Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disorder that can cause pain in the joints and throughout the body. rheumatoid arthritis (RA) causes joint damage on both sides of your body. For example, if one side of your arms or leg is affected, your other arm or leg will probably be affected, as well. This enables doctors to differentiate between rheumatoid arthritis and different types of arthritis, including osteoarthritis (OA).
The joint pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis can be managed best if it’s diagnosed early; hence it’s crucial to learn the symptoms. Let us dive deep into RA, from symptoms and causes to home remedies, blood tests, and other treatments.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms :
rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes severe pain and inflammation in the joints. The symptoms occur in specific periods known as flares or exacerbations, or periods of remission when the symptoms disappear on their own.
The disorder can affect several body parts; however, the joint symptoms include swelling in the joints, stiffness, severe pain, loss of joint function, and other deformities. The signs and symptoms may vary from person to person. It’s essential not to ignore the early signs, even if they don’t persist longer. Being aware of the first symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis will help your doctor better understand treat your pain.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Causes :
The exact cause of rheumatoid arthritis remains unknown, but doctors believe many factors play a significant role in triggering the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. The reasons are not known to doctors, but certain risks and triggers are involved.
Some of the significant factors that can increase your risk of developing RA are given below:
- Women are known to develop rheumatoid arthritis more than men
Some of the factors that may trigger the onset of rheumatoid arthritis are given below:
- Exposure to certain bacteria, including those related to periodontal disease
- Having a history of viral infections, including Epstein-Barr virus that leads to mononucleosis
- Any trauma or injury in the past, such as bone fracture or damage, joint dislocation, and a ligament injury
How Is Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Diagnosed?
It can take some time for the doctors to diagnose rheumatoid arthritis and the patient may require undergoing several blood tests to confirm the findings. Your doctor will use many tools to diagnose rheumatoid arthritis. Initially, your healthcare provider will ask you about your medical history and symptoms. A physical examination of your joints will be performed by them, including but not limited to:
- Checking your reflexes
- Testing muscle strength
- Looking for swelling and inflammation
- Touching affected joints to ensure tenderness
- Examining the proper functioning of joints and range of motion
If any of the above proves true in your case, your healthcare provider will most likely refer you to a rheumatologist.
Since no single test can confirm rheumatoid arthritis, a patient may require undergoing several tests to ensure the likelihood of RA. For example, they may look for the presence of antibodies in your blood, or check the level of acute phase reactants — certain substances that are elevated during inflammatory conditions. Additionally, doctors may ask you to undergo specific imaging tests, including X-ray and MRI. Tests confirm the severity of the disease and if there’s joint damage in the first place.
The rheumatologist may also ask the patient to undergo a complete evaluation and monitoring of other organ systems, in some cases.
Blood Tests For Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) :
There are various blood tests for determining rheumatoid arthritis (RA), which include:
- Antinuclear Antibody Test: This particular blood test checks if your body is producing enough antibodies as a response to different types of diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis.
- C - Reactive protein Test: Any inflammatory condition or severe infection triggers your liver to produce the C-reactive protein. High levels of this protein indicate the occurrence of RA.
- Rheumatoid Factor Test: The blood test looks for a protein known as rheumatoid factors. High levels of this factor indicate the presence of autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.
- Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate: This particular test helps determine the inflammation level in your body. However, the cause of inflammation requires other tests.
Anticitrullinated Protein Antibody Test (anti-CCP): This test checks for the antibody that’s related to rheumatoid arthritis. The presence of this antibody confirms RA. However, there are some cases where people tested negative for RA, even though they have this antibody. The anti-CCP Ab is more specific for rheumatoid arthritis than the RF test.
How Can Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Be Treated?
Although there’s no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, there are specific treatments that can help patients get relief from pain and manage it. Rheumatoid arthritis can keep both patients and healthcare professionals on their toes until they confirm RA and figure out the best ways to treat the symptoms.
Advancements in medicine have resulted in ever-improving outcomes and quality of life for individuals with rheumatoid arthritis. For example, Treat to Target Rheumatoid Arthritis is a treatment philosophy that physicians use to treat the symptoms of the disease better. This treatment approach has helped patients manage their symptoms and resulted in higher remission rates.
Treatments for rheumatoid arthritis involve managing the pain and controlling the inflammatory response that can lead to remission. Some of the treatments include:
- Changes in diet
- Home remedies
Your rheumatologist will work with you to determine the treatment that would do the best for you, keeping your medical history into consideration. For many, the treatment plans help with reducing the pain and risk of long-term complications.
Medications For Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) :
There are lots of medications for rheumatoid arthritis, including the ones that help reduce the pain and inflammation resulting from the disease. Some help reduces flares and damage to the joints. Mentioned below are some of the over-the-counter medications that help reduce the pain and inflammation:
- Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
Given below are the drugs that work to limit the damage caused by RA on your body:
- Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs (DMARDs): These drugs work by blocking the response of the body’s immune system, thereby helping slow down the progression of rheumatoid arthritis.
- Biologics: These are next-gen DMARDs that provide a targeted response to the flares rather than blocking the body’s immune response. They may show wonders for patients who do not respond to more additional DMARDs.
- Janus Kinase (JAK) Inhibitors: These are a subset of DMARDs that block specific responses of your body’s immune system. These are the type of medications that your physician may recommend when biologics and DMARDs don’t work for you. These drugs help prevent inflammation and stop joint damage.
Ayurvedic Treatment For Rheumatoid Arthritis :
Grocare' Ayurvedic treatment for rheumatoid arthritis includes the GC® Tablets, Acidim®, Activiz®, Oronerv®, and Stomium® that works in harmony to help correct distortion in air element in the joints. GC® and Acidim® work together to balance the pH levels in the body. Both medicines are comprehensive detoxifiers and are antiprotozoal. Oronerv® acts as a neuro-vascular tonic that strengthens the vascular and nervous system. Furthermore, it allows the smooth flow of nerve signals. Hence, the pressure on the nerves and joints gets relaxed, thereby helping patients get relief from inflammation and pain.
Together, GC® Tablets, Acidim®, Activiz®, Oronerv®, and Stomium® help in treating rheumatoid arthritis in patients naturally.
Home Remedies For Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) :
There are certain home remedies and lifestyle changes that may help improve your quality of life, including assistive devices, exercise, and changes in diet.
1. Exercise: Certain exercises, such as the low-impact ones can help improve your joint movements and increase mobility. Regular workouts can also strengthen muscles, thereby helping relieve joint pressure. Patients can benefit from gentle yoga that can help in regaining muscle strength and flexibility.
2. Proper Rest: Patients are asked to get proper rest during flare-ups and less during remission. Getting enough sleep helps reduce inflammation, joint pain, and fatigue.
3. Apply Heat/Cold Compress: Ice packs or cold compresses can help reduce joint pain and inflammation as well as muscle spasms. Patients can also use hot treatments such as hot compresses and warm showers, which helps reduce stiffness.
4. Assistive Devices: There are specific devices such as braces and splints that can hold your joints in a resting position, thereby helping reduce inflammation. Additionally, canes and crutches can help maintain mobility, even during flare-ups.
This Kit is designed to treat rheumatoid arthritis without surgery.
Each 40 Day Kit Contains:
GC® Tablets, Acidim®, Activiz®, Oronerv®, and Stomium®
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Kit made with enriched natural herbs helps to relieve all the symptoms of RA-like joints pain, swelling, stiffness, and redness, thereby help in treating rheumatoid arthritis.