Prevalence Of Arthritis In Cats
Due to the challenges of diagnosing arthritis in cats, it can be difficult to tell how many cats are affected. However, recent studies looking at radiographs of older cats produced startling results. In one study published in 2002, 90% of cats over 12 years of age had evidence of degenerative joint disease. This included cats with so-called spondylosis of the spine . However, even when these cases were excluded, around of the cats still had radiographic signs of arthritis affecting the limb joints. More recent studies have shown radiographic evidence of arthritis in the limb joints affecting between 60% and more than 90% of cats. All these studies show that arthritis is actually very common in cats, that it is much more common in older cats, and that the shoulders, hips, elbows, knees and ankles are the most commonly affected joints.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Age Of Onset
Rheumatoid arthritis is a progressive, autoimmune disease that affects several joints in the body. The disease is caused by the immune system attacking itself, targeting tissue primarily around joints.
RA is the most common form of arthritis, with the first symptoms most commonly being joint stiffness and swelling of the hands, feet, knees, or wrists. Women are three times more likely to develop RA, and across all demographics, it can start as early as 30 years old.
Common Complications Of Rheumatoid Arthritis Include:
- Small lumps of tissuecan develop under the skin around the joints.
- Heart problemsdue to inflamed blood vessels and decreased circulation.
- Nerve damage occurs when the nerve cells dont get enough blood flow.
- Higher risk of stroke
- Increased chance ofheart disease
- Lung scarringand other lung damage
- Chest pains
- Feeling tired all the time
- Enlarged spleen
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Vision problems
All things considered, roughly 15 percent of RA patients develop issues like heart disease, kidney problems, and eye conditions.
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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.
Early Detection And Diagnosis
As with most diseases, early detection and diagnosis are crucial for being able to treat symptoms, manage pain, and slow progression. An early diagnosis of RA can help you and your team of physicians and specialists put together an individualized treatment plan so that you can continue living a high quality of life.
Early on, you will want to discuss your case with a rheumatologist or RA specialist who can provide you with the treatment you need to delay the diseases progression. Generally, early diagnosis treatment is aggressive and targeted to properly manage the disease and prevent it from progressing.
If your RA was diagnosed in the early stage when symptoms first appeared, your chances of achieving longer periods of remission typically increase drastically. Thats not to say you wont experience flare-ups. Early diagnosis simply helps manage the disease and cannot guarantee the complete elimination of symptoms.
Common Signs Of Rheumatoid Arthritis:
- Joint painis the main sign of rheumatoid arthritis. Ultimately, the knees, hands, ankles, wrists, and feet are the most affected.
- Joint swellingthat lasts for six weeks or more.
- Joint inflammation, tenderness, heat, and redness.
- Muscle aches
- Morning stiffnessthat lasts for at least 30 minutes
- Trouble walking, climbing stairs, bending over, and moving normally.
- Loss of appetite
Not surprisingly, symptoms are worse when inflammation levels are high. As a result, the only way to manage rheumatoid arthritis is to reduce inflammation.
In the long run, most RA patients have flare-ups where symptoms suddenly get worse. After a while, inflammation can be controlled, but its only a matter of time before it returns.
A Message From Ailsa Bosworth
If youve just been diagnosed with RA or you think you may have it, you may be feeling all sorts of things: emotional, anxious or afraid of what the future holds. Thats perfectly understandable. I felt all those things and more when I was diagnosed over 30 years ago.
But things are so different now. There are now very effective treatments which are a lot better than used to be the case, so you can expect to lead a more normal life than was ever possible years ago. There is a lot of research happening around the world, with new drugs in the pipeline. The way in which treatment is delivered is also more targeted and effective.So it is all the more important to get an early diagnosis and start treatment as soon as possible.
And were here to support you. You can speak to someone who really understands. We can help you learn more about RA so you can make the right decisions about your treatment.
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The Role Of The Canine Joint
The canine joints play a critical role in normal movement.
Joints are the junction that connects two different bones in a dogs limb, allowing their limbs to move freely with each step.
Not only do joints help their limbs move with ease, but they also play a major role in the preservation of bones.
In a healthy dog joint, the joint is surrounded by fibrous tissue. The joints are also covered in cartilage that wraps around the end of the bone, offering added protection to this critical junction.
These structures not only support the joints with each movement, but they allow for proper shock absorption.
When a dog develops canine arthritis, they begin to feel the impact of a failing system.
The Differential Effects Of Smoking
The relationship between smoking and HLA-DRB1 SE alleles is a well-described geneenvironment interaction with regard to the development of ACPA-positive RA,. The current dogma is that individuals carrying HLA-DRB1 SE alleles are dose-dependently predisposed to developing a rheumatoid self-reactivity to citrullinated peptides, which are more prominent in lungs of smokers than in those of non-smokers. Another major genetic risk factor that is associated with ACPA-positive RA is the PTPN22 polymorphism encoding the R620W substitution. Data from the EIRA, North American RA Consortium and Leiden Early Arthritis Clinic studies have highlighted complex genegene and geneenvironment interactions. Notably, these interactions are associated with seropositive, but not seronegative, RA.
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Can You Treat Arthritis In Dogs
Unfortunately, there is no set cure for arthritis in dogs.
The damage to a dogs joint is often irreversible, so its a matter of managing the condition rather than treating it.
Once your pup is diagnosed with this degenerative joint condition, the plan of action will involve preventing any further joint damage going forward.
Managing arthritis is not a one size fits all approach, so your veterinarian will often rely on a combination of the following treatment options below.
Ways In Which Rheumatoid Arthritis Can Affect Feet
- Hammertoes Changes in the tissues around the toe joints cause an abnormal bending of the toes called hammertoe.
- BunionsChanges in the tissues around joints of the big toe cause it to bend toward the little toe and develop a bony nodule.
- Pes Planus This loosening of the arch joint in the middle of the foot may result in a painful flat foot.
- Hindfoot Valgus The loosening of the joint below the ankle causes the foot to bend outward.
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Why Age Of Ra Onset Matters
The age of onset of rheumatoid arthritis matters for several reasons. Depending on the age of onset, the severity, progression, and treatment options for RA may look different.
Studies have shown late-onset rheumatoid arthritis , also referred to as elderly-onset RA, is associated with greater disease activity, reduced function at baseline, and more radiological damage. On the other hand, young-onset RA results in a long road with the disease and presents in a different way physically and in blood testing.
Overall, it’s important to get diagnosed and treated early if possible, given the progressive, systemic nature of RA.
Causes Of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. This means your immune system attacks the cells that line your joints by mistake, making the joints swollen, stiff and painful.
Over time, this can damage the joints, cartilage and nearby bone.
It’s not clear what triggers this problem with the immune system, although you’re at an increased risk if:
- you are a woman
- you have a family history of rheumatoid arthritis
- you smoke
Find out more about the causes of rheumatoid arthritis.
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What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, is an autoimmune and inflammatory disease, which means that your immune system attacks healthy cells in your body by mistake, causing inflammation in the affected parts of the body.
RA mainly attacks the joints, usually many joints at once. RA commonly affects joints in the hands, wrists, and knees. In a joint with RA, the lining of the joint becomes inflamed, causing damage to joint tissue. This tissue damage can cause long-lasting or chronic pain, unsteadiness , and deformity .
RA can also affect other tissues throughout the body and cause problems in organs such as the lungs, heart, and eyes.
How To Know If Your Ra Is Progressing
You will know your joints will tell you, Dr. Bhatt says. The pain will get worse and you could have more swelling. Dr. Lally says that although periods of pain may resolve on their own in early RA, these episodes tend to become more frequent and longer in duration until the classic features of RA persist. In addition, Dr. Bhatt says to pay attention to non-joint symptoms like increased shortness of breath or red, painful eyes, which could be signs the RA is affecting other systems in the body. Let your doctor know if your RA symptoms are changing at all.
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Understanding Remission And Minimal Disease Activity
Psoriatic arthritis disease progression is not inevitable. When your PsA is treated with medications that reduce immune system overactivity, you can reduce your disease activity to a point that its no longer causing significant symptoms or increasing the risk of long-term health issues.
In general, going into remission means that you are no longer showing signs of active disease. Decades ago, remission wasnt conceivable for most people with psoriatic arthritis, but thanks to a proliferation in medication treatment options, getting to remission is a possibility for PsA patients today.
However, going into remission does not mean that you will stay there indefinitely. It is common for PsA symptoms to wax and wane. Even if youve been in remission for a long time and your pain starts coming back and you start flaring more, you may need to change your medication for better control, says Dr. Haberman.
You may also hear the phrase minimal disease activity in conjunction with psoriatic arthritis and remission.
Doctors dont have a clear definition of what it means to be in remission in PsA, but they have defined something called minimal disease activity as a treatment target. This is what your doctor may use to determine whether your PsA disease activity is low enough that you have few symptoms and a low risk of long-term damage.
People are considered to be in minimal disease activity when their scores on five out of these seven criteria are low enough.
The Universal Guide To Rheumatoid Arthritis: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know Straight From The Experts
Picture your body as a night club. Your immune system is like the security team, those big, burly bouncers stationed around and outside the club. One of its main duties is to keep out undesirables and eject the troublemakers.
But what happens healthy tissue is minding its own business and bouncers come over and tries to roust it? Inflammation, pain, and possibly even disability. In the case of RA, its your joint lining thats mistakenly hassled, harried, and hurt by the immune system.
Rheumatoid arthritis can affect any of the body’s joints. Approximately 1.5 million people in the United States have RA. Photo Source: 123RF.com.
You wont always get RA in your spinein fact, RA is more common in other joints, such as your knuckles or your knees. But if your back hurts, and you also have some other body-wide symptoms such as fever and other signs of systemic inflammation, you may have RA of the spine. Heres what you need to know about RA: what causes it and why, how to tell if you have it, and what you can do about it.
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What Is The Safest Drug For Rheumatoid Arthritis
The safest drug for rheumatoid arthritis is one that gives you the most benefit with the least amount of negative side effects. This varies depending on your health history and the severity of your RA symptoms. Your healthcare provider will work with you to develop a treatment program. The drugs your healthcare provider prescribes will match the seriousness of your condition.
Its important to meet with your healthcare provider regularly. Theyll watch for any side effects and change your treatment, if necessary. Your healthcare provider may order tests to determine how effective your treatment is and if you have any side effects.
What Is The Difference
Rheumatoid arthritis vs. osteoarthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are both common causes of pain and stiffness in joints. But they have different causes. In osteoarthritis, inflammation and injury break down your cartilage over time. In rheumatoid arthritis, your immune system attacks the lining of your joints.
Rheumatoid arthritis vs. gout
Rheumatoid arthritis and gout are both painful types of arthritis. Gout symptoms include intense pain, redness, stiffness, swelling and warmth in your big toe or other joints. In gout, uric acid crystals cause inflammation. In rheumatoid arthritis, its your immune system that causes joint damage.
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How A Traumatic Injury Can Cause Or Aggravate Ra
Frankly, doctors arent certain what causes some people to develop rheumatoid arthritis. Research into this area continues every day but in the meantime, scientists have posited a few factors that could possibly contribute. These factors include obesity, having a history of bacterial and viral infections, exposure to toxins and pollutants, and, according to the Arthritis Foundation, the bodys response to stressful events such as physical or emotional trauma. Physical trauma means an external blow, such as being struck by an object or falling against a hard surface. Thus, getting seriously injured could potentially cause you to develop RA.
Though the search for definitive answers continues, researchers have performed several studies probing the link between physical trauma and RA. At least one, published in the medical journal Rheumatology, found a strong correlation.
Over one fifth of the RA patients who participated in the Rheumatology study reported sustaining an injury within the past six months. By comparison, only 6.5% of the non-RA controls reported the same. The studys authors arrived at a clear conclusion: Physical trauma in the preceding six months is significantly associated with the onset of RA.
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What Are The Complications Of Ra
Rheumatoid arthritis has many physical and social consequences and can lower quality of life. It can cause pain, disability, and premature death.
- Premature heart disease. People with RA are also at a higher risk for developing other chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. To prevent people with RA from developing heart disease, treatment of RA also focuses on reducing heart disease risk factors. For example, doctors will advise patients with RA to stop smoking and lose weight.
- Obesity. People with RA who are obese have an increased risk of developing heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Being obese also increases risk of developing chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. Finally, people with RA who are obese experience fewer benefits from their medical treatment compared with those with RA who are not obese.
- Employment. RA can make work difficult. Adults with RA are less likely to be employed than those who do not have RA. As the disease gets worse, many people with RA find they cannot do as much as they used to. Work loss among people with RA is highest among people whose jobs are physically demanding. Work loss is lower among those in jobs with few physical demands, or in jobs where they have influence over the job pace and activities.
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Rheumatoid Arthritis: Issues For Older Adults
Adam J. Berlinberg, MD Jaren R. Trost, MD and Jawad Bilal, MD, Department of Medicine, University of Arizona College of Medicine
|TIPS ABOUT RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS
Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory autoimmune disease that causes pain, swelling, stiffness, and loss of function in joints. RA tends to be symmetrical in its distribution, meaning joints on both sides of the body are generally involved.
In RA the joint synovium becomes thickened, resulting in swelling and pain around the joint. Over time, the joint cartilage and bones themselves become damaged. Without treatment, joint laxity and deformity can occur. Since joint damage in RA cannot be reversed, early diagnosis and disease-modifying therapy is the key to successful RA management.