Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammation of the joint. This condition causes pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joints that affect people of all ages. Over time, this inflammation can destroy joint tissue and bone form.
Although the body parts most often affected by rheumatoid arthritis are in the legs and hands, this inflammation can also infect other body parts, such as eyes, lungs, blood vessels, and skin.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Causes
Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by the immune system that is supposed to fight infections attacks the normal cells in the joints. It makes joints feel painful, swollen, and stiff.
Although the reason why the immune system does a mistake is still unknown. There are several factors that can increase the risk such as a combination of hormonal, environmental, lifestyle, and genetic factors.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms
The symptoms can spread to the wrists, knees, ankles, elbows, hips, and shoulders as the disease progresses. The symptoms in each person are different and may change over time. The common symptoms include:
- Pain in the hands and the feet affecting identical joints on each side
- Tender, warm, and swollen joints
- The appearance of rheumatoid nodules
- Morning stiffness that may last for hours
- Weight loss
Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment
Patients with rheumatoid arthritis can only perform basic treatments such as changing lifestyle patterns. This is because until now there is still no cure that can cure this disease in total. With proper care, the spread and inflammation can be inhibited.
Conventional treatments that are recommended include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), biologic DMARDs like tumor necrosis factor (TNF) medicines, and corticosteroid medicines or injections such as prednisone, methotrexate, and Enibrel.
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Meanwhile, the natural pain relievers like herbs are also available in the market to include:
- Curcumin. It is found in turmeric to help suppress symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Boswellia. This herb promotes better blood flow to the joints, boosting their strength and flexibility, and helps treat pain and inflammation.
- Ginger. It is a good anti-inflammatory that can effectively relieve arthritis pain.
RA patients can also do mild exercises. However, they should consult a doctor first to avoid injuries and prevent further joint deformities. If the treatment and therapy is not effective, then surgery to repair joint problems can be done.