Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic disease. So, this means lifelong arthritis involving the joints. And Autoimmune Arthritis means that the body’s immune system is causing damage and destruction to the joints. However, Rheumatoid Arthritis is much more than the joints. Because it can involve other parts of your body as well such as skin, lungs, eyes, etc. If a person has pain in any joint, if there is swelling or stiffness then these can be the beginning of Arthritis.
What is the reason for Rheumatoid Arthritis?
In our body immune system is present; it is a resistance system of our body that is made for the body’s protection. But due to some reason, it becomes more active and starts working against our body. Therefore it is an Auto Immune phenomenon. This is the main reason for Arthritis.
What are the different types of Arthritis?
There are four types of arthritis. All four are cause because of autoimmunity.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Ankylosing Spondylitis
- Sjogren Syndrome
1. Rheumatoid arthritis:
This arthritis involves the hands and leg joints. It is the main and most common type of arthritis. In this, a person faces problems such as pain, swelling, or stiffness in the hand and leg joints . It is called Rheumatoid Arthritis.
2. Ankylosing Spondylitis:
Second is Arthritis of the waist which is Ankylosing Spondylitis. In this, the pain is in the waist and mostly in males. When they get up in the morning they notice stiffness in the waist. So, from the time they start doing their work that stiffness goes off. This is more common in males. After getting up in the morning this stiffness of the waist remains for more than half an hour.
3. Sjogren Syndrome:
Third is dryness in the mouth, saliva glands swell and it is common in females. It is called Sjogren Syndrome.
The fourth type is Lupus, in which rashes come on the face while expose to the sun which is the famous name as Butter Fly Rash. These rashes come on your nose and your cheeks. So, apart from that, a person sees mouth ulcers, joint pain and hair fall in this.
Due to age joint pain is called osteoarthritis. However, this usually occurs after 50 years of age and it gives more problems in knee joints. Especially it increases with walking and reduces while resting. So, it is an age-related problem.
What are the symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis?
- Pain in joint
- Stiffness in joint
- Swelling in the joint
- Fatigue is a very common presentation in patients with autoimmune diseases. So, the patient may feel unusually tired and not able to do normal things.
- Patients can have dryness in their eyes and their mouth
- Patients can experience symptoms in their lungs; they can have a chronic cough, and shortness of breath because the inflammation can affect their lungs as well.
- Some patients can present with a condition known as Raynaud's Phenomenon. Raynaud's Phenomenon is when patient fingers and even toes can turn white or they're very affected by the cold weather.
- Ulcers also related to Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Numbness and tingling in feet
When does rheumatoid arthritis usually develop?
Many people think it is an old age disease, but that's actually not the case. Rheumatoid Arthritis can diagnose at any time in a patient's life. Many patients with autoimmune diseases are affected in their 20s and their 30s. But its peak age is the 40s or 50s.
Which arthritis is common in males and females?
Among all types, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, and Sjogren Syndrome are very important. S, this sees more in females. Where else Ankylosing Spondylitis Arthritis in the waist sees more in males.
Do rheumatoid arthritis increase stroke risk and heart attack?
Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis are at twice the risk of having a heart attack or a stroke compare to a patient who does not have Rheumatoid Arthritis
What is the best and safest drug for rheumatoid arthritis?
There are several ways to treat rheumatoid arthritis. There are two main subcategories of drugs. So there are conventional oral disease-modifying medications and there are biologic disease-modifying medications.
Oral disease-modifying medications:
Often, oral medications to treat rheumatoid arthritis and so some examples of these medications are:
These medications work by modulating the immune system so that it's not as actively damaging the joints as it normally is in rheumatoid arthritis. And these medications are use for decades in rheumatoid arthritis.
Biologic disease-modifying medications:
The other main class of medications to improve outcomes in rheumatoid arthritis is biologic disease-modifying drugs. This class is ever-expanding, new drugs are coming out in the market, but the main categories are:
- TNF inhibitors are drugs that block an inflammatory protein called TNF. The TNF inhibitors are only available in injection or infusion form.
- Abatacept is a drug that helps prevent T cells from becoming too activated.
- Tocilizumab is a drug that blocks a proinflammatory protein that causes inflammation, IL-6.
- Rituximab, which works on the B cells.
There are many different treatment options. These drug classes can combine, conventional oral disease-modifying drugs with biologic drugs. The oral drugs can be combined together as well. Sometimes biologic drugs are used on their own.