Hookup a girl with rheumatoid arthritis on medical topics, symptoms, drugs, procedures, news and more, written in everyday language. Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory arthritis in which joints, usually including those of the hands and feet, are inflamed, resulting in swelling, pain, and often destruction of joints. Joints typically the small joints of the limbs become painful and have stiffness that persists for more than 60 minutes on awakening and after inactivity.
Diagnosis is based mainly on symptoms but also on blood tests for rheumatoid factor and on x-rays. Treatment can include exercises and splinting, drugs nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, and immunosuppressive drugsand sometimes surgery.
Usually, rheumatoid arthritis first appears between 35 years and 50 years of age, but it may occur at any age. A disorder similar to rheumatoid arthritis can occur in children. The disease is Hookup a girl with rheumatoid arthritis called juvenile idiopathic arthritis. However, the prognosis for juvenile idiopathic arthritis is often somewhat different. The exact cause of rheumatoid arthritis is not known.
It is considered an autoimmune disease. Components of the immune system attack the soft tissue that lines the joints synovial tissue and can also attack connective tissue in many other parts of the body, such as the blood vessels and lungs. Eventually, the cartilage, bone, and ligaments of the joint erode wear awaycausing deformity, instability, and scarring within the joint.
The joints deteriorate at a variable rate. Many factors, including genetic predisposition, may influence the pattern of the disease. Unknown environmental factors such as viral infections and cigarette smoking are thought to play a role. Rheumatoid arthritis may start suddenly, with many joints becoming inflamed at the same time. More often, it starts subtly, gradually affecting different joints. Usually, the inflammation is symmetric, with joints on both sides of the body affected about equally.
Rheumatoid arthritis can affect any joint, but most often the first inflamed are the small joints in the.
Rheumatoid arthritis can also affect the neck. The lower spine and the joints at the tips of the fingers are not affected. The inflamed joints are usually painful and often stiff, especially just after awakening such stiffness generally lasts for more than 60 minutes or after prolonged inactivity.
Some people feel tired and weak, especially in the early afternoon. Rheumatoid arthritis may cause a loss of appetite with weight loss and a low-grade fever. Affected joints are often tender, warm, and enlarged because of swelling of the soft tissue lining the joint synovitis and sometimes fluid within the joint synovial fluid.
Joints can quickly become deformed.
Joints may freeze in one position so that they cannot bend or open fully, which leads to a limited range of motion. Some disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis, and injuries can cause the fingers to bend abnormally. In swan-neck deformity, the joint at the base of the finger bends
Hookup a girl with rheumatoid arthritis flexesthe middle joint straightens out extendsand the outermost joint bends in flexes.
Swollen wrists can pinch a nerve and result in numbness or tingling due to carpal tunnel syndrome. Cysts, which may develop behind affected knees, can rupture, causing pain and swelling in the lower legs.
Rarely, rheumatoid arthritis causes an inflammation of blood vessels vasculitis. Vasculitis reduces the blood supply to tissues and may cause nerve damage or leg sores ulcers.
Inflammation of the membranes that cover the lungs pleura or of the sac surrounding the heart pericardium or inflammation and scarring of the lungs or heart can lead to chest pain or shortness of breath. Rheumatoid arthritis can also affect the neck, making the bones unstable and increasing the risk of the bones putting pressure on compressing the spinal cord see Compression of the Spinal Cord.
Although some people who have rheumatoid arthritis find that specific foods may cause flare-ups, no specific foods have been proved to cause flare-ups. In addition to the important characteristic pattern of symptoms, doctors follow established criteria when evaluating a person for rheumatoid arthritis.
Doctors suspect people have rheumatoid arthritis if they have more than one joint with definite swelling of the joint's lining that is not caused by another disorder.
Doctors diagnose people with rheumatoid arthritis if they have certain combinations of the following criteria:. High blood levels of rheumatoid factor, anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide anti-CCP antibodies, or both. Doctors do blood tests to determine a person's blood levels of rheumatoid factor "Hookup a girl with rheumatoid arthritis" anti-CCP antibodies and usually C-reactive protein, ESR, or both. They also frequently do x-rays of the hands, wrists, and affected joints.
X-rays show characteristic changes in the joints caused by rheumatoid arthritis. Magnetic resonance imaging MRIanother imaging test, detects joint abnormalities at an earlier stage but is not usually needed at first. Doctors may also insert Hookup a girl with rheumatoid arthritis needle into a joint to draw a sample of synovial fluid.
The fluid is examined to determine whether it is consistent with features of rheumatoid arthritis and to rule out other disorders that cause symptoms similar to rheumatoid arthritis. Synovial fluid needs to be analyzed to establish that "Hookup a girl with rheumatoid arthritis" person has rheumatoid arthritis but does not always need to be analyzed whenever an RA flare-up causes joints to become swollen. Many people with rheumatoid arthritis have distinctive antibodies in their blood, such as rheumatoid factor and anti-CCP antibodies.
Rheumatoid factor also occurs in several other diseases, such as cancers, systemic lupus erythematosus, hepatitis, and some other infections. Some people without any disorder, particularly older adults, have rheumatoid factor in their blood. Usually, the higher the level of rheumatoid factor in the blood, the more severe the rheumatoid arthritis and the poorer the prognosis.
The rheumatoid factor level may decrease when joints are less inflamed.
C-reactive protein levels are often high in people with rheumatoid arthritis. Levels of C-reactive protein a protein that circulates in the blood dramatically increase when there is inflammation. High C-reactive protein levels can mean the disease is active. The ESR is another test for inflammation and measures the rate at which red blood cells settle to the bottom of a test tube containing blood.
However, similar increases in the ESR, C-reactive protein level, or both occur in many other disorders. Doctors may monitor the ESR or C-reactive protein to help determine whether the disease is active.
Most people with rheumatoid arthritis have mild anemia an insufficient number of red blood cells. Rarely, the white blood cell count becomes abnormally low. When a person with rheumatoid arthritis has a low white blood cell count and an enlarged spleen, the disorder is called Felty syndrome. The course of rheumatoid arthritis is unpredictable.
Rheumatoid arthritis decreases life expectancy by 3 to 7 years. Heart disease a risk with rheumatoid arthritisinfection, and gastrointestinal bleeding are the most common complications that cause death. Side effects of drug treatment, cancer, and the underlying disease also may be responsible. Rarely, rheumatoid arthritis resolves spontaneously.
Treatment relieves symptoms in 3 of 4 people. Factors that tend to predict a poorer prognosis include the following:. Treatments include simple, conservative measures in addition to drugs and surgical treatments.
People should take measures that decrease their risk Hookup a girl with rheumatoid arthritis heart disease, such as stopping smoking and getting treated, if necessary, for high blood pressure and high blood lipids or cholesterol.
Because disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs DMARDs may actually slow progression of the disease as well as relieve symptoms, they are often started soon after the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis is made. For other drugs used to treat Hookup a girl with rheumatoid arthritis arthritis, see Drugs for Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Severely inflamed joints should be rested because using them can aggravate the inflammation. Regular rest periods often help relieve pain, and sometimes a short period of bed rest helps relieve a severe flare-up in its most active, painful stage.
Splints can be used to immobilize and rest one or several joints, but some systematic movement of the joints is needed to prevent nearby muscles from weakening and joints from freezing in place. A regular, healthy diet is generally appropriate. A diet rich in fish omega-3 fatty acids and plant oils but low in
Hookup a girl with rheumatoid arthritis meat can partially relieve symptoms in some people.
Some people may have flare-ups after eating certain foods, and if so, these foods should be avoided, but such flare-ups occur rarely. No specific foods have been proved to cause flare-ups.
Many diets have been proposed but have not proved helpful. Fad diets should be avoided. Along with drugs to reduce joint inflammation, a treatment plan for rheumatoid arthritis should include nondrug therapies, such as exercise, physical therapy which includes massagetraction, and deep heat treatmentsand occupational therapy which includes self-help devices.