Inflammation, stiffness, and deformity of the joints are some of the characteristics of rheumatoid arthritis. It is an autoimmune disease that chiefly affects the joints. The earliest documentation of arthritis was during the 123 AD and later it was also noted in the skeletal remains of the Native Americans. However, this disease of the joints was named ‘rheumatoid arthritis’ only in the year 1859 by a British doctor called Dr Alfred Baring Garrod. Although it generally affects people in their middle ages, there are cases where even young people have been affected by rheumatoid arthritis. Also, women are three times more susceptible to this disease than men. The people suffering with rheumatoid arthritis find their mobility hampered and their joints deformed as the disease progresses. Timely intervention goes a long way in boosting the health of your joints. This disease is characteristic by extreme pain. If rheumatoid arthritis is driving you crazy and the pain is slowly killing your wish to live then it is better that you know the story of Dorothy Hodgkin. This remarkable lady was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at the age of 28, but this still didn’t stop her from indulging in her love of chemistry. In the year 1964, she was awarded the Noble Prize for Chemistry for confirming the structure of vitamin B12. She was also the foremost scientist in the field of X-ray crystallography and is also indirectly responsible for the discovery of the genetic code. Check out the causes, symptoms and treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in the article given below.
Causes, Symptoms And Treatment Of Rheumatoid Arthritis?heck
- The basic cause of rheumatic arthritis is unknown. As of yet there is no prove that viruses and bacteria can cause it.
- Many scientists are of the opinion that the most important cause can be the genetic factor. Certain genes have been discovered which have the tendency to induce rheumatoid arthritis. However, even this also has contradictions as it has been found that some people with those genes do not develop the disease while some develop this even without those genes.
- Another group of scientists are of the opinion that various environmental factors can trigger this disease.
- Even a variety of hormones are said to trigger rheumatoid arthritis.
- The early symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis can also be confused with those of other diseases. They include fatigue, slight fever, weakness, swollen glands, and loss of appetite.
- These symptoms give rise to joint pains. The joints become stiff especially in the morning. The joints also become warm and tender and remain stiff for about an hour.
- The pain in the joint occurs in both the sides of the body and the area’s most commonly affected are shoulders, hips, knees, toes, jaw and the wrists.
- As the disease progresses, the joints become swollen and feel spongy. Later they can even become deformed and even lose their mobility.
- In later stages, it can result in chest pains when breathing. It is also usually accompanied with the formation of nodules under the skin if the disease is severe.
- The patient may also experience a burning sensation in the eyes and itching. There is also a numbness and burning sensation in the hands and the feet.
- Physical therapy is a good way to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Exercises prescribed by a therapist are the best way to regain the mobility of the joint and also delay its loss.
- Other treatment measures include splints and orthotic devices to support and align the joints.
- The patient can also undergo heat and cold treatments along with joint protection techniques.
- Electrical stimulation to reduce pain and improve the joint mobility can also be used.
- The patient should not do any activity at a stretch and should take frequent rests in between. They should also have a minimum of eight hours of sleep at night.
- In severe cases, surgery may also be required.