RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS

INTRODUCTION

  • A chronic autoimmune inflammatory disease that affects the joints.

  • Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that can affect more than just your joints. In some people, the condition can damage a wide variety of body systems, including the skin, eyes, lungs, heart and blood vessels.

  • rheumatoid arthritis occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks your own body's tissues.

CAUSES

  • Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when your immune system attacks the synovium — the lining of the membranes that surround your joints.

  • The resulting inflammation thickens the synovium, which can eventually destroy the cartilage and bone within the joint.

  • The tendons and ligaments that hold the joint together weaken and stretch. Gradually, the joint loses its shape and alignment.

SIGN AND SYMPTOMS

  • Tender, warm, swollen joints

  • Joint stiffness that is usually worse in the mornings and after inactivity

  • Fatigue

  • fever

  • loss of appetite

RISK FACTOR

  • Your sex :Women are more likely than men to develop rheumatoid arthritis.

  • Age : Rheumatoid arthritis can occur at any age, but it most commonly begins in middle age.

  • Family history : If a member of your family has rheumatoid arthritis, you may have an increased risk of the disease.

  • Smoking : Cigarette smoking increases your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, particularly if you have a genetic predisposition for developing the disease. Smoking also appears to be associated with greater disease severity.

  • Environmental exposures : Although poorly understood, some exposures such as asbestos or silica may increase the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. Emergency workers exposed to dust from the collapse of the World Trade Center are at higher risk of autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.

  • Obesity : People — especially women age 55 and younger — who are overweight or obese appear to be at a somewhat higher risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.

COMPLICATION

  • Osteoporosis : Rheumatoid arthritis itself, along with some medications used for treating rheumatoid arthritis, can increase your risk of osteoporosis — a condition that weakens your bones and makes them more prone to fracture.

  • Rheumatoid nodules : These firm bumps of tissue most commonly form around pressure points, such as the elbows. However, these nodules can form anywhere in the body, including the lungs.

  • Sjogren's syndrome : People who have rheumatoid arthritis are much more likely to experience Sjogren's syndrome, a disorder that decreases the amount of moisture in your eyes and mouth.

  • Infections : The disease itself and many of the medications used to combat rheumatoid arthritis can impair the immune system, leading to increased infections.

  • Abnormal body composition : The proportion of fat to lean mass is often higher in people who have rheumatoid arthritis, even in people who have a normal body mass index (BMI).

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome : If rheumatoid arthritis affects your wrists, the inflammation can compress the nerve that serves most of your hand and fingers.

  • Heart problems : Rheumatoid arthritis can increase your risk of hardened and blocked arteries, as well as inflammation of the sac that encloses your heart.

  • Lung disease : People with rheumatoid arthritis have an increased risk of inflammation and scarring of the lung tissues, which can lead to progressive shortness of breath.

  • Lymphoma : Rheumatoid arthritis increases the risk of lymphoma, a group of blood cancers that develop in the lymph system.

DIAGNOSIS AND INVESTIGATION


BLOOD TEST

People with rheumatoid arthritis often have an elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate or C-reactive protein (CRP), which may indicate the presence of an inflammatory process in the body. Other common blood tests look for rheumatoid factor and anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP) antibodies.

IMAGING TEST

Your doctor may recommend X-rays to help track the progression of rheumatoid arthritis in your joints over time. MRI and ultrasound tests can help your doctor judge the severity of the disease in your body.


HOMOEOPATHIC THERAPEUTICS

  • Rhus Tox

  • Rhus Tox helps to relieve joint pains and stiffness by reducing the joint inflammation. Persons needing it mainly have joint stiffness worse in the morning and also after a period of inactivity. Warm applications and motion of affected joint helps to relieve their symptoms. Massaging the joint also offer relief in them

  • Apis Mellifica

  • Apis Mellifica is a well indicated medicine for cases where joint is highly swollen. Along with this the joint is red, and inflamed. Joint pains which are mainly burning, stinging type are also well treated with Apis. Joint is also sensitive to touch.

  • Bryonia

  • Bryonia is helpful for cases where joints are  red, hot and swollen. With this there is pain in joints. The pains are sharp, stitching type. The pain gets worse by motion and better with rest. Warmth may relieve the pains.  It is Indicated when  mostly knee and elbow joints are involved.

  • Antimonium Crudum

  • It is very beneficial to treat pain in finger joints and reduce its inflammation. Persons needing it mainly have worsening of pain from cold. They find relief by warm applications. Drawing sensation in the fingers may also be felt.

  • Actaea Spicata

  • Actaea Spicata is mainly given for cases where wrist pain and swelling are present. Wrist is also red with heat. The pain is worse from motion. It is also indicated to treat pain and swelling in other small joints of fingers, toes and ankle.

  • Caulophyllum

  • Caulophyllum is also used for treating arthritis that affect small joints. The small joints are painful and stiff in cases needing it. The joints of fingers, toes, ankle and wrist are affected in such cases. The pains keeps on shifting in minutes from one joint to other . In some case nodes are present on finger joints.

  • Arnica

  • Arnica is majorly used when the joints are extremely tender. Person has great fear of touching the affected joint due to pain and tenderness. The knee also has sore, bruised pain along with intense swelling.

  • Ledum Pal

  • Ledum Pal offers great help in reducing pain and swelling in the ankles.

  • Persons needing it have worsening of ankle pain from movement. They find relief in it by cold applications. They may have ascending rheumatism where pain start from feet joints and then ascend to joints above it in the leg.

  • Calcarea Carb

  • It is an Important medicine to manage pain and swelling in the knee joint. The pains are drawing, tearing in nature . The knee is swollen mostly at night time. It is also hot and tenderness to touch.

  • Colchicum

  • Persons having joint pain that worsens from touch are highly benefited with this medicine. Along with this they have heat and stiffness in the joints. The joints mainly involved where it is indicated are wrist, ankle, finger sand toes. Most times the pain are worse at night time in them. It is also used in management of cases where finger joints are highly damaged and distorted.

  • Pulsatilla

  • Pulsatilla is highly recommended medicine to treat shifting pains in joints. . The pain keeps on shifting. The affected joints are swollen and red. It is also indicated for joint pain in wet weather.

  • Lithium Carb

  • Pain, swelling and tenderness in small joints. Relief in joint pain from hot applications. Node formation of joints.

  • Ruta

  • Stiffness and pain in feet and hand joints. Node formation on wrist joint.

  • Salicylic Acid

  • joint pain worsen from touch and motion. Shifting pains in joints.

  • Calcarea Phos

  • For joint pain worsening in cold weather

  • Ferrum Met

  • to treat anemia with joint inflammation

  • Lactic acid

  • joint pains with excessive weakness

  • Natrum Sulph

  • Joint pain in damp, cold weather

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