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Rheumatoid arthritis


Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmunity disease which refers to chronic inflammations of the joints, of the surrounding tissues and body organs too. It is also called ‘rheumatoid disease’ as it affects the whole organism. When suffering from rheumatoid arthritis your bones are literally being eaten, destroyed. When the joints are inflamed there appears pain. The tendons, ligaments and muscles are also affected and cause pain. This is a progressive disease, which means that the joints and the other organs are gradually damaged. Moreover, one important thing is that pain isn’t necessarily connected to the disease’s gravity. Therefore, if you have no pain or a light pain doesn’t mean you are not in an advanced disease phase.


It all begins with the immunity system; the immunity system is composed of cells and antibodies which have a precise mission: to detect and destroy the body enemies, such as infections. Rheumatoid arthritis means that the immunity system attacks mistakenly the body tissues. However, scientifically speaking, the main cause of this disease is still unknown. Some say that it may be genetically inherited. Others suspect that viruses, fungi and bacteria are the factors that cause infections which may also determine the immunity system to fight against the body’s own organs. However this hasn’t been proved yet.


They may appear and disappear, but this depends a lot on the patient type. Some may remove temporarily (for weeks, months or years) the painful symptoms by applying a treatment. When the disease returns it is called a flare. Rheumatoid arthritis causes joint and muscles pain, rigidity, low appetite, and tiresome. Symptoms appear especially after inactive periods or in the morning. As we know, not only joints are affected by this disease; bones, tendons, ligaments, muscles and even glands are involved. Gland inflammation may cause the dryness of that certain area (the Sjogren syndrome).


There is no curing treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. The existing treatments applied in such cases aim to reduce rheumatoid disease symptoms and to prevent joint damage and deformity. The perfect treatment against arthritis is a combination between medicines, joint strengthening exercises and protection and a patient proper education. There are two types of medicines used in such treatments: the ‘first-line drugs’ (which have a rapid action) and the ‘second-line drugs’ (which have a slower action). ‘First-line drugs’, such as cortisone or aspirin, are used to reduce inflammations and pain sensations and have an immediate but short-term action. ‘Second-line drugs’ are used to remove rheumatoid disease symptoms and stop joint damage for a longer period; therefore, they have a long-term action and deeper effects.


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