Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Friday, 13 July 2007

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) involves inflammation of the lining of many different joints in your body. In some people, RA can also affect other parts of the body, including the blood, the lungs, and the heart. Inflammation of the joint lining, called the synovium, can cause pain, stiffness, swelling, warmth, and redness. The affected joint may also lose its shape, resulting in loss of normal movement. RA can last a long time, and can be a disease of flares (active) and remissions (little to no activity). This disease is two to three times more common in women than in men, and generally affects people between the ages of 20 and 50. However, young children can develop a form of RA called juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. If you think you might have RA, you may want to learn more about its symptoms, causes, and diagnosis. If you are experiencing symptoms such as joint pain and stiffness, it is important to find out if you have RA. Several factors cause, or increase, your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Early diagnosis can limit the pain, joint damage, and disability that occur in some RA patients. What are the symptoms? RA causes inflammation of the joint lining, which can lead to pain, swelling, stiffness, and loss of function. It also can cause inflammation of your tear glands, salivary glands, the lining of your heart and lungs, and the lungs themselves. There are several symptoms associated with RA: Affected joints feel tender, warm, and swollen. Both sides of the body are affected at the same time. This is also called a "symmetrical pattern" of inflammation. For example, if one knee is affected, the other one is also. This is in contrast to osteoarthritis, where, for example, only one knee may be affected. Joint inflammation often affects the wrist and finger joints closest to the hand; other affected joints can include those of the neck, shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, ankles, and feet. Fatigue, an occasional fever, and a general sense of not feeling well (called malaise). Pain and stiffness last for more than one hour in the morning or after a long rest. The symptoms can last for an extended period of time. Symptoms may occur in other parts of the body, not just in the joints. Symptoms of RA differ from person to person. As RA progresses, about 25% of people with the disease develop small lumps of tissue under the skin, called rheumatoid nodules. These rheumatoid nodules usually are not painful. The nodules may form under the skin of the elbow, hands, the back of the scalp, over the knee, or on the feet and heels. They can be as small as a pea to as large as a walnut. Although RA is often a chronic disease, the severity and duration of the symptoms may unpredictably come and go. For people with a severe case of RA, the disease is generally active, lasts for many years, and leads to serious joint damage and disability. Periods of increased disease activity, or worsening of symptoms, are called flare-ups or flares. Periods of remission are when the symptoms of swelling, pain, difficulty in sleeping, and weakness fade or disappear. What causes RA? The exact cause of RA is not yet known. It is known that RA is an autoimmune disease. This means the natural immune system of body does not operate as it should; it attacks healthy joint tissue, initiating a process of inflammation and joint damage. Although the cause is not known, scientists do know that many factors contribute to the development of RA. Genetic, or hereditary, factors play a role. Scientists have shown certain genes that play a role in the immune system may be involved in determining whether or not you develop RA. However, some people with RA do not have these particular genes, and other people who do have the genes never develop the disease. Environmental factors may also contribute to the cause of the disease. Researchers have found that RA can be triggered by an infection, possibly a virus or bacterium, in people who have an inherited tendency for the disease. However, RA is not contagious; you cannot catch it" from anyone. How is RA diagnosed? If you have persistent discomfort and swelling in multiple joints on both sides of your body, make an appointment to see your doctor. If you are diagnosed with RA, your doctor can work with you to develop a pain management and treatment plan. To determine if your symptoms are due to RA, your doctor will most likely: Record your medical history and conduct a physical examination. Perform a blood test that measures your erythrocyte sedimentation rate (or sed rate), which will indicate the presence of an inflammatory process in your body. People with RA tend to have abnormally high sed rates. Request a blood test that looks for an antibody called rheumatoid factor. About 70% to 90% of people with RA have this antibody. However, it is also possible to have the rheumatoid factor in your blood and not have RA. Take X-rays of your joints to determine the extent of damage in your affected joints. A sequence of X-rays obtained over time can show the progression of RA.

Comments

Why so many pyramids
written by Kumar , December 26, 2007

U used 10,000 pyramids in your place. It costs a lot to have so many. Even Rs. 15 per would mean Rs. 15,00,000.

How expensive is it for a flat of 2,000 sq.ft

Response from Premal Betai: You may require to contribute anywhere between Rs.2000 to Rs.5000 for a flat of 2000 square feet.

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