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Rheumatoid Arthritis

Date :07-Jan-2021

The immune system in the body fights foreign invaders, such as bacteria, viruses etc. in a healthy individual. In certain disease conditions, the body fails to distinguish between body cells and foreign cells. Such conditions are called autoimmune conditions. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is one such autoimmune condition where the immune system mistakes the linings of the joints as foriegn cells and releases inflammatory chemicals to attack these cells. This makes the joint area painful, red, swollen and stiff. Over time, the persistent inflammation can lead to progressive loss of mobility and joint deformity. RA also affects the heart, lungs, eyes, and circulatory system, increasing the risk of disability and even death. Thus, it is important to understand the early signs and symptoms of the disease before it progresses to further complications.

Joint symptoms

  • Persistent pain, tenderness, swelling or stiffness
  • Morning stiffness that lasts for half an hour or longer
  • Pain in multiple joints
  • Joints are bilaterally affected
  • Redness and warmth in the joint area

Other symptoms

  • Small painless lumps on the skin over the elbows and forearms
  • Inflammation around tendons
  • Anaemia and weakness
  • Fever, weight loss and body ache

Once the treatment for RA is initiated, it is important to carry out self care habits that can ease your recovery like:

  • Eating a balanced, nutritious diet and maintaining physical fitness
  • Taking breaks throughout the day to reduce inflammation and fatigue
  • Make daily movement with light exercises a part of your routine
  • Hot and cold compression can be used to manage the symptoms
  • Relax and practice stress reduction therapies like meditation
  • Stay positive and do things that you enjoy

Blog reviewed by: Dr. Kiran B Nair
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