Rheumatoid Arthritis FAQs
Reviewed By : Dr. Anjali D.
Following are some common questions about Rheumatoid Arthritis:
- What are the visible symptoms for Rheumatoid Arthritis?
- Which are the different tests to diagnose Rheumatoid Arthritis?
- What are the normal lab values of tests required for Rheumatoid Arthritis?
- What are test costs for Rheumatoid Arthritis in India?
- What are the different factors that lead to Rheumatoid Arthritis?
- What other complications are associated with Rheumatoid Arthritis?
- What conditions can be accepted due to Rheumatoid Arthritis?
- What treatment methods are adopted for Rheumatoid Arthritis?
- Can you prevent Rheumatoid Arthritis?
What are the visible symptoms for Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Symptoms for Rheumatoid Arthritis are slow to show up and often tend to arise and diminish periodically. When these symptoms get worse, the condition is called flare.
Some common symptoms of this ailment include:
Symptoms that are not common include:
- Swelling and pain in joints
- Irritability, depression and fatigue (tiredness)
- Feeling ill generally, or symptoms similar to flu
- Loss of weight
- Inflammation in eyes
- Visibility of fleshy lumps on feet and hands or below elbows (Rheumatoid nodules)
- Inflammation of blood vessels, membrane around heart (Rare), and lungs
Which are the different tests to diagnose Rheumatoid Arthritis?
The following tests are usually prescribed for diagnosing Rheumatoid Arthritis:
What are the normal lab values of tests required for Rheumatoid Arthritis?
The normal ranges for Rheumatoid Arthritis tests are as follows:
- RA Factor Test: <14 IU/ml
- ANA (Antinuclear Antibody) Test: <=1:40 dilution
- CRP (C-Reactive Protein) Test: <1.0mg/L to 3.0mg/L
What are test costs for Rheumatoid Arthritis in India?
The costs for Rheumatoid Arthritis tests in India will vary according to the diagnostic center and/or hospital you visit. You can find the charges of RA factor test in different cities in India here.
What are the different factors that lead to Rheumatoid Arthritis?
The following are amongst the most vibrant factors that lead to Rheumatoid Arthritis:
- Genetic reasons: Though there is a low risk of being affected by Rheumatoid Arthritis due to inheritance, evidence does suggest that this is one of the reasons.
- Hormonal reasons: Women are more likely to be affected due to Rheumatoid Arthritis. This is due to oestrogen hormone present in high quantities in females.
- Smoking: Smokers are at a high risk for development of Rheumatoid Arthritis.
What other complications are associated with Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Some complications that are associated with this ailment include:
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: If wrists are affected by Rheumatoid Arthritis, the associated inflammation compresses the nerve which serves fingers and hands, thus leading to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Osteoporosis: This is caused due to Rheumatoid Arthritis condition along with the medications prescribed for its treatment. Osteoporosis weakens bones, making them fracture prone.
- Lung disease: People affected by Rheumatoid Arthritis are prone to lung tissue scarring. This condition leads to breath shortness.
- Heart issues: Rheumatoid Arthritis increases risk of blocked and hardened arteries. It can also cause inflammation of sac which encloses heart.
What conditions can be accepted due to Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid Arthritis causes long term swelling, stiffness and pain in joints. Along with wrists, feet and hands, other body parts can also be affected. Symptoms of this disorder can become worse at times. This condition is referred to as flare or flare-up.
Though there is no specific age at which Rheumatoid Arthritis can affect humans, usually this disorder hits post 40 years of age. Women are more likely to develop this Rheumatoid Arthritis.
What treatment methods are adopted for Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Though there is no cure found for Rheumatoid Arthritis, medications help in reducing inflammation in joints and relieves the sufferers from pain; thus avoiding further damage to joints. Some important treatment methods are as follows:
- NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs): NSAIDs such as Naproxen sodium and ibuprofen are good for reducing inflammation and relieving pain.
- Steroids: Medications like prednisone are good for slowing down damage and pain in joints along with reducing inflammation.
- DMARDs (Disease modifying antirheumatic drugs): DMARDs like leflunomide, sulfasalazine, hydroxychloroquine and methotrexate are prescribed for preventing permanent damage to tissues and joints.
- Biological treatments: DMARDs like adalimumab, golimumab, abatacept, tocilizumab, rituximab, infliximab, certolizumab and etanercept are the newest entrants with regards to biological treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Therapists can suggest exercises that can by useful in ensuring flexibility of joints. They can also suggest using devices that can aid in putting lesser stress on affected joints.
Surgery is considered if medications and therapy are not enough for avoiding joint damage.Surgeries can have following procedures:
- Tendon repair
- Joint fusion
- Total joint replacement
Can you prevent Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Though there is no perfect preventive method for Rheumatoid Arthritis, severe effects can be avoided by the following ways:
- Early care: Getting in touch with doctors immediately when symptoms arise is best to reduce inflammation and pain.
- Exercise regime: Consulting therapists and engaging in correct exercise regime can be good for avoiding severe damage.
- Quit smoking: Smokers are at a high risk of developing Rheumatoid Arthritis. Hence, quitting the habit is recommended to avoid associated risk.