Causes and Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
So here you are looking for some sort of natural pain relief for the Rheumatoid Arthritis
causing your aching joints. And we are going to help you with this, but
just before we do that let's take a look at a few issues surrounding
this painful form of arthritis.
RA frequently occurs in people under 40 years of age, and especially in women. Women are two to three times more susceptible to RA than men.
What is RA and how does it differ from some of the other forms of arthritis?
- RA is a chronic disease (which means it cannot be cured)
and for reasons that no one really understands, is an autoimmune disorder that occurs when the
body's own immune system mistakenly identifies the synovial membranes inside
the joints as enemies and stages an attack on them.
- As with other autoimmune disorders, RA is the body
attacking itself, type of disease.
- The synovium becomes inflamed and thickened as opposed to osteoarthritis
which is a degenerative disease due to wear and tear on the joints.
- Inflammation in the joints triggers the production of enzymes that slowly
digest adjacent tissue.
- Osteoarthritis affects individual joints, but rheumatoid arthritis
or RA affects all of the body's synovial (most common joints in the body)
- Psoriatic Arthritis is similar to RA, but fewer joints
are involved and there is no rheumatoid factor in the blood.
What are the causes of RA
- The onset of this often debilitating form of arthritis is associated with physical or
emotional stress, poor nutrition and bacterial infection.
- Chlamydia, the organism responsible for many cases of urethritis, has been
linked to a form of arthritis that affects young women. In
nearly half of the women with unexplained arthritis tested in one study,
chlamydia was found in the joints.
- These studies also showed that 75% had elevated levels of
antibodies of chlamydia in their blood.
- Women who breastfeed are less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis than
women who don't.
- Genetics are a suspect here.
- And so are female hormones.
- Smoking is also believed to play a role, but not an
absolute requirement for developing RA as many non-smokers also develop the disease.
- Rheumatologists have discovered that the blood of many people with
this type of arthritis contains antibodies called rheumatoid factors,a
factor that aids in the diagnosis of this condition.
- And lastly for some people an allergy or intolerance to particular foods
may be a contributing factor.
What are the symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis?
- Joint pain and inflammation of the joint.
- Sometimes your joints can just
ache, but other times it can be a sharp stabbing pain, or even a burning
- Joints may feel warm to the touch.
- Muscle stiffness.
- Decreased movement coupled with inflammation.
- This class of arthritis is symmetrical, which means if the joint on one side of the body
is affected the joint on the other side will be affected as well.
- Nodules can form as arthritic lumps beneath the skin.
- Bone loss or erosions at the end of the joints which can be detected
by means of an Xray.
- RA is systemic (refers to something that is spread throughout) and you
will feel tired, maybe lose your appetite and have a low grade fever.
- Enlarged lymph nodes can also be an indication of this type of arthritis.
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