Saturday, March 2, 2024

How Serious Is Rheumatoid Arthritis

Ra Life Expectancy: Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Affect Life Span

Arthritis is serious.

The predicted life expectancy of a patient diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis is problematic to accurately calculate due to the vast amount of unpredictable variables involved. As a chronic disease, RA tends to be progressive. In other words, it is a long-term disease in which symptoms tend to accumulate over time. This accumulation results in an overall worsening of the patients symptoms. Presently, doctors do not know what causes nor triggers the disease. That being said, they suspect it is likely initiated by a combination of factors including genetics and environmental influences.

Because there isnt one specific cause of the disease, there is also no known cure for RA. Todays medical technology and research, however, provide a variety of treatment options, which can prolong the lives of patients, slow the progression of disease, and provide some symptom relief.

These are just some of the factors which make it difficult to predict an exact life expectancy for RA patients. What research has found is that it isnt the disease itself which reduces the life expectancy of patients. Its the varying complications that develop as a result of the disease which cause life expectancy to shorten. For example, RA can cause respiratory and cardiovascular conditions which can compound over time and lead to a shortened lifespan and possibly eventual fatality.

Explain The Pain Is It Osteoarthritis Or Rheumatoid Arthritis

If opening jars becomes more difficult because of painful hands, or if climbing stairs produces pain in your knees, “arthritis” is often the first thing that comes to mind. The two most common forms of arthritisosteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritiscan cause similar aches and pains, but there are a few key differences between them. For example:

Onset. Osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage wears away. Pain occurs when bone rubs against bone. This type of arthritis pain tends to develop gradually and intermittently over several months or years.

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis affecting 27 million Americans. Many people believe it’s a crippling and inevitable part of growing old. But things are changing. Treatments are better, and plenty of people age well without much arthritis. If you have osteoarthritis, you can take steps to protect your joints, reduce discomfort, and improve mobility all of which are detailed in this report. If you don’t have osteoarthritis, the report offers strategies for preventing it.

Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is an inflammatory condition in which your immune system attacks the tissues in your joints. It causes pain and stiffness that worsen over several weeks or a few months. And joint pain isn’t always the first sign of rheumatoid arthritissometimes it begins with “flu-like” symptoms of fatigue, fever, weakness, and minor joint aches.

Living With Rheumatoid Arthritis

There is no cure for RA. But it is important to help keep your joints working well by reducing pain and inflammation. Work on a treatment plan with your healthcare provider that includes medicine and physical therapy. Work on lifestyle changes that can improve your quality of life. Lifestyle changes include:

  • Activity and rest. To reduce stress on your joints, switch between activity and rest. This can help protect your joints and lessen your symptoms.
  • Using assistive devices. Canes, crutches, and walkers can help to keep stress off certain joints and to improve balance.
  • Using adaptive equipment. Reachers and grabbers let you extend your reach and reduce straining. Dressing aids help you get dressed more easily.
  • Managing the use of medicines. Medicines for this condition have some risks. Work with your healthcare provider to create a plan to reduce this risk.
  • Seeking support. Find a support group that can help you deal with the effects of RA.

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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.

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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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Warning Signs Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Everyday Health

Rheumatoid arthritis affects 1.3 million Americans, and it’s three times more common in women. While RA shares symptoms with other conditions, if you’re experiencing any of these warning signs, speak to your doctor.

, or RA, is an autoimmune disease that causes a person’s immune system to attack his or her own tissue lining the joints.

While the cause of RA is unclear, getting the right diagnosis as early as possible offers your best chance of limiting joint damage as well as mobility issues.

Here are symptoms to look out for from , a at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City:

1. Joint Pain

Tenderness or pain of the joints is one of the most common symptoms among patients with RA. While there are other disorders that can cause this, the pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis is “usually symmetric so itll affect both hands and both wrists,” according to Dr. Gordon.

2. Stiffness

Early morning stiffness that can last from thirty minutes to two hours is another frequently cited issue. While the symptom can sometimes be confused for an injury, it’s important to consult a rheumatologist if the pain is unexplained.

3. Swelling

Puffy or swollen hands, wrists, or feet can be a sign of the inflammation that occurs with RA. “It can really become enlarged and fluid can be present in the joint space itself. You can also see fluid in the knees and the ankles,” says Gordon.

4. Fatigue

5. Loss of Function

Read the full story at

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Rheumatoid Nodules Affect Joint Function Or Press On A Nerve

Experts estimate about 35% of people with RA develop rheumatoid nodules at some point.1 Nodules are solid, firm, round lumps of inflamed tissue. Ninety-nine percent of nodules form just below the skin at pressure points near joints, particularly at the elbows, fingers, and feet.

Nodules tend to be between 2 and 5 cm in diameter.1 Over time, nodules may get bigger or smaller, or go away completely. While most nodules are harmless, treatment may be required if a nodule:

  • Prevents a joint from working normally. Such a nodule may cause pain and/or affect body mechanics, leading to other joint problems.
  • Presses on a nerve, leading to neuropathy. Neuropathy can cause many sensations, most typically numbness, tingling, burning, or shooting pain.

Treatment will also be recommended if a nodule breaks through the skin, causing a lesion that may not heal well on its own or become infected. Medical treatment may include a steroid injection into the nodule and/or a change in medications. Occasionally, surgery to remove the nodule is recommended.

What Should I Tell My Doctor Before Starting Humira

Tell your doctor about all of your health conditions, including if you:

  • Have an infection, are being treated for infection, or have symptoms of an infection
  • Get a lot of infections or infections that keep coming back
  • Have diabetes
  • Have TB or have been in close contact with someone with TB, or were born in, lived in, or traveled where there is more risk for getting TB
  • Live or have lived in an area where there is an increased risk for getting certain kinds of fungal infections, such as histoplasmosis, coccidioidomycosis, or blastomycosis. These infections may happen or become more severe if you use HUMIRA. Ask your doctor if you are unsure if you have lived in these areas
  • Have or have had hepatitis B
  • Are scheduled for major surgery
  • Have or have had cancer
  • Have numbness or tingling or a nervous system disease such as multiple sclerosis or Guillain-Barré syndrome
  • Have or had heart failure
  • Have recently received or are scheduled to receive a vaccine. HUMIRA patients may receive vaccines, except for live vaccines. Children should be brought up to date on all vaccines before starting HUMIRA
  • Are allergic to rubber, latex, or any HUMIRA ingredients
  • Are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to breastfeed
  • Have a baby and you were using HUMIRA during your pregnancy. Tell your babys doctor before your baby receives any vaccines

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How Serious Is The Rheumatoid Arthritis

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The Number Of Swollen Painful Joints You Have Is An Indicator Of Disease Severity

Serious Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis

The more joints that are painful and swollen, the more severe the disease may be, says Dr. Cush. Joint pain and swelling are characteristic signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatologists consider this a very important way to measure disease severity.

Your doctor should examine joints in your hands, feet, shoulders, hips, elbows, and other spots to see how many are causing problems. Symmetrical symptoms, such as having the same swollen joints on both sides of the body, are also hallmark symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, Cush says.

Dr. Domingues adds that the traditional morning stiffness and joint swelling that are characteristic symptoms of RA should be discussed with a rheumatologist as soon as possible. Those are signs of active rheumatoid arthritis, and when it presents like that, it gives doctors an opportunity to be aggressive in early treatment or to switch to another class of drugs if symptoms are worsening.

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Dont Say: You Should Try Yoga

In addition to their vociferous diet opinions, the peanut gallery has too many opinions about how people with RA should get exercise. A very common misconception is that yoga would be good for all people with rheumatoid arthritis, because of the stretching. This may be true for some, but not others.

When Jennifer, 44, was diagnosed three years ago, everyone was always telling me I should do yoga, despite the fact that her wrists were tender and sore. No, I shouldnt. Putting all of my weight on my inflamed joints is not helpful, shed reply. Theyd say, You need to strengthen your wrists. To which she would respond, No, I dont. I have a disease thats in my blood and attacks my joints. I dont have weak joints!

What Joints Does Ra Affect

RA usually starts in your hands. The most common affected areas on your body are:

  • Elbows
  • The knuckle where each finger meets your hand
  • The first joint in your fingers

But RA can appear anywhere on your body, including:

  • Toes
  • Shoulders
  • Finger joint closest to the thumbnail

Your symptoms usually are symmetrical, meaning that they show up in the same joints on both sides of your body.

It doesnât happen often, but RA can also affect joints in your voice box called the cricoarytenoid joints. It can make your voice hoarse. Rarely, you may lose your voice.

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There Are Visible Changes To Joints

RA can cause a joints cartilage and bones to erode over time. In addition, ligaments may stretch or weaken, and tendons may become damaged or inflamed. These changes can cause a visible deformity that affects a joints appearance and function.

Most joint deformities affect the small joints of the hands or feet. For example, ulnar deviation occurs when the large knuckles are so damaged that the fingers begin to dislocate and drift sideways, away from the thumb and toward the ulna bone in the forearm.

While some deformities are permanent, others may be treated or even reversed. Joint deformities are less common than they used to be thanks to better treatment options.

Medications For Ra Treatment

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Doctors prescribe medications to reduce inflammation and to relieve joint pain caused by RA. The medications used to treat RA often come with serious side effects, so doctors typically start by prescribing lower doses. The treatment regimen is most beneficial to RA patients who are in the early stages of disease because during this time the symptoms are still relatively subtle.

Those with advanced stages of RA need more aggressive treatment to reduce inflammation, the time between exacerbations and other effects associated with the condition. This may often require stronger medications to be prescribed. Unfortunately, these drugs often come with more dangerous side effects.

Here are the different medications usually prescribed for rheumatoid arthritis patients:

NSAIDs, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, are medications meant to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. They are available over-the-counter, and when needed, stronger doses may be prescribed. Many people are already familiar with NSAIDs because they are used to treat headaches, fevers and other common ailments safely at home. Ibuprofen and naproxen are two basic NSAIDs that will reduce pain and inflammation temporarily.

Weaker NSAIDs come with little side effects or risks but they also only manage symptoms and pain they will not help with slowing disease activity.

  • Liver damage
  • Upset stomach
  • Kidney damage

Possible side effects include:

  • Increased blood pressure
  • Mood swings

Examples of traditional DMARDs are:

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When Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms Are Serious

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes painful swelling, stiffness, and deformities of the joints. Watch:Rheumatoid Arthritis Overview Video

This article discusses severe RA symptoms and how they develop. It also highlights potentially dangerous health complications related to rheumatoid arthritisdiseases and conditions that are more likely to develop in people who have RA.

Effects On The Kidneys

Research has shown that people with RA have about a 25 percent chance of developing kidney disease. A combination effect of inflammation, medication side effects, and other contributing factors seem to cause the kidney problems. Because of this, its important that your doctor monitors your kidney function regularly.

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Pain In Other Joints:

The pain will reach other joints as well. There will be a pain in the elbows, knees, hips, ankles, and Shoulder. In certain cases, there is space between the vertebrae in the spine. As a result, there will be constant pain, and you will not be able to engage in regular activities. Basically, the bones and fibrous tissue around the joints fuse together, which causes deformity.

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Risk Factors of Serious Infections in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Lea Dooleys husband Ted has always been supportive, but as a clinical psychologist, he worried about the number of naps she was taking, and it caused some issues between them. Chronic fatigue is a real issue for patients with rheumatoid arthritis, but research also backs up Teds concerns. One 2014 study found that nearly three-quarters of RA patients had some degree of depression their symptoms correlated with the severity of their RA disease.

But mental health is a sensitive subject. Its important to express concern about how a loved one is doing emotionally, but make sure you choose your words and tone carefully. You want to sound like youre coming from a place of love and concern, not judgment.

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Understanding And Treating Ra

Diagnosing RA may not be easy because disease symptoms can be similar to many other conditions. Once the diagnosis is made, the severity of the disease needs to be determined in order to choose optimal treatment. An ongoing understanding of disease activity is critical to your health and well-being.

The RASS will help your doctor pinpoint the severity of your disease and the effectiveness of treatment.

Do Say: Do You Feel Up To Doing : : : : :

Ask me if I want to do something instead of assuming that I cant, Charlie explains. Let me decide for myself what I can do. When people are overprotective, I know its coming from a good place of caring and love, but they dont realize how upsetting it is. Even though Im young, I need to make decisions for myself about my own health and body. I need to test myself and its going to change day by day.

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Rheumatoid Arthritis Signs Can Be Various And Require Immediate Attention Following A Strict And Suitable Treatment You May Be Able To Cope Up With Ra

Rheumatoid arthritis is characterized by moderate to severe inflammation of primary joints of the body. 1 out of 100 persons suffer from RA at some point of their entire life. RA is not a genetic disease and may target any individual of any age group . As compared to males, RA is quite prevalent in females.

The pathophysiology of rheumatoid arthritis revolves around the hypersensitivity of immune cells to attack the covering of the joints membranes, which are called synovium. Immune mediated destruction of joint cartilage leads to an inflammatory response that further contributes to the thickening of joint lining, along with bone and cartilage destruction. With persistent stretching and weakening of the ligaments and tendons, the joints become misshaped and lose their alignment.

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