Everything You Need to Know About Rheumatoid Arthritis - Sukino

Everything You Need to Know About Rheumatoid Arthritis!

Rheumatoid arthritis affects roughly 1% of the population in India. Therefore, according to estimations, this type of arthritis affects about 10 lakh people. Most people believe that younger people are immune to arthritis and that it is a disease that only affects older individuals. However, arthritis can also affect those who are younger. There are two distinct varieties of arthritis. The first, called osteoarthritis, is brought on by ageing and is marked by cartilage deterioration. Rheumatoid arthritis is a variety of the other type, which are associated with inflammation. Most sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis are between the ages of 20 and 60, making up the younger age group. More women are affected than men. Juvenile idiopathic arthritis is the name for the type of arthritis that can affect kids. It is important to remember that the disease does not favour any age group.

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis, unlike osteoarthritis, can begin at a young age and occasionally affect new moms’ postpartum. The good news is that scientists at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus are testing ground-breaking medications in clinical trials, making significant progress in the development of therapies that are improving life for patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Doctors refer to rheumatoid arthritis as an autoimmune disorder. It begins when your immune system, which defends you, malfunctions and starts attacking the tissues in your own body. It inflames the joint lining in your body (the synovium). Your joints may become painful, swollen, red, and heated. Joints on both sides of the body, such as the hands, wrists, and knees, are affected by RA.

It can be distinguished from other types of arthritis thanks to its symmetry. Over time, RA can affect several organs and systems in the body, including the eyes, heart, lungs, skin, blood vessels, and more. RA is more common in women than in males for unknown reasons, and it typically strikes in middle life. A family history of RA raises the likelihood of developing the disease.

What age does rheumatoid arthritis start?

The onset of RA often occurs between the ages of 30 and 60. Rheumatoid arthritis, however, can strike anyone. It is known as young-onset rheumatoid arthritis when it affects children and young adults, typically between the ages of 16 and 40. Later-onset rheumatoid arthritis refers to cases where symptoms first appear after age 60. Disease severity, disease activity, and the existence of additional medical disorders are the three key risk factors that raise the probability that RA may be severe. Disease severity and the treatments for RA are significantly influenced by the age of onset. It affects the course of the disease and the likelihood that people may develop comorbidities or diseases that coexist with RA.

What are the causes of rheumatoid arthritis?

Most of our joints are made only to allow the bones to move a particular amount and in a certain direction. Your immune system may induce inflammation inside one or more joints if you have rheumatoid arthritis. A normal component of how your immune system functions are inflammation. It enables the body to transfer more fluid and blood to an area of the body where an infection is attacking. But with rheumatoid arthritis, this joint inflammation is unneeded and problematic. Let’s understand the causes of RA:

  • Age: Adults of any age can be affected by rheumatoid arthritis, however, diagnosis occurs most frequently in patients between the ages of 40 and 60. Rheumatoid arthritis affects about 75 per cent of persons when they are first diagnosed.
  • Genetics: A mix of environmental and genetic variables, including smoking and diet, contribute to the development of rheumatoid arthritis. Although the hereditary component of the ailment is not fully understood, it is believed that having a family with the condition enhances your risk of also having it.
  • Weight: Rheumatoid arthritis is much more likely to strike someone who is overweight than someone who is a healthy weight. Using your height and weight, the body mass index (BMI) determines whether your weight is healthy. The optimum BMI range for most adults is between 18.5 and 24.9.
  • If it is your BMI: Below 18.5, you are underweight; between 18.5 and 24.9, you are healthy; between 25 and 29.9, you are overweight; and between 30 and 39.9, you are obese.
  • Smoking: Rheumatoid arthritis is substantially more likely to develop in those who smoke cigarettes.
  • Diet: There is some evidence to suggest that eating a lot of red meat and not getting enough vitamin C may raise your risk of getting rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatoid Arthritis - Sukino

How to treat rheumatoid arthritis?

The primary therapeutic objectives for rheumatoid arthritis are to minimise RA-related disability, manage inflammation, and ease the pain. Medication, occupational or physical therapy, and exercise are frequently used as treatments. Surgery may be required sometimes to repair a joint injury. Effective treatment must begin as soon as possible. Joint deterioration is frequently slowed or prevented by current therapy. But there are a few short-term remedies for RA pain:

  • Try to sleep for at least 8 hours each night. If you don’t get enough sleep at night, a midday nap could also be beneficial. To get a diagnosis and a treatment plan if you have sleep apnea or are having insomnia, consult your doctor.
  • Swimming, water aerobics, and brisk walking are frequently excellent low-impact options. Your muscles will get stronger because of resistance exercise, such as utilising resistance bands. When your joints are sore or extremely inflamed, stay away from high-affected sports and take it easy. You can learn low-affected exercises on your own from a physical therapist as well.
  • Yoga provides tailored workouts and the possible health advantages of breathing and meditation. Yoga practice for 6 weeks improved mood, exhaustion, and acceptance of chronic pain in young women with RA, according to a study titled The Efficacy of Tai Chi and Yoga in Rheumatoid Arthritis and Spondyloarthropathies: A Narrative Biomedical Review. After two months, these gains persisted.
  • Traditional Chinese medicine frequently uses acupuncture to treat pain. It stimulates certain body points using tiny needles. Complications from acupuncture are rare or nonexistent. Before starting treatment, make sure your acupuncturist has received a current licence or certification.
  • A qualified therapist, a member of your family, or you yourself can give a massage that may reduce the symptoms of RA. People with RA who got massages with moderate pressure reported decreased discomfort, improved grip, and an expanded range of motion.
  • People with RA may find that mindfulness exercises help them unwind and manage their pain and other symptoms better. Observing your thoughts, emotions, and breathing during a meditation is one method. It may hurt for those with certain medical conditions to sit still while engaging in mindfulness meditation.


What distinguishes osteoarthritis from rheumatoid arthritis?

Osteoarthritis, often known as OA, is sometimes referred to be a disease of “wear and tear,” whereas RA is an immunological condition. For most persons with osteoarthritis, mechanical wear and tear from years of use can cause the cartilage in the joints to deteriorate. 10% of people will experience OA in their lives, and that percentage rises with advancing age. Weight-bearing joints and the spine are frequent targets for OA.

Is there a blood test which can confirm the diagnosis?

Your rheumatologist can and likely will run several blood tests to aid in the diagnosis of RA. They might search for inflammation-related symptoms or RA-related antibodies. These tests do not, however, identify RA. With entirely normal blood testing, RA is often identified in many patients. Your medical history and the results of your physical exam are used to diagnose RA.