Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis

What is it?

To date, one of the most common diseases affecting the joints — rheumatoid arthritis. According to statistics, suffer from it every hundredth person on Earth. The females suffer five times more often than men. Age is also important: disease usually develops after age 30.

Rheumatoid arthritis — a systemic disease of the connective tissue, manifested mainly by chronic inflammation of the joints. Affected, as a rule, ankles, joints, ankles, knees and hands.

Doctors have not been able to fully clarify why people are suddenly inflamed joints. Similarly, only know that the impetus for the beginning of the disease is malfunctioning of the immune system. Provocative factors may be hypothermia, stress, joint injuries and infections. Commonplace ARD, sore throat and flu can complicate rheumatoid arthritis. In 80% of cases are detected antibodies to the virus Epstein-Barr virus.

What's going on?

Develops disease gradually and imperceptibly. A person can feel good about themselves, to lead a normal life, and in the meantime his body had already appeared antibodies that cause damage to the body's own tissues. Once these antibodies accumulate enough, they begin their destructive activities — attacking the joints and cause an inflammatory reaction. The affected joints are gradually deformed and can not work.

What way?

Typically, rheumatoid arthritis has a fairly clear set of symptoms:

  • morning stiffness in the joints, lasting at least 1 hour
  • Arthritis of hand joints
  • symmetry of joint damage
  • the so-called rheumatoid nodules — subcutaneous seals in the elbows (found in10-20% Of patients).

In the later stages of the disease may be affected peripheral nerves, blood vessels, heart, lungs, kidneys and other organs.

The disease is characterized by a mild fever, loss of appetite and insomnia.

Without treatment, rheumatoid arthritis leads to the gradual destruction of the affected joints.

Diagnostics

In any case we can not expect that everything will pass by itself. At the first sign of illness immediately to make an appointment torheumatologist. Only it can distinguish rheumatoid arthritis from similar diseases, and correct diagnosis.

After listening to your complaints and inspecting joints doctor necessarily assign biochemical and immunological blood tests.

To determine the degree of damage to the joints, X-rays will be performed, or arthroscopy Magnetic resonance imaging of the joints. If necessary, make a puncture and will take on research joint liquid.

If it affects the internal organs may need to consult other specialists: cardiologists, gastroenterologists, pulmonologists, etc.

Treatment

Unfortunately, magic pills, relieving patients of rheumatoid arthritis quickly and permanently, scientists have not yet invented. However, the disease can be treated and should be.

Modern means of rheumatoid arthritis inhibit the progression of the disease, relieve unpleasant symptoms and prevent the development of complications. They are of two kinds: anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory. First reduce inflammation and reduce pain. Second inhibit immune responses and thus struggling with the disease. Must be borne in mind that all of these drugs have to drink very, very long time, perhaps even a lifetime. In addition, they often cause side effects, so they need to be taken only under medical supervision.

Good therapeutic effect for arthritis provide physiotherapy, except that heat affected joint. Especially helps low-frequency and low-frequency magnetic laser therapy. Also, patients are shown massage therapy and physiotherapy.

If the medication to the patient is not getting better, it is assigned a surgical operation to remove the affected tissue in the joint, it slows down the progression of the disease. Today, most of these operations is performed arthroscopically (using intra-probe).

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