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discovering your rheumatoid arthritis symptom

Mar 1, 2008
Is a rheumatoid arthritis symptom a cause for serious concern? The answer is a definite yes. Other forms of arthritis are equally worrisome. Like them, rheumatoid arthritis can be painful and debilitating and may even cause you depression. The disease affects the joint linings but other symptoms may affect the rest of the body. You should find out through your symptoms if you have this condition.

Your Symptoms

Common sense will tell you that the most obvious symptoms will be felt and seen in the joints. Swelling in varying degrees will be obvious. This symptom is typically accompanied by stiffness and pain especially when the joints are moved or touched. All joints from the fingers to the shoulders may be visited by this condition. In very rare cases, organs may be affected too.

Aside from swollen joints, you could also suffer from a number of other symptoms. Bumps known as nodes may appear in some parts of the body. Flu-like symptoms are also common. One may experience fever and general fatigue. Sufferers also lose their appetite which may lead to weight loss.

The gradual progression of a rheumatoid arthritis symptom may happen across several months. Joint swelling and other symptoms usually fade away after a few days. They recur however after a period of time. Symptom recurrences are typically called flare ups. These flare ups can lead to the more serious condition of movement impairment.

Causes

It's hard to pinpoint what is responsible for the disease. It is possible though that genetic inheritance and lifestyle factors may play roles in it. Rheumatoid arthritis is considered an autoimmune disease. The white blood cells of the immune system mistakenly affect the lining of the joints. The interaction of the cells and tissues results in the discharge of protein which is what causes thickening of joint linings. Women and those above 40 seem to be more at risk of developing the disease than men and younger people.

Treatment

No specific, scientifically proven treatment can cure rheumatoid arthritis. Certain medications though, such as NSAIDs and immunosupressants may be recommended. These medicines will reduce the pain and swelling in your joint. They also eventually holdup damage to the joints and neighboring tissues. These medicines however have side effects. If you have a very serious case, your doctor may have to perform surgery on your joint.

Your doctor would usually recommend lifestyle changes along with medications. You would have to stop smoking. You would also be told to eat only specific healthy foods and to perform exercises specifically made for arthritic patients. You should work closely with your doctor on your diet and exercise program. Some foods and movements may not be good for you. Following your doctor's advice will help you deal with the pain and challenges brought about by rheumatoid arthritis.

Your rheumatoid arthritis symptom may be truly bothersome. For some, the idea that symptoms can lead to disability may be scary. There is no reason to believe though that life has to stop because of the disease. You can still live a happy and normal life is you take your medication as indicated and keep to a clean lifestyle.
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What is a rheumatoid arthritis symptom ? Understand more from the best online resource for arthritis treatments and relief.
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