Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease where there is inflammation of joint synovium because of Immune attack.
  • Usually affect Small and Large Joints of Both Upper and Lower limb
  • Due to inflammation, there is pain, swelling, and difficulty in movement of joints
  • Symptoms become more prominent in morning hours after getting up from bed
  • Patients usually have difficulty in holding object, raising hand and performing day to day activities
  • Usually this present with Pain, swelling and stiffness of the small joints of hand after getting up from bed
  • A person suffering from RA may have difficulty in making fist of the hand, , combing of the hair, opening of the water bottle , brushing of the tooth, getting up from the chair etc
  • RA Can affect any joints of the body starting from, cervical spine, shoulder, wrist, small joints of hand, knee, ankle and small joints of the foot. Usually this doesn’t affect lower back and terminal finger joints.
  • Many a times this causes joint deformity making the patient bedbound
  • Apart from joint it can affect other body parts like lungs causing dry cough and breathlessness, eyes (red eye), skin nodules etc.
  • If not treated in time, this may increase the risk of heart attack.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease where there is inflammation of joint synovium because of Immune attack.
  • Normally our Immune system attack outside invading organism like bacteria and Viruses etc and designed to protect our own body parts like Joints.
  • In Rheumatoid arthritis, immune system become dysregulated and attacks one’s own joints. Although it is not completely known, why this happens, there is contribution of multiple factors such as gene, environment, infection etc.
  • Smoking and poor dental hygiene (Gingivitis) known to trigger the autoimmune process in some patients having rheumatoid arthritis.
Although men and women can get osteoporosis, this is more common in women because of lack of estrogen or hormonal support at old age. Common risk factors include

  • Rheumatoid arthritis affects around 1 per cent population of the world which means that out of 100 people one is likely to have this disease
  • It most commonly affect ladies of child bearing age (between the age 25-50)
  • Females are more prone to get this disease than their male counterparts with a ratio 3:1. For every 3 women affected by RA, you have one man who experiences the same.
  • Although some genetic factors are responsible for RA, usually this doesn’t run in family
  • With Proper treatment , one can have normal lifestyle in Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Rheumatologist are specialists who are trained to treat this disease
  • RA is mainly diagnosed by a trained rheumatologist or physician by taking complete symptom history and good clinical examination.
  • RA should not be diagnosed only based upon the blood test
  • Some blood tests like Rheumatoid factor and anti CCP antibody tests help in making diagnosis. But this should be done with proper rheumatology consultation as some normal healthy persons can have these antibodies in low quantity but they don’t have the disease. On the other hand 1/3rd of RA patients can have negative blood test results but they suffer from RA (They are called seronegative Rheumatoid arthritis).
  • Radiological tests like X ray is helpful only in detecting longterm joint damage. In doubtful cases, physician may ask for MRI of Joints which picks the disease inflammation in early stage. But usually these tests are not required.
  • Some blood tests are ordered to monitor the effects of prescribed drugs . These include Complete Blood Count (CBC), C-Reactive Protein (CRP), Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR), Liver Function test (LFT) and Kidney Function test
  • You may be prescribed with pain killers (NSAIDs) and low dose steroid medications for short period at disease onset for pain relief. But usually they are given for short periods.
  • The drugs that are useful in treating RA are known as DMARDs(Disease modifying antirheumatic drugs). They Include Methotraxate, sulfasalazine, Hydroxychloroquine, leflunamide etc.
  • These drugs should be prescribed and taken under supervision of a rheumatologist as they are trained to periodically monitor your blood test to look for any side effects of these drugs.
  • The drugs that are useful in treating AS are known as DMARDs(Disease modifying antirheumatic drugs). They Include Methotrexate, sulfasalazine, Hydroxycholoroquine, leflunamide etc. They are particularly useful for knee or ankle joint swelling but not for upper or lower back problems
  • If taken properly under supervision, these drugs helps to control joint inflammation and give patient a normal life
  • Biological drugs are new drugs that target specific molecules like TNF and other cytokines which incite inflammation in RA. They are very effective drugs but because of high costs, usually given after failure of other drugs.
  • Biologic drugs that are effective in RA include – Eternacept, Adalimumab, Infliximab, Golimumab, Rituximab, Tocilizumab, Abatacept etc.
  • With Proper treatment ,a Rheumatoid arthritis patient can lead a normal life without pain and deformity.
  • But if not treated properly from an early stage, there may be severe joint deformity and crippling.
  • This may increase risk of heart attack
  • This may involve other organs like lungs causing interstitial lungs disease, eyes causing scleritis, nerves causing neuropathy etc.
At OARC, we offer holistic care to patients suffering from all kind of arthritis and autoimmune diseases by our renowned rheumatologist.
Because of chronic illness of the disease, we spend some time with the patient helping them to know about their disease, and demystify the myths regarding the disease and treatment.
We have collaboAStion with NABL accredited laboAStory where all kind of blood tests can be done at reasonable costs.
We also have patient support system where patient can approach in case of any emergency.
We believe in a friendly relation with patients so that they can share all their sufferings and get the best possible treatment.