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Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Rheumatoid arthritis affects roughly 1% of the population.
  • Women are three times more likely to get it than men.
  • It occurs more commonly in smokers.
  • It can occur at any age even in children or elderly.
  • It causes pain, swelling and stiffness of multiple joints especially the joints in the hands and feet.
  • The immune system which helps us to fight infections starts attacking our healthy joints in rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis can affect other organs apart from the joints like lungs, heart, kidneys, eyes and nerves.
  • The diagnosis is made by clinical examination followed by investigations including blood tests and x-rays.
  • Various treatment options are now available including tablets, injections and steroid joint injections. Your rheumatologists will explain the benefits and side effects of these drugs and the expected treatment outcomes. The anchor drug in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis is Methotrexate.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis if diagnosed in the early phase can even be cured (go into remission) by the available drugs. Most people with rheumatoid arthritis can lead an active life while on treatment. The window of opportunity lies in diagnosing the condition early and starting treatment before joint damage has been established.
  • A key to successful control of any disease is living an active lifestyle and eating balanced diet. Endeavor to exercise half an hour everyday and eat a good balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables and dairy products. Learn to protect your joints from injury and cope with your pain and limitations.
  • Feel free to ask your Rheumatologists about ways in which you can improve your general and emotional health. Seek help when you feel frustrated or angry due to your condition.
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