Saturday, July 27, 2013

Rheumatoid Arthritis Diagnosis - A Review Of 3 Methods Used

Know If You Have It

Rheumatoid arthritis is a special type of arthritis that affects a person's immune system as much as it affects the joints, bones, and muscles. Diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis the moment its symptoms appear is crucial for its treatment and prevention. If not acted on immediately, the chances of lasting joint damages and loss of mobility functions become higher. That means that people with advanced rheumatoid arthritis can become disabled.

This is why rheumatoid arthritis has to be diagnosed as early as possible. You should consider seeing your doctor if you suffer from any of these symptoms:

Thickening of the Joint's Lining. Anytime that you feel the swelling in the joints had subsided but the area doesn't seem to be the same as it used to be, there is a high chance that the lining around the joints have already thickened. If you do have this condition, then you might just have rheumatoid arthritis. It should also be the time you go to a health care specialist for a more accurate diagnosis.

Swelling, Pain, Stiffness, Redness, and a Warm Sensation on the Joints. There are a lot of joints in the body. Following that concept, rheumatoid arthritis can possibly strike anywhere. If you feel any chronic pain on any part of your body, more particularly in the knees, neck, and shoulders, it is possible you have arthritis.

Chronic pain means that the pain recurs from time to time. Arthritis comes in different forms. If you merely suffer from joint pains, what you may have is not rheumatoid arthritis. But it is always best to have it checked so that the symptoms can be properly addressed.

Loss of Movement. Once you feel that your motor skills are affected by the chronic pains you are experiencing, then you must be on the advanced stages of rheumatoid arthritis already. By this time, you should have the right kind of medications prescribed so that every time you feel the pain, you have something to relieve it.

Methods Used For The Diagnosis Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

To diagnose rheumatoid arthritis, the doctor would need to perform a series of test on the patient. Here are the different methods that a health professional would use to determine if a patient does have rheumatoid arthritis.

X-ray. X-ray is the most basic type of medical diagnosis procedure. Doctors normally request this first because it gives them a good image of the body part where arthritis usually strikes. While this method alone cannot confirm the presence of the disease, it can certainly rule out the possibility that the pain is caused by some other diseases. Doctors also use x-rays to compare the progression of the disease on the patient over a certain period of time.

Latex Test. The latex test is the procedure used to specifically diagnose rheumatoid arthritis. This diagnostic process examines the blood and checks it for antibody known as the rheumatoid factor.

Whenever there's an inflammation on the joints and its lining, the body reacts by secreting this type of antibody. Once the rheumatoid factor is detected in the blood, then there would be no doubt that the patient has rheumatoid arthritis.

Sedimentation Rate Testing. After the doctor has rightfully determined that their patients are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, then the next thing they need to find out would be the blood's sedimentation rate. To do this test, a blood sample is drawn and is made to settle for some time. If the sedimentation rate is high, then it means that the patient is suffering from an active type of inflammation.

We have described the 3 most common methods used for rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis. It's practically a cliche that prevention is better than cure, but it is still true. So if you suspect that you may be suffering from this problem, make sure to see your doctor right away so you can confirm your actual health status.

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