Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the major types of arthritis that causes pain, stiffness, swelling, and loss of function in joints. It may affect any of your joints however it is common in the joints of wrist and fingers. Women are more likely to develop the condition of rheumatoid arthritis as compared to men. It can occur in the middle aged people but it is common in old age people.
Its symptoms may come and go and you may suffer from it only for short time. However the severe form of this arthritis may last for a lifetime. It may also affect the body parts along with joints as eyes, lungs and mouth.
It is an autoimmune disease therefore it develops when the immune system starts attacking your own body’s tissues.This occurs when the body starts recognizing the joint lining as an enemy and attacks the joints, tissues or organs. It results in inflammation of synovial membrane that sometimes affects the other parts of the joint also and decrease the space between joints therefore makes the movement difficult. It also deteriorates the cartilage which results in rigid joint and difficult movement.
The major risks factors and causes behind the development of rheumatoid arthritis are:
- Gender: Women are more likely to develop this medical condition than men.
- Age: Rheumatoid arthritis can affect a person of any age however the maximum patients are between the age of 40 and 60 years.
- Family history: People who have family history of rheumatoid arthritis are at more risk of this disease.
- Smoking: Cigarette smoking can increase the risk of rheumatoid arthritis.
- Environmental exposures: Exposure to asbestos, silica or to other similar agents increases the risk for rheumatoid arthritis.
- Obesity: Obese people carry more risk of rheumatoid arthritis, especially in the case of women who are around the age of 55 or younger.
Following are the main signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis:
- Tenderness of joints
- Swelling of joints
- Stiffness of joints in the morning or after a long period of inactivity
- Weight loss
For diagnose of Rheumatoid arthritis your physician may follow the following way:
- Physical examination: It is not easy to detect rheumatoid arthritis at early stages as its early signs and symptoms are similar to some other medical conditions. Therefore doctor will check the warmth, swelling, muscle strength, and redness of your joints. He/she will advise you blood and imaging tests.
- Blood tests: The blood tests will include erythrocyte sedimentation rate or C-reactive protein that will reveal the inflammatory process in your body.
- Imaging tests: The imaging tests will be conducted by taking the aid of X-rays that will help to find the development of rheumatoid arthritis with time in your joints. MRI and ultrasound tests are also used in severe cases.
Rheumatoid arthritis cannot be cured. However its symptoms can be controlled if treatment begins at early stage. Your doctor may recommend you the following to treat the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis:
Medications for Rheumatoid Arthritis
The medicines and their doses depend upon the severity of symptoms and period from which you have been suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
- NSAIDs: Your doctor will recommend you to use NSAIDs to get relieved from pain and decrease the inflammation. He/she may recommend you to use stronger NSAIDs depending upon your condition.
- Corticosteroids: Some of the steroids as Corticosteroid medications are also used to decrease the inflammation and pain.
- DMARDs: The Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs as Methotrexate, Leflunomide and Sulfasalazine are the strong medicines that can decelerate the development of rheumatoid arthritis. Therefore this medicine can help you to save the joints and tissues from permanent damage.
- Biologic agents: It is a new class of DMARDs. It includes medicines as Abatacept, Adalimumab, Anakinra, Certolizumab, or Tofacitinib. They target those parts of the immune system that stimulate the inflammation that causes joint damage.
Therapy for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Your physician may recommend you physical or occupational therapies that can help you to maintain your joints flexible. Assistive devices as kitchen knife with a saw handle, and buttonhooks are also available that makes your life easy.
Surgery for Rheumatoid Arthritis
If you are not affected even after the treatment with medicines then your doctor may advise you surgery to repair damaged joints. Rheumatoid arthritis can be treated with following procedures:
- Synovectomy: In this surgery the inflamed synovium is removed. It can be done on knees, fingers, elbows, wrists, and hips.
- Total joint replacement: In this surgery the surgeon removes the damaged parts of joint and replaces it with prosthesis made up of metal and plastic.
- Tendon repair and Joint infusion: They are the two other procedure used to treat the rheumatoid arthritis.
Alternative Medicines and Therapies for Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Ayurvedic treatment for rheumatoid arthritis: Vasthi is the most important treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis.
- Kairali massage for rheumatoid arthritis: Ayurvedic treatment of rheumatoid arthritis is preceded with other therapies like, Podikkizhi (Herbal powder massage), Dhanymla dhara (Pouring of a warm fermented liquid), or Oil massage with steam bath.
- Unani treatment of rheumatoid arthritis: Unani treatment in Rheumatoid Arthritis uses Concoction and Purgation (Munzij/Mushil therapy) which is thought to provide relief in this condition.
- Acupressure in rheumatoid arthritis: Acupressure may sound soothing for the pain treatment however its potential effect has not been seen in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
- Homoeopathic treatment in rheumatoid arthritis: Homoeopathic medicines as Bryonia Alba or Actea Spicata are generally recommended for the rheumatoid arthritis.
Alternative treatments and therapies for rheumatoid arthritis do not have much significant role as they can only provide you temporary relief that too at a very slow pace.
Dietary Supplement for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Dietary supplements include herbs, vitamins, minerals, and many other products that have a vital role in the maintenance of health. They are accessible as pills, drinks, capsules, powders and energy bars. The best dietary supplement for the treatment and management of rheumatoid arthritis is GLME.
- GLME (Green Lipped Mussel Extract): GLME (Green lipped mussel extract) is the best dietary supplement for rheumatoid arthritis. It is extracted from the green lipped mussel which is a shell fish grown in the farms of New Zealand. It is highly beneficial for the people fighting with rheumatoid arthritis as it has great nutritional value.
What Is the Role of Glme (Green Lipped Mussel Extract) in the Treatment and Management of Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Following are the unique benefits of GLME (Green lipped mussel extract)in the treatment and management of rheumatoid arthritis:
- It prevents the deterioration of cartilage and improves the joint lubrication. It repairs the damaged cartilages and enhances the joint mobility.
- It shields the stomach lining from the harsh effects of medicines used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis by serving as Gastro-protective.
- It assists other medicines to show their maximum efficacy.
- It controls the inflammation process through several mechanisms and reduces swelling, pain, and inflammation.
Seatone is the best brand of GLME (green lipped mussel extract) which is available as capsules. Seatone is the safest treatment for rheumatoid arthritis as:
- It is extracted only from the premium, fresh mussels at their peak condition. Full control is kept to ensure that the harvesting is done at the best times of year.
- Several tests are conducted to check the toxicity of Seatone. Toxicity is not detected even at higher doses.
Seatone is better than all the other treatments for rheumatoid arthritis because:
- Seatone is obtained from natural source therefore it does not show any side effects. It is obtained in a very pure and safe form. However the medicines used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis show numerous side effects. The NSAIDs and analgesics effect different organs and show undesirable effects.
- Medicines used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis damage the delicate lining of stomach while Seatone guards your stomach lining from the harsh reactions of these medicines.
- Blood clot or infection can be caused by the surgeries performed for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
- Medicines for rheumatoid arthritis may provide you fast relief but it is generally temporary. However the Seatone provides gradual but progressive relief which is generally long lasting.
- Medicines as NSAIDs only reduce the pain and swelling buts seatone offers gradual enhancement in grip strength and mobility along with the reduction in pain and swelling.
- Seatone is safe at higher doses also but the medicines as analgesics or NSAIDs can cause adverse effects at higher doses.
Your doctor may recommend you the following to cope up with the condition of rheumatoid arthritis:
- Exercise: Patients of rheumatoid arthritis can choose exercise as walking, swimming or gentle aerobics to reduce pain.
- Heat or cold therapies: Use heat or cold to relieve painful muscles. Cold can dull the painful sensations and will numb the joints and relax the muscles.
- Relax: If you feel fatigue or muscle weakness then take rest or short nap. Stay connected with your family, they may be worried about you. Try to share your thoughts with your close ones. This will help you to feel better. Give time to yourself. Enjoy writing articles, journals or walking or anything that makes you feel better. Find the ways to reduce stress in your life.
Rheumatoid arthritis cannot be prevented however the progression of disease can be slowed or stopped by early and aggressive treatment. Well quitting smoking, reducing extra body weight and reducing the exposure to environmental pollutants can decrease the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.
The prognosis for rheumatoid arthritis at initial stage depends upon the stage of the disease when it was first diagnosed. Also the age of the patient at the onset of disease and at first diagnose effects the prognosis of rheumatoid arthritis. It is observed by the medical experts that about 10 to 20% patients of rheumatoid arthritis have sudden onset of the disease which is followed by many years that do not show symptoms. In some rheumatoid arthritis patients symptoms may come and go. Time for which there are few or no symptoms can occur between flares and last for months. Generally the majority of rheumatoid arthritis patients suffer from the chronic and progressive type of rheumatoid arthritis which needs long-term medical management.
Disclaimer : All information on this website is only for general educational purpose and it cannot substitute the consultation with a doctor. It is highly suggested that you seek advice from doctor to determine your requirements. Women who are in their gestation or lactation period and children should not take any supplement without the consultation of their doctor.