Can Rheumatoid Arthritis Make Colds Worse
Q) I suffer from mild rheumatoid arthritis which fortunately doesn’t stop me from doing anything I did before. But I’ve noticed that when I catch a cold, it seems to be worse than before I was diagnosed. Is this me being ultra-sensitive to my body or does rheumatoid arthritis actually make common ailments worse?
Roena, via email – 2015
A) With rheumatoid arthritis, you have what could be described as an overactive, but misdirected, immune system. It’s doing its job, but in the wrong places against your own body, rather than materials from outside your body that might be a threat to health.
It’s true that people with rheumatoid arthritis are more prone to infections and, as you describe, it possibly makes minor infections worse. This is partly due to your immune system not working properly and also because of the effects of the drugs used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, which work by damping down the immune system.
One of the most important things you can do is get a flu jab each year and a pneumococcal vaccine to help stop you picking up flu, which is the most common cause of pneumonia. These are both ‘inactivated’ vaccines, so are safe for people with rheumatoid arthritis. You can read more about this in our vaccination and arthritis information.
This answer was provided by Dr Tom Margham in 2015, and was correct at the time of publication.
What Can I Take Other Than Leflunomide For Rheumatoid Arthritis
Q) As a patient with rheumatoid arthritis I found leflunomide very effective but unfortunately I do have history of bronchiesctasis. It had been stable for more than 40 years but leflunomide has changed that. The lung infections are under control again but I can l no longer use that drug. Which leaves a problem: what do I take?
Mr S W, Kempston, Bedford, Beds – 2013
A) You ask an impossible question. What you take next for your rheumatoid arthritis depends very much on what you have already taken, the state of your arthritis and the other medical problems you have, such as bronchiectasis. Unfortunately, bronchiectasis is more common in people with rheumatoid arthritis. Bronchiectasis is a condition where the lungs are damaged. In the past measles was a common cause of this condition. It leads to repeated lung infections and progressive breathlessness. Treatment with immunosuppressive drugs can make the infections more frequent, and with bronchiectasis, finding the right treatment can be a challenge. I have used rituximab without causing the lungs to deteriorate but this does not mean it will be the right drug for you. Everyone is different.
This answer was provided by Dr Philip Helliwell in 2013, and was correct at the time of publication.
What Are The Parts Of A Joint
Joints get cushioned and supported by soft tissues that prevent your bones from rubbing against each other. A connective tissue called articular cartilage plays a key role. It helps your joints move smoothly without friction or pain.
Some joints have a synovial membrane, a padded pocket of fluid that lubricates the joints. Many joints, such as your knees, get supported by tendons and ligaments. Tendons connect muscles to your bones, while ligaments connect bones to other bones.
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Which Is More Painful
Arthritis pain varies in intensity among people who have it.
People with either OA or RA may have pain thats mild to severe, and difficulty moving affected joints.
While people with OA may have morning stiffness that lasts fewer than 30 minutes, it lasts longer for people with RA.
RA may also cause other uncomfortable symptoms such as fever and fatigue.
Symptoms Of Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Joint stiffness in the morning. It can last 30 to 60 minutes or longer. You may also have bodywide stiffness.
- The joint stiffness tends to get better as the day goes on. But it often comes back in the evenings when you are less active.
- Joint swelling is more severe in rheumatoid arthritis. There is more swelling, redness, and joint warmness.
- Fatigue: Since RA is a systemic illnessit is in the whole bodyfeeling tired is common. Fatigue is less common in osteoarthritis.
- In the early stages of rheumatoid arthritis, you might feel fatigue, weakness, and minor joint discomfortas opposed to obvious joint stiffness, pain, and swelling.
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Adult Onset Stills Disease
Adult onset StillÃ¢s disease is a very rare form of arthritis that affects the entire body. Symptoms include joint pain, muscle pain, widespread rash, and elevated fever, to name a few. StillÃ¢s disease symptoms can come and go quickly or they can persist for several years . Further, the severity of symptoms varies widely on an individual-by-individual basis. For example, some individuals are only slightly bothered by symptoms, while others are completely debilitated.
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How Can I Manage Oa And Improve My Quality Of Life
CDCs Arthritis Program recommends five self-management strategies for managing arthritis and its symptoms.
- Learn self-management skills. Join a self-management education class, which helps people with arthritis and other chronic conditionsincluding OAunderstand how arthritis affects their lives and increase their confidence in controlling their symptoms and living well. Learn more about the CDC-recommended self-management education programs.
- Get physically active. Experts recommend that adults engage in 150 minutes per week of at least moderate physical activity. Every minute of activity counts, and any activity is better than none. Moderate, low impact activities recommended include walking, swimming, or biking. Regular physical activity can also reduce the risk of developing other chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Learn more about physical activity for arthritis.
- Go to effective physical activity programs. For people who worry that physical activity may make OA worse or are unsure how to exercise safely, participation in physical activity programs can help reduce pain and disability related to arthritis and improve mood and the ability to move. Classes take place at local Ys, parks, and community centers. These classes can help people with OA feel better. Learn more about CDC-recommended physical activity programs.
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Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain Relief
Your rheumatologist will prescribe a variety of prescription medications to keep your RA pain and symptoms at bay.
Along with medical therapy, there are steps you can take to protect your joints and improve your overall health for fewer RA-related problems.
Stretching, low-impact exercise, warm baths, and showers, as well as paraffin wax dips may all contribute to keeping joints supple.
Rebecca Manno, MD suggests maintaining a healthy weight and improving your diet to include fewer inflammatory foods may ease rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. Self-care can also be very helpful for emotional well-being.
Meditation, spending time in nature, and connecting with loved ones or even support groups can relieve stress and worry about health-related problems.
There is no denying that life with RA can at times be a struggle, but treating yourself with compassion working within your physical limits can make things a little easier.
Be good to yourself, be good to your joints, and make wellness a priority for a happier life with RA.
Joint Pain: Where It Hurts Most
RA It can affect the entire body or just specific joints, most commonly the hands, wrists, fingers, elbows, knees, feet, and hips. Sometimes what is noticed first is the stiffness in the morning. The synovium, or the lining of the joint, is most affected.
OA It affects only a particular joint, and the pain doesn’t go away without physical or medical therapy. The joint cartilage is what is worn away.
As OA progresses it can result in bony growths or spurs that can further compromise joints . Sometimes you can have joints that make noise that can be painful . It is also possible to get some radiating pain .
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Ra
With RA, there are times when symptoms get worse, known as flares, and times when symptoms get better, known as remission.
Signs and symptoms of RA include:
- Pain or aching in more than one joint
- Stiffness in more than one joint
- Tenderness and swelling in more than one joint
- The same symptoms on both sides of the body
- Weight loss
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Build Your Own Salad Bowl
Maximize your nutrition and anti-inflammatory ingredients in one sitting! This bowl has all the elements to fight inflammation with its colorful variety of plantsvitamin K-rich leafy greens, fiber-rich avocado, prebiotic-rich onion, anthocyanin-rich berries, and zinc-rich pumpkin seeds. Use organic produce, shop local, and grow your own produce to maximize nutrition even further!
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Get Help Treating Osteoarthritis Or Rheumatoid Arthritis With Joint Academy
Todays technology-driven society has led to telehealth becoming a popular way for patients to receive medical guidance or treatments. Fortunately, Joint Academy is at the forefront of virtual physical therapy technology that can be used as a first line of defense for conditions like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. With the Joint Academy app, licensed physical therapists can connect with patients digitally and provide them with personalized, evidence-based treatment programs to follow.
With Arthritis You Feel How You Eat
Arthritis is a common sometimes debilitating condition affecting millions of people worldwide. There are many different types of arthritis, but inflammation, stiffness, and pain is a common complaint among those afflicted. Research on the most common types of arthritis shows that altering your diet can reduce symptoms and sometimes even reverse disease progression. This is especially true with a whole foods, plant-based diet that incorporates anti-inflammatory foods, and avoids highly-processed, sugary, and animal-derived foods. Whether or not youre currently struggling with arthritis, the best time to bring down inflammation is now. And the best place to start is with the food on your plate.
If you are new to the idea of using food as medicine or the importance of nutrition as preventative care or to deal with a chronic illness one of the best things you can do is sign-up for the Food Revolution Summit. Its Free and one of the most informative summits I can recommend to help you get started on optimizing your health.
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What Are The Symptoms And Signs Of Rheumatoid And Osteoarthritis
Although rheumatoid arthritis can have many different symptoms, joints are always affected. Rheumatoid arthritis almost always affects the joints of the hands , wrists, elbows, knees, ankles, and/or feet. The larger joints, such as the shoulders, hips, and jaw, may be affected. The vertebrae of the neck are sometimes involved in people who have had the disease for many years. Usually at least two or three different joints are involved on both sides of the body, often in a symmetrical pattern. The usual joint symptoms include the following:
- Stiffness: The joint does not move as well as it once did. Its range of motion may be reduced. Typically, stiffness is most noticeable in the morning and improves later in the day.
- Inflammation: Red, tender, and warm joints are the hallmarks of inflammation. Many joints are typically inflamed .
- Swelling: The area around the affected joint is swollen and puffy.
- Nodules: These are hard bumps that appear on or near the joint. They often are found near the elbows. They are most noticeable on the part of the joint that juts out when the joint is flexed.
- Pain: Pain in rheumatoid arthritis has several sources. Pain can come from inflammation or swelling of the joint and surrounding tissues or from working the joint too hard. The intensity of the pain varies among individuals.
These symptoms may keep someone from being able to carry out normal activities. General symptoms include the following:
Affected Joints In Oa
The primary goal in treating both OA and RA is to:
- reduce pain
- minimize damage to your joints
Your doctor will approach these goals differently, depending on which condition you have.
If you have RA, drugs that suppress your immune system can prevent damage by stopping your body from attacking your joints, and prevent joint damage.
The following are some of the questions you may have about RA and OA:
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The Location Of The Joint Pain
RA Most commonly these joints are affected: hands, wrists, fingers, elbows, knees, feet, and hips. However, the pain can be in any joint. The pain is usually symmetrical it effects both sides of the body at the same time.
OA There is pain wherever a joint has been injured or worn through overuse most commonly in the hands, fingers, thumb, knees, hips, lower back and neck. The pain is not symmetrical. The lifetime risk of developing OA of the knee is about 46 percent, and the lifetime risk of developing OA of the hip is 25 percent, according to the American College of Rheumatology.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Vs Osteoarthritis: Joint Shapes
RA definitely changes the shape of the joints dramatically. On this side, its going to be more of a twisting different shape of the joint. How joints shapes can affect Rheumatoid Arthritis vs Osteoarthritis.
In osteoarthritis, its going to be more of an enlargement hes going down the sensory organs on the OS. If the patient is using the joint and youre next to them you might hear something. A sound called crepitus. Which is the sound that their joints make when its bone grinding on bone. Its a sound of friction and grinding. It doesnt sound good coming from a joint but its something thats more specific to osteoarthritis than rheumatoid.
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> > > Erase Joint Pain Without Surgery Or Injections
Anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and Tylenol are available over-the-counter to alleviate joint pain. The same medications can be prescribed by a doctor. If you are experiencing more severe joint pain, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. If your pain is caused by an injury, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. You should be aware of the symptoms and make sure that they are not caused by a serious condition.
WhatS The Difference Between Arthritis Osteoarthritis And Rheumatoid Arthritis Inflammation can lead to joint pain. Inflammation can lead to joint damage. Your doctor can prescribe medication to stop the inflammation. While over-the-counter medications can help relieve the pain, they have side effects and should be taken only as directed by your doctor. Your doctor will discuss your treatment options and advise you on any side effects that may occur. If your joint pain is chronic or doesnt respond to these medicines, you may need to see a surgeon.
WhatS The Difference Between Arthritis Osteoarthritis And Rheumatoid ArthritisSymptoms of osteoarthritis usually start slowly and gradually worsen over time. You should visit your doctor if your joint pain persists. A doctor will examine you to make sure theres no swelling or redness in the joints. They may order X-rays and perform lab tests to rule out any underlying diseases. If the diagnosis is confirmed, the goal of treatment is to reduce pain and improve joint function.
Managing Osteoarthritis Or Rheumatoid Arthritis
Both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can have a profound impact on your daily life. They can affect your work or social activities and may make it difficult to do the things you used to do. Treatment can be beneficial for relieving the symptoms of osteoarthritis and RA, and self-management strategies can help you feel more in control of your health.
It can be helpful to stay organized and keep track of your symptoms, pain levels, medications, and side effects. You can share this information with your doctor and the two of you can work together to figure out which treatment options will work best for you.
Its also important to address the emotional aspect of living with a chronic illness. Whether youre newly diagnosed or have been living with osteoarthritis or RA for years, its normal to go through a range of emotions related to your disease. You may feel angry, depressed, or overwhelmed. Know that its OK to feel that way.
If you feel comfortable, talking to a friend or loved one can be helpful when you feel like your disease is getting you down. Although asking for help can be hard, you may need to lean on your support system, especially if you are at a stage in your disease that makes it difficult to do things like shop or clean the house. Therapy can also be helpful if you are struggling.
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Is A Fear Of Falling A Symptom Of Osteoarthritis
Q) I’m 86 and have had osteoarthritis for many years. This has worsened during the past five years, with me requiring a walking stick and now a tri-wheel walker. The worst side effect is that I can’t go down slopes and am nervous even with the help of the walker, feeling that I will fall over. Initially I believed that this was a psychological reaction, but I was assured that it was a symptom of the condition. Is this correct, please, and is there anything I can do about it?
Robert, via email – 2013
This answer was provided by Dr Philip Helliwell in 2013, and was correct at the time of publication.