What is Rheumatoid Arthritis

What is rheumatoid arthritis? is a common question in people’s mind though the disease is extensively spread in the world. The reason behind this is the disease is still not completely known in many aspects. Through continuous research, we are able to get a small bit of knowledge about this disease and the research says that it is an autoimmune disease causing chronic inflammation mainly in joints and also in other organs.

Autoimmune diseases are diseases which occur when the body’s immune system gets confused about its own healthy tissue as foreign bodies and attacks them. Rheumatoid arthritis falls in this category and as, it can attack many other organs, it is called systemic disease and sometimes also, rheumatoid disease.

Rheumatoid arthritis has no specific pattern of progression and it can show various manifestations in different patients. The main symptoms of the disease are inflammation of joints, which include pain, swelling, redness and stiffness. The period in which these symptoms occur prevalently is called a flare. In some patients, these symptoms occur continuously while in some others, they come and go. The period when the symptoms are not at all present can last for several days, weeks, months or even years.

Detection of RA is very difficult and uncertain. Various laboratory tests have to be done to ascertain the presence of rheumatoid arthritis, which too is not that affirming. An antibody called Rheumatoid Factor, known also as RF or RhF, sometimes develops in the patient’s body. Its presence shows quite definitely the presence of the disease. But if it is absent, then too it cannot be said that the disease is not present. Thus there are two types of the disease, called seropositive RA and seronegative RA. The former shows presence of RF in the patient’s blood, while the later shows its absence. As such, RA is more common in women, but seropositive RA is more common in men and is a less severe form of the disease.

What is rheumatoid arthritis

It is utterly necessary to treat the disease in its initial state, as it can cause fatal effects in the long run. It has been proven that early treatment at least slows down its progression and sometimes even stops it. Therefore, if you have a doubt that you have caught Rheumatoid arthritis, visit the doctor immediately.

Along with the traditional medicines, lifestyle changes can bring about much improvement in the disease. You have to monitor your own flares and remissions and decide which activities worsen or soften the symptoms. Elimination of sugar, saturated fats and smoking from the daily routine considerably calms down the symptoms. So also, inclusion of omega-3 fatty acids, contained in cold water fish, like salmon and herrings, helps a lot to improve the condition. Fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, milk and other dairy products too bring about significant improvement.

To prevent the damage to the weight-bearing joints, weight-loss is also very necessary in rheumatoid arthritis. It can be done by eliminating fats and sugar from the diet and doing moderate exercise regularly. Exercise is also necessary to keep the joints active.

In addition to all this, if you go on getting more and more knowledge about this disease, it will be helpful. So keep on asking the question, “What is rheumatoid arthritis?”