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Rheumatoid Arthritis - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

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 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
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

Arthritis: Know The Symptoms Behind It!

Dr. Tariq Tramboo 90% (38 ratings)
Pain Management, MD - Pain Medicine & Anesthesiology
Pain Management Specialist, Srinagar
Arthritis: Know The Symptoms Behind It!
One of the most common ailments the elderly suffer from is arthritis. However, arthritis can affect people of all ages. It is a rheumatic disease as in, it affects joints and bones. It can be of many types and the term covers a number of inflammatory and non-inflammatory joint diseases. Some of the most well-known types of arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis, bone spurs, gout, and osteoarthritis. The causes of arthritis have not been defined but there are a number of factors that increase a person's chances of getting it. Foremost amongst these is increasing age and excess weight. Arthritic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and lupus are said to be hereditary and linked to certain genes. Sometimes, injuries can also cause arthritic conditions. Misuse of steroids can also result in arthritis. Here is a look at the most common symptoms of the disease :- Pain around the joints is the most well-known symptom of arthritis. Along with pain, you may also notice swollen or stiff joints. Increased body temperature around the affected joints and redness in the area is also a symptom of arthritis. These symptoms range from mild to severe, and can be constant or may come and go. Everybody suffers from occasional joint pains but if any of the above symptoms persist for a long duration, it is best to consult a doctor. The sooner you seek treatment, the easier it becomes to deal with arthritis. If left untreated for too long, arthritis can result in permanent joint damage. While there is no single cure for arthritis, it can be effectively controlled if treated in time. Since the type and severity of arthritis differ from person to person, treatment for the same must also be tailored to the needs of the individual. Drugs for arthritis can be categorized as those that treat symptoms such as pain and stiffness, and those that suppress inflammatory conditions. In some cases, surgery may be advisable. Physical therapy and regular exercise are very important when dealing with arthritis. It is equally important to eat a healthy, nutritious and well-balanced diet. If you are overweight, try and lose the excess kilos. You must also look after your joints to ensure that there is no further degradation of bone or muscle tissue. Avoid staying in one position for a long time, and try and maintain a good posture. These simple techniques can be very effective when dealing with all types of arthritis.
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Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis - Understanding What It Is!

Dr. Bharat Singh 84% (10 ratings)
MBBS, MD-Medicine, DM - Clinical Immunology
Rheumatologist, Jaipur
Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis - Understanding What It Is!
Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis also known as juvenile idiopathic arthritis is a commonly occurring arthritis in children under the age of 15. Some common problems that are faced by patients with this disease include stiffness, joint pain, and swelling. While the symptoms might persist for a few months for some patients, for others it might continue for the rest of their lives. Patients might face serious complications such as inflammation of the eye, problems related to growth etc. The treatment of this condition focuses on preventing the bones from getting damaged, pain control and improving the function of the body. What are some of the common symptoms of juvenile arthritis? Pain: A child suffering from juvenile rheumatoid arthritis might face extreme pain in the joints. They might limp after a nap or night sleep due to pain or stiff joints. Swelling: Larger joints such as the knee might swell frequently. The swelling might occur in smaller joints too. Stiffness: In addition to limping the child might appear rough and clumsy after waking from night sleep or a nap. Other conditions could include rashes, swollen lymph nodes, frequent fever, headache, etc. What are the causes of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis? Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis occurs when the immune system of the body attacks its own tissues and cells. It is still unclear as to why it happens, although, researchers believe that the environment and heredity have a role to play. Certain geneticmutations might make a childmore vulnerable and susceptible to microbes that can trigger this condition. What are the complications involved? There could be several complications that might arise due to this condition. It is, therefore, wise to keep a close watch on the child. Seeking immediate medical attention can go a long way in mitigating the risk of these complications. Problems related to the eye: Juvenile Rheumatoid arthritis can damage the eye by causing an inflammation known as uveitis. If this condition is not treated, it might result in other conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, blindness etc. Growth problems: Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis could result in growth problems. To treat this, a child would require a dose of corticosteroid. How to diagnose juvenile arthritis? It is not very easy to diagnose juvenile arthritis. Doctors often prescribe blood tests to get an idea of erythrocyte sedimentation rate, rheumatoid factor, C-reactive protein, anti-nuclear antibody, cyclic citrullinated peptide etc. A doctor might also prescribe imaging tests such as X-rays, MRI etc to detect congenital defects, fractures, tumors etc. What are the treatment options available? Some of the medications that are prescribed for this condition include NSAID such as ibuprofen and naproxen, DMARD such as Trexall and Azulfidine, TNF blockers such as Humira and Enbrel, immune suppressants such as Kineret, Rituxin and Orencia. In addition to this doctors would also prescribe corticosteroids and therapies.
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Homeopathic Remedies For Musculoskeletal Problems!

Dr. Yogesh Khandelwal 84% (16 ratings)
Homeopath, Jaipur
Homeopathic Remedies For Musculoskeletal Problems!
The human body has a sophisticated system of bones, joints, muscles, cartilages, and tendons which coordinate marvellously to allow for various bodily movements. Due to various reasons, however, these get affected leading to inability to move, stiffness, painful movement and reduced range of motion. Most of these are chronic conditions and require lifestyle changes with diet modifications, exercises, and weight management. This is where homoeopathy plays a significant role in these conditions, where the disease is controlled over a period of time with the restoration of improved quality of life. Cervical or lumbar spondylosis: The neck and spine is a very important part of the musculoskeletal system. They also house the nerve and blood supply system to and from the brain and the rest of the body. The spondylosis leads to chronic neck pain and/or back pain and can be very limiting for the patient. Conium, Kalmia, Gelsemium, Silicea, and Calcarea Phos are some commonly used compounds which control the symptoms of spondylosis effectively in spondylosis affected people. Backache: Backache is a symptom and the underlying cause could be multiple including sedentary lifestyle with prolonged sitting, stress, obesity, accidents, injury, trauma, etc. Whatever the cause, in most people, it turns out to be a chronic issue requiring repeated use of painkillers, which bring a host of side effects. Homeopathy has effective remedies which can be used safely for prolonged periods, including Arnica, Rhus Tox, Kali Carb, Bryonia, Mag Phos, etc. The doctor will ask for potential causes and associated symptoms before deciding on the right agent. Rheumatoid arthritis: An autoimmune disease that lead to generalised inflamed joints that are swollen and red, stiff in the morning, and get worse during cold weather. Causticum, Bryonia, Caulophyllum, Ledum Pal, and Colchicum are some effectively used remedies for managing symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis: This is inflammation of the joints associated with old age where degeneration of the cushioning cartilage affects joint movement leading to stiff joints and painful movements. Depending on whether the hip, knee, or finger is affected, the following compounds are used: Colcynthis, Antimonium Crudum, Bryonia Alba, Calcarea Carbonica, Sulphur, Rhus Toxicodendron, and Pulsatilla Nigricans. Gout: Excessive uric acid in the body leads to accumulation of urate crystals in the joints, leading to painful swelling of the joints. The most affected part in the body is big toe followed by ankles, knees and wrists. Colchicum, Benzoic acid, Ledum Pal, Antim Crudum, and Sabina are some of the common ingredients used in managing gout. Calcium deficiency: Calcium is extremely essential for healthy bones, and calcium deficiency can lead to weak/brittle bones and osteoporosis that are more prone to fracture. Especially in women over 40 years of age and growing children, calcium supplements are advised for good bone health. Calcarea carbonica, symphytum, calcium phosphate, and silica are useful in restoring calcium levels through homoeopathy. In all these conditions, in addition to supplements, the doctor would also provide some dietary recommendations and exercises targeted at the affected joints to improve overall health.
324 people found this helpful

Rheumatoid Arthritis - Homeopathic Remedies For It!

Dr. Subhash Chander Gadde 83% (111 ratings)
Homeopath, Hyderabad
Rheumatoid Arthritis - Homeopathic Remedies For It!
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) usually stiffens the smaller joints of a person's body. Rheumatoid arthritis is a very common phenomenon affecting millions across the world. It is characterized by severe symptoms like swelling of joints, stinging or throbbing pain, heat and burning sensation around the joints, excessive weakness and inflexibility after sitting for a long span of time. A problem such as this if left unattended can lead to inflammation of the salivary glands, tear glands and of the lining of your lungs. Homeopathy comes to your rescue without requiring you to deal with an array of side effects. Causes- RA is caused when the immune system of the body starts giving an abnormal response. Although the exact reason is still unknown, the following factors have been noted- Women are more prone to have Rheumatoid Arthritis Family history of having RA increases your chances of having RA Smoking also increases your chances of having RA Obesity can be another factor when it comes to the chances of having Rheumatoid Arthritis Homeopathic medications to deal with rheumatoid arthritis: 1. Arnica is a sought after medication in every household- The Arnica plant has been used for its medicinal purposes for so many centuries now. Arnica is known for its efficacy in treating rheumatoid arthritis. A patient of arthritis could be suffering from inflammation of joints in his or her hands and legs; Arnica can be relied on for relief in such cases. This medicine helps to reduce pain that prevents you from getting a full night's sleep. That apart, it can also counter the effect of muscle cramps and muscle stiffening. 2. Pulsatilla can be helpful for patients of arthritis- Pulsatilla can successfully control inflamed pain in several joints of your body. In Pulsatilla, the pains keep shifting. A sudden stabbing ache might be felt in your wrist but the very next moment it could be in your elbow. 3. Bryonia is effective in treating arthritis- An experienced homeopathic practitioner will advocate the use of this medicine if the patient shows signs of intolerance to warmth or hot weather. Bryonia comes to the aid of people with rheumatoid arthritis who experience alternate pangs of tearing and stitching pain. Patients say they feel slightly better when the painful side is in pressure or is being reclined on. Bryonia can fight swelling even in the serous membranes of your joints. 4. Causticum can cure muscle weakness- It often happens that a patient of arthritis complains about frail muscle support. Standing upright after sitting at a stretch can make them feel wobbly in their joints. Muscle tendons may contract giving rise to deformities. Causticum successfully deals with all of these issues. A person diagnosed with fidgety nature, especially at night and known to feel burning in his or her ankles is mostly asked to take causticum.
4852 people found this helpful

Autoimmune Diseases - Things You Must Know About It!

Dr. Bharat Singh 84% (10 ratings)
MBBS, MD-Medicine, DM - Clinical Immunology
Rheumatologist, Jaipur
Autoimmune Diseases - Things You Must Know About It!
Normally, the body s immune system recognizes any foreign body as an antigen and produces what are known as antibodies. However, in autoimmune disorders, the body produces antibodies against the body s own tissue. This is an abnormality and depending on what factor is triggering the production of antibodies, there are various types of autoimmune disorders (AID). When we look at the musculoskeletal system, there are quite a few, the top 4 being: Scleroderma Systemic lupus erythematosus Sjogren s syndrome Rheumatoid arthritis In all these conditions, the body produces antibodies against its own tissue, producing these conditions. Causes: Family history is definitely an attribute to developing autoimmune diseases Environmental pollution Lifestyle including lack of exercise, smoking, excessive alcohol use Know more about these: Scleroderma: Can be localized or generalized, the upper layers of the skin get thicker (sclerosis). This can be nodular or diffuse, and can also affect children. The skin and muscles are usually affected, but in severe cases, it can affect internal organs such as lungs and heart. Systemic lupus erythematosus: SLE, as it is often called, is very common and can be diagnosed as scleroderma in the initial stages. It can also occur with other autoimmune conditions and some of the types include cutaneous lupus, systemic lupus, drug-induced lupus, and neonatal lupus. Rheumatoid arthritis: The most common autoimmune rheumatic disease is RA, which causes inflammation of the joint spaces. There would be pain, stiffness, and swelling of the joints. This needs to be segregated as RA, as the symptoms are similar to any other form of arthritis. Treatment includes a combination of pain killers, heat and cold therapy, massage, steroid injections, and immune controlling agents. Sjogren s syndrome: The symptoms are characteristic with dry mucous membranes including those of the eyes, mouth, and vagina. There could be accompanying pain and redness, significant fatigue, fibromyalgia, and complications relating to other organs. Diagnosis: Autoimmune diseases are tricky to diagnose as other diseases with similar symptoms need to be ruled out first. In some cases, there are specific antibodies, and checking their levels can help identify the underlying condition. Management: For all the rheumatic autoimmune diseases, treatment is a multipronged approach with lifestyle changes, drugs, and alternative therapies. Lifestyle changes: A healthy diet, regular exercise, and adequate vitamin and mineral supplementation is a must. Drugs: Some drugs used are: Anti-inflammatory drugs Steroids ACE inhibitors Immunomodulatory therapy Stem cell transplants Alternative therapies such as massages with herbal oils, acupuncture, and cold therapy are widely used to control inflammation. In addition, alcohol and smoking and exposure to environmental pollution need to be controlled.
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Popular Questions & Answers

I am suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, please suggest any good doctor and do I have to go for allopathy, ayurvedic aur homeopathy treatment for this.

Dr. Dimple H Modi 88% (19 ratings)
Hello Lybrate user. RA is joint related problem which creates lots of pain and stiffness in large as well as small joints. Along with other treatment you should go for PHYSIOTHERAPY also which will help you to maintain range of joints so mobility will be maintained n stiffness will be less.

Sir/madam mujhe rhemotoid airthritish hai, kya isme weight loss or hair loss hota hai. Mera wait sudden bhot loss hua hai. Or gale me bhi kuch hamesha rahta hai.

Dr. Himani Negi 96% (16609 ratings)
Homeopath, Chennai
Homeopathy offers a much better treatment option for people suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis. That is because Homeopathy does not aim at providing short term relief for RA. On the contrary, Homeopathic medicines for RA are aimed at completely curing and eradicating the inflammation of the joints. Of course, this requires some time as the immune system has to get back into its original shape where it recognizes one’s own body as a friend and not as an enemy. In my experience, Homeopathic treatment is by far the best treatment for RA when one considers the long term effects of the treatment. It is purely a natural treatment for RA and no steroids or synthetic medicines are used. A homeopathic constitutional treatment will give you a permanent cure naturally You can easily take an online consultation for further treatment guidance and permanent cure without any side effects.
1 person found this helpful

Hi, I am from Kolkata. 5 years back my wife has been diagnose having RA and was treated by Rheumatologist in Kolkata. After having the treatment she was absolutely fine. But recently again she is experiencing the pain. But Dr. is not available no more in Kolkata. She have under gone some test. FYI Test Name Result Normal Range RA Factor 34.18 IU/ml (<15) ASO Titre 246.7 IU/ml (200) C-reactive Protein 4.74 (<5) Uric Acid 4.0 mg/dl 2.0-6.0 Presently she is 31 years of old. And next week we are going for vacation. Could you please suggest something?

MD, Fellowship in Intergrative Medicine, MBBS
Integrated Medicine Specialist, Kochi
RA is an autoimmune disease which will need long term lifestyle and dietary changes which is never addressed by Rheumatologist because they are not taught nutrition in medicine and all they know is to give pills. The tests you have done are not the correct ones You should do Anti ccp HS CRP -Highly sensitive C reactive protein and not the one you have done. I t would be advisable not to go for vacation because processed food eaten from outside will increase the pain and swelling any new pain and swelling you create is going to be there for a long time and there will be delay in recovery Stop all dairy products and animal proteins, etc take a consult for specific advice.
1 person found this helpful

My cousin is 30 years old female. Her joints are paining and rf factor is negative and ear level is 45. Is she suffering from RA.

Dr. Prem Chand 89% (2176 ratings)
MBBS, Craniosacral Balancing, Quantum Touch, Visceral manipulation
Pain Management Specialist, Panchkula
Seronegative arthritis is also there. All symptoms are to be co-related. Such problems are completely treatable when both parts of the disease are treated treated i.e. Mind & body which is available online. Mind management of 3 to 4 hrs. & body sessions are needed for complete cure of the disease. More details on our Lybrate profile/personal statement column.

Can I have suggestion on foods I can eat and foods to avoid when dealing with rheumatoid arthritis. Thanks.

Dr. Nilesh Nolkha 91% (347 ratings)
DM - Rheumatology, MD - General Medicine
Rheumatologist, Mumbai
Eat healthily, take your medicines no other advice works or required. Don't believe in specific RA diets, they don't help. Junk food is bad for the body, as it is for RA. If you feel something is causing your RA to flare, avoid it. But most times wrong perpetuated myths give you psychological belief that certain foods cause arthritis, which has no conclusive evidence whatsoever. Best wishes
2 people found this helpful

Health Quizzes

How to deal with joint pain due to arthritis?

Dr. Bharat Singh 84% (10 ratings)
MBBS, MD-Medicine, DM - Clinical Immunology
Rheumatologist, Jaipur
Using hot and cold therapy is not recommended for treating arthritis.True or False. Take this quiz to know now!
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Are ayurvedic remedies effective in treating depression?

Dr. Rajeshkumar Radadiya 89% (255 ratings)
Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurveda, Ahmedabad
Persistent irritability can be a symptom of depression. True or False? Take the quiz to find out!
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Ayurveda And Constipation

Dr. Manoj Virmani 88% (268 ratings)
Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS), MD - Alternate Medicine
Ayurveda, Karnal
Severe constipation can cause the body to absorb all the toxins present in the body, thus causing diseases like asthma, colon cancer and arthritis. True or False? Take the quiz to find out!
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Best Exercises For Knee Pain

Dr. Sidharth Verma 89% (29 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Anaesthesiology, DNB Anaesthesiology, PDCC - Pain Management
Pain Management Specialist, Mumbai
Squatting against a wall and exercising the hamstring will help reduce knee pain. True or False. Take this quiz to know now.
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Allopathy v/s. Homeopathy - Which is More Effective?

Dr. Pankaj Sen 89% (216 ratings)
Homeopath, Indore
In order to get the best results for acute problems, you should never trust medicines. True or False? Take the quiz to find it out.
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