Concerned about Rheumatoid Arthritis?

By: mikeherman1
Arthritis is the term used for over 100 rheumatoid and joint related diseases, with the most common being Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis.

The word arthritis refers to "joint inflammation" and rheumatoid arthritis is actually an attack on the immune system where the system turns on itself and attacks the joints.

Rheumatoid arthritis causes joint pain and swelling, redness, warmth and can affect other organs of the body like skin, eyes, lungs, heart, blood, nerves or kidneys.

Rheumatoid arthritis affects approximately 1% of the population, in which 75% of those diagnosed are women. The exact cause of rheumatoid arthritis is unknown, but scientists attribute this disease to a combination of genetic, environmental and hormonal factors.

With rheumatoid arthritis, something seems to trigger the immune system to attack itself. This could happen after a sudden trauma or a surgery, and the severity is not the same in all people. Some theories suggest that a virus or bacteria alter the immune system. Therefore, since the root cause of rheumatoid arthritis is so different from osteoarthritis, of course the treatment and remedies are different also.

Rheumatoid arthritis is diagnosed by a positive Rh factor, (a blood test), and x-rays that show rheumatoid deterioration in the joints. There are many different ways to treat rheumatoid arthritis, which include medication, rest, exercise and surgery. The medications fall into two specific categories, NSAIDs and DMARDs, and attempt to reduce the pain, swelling and inflammation. Humira, one of the latest discoveries, attempts to isolate the diseased cells so they cannot reproduce and cause more harm.

In the past 10 years, alternative medicine has also taken a predominant place in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

Some of these non-prescription methods include:

? ibuprofen

? herbs such as cat's claw and white willow to reduce pain

? glucosamine and chondriton are used to promote new cartilage growth

? warm baths in Epsom Salts

? application of menthol ointment to the affected joints

Rheumatoid arthritis is not to be taken lightly or ignored, so investigate the treatments and choose the best for yourself.
Rheumatology
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