Rheumatoid Arthritis: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Vaibhav Saxena

, Treatments

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic disease that hasn’t been recognized by many people as it acquired 0.5% to 1% of overall population. Unfortunately, the toll rate of this disease has been increasing consistently from a period. In 2010, this disease was single-handily responsible to affect over 24 million people globally.


This disease falls under the category of Arthritis. Arthritis is a term used to define the disorder affecting the bone joints of the body. In arthritis, bone joints turn red, warm, swelled, and motion disabled. There are generally more than 100 kinds of arthritis, but Rheumatoid arthritis is very common alongside with Osteoarthritis.


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What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease which causes inflammation in the bone joint and often other parts of the body as well.


Autoimmune disease occurs when the immunity system of the body goes amiss and starts to attack the parts of the body instead of protecting. This act of awry causes the lining of the joints damaged and inflated which arouses the condition of pain, redness, swelling, and warmth in joints.


RA is a long-term autoimmune disorder which affects the body symmetrically which makes it different from the Osteoarthritis and one of most strange disease.


Symmetrical quality of this disease indicates the effect of this diseases happens on both sides of the body. Also, this disorder is also called Rheumatoid disease because it affects more organs of the body like eyes, heart, lungs, skin and blood vessels, not specifically symmetrically.




What are the Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis?

The impact of this disorder varies from person to person, some suffer short-term and some do for long years. In early time, the disorder affects only the small joints but later as it progresses the severity increases to major joints. Whereas, there are some clear symptoms that can be recognized to diagnose it properly.

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Tender and swollen joints
  • Joint stiffness
  • Join pain after inactivity or overuse
  • Joint redness
  • Limping
  • Joint deformity
  • Anemia
  • Lack of appetite




What are the Causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis?

The major cause behind this disorder is considered to be the attack of the immune system against the synovium, the lining of ligaments that surrounds the joints. Whereas, there are some risk factors that are the potential causes behind it.

1. Gender: Women are more susceptible to this disorder than men, In fact, two to three times more.


2. Age: People between the age of 40 to 60 years are at more risk to this disease.


3. Heredity: This disease is genetical, which means it can be transmitted from your ancestors to you.


4. Obesity: Higher weight causes more pressure on your bone joints which directly causes higher risks to this disorder.


5. Smoking: The habit of smoking is bad in many aspects so do in case of RA as well. Smoking enhances the chances of acquiring this at a high peak.


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How Rheumatoid Arthritis is Diagnosed?

There is no single form of test or exam conducted to diagnose the disorder whereas multiple tests including a check-up of the joints involving the examining of joint swelling and stiffness are done to reach out to a successful outcome.

1. Blood test

The physician runs the blood test to detect the presence of Anemia, Cyclic citrulline antibody test (anti-CCP), Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and Rheumatoid factor (RF). All of the aforementioned defines the severity and density of RA.


2. X-ray

In case, when multiple joints are affected in the body by RA, an x-ray test is required to diagnose the condition of bones. The physician seeks to check any misshaping or damage to the bone by RA.




What is the Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis?

There is no particular cure to RA but there are many possible measures that can slow down the disease and eliminate the symptoms. The main purpose of the treatment measures is to delay the impacts like pain, swelling, disability to motion and bone deformity of RA on the patient.


1. Exercise:

A person who is suffering from RA can perform some set of exercises to find relief. Swimming, brisk walking, jogging, and stretching are a great way of promoting the movement of the joint and reducing the stiffness and rigidness.


2. Medication:

There is a wide range of medication available to access through a doctor’s prescription which is effective in delaying the process. Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) is the most effective medication against RA.


3. Surgery:

In case of severity and failure of all other measures, surgical measures like synovectomy and Joint replacement surgery is conducted. In synovectomy, the synovial tissue surrounding the bone joint is removed invasively.





Prevention measures are always a great solution to tackle Rheumatoid Arthritis. Habits of exercising, healthy dieting must be adopted and elimination of toxic habits like smoking must be avoided. Physiotherapy is a boon to reduce the symptoms of RA.


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