stage, their bone tissues begin to lose minerals and calcium. Thus, they become brittle leading to a condition called osteoporosis.

Therefore, as soon as one crosses the age of forty or starts experiencing pain in the joints or bones, one should perceive it as a wake-up call. It is time to start caring for the bones and joints and it can be done through exercise, a nutritious diet rich in calcium, and regular bone checkup. Also, one should follow the instructions prescribed by an orthopedist, if any. This will keep the bones in good shape and one can age smoothly without facing any bone- or joint-related problems.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

4158 people found this helpful

Rheumatoid Arthritis - What To Eat & What To Avoid?

MBBS, MD-Medicine, DM - Clinical Immunology
Rheumatologist, Jaipur
Rheumatoid Arthritis - What To Eat & What To Avoid?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an auto-immune disorder which induces inflammation in the joints. What causes the condition is not exactly clear, but a lot of studies have been done to establish a connection between various factors such as, diet, exercise, etc., with this condition. These studies have come up with correlation between foods and rheumatoid arthritis. There are some foods which should be a part of your diet, and some that should definitely be avoided if you have to keep the joint inflammation under control. Read on to know the top 5 foods to eat and to avoid.

What to eat?

  1. Soy: Being rich in protein and fiber and low in fat, soy is a great food for RA. It also contains omega-3 fatty acids and vegetarians especially should ensure they get enough soy in their diet.
  2. Fish: Salmon and tuna are fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and these are proven to be natural anti-inflammatory agents. Therefore, it is highly recommended that people with RA eat fish about 3 to 4 times per week.
  3. Oils: While an oily diet is definitely to be avoided, some healthy oils should be included. These include sunflower oil, walnut oil, olive oil, and avocado oil. These are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and are beneficial in people with RA.
  4. Green tea: Known for their polyphenols and antioxidants, green tea reduces damage caused by inflammation in RA. People with RA are recommended to have at least 2 servings of green tea daily.
  5. Beans and legumes: The high content of fiber, protein, folic acid, zinc, iron, potassium, and other minerals makes beans a must-have for RA patients. The red and kidney variety of beans are the preferred ones.

What to avoid?

  1. Grilled foods: Grilled chicken or red meat have high levels of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) which are known to worsen inflammation. So, while they are good for weight watchers, not so if you have RA. These also contain higher levels of saturated fat, which is again not advisable for RA.
  2. Fried foods: These contain 6-omega fatty acids, which have been proven to worsen inflammation. They are also high in saturated fats, which is a strict no-no for inflammation.
  3. MSG: Monosodium glutamate which is used generously in various Oriental dishes including soups, salad dressings, etc. should be avoided as it affects liver health and worsens inflammation.
  4. Salt: Reduce overall salt intake. Limiting the intake of pickles, salad dressings and processed foods, etc., which contain high amounts of sodium.
  5. Alcohol: This again increases inflammation and should be avoided in RA.

A healthy lifestyle improves not just the overall quality of life, but also reduces the severity of symptoms of RA.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

4228 people found this helpful

Rheumatology Patients - How They Can Manage Pain?

MBBS, MD-Medicine, DM - Clinical Immunology
Rheumatologist, Jaipur
Rheumatology Patients - How They Can Manage Pain?

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder. It affects the joints as well as the skin, lungs, heart, eyes and blood vessels. This condition is most notorious for the pain and discomfort it causes in the joints. Unlike osteoarthritis, it does not attack the cartilage but affects the lining of the joints.

This results in erosion of the bone tissue and can even cause deformities. There is no known cure for this condition and treatment is mostly focused on relieving the pain caused. Some of the ways to manage your pain are:

  1. Medication: Medication can help control the inflammation and pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis. Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs or DMARDs are usually the first course of treatment. These may be accompanied by steroids and help reduce inflammation. The best medication to relieve pain is non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs. In some cases, stronger pain relievers may be prescribed but these should be used cautiously. Excessive dependence on pain relievers can cause addiction.
  2. Change Your DietA diet rich in Omega 3 fatty acids can help control inflammation. In turn, this can help relieve discomfort and slow the progression of the disease. Cold water fish and fish oil supplements are rich sources of omega 3 fatty acids. In addition, it is important to have a well-balanced diet and to avoid excessive carbs and sugars that can lead to weight gain. It is important to note that heavier people suffer from more pain as their weight puts pressure on the joints.
  3. Exercise Regularly: Rheumatoid arthritis makes movements difficult and hence exercising may seem counterintuitive but this can help in the long run. Avoid high-intensity workouts and pick low-intensity activities like walking, cycling, swimming etc. Water aerobics is one of the best forms of exercise for rheumatoid arthritis. Yoga can also be very beneficial. Regular exercise is important but it is also important not to overdo it. Put exercising on hold during acute flare-ups and avoid doing anything that increases your pain. It is a good idea to consult a physical therapist to know what the best type of activity is for you.
  4. Hot and cold packs: Heat and cold therapy can help relieve pain immensely. A hot pack will help relax the muscles while the cold pack will numb the pain. Heat packs and cold packs can be used alternatively. Alternatively, you could soak the affected joint in hot water and cold water.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

4198 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

Is any drug of R. arthritis like Medlor responsible for high blood sugar? What shall you suggest to cope both high sugar level as well as pain of arthritis.

DM - Rheumatology, MD - General Medicine
Rheumatologist, Mumbai
Yes, I think medlor is a steroid and can cause increase blood sugar. Why not talk to your Rheumatologist. We do start steroids in RA at very low doses and gradually stop it as other drugs take over. Steroids at start are very cheap and effective way to control RA, hence we use it, But all good rheumatologist will try to stop them in long run, when other drugs take over and steroids are no longer needed. I hope this helps. You can also visit arthritis and Rheumatology (arthritisrheumindia dot com) india website for more information. Best wishes.
2 people found this helpful

Hello, My mother is 43 years old. She is suffering with rheumatoid arthritis since 6 years and she has hypo thyroid. She uses all type of medicines like Ayurved, English medicine but no cure. If you have any cure solution. Please help us sir.

MBBS, CCEBDM, Diploma in Diabetology, Diploma in Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics, Cetificate Course In Thyroid Disorders Management (CCMTD)
Endocrinologist, Dharwad
Lybrate-user ji, Thanks for the query. Both rheumatoid arthrits and hypothyroidism need continuous treatment. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, some times with treatment there may be a remission (no symptoms for a few weks to months), but invariably it continues to progress. There can be more severe symptoms as the condition progresses. As regards hypothyroidism it ia a hormone (Thyroxine) deficiency disease. As thyroxine is an essential hormone needed for multiple metabolic functions every day, it has to be supplemented every day for lifetime. Thanks.

I am 34 year men. Weight 77 kg height 174 cm. I was unable to stand I had acute pain in my whole body. My vitamin D four times low. Anti ccp is positive Ana is negative. I am use dries 60k and fbx 80 but my problem is same. So please advice me. Thank you.

MD - Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Post-Graduate Diploma In Rheumatology, Post-Graduate Diploma In Sports Injury Rehabilitation, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
Pain Management Specialist, Delhi
These problems need proper assessment by an expert, Anti ccp is positive means you have some rheumatological issue for that you are taking treatment. Can not comment now because I believe in physical assessment.

Hi sir, My mother has rheumatic arthritis and she get steroids 10 mg/day since 15 yr. Now she is a diabetes patient and infection in her leg. What should I do now?

DNB ORTHO, MNAMS (Membership of the National Academy) (General Surgery) , MS ORTHO, MBBS
Orthopedist,
Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis may include painful swelling, inflammation, and stiffness in the fingers, arms, legs, and wrists occurring in the same joints on both sides of the body, especially upon awakening. Symptoms of infectious arthritis may include fever, chills, joint inflammation, tenderness, and sharp pain that is associated with an injury or infection elsewhere in your body.
1 person found this helpful

I am 31 years. Female. Having rheumatoid arthritis for the past 1 year. undergoing ayurvedic treatment. Also taking saaz ds 1gm. Tried to stop saaz ds bt ended up with severe pain. How can I stop intake of saaz ds without any side effect to know if the ayurvedic treatment is working or not?

DM - Rheumatology, MD - General Medicine
Rheumatologist, Mumbai
I am sorry, that is the problem, saaz is proven treatment in RA. Ayurveda is not proven (except claims by many, there is hardly any good research. While Saaz and other allopathy drugs have more than 1000 major papers). I don't understand why you want to stop SAAZ. It is safe in most Rheumatoid patients and has been used over 30 years in many without issues. I hope you stop your Ayurveda treatment, obviously, it is not working and I am not sure why you want to see any more proof, when you have already given it yourself. Regards.
1 person found this helpful

Table of Content

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Diagnosis:

Play video
Ayurvedic Management Of Amavata (Rheumatoid Arthritis)
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease which may cause joint pain and damage throughout one's body. Its a long-term or chronic disease marked by symptoms of inflammation and pain in the joints.There s no cure for RA, but there are treatments that can help you to manage it.
Play video
Naturopathy Treatment For Arthritis
Hello Everybody!

I'm Dr. Rukamani Nair. I m working as a medical superintendent in Bnchy Wellness Medispa and practicing naturopathy for the last 32 years.

Today I m going to discuss you on the topic Rheumatoid Arthritis and its management through naturopathy and yoga. You know Rheumatoid Arthritis is a system implementers disorder which affects various organs in systems like the skin and then the muscle and blood vessels heart lungs etc but it particularly targets the joints and in when poison inflammatory synovitis continue. When poison inflammatory synovitis continues, it leads destruction of the articulating cartilage of those joints and later on leads to even arthrolysis in such conditions the joints are unable to move and almost now the prevalence of this disease is 1%.

In urban population and this disease effects more in a women during their reproductive age and it is more prevalent almost 3-5 times than men but in older age in 50-60 years both male and female are almost equally effected and today there is no exact cause of Arthritis but in developing countries like india so we can say that this has effected almost in the sedentary lifestyle but it s also considered that genetic factors and also environmental and auto immune plus vital role in the development position and a carnosity of the disease and the metritis has various signs of symptoms like fatigue melas or pain or uneasiness body ache of whole body muscles and stiffness of the joints particularly in the early hours in the morning worse for even last hours. So along with that there will be tenderness, there will be inflammation, warmness of the joints and the difficulty and somebody walks with the limping and also there will have a lot of, I mean low grade fever type and so on.

So, when it comes into I mean high signs of symptoms are noticed, you need to go and see the doctor. How can, I mean, It can be diagnosed by consulting for better and easy and sooner recovery of this disease. So, when it comes into naturopathy and yoga, there are various moralities in naturopathy like massage therapy, mud-therapy, hydro-therapy, chromo-therapy, dieting and fasting and a nutrition etc. So, among these naturopathy treatments the most, I mean markable treatment which are already proven like massage therapy of the who body but of course massage is prohibited when a person runs into fever but again followed by it can be hot and cold contrast specs almost on all the affected joints and highly beneficial.

A mud therapy like cold mud application to the abdomen, early morning and the stomach which is also very good as it hasten the recovery. So if one follows I mean, such raising of yoga and naturopathy right from the starting of the disease along with the modern medication, it can give a very very sooner recovery and even due course of time one can reduce I mean, the dose of the medicines can lead a very healthy, quality, life.

So if you have any query and you want to consult us, please contact us on Lybrate.
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