Demystifying Rheumatoid Arthritis

Demystifying Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disorder that affects the joints and either produces swelling or cartilage degeneration. While the cause is yet to be determined, research shows that it is directly related to age and most frequently occurs between the ages 40–50. This is why most people are likely to see the onset of this arthritis as the aches and pains of growing old, and tend to ignore it during its initial and most treatable phase.

Research has shown that this disease is more likely to effect women than men and also a large number of people who have had sports related injuries that have been ignored or improperly treated. It is also believed to be an immunological disease, which is more likely to occur in people with overactive immune systems. And while the wrists and the knees are affected in majority of the cases, back and shoulder problems are also becoming increasingly common.

X-rays and blood tests are the most commonly used techniques to diagnose arthritis, but both tend to show results that are negative initially. It is only one to two years after the advance of the arthritis that significant erosion of the cartilage and the bone becomes evident, and most blood tests take longer to confirm the same.

There is no known cure for rheumatoid arthritis, though there are ways to alleviate the ongoing pain and discomfort along with preventing further degeneration. Disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs are frequently used to prevent further erosion and to also induce some amount of remission. This becomes especially important because in most cases bone and tissue disintegration is often irreversible. Anti-inflammatory agents and analgesics have also been found to be effective for reducing the pain, though they do nothing to repair the existing damage. Losing weight is also another important remedy, though it works better as a preventive measure even if you begin your attempts well into your twenties or thirties.

Reducing the amount of saturated and animal fats in one’s diet has shown positive results according to some studies, while others advocate either strict vegetarianism or a diet rich in white meat. Our bones and tissue al