Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder characterized by chronic joint inflammation affecting feet, knees, wrist, ankles, elbows, fingers and hands. RA is not curable but if not managed early it can lead to chronic, deforming polyarthritis that causes long-term disability. In order to prevent the destruction of joints, initially, the treatment mainly focuses to lessen inflammation and pains in the joints. The uncontrollable pain and stiffness can lead to joint erosion, cartilage destruction and joint damage in many parts of the body. RA affects more women than men.
Here, we have discussed a few RA symptoms that stem out from joint and tissue inflammation. Do watch out and seek medical advice from doctors. If you are already an RA patient, then order your medicines online for quick monthly refills. Browse through any authentic online medicine shop and avail free home delivery.
Warning signs to watch out for:
Joint pain is the most common symptom seen in RA patients. The pain occurs due to the swelling in the joints which is caused due to excess fluid retention and thickening of joint lining tissue. This irritates joint capsule leaving an intense pain in the patients.
When the irritated joint capsule gets compressed by external pressure, the area near the joints becomes tender. The patient experience insomnia, a condition called a sleep disorder.
In patients with rheumatoid arthritis, the swelling is seen due to two reasons. It might have caused either due to the swelling in the lining of the joint called synovium or due to an increase in the volume of synovial fluid. Inflammatory molecules (peptides) and blood are released into the soft tissues around the joints and get accumulated leaving the area to swell. Due to joint inflammation, you may experience stiffness and ache with more difficulty in moving. This is especially seen during the early morning hours.
Inflammation can cause redness in the skin. It occurs due to the widening of capillaries near the inflamed area.
The common and classic symptom faced by RA patients is joint stiffness. Usually, stiffness is more seen during morning hours. It gets worse over the period of time. If the symptom lasts for more than 2 weeks, your doctor may recommend you to visit a rheumatologist for further analysis. You may require doing a blood test to rule out the cause.
Loss of motion:
Due to inflammation and swelling the patients may tend to have an incomplete range of motion either temporarily or permanently.
Chronic rheumatoid arthritis can lead to joint deformity due to cartilage erosion and ligaments loosening. Early diagnosis and treatment are required to prevent permanent damage to joints.
Numbness in hands:
Carpal tunnel syndrome is one symptom seen in RA patients were they experience numbness in wrists and hands.
Dry eyes and mouth:
RA patients are more likely to experience Sjogren’s syndrome that could lead dryness in mouth, eyes, throat, nose, and skin. It stops the gland from releasing moisture due to inflammation.
To be on the sadder note, there are no treatments currently available. If the symptoms are known early, your doctor will prescribe you with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs).
Depending on the severity of the RA disease your doctor will prescribe you with medications.
- Corticosteroids are used to relieve pain. But, if taken for a long run it may cause diabetes, bone thinning and weight gain.
- It can protect your bones and tissues from permanent damage but can cause liver damage or bone marrow suppression. Commonly prescribed DMARDs include Sulfasalazine, Methotrexate, Plaquenil to name a few.
Biologic response modifiers:
- Biologic agents can reduce inflammation but can induce other infection. A few commonly used biologic agents include Rituximab, baricitinib, infliximab abatacept, and etanercept. For more effective treatment the drug is used in combination with DMARDs.
Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory drugs are used to reduce pain and inflammation in RA patients. The patients are treated with either a stronger or weaker NSAIDs. The latter ones show only little side effects but help to manage pain. In the case of stronger NSAIDs, it can relieve pain and symptoms to a greater extent but it shows serious side effects such as
- Liver damage
- Kidney damage
- Buzzing sound in ears
- Stomach problems
It is very difficult for the patients to do any form of exercise due to swelling and pain but, a few yoga steps and walking can lower the inflammation. Consult a physical therapist and get his guidance about the workouts that you need to do to minimize the strain for attaining flexible joints.
In order to reduce the severity of the RA symptoms, your Doctor may suggest proceeding with the surgery. The three types of surgical procedure which doctor’s advice to perform. They are Tendon repair, joint fusion replacement and joint replacement. By opting surgery, RA patients can regain mobility by repairing their damaged joints thereby reducing nerve pressure. So, opting for surgery can increase the quality of life.
Switching your medicines and following only home remedies to ease the pain is not at all a possible solution. Following your regular medications along with the below-mentioned tips may help you to manage your stiffness, pain, and inflammation.
Exercise can strengthen your muscles. Since joints are tender, it is always good to choose only low impact exercise like walking, swimming and stretching. They can guide you with the type of exercises that your body can manage to do during RA.
Place an ice pack in the affected area for 15 min, and then take a break for at least for 30 min between the treatments.
The hot pack can relax your stiffed muscles and increase your blood flow in the affected area.
Addition of aromatic oils to massage can alleviate your mood. It doesn’t decrease your pain or inflammation. It just makes you relaxed and stress-free.
Deep breathing and relaxation:
Yes! Yoga can do wonders on your health. Sit comfortably, close your eyes and take a deep breath from your belly. It helps to calm down you and leaves you relaxed. One major advantage of breathing exercise is, it keeps you away from your pain thoughts.
Fish oil supplements:
A few studies have reported that; the intake of fish oil supplements can reduce pain and stiffness. Before consuming fish oil supplements, consult the doctor as it can interfere with your regular medications and sometimes can lead to bleeding.
A few minutes of simple inhale and exhale exercise can bring you much difference in bringing down your joint stiffness and can calm down your nerves.
Topical creams, gels, and lotion can ease your RA pain. If you are already using any topical creams, then refill your bottle by purchasing it from any trusted online medicine site and get it delivered right to your doorstep.
Plant oils provide more relief for RA patients. It reduces pain and morning stiffness. Evening primrose oil contains a fatty acid which helps in reducing pain associated with RA. Always check with your doctor before using any plant oil as it can cause liver damage or it can interfere with your medications.
The presence of antioxidants in green tea may help to protect and reduce the severity of Rheumatoid arthritis. The naturally occurring polyphenols in green tea work as antioxidants to protect the body from oxidative stress that causes disease. Altering your diet by adding a cup of green tea could manage and reduce the risk of rheumatoid arthritis.
Practicing yoga provides considerable strength, improves balance and gives flexibility to your muscles. Physical exercises play a key role in stimulating joint health, physical functioning, mental and emotional well-being among Rheumatoid Arthritis patients. Studies have shown that yoga contributes positive effect, improves your immune function also reduces stress and pain in your body. To avoid any injuries, it is better to practice under a certified yoga instructor.
Turmeric has a potential role to fight against inflammation, neutralizes free radicals, treats rheumatoid arthritis and improves your vital organs function. It’s safe to take turmeric in the form of a capsule or apply turmeric paste in the affected area.
Don’t give a lot of physical exertion to your body as it may cause damage to your joints by increasing pain and stiffness. So, rest yourself as much as you can. RA can also cause fatigue. Give your body, a 10 min short break for every one hour to improve your work efficiency.
Omega- 3 fatty acids:
Load your diet with omega-3 fatty acid foods for soothing your joints and to reduce your inflammation. The best source of omega-3 fatty acids is tuna and salmon. Talk to your doctor and get his advice before you start to consume fish. Sometimes, he may also suggest you with more supplements as fish alone cannot provide you with enough omega-3 fatty acids. If you already have a prescription with you, then order medicines online from any best online pharmacy store for quick delivery
Here, we have listed only a few RA symptoms among many symptoms. also, we have discussed a few home remedies and treatments to minimize infection and to reduce your pain. If you have persistent discomfort and joint swelling then visiting the doctor is a must. Early diagnosis and treatment will help to address the disease thereby; we can minimize joint damage to a much greater extent. Initially, your health care provider will prescribe you with antirheumatic and anti-inflammatory medicines for treating RA. To experience convenience, order your medicines from any of the best online pharmacy store.