Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Introduction
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a condition which shows effects all over the body. Along with the joints, it affects the tissues surrounding the joints (muscles, tendons, ligaments) as well as other organs of the body (skin, blood vessels, heart, lungs, and muscles).
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) causes joint affections which most of the times are seen on both sides of the body. For example, if a joint, say ankle is affected in one leg then the same joint in the other leg will probably be affected. This is one of the distinguishing criteria of RA from other forms of arthritis like osteoarthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic condition and tends to last for years together. Although there can be symptom-free periods in between it remains to be a progressive condition. The disease progresses over a period of time causing joint deformities, destruction, and functional disability.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Causes & Risk Factors
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) tends to run in the families showing genetic linkage. It is also clubbed in the category of autoimmune diseases where it is believed that certain infections or environmental factors trigger the immune system to attack the body's own tissues resulting in inflammation.
- This autoimmune response causes chronic inflammation of the joints which may progress to joint deformities.
- Emotional stress can also be one of the trigger factors which can initiate the disease process or can act as a maintaining factor.
- Most commonly seen in people between 40 to 60 years of age, although it may begin at any age.
- Females are more commonly affected than men in the ratio of 3:1
Signs & Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
The symptoms may vary from patient to patient in terms of intensity. Symptoms also depend upon the stage of the disease. One has to consider the active phase as well as resting phase. Active symptoms are seen during flare-ups and the person is relatively free from symptoms during remissions.
Common symptoms of RA:
- Joint pain and stiffness
- Swelling around joints along with redness and tenderness
- Stiffness of joints with restrictions of movements
- Joint deformities at advanced stage
- Pain in muscles with redness of skin
- Low-grade fever
- Appetite loss
- Multiple joint affections at the same time, more commonly bilateral and symmetrical
- Small joints of hands and feet; elbows, ankles are commonly involved
- Round, painless nodules under the skin
- Inflammation of the lung (pleurisy) in advanced stage
- Swelling of glands
Rheumatoid Arthritis Diagnosis & Tests
Symptom picture can be mixed, investigations are required to confirm the diagnosis of Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) .
- RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis) factor is positive in many severe cases
- X-ray of the joint
- ESR (Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate)
- C-Reactive proteins (CRP)
- CBC (Complete blood count)
Homeopathic Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
- Homeopathy treatment is recommended in all cases of RA, especially effective in initial stages where joint deformities have not set in.
- Medicines are very effective in controlling the pain without any side effects.
- Homeopathic medicines have an important role in controlling the disease process. It helps in slowing down the rate of progress to some extent which helps in delaying the complications or deformities.
- Homeopathy treatment takes into consideration the constitution of the diseased person covering genetic link, environmental factors, and emotional stress. Medicines are selected on the basis of an individual case study. The remedy is deep acting and has the capacity to act on autoimmunity.
- In advanced cases where deformities have set in homeopathy medicines can be used safely for pain relief and controlling further deformities.
- In severe cases homeopathy medicines can be used alongside conventional medicines initially.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Rheumatoid Arthritis
1) What are the long-term effects of RA? Will my joints be deformed?
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic condition which can have serious long-term effects if not diagnosed early. Starting treatment often helps to avoid complications. Many patients with RA have successfully avoided joint deformities. Homeopathic medicines helps in controlling the disease process and avoiding deformities.