Rheumatoid arthritis – Symptoms, causes, and ways to manage it Health

Rheumatoid arthritis – Symptoms, causes, and ways to manage it

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disorder that affects the joints in the body. It mainly affects the hands, wrists, and knees. The lining of the joint is inflamed, which can lead to joint damage and cause a life-long and chronic case of pain and discomfort. In some cases, RA can also affect the other parts of the body such as the eyes, lungs, and heart. Read on to learn more.

With RA, the lining of the joints gets affected. This can lead to the development of swelling in the joints. It can even lead to erosion of the bone or cause deformity in the joints. RA can also negatively impact other parts of the body. That being said, rheumatoid arthritis affects each individual differently. Every patient’s symptoms will be different. But there are some common signs of the condition; they include:

  • Swelling in joints
  • Stiffness in joints can be worse after no activity first thing in the morning
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever
  • Fatigue

In the early stages of this disorder, individuals may notice symptoms in their smaller joints such as the joints of the fingers and toes. As the condition continues to progress, this will affect other joints such as wrists, knees, ankles, and even hips and shoulders. These signs and symptoms may not be constant and can vary in severity with each flare-up.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder. This means it is caused due to the body’s own immune system attacking the healthy cells. When a person suffers from RA, the immune cells are attacking the healthy cells in the joints, which leads to swelling and other health troubles. Experts are yet to find what causes the body’s immune system to attack its own cells. But they have been able to conclude that certain factors can increase the risk of developing this condition. Factors such as family history, age, and even gender can influence and increase the risk of RA.

There is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis. The goal of treating this disorder is to keep the joint pain and swelling at bay and make it easy to function in day-to-day life. Treatment also focuses on trying to slow down or stop the damage to the joint. There are many different options available for treating this condition, including lifestyle changes, therapies, treatments, as well as surgery. Surgery is usually used to repair and restore the function of joints that are severely damaged. It is also recommended as a way to tackle the pain in joints.

Natural remedies
While these treatments can help with rheumatoid arthritis, individuals can also benefit from natural and home remedies. There are different types of remedies. Stretching and exercise can help with strengthening the muscles around the joints. This can help reduce the impact on the joints and even alleviate the symptoms of this condition. Individuals can also try the hot and cold remedy where they apply heat or cold to the joint to relieve the pain in the area.

Foods to eat and avoid
Certain foods can also help alleviate the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids can help with RA pain as well as stiffness in the joints. Salmon and mackerel are examples of such foods. One can also try eating foods like low-fat dairy, lean protein, and whole grains. Some foods can also worsen RA and should be avoided. These include foods such as red meats, processed foods, and those that contain excess sugar.