Rheumatoid arthritis is a serious disease which affects not only the joints of the fingers, writs,
hips, knees and feet but also the muscles, tendons and other tissues of the body. The disease is
due to an inflammatory process of the synovium or lining of the joints accompanied by swelling
and eventual deformity.
Rheumatoid arthritis is often called the " cooked food disease" . It usually develops gradually
over several months with persistent pain and stiffness in one or more joints. Ulti- mately the
whole body is affected.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic arthritis that typically affects the same joints on the two sides of the body, such as the hands and feet, with the symptoms coming and going at different times.
According to surveys carried out in different parts of the world, Rheumatoid Arthritis is one of the more common types of arthritis is one of the most complex types of arthritis and occurs in approximately two to tree percent of people, although it seems uncommon in primitive communities.
For unknown reasons, women are affected three times more often than men. Individuals of all ages may develop the disease, from infants to the elderly, though it is most common between the ages of 25 and 55 years.
Causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis:
The cause Rheumatoid Arthritis remains a medical mystery. However, many theories have been put forward by research workers. The most reasonable theory suggests that -
Rheumatoid Arthritis may be due to some kind of infection by tiny germs called viruses. These viruses could find their way into the joints and trigger off inflammation. This kind of infection is not the type that causes the common cold or flu, for example. In arthritis the virus is probably an unusual variety and may lie hidden in the body for a long time before becoming active, thus making it even more difficult to detect.
Other factor may decide whether a person develops an Rheumatoid Arthritis. One such factor is the genetic factor - whether you can inherit from your parents, grandparents and so on. It has been found that certain inherited gene types occur more frequently in patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Rheumatoid Arthritis symptoms:
Symptoms include anaemia, colitis, constipation, gall-bladder disturbances, low blood pressure, deformed hands and feet. The condition may be caused by hormonal imbalance, physical and emotional stress, infection, severe fright, shock and injury. Hereditary factors may also be responsible for the onset of this disease.
The joint symptoms:
In most cases, Rheumatoid Arthritis starts gradually over several weeks with persistent pain and stiffness inone or more joints. Usually the hands and feet are first affected, through sometimes only one joint, such as the knee, is involved. Characteristically, this stifness is worse on walking in the mornings and wears off during the day. In any case, the Rheumatoid Arthritis may spread to other joints such as the elbows, shoulders, hips, kness and ankles.
Changes in the body:
Sometimes the inflammed tendons become worn away, especially where they rub over inflamed joints, and thus may tear completely. The involved finger, for example, then cannot be straihtened and remains floppy in a bend position. Similarily, changes in the feet occur, such as outward bending of the big toes (bunions) and a 'hammer' formation of the other toes in which they curve under themselves. In severe cases the joints are unstable and cannot work at all.
Symptoms of the whole body:
Rheumatoid Arthritis is not only a disease of the joints. The whole body suffers.
The person feels tired,
Reduction in weight.
Other Types of Arthritis
Treatment of Arthritis