Rheumatoid arthritis or rheumato is a subtype of inflammatory arthritis which degrades bones and cartilages.
It affects more than 2 billion people every year, with women filling up the larger portion of patients.
In medical terms, rheumatoid arthritis autoimmune disease is said to be triggered by overactive white blood cells (WBCs).
In certain conditions, WBCs may start attacking the body's own tissues, including joints and internal organs.
Over time, it may lead to breakdown of joint cartilage and bones, thereby restricting movement.
RA can also deform the bone structures and completely degenerate vital body systems like the brain, intestines etc.
A wide range of rheumatoid arthritis treatment, like physiotherapy, DMARDS drugs etc. are available to manage RA in everyday life.
They also help to prevent the irreversible damage caused by it.
What are usually the first signs of rheumatoid arthritis?
RA is a chronic condition that can produce distinct and extremely disturbing physical signs.
Rheumatoid arthritis early symptoms are usually visible on the hands, feet and wrists of both sides simultaneously.
But full-body rheumatoid arthritis symptoms like exhaustion, weight loss, restricted movement etc. are also common.
Joint pain and redness: Swelling increases with passing days. May develop a persistent pain. Skin discolouration occurs in patches around affected joints.
Stiffness and tenderness: Cartilages may get constricted during the morning hours. Base of hands or feet may become too soft to touch. Numbness and tingling sensations are also experienced.
Low physical energy: One of the most typical early signs of rheumatoid arthritis. Can manifest as poor mental abilities, low libido, laziness and inability to perform physical labour.
Abnormal body vitals: Mild fever with heating in joints and slow metabolism are experienced as health deteriorates.
What are the 4 stages of rheumatoid arthritis?
Currently, 4 types of rheumatoid arthritis are known to medical science.
But their physical symptoms and developing mechanisms are similar.
Initially, RA may display overactivity of WBC’s and build of fluids around the joint tissues.
In later stages, the joint cartilages become completely swollen and the bones join together.
Early Stage: Pain and swelling are experienced after physical activity and in the morning. Fatigue and irritability are equally probable.
Increased Swelling: Antibodies are formed to curb rheumatic reactions. You may develop nodules on bones. Inflammation may start appearing on lungs, eyes, skin, kidneys and heart.
Full Symptomatic Stage: Deformation begins. The fingers, knees and toes can curve and bend inside. Usually followed with non-relieving stiffness. Joint function is partially restricted here.
Fusion of Joints: Progressed damage can dry up the joint fluids. Friction between bones can lead to their sticking together as a single unit. In this state, the movement is completely inhibited.
What is the main cause of rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by the gradual degradation of joint fluids, cartilages and bones by the immunity cells.
Presence of antibodies, inflammation-causing enzymes and excess WBCs in the blood are characteristic rheumatology symptoms.
Such a build up can be initiated by any of the following conditions:
Age and Gender: Women and people above 50 years are most likely to develop it.
Substance abuse: Alcohol and tobacco consumption not only worsens the signs of rheumatoid arthritis, but also predisposes you to the disorder.
Obesity: Metabolic disorders directly impact joint health. It can be a causal factor of excess toxin accumulation in the blood.
Chemical exposure: Inhaling industry-scale agents like silica, asbestos etc. over a long time can weaken joint tissues. It initiates drying up of synovial fluid.
Family history: A number of surveys indicate rheumatoid arthritis genetic links. In fact, your chances of developing RA can double up if you have a kin suffering from the disorder.
What foods are bad for rheumatoid arthritis?
Refined sugars: If there’s anything that can intensify your RA symptoms like never before, it is refined carbs. So it’s best to avoid bakery items, white bread, donuts, cookies and the like.
Dairy products: Excess of milk and other dairy products can trigger inflammatory reactions in your body. Make sure to keep a check on your cheese, cream and mayonnaise intake if you wish to soothe that rheumatoid arthritis knee!
Quick snacks: They may help you cut the anxiety, but chips, crackers and other street foods contain high amounts of MSG. It can get in the way of your joint’s healing.
Salty items: Red meat, junk foods or ready-to-bake items - all the foods that come with an extra layer of salt are best kept away. They can dehydrate the joint tissues, making them stiffer every morning.
Omega 6 fatty acids: Fried items especially those made in sunflower, corn or soybean oil can irritate your rheumatoid arthritis joints. They may aggravate your pain, if not blow up your symptoms right out of the roof!
What fruits are good for rheumatoid arthritis?
Strawberries: Antioxidants, anthocyanins and Vitamin C - everything that makes up a balanced rheumatoid arthritis cure. They can cut through your joint inflammation to give you long-lasting pain relief!
Watermelon: As refreshing as they look, watermelons are the perfect snack for full-body detox. They refresh the joint tissues to ease movements.
Citrus fruits: They are helpful to revitalize the joints and regulate immune system activity. Oranges and lemons make for great winter detox drinks too!
Small berries: Mix up all the blue, black and red berries in your fridge for your evening snack. Their antioxidants are helpful to reduce joint redness and inflammation.
Avocado: Contains healthy monounsaturated fats and Vitamin E. Also helps to slow down the degeneration of cartilages.
What is the best home remedy for rheumatoid arthritis?
Dietary Habits: Increase your intake of antioxidants with Turmeric, Ginger, Yoghurt and semi-cooked vegetables. They can prevent your occasional flare ups.
Hot or Cold Compress: Most used home remedies for rheumatoid arthritis. Put a cold pack to reduce your joint pain and switch it with a heating pad if you experience stiffness.
Fish Oil: Rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, these tablets are a boon for joints. They can prevent ageing and untimely death of cartilage cells.
Ashwagandha: Provides essential minerals for the upkeep of joint tissues. Increases bone density and paces up the muscle repair process.
Shallaki: Balances the Vata energy to reduce inflammatory reactions. Also corrects the metabolic process to ease elimination of wastes.
Stretching and Exercise: Perform light physical activities like Yoga, walking etc. to tone the joint muscles. They increase movement range.
What is the best vitamin for rheumatoid arthritis?
Folic Acid: Shows a promising way about how rheumatoid arthritis can be cured. Corrects metabolism, promotes cellular regeneration rate and increases flexibility of joints.
Calcium: Helps in the maintenance of bones. Covers up for the loss of bone lubrication. Effectively reduces intensity of flare ups.
Vitamin D: Increases absorption of Calcium from blood. Curbs the overactivity of body cells.
Vitamin C: In regulated doses, it can help to protect joints from further damage. Supplements the daily needs for antioxidants.
Curcumin: Found in Turmeric. Reduces inflammation and pain in the affected areas. Promotes skin health to prevent red patches.
How can I reverse rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis causes permanent damage to the joints, which cannot be reversed.
But you can use a series of techniques to prevent flare ups and ease the physical symptoms like swelling.
Massage: Use a warm oil to tone the joint muscles. Apply it daily for better pain and stiffness relief.
Probiotics: You can use fermented dairy products like yoghurt to fulfill Calcium and Vitamin D needs. They also normalize the gut activity for better immunity.
Yoga: Redirects blood flow to the affected areas to enhance their healing. Plays a vital role in blood purification.
Herbal Supplements: Thyme, Cinnamon, Black Pepper,
Green-Lipped Mussel and Guduchi are highly beneficial to relieve RA symptoms.
What is the best treatment for rheumatoid arthritis?
NSAIDs and Steroids: Most commonly used. They can reduce the acute symptoms. Side effects include heart and kidney complications.
Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs): Specialized drugs that control the activity of immune cells. Can effectively prevent joint damage over a long period of time.
Occupational Therapy: Helps to ease living with RA. May use physical exercises and assistive devices to increase motion.
Surgery: Used in final stages to replace/repair ligaments, synovium or bones. Also used to transplant the joint completely.
Ayurvedic Formulations: Use a series of herbal formulations that normalize joint function, regulate WBC production and reduce complications of RA.
Natural remedies stand as a safer alternative in the long run.
That’s why it is the best treatment for rheumatoid arthritis available to young and middle aged patients.
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