Tuesday, September 27, 2022

How Dangerous Is Rheumatoid Arthritis

Disability And Joint Disfigurement

Is rheumatoid arthritis a dangerous disease? Dr. Hatem Eleishi

With RA, the bodys immune system is attacking the synoviumthe lining of your joints. This continued attack will lead to cartilage and bone damage. If RA is left untreated, chronic joint inflammation will cause permanent joint damage and deformity.

RA inflammation also affects the tissues that surround your joints, including the muscles, tendons, and ligaments responsible for stabilizing joints. This ongoing attack on these tissues eventually weakens them to the extent that they can no longer support your joints, and there is a loss of function and disability.

A study reported in 2019 in the medical journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings assessed the trends in the functional disability of people with RA versus those without the condition. This was done through self-report questionnaires regarding activities of daily living.

The researchers found that people with RA had a 15% higher rate of functional disability compared to people without RA in most age groups. The researchers concluded that because people with RAespecially those who were rheumatoid factor and/or cyclic citrullinated peptide positivewere already at a disadvantage, additional care was needed to improve their functional outcomes.

Rheumatoid factor and cyclic citrullinated peptide antibodies are associated with the development of RA, disease progression, and severe disease.

Dont Say: Youre Probably Just Stressed Out Stress Kills

Research remains inconclusive as to what role stress plays in the onset of rheumatoid arthritis. Some studies confirm the link others, like a recent Dutch study, found no correlation between psychological stress and early signs of joint pain. Rheumatoid arthritis is thought to be caused by a number of factors, such as genetics, infection, or environmental factors like smoking, but nobody knows for sure yet.

When it comes to RA flares, stress can be a factor among a host of other triggers, but it doesnt operate in a vacuum. So when people tell Briana Redulla, 33, she needs to relax to help control her disease, it really bugs her, especially because she lives in Hawaii, one of the most chill places on earth! Lets not blame the victim, shall we?

What Are The Causes Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder. Certain factors increase the risk of RA. The common risk factors are

  • Sex: Women are at an increased risk compared to men.
  • Age: RA most commonly begins during middle age.
  • Family history: A positive family history increases the risk of the disease.
  • Smoking and other environmental exposures to asbestos or silica increase disease risk.
  • Obesity: Excess weight, especially in women younger than55, increases disease risk.

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How Should I Take Hydroxychloroquine

Take hydroxychloroquine exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets.

Take hydroxychloroquine with a meal or a glass of milk unless your doctor tells you otherwise.

To treat lupus or arthritis, hydroxychloroquine is usually taken daily.

To prevent malaria: Hydroxychloroquine is usually taken once per week on the same day each week. Start taking the medicine 2 weeks before entering an area where malaria is common. Keep taking the medicine during your stay and for at least 4 weeks after you leave the area.

To treat malaria: Hydroxychloroquine is usually given as one high dose followed by smaller doses during the next 2 days in a row.

Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time, even if your symptoms quickly improve.

Use protective clothing, insect repellents, and mosquito netting around your bed to further prevent mosquito bites that could cause malaria.

No medication is 100% effective in treating or preventing all types of malaria. Talk with your doctor if you have fever, vomiting, or diarrhea during your treatment.

While using hydroxychloroquine, you may need frequent medical tests and vision exams.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

Before Taking This Medicine

Rheumatoid arthritis drug has dangerous side effects ...

You should not use hydroxychloroquine if you are allergic to hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine.

High doses or long-term use of hydroxychloroquine may cause irreversible damage to your retina . This could progress to permanent vision problems. The risk of retinal damage is higher in people with pre-existing eye problems, kidney disease, or people who also take tamoxifen.

To make sure hydroxychloroquine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • vision changes or damage to your retina caused by an anti-malaria medication

  • heart disease, heart rhythm disorder

  • diabetes

  • porphyria or

  • a genetic enzyme deficiency called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Malaria is more likely to cause serious illness or death in a pregnant woman. Having malaria during pregnancy may also increase the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, and low birth weight.

It is not known whether hydroxychloroquine will harm an unborn baby. If you are pregnant, ask your doctor about the risks of traveling to areas where malaria is common .

It may not be safe to breastfeed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk.

Hydroxychloroquine is not approved for treating lupus or rheumatoid arthritis in anyone younger than 18 years old.

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Arthritis Is The Swelling And Tenderness Of One Or More Of Your Joints

Vasculitis is not common, but it is very dangerous. Although nodules are generally not dangerous or debilitating, there are treatment options available if it becomes necessary to have them reduced or removed. Being seronegative for ra means that. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own tissues. Unlike osteoarthritis, which is the result of the natural wear and tear of aging joints with a low level of inflammation, ra is. It can make it harder to get an ra diagnosis. Seronegative arthritis, as a rule, is not very difficult, and doctors give more favorable prognoses than with other forms of the disease. This is due to the fact that for reasons that are still unknown, the body’s defense system mistakes the body’s own cells for invaders like. Rheumatoid arthritis is just a joints condition. Arthritis is the swelling and tenderness of one or more of your joints. The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most common types of autoimmune disorders. The symptoms of seronegative ra are similar to those of seropositive ra.

Eventually, people with seronegative disease may be diagnosed with a different disease altogether, according to the arthritis foundation.

Just as there are people with arthritis who aren’t active at all, there are those who push beyond their limits.

If the disease is not stopped, kidney damage develops.

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Stomach Pain Or Indigestion

RA and medicines used to treat it are linked to mouth and stomach ulcers, stomach bleeding, acid reflux, diarrhea, and constipation. Painful diverticulitis and colitis are also possible if you have RA.

RA drugs like NSAIDs often cause ulcers or an upset stomach.

Belly pain is sometimes a sign of a rare RA complication called rheumatoid vasculitis — when inflammation spreads to your blood vessels. Weight loss and lack of appetite are other symptoms. Vasculitis is serious, so see a doctor right away. Learn more about vasculitis symptoms and types.

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Your Doctor Can’t Fully Appreciate Potential New Symptoms Via Telemedicine

In the COVID-19 pandemic era, people with rheumatoid arthritis cant always make it into the doctors office for a physical visit. But a telemedicine, or telehealth, appointment, which is unquestionably better than not checking in with health professionals at all, may not detect that the disease is progressing as well as an in-person visit.

Domingues says that rheumatologists should definitely notice if joints are swollen and warm to the touch in an office consultation signs of active inflammation but they may not catch the severity of those symptoms on a computer screen. If were not physically examining them, the communication between doctors and patients needs to be even better, Domingues says. He says to make sure that you mention how your joints feel when you wake up, how much stiffness you experience in the morning and for how long, if youre able to make a full fist early in the day, and if you see red, warm, or swollen joints. Those are the pivotal signs of worsening RA, he says.

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How Rheumatoid Arthritis Affects More Than Joints

Is COVID-19 dangerous for people with rheumatoid arthritis?

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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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

Find out more about the causes of rheumatoid arthritis.

What Are The Symptoms Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include the following:

  • Stiffness, especially in the morning or after sitting for long periods
  • Fatigue

Rheumatoid arthritis affects each person differently. In most people, joint symptoms may develop gradually over several years. In other people, rheumatoid arthritis may proceed rapidly. A few people may have rheumatoid arthritis for a limited period of time and then go into remission .

Cartilage normally acts as a shock absorber between the joints. Uncontrolled inflammation causes the destruction and wearing down of the cartilage, which leads to joint deformities. Eventually, the bone itself erodes, potentially leading to fusion of the joint . This process is aided by specific cells and substances of the immune system, which are produced in the joints but also circulate and cause symptoms throughout the body.

Read Also: Does Tylenol Arthritis Reduce Inflammation

What Causes Rheumatoid Nodules

Currently, research doesnt clearly indicate a specific cause of rheumatoid nodules and why exactly they develop in some patients and not in others. Given that they generally form on extensor joints, rheumatoid nodules could be the result of repeated pressure on the affected joints over time. Some patients even report a decrease in size or disappearance over time.

Patients who are bedridden, sometimes form rheumatoid nodules on the backs of their elbows, legs, hips and sacrum. There are even reported cases of these nodules on the posterior scalp. These are all the pressure points of bedridden patients and possibly the catalyst to the formation of rheumatoid nodules.

Bone Mineral Density As Possible Severity Marker In Ra

Gut Bacteria May Be Possible Culprit Behind Rheumatoid ...

Currently, the diagnostic and therapeutic strategies aim at the early detection and treatment of the disease . Indeed, in the PEARL study the implementation of early DMARD treatment in tight control and treat to target strategies have led to prevention of erosive disease and arrest of radiological progression , both due to a better control of the disease and a reduced use of long-term osteopenizing drugs. Furthermore, the decrease of autoantibody titers has probably also contributed to a lower loss of both systemic and local BMD. Therefore, it is important to have prognostic biomarkers that help us better understand disease evolution and detect and treat these patients early and correctly to avoid long-term comorbidities.

The association of RA-related autoantibodies with worse BMD suggests that measurement of bone mass could help to predict prognosis of patients with early arthritis. Regarding this topic, there is evidence that measurement of BMD by dual X-ray radiogrammetry at metacarpal diaphysis in the non-dominant hand of RA patients is associated with disease progression, appearance of bone erosions and even, in some studies, with increased mortality . In addition, DXR is a very sensitive procedure to detect loss of BMD in the hand, which in long-standing RA has been associated with high titers of autoantibodies, mainly ACPA, radiographic progression and the appearance of erosions .

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Your Lifestyle Is More Sedentary And You’re Moving Less

Regular physical activity is necessary for everyone but especially for people with RA. Research has shown that regular cardiovascular exercise and weight training can substantially improve daily function without exacerbating rheumatoid arthritis disease activity. There are numerous health benefits associated with regular physical activity like improved muscle strength and better bone and joint health which all help your aches and pains feel better. But rest is also needed to restore the body from the bouts of intense pain and fatigue that are characteristic of rheumatoid arthritis. But you cant let taking it easy become a way of life. A sedentary lifestyle may eventually lead to increased pain, fatigue, and weakness, and a lower quality of life.

RELATED: 7 of the Best Activity Apps for People With Rheumatoid Arthritis

Regular exercise also has another life-enhancing benefit: It helps reduce your odds of developing cardiovascular disease. Taking good care of your ticker is essential for people with rheumatoid arthritis, because heart problems are more prevalent in people who have RA compared with the general population. Its heart disease that kills you, not the RA, says Domingues. Its very important to talk to your primary care doctor or a cardiologist if you have RA to control your risk factors, such as high cholesterol, obesity, and diabetes.

RELATED: 8 Things People With Rheumatoid Arthritis Must Know About the COVID-19 Vaccines

Warning Signs That Rheumatoid Arthritis Is Getting Worse

These tips and clues may help you gauge the severity of your rheumatoid arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis, also known as RA, is a joint disease characterized by inflammation and pain. The condition is also three times more likely to impact women, according to research published in the journal Rheumatology International. And one of the trickiest things about treating rheumatoid arthritis is that this autoimmune disease doesn’t progress the same in everyone who has it. Some people will be able to manage their symptoms entirely, while others will see their disease grow worse.

RELATED: 8 Things I Didn’t Know About Rheumatoid Arthritis Until It Happened to Me

Despite all the research thats been done, who may develop severe rheumatoid arthritis and joint damage and whose joint damage will slow over time still remain somewhat of a medical mystery. I dont know when I see someone over the first two or three visits how serious it will be, says John J. Cush, MD, a professor of internal medicine and rheumatology at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

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What Is Hydroxychloroquine

Hydroxychloroquine is a quinoline medicine used to treat or prevent malaria, a disease caused by parasites that enter the body through the bite of a mosquito. Malaria is common in areas such as Africa, South America, and Southern Asia. This medicine is not effective against all strains of malaria.

Hydroxychloroquine is not effective against all strains of malaria, or against malaria in areas where the infection has been resistant to a similar drug called chloroquine.

Hydroxychloroquine is also used to treat symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and discoid or systemic lupus erythematosus.

Ra Vs Oa Epidemiology

Rheumatoid Arthritis – Lifestyle Options | Johns Hopkins

The primary difference between RA and OA is the underlying nature of the disease. RA is an autoimmune disorder that produces inflammatory joint symptoms throughout the body. OA is a degenerative condition that is the result of increased wear and tear on joints. OA may produce inflammatory symptoms as well, but it primarily destroys joint cartilage over time.

OA affects an estimated 27 million Americans while only 1.3 million Americans have RA. Both RA and OA are more prevalent in women than in men. RA can develop in patients anytime between the ages of 30 and 60 years old. OA generally develops later in life.

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How Is Ra Treated

RA can be effectively treated and managed with medication and self-management strategies. Treatment for RA usually includes the use of medications that slow disease and prevent joint deformity, called disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs biological response modifiers are medications that are an effective second-line treatment. In addition to medications, people can manage their RA with self-management strategies proven to reduce pain and disability, allowing them to pursue the activities important to them. People with RA can relieve pain and improve joint function by learning to use five simple and effective arthritis management strategies.

How Is Rheumatoid Arthritis Diagnosed

The diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis is based on a combination of factors, including:

  • Morning stiffness that lasts at least one hour and has been present for at least six weeks
  • Swelling of three or more joints for at least six weeks
  • Swelling of the wrist, hand, or finger joints for at least six weeks
  • Swelling of the same joints on both sides of the body
  • Changes in hand x-rays that are hallmarks of rheumatoid arthritis
  • Rheumatoid nodules of the skin
  • Blood test that is positive for rheumatoid factor* and/or anti-citrullinated peptide/protein antibodies

* The rheumatoid factor may be present in people who do not have rheumatoid arthritis. Other diseases can also cause the rheumatoid factor to be produced in the blood. A test called CCP antibody can sometimes help to determine whether the rheumatoid factor antibody is due to rheumatoid arthritis or some other disease. This is why the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis is based on a combination of several factors and NOT just the presence of the rheumatoid factor in the blood.

It is also important to note that not all of these features are present in people with early rheumatoid arthritis, and these problems may be present in some people with other rheumatic conditions.

In some cases, it may be necessary to monitor the condition over time before a definitive diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis can be made.

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