Have you ever wondered just what are the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and if there is anything that can be done about them? If so, read on to find out a little more about this debilitating disease and how doctors around the world strive to conquer a malady as old as mankind itself.
Rhumatoid arthritis symptoms help doctors differentiate it from the many other types of arthritis of which there is more than a hundred different types. Some of these include osteoarthritis, gout, psoriatic, tendonitis, bursitis, and many others. The word, arthritis, originates from the Greek and literally translates to joint inflammation.
Rheumatoid arthritis displays several distinguishing features. One such characteristic involves the symmetrical affectation of joints. Usually beginning in the hands, people showing signs of rheumatoid arthritis generally find it involving both hands. If in the knee joint, the disease is almost always in both knees and so on.
Tiredness, off-and-on feverishness, and a general sense of feeling unwell all accompany people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. None of these symptoms need manifest at once; one day you may be feeling fatigued, the next day not. You may run a low-grade temperature for several days running that then inexplicably returns to normal. You may feel just fine one day, physically exhausted and out of sorts the next.
Joint pain remains universal in all types of arthritis, including rheumatoid. But some types of arthritis (including rhumatoid arthritis) affect other areas of the body, as well. Neck pain, drying of the eyes and mouth, as well as anemia and a lower-than-normal production of red blood cells also can occur as a result of this disease. In rare instances, rheumatoid arthritis can inflame the sac lining the heart, the blood vessels, and the lining of the lungs.
Rest, physical therapy, and pain medications have been the traditional treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. But now doctors employ a more aggressive approach with a battery of weapons to fight this disease depending on each individuals particular case.
Earlier treatment using stronger drugs, a combination drug therapies, and encouraging the patient to be more proactive in his or her arthritis treatment all make arthritis relief more attainable.
Rheumatoid arthritis remains an incurable disease, but with patient/doctor cooperation, it can be controlled. And someday, through continued research, this ubiquitous disease may even become a thing of the past.