Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Could Gluten Be Triggering Your Arthritis?

Celiac disease and gluten intolerance have become increasingly popular diagnoses in the medical community. That may be because more people have the conditions, or because science has helped us learn to recognize them more easily. Either way, researchers are looking at how gluten affects all kinds of conditions, from acne to arthritis.



What is Gluten?

Gluten is an amino acid found in wheat, barley, rye and other grain foods. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that interferes with the body's ability to absorb nutrients. When a person with celiac disease eats food that contains gluten, an immune response is triggered and the body begins attacking itself.

The immune system makes antibodies, proteins that the body creates to destroy harmful substances. These antibodies attack and destroy the lining of the intestines over time. Ultimately this can leat do malabsorption issues, malnutrition and nutrient deficiencies.

Celiac Disease Mimics Arthritis

Symptoms of arthritis which include joint pain and stiffness are also symptoms of the immune response caused by celiac disease. People who are gluten sensitive or who have been diagnosed with celiac disease may experience joint pain, swelling and stiffness if they eat food with gluten.

These similar symptoms make celiac disease difficult to diagnose. In fact, it's commonly confused with other conditions, such as arthritis. As such if you tell your doctor you're experiencing sore joints, they first may look to your bones not your intestines.

Arthritis Increases Your Risk for Celiac Disease

You have an increased risk of developing gluten sensitivity or celiac disease if you've been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). If you're gluten sensitive or have celiac disease, gluten could cause arthritis symptoms.

Like celiac disease, RA is an autoimmune conditions. In other words, your body mistakes normal, healthy parts of itself as foreign. Your body's immune system attacks and tries to destroy these harmless invaders. In the case of celiac disease, your body responds to gluten by attacking and destroying the villi,  which line your small intestine and help your body absorb nutrients.

Be Smart With Your Food Choices

What you eat can affect how you feel. If you've been diagnosed with RA, be aware of how food affects your symptoms. Talk to your doctor about your risk for developing celiac disease.

If you've been diagnosed with RA, talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of adopting a gluten-free diet. Today, more food companies are making gluten-free alternatives. Plus most whole foods are naturally gluten-free.

5 Foods Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients Should Avoid


It's time to kick that morning donut and coffee habit. Research shows that eating particular foods like  sugary treats and certain  caffeinated beverages may worsen rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. There are a range of drugs that treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but don't ignore the simpler ways of reducing RA pain like diet modification. Though the research surrounding diet and RA is still inconclusive, many doctors recommend cutting out common foods that trigger RA symptoms to see if this improves symptoms. As of now there is no agreed upon diet for rheumatoid arthritis, but there are some people who do seem to have food sensitivities. However, here are five foods commonly reported to aggravate arthritis symptoms:



1) Dairy 
RA symptoms may flare as a response to specific proteins found in dairy products. Some people with rheumatoid arthritis who report intolerance to milk have antibodies to milk proteins. The body forms these antibodies to protect itself from what it mistakenly perceives as a harmful substance, but the antibodies attack other parts of the body in addition to the milk. Cut dairy products from your diet to see if that reduces RA symptoms.


2) Meat
Changing to a vegetarian diet often improves RA symptoms. Consumption of meat is associated with higher overall fat and calorie intake, which are markers for an unhealthy lifestyle. The fats in meat are more easily metabolized into pro-inflammatory chemicals in the body. Production of these inflammatory chemicals are good in certain circumstances - like when you are fighting an infection, but they can also cause painful inflammation and swelling in spaces like your joints. Instead of eating meat, supplement your diet with plant sources of protein  such as beans, lentils and soy.


3) Gluten
Research shows that many people with RA also have celiac disease, which is triggered by gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat and other grains that gives dough a chewy texture. When someone has celiac disease, eating gluten causes an immune reaction within the small intestine which can leas to bloating and diarrhea. 


4) Refined Sugar and Sweets
While certain carbohydrates may be an essential part of our diets, refined sugars and sweets are not, as much as we may enjoy them. Refined sugars, such as high fructose corn syrup, are empty calories devoid of any nutrients. Cutting down on refined sugar is even ore important for people with rheumatoid arthritis because the chronic inflammation in RA impairs the body's ability to break down sweets. Risk for cardiovascular disease is also high for patients with RA and controlling blood pressure and cholesterol is crucial.


5) Coffee
America is powered by caffeine: more than 150 million people drink coffee in the US, with each individual consuming more than three cups daily, according to the National Coffee Association. The health effects of coffee are controversial especially in regard to rheumatoid arthritis.

Diet modification is not for everyone. Talk to your doctor or a nutritionist about meal planning before making any notable changes. If you do not see any improvement in your symptoms after cutting out a food for four weeks, you may want to reinsert the food back into your diet.

Early Warning Signs of Arthritis Infographic

Early Warning Signs of Arthritis Infographic

12 Super-Symptoms of Autoimmune Disease

12 super-symptoms of autoimmune disease.

Great for Rheumatoid Arthritis sufferers

Great for Rheumatoid Arthritis sufferers

The Effect of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis

6 Foods That Make Your Arthritis Worse

Could what you eat be making your #arthritis worse? If yes, then read about foods that could be potentially harmful or helpful when it comes to pain.

6 Natural Ways to Help Ease Arthritis Joint Pain

6 Natural Ways to Help Ease #Arthritis Joint #Pain

Flexibility, Stretching Exercises for Arthritis

Flexibility, Stretching Exercises for Arthritis

8 Hand Arthritis Exercises

8 Hand Arthritis Exercises

Pineapple & Bromelain - Natural Remedy

Pineapple is the major source of bromelain. Bromelain has been used to reduce inflammation in arthritis, sinusitis, inflammatory bowel disease, sports injuries, trauma, burns, prostatitis, bruising, swelling & after surgery. It is effective in suppressing the growth of some cancer cells. Pineapple also aids in circulatory health & improvements in all breathing conditions. The tougher circle at the center has more concentrated bromelain than the surrounding tender fruit

Pineapple is the major source of bromelain. Bromelain has been used to reduce inflammation in arthritis, sinusitis, inflammatory bowel disease, sports injuries, trauma, burns, prostatitis, bruising, swelling & after surgery. It is effective in suppressing the growth of some cancer cells. Pineapple also aids in circulatory health & improvements in all breathing conditions. The tougher circle at the center has more concentrated bromelain than the surrounding tender fruit. #dherbs #healthtips

Herbs for Arthritis

Herbs for Arthritis

Top 10 Home Remedies For Arthrities

Top 10 Home Remedies For Arthritis

1) Ginger

The Chinese and Indian have used ginger extensively for 25,000 years against nausea and pain. Today, ginger remains one of the most widespread natural pain relievers, and this has been supported by some scientific studies. A study conducted in University of Miami School of Medicine headed by renowned rheumatologist Professor Ray Altman has discovered that ginger does provide relief from pain. The proponents of the research studied the reaction of 250 subjects with osteoarthritis. Some were given placebo while the rest received ginger pills. The group noted that 67% of these taking ginger tablets reported significant relief from pain. So you could make it a habit of drinking a cup or two of ginger tea, and if you prefer a slightly sweeter taste - add honey.

2) Celery

Obviously a perfect choice for garnishes dishes, celery has another use for medical purposes. Clinical studies show that celery, surprisingly contains more than 20 anti-inflammatory agents. One compound is polycetylene that provides relief for inflammation involved in rheumatoid arthritis, gouty arthritis and osteoarthritis. Another recent study conducted in America discovered that phytonutrient called luteolin, which is held responsible for the prevention of activation of a neuro pathway that allows inflammation. The same phytonutrient curbs down the excess production of TNF - alpha, which is known as the direct cause of inflammation. If you are suffering from arthritis, drink as many celery juices as your lifestyle can afford.

3) Warm Water Bath or Hot Compress

Hot compress does a good job in providing relief from pain, and it has probably been mentioned in every health- related book. In the case of arthritis where joints are painful, you can get relief from pain by using a hot compress if the condition is still on its early stage or the joint pain is isolated. However, if the pain location is multiple, get on a tub filled with warm water and immerse for about 30 minutes to a maximum of 1 hour.

4) Peppermint

You may not know this, but peppermint contains significant anti-inflammatory agents and is extensively endorsed as an alternative medicine for mild headaches and toothaches. To get the same benefits for relieving arthritic pain, you can use the extracts of peppermint as a hot compress or as a juice. To make a hot compress out of peppermint, just pound some pieces of fresh leaves heated over the fire and apply it directly over the affected joints. To keep the leaves in place, wrap a bandage around it. To make a drinking juice, boil at least 4 sundried or air dried leaves in 2 cups of water for at least 15 minutes. Drink half or one full glass, depending on the severity of pain every four hours.

5) Epsom Salts

According the US National Academy of Sciences, deficiency in magnesium accounts for higher rates of stroke, stress-related disorders, osteoporosis, heart disease, chronic fatigue, and arthritis. Therefore, a little help from Epsom salts to soothe arthritis and joint pain could go a long way. Epsom salts are also known as hydrated magnesium sulfate. The high content of magnesium and sulfates Epsom salts is the reason why we will forever need help from this kitchen staple. Since magnesium is easily absorbed by the skin, enjoying a bath with a dash of Epsom salts is enough to soothe our joints from pain. The sulfates are not without part as they are responsible for the formation for joint proteins. Here's what you must do if your joints feel vulnerable and sore; immerse yourself in a tub of lukewarm water diluted with a cup of Epsom salts.

6) Fish Oil

In any illness that involves inflammation, one should pay attention to the hormones that control it and they are called prostaglandins, which are made from the omega-3 fatty acid. Do you know an item found in your kitchen that has a high content of omega-3? Yes, fish oil it is. The prostaglandins from omega-3 fatty acids are very relevant in arthritis because they are capable reducing inflammation. Also, fish oil encourages the production of sulphate, which is mentioned in the previous item that is responsible for joint protein formation. So from now on, you might want to eat some fish that has high concentrations of fish oil but low in mercury concentrations,i.e salmon.

7) Cinnamon and Honey

The combination of cinnamon and honey is considered a haven from several ailments including arthritis. A study at Copenhagen University indicated that a cup of honey and cinnamon before breakfast is a powerful beverage for providing relief of arthritis pain. Simple mix 1 teaspoon of honey and half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder in a cup of hot water. Starting with a smaller amount is always good until you know how much is too much - however, if you prefer a stronger taste, some make it 2 teaspoons of honey and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder.

8) Eucalyptus Oil

The oil from this medicinal plant has discovered to have anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic properties. A study conducted in India suggests the potential action of eucalyptus oil as anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic agent. Although it was tested via the in-vitro method, this breakthrough sets a platform for therapeutic use in the future, and encourages further studies. For now, dab a drop or two of eucalyptus oil directly over the affected joint and massage it tenderly.

9) Cherries

This red fruit can lower the incidence of gouty arthritis attacks and an interesting study performed in Boston can help point out the truth behind this claim. The proponents studied 633 subjects with gout, and results showed that those who had cherry intake for over a 2-day period has a significant 35% decrease of gouty arthritis attacks. If you are suffering fro gouty arthritis, try eating some fresh cherries or treat yourself to a refreshing glass of cherry juice. Simply put several pieces of cherries in a blender and add water for a delicious, natural juice treat.

10) Turmeric

This is a common kitchen spice found in almost all households in India and some parts of Asia. Some studies show the probability of turmeric as an alternative treatment for arthritis because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Compounds present in turmeric suggest that it has a capability to ease symptoms of arthritis such as inflammation and pain although further studies are encouraged by experts.

The Health Benefits of Ginger

Ginger reduces muscle pain and inflammation

Ginger can be used to reduce morning sickness

Reduce Arthritis and Inflammatory Pain

Reduce Arthritis and Inflammatory Pain

7 Home Remedies For Arthritis

7 Home Remedies For Arthritis

Home Remedies for Arthritis in Hands

Home Remedies for Arthritis in Hands

Natural Remedies for Arthritis

Arthritis #Arthritis http://www.promotehealthwellness.com/natural-remedies-for-arthritis/

Arthritis in two words is joint inflammation. However, the word arthritis is widely used to describe diseases that cause stiffness, swelling, and pain in joints. In its severe form, arthritis is perhaps the most debilitating disease and cause of disability for people 65 and older. The most common form of arthritis is the degenerative joint disease, which is also known as osteoarthritis. 

Osteoarthritis is basically deterioration of joint cartilage with age, more severe in vata body type. The cartilage surface wears, deteriorates, inflames, and eventually may get completely worn out. It leaves joints without cushion in between the bones. The bone on bone friction causes pain and limited joint mobility. The disease progresses as you age.

For 55 years and older, it is the beginning of vata age which means increase in vata energy. As vata increases, particularly in vata body type, a person has difficulty retaining fluids in the tissues. The loss of juices in the body creates more dryness. The dryness leads to lack of lubrication in joints. If further adds to stiffness and pain. To make matters worse, increase in vata initiates other vata issues like loss of restful sleep. Without restful sleep, the arthritis pain feels even worse.

To date there is no cure for arthritis. However, the progression of the disease can be halted or even reversed somewhat. Ayurvedic treatment offers natural means to manage and improve on this condition, so you enjoy the quality of your life without the side effects of drugs. Ayurvedic treatment starts with vata pacifying diet; avoid cold, dry and light processed foods; in general eat warm cooked foods with healthy fats and oils; eat juicy nourishing foods; and include turmeric in your recipes. Turmeric has incredible anti-inflammatory properties. In addition add Tulsi (basil), grape juice, and green tea. All have distinct properties to inhibit inflammation and thus inhibit pain.


Anti-inflammatory Herbs for Arthritis

rheumatoid arthritis


Symptoms and Causes of Arthritis

Symptoms:

Please note that rheumatoid arthritis is only one type of arthritis there are over 100 different types of arthritis and the depilating symptoms can be:
  • pain and or warmth around a joint
  • redness of the skin and or reduced ability to move the joint, and
  • stiffness or swelling of one or more joints
Causes:
Causes of this joint inflammation may occur for numerous reasons including:
  • general “wear and tear” on specific joints
  • a broken bone and or serious injury to the joints
  • an autoimmune disease in which the immune system tricks the body into believing there a foreign body part and attacks the joints in that location, or
  • infection which can be caused by viruses or bacteria
The type of treatment one receives is determined by the cause of the arthritis, the severity, which joints are affected and how the condition affects your daily activities. Your doctor should take into consideration your age and occupation as well.

Natural Arthritis Herbal Remedies and Foods


White willow or Willow bark

The ancient Egyptians used white willow for inflammation. The white willow tree is a native to Europe and Asia. This arthritis herbal remedy can be used instead of ibuprofen or aspirin because it does not appear to be an irritant to the stomach lining.
Salix alba

Cherry

Cherries can be found in America, Europe, and Asia. The University of Michigan researchers have performed a recent study that has revealed that a cherry-enriched diet reduced inflammation markers in animals by up to 50 percent. Other studies have indicated that the anthocyanins in cherries may be beneficial for arthritis, including a range of other inflammatory-related conditions.
 Prunus

Curcumin

The rhizomes of the turmeric plant are boiled for several hours and then dried in hot ovens, and then are ground into a deep orange-yellow powder commonly used as a spice in curries and other South Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine.  It is said to stimulate blood circulation, solves blood clot, is an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory agent that relieves pain. Curcumin is an active ingredient that has an earthy, bitter, peppery flavor and a mustardy smell.
Zingiberaceae -Circuminoid

Ginger

This underground stem or knobby rhizome has been grown in Asia, India, and Arabia since ancient times. It is known to aid digestion, treat an upset stomach, and nausea for more than 2000 years. In recent years it has been found to reduce inflammation.  In a study of 261 people with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee, when the ginger extract was used twice a participants experienced less pain and required fewer pain-killing medications.
Zingiber officinale

Devil’s Claw

This herb comes from the southern portion of Africa. The active ingredients are believed to be iridoid glycosides called harpagosides found within the secondary root. TheRheumatology journal published a study that compared devil’s claw extract to the anti-inflammatory prescription drug Vioxx (now off the market, but one of the drugs my dad was on for years). Within six weeks the devil’s claw was deemed as effective as the Vioxx for reducing pain and it also appears to work in the same manner as the Cox-2 anti-inflammatory drugs such as Celebrex (another one of the drugs that my dad took for years).
Harpagophytum procumbens

Comfrey

Comfrey cream – Comfrey is an herb with a plant origin in Asia and Europe. It is a perennial with oblong dark green leaves that is full of vitamins, minerals, and chlorophyll. Chlorophyll acts as a catalyst, to promote healing within the body and is a valuable blood purifier. Comfrey cream has been taken off the market as an oral supplement however; it can be used as a topical cream containing comfrey extracts.
Symphytum officinale L

Osteoarthritis vs Rheumatoid Arthritis

Osteoarthritis vs rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis  vs.  Osteoarthritis: Rheumatoid Arthritis: More severe than OA Caused by the immune system attacking the body Can affect people of any age, but most commonly affects those between ages 20 and 60 years old Symptoms can be felt throughout the entire body Affects more women than men Osteoarthritis: Generally less severe than RA Caused by wear and tear on the body Generally affects people over the age of 40 Usually only affects the joints Commonly found in both men and women

Thumbs Down: Basal Joint Arthritis Symptoms and Treatment

What is Basal Joint Arthritis?

Basal joint arthritis is the result of the wearing away of cartilage in the bones of the thumb. That's why it is also known as thumb arthritis. The basal joint allows your thumb to move around so you can perform small motor tasks. Without plenty of cushioning cartilage,the bones become rough and grind over each other when you move, causing more joint damage.

Basal Joint Arthritis | Resurgens Orthopaedics

Symptom:

1) Hand pain and stiffness
Usually, the first sign of arthritis in the thumb is pain, tenderness and stiffness. You're most likely to feel it at the base of your thumb as you try to grip or clasp something between the thumb and index finger. You might also feel a pain when you try to apply mild force, such as when you twist a key in a lock, turn a door handle or snap your fingers. You might also be left with a lingering ache. A high level of pain doesn't always mean your arthritis is more severe.

2) Appearance
The thumb may appear swollen, especially at its base,, and you may develop a bony bump. Overall, the thumb can take on an enlarged appearance. One alarming sign of thumb arthritis is important alignment of the joint as it shifts from its normal positioning. This may affect the joint above the base as well creating a bent-back appearance. In particularly severe cases, the thumb can collapse into the palm.

3) Decreased strength and range of motion
Over time, pain and inflammation can rob your hand of strength and restrict your range of motion. These restrictions become especially obvious when you try to pinch something or clasp an object tightly. You might find it increasingly difficult to open jars, hold a drink or use buttons, zippers and snaps. For those with a severe case of arthritis in the thumb, small motor tasks that were once a matter of routine become too painful to attempt, or almost impossible to accomplish without assistance.

I've got this: Top 5 Treatment Methods For Thumb Osteoarthritis By Kasturi Jha on March 8, 2013 18 Thumb OsteoarthritisThumb osteoarthritis, also known as the basal joint arthritis is one of the most common forms of arthritis that affects the hand, limiting a person from doing the daily chores. This condition develops with the wearing away of the cartilage, which mostly cushions the adjacent ends of the bones that makes the joints of the thumb.

Treatment:

1) Self-help
Try to avoid clenching your hands when you carry things. This can aggravate symptoms. You should also avoid repetitive movements that involve pinching or twisting. Apply alternating heat and cold to relieve inflammation and pain. A physical or occupational therapist can teach you how to perform range-of-motion exercises to improve function.

2) Medications
Try an over-the-counter pain reliever or anti-inflammatory medication. If they don't work, ask your doctor if there is a stronger prescription medication that may help. Your doctor may recommend corticosteroids which are usually injected directly into the affected joint. Corticosteroids can relieve pain and reduce inflammation for a longer period of time than some other medications.

3) Splints
A splint can provide temporary support for your thumb and wrist, limiting movement so your joints can rest. The added support may ease pain for a while. It can also help with training your joints back into the correct position. You can wear a splint whenever you feel the need throughout the day, or even while you sleep. Check with your doctor or physical therapist to make sure you're using the splint correctly.

4) Surgery
If nothing else works, there are some surgical procedures that may  help. A surgeon can fuse the bones of your joint together. This will decrease pain, but leaves you without flexibility. The bones in your thumb joint can be removed. A surgeon can also remove most of the joint, replacing it with graft from other tendons. Surgery can be accomplished on an outpatient basis, but it takes tie to regain strength and range of motion. If it gets to this stage, be sure to discuss these options carefully with your doctor.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease. When someone has RA, their immune system mistakenly attacks the joints as well as other organs and tissues. The most common symptoms of RA are directly related to joint damage. Additional symptoms are due to the widespread effects of an overactive immune system.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Common Symptoms

Rheumatoid arthritis is named after its effects on the joints. However, the autoimmune symptoms it causes can affect systems throughout the body.

1) Joint Pain and Swelling

The primary symptom of RA is joint damage. Symptoms usually begin in the smaller joints. RA typically starts in the fingers and wrists. This causes pain and swelling in the hands. Other joints commonly affected by RA include ankles, knees, hips, elbows, shoulders, neck, and jaw.
Affected joints may feel warm and spongy to the touch. According to Mayo Clinic, joint damage caused by RA is almost always symmetrical. This means that if your left hand is affected, your right hand will be as well.
Symmetrical symptoms are one of the things that distinguish RA from osteoarthritis (OA). Since OA is caused by physical wear and tear on joints, it’s less likely to be symmetrical. OA is the type of arthritis most people associate with aging.

2) Fever and Fatigue

Although joint pain is the most characteristic symptom of RA, it’s not always the first symptom. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), many people with RA first experience a low-grade fever (under 100 F) and extreme fatigue for four to six hours after waking up. However, these early signs and symptoms may not be automatically associated with RA. Fever and fatigue can be caused by far too many other health conditions, even the common cold. There is usually no reason for a doctor to suspect RA until joint symptoms appear.

3) Stiffness

Prolonged stiffness upon waking is another symptom that can help distinguish RA from other forms of arthritis.
RA is also associated with stiffness after a long period of inactivity, such as sitting or lying down. This stiffness usually lasts an hour or more. In general, stiffness from other types of arthritis lasts for shorter periods of time.

Other Symptoms

RA can affect a number of organs throughout the body. However, this type of damage is not common. The symptoms below are associated with more severe or advanced disease.

1) Dry Mouth and Eyes

Rheumatoid arthritis is often associated with Sjögren's syndrome. This is a condition where the immune system attacks the salivary glands and tear ducts. This can cause:
  • dry or gritty sensations in the eyes, mouth, and throat
  • cracked or peeling lips
  • difficulty talking or swallowing
Some people with RA also experience other discomfort in their eyes including burning, itching and discharge.

2) Pleurisy

Pleurisy is a severe tightness or sharp pain in the chest when breathing. It’s caused by inflammation of the membrane surrounding the lungs.

3) Deformities

Advanced RA can cause severe joint damage. The hands and fingers may bend at unnatural angles. This can give them a gnarled and twisted appearance. Such joint deformities can also interfere with movement. Other joints that may become damaged in this way include the wrists, elbows, ankles and knees.

Arthritis

What Is Arthritis?

Arthritis is inflammation of the joints (the points where bones meet) in one or more areas of the body. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, all of which have different causes and treatment methods. The symptoms of arthritis usually appear gradually but they may also occur suddenly. Arthritis is most commonly seen in adults over the age of 65 but it can also develop in children and teens. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, arthritis is more common in women than men and in those that are overweight (CDC).

What Causes Arthritis?

Cartilage is a flexible, connective tissue in joints that absorbs the pressure and shock created from movement like running and walking. It also protects the joints and allows for smooth movement. 
Some forms of arthritis are caused by a reduction in the normal amount of this cartilage tissue. Osteoarthritis, one of the most common forms of arthritis, is caused by normal wear and tear throughout life; this natural breakdown of cartilage tissue can be exacerbated by an infection or injury to the joints.
The risk of developing osteoarthritis may be higher if you have a family history of the disease.
Another common form of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, occurs when your body’s immune system attacks the tissues of the body. These attacks affect the synovium, which secretes a fluid that nourishes the cartilage and lubricates the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis can eventually lead to the destruction of both bone and cartilage inside the joint. The exact cause of the immune system’s attacks has not yet been discovered, but scientists have discovered genetic markers that increase your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis tenfold.

What Are the Signs of Arthritis?

The most common symptoms of arthritis involve the joints. Joint pain and stiffness, mostly in the morning, are typical signs, along with swelling of the joints. You may also experience a decrease in range of motion of your joints or redness of the skin around the joint.
In the case of rheumatoid arthritis you may feel tired or experience a loss of appetite because of the inflammation caused by your body’s attacking immune system. You may also become anemic (experience decreased red blood cells) or have a slight fever. Severe rheumatoid arthritis can cause joint deformity if left untreated.

How Is Arthritis Diagnosed?

Diagnosis of arthritis will start with your physician performing a physical exam, during which he or she will check for limited range of motion in the joint, the feeling of fluid around joints, or warm or red joints. Extraction and analysis of your bodily fluids like blood and joint fluid can help your doctor determine what kind of arthritis you have by checking for inflammation levels. Imaging scans such as X-ray, MRI, and CT scans are commonly used to produce an image of your bones and cartilage so your doctor can better determine whether something like a bone spur is the cause of your symptoms.
The main goal of treatment is to reduce the amount of pain you’re experiencing and prevent any additional damage to the joints. Improving your joint function is also important, and you may be prescribed a combination of treatment methods to achieve the best results.

Rheumatoid Arthritis - Causes And Symptoms

Rheumatoid Arthritis Infographic

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis