Early Symptoms for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Early symptoms for Rheumatoid Arthritis.....

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), also known as rheumatism, is a condition that causes severe inflammation and pain in the joints.

Early Symptoms for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms include pain, stiffness, especially in the morning, general fatigue, and warmth and swelling in joints.

Sometimes, bumps known as rheumatoid nodules, develop under the skin. These bumps, found on the elbow, hands, scalp, knee, feet or heels, are usually not painful.

Though the specific cause of rheumatoid arthritis is unknown, it is the result of an autoimmune disease. This means that the body’s immune system has begun to attack its own healthy tissue, in this case, the synovial fluid between joints. As a result, the immune system produces an inflammatory response that is responsible for the symptoms of RA.

About two million people in the United States have RA, which usually develops between the ages of 25 and 50. Twice as many women as men suffer from this condition.

Rheumatoid arthritis may come on suddenly or develop over time. Fortunately, a variety of treatment options exist to help alleviate the symptoms and perhaps even slow the progression of the disease.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Medications

Early symptoms for rheumatoid arthritis can be treated by medications that include NSAIDs, drugs known as Cox-2 Inhibitors, and cortico-steroids. NSAIDs (non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are usually the first line treatment for the pain caused by RA.

Aspirin and ibuprofen (such as Advil) fall into the NSAID category of rheumatoid arthritis medications that help with some of the early symptoms for rheumatoid arthritis. However, many people find NSAIDs ineffective in treating the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, especially over time, since the body tends to develop a tolerance for them. In addition, side effects such as stomach irritation make it difficult for many people to use NSAIDs as long-term medications for RA.

Corticosteroids are another class of anti-inflammatory medications that are sometimes prescribed to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Though usually quite effective, corticosteroids (such as prednisone and cortisone) have significant side effects that prohibit their use for long periods of time. Corticosteroid, therefore, are usually used only in small doses for a limited time to treat flare-ups.

Early symptoms for rheumatoid arthritis can be helped by certain rheumatoid arthritis medications. Causes of rheumatoid arthritis are not known.

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