Friday, August 2, 2013

Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms and the Lifestyle Challenge


Rheumatoid Arthritis or RA is an auto immune disease, which is characterized by inflammation in the lining of the joints and only affects 1 to 2 percent of the population.

But the life altering effects of this disease can be quite invasive. If you suspect that you may have Rheumatoid Arthritis or if you have already been diagnosed with such, it is important to clearly understand the most common symptoms for this condition so that you can most effectively participate in the management of your healthcare.

RA can develop in children, teens, young adults and even those in middle age. Currently research indicates that women are more often diagnosed with RA than men.

Early symptoms can at times be tough to diagnose since the early symptoms can go in and out of remission making it hard for your physician to see the physical symptoms of what you are describing and have been experiencing. You might consider keeping a log of your symptoms so that your healthcare provider can see the pattern.

While symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis can differ from person to person, there is currently no single medical test that will definitively diagnose rheumatoid arthritis.

Most often physicians report that patients commonly hear a complaint of repetitive joint pain that frequently occurs every day. The pain and joint limitations can cause your day to be interrupted and tough to manage. RA can certainly cause trouble in the basic management of your daily activities. It can give you a challenge trying to manage even the most basic of tasks.

RA symptoms often include joint stiffness in the morning in and around the joints that persist for more than thirty minutes, joint swelling in the wrists, knuckles, or in the individual finger joints. Many patients also report a feeling of heat over the irritated joints. Often RA can invade other joints, such as the jaw, elbows, shoulders, feet and ankles.

While there is currently no known cure for rheumatoid arthritis, with aggressive and early treatment the inflammation and pain associated with RA can be better controlled. This early and aggressive treatment is also shown to decrease and often stop the joint destruction of rheumatoid arthritis.

With all the new advances in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, there is joy for patients in knowing that there is now more hope than in previous decades.

Learning to understand and identify the common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis is the key in actively participating in your own healthcare.

After all, your health is worth your time to get educated!

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