What Causes Rheumatoid Arthritis
Although it is generally considered to be rare, it is estimated that 1 in every 100 people in the U.S. has RA. The actual number of Americans with RA is not well-known.
The cause of RA remains unknown, but it seems to be a combination of genetics and environmental factors that trigger the disease in susceptible people.
While the causes of rheumatoid arthritis are not fully understood, it is known that the disease is related to the bodys immune system.
But like many autoimmune diseases, rheumatoid arthritis has no real cause and no real cure.
The gene most associated with developing this condition is called HLA DRB -2705. Some people with RA are positive for the HLA-B27 gene marker , which increases their risk of developing this condition.
Scientists believe there may also be an autoimmune component to RA since the immune system becomes dysregulated when fighting off infections or other diseases.
It has been observed that at least half of those who have rheumatoid arthritis will develop symptoms after theyve had an infection like strep throat or pneumonia first
Infection does not seem to always precede onset some individuals are born without any known precipitating event for their diagnosis.
Failure To Act On Early Signs Of Rheumatoid Arthritis Could Prove Fatal
People are putting themselves at risk of an early death by failing to act on the early signs of rheumatoid arthritis, a doctor warned today.
The crippling condition causes swelling and pain in the joints, but these symptoms are often dismissed as an inevitable consequence of ageing or too minor to trouble a GP with.
A study into patients diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis found that on average, they went untreated for more than six months, and that most of this delay was due to people failing to raise the issue with their GP.
Dr Karim Raza, a consultant rheumatologist at Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Hospitals, said that acting on the first signs of rhemuatoid arthritis was crucial because it can be treated successfully if caught within three months.
“The condition does not just affect the joints. People with rheumatoid arthritis typically die 10 years younger from premature heart disease,” Dr Raza said.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an immune disorder that targets the joints, but also damages other parts of the body. The condition affects 350,000 people in Britain and usually appears between the ages of 30 and 50. Three times as many women are affected as men.
“The data suggests that if you intervene within the first three months you can very rapidly slow progression of the disease and in some cases halt it,” Dr Raza said. “There is also a suggestion that if you intervene aggressively you might in a small proportion of people actually switch off the disease.”
Home Remedies For Rheumatoid Arthritis
The treatment options for rheumatoid arthritis also include some home remedies. Certain home remedies can prove to be beneficial in providing relief from the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
Green tea. The polyphenols present in green tea are well-known for the joint protecting and anti-inflammatory properties. The antioxidants present in it suppress the immune system and also gives relief from the pain and swelling associated with the disease.
Garlic. Garlic plays a good role in limiting the progression of the rheumatic disease and reducing the symptoms. It is an anti-inflammatory agent, which suppresses the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. The best result is seen when eaten raw.
Cinnamon. The anti-inflammatory properties of cinnamon help in alleviating the symptoms associated with RA. It provides relief from the aches and pain, which increase in the winter season. However, this should be carefully used by pregnant women and by people who have gastric problems.
Willow bark. It is the bark of willow trees, which with its anti-inflammatory effects assist the pain relief in patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. It has shown its positive effects in fever, muscle aches, and the stiffness of joints. Knowledge of correct dosage is needed, as the large doses can prove to be fatal.
Black pepper. Capsaicin is an ingredient present in black pepper, which gives relief to rheumatic patients. It helps relieve the pain and swelling associated with this disease.
People With Rheumatoid Arthritis Have Nearly A 50 Percent Greater Risk Of Developing Cardiovascular Disease Knowing The Different Factors That Can Affect Your Heart Disease Risk Is The First Step In Lowering It
Check out A Patients Guide to Understanding Rheumatoid Arthritis and Heart Disease for more information on this topic.
For people with rheumatoid arthritis , swollen and painful joints are often the most obvious and challenging symptoms. Even if you sometimes develop random fevers, fatigue, or other RA symptoms, you still likely think of RA as a joint condition.
But the truth is that this inflammatory disease can do far more than just damage your joints, especially if it is not well-controlled. Rheumatoid arthritis causes inflammation throughout your body, which can impact many different organs and systems.
In particular, rheumatoid arthritis-related inflammation can impact the heart and blood vessels, raising the risk of cardiovascular disease in RA patients.
Numerous studies have examined the connection between RA and cardiovascular disease, and the findings can sound alarming. According to an analysis of several earlier studies, RA patients have, on average, nearly a 50 percent higher risk of developing CVD compared to the general population. They also have a 50 percent greater chance of dying from it making heart disease one of the leading causes of death for people with RA.
Whats more, many people with rheumatoid arthritis are not aware of this link between RA and their heart.
While this information is certainly scary, the news isnt all bad.
Step one: Learn more about how and why RA impacts your cardiovascular system.
How Is Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis Treated
The goal of treatment is to reduce pain and stiffness, and help your child keep as normal a lifestyle as possible.
Treatment will depend on your childs symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.
Treatment may include medicines such as:
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines , to reduce pain and inflammation
Disease-modifying antirheumatic medicines , such as methotrexate, to ease inflammation and control JIA
Corticosteroid medicines, to reduce inflammation and severe symptoms
Medicines called biologics that interfere with the body’s inflammatory response. They are used if other treatment isnt working.
Talk with your childs healthcare provider about the risks, benefits, and possible side effects of all medicines.
Other treatments and lifestyle changes may include:
Physical therapy, to improve and maintain muscle and joint function
Occupational therapy, to improve ability to do activities of daily living
Regular eye exams to find early eye changes from inflammation
Regular exercise and weight control
Getting enough rest
Learning to use large joints instead of small joints to move or carry things
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Abundant Conflicts In Safety Studies
The FDA relies heavily on post-marketing studies to monitor drugs safety, research that is almost always funded and conducted by the companies making the medications. That was the case with Actemra.
One of the recurring criticisms of our drug safety system is that we rely upon the very companies that are so financially invested in a products success to conduct the studies that explore safety concerns, Alexander said.
All 11 authors of the Roche-funded study Siegel called definitive disclosed financial conflicts with either Roche or Genentech, including five who worked for these companies. Similarly, three of the seven authors of the insurance claims study, funded by Genentech, were company employees, and three others disclosed financial conflicts with Genentech.
The companies also pay consulting fees and offer perks to many other academic researchers, and fund leading rheumatoid arthritis registries that track patient outcomes over many years.
Dr. David Blumenthal, a Veterans Affairs rheumatologist and professor at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, said he doesnt think the evidence of harm from Actemra is yet strong enough to warrant label changes. But Blumenthal, who also served on the FDA advisory committee before Actemra was approved, said he worries about manufacturers influence over research.
For all the questions about Actemra, its market and Genentechs profit potential keep growing.
Reporting contributed by Sheila Kaplan.
Baseline Patient Clinical Characteristics And Demographics
The baseline clinical characteristics and demographics are shown in . Of the 19 patients who developed RA-LD before RA onset, 11 had UIP, four NSIP, three bronchiolitis, two bronchiectasis and one OP. Corticosteroids were used in 82 patients. The median follow-up period after the initial visit for a respiratory examination was 4.5 yrs .
Causes of death in UIP patients were acute exacerbation , chronic disease progression , lung cancer , pneumonia or other reasons . Causes of death are summarised in .
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What Is Rheumatoid Vasculitis
Rheumatoid vasculitis is inflammation of the blood vessels. It usually affects small arteries, resulting in arteriosclerosis and necrosis .
This artery damage slows the flow of oxygen to tissues and organs throughout your body, affecting them as well.
Rheumatoid vasculitis can also cause inflammation around blood vessels throughout your body and lead to aneurysms or stroke.
Complications include heart damage due to clots formed by rheumatoid vasculitis within coronary arteries that reduce oxygen flow through these arteries.
- Bowel blockage if there is severe enough stenosis
- Kidney failure from reduced renal perfusion pressure resulting from arteriosclerosis
Pulmonary embolism blocks blood flow on one side of the lungs with resultant shortness of breath.
Treatment typically includes corticosteroids for their effect in reducing joint inflammation, as well as anti-inflammatory medications.
Many patients with rheumatoid vasculitis are able to maintain a functional capacity for a long time, but it is important to be aware of the potential risks that may develop over time.
These are all other complications that go hand and hand with rheumatoid arthritis and need to be addressed as they arise.
It is important for people with rheumatoid arthritis to know that the disease can lead to some serious health complications if not properly treated.
Knowing about these potential risks will help you make good decisions in protecting your overall health.
Potential Outcomes For Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients
Potential outcomes that can develop in the course of rheumatoid arthritis include frequent flare-ups, decreased life expectancy, and numerous prognostic possibilities. While some patients may experience chronic active states of disease while others may have long periods of remission in which symptoms are not active.
Some common prognosis possibilities for rheumatoid arthritis patients will include:
- Persistentjoint inflammation
- Progressive, multiple joint destruction as the inflammation continues
- A decline in mobility and range of motion
- Pain and stiffness that fails to improve with treatment
In addition to the joints, RA also has complications that manifest in various organs around the body. Possible complications that may be experienced outside of the regular joint-related symptoms include:
- Skin conditions such as psoriasis
- Heart disease & high blood pressure
- Eye inflammation
- Increased risk of contracting infections
- Cancer especially lymphoma
- Respiratory conditions caused by nodules and scarring of the lungs
If symptoms progress rapidly through the four main stages of rheumatoid arthritis the condition can turn into progressive rheumatoid arthritis. This means symptoms continue to worsen over time with no reversal.
Ultimately, patients with rheumatoid arthritis need constant medical care, hence seeing a primary care physician, as well as a rheumatologist on a regular basis, will help to alleviate symptoms and make monitoring for signs of progression easier and timely.
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Hdl Cholesterol Doesnt Do Its Job As Well
Bad LDL is the type of cholesterol that raises your risk of heart disease and stroke by forming plaque in your arteries. Good HDL cholesterol is supposed to scoop up LDL and shuttle it to the liver so it can get flushed out of the body.
But research suggests that HDL might not be as beneficial as it is in people without RA.
At UCLA, rheumatologist Christina Charles-Schoeman, MD, and her colleagues were among the first to identify the association between RA and dysfunctional HDL that doesnt do a good job of clearing LDL from your vessels.
In particular, higher RA disease activity was associated with alteration in the protein composition of HDL and impairment of its function, she says.
Her group also found that a protein related to HDL, called PON1, was less active in RA patients, and that this shift was associated with higher levels of inflammation and cardiovascular risk in RA patients as evidenced by the plaque visible on carotid artery ultrasounds.
When To See A Healthcare Provider
Rheumatoid arthritis can be scary, and not only because of the symptoms but because of the uncertainty of what lies ahead. Don’t let this stop you from taking action if you suspect you have the disease.
The advantage of an early diagnosis is that it allows you early treatment. Simply put, the sooner you take disease-modifying medications, the better your long-term outlook is.
This is especially true if you have a family history of rheumatoid arthritis. Having a sibling or parent with rheumatoid arthritis nearly triples your risk of the disease, while having a second-degree relative doubles your risk.
Possible RA symptoms that warrant a trip to the healthcare provider include:
- Pain, swelling, or stiffness in one or more joints
- Joints that are red or warm to the touch
- Regular joint stiffness in the morning
- Difficulty moving a joint or doing daily activities
- An episode of increased joint pain and stiffness lasting for more than three days
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Spinal Cord Syndrome: Potentially Deadly But Treatable
By late 2004, Veno started having severe neck pain. A neurologist ordered a cervical spine X-ray. It found that vertebra in her neck were deteriorating. But the doctor assured the family that the condition was not life-threatening.
Jones wanted a second opinion and took her mother to see a new rheumatologist in May 2005. After examining Veno and reading the original X-ray, this doctor had grim news. The RA had damaged Venos C1 and C2 so much that her spine was compressing on itself, a condition called spinal cord syndrome.
The doctor explained that she had the same condition as the late actor Christopher Reeve, but his damage was done instantly when he was thrown from his horse. Venos condition had progressed over time and now was extremely dangerous. Small floating bone fragments in her back could act as a knife and cut off bodily functions, stopping her heart or breathing. A complicated operation was the only way to save her life, but Venos spine was so fragile it was decided that the surgery was too dangerous to try.
Joness mother died at age 74 in July 2005, after her organs shut down because of the spinal cord syndrome.
Reduced Range Of Motion
Due to the swelling of the joints in a condition like rheumatoid arthritis, along with a number of the other symptoms included on this list, patients with this condition may also find themselves experiencing a reduced range of motion than what they are used to. They may struggle to move in the same ways they once did, and some of their joints may also ‘lock-up’ on them due to excessive inflammation. Reduced range of motion offers affected individuals little control over their regular lifestyle and will keep them from engaging in hobbies they once enjoyed doing. Individuals who have a reduced range of motion in their joints should see their doctor for an accurate diagnosis and to obtain the most appropriate treatment for them.
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Complications Play A Role
RA doesnât directly shorten your life. But it does raise your odds of getting some serious health conditions that could affect your health and life expectancy:
Heart disease. RA makes you more likely to develop cardiovascular disease. Chronic inflammation stresses your heart and blood vessels over time. People with RA have twice the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and atherosclerosis.
Diabetes. RA makes you more likely to get type 1 and type 2.
Lung and stomach problems. RA also raises your risk of lung and digestive diseases that affect life expectancy.
Infections. Some drugs used to treat RA may make you more likely to get infections.
Traditional Heart Disease Risk Factors Get Magnified
Heart disease risk factors are health conditions or lifestyle issues that can raise your risk for developing cardiovascular disease. These common ones are also highly prevalent among patients with RA, according to a literature review co-authored by Dr. Navarro-Millan.
- High blood pressure
- High lipids
- Sedentary behavior
In some cases, RA patients are even more apt to have these risk factors. Smoking, for instance, is more common among RA patients than it is among those without the disease. Physical activity rates also tend to be lower in people with rheumatoid arthritis. Some RA patients may have too much pain to exercise, but other may not realize that physical activity is recommended and beneficial for their joints as well as their cardiovascular health.
If you have any of the traditional risk factors for cardiovascular disease and then you add RA on top of it, your risk can become magnified. The interaction of these risk factors with inflammation from RA causes them to super synergize, says Dr. Karpouzas.
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Factors That Determine Rheumatoid Arthritis Prognosis
As previously stated, many factors can influence disease progression and prognosis. Some of these factors include:
- Positive or negative blood tests for markers of the disease such as rheumatoid factor or anti-CCP.
- Patients age at diagnosis
- How early treatment was initiated after the appearance of symptoms
- Patients lifestyle including diet, exercise, and smoking habits
- The presence or absence of complications during the course of the disease
- Patients personalized treatment plan
- Patients response to treatment
- How active the condition has been including the frequency of flare-ups and remission periods
As a rule of thumb, patients who areseropositive, meaning theyve tested positive forrheumatoid factorand/oranti-CCP, may experience more severe and aggressive symptoms. Adult patients who are diagnosed at a younger age may also experience a more serious disease course as well. This does not include patients withjuvenile rheumatoid arthritis, who can have a differentprognosis altogether.
Meanwhile, patients with healthy lifestyles like abstaining from smoking can also manage their symptoms better. It is thought that there is a direct link between smoking and rheumatoid arthritis symptoms in patients.
Over time, rheumatoid arthritis symptoms can affect bone health and cause erosions and even deformity of the joints. They can also impact the health of other organs such as the lungs and heart which could be fatal.