Saturday, July 27, 2013

Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment - What Are Your Options?

Deciphering the Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment Puzzle

There are a variety of different rheumatoid arthritis treatment options available to people who have been diagnosed with this illness. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic condition that does not go away by itself. Medical studies indicate that women are more likely to get this disease than men. However, this illness is something that can strike anybody regardless of age or gender. That said, there are a variety of treatment options available should you be diagnosed with this illness.

The very first thing you need to understand is what a rheumatoid arthritis treatment option offers you; it is a way to manage your symptoms, not a cure. Rheumatoid arthritis is a lifelong chronic illness, so once you are diagnosed it is likely something you will have to live with for the rest of your life.

A Few Quick Facts About RA

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the synovial lining of the joints. This in turn causes the joints to become inflamed, tender, and painful. These joints often fill up with fluid, which causes diminished range of motion and makes even normal movements difficult.

In addition, there are a variety of other serious symptoms associated with RA. For example, other symptoms may include muscle weakness, generalized fatigue, and heat, pain and swelling in the vicinity of the affected joints. And if the joint inflammation is not managed through early intervention, permanent joint damage and disfigurement may eventually result.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment Options

Keep in mind that treatment mainly involves the management of symptoms for those who are diagnosed with RA. Given the fact that this particular illness has the potential to destroy one's joints, it is critically important that treatment begin as soon as the illness is confirmed. The most popular treatment options revolve around the use of anti-inflammatory drugs, anti-malarial medications that are known to provide some relief of RA symptoms, and prescribing other disease modifying anti-rheumatic medications (DMARDS). You and your doctor will likely spend considerable time finding the exact drug regimen that provides the most relief for your symptoms.

In addition to prescription drugs, it is very important that you speak to your doctor about the different exercise programs that are available to help people who have RA. The reason why this type of physical therapy is so important is because it can help enhance your range of motion as well as help your body cope with many aspects of the illness. Proper regular exercise will help you retain range of motion in your joints, which in turn helps manage some of the symptoms you may experience. In addition, you may find some relief from adhering to a special rheumatoid arthritis diet; many RA sufferers report modest to marked improvement of their symptoms after implementing dietary changes.

In summary, the treatment that is best for you will ultimately be determined between you and your doctor. The best rheumatoid arthritis treatment approach typically involves some use of medication while at the same time making sure to get rest, proper nutrition, and the necessary physical therapy and exercise that your body needs.

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