Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammation in the joints that causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints (e.g. joints of the foot and hand). Over time, this inflammation can destroy joint tissue and bone shapes. The effects of this condition will limit the activities of everyday life, such as it is difficult to walk and use your hands.
Although the body part most often affected by rheumatoid arthritis is on the feet and hands, the disease can also infect other parts of the body, such as the eyes, lungs, blood vessels, and skin.
Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the immune system attacks the body’s tissues. The disease is most often suffered by women, especially in the over 40 years. However, this does not cover the possibility of men and anyone outside of these age contract the disease.
How To Cure Rheumatoid Arthritis
Sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis can only do basic maintenance such as changing lifestyle patterns because to date there is still no drug that can cure rheumatoid arthritis in total, but with proper care, the spread and inflammation can be inhibited.
Treatment can help reduce the symptoms of inflammation in joints, prevent or slow down the damage to the joints, reduce the level of disability, and makes sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis can remain active life. Some things that can be done is taking a drug, supportive care and surgery, as well as a change in lifestyle.
Treatments that can be done is to do a long term treatment and therapies for inhibiting the progression and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. If treatment with therapy and other treatment is not effective, surgery to repair the joint problems can be done.
There are several ways of care and treatment that can be done to suppress the progression of this disease. At first, the doctor will prescribe medication with the fewest side effects and after that, if it is not effective, drugs with more severe side effects will be added. The doctor will adjust the dose to the condition of the patient.
Pain reliever medication.
Pain reliever medication such as codeine or paracetamol used to relieve the pain. In addition, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may also be used. Pain relief medications cannot prevent the progression of rheumatoid arthritis, but it can help relieve pain and inflammation in the joints. NSAIDs drugs used are ibuprofen, naproxen, and diclofenac.
Steroids or corticosteroids is a synthetic drug resembles that of a hormone produced naturally in the body, i.e., cortisol. This drug can-shaped of tablet, ointment, liquid, or injection that can be injected directly into the muscles or joints.
Steroids are used to relieve short-term pain because if long-term use can cause serious side effects. These side effects can be easily bruised, the skin becomes thinner, osteoporosis, weak muscles, and increased weight. This drug needs to be consumed under the supervision of a doctor.
Biological therapy treatments.
Biological treatment is the most recent and useful form of rheumatoid arthritis treatment to stop the immune system from attacking the joints.
Biological treatment is done by injecting a protein derived from human genetics. Part of the immune system that triggers inflammation and cause damage to the tissues and joints was made a target by biological medicines. Biological treatment has been proven to be able to slow the progression of rheumatoid arthritis.
Same as other treatment, biological treatments also have side effects, but usually only mild side effects. Side effects that may occur are fever, nausea, infection, headache, and skin reactions at the injection point. Some sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis who have had tuberculosis will have the risk of re-infection.
Biological drugs are usually combined with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs/DMARDs if the use of a biological medicine is not effective.
Examples of biological medicines are abatacept, rituximab, infliximab, etanercept, and anakinra.
Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs).
DMARDs (disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs) is given the early stage of treatment to inhibit and relieve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, as well as prevent permanent damage in the joints and other tissues.
Damage to the ligaments, bones, and tendons due to immune system effects when attacking joints can be inhibited by DMARDs.
Some DMARDs can be used is hydroxychloroquine, methotrexate, sulfasalazine, and leflunomide.
The first drug given for rheumatoid arthritis was methotrexate, but these drugs also have side effects that are common, such as headache, diarrhea, hair loss, nausea, mouth ached, and lost appetite. Blood tests must be done regularly to monitor the effects on the liver and the blood count for taking this medication.
Patients with rheumatoid arthritis can do therapy to make the joints more flexible, as well as help improve muscle strength and body fitness. Some therapies that can be done is occupational therapy, podiatry, and physiotherapy.
Sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis may have to undergo surgery if the treatment had been done still have not prevented or slow down the damage to the joints.
The surgery is done to correct the deformity, damage to joints, help restore the ability to use joints, and relieve pain. The following are the surgical procedures of rheumatoid arthritis that can be done.
- Repair of the tendons. This procedure is done to repair sagging or breaking up the tendons around joints that have been damaged or joint inflammation.
- Total joint replacement. This procedure is done to replace damaged joints with plastic or metal prostheses.
- Joint merger surgery. This procedure is done to relieve the pain, and realign or stabilize the joints if the total joint replacement is not possible.
- Synovectomy. The procedure is performed to remove the synovial fluid which inflammations, and performed on the knees, elbows, wrists, fingers and hips.
- Arthroscopy. These procedures raised the inflammatory joint network with the help of anticope cameras and special tools. This surgery is classified as minor, but sufferers need rest to recover the joints.
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