Tuesday, April 16, 2024

What Can Rheumatoid Arthritis Lead To

Rheumatoid Arthritis And Kidney Function: What To Know

Rheumatoid arthritis – causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, pathology

Amyloidosis, a condition caused by the abnormal buildup of certain proteins that can impair kidney function, may occur in association with RA usually in the later stages or if someones disease isnt well-controlled with medication. The symptoms can be vague, such as weakness or swelling, and can include an enlarged spleen and gastrointestinal issues.

To screen for amyloidosis, rheumatologists will periodically check your kidney function.

To maintain healthy kidneys, you should also take care not to overuse nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory painkillers , like ibuprofen and naproxen, as they can damage the kidneys, too.

Other Risk Factors That Make Anemia More Likely For An Ra Patient

The risk of getting anemia is even higher in rheumatoid patients who are women or elderly patients. Furthermore, its not exactly clear how the disease increases the risk of anemia, but there seems to be a direct correlation between how bad the rheumatoid is and how likely you will get anemia. It works in reverse too. When you treat the rheumatoid, you often see an improvement in the anemia as well.

Factors That Can Contribute To The Development Of Anemia

Besides being an anemia of chronic disease, some drugs used to treat rheumatoid can make anemia worse. For example, the disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs including methotrexate, leflunomide, and sulfasalazine are common culprits that can cause anemia. They do this by acting directly on the bone marrow, decreasing its ability to produce blood cells. This direct suppression results in something called pancytopenia, which is when all blood cell lines are suppressed. This includes not just red and white blood cells, but platelets too. Some doctors also refer to this as aplastic anemia.

Read Also: What Are The Symptoms Of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

Clues That Might Indicate Anemia

Have you noticed any weird cravings? By weird, we mean cravings for ice, clay, and paper things that arent normally yummy or have any nutritional value. This is a phenomenon called pica, and nobody knows why anemic people develop this craving.

Besides feeling tired and lack of energy, there are other symptoms that may indicate anemia. For example, some people might feel like they cant breathe well when doing any physical activity. Weight loss, infections, spontaneous bleeding, and clotting can also result from chronic anemia.

These symptoms of anemia are generally pretty mild and vague, so anemia might be kind of difficult for someone to notice. Worse yet, it is very gradual, so someone might get used to how it feels to be anemic and not realize something is wrong.

Ra And Female Hormones

How Can I Improve Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Women experience rheumatoid arthritis at a rate that is 2 to 3 times higher than men, and they also have more severe declines in health and increased risk for disability from RA. Unfortunately, the reasons for any differences between the sexes and RA are not truly understood, but researchers speculate reproductive and hormonal events, along with estrogen levels, play a part.

Recommended Reading: How Did I Get Arthritis In My Knee

Starting And Raising A Family

If you are taking medicines for rheumatoid arthritis, let your healthcare team know if you want to start a family or if you are worried about becoming pregnant while on medication.

Some medications, such as methotrexate, leflunomide and biological treatments, should not be taken by men or women while they are trying for a baby. The doctors and nurses will work with you to ensure your rheumatoid arthritis is controlled while you are trying to get pregnant.

Babies and young children are physically and mentally demanding for any parent, but particularly so if you have rheumatoid arthritis. If you are struggling to cope, it may help to talk to other people in the same situation as you. You may also be able to get additional support from your health visitor or occupational therapist to help you manage your young family.

Want to know more?

However, thanks to early treatment, inflammation due to rheumatoid arthritis affecting other parts of the body is becoming less common.

How Can Rheumatoid Arthritis Change Your Everyday Life

It’s common to have stiff and painful joints in the morning, making it difficult to get up and start the day. Everyday chores like cooking, laundry, cleaning, garden work and recreational activities can become a challenge as the disease progresses.

But many people develop strategies to better manage daily activities over time. One example: When you do laundry, you don’t necessarily need to hang up the entire load all at once. You could start with only some of the wet, heavy clothes and then finish the rest later on. There are a number of different devices and aids that can help make it easier.

Most people who have rheumatoid arthritis still want to mainly manage on their own in everyday life despite having the condition. Support from family and friends is then especially important. It’s also important for them to have a good understanding of the condition and the associated limitations it can cause.

Also Check: What Doctor Treats Psoriatic Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis And Your Lungs

The most common RA-related lung complication is interstitial lung disease , a condition that causes inflammation and scarring of the lung tissue. This illness can be hard to detect but occurs when lung tissue becomes inflamed and eventually scarred.

Its unclear exactly how many people with RA develop it, but French researchers presenting an abstract at the American College of Rheumatology annual conference in November 2020 found that the prevalence of subclinical ILD was 18 percent in people who had RA for a dozen years. Other studies put the figure at over 50 percent.

This scarring makes it harder for oxygen in the lungs to enter the bloodstream and travel to other organs. The condition can cause breathlessness and coughing, but it can also be asymptomatic. If untreated, it can progress to pulmonary fibrosis, in which tissues are permanently scarred.

Research also shows that RA sufferers are at double the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD , in which the air sacs cant expand as easily and become clogged with mucus. There is no cure for COPD, although inhalers and steroids can help open airways.

Pleurisy is another condition with increased risk. Here, the pleura the tissue surrounding the lungs becomes inflamed, which can lead to fluid buildup at the base of the lungs.

People with RA may also develop nodules in the lungs, though they may not be bothered by them.

Rheumatoid Arthritis: Causes Symptoms Treatments And More

Rheumatoid Arthritis is Controllable and You can Lead a Normal Life with it says, Dr. Bhowmik

Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory type of arthritis that can causes joint pain, swelling and damage. Learn what causes RA and how to treat it.

Rheumatoid arthritis causes joint inflammation and pain. It happens when the immune system doesnt work properly and attacks the lining of the joints . The disease commonly affects the hands, knees or ankles, and usually the same joint on both sides of the body. But sometimes, RA causes problems in other parts of the body as well, such as the eyes, heart and circulatory system and/or lungs. For unknown reasons, more women than men get RA, and it usually develops in middle age. Having a family member with RA increases the odds of developing RA.


In a healthy person, the immune system fights invaders, such as bacteria and viruses. With an autoimmune disease like RA, the immune system mistakes the bodys cells for foreign invaders and releases inflammatory chemicals that attack, in the case of RA, the synovium. Thats the tissue lining around a joint that produces a fluid to help the joint move smoothly. The inflamed synovium gets thicker and makes the joint area feel painful and tender, look red and swollen and moving the joint may be difficult.

Researchers arent sure why some people develop RA. They think that these individuals have certain genes that are activated by a trigger in the environment, like a virus or bacteria, or physical or emotional stress or some other external factor.


Also Check: What Is The Best Mattress For Someone With Arthritis

Rheumatoid Factor And Anti

Specific blood tests can help to diagnosis rheumatoid arthritis, but are not accurate in every person. About half of all people with rheumatoid arthritis have a positive rheumatoid factor present in their blood when the disease starts, but about one in every 20 people without rheumatoid arthritis also tests positive for this.

Another antibody test known as anti-CCP is also available. People who test positive for anti-CCP are very likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis, but not everybody found to have rheumatoid arthritis has this antibody.

Those who test positive for both rheumatoid factor and anti-CCP may be more likely to have severe rheumatoid arthritis requiring higher levels of treatment.

An Immune System Weakened By Ra Treatments

When I was diagnosed and started the immunosuppressant medications, mostly Orencia, my sinus infections came back full force. If I was lucky, I only felt pressure in my head for a few days before the issue corrected itself . If I was unlucky, I got the gamut of symptoms and took antibiotics.

Over the last eight years, Ive been relatively lucky only relying on antibiotics but starting this Fall 2018 I ran into a problem. I began to feel constant pressure in my head. My nose dripped continuously and occasionally Id get the acute infection. Initially, I thought Id just take the antibiotics but they didnt help. It wasnt until my balance was affected that I saw a new doctor.

I had a CT scan . I have an acute infection and it turns out a slightly deviated septum. It is almost completely straight which on its own wouldnt be an issue except the turbinate bones are inflamed and the left one is pushing against my septum. This is causing a mild blockage that is impeding my breathing and draining abilities. Adding a tiny bit of fuel to the fire is my nasal cartilage is weak and collapses every time I breathe.

Well, I guess it wasnt just my chronic sinusitis. I just dont have the anatomy to keep myself healthy!

I am on antibiotics and a steroid nasal spray. I irrigate my sinuses twice a day. I am all set to have a balloon dilation. Later , I hope to get the septum repaired, along with treating the turbinate bones and adding a little support to the cartilage.

Recommended Reading: Can You Eat Tomatoes If You Have Arthritis

Myth : Even With Early Diagnosis And Aggressive Treatment Damage And Disability Is Still Inevitable With Ra

Progress made over the past couple decades has increased our understanding of RA and improved our ability to treat the disease. Just a few decades ago, RA was a disease often associated with progressive disability. However, this is no longer the case for most patients. With the development of disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs and newer biologics, such as TNF-inhibitors or monoclonal antibodies, treatment combinations can be tailored to the needs of individual patients to slow and prevent joint damage and other disease complications. These treatment advances have allowed more and more patients with RA to lead full and normal lives.

Anemia Isnt The Only Blood Disorder That Ra Patients Can Get

Over time, rheumatoid arthritis can lead to deformities

Besides anemia, rheumatoid arthritis puts patients at risk for thrombocytopenia too. This is a condition of low platelets, and though its less common than anemia, it’s just as dangerous. Low platelets can become so severe that patients start to bleed internally. Blood cancers are also more common in patients with rheumatoid because the chronic inflammation that happens increases this risk.

Another rare blood disorder that can complicate rheumatoid arthritis is Feltys syndrome. Patients who get this syndrome have an enlarged spleen, low white cell count, lymphoma, and leukemia. Feltys syndrome is a very serious complication that most commonly strikes people who have had rheumatoid arthritis untreated for very long periods of time.

Don’t Miss: Does Vitamin D Help Rheumatoid Arthritis

Myth : Ra Is A Disease That Affects Mostly The Elderly

Although the incidence of RA increases in men and women until about the eighth decade of life, RA is not a disease of old age.1 For instance, the incidence tends to peak earlier for women than men, at about ages 55 to 64 years for women, compared with 75 to 84 years for men. However, RA can occur at any age and is often diagnosed in the prime of life and even in children younger than 16 years of age.2

What Can I Do Right Now

  • Tame an RA Flare. Try hot and cold packs to decrease pain sensation ask for help with daily tasks that are too difficult to do during a flare balance rest and activity try deep breathing relaxation exercises.20
  • Check in on your mental health. Seek out resources to help with emotional difficulties, such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness , Anxiety and Depression Association of America, or Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance.
  • Find an experienced rheumatologist. The ACR allows you to search by zip code. You can also contact the ACR the US association of rheumatologists.
  • Prep for your next doc visit. Write down questions to ask your doctor use a diary to track your symptoms document what activities make you feel worse or better, and which activities cause pain.
  • Be an Advocate. Help others with RA by participating in a number of activities, including Tell Your Story, volunteering, or joining advocacy ventures.
  • You May Like: What Foods Are Good For Rheumatoid Arthritis

    How Is Ra Diagnosed

    RA is diagnosed by reviewing symptoms, conducting a physical examination, and doing X-rays and lab tests. Its best to diagnose RA earlywithin 6 months of the onset of symptomsso that people with the disease can begin treatment to slow or stop disease progression . Diagnosis and effective treatments, particularly treatment to suppress or control inflammation, can help reduce the damaging effects of RA.

    Case Report: Rheumatoid Arthritis And Degenerative Disk Disease

    Arthritis can lead to sensitive feet – Scholl Biomechanics

    Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic, systemic, autoimmune disease with potential for multisystem involvement that promotes inflammation. Chronic inflammation of the synovial tissue results in stiffness, pain, warmth and swelling of joints. Untreated, it can lead to joint erosions and deformity resulting in disability and decreased quality of life . Both genetic and environmental factors have been implicated. Prevalence is estimated to be between 0.5 and 1.0% in the general population. Almost three times as many women as men have RA, with the highest incidence in middle age.1

    You Might Also Like

    Osteoarthritis is primarily the result of mechanical wear over time, leading to the loss of cartilage between the joints. It is the most common form of arthritis, affecting an estimated 12.1% of the U.S. population ages 25 and older. The prevalence of OA increases with age.2 Degenerative disk disease is caused by daily stress on the spine and aging, which can be exacerbated by unnoticed major or minor injuries. Early changes of DDD can be apparent on radiographs in otherwise healthy adults between the ages of 30 and 50 years old, the majority of whom will be asymptomatic.3

    Figure 1a and 1b.

    Don’t Miss: What Are The Best Foods To Eat For Arthritis

    Can You Get Catarrh From A Sore Throat

    I Have Persistent Catarrh In Throat. It Starts With A Sore Throat I Have Persistent Catarrh In Throat. It Starts With A Sore Throat I Have Persistent Catarrh In Throat. It Starts With A Sore Throat then a few days later I realise its catarrh thats causing it. I cannot get rid of the catarrh. I have tried various medicines i.e Sudafet, Benilyn.

    Heart And Blood Vessels

    People with RA are more prone to atherosclerosis, and risk of myocardial infarction and stroke is markedly increased.Other possible complications that may arise include: pericarditis, endocarditis, left ventricular failure, valvulitis and fibrosis. Many people with RA do not experience the same chest pain that others feel when they have angina or myocardial infarction. To reduce cardiovascular risk, it is crucial to maintain optimal control of the inflammation caused by RA , and to use exercise and medications appropriately to reduce other cardiovascular risk factors such as blood lipids and blood pressure. Doctors who treat people with RA should be sensitive to cardiovascular risk when prescribing anti-inflammatory medications, and may want to consider prescribing routine use of low doses of aspirin if the gastrointestinal effects are tolerable.

    You May Like: Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Make You Feel Sick

    What Does Ra Feel Like

    • The usual symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are stiff and painful joints, muscle pain, and fatigue.
    • The experience of rheumatoid arthritis is different for each person.
    • Some people have more severe pain than others.
    • Most people with rheumatoid arthritis feel very stiff and achy in their joints, and frequently in their entire bodies, when they wake up in the morning.
    • Joints may be swollen, and fatigue is very common.
    • It is frequently difficult to perform daily activities that require use of the hands, such as opening a door or tying one’s shoes.
    • Since fatigue is a common symptom of rheumatoid arthritis, it is important for people with rheumatoid arthritis to rest when necessary and get a good night’s sleep.
    • Systemic inflammation is very draining for the body.

    Amplification In The Synovium

    Applied Chronobiology in Rheumatoid Arthritis Could Lead ...

    Once the generalized abnormal immune response has become established which may take several years before any symptoms occur plasma cells derived from B lymphocytes produce rheumatoid factors and ACPA of the IgG and IgM classes in large quantities. These activate macrophages through Fc receptor and complement binding, which is part of the intense inflammation in RA. Binding of an autoreactive antibody to the Fc receptors is mediated through the antibody’s N-glycans, which are altered to promote inflammation in people with RA.

    This contributes to local inflammation in a joint, specifically the synovium with edema, vasodilation and entry of activated T-cells, mainly CD4 in microscopically nodular aggregates and CD8 in microscopically diffuse infiltrates. Synovial macrophages and dendritic cells function as antigen-presenting cells by expressing MHC class II molecules, which establishes the immune reaction in the tissue.

    Don’t Miss: How Do Doctors Know If You Have Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Popular Articles
    Related news