Pregnancy Birth And Miscarriage
You cannot donate blood if you are pregnant. After giving birth, you must wait at least six months before donating blood.
Also, after a miscarriage, you must wait at least six months before donating blood.
An early miscarriage does not prevent blood donation.
Donating blood once in early pregnancy does not constitute a risk, and blood donation does not increase the risk of miscarriage. However, women attempting to become pregnant are advised to avoid blood donation, since those hoping to become pregnant should keep up a good haemoglobin level.
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Why Do Joints Make Popping And Cracking Noises
Joints can make different noises–some are serious and some are not.
Some people learn how to “pop their knuckles.” By pushing or pulling a joint in a certain way an air bubble can suddenly appear in the joint with a “pop.” Once the bubble is there the joint cannot be popped again until the air has been reabsorbed.
Some joints crack as the ligaments and tendons that pass over them slide past bumps on the bones. Individuals who “crack their neck” make noise in this way.
Other joints lock up intermittently–often with a loud pop–because something gets caught in between the joint surfaces. A torn cartilage in the knee or a loose piece of bone or cartilage in the joint can do this. Once a joint is stuck in this way, it may need to be wiggled around to unlock it. This may also cause a pop.
Finally joints that are arthritic may crack and grind. These noises usually occur each time the joint is moved. This noise is due to the roughness of the joint surface due to loss of the smooth cartilage.
What Types Of Lifestyle Changes Can Help With Rheumatoid Arthritis
Having a lifelong illness like rheumatoid arthritis may make you feel like you dont have much control over your quality of life. While there are aspects of RA that you cant control, there are things you can do to help you feel the best that you can.
Such lifestyle changes include:
When your joints are inflamed, the risk of injury to your joints and nearby soft tissue structures is high. This is why you need to rest your inflamed joints. But its still important for you to exercise. Maintaining a good range of motion in your joints and good fitness overall are important in coping with RA.
Pain and stiffness can slow you down. Some people with rheumatoid arthritis become inactive. But inactivity can lead to a loss of joint motion and loss of muscle strength. These, in turn, decrease joint stability and increase pain and fatigue.
Regular exercise can help prevent and reverse these effects. You might want to start by seeing a physical or occupational therapist for advice about how to exercise safely. Beneficial workouts include:
- Range-of-motion exercises to preserve and restore joint motion.
- Exercises to increase strength.
- Exercises to increase endurance .
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Some People Experience Fatigue And Other Flu
Up to a third of patients have more systemic symptoms before or along with joint pain and inflammation. This can include fatigue, muscle pain, mood changes, and low-grade fever. As the digital arthritis community CreakyJoints puts it, Some patients describe the symptoms of RA as being flu-like that general yucky feeling you get when you are on the verge of getting sick.
Although these symptoms can be an early sign of RA, because they overlap with other illnesses, RA usually isnt the first thing the doctor considers, especially without joint pain.
Other symptoms many dont realize can also indicate RA include rashes, easily bruising, itchy and dry eyes, and sharp chest pain brought on my irritation of the costosternal joints, which connect the ribs to the breastbone.
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How Rheumatoid Arthritis Affects More Than Joints
Learn more about how the inflammation associated with RA can impact organs and systems beyond the joints.
Arthritis can cause painful, swollen knees or fingers that are impossible to ignore. But other parts of the body, including the skin, eyes and lungs can also be affected. Rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic disease, meaning it can affect many parts of the body.
In addition, the drugs used to treat RA can also cause health problems. Many of these problems such as bone thinning or changes in kidney function cause no immediate symptoms so your doctor may monitor you through lab tests or checkups. For other problems such as skin rashes or dry mouth its important to report any symptoms to your doctor, who can determine the cause, and adjust your treatments accordingly.
Its important to be aware of the affected areas of the body and side effects you may experience. This way, early aggressive treatment can help you avoid RA-related health issues.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Rheumatoid Arthritis
The symptoms of RA may come and go. When symptoms are worst it is called a RA flare-up and when they subside the person is said to be in remission.
The main symptoms of RA are listed and described below.
- Joints: The joints of a person with RA are stiff and swollen, painful and red due to the inflammation. Joints may also feel warm to the touch. The most frequently affected joints are those of the extremities and the wrists and hands but other joints such as knees and elbows can also be affected.
- Fever: The individual who has RA often has a low-grade fever of about 100oF.
- Appetite loss: People with this form of arthritis often eat less than normal.
- Fatigue: Feeling tired is common with people who have RA because of the unusual immune system response that is occurring. People feel too exhausted to easily do daily activities of life.
Additional symptoms may occur in some people when other organs are affected by RA.
When Should I See My Doctor
Joints get sore and swollen for many reasons. It could be due to an injury, overuse, or doing a new type of physical activity.
See your doctor if you have pain and stiffness that starts with no clear reason, lasts for more than a few days, and also causes swelling, redness and warmth. It is important to start treatment as soon as possible to prevent the condition from getting worse and causing long-term damage.
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Diagnosis Of Rheumatoid Arthritis
A person who has 3 or more swollen and sore joints and who has had the condition for about 6 weeks may have RA. Although such physical symptoms may suggest RA, a definitive diagnosis is done with further tests.
RA can be diagnosed by blood tests showing elevated levels of the following:
- Serum rheumatoid factor
Osteoarthritis Versus Rheumatoid Arthritis
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition where the cartilage in joints is damaged, disrupting the smooth gliding motion of the joint surfaces. The result is pain, swelling, and deformity that can worsen over time. The most common joints affected are knees, hips, spine, and hands. The pain of osteoarthritis increases with overuse and improves with rest.
Rheumatoid arthritis , on the other hand, is an inflammatory autoimmune disease that affects connective tissue throughout the body. The most common result is redness, swelling, and tenderness in the joints. RA symptoms and severity can vary significantly between people. Some may have mild symptoms over a short period of time and some may have more severe forms that last many years. RA may occur in cycles of remission with no symptoms and flare ups where symptoms are more severe.
Joints Affected by Osteoarthritis:
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Causes Of Reactive Arthritis
Reactive arthritis is triggered by an infectionfrequently a sexually transmitted or food-borne bacterial infectionbut it is separate from the infection and typically sets in after the infection has cleared. The bacteria that commonly trigger it are Salmonella, Yersinia, Campylobacter, Shigella, and Chlamydia, but only a minority of people infected with them develop the condition. Scientists do not fully understand why some people are predisposed to getting reactive arthritis.
Genetics seems to partly explain susceptibility to the condition, as many affected individuals have a gene called HLA-B27. However, many people who get reactive arthritis lack this genetic marker so there are other, as yet unknown, genetic and environmental contributing factors.
Other Pain Relief Treatments
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
A TENS machine sends electrical pulses to your nerve endings through pads placed on your skin. It produces a tingling sensation and is thought to relieve pain by altering pain signals sent to the brain. The research evidence on the effectiveness of TENS is mixed, but some people do find it helpful. A physiotherapist will be able to advise on the types of TENS machine available and how to use them. Or they may be able to loan you one to try before you buy.
Hyaluronic acid injections
Hyaluronic acid, or hyaluronan, is a lubricant and shock absorber thats found naturally in the fluid in your joints. Injections of hyaluronic acid have sometimes been used as a treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee. The treatment isnt currently available on the NHS because research evidence on its long-term effectiveness is mixed. The treatment is, however, available privately.
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Rheumatoid Arthritis And Foot Care
You may be familiar with rheumatoid arthritis and how it affects your bodys joints, but did you know that it can affect your feet? Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder and can affect many different parts of the body, and the feet are no exception. In fact, nearly 90% of people who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis report having issues with their feet. We want to help educate our patients on how to identify signs of rheumatoid arthritis in the feet so that they can properly know when and how to seek medical care and prevent future flare-ups.
What Foods Are Good For Rheumatoid Arthritis
It is important to maintain a healthy diet if you have rheumatoid arthritis to help reduce your risk of developing serious symptoms. This includes:
- eating lots of fruits, vegetables and wholegrain cereal food, such as brown rice or oats
- eating foods that contain fish oil
- avoiding fatty, sugary or very salty foods
- not drinking alcohol often
- maintaining a healthy body weight
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What To Look For
Symptoms of RA range from mild to severe. Sometimes RA affects one joint at a time, but more typically it presents as pain, warmth, and swelling in the joints on both sides of the body at the same time or on alternating sides.
It can also affect body parts that are not joints, including your eyes, mouth, heart, and lungs. Symptoms can last for only a short time or they can come and go.
Its important to recognize the signs of RA and see your health care provider as soon as possible to get a proper diagnosis. Your provider will use tests to help diagnose you and then refer you to a rheumatologist, who focuses on autoimmune illnessesmany of which target the musculoskeletal tissues. You and your rheumatologist can determine the treatment that is best for you.
Depression And Mood Changes
According to the Mayo Clinic, RA and depression commonly occur together. Doctors dont know whether depression and anxiety in people with RA are a result of the physical symptoms, or if depression is itself a symptom caused by the chronic, systemic inflammation of the disease. But doctors do know that if the depression isnt addressed and treated, the treatment for the arthritis can be less effective.
If you suspect your symptoms could be rheumatoid arthritis, you should get to a doctor promptly. Your primary care doctor is usually a good place to start. If they suspect RA or a related disease, they may refer you to a rheumatologist for further testing. A rheumatologist is a specialist who treats musculoskeletal and certain autoimmune or inflammatory conditions.
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Whats The Difference Between Psoriatic Arthritis And Rheumatoid Arthritis
While both conditions are autoimmune, inflammatory types of arthritis, psoriatic arthritis develops only in patients who also have psoriasis, an inflammatory condition of the skin that causes dry, scaly plaques. Psoriatic arthritis also often affects your nails, eyes, and tendons. Unlike psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis often causes elevated levels of rheumatoid factor in the blood, and symptoms usually present on both sides of the body.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Arthritis types.
What Are The First Signs Of Psoriatic Arthritis
Most people notice symptoms of psoriasis, particularly dry, scaly skin plaques, before symptoms of psoriatic arthritis. If you have already been diagnosed with psoriasis, the first signs of psoriatic arthritis typically include joint pain, warmth, and swelling, especially in the hands and feet nail changes such as pitting and separation and accompanying fatigue.
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Causes Of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Doctors donât know the exact cause. Something seems to trigger the immune system to attack your joints and, sometimes, other organs. Some experts think a virus or bacteria may change your immune system, causing it to attack your joints. Other theories suggest that in some people, smoking may lead to rheumatoid arthritis.
Certain genetic patterns may make some people more likely to get RA than others.
Why Do I Have Arthritis On One Side Of My Body
You may have arthritis on one side of your body if the muscles on that side are weaker and cannot adequately support your joints, leading to increased joint pressure and cartilage breakdown. Alternatively, arthritis may also develop on one side of your body if you repetitively use one side more than the other, especially your dominant hand, since repetitive activities put chronic stress on joints that can wear down cartilage over time.
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How Is Rheumatoid Arthritis Treated
Joint damage generally occurs within the first two years of diagnosis, so its important to see your provider if you notice symptoms. Treating rheumatoid arthritis in this window of opportunity can help prevent long-term consequences.
Treatments for rheumatoid arthritis include lifestyle changes, therapies, medicine and surgery. Your provider considers your age, health, medical history and how bad your symptoms are when deciding on a treatment.
How Rheumatoid Arthritis Threatens Bone Health
RA can increase your risk of osteoporosis, a disease in which bones become less dense and more fragile, increasing the likelihood they will break.
The reason: The inflammation of RA accelerates the normal bone resorption when bone tissue is broken down to release minerals into the blood that leads to osteoporosis. Normally, the bone tissue thats broken down gets replaced, but as we age, the rate of resorption exceeds the rate of new bone growth, reducing bone mass and setting the stage for osteoporosis. RA makes it even harder for bones to keep pace. The hip, forearm and pelvis are typical sites where breaks can occur, although breaks are more likely near the joints where the RA is active.
Steroids, which are sometimes used to control RA, can especially speed bone loss.
The best way to protect bones: Eat calcium-rich and vitamin Drich foods like eggs and fish, as well as D-fortified foods do weight-bearing exercises that your doctor approves if you smoke, quit and get a bone mineral density test so your doctor can consider whether you need medication.
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Can Arthritis Cause Numbness
Numbness is often a symptom of nerve involvement. For instance, numbness in the arm may be related to nerve irritation in the neck. In such a situation, turning or bending the head to the involved side may increase the symptoms. For example, a pinched nerve in the right side of the neck may cause numbness in the arm and hand when a person attempts to look back over the right shoulder. If nerve irritation becomes more severe, the arm and hand may become weak. A physical examination X-rays and an MRI of the neck and electrodiagnostic tests may be useful in establishing the diagnosis.
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Effects Of Arthritis On The Body
Arthritis has many effects on the body and often starts with joint pain, leading to inflammation. The most common symptoms are stiffness in joints due to overuse or injury.
Joints may also become difficult to move due to swelling from arthritis infection or complications such as spurs that form at the ends of bones where they meet other bones. As arthritis progresses, cartilage erodes, causing bone edges to rub against each other without protection, leading to further tissue damage and eventual skeletal deformity if left untreated for a long time. Specific effects of arthritis on the body include:
Arthritis in hands: This condition causes ligaments around joints like wrists and fingers to tighten up, limiting movement because certain movements often aggravate parthritis pain. Arthritis in your fingers may make it difficult to perform tasks such as typingor turning door locks.
Arthritis in knees: arthritis around your knee joint may cause stiffness and pain during activities like kneeling or running around.
Arthritis in hips: arthritis in the pelvic area may cause pain when sitting for long periods and stiffness or weakness.
Arthritis in shoulders: arthritis in your shoulder joint may cause stiffness, pain, and limited movement.
The overall effect of Arthritis on the body would bestraining and difficulty performing day-to-day movements like walking up a flight of stairs.
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