Women health

 Early signs of rheumatoid arthritis

The early symptoms and signs of rheumatoid arthritis might be confusing because they are similar to those of many other diseases. The diagnosis cannot be verified by a single blood test or physical finding.

Your doctor will evaluate your joints for swelling, redness, and warmth during the physical examination. Your reflexes and muscle strength might also be tested.

An analysis of blood

Rheumatoid arthritis patients frequently exhibit high levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) or erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), which may signify the presence of an inflammatory process in the body. Rheumatoid factor and anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP) antibodies are two more popular blood tests.

Image-based tests

X-rays may be suggested by your doctor as a way to monitor the development of rheumatoid arthritis in your joints over time. Your doctor can assess the extent of the disease in your body using MRI and ultrasound scans.

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Rheumatoid arthritis has no known treatment solution. However, clinical trials show that early therapy with pharmaceuticals referred to as disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) increases the likelihood of symptom remission.


Depending on the severity of your symptoms and how long you've had rheumatoid arthritis, your doctor may prescribe one of the following drugs:

NSAID medications known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) can lower inflammation and ease pain. Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, among others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve) are examples of NSAIDs available over the counter. By prescription, stronger NSAIDs can be found. Kidney damage, cardiac issues, and stomach irritability are possible side effects.

STEROIDS Prednisone and other corticosteroid drugs lessen pain and inflammation while also slowing joint deterioration. Diabetes, weight gain, and bone weakening are possible side effects. A corticosteroid is frequently prescribed by doctors to quickly alleviate symptoms with the intention of progressively weaning down the drug.

Conventional DMARDs By delaying the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, these medications can prevent irreparable harm to the joints and other tissues. Methylchloroquine (Plaquenil), leflunomide (Arava), hydroxychloroquine (Trexall), and sulfasalazine (Azulfidine) are examples of common DMARDs. Liver damage and serious lung infections are just two examples of the many possible side effects.

Biological agents are Commonly known as biological response modifiers, this newer family of DMARDs includes abatacept (Orencia), adalimumab (Humira), anakinra (Kineret), certolizumab (Cimzia), etanercept (Enbrel), golimumab (Simponi), infliximab (Remicade), rituximab (Rituxan), sarilumab (Kevzara) & tocilizumab (Actemra).

When used with a traditional DMARD, such as methotrexate, biological DMARDs are typically the most successful. This kind of medication also makes infections more likely.

ALSO READ: Natural Remedies for Arthritis in the Thumb

Targeted synthetic DMARDs In cases when traditional DMARDs and biologics have failed, patients may be prescribed baricitinib (Olumiant), tofacitinib (Xeljanz), and upadacitinib (Rinvoq). Tofacitinib taken at higher doses carries a higher risk of cancer, significant cardiac problems, and pulmonary blood clots.


Your doctor could suggest you seek out a physical or occupational therapist that can show you stretching and strengthening exercises to maintain your joints flexible. In order to make daily duties easier on your joints, the therapist could also recommend new techniques. For instance, you might wish to pick up something using the muscles in your forearms.

It may be simpler to prevent straining your sore joints with the aid of assistive technology. For example, a kitchen knife with a hand grip helps safeguard your wrist and finger joints. Buttonhooks are one tool that can make getting dressed simpler. Look for inspiration in catalogs and medical supply stores.


Your doctor may recommend surgery to restore damaged joints if drugs are unable to stop or reduce joint deterioration. The possibility of surgery can help you regain joint mobility. Both pain and function can be enhanced by it.

Any of the following methods could be used during rheumatoid arthritis surgery:

Synovectomy Pain can be relieved and joint flexibility can be increased through surgery to remove the inflammatory synovium.

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Tendon rejuvenation Tendons surrounding your joint could loosen or tear due to joint injury and inflammation. Your doctor might be able to fix the tendons that surround your joint.

The fusing of a joint When a joint replacement is not an option, it may be advised to surgically fuse a joint to stabilize or realign it, as well as to relieve discomfort.

Total replacement of a joint The damaged joint components are removed during joint replacement surgery, and a metal and plastic prosthesis is then inserted in their stead.

Surgery carries a risk of discomfort, blood, and infection. Describe the advantages and hazards to your doctor.

Healthy living and homemade remedies

If you have rheumatoid arthritis, there are things you can do to look after your body. You can manage your signs and symptoms by combining the following self-care practices with your rheumatoid arthritis medications:

Get regular exercise In addition to strengthening the muscles around your joints, gentle exercise can also help you feel less exhausted. Before beginning an exercise program, see your doctor. Start out by going for a walk if you're just starting started. Avoid working out your sore, hurt, or seriously inflamed joints.

Use cold or heat. Heat might help you feel better and relax stiff, hurting muscles. The feeling of pain may be lessened by cold. Additionally, the cold has a numbing effect and might lessen swelling.

Relax Reduce your tension and find coping mechanisms for discomfort. Pain management methods include deep breathing, guided imagery, and muscular relaxation.

Alternative health care

The following are some typical complementary and alternative therapies for rheumatoid arthritis that have shown promise:

Fatty fish

 Supplemental fish oil may lessen the pain and stiffness associated with rheumatoid arthritis, according to several exploratory research. Belching, nausea, and a fishy aftertaste are possible side effects. Consult your doctor before taking fish oil because it may interact with certain drugs.

Plants' oils Evening primrose, borage, and black currant seeds all contain a specific type of fatty acid that may lessen the pain and stiffness associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Headache, diarrhea, and gas are possible side effects. Consult your doctor before using any plant oils because some of them can harm your liver or conflict with certain medications.

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T'ai chi In conjunction with deep breathing, this movement therapy entails gentle stretches and movements. Tai chi is frequently practiced by people to reduce stress. There have been some small studies that suggest tai chi may help persons with rheumatoid arthritis feel better and live better. Tai chi is secure when practiced under the direction of an experienced teacher. Conversely, avoid any painful movements.

Support and coping methods

A person's job and family life may be impacted by rheumatoid arthritis discomfort and impairment. Feelings of hopelessness and low self-esteem are frequent, as are depression and anxiety.

How well you manage the condition will influence how much rheumatoid arthritis interferes with your regular activities. Discuss coping mechanisms with your doctor or the nurse. You'll eventually discover what tactics are most effective for you. Try these things in the interim:

Take action Make a plan for controlling your arthritis with the help of your doctor. This will give you a sense of control over your illness.

Know your limitations When you're exhausted, rest. You may have weariness and muscle weakness as a result of rheumatoid arthritis. A quick break or nap that doesn't affect your ability to sleep at night can be beneficial.

Relate to others

 Be sure to let your family know how you're feeling. They can be concerned about you but hesitate to inquire about your discomfort. Find a friend or family member you can chat with when you're really stressed. Additionally, get in touch with other rheumatoid arthritis sufferers, whether it be online or through a local support group.

Give yourself some time It's simple to become overworked and neglect to take care of yourself. Whether it's time to write in a diary, take a stroll, or listen to music, make time for what you enjoy. In doing so, tension may be lessened.

Getting ready for your appointment

While you might initially discuss your symptoms with your family doctor, he or she could suggest that you get checked out by a rheumatologist (a physician who focuses on the treatment of inflammatory diseases like arthritis).

ALSO READ: What causes chronic pain in the body?

Realistic actions

  • List the following items:
  • Your symptoms should be described in detail.
  • Information regarding past medical issues you've faced
  • Details regarding your parents' or siblings' health issues
  • Your current list of prescription drugs and dietary supplements
  • Taken previously to address this issue
  • Doctor-related queries you have

What to anticipate from the doctor you see

  • Your doctor might inquire about the things listed below:
  • What time did your symptoms start?
  • Your symptoms have changed over time?
  • What joint types are impacted?
  • Does any exercise improve or worsen your symptoms?
  • Do your symptoms prevent you from performing basic tasks?

Strive to live a healthy lifestyle every day.

Please go by our advice in order to become the healthiest and fittest version of yourself. We provide precise, current evaluations to improve your overall health. A group of corporate executives is creating several educational tools on health-related topics. In order to help you live the most fulfilling life possible, we have worked extremely hard to educate you. In addition to learning about good sleeping practices, you can investigate the most recent headlines.



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