One of the most common forms of Arthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis of rheumatic arthritis is a condition where the joints suffer from inflammation due to autoimmune actions. Autoimmune means that the immune system mistakenly attacks certain parts of the body, leading to a problematic cause.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a very complicated medical condition because the body's antibodies which attack the tissues in joint areas might also attack some other organs in the digestive and circulatory system. People diagnosed with this condition are suffering from swelling of joints that lead to redness, stiffness, and pain. In some cases, the swelling might also occur in places near the joints such as muscles, ligaments, cartilages, and bones. In some cases, the condition might lead to deformity of some body parts. In worst cases, Rheumatoid arthritis may affect the lungs, heart, kidneys, and blood vessels.
The disease, which is common to women than men, often starts when people reach the age of 40. Current medical studies indicate that in the United States alone, almost 1.3 million people are suffering from this kind of disease.
What causes rheumatic arthritis? This article discussed earlier that the condition is caused by antibodies attacking the joints, but the reason why they attack the joints is still unknown in the medical world. Causes such as heredity, viruses, bacteria, environmental factors, and fungal infections are considered by many scientists.
Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis include weight loss, loss of energy, fatigue, loss of appetite, muscle aches, stiffness of joints, tenderness and swelling of the muscles, hardness in walking and moving the wrists, hoarseness of the voice, and different levels of fever.
Unlike other medical conditions that can be diagnosed in a single test, Rheumatoid Arthritis can only be diagnosed after a series of medical tests. In order to know if someone has Rheumatoid Arthritis, physicians check the history of patients for swelling and inflammation that can be connected to the condition. Blood tests, x-rays, detection of rheumatoid nodules, and MRI scanning are also performed in order to detect the disease.
Unfortunately, Rheumatoid Arthritis doesn't have a cure. The medications for this medical condition are only made to lessen the pain and prevent deformity in the body part affected by it. Drugs such as cortisone, ibuprofen, naproxen, and asprin are manufactured to lessen the pain while drugs such as methtrexate, methotrexate, toquinine, sulfasalazine, and hydroxychloroquine protect the joints from being destroyed by the disease.
With the advent of modern technology, new and effective drugs are manufactured in order to lessen the pain and prevent complications of the disease such as destruction of the bones and possible spread to other organs. Drugs such as golimumab, adalumumab, infliximab, and tocilizumab are designed to prevent infections. A product of biotechnology, Anakinra is a medicine injected to the skin which aims to bind the cells and fight arthritis. Abatacept is a new medicine that blocks the activation of T-cells, while a therapy using the Apheresis machine separates the blood cells and the plasma in the blood, cleaning it with harmful antibodies which trigger the disease.
Rheumatic arthritis might be considered as a very complicated form of arthritis, but humans should be thankful to technology and new breakthroughs in the field of medicine for offering new and effective ways to lessen the pain.