Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints. This condition can also affect the tissues surrounding the joints (muscles, tendons, ligaments) as well as other organs of the body (skin, blood vessels, heart, lungs and muscles).

Unlike the wear-and-tear damage of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis affects the lining of your joints, causing a painful swelling that can eventually result in bone erosion and joint deformity.

It is an autoimmune disorder, rheumatoid arthritis occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks your own body’s tissues. In addition to causing joint problems, rheumatoid arthritis sometimes can affect other organs of the body — such as the skin, eyes, lungs and blood vessels.

Rheumatoid arthritis usually begins after 40 yrs of age and is more common in women than men.

What are the causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis?

  • It is mainly an Autoimmune condition. 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.
  • Infections (bacterial, viral or fungal) or certain factors in the environment are also suspected to be a trigger for an abnormal response by the immune system in an individual who is susceptible.

Risk factors:

Age: Rheumatoid arthritis can occur at any age, but usually occurs between 40- 60 yrs of age.

Sex: Women are more likely to develop Rheumatoid arthritis than men

Family history: Positive family history may increase the risk of Rheumatoid arthritis,

Smoking: increases the risk of Rheumatoid arthritis.

Hormonal changes: Changes in the hormonal levels during pregnancy and breastfeeding may cause changes in hormonal levels.

What are the Symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis?

The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis come and go, depending on the degree of tissue inflammation. When body tissues are inflamed, the disease is active.

When tissue inflammation subsides, the disease is inactive (in remission). Remissions can occur spontaneously or with treatment and can last weeks, months, or years.

During remissions, symptoms of the disease disappear, and people generally feel well. When the disease becomes active again (relapse), symptoms return.

Sites:

  • Early rheumatoid arthritis tends to affect your smaller joints first — particularly the joints that attach your fingers to your hands and your toes to your feet.
  • As the disease progresses, symptoms often spread to the knees, ankles, elbows, hips and shoulders. In most cases, symptoms occur in the same joints on both sides of your body.

Common symptoms during the active stage of RA are as follows:

• Symmetrical affection of joints is common
• Joint swelling, redness and tenderness
• Joint stiffness
• Limited range of motion of joints
• Deformities of hands and feet (at later stages)
• Muscular pains
• Fever
• Loss of appetite
• Usually multiple joints are affected at one time (polyarthritis)
• Skin redness or inflammation
• Round, painless nodules under the skin
• Inflammation of the lung (pleurisy)
• Swollen glands
• Anemia

Diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis:

Physical examination:

Swelling, redness, restriction of movements, Muscle reflexes and strength is checked in the physical examination.

Blood tests:

  • Complete blood count
  • ESR
  • RA factor
  • X- Ray
  • C reactive protein

Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis is a Auto-Immune condition and Homeopathy can effectively target auto-immune disorders especially those in which stress is the known trigger.
  • Homeopathic treatment aims at offering symptomatic relief to patients of Rheumatoid arthritis and correcting the altered immunity in order to control the progress of the disease.
  • The treatment also helps in delaying the onset of complications such as deformities or disability as far as possible.
  • The pain control is very effective with homeopathy and this is without any side effects whatsoever. Thus Homeopathy is very strongly suggested for all cases of Rheumatoid Arthritis.