Are you suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis? What exactly is Rheumatoid Arthritis and how do you know if you have it? Read on to learn everything you want to know about Rheumatoid Arthritis, from types and symptoms to natural ways to potentially treat Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Arthritis is pain and stiffness due to swelling and tenderness of the joints. It usually increases with age. Common types of arthritis are Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that leads to joint pain in the body. It is a chronic inflammatory condition and can damage a wide number of systems of the body including eyes, skin, lungs, heart and blood vessels.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease with symptoms like inflammation and pain in the joints. These symptoms occur during flares or exacerbation. The symptoms can include fatigue, weight loss, fever, bumps under the skin and inflammation in joints. Rheumatoid arthritis in certain patients report symptoms like flares, increased stiffness in joints, pain in the body, difficulty in doing routine job swelling in limbs and swelling in the joints, fatigue, flu.
Early rheumatoid arthritis may first affect your small joints especially the small joints of your fingers of the hands and toes. The symptoms may often spread to your elbows, wrists, knees, hips, shoulders, and ankles. The symptoms may occur in the same joints on both sides of the body in many patients. There are about 40% of patients who may experience signs and symptoms that involve many non-joint areas such as eyes, skin, heart, lungs, salivary glands, kidneys, bone marrow, blood vessels, and nerve tissue. The severity of symptoms may vary from person to person. As the condition progresses, it can cause joint deformities or joints may shift out of place.
Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the immune system attacks the synovium which is the lining of the membranes that surrounds the joints. The inflammation may thicken the synovium and eventually destroy the cartilage and bone within the joint. Ligaments and tendons that hold the joints may get weak and stretched, gradually progressing towards loss of shape and alignment of the affected joint.
Rheumatoid arthritis may not be caused by your genes. However, your genes may certainly make you more prone to environmental factors such as bacterial or viral infection that may act as triggering factors.
Factors that may increase your risk for developing rheumatoid arthritis include:
Age: Rheumatoid arthritis may occur at any age, but it is more common in people who are middle-aged.
Gender: Women are more prone to get rheumatoid arthritis as compared to men.
Family History: If you have a family history of rheumatoid arthritis, your genes may certainly make you more prone to environmental factors such as bacterial or viral infection that may act as triggering factors.
Obesity: Women who are middle aged and overweight may be at a higher risk of getting affected with rheumatoid arthritis.
Environmental Exposure: Certain environmental exposures like silica or asbestos may also increase the chances of dev eloping rheumatoid arthritis.
Cigarette Smoking: Smoking may increase your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, especially when you have genetic predisposition for getting rheumatoid arthritis. Smoking may also aggravate the condition.
Complications Of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Complications of rheumatoid arthritis may include:
- Rheumatoid nodules
- Dry eyes and mouth
- Carpel tunnel syndrome
- Heart problems
- Abnormal body composition
- Lung disease
Doctors can diagnose Rheumatoid arthritis from the patient’s symptoms. A doctor can easily differentiate between rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis from the symptoms. For instance, if a joint is affected on one of your arm or leg, the same joint is affected on the other arm or leg. If rheumatoid arthritis is diagnosed early, the treatment works better. Thus, it is important to address rheumatoid arthritis at the earliest.
Treatments For Rheumatoid Arthritis
Conventional Treatment For Rheumatoid Arthritis
The treatments that are prescribed for rheumatoid arthritis include NSAIDS, analgesics, corticosteroids, and counterirritants for local application to reduce pain and inflammation. Conventional medicines do not cure rheumatoid arthritis, but they merely suppress the symptoms for a temporary period. These medicines have serious side-effects such as anxiety, depression, gastrointestinal discomfort, ulcers in the stomach, diabetes, bleeding, myocardial infection, stroke, hypertension, fluid retention, erectile dysfunction, hyperglycemia, amenorrhea, slow down the kidney function, and candidiasis. Thus, these medicines need to be administered with caution. It has been observed that only a strong immune system and musculoskeletal structure is the best option for dealing with rheumatoid arthritis or any other conditions related to the joints.
Complementary systems of medicine that consist of Ayurveda, homeopathy, and dietary supplements aim to address the root cause of rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is caused due to weakening of the musculoskeletal system of the body. Natural sciences are believed to support the normal function of the joints and help to boost your immune system.
Natural ingredients Tinospora Cordifolia (Guduchi), Curcuma longa, and Boswellia serrata have shown tremendous effects in clinical studies on psoriasis. Some of the clinical studies are mentioned below:
Tinospora Cordifolia (Guduchi): Studies indicate that Tinospora Cordifolia may help to reduce inflammation naturally. 
Boswellia Serata: Research suggests that Boswellia serrata may help to reduce the frequency of swelling in the knee joint and improve mobility of the joints. 
Curcuma Longa: A study shows that Curcuma longa is safe and effective in improving joint function and may help in management of arthritis. 
Tips For The Management Of Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Apply a heat-pack or a cold-pack on the affected joint to relieve pain and inflammation.
- Massage the affected joints.
- Avoid excessive stress on the affected joints.
- Avoid strenuous impact sports, like football, tennis and basketball.
- Start exercise and maintain the mobility of the small finger joints every day.
- Avoid exposure to cold and wet climate as it may aggravate the pain.
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