Rheumatoid Arthritis Results From Immune System Attack
The immune system works to fight off infection, viruses and anything else that would harm the body. But, just as it can put up a defense, the immune system can also attack the body.
Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. As a result, rheumatoid arthritis inflames the tissue lining inside of joints, such as the knees, hips, feet, hands, and wrists. In severe cases, rheumatoid arthritis can harm the eyes, lungs, heart and other parts of the body.
As the disease progresses, joint tissue can become so damaged that the joints loosen and become unstable. People diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis also have the potential to lose mobility if their joints stop working altogether.
This is one reason why rheumatoid arthritis is called a systemic disease because it can affect the entire body system, according to the Arthritis Foundation.
Stick To Your Medicine Regimen
Taking your drug regimen precisely as prescribed by your physician is key to controlling flares. If youre unable to take your medicine for more than a day, talk to your doctor to create a plan to manage your symptoms.
Being healthy with a chronic illness like RA can be challenging. Practicing self-care can be the key to controlling your RA symptoms.
Request an appointment today at Healthcare Associated of Texas to discuss setting up an appointment to manage your RA symptoms or contact us at 258-7499 to learn about our many available healthcare services.
Join Them In Hand Moves To Reduce Joint Pain
Resistance exercises for the hands are especially beneficial for improving pain, grip strength, and function in someone with RA.
A simple way to do this is to buy the person a soft, small, rubbery ball and encourage them to use it for gentle hand exercises, such as those created by the exercise physiologist and manual therapist Sue Hitzmann.
In one exercise, known as a glide move, the person sits on a chair and places the ball on the table or other hard surface in front of them. Keeping the shoulders relaxed and the palm flat, they place the ball under the lower part of the palm of their right hand and rest the tip of the middle finger on the table. Then the person glides the ball back and forth from left to right, using light to moderate pressure. After a few minutes they switch hands and repeat.
The same ball can also be used to do a self hand massage. The person sits the same way. Keeping the hand relaxed and the fingers straight out, the person rolls the ball under their right hand, gently moving it to all the various parts of the palms . After a few minutes they switch hands and repeat.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment Options
Rest, avoidance of vigorous weight-bearing activities and taking anti-inflammatory medications can help. For more severe symptoms, a cortisone injection into the joint may also be advised.
While at home, the following may provide some relief:
- Exercises to keep joints flexible
- Medications are used to control pain
- Heat/cold therapy
- Joint protection to prevent stress on painful joints
- Weight control to prevent extra stress
Visit a Rheumatologist as early as possible to properly diagnose RA and make sure you get the proper treatment. If diagnosed, it is good to learn about RA and play an active role in your treatment. Always talk to your specialist about alternative treatments that you are thinking about trying.
There are many ways to manage the pain the primary goal is to live a healthy life and be physically active with a healthy diet. It is also essential to stop smoking and reduce stress to help your overall health and wellbeing.
Trust the team at arthritisCARE to spend an in-depth amount of time with you to identify the reasons for your joint and muscle pain and to recommend a customised treatment plan.
What Can You Do If Diagnosed With Ra
Early diagnosis of arthritis along with the right treatment often make the possibility of leading a full and active life possible. No two cases of the disease are the same, and many people experience âflareâ periods when joints become more inflamed and painful.
The condition can cause permanent joint damage and deformity if diagnosis and treatment are left too late. While there is no cure for RA, treatment has improved dramatically, and the team at arthritisCARE are well-positioned to provide relief.
The arthritisCARE team embraces the latest technologies to deliver effective treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
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Healthy Eating And Exercise
Regular exercise and a healthy diet are recommended for everyone, not just people with rheumatoid arthritis.
Exercising regularly can help relieve stress, help keep your joints mobile, and strengthen the muscles supporting your joints.
Exercise can also help you lose weight if you’re overweight, which can put extra strain on your joints.
But it’s important to find a balance between rest and exercise. Rest will make inflamed joints feel more comfortable, but without movement your joints will stiffen and your muscles will become weaker.
Find the best activities and the right balance for you. It’s usually best to increase the amount of exercise you do gradually.
If a particular activity causes your joints to become warm and swollen, or it causes severe pain, then stop and rest. If it does not cause problems, then it is usually fine to continue.
If a particular activity always causes a flare-up, it’s best to avoid it and find an alternative.
High-impact activities, such as running or contact sports like rugby and football, are more likely to cause problems.
Try low-impact activities that put less strain on your joints, such as swimming, cycling, walking and aqua aerobics.
If you need more guidance, a physiotherapist is a good person to advise you on suitable types of exercise.
Sticking To Your Treatment Plan
A 2018 report in the journal Arthritis & Therapy found that 50% to 70% of people with RA were nonadherent with their recommended treatment plans. Nonadherence to treatment is one of the main reasons RA treatments fail.
Your rheumatologist has prescribed biologic drug therapy because they believe that the benefits outweigh the risks. The good news is that many of the newer biologic drugs are safe and effective.
If you feel you need to stop your biologic drug because of side effects, cost, or another reason, talk to your rheumatologist first. The decision to stop, change, or reduce the dosing of a drug should be made by you and your doctor, and not one you make alone.
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Be Smart About Daily Tasks
Rheumatoid arthritis doesn’t have to change your daily to-do list. Some simple fixes can make it easier to get things done.
Streamline your approach
Have a plan. When you have RA, you may have less energy. So it helps to be organized. If you want to get things done tomorrow, plan how you’ll do it now. Keep your goals realistic, and don’t forget to schedule breaks.
Save your energy. What slows you down? Putting on your shoes? Getting ready in the morning? Once you know the things that get you stuck, you can come up with ways to make them easier.
Divide up the day. Spend 30 minutes on a task, and then do something else. Focusing too much on one thing could leave you feeling achy and fatigued. If you switch things up, you’ll get more done.
Pace yourself, especially on good days. Even if you wake up feeling like you can do anything, squeezing in too much can backfire. If you overdo it — going on a hike or gardening all afternoon — your fatigue the next day could set you back. Tackle a high-energy task or two in the morning, take a short nap at lunchtime, and do lighter work in the afternoon.
In the kitchen
Use a stool. Don’t stand while you cook. Sit and rest. You can wash dishes from a stool too.
Cook simpler meals. Stick with easy recipes, especially after work. Use shortcuts like pre-cut vegetables. Save dishes with lots of steps for weekends or nights when a family member can help. Or split up the cooking over 2 days.
Bathing and dressing
Around the house
Getting Started: What To Know About Biologics For Rheumatoid Arthritis
Biologic drugs are genetically engineered proteins that target the parts of the immune system that promote inflammatory processes. They act like natural proteins in your immune system and are considered aggressive treatments for rheumatoid arthritis .
They are often prescribed to people with moderate to severe RA who have not improved using traditional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs . Biologics are either taken alone or with other RA medications.
In this article, we will discuss what RA is, available biologic treatments for RA, what to expect from these drugs, how to get started, and other considerations, like when you can expect to see improvement, costs, and more.
Verywell / Zoe Hansen
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Making It Work: Helping People With Inflammatory Forms Of Arthritis At Work
This research is a natural extension of our previous studies on Work Disability. This program is unique worldwide in that it combines the benefits of video conferencing group sessions focused on improving self-management, with assessments by health professionals specifically addressing employment. The web-based technology for delivery of the program is at the leading edge of trends in the field of
Appendix 1 The Future
The management of rheumatoid arthritis is changing rapidly. It is expected that, through ongoing research, new approaches to the management of rheumatoid arthritis will change the course of the disease radically in the near future.
To achieve this improvement in the quality of life, it is expected that evidence will become available which will suggest that:
the use of biological agents in patients with early disease is effective in those patients, who can be identified as likely to have severe destructive disease. It will therefore be necessary to see people with early rheumatoid arthritis within 6 weeks of presentation
control of comorbid conditions, such as ischaemic heart disease, hyperlipidaemia and hypertension, will become increasingly important.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Pain and stiffness in smaller joints like fingers and toes are the first signs of rheumatoid arthritis. However, the number and severity of symptoms vary with each person. Some of the most common signs and symptoms include:
- Tenderness and swelling in the joints
- Weight loss
Research suggests that people who have a family history of rheumatoid arthritis, people who smoke, and those exposed to second-hand smoke, chemicals, pollution, and other environmental factors are at risk for developing rheumatoid arthritis.
While rheumatoid arthritis affects adults of all ages, older adults tend to suffer from the progressive disease more than those in the younger population.
Seniors, however, can still live independently with the help of trained in-home caregivers who can help them as they navigate through the different stages of rheumatoid arthritis.
What Are The Risk Factors For Ra
Researchers have studied a number of genetic and environmental factors to determine if they change persons risk of developing RA.
Characteristics that increase risk
- Age. RA can begin at any age, but the likelihood increases with age. The onset of RA is highest among adults in their sixties.
- Sex. New cases of RA are typically two-to-three times higher in women than men.
- Genetics/inherited traits. People born with specific genes are more likely to develop RA. These genes, called HLA class II genotypes, can also make your arthritis worse. The risk of RA may be highest when people with these genes are exposed to environmental factors like smoking or when a person is obese.
- Smoking. Multiple studies show that cigarette smoking increases a persons risk of developing RA and can make the disease worse.
- History of live births. Women who have never given birth may be at greater risk of developing RA.
- Early Life Exposures. Some early life exposures may increase risk of developing RA in adulthood. For example, one study found that children whose mothers smoked had double the risk of developing RA as adults. Children of lower income parents are at increased risk of developing RA as adults.
- Obesity. Being obese can increase the risk of developing RA. Studies examining the role of obesity also found that the more overweight a person was, the higher his or her risk of developing RA became.
Characteristics that can decrease risk
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How Can Elder Help With Arthritis Care
We offer live-in care services for a number of complex conditions, with arthritis care being one of them. Our live-in carers are experienced in providing high-quality complex care to those who need it.
Whether it is performing housekeeping tasks, preparing meals, doing the shopping, helping with pets, or supporting with medication and treatment needs, a live-in career is there to support all care needs.
At Elder we match individuals with carers based on their specific care needs as well as their personality so you can be reassured that the right person is caring for you or your family with a trial period so you can be perfectly certain.
Join A Family Member With Ra In Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Stress-reduction experts advocate a type of body relaxation known as progressive muscle relaxation. This is something you can do alongside another person. It takes only a few minutes , and it’s effective for stilling the mind and redirecting attention away from pain.
Choose a quiet place where you wont be interrupted. Lie on your back on a bed or on yoga mats. Begin by tensing your legs , squeezing as tightly as you comfortably can and then raising the legs, still tense, a few inches. After a few seconds , consciously relax the muscles and let the legs gently lower. Move on to your arms, then buttocks, then abdomen, upper chest, and finally your face and head, first tensing each area and then releasing it.
When you are finished, remain still for several minutes to enjoy the mental and physical relaxation the practice brings. Give yourself time to get up slowly.
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Keep A Healthy Weight
Fat cells release cytokines. More fat cells means more cytokines, and more cytokines means more inflammation. That makes RA symptoms worse and causes more damage to your body.
Extra weight can even make some medications that treat RA less effective. Studies show that biologics and biosimilars work for only about half of people who are overweight, compared with 75% of people at a healthy weight. Some disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs also donât work as well when youâre overweight.
And whether you have RA or not, adding pounds to your frame puts pressure on your joints. The ones that bear weight feel the most strain, like your:
Combined with a disease that wears down your joints, that means double trouble.
Who Should Diagnose And Treat Ra
A doctor or a team of doctors who specialize in care of RA patients should diagnose and treat RA. This is especially important because the signs and symptoms of RA are not specific and can look like signs and symptoms of other inflammatory joint diseases. Doctors who specialize in arthritis are called rheumatologists, and they can make the correct diagnosis. To find a provider near you, visit the database of rheumatologistsexternal icon on the American College of Rheumatology website.
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How Is Rheumatoid Arthritis Treated
The goals of rheumatoid arthritis treatment are to:
- Control a patient’s signs and symptoms.
- Prevent joint damage.
- Maintain the patients quality of life and ability to function.
Joint damage generally occurs within the first two years of diagnosis, so it is important to diagnose and treat rheumatoid arthritis in the window of opportunity to prevent long-term consequences.
Treatments for rheumatoid arthritis include medications, rest, exercise, physical therapy/occupational therapy, and surgery to correct damage to the joint.
The type of treatment will depend on several factors, including the person’s age, overall health, medical history, and the severity of the arthritis.
What Are The Symptoms
RA sufferers are familiar with the severity of the pain associated with stiff and sore joints. Some describe it as having sprained all the joints in their bodies at once. Now imagine that with simultaneous fatigue, appetite loss, and feeling feverish, and you can easily envision how they are apt to feel downright lousy. Then to add insult to injury, some suffer through those episodes it for years and years. The most common signs and symptoms are:
* Swollen joints* Pain and stiffness in the joints, especially after periods of inactivity * Extreme fatigue
Even though RA is not life threatening, you will feel pretty miserable. And thats no way to live your life. Youll be searching for relief and relief that works.
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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.