A disease condition whereby your immune system attacks your own body is called an autoimmune disease. The immune system protects the body against foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses, once it notices their presence, it mobilizes cells to fight these invaders. Normally, your immune system knows the difference between your own cells and foreign bodies, but in some cases, it mistakenly releases antibodies that fight your own cells leading to autoimmune disease.
Rheumatoid is an autoimmune disorder that can cause chronic pain, lack of balance, withers, and in some cases, deformity. It attacks mainly the joints.
Rheumatoid is a disease condition that can differ from person to person based on genetic makeup.
Types of Rheumatoid Arthritis
There are three known types of Rheumatoid arthritis. They are.
- Seropositive: When the blood serum detects the Rheumatoid arthritis antibodies.
- Seronegative: When there are no Rheumatoid arthritis antibodies present in the blood serum.
- Juvenile: This occurs in children under the age of 16 years.
Causes and Risk Factors
Being an autoimmune disease condition, Rheumatoid arthritis is basically caused by the immune system rising against body cells although it is not yet known what triggers this.
- Family history: If someone in your family has it, there is a likelihood of you getting it. Therefore, rheumatoid can be genetically transferred from one generation to another.
- Environmental factors: There are toxic materials/products in the environment which can place one at high odds of rheumatoid.
- Age: People between the ages of 40-60 are more likely to be down with it.
- Obesity: Often occurs in people under 55 years.
- Smoking: Research has shown that cigarette smoking increases a person’s risk of developing rheumatoid and can make the disease worse.
- A woman’s history of births: It is worthy to note that women who have never given birth may be at greater risk of developing rheumatoid.
- Life Exposures: Some early life exposures can increase the risk of rheumatoid arthritis later in life. Example, one study found that children who are exposed to smoking have the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis in their adulthood. Children of poor parents are at higher risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis when they grow up as adults.
Signs and Symptoms
Some of the symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis are pain in the joint, stiffness (worst after inactivity), tenderness, inflammation, whole body fatigue, anemia, etc.
- The physician observes the patient. Check for soft tissue swelling stiffness around the joints, warmth and redness. He may also check your reflexes.
- High C-reactive protein and elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) are noticeable in individuals with rheumatoid arthritis.
- X-rays, MRI, and Ultrasound tests can also help the doctor to determine the severity of the condition in your body.
There is no absolute cure for rheumatoid arthritis. But studies show that relief of symptoms is more likely when treatment starts early with drugs known as disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). You can also be referred to a therapist who can teach you exercises to help keep your joints flexible. The therapist may also suggest new ways to conduct your daily tasks that will be easier on your joints.
How you can better the quality of your life while managing Rheumatoid arthritis
Numerous facets of daily life, such as work, leisure, and social interactions, are impacted by Rheumatoid. Fortunately, there are cost effective strategies from the community on a variety of low-cost tactics that have been shown to improve quality of life.
Start some exercise. It has been established by experts that it is ideal to engage in 150 minutes of physical activity every week, such as 30 minutes per day of walking, riding or swimming. Additionally, regular exercise can lower your risk of developing other chronic conditions including depression, diabetes, and heart disease. Find out more about the benefits of exercise for arthritis.
Complications of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Heart disease: Rheumatoid patients are also at a higher risk for developing heart disease and diabetes. To prevent people with Rheumatoid arthritis from developing heart disease, health providers will focus treatment on factors that reduce risk of heart disease, for example, the doctor will advise patients with Rheumatoid arthritis to stop smoking and seek effective lose weight patterns.
Unemployment/Loss of job: Rheumatoid can make work difficult. Those with Rheumatoid are less likely to be employed than those who are free from it. Many people suffering from Rheumatoid arthritis discover they are unable to perform as many activities as they formerly could when the condition worsens. People with physically demanding employment are more likely to experience work loss because of Rheumatoid. Work loss is less common among people who have employment with low physical demands of jobs where they can control the pace and their daily activities.