Rheumatoid Arthritis Inflammation: What is There to Know?

Posted on 20. Jul, 2012 by in General Health Concerns

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

It’s a chronic, autoimmune disease that causes inflammation, swelling, warmth, and pain in the lining of the joints; it occurs typically in hands, knees, and wrists that results to join deformity, organ damage, and bone erosion. Shoulders, necks, elbows, and the jaw could also be affected by rheumatoid arthritis. Joint pain happens symmetrically.

Flares are episodes of increase disease activity—inflammation, pain–that trigger after experiencing stress and infection. Flares are unpredictable; a patient could develop it, and then enter an uncertain period of rest. It could also appear spontaneously.

What Causes Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Specialist has not yet found the precise cause of rheumatoid arthritis. This type of inflammatory arthritis believes to occur when the immune system mistakenly recognize your body’s own tissues as a threat and attacks it. Then the synovium, a thin layer of soft tissue lining the joint space, builds up unwanted fluid that leads to swelling, fever, and systemic pain.

How Common is it?

Research shows that rheumatoid arthritis inflammation occurs three times as often among women than in men; it usually starts at the age of forty to sixty. The severity of the disease is more aggravated in smokers.   

What are the Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis Inflammation?

It may include:

  • Stiffness, that mostly occurs in the morning
  • Pain within the joints that results in limited range of motion, there is also sensitivity
  • Swelling
  • Warmth, joint is warmer compared to the other parts of the body
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Redness
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mild anemia
  • Bumps of tissues (rheumatoid nodules)

This chronic disease affects each person differently. Some patients can rapidly develop the symptoms, while the others can acquire it slowly throughout the years. Patients could suffer from more severe symptoms than others. In some cases, patients could also be affected by joint pain in an uncertain length of time, and then experienced abatement of symptoms.

When to Seek a Medical Specialist

Consult with a physician immediately when one of the following happens:

  • Unexplained symptoms occurs
  • There is unbearable pain in the joint
  • Persistent discomfort
  • Fever coinciding with joint pain
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs are ineffective

Self-Care At Home

While waiting for a medical appointment, you can do self-care to ease mild discomfort.

  • Apply a cold or heat pack to the affected area three times every day; it will help reduce the pain and stiffness.
  • Take medications (if it’s still effective) like aspirin, ibuprofen, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug to lessen pain and inflammation.
  • Avert any activities that will further stress the affected joint.

How does a Physician Diagnose Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis inflammation can be diagnosed by the physician in variety of ways: blood test, joint x-ray, ocular observation of rheumatoid nodules.

Anti-CCP or cyclic citrulline antibody test is an examination that detects antibodies that are associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Since mild anemia is one of the symptoms, a blood test is done to detect low-level of erythrocytes.

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