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UNDERSTANDING RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS

Dr. Raghuveer Reddy, Thursday, October 31, 2019

Understanding Rheumatoid Arthritis

What is rheumatoid Arthritis?

Inflammation or swelling of joints is termed as arthritis. Swelling in both the joints of the knees, legs and wrists with deformities characterize rheumatoid arthritis. RA can attack the skin, lungs, nerves and the heart too.

Warning signs and symptoms of RA: RA or rheumatoid arthritis affects different individuals differently. Many individuals see slow progress of rheumatoid arthritis, in certain individuals it progresses rather faster. It is a long time disability.


Who gets rheumatoid arthritis?

Women are more susceptible to rheumatoid arthritis than men. It usually starts during the mid-forties and progress as one starts ageing. Some people experience symptoms for shorter periods, and the disease goes back into remission. Juveniles or children may get affected with rheumatoid arthritis; such cases are termed as juvenile arthritis.

What causes RA: the exact causes of RA are yet to be determined but the major factors are

  • Genetic reasons
  • Smoking
  • Any virus or bacteria might have changed the immune system that might lead to rheumatoid arthritis


Its effect on the body?

The cells in the immune system flow through the blood to the joints and the adjoining tissues called synovium. Once they get into the synovium they start attacking the cartilage and damaging it causing inflammation, redness and pain. Inflammation in the joint causes fluid buildup, wear and tear of the cartilage lead to the space between the two joints to be lessened, which makes the bones rub against each other, causing severe trauma, the joints become painful and swollen and cause severe immobility.


How is it diagnosed?

The diagnosis is done based on combination of factors like

  • RA factor test: RA factor is an antibody in the human immune system. High levels of RA factor can reveal the presence of rheumatoid arthritis, sometimes people with high level of RA may not have rheumatoid arthritis or vice-versa.
  • Results of blood tests and a normal x-ray of the joint
  • Stiffness of joints
  • Physical examination of all the joints in the body
  • Elevated CRP levels or c-reactive protein indicate the presence of inflammation in the body
  • A positive result of antinuclear body test or ANA establishes the presence of autoimmune disease.
  • Anti CCP antibodies indicate the presence of antibodies.
  • Treatment options: The treatment options are exercised by doctors depending upon the condition of the patient.
  • Medication to ease pain and inflammation
  • Exercises to relieve pain are suggested
  • Physical therapy improves the condition to a great extent
  • Surgery: Surgery for RA can be an important option for people with permanent damage that limits daily function, mobility and independence. To relieve pain and restore function in joints badly damaged by RA, Joint replacement surgery can be opted for. The procedure involves replacing damaged parts of a joint with metal and plastic parts. Hip and knee replacements are most common. However, ankles, shoulders, wrists, elbows, and other joints may be considered for replacement.

Preventive steps: Rheumatoid arthritis can attack any time but certain preventive measures can be taken such as:

  • Keeping tab on your weight
  • Eating more of fruits and vegetables to maintain antioxidants in the body
  • If you are genetically predisposed to the risk get yourself periodically checked.

Rheumatology as a specialty gaining ground in India. KIMS is emerging as an outstanding hospital in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in Hyderabad. The Best treatment for Rheumatology in Hyderabad is in KIMS, not just the best but the right treatment for the right person. Joint replacement surgery is done in extreme cases to help patients with their mobility and pain after a thorough investigation. Dr. Sarath Chandra Mouli is the best and eminent doctor in Hyderabad for rheumatology treatment. Dr. Sarath Chandra Mouli is the best rheumatologist in Hyderabad who has helped many patients gain remission from rheumatoid arthritis and lead normal lives.

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