Living with rheumatoid arthritis: Where do we go from here?
Once the diagnosis is known, many patients who are facing rheumatoid arthritis might feel overwhelmed and very concerned. And it is perfectly understandable, it is a life altering disease. However, that does not mean that people who are diagnosed with this condition are not able to lead a healthy fulfilling life.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic, degenerative disease that causes inflammation in the membrane that covers and protects the (synovial) cartilage of the joints. When it becomes inflamed, the bone is damaged and eroded. It is different than osteoarthritis, which causes injury to the cartilage of the joint. This particular condition causes a lot of chronic acute pain, and it affects mostly women over their forties.
The principal and most visible of the symptoms of this condition is the swelling or inflammation of the joints, which generates a lot of pain. The areas most affected by rheumatoid arthritis are the wrists, elbows, shoulders, fingers of the hands and feet, hips, ankles and knees. It is frequent in patients who suffer from this disease have a feeling of stiffness, especially in the mornings when you wake up.
Also, another visible symptom is the appearance rheumatoid nodules, bumps in the skin (especially on the back of the hands and feet) or in the interior of the body. The inflammation leads to the deformation of the joints when the disease is in an advanced state. Other symptoms that also suffer from patients with rheumatoid arthritis are fever, fatigue, dry mucous membranes (mouth, eyes, etc), neck pain and tingling in hands and feet.
In order to properly deal with rheumatoid arthritis it is of great importance that you are able to identify the early symptoms in a timely fashion. For example, if you experience joint pain, do not ignore it and let it be. Studies show that the damage to joints occurs in early stages in some forms of arthritis, often within the first two years. If you have pain in your joints that lasts for more than two weeks, see your doctor.
To fully treat this condition, you will need to start to take precautions to fully be able to treat the pain that comes with it. There are several remedies that your doctor can recommend, but also there is the alternative to treat the pain with the aid of TENS therapy.
In order to lessen the effect of rheumatoid arthritis it is also recommended that you adopt a healthier and active lifestyle. Exercise is recommended to help build up physical strength and avoid the physical effects from this condition. Additionally, doctors and experts recommend that a healthier diet will also help to keep the condition from having serious effects on your day to day life.
Rheumatoid arthritis can be an obstacle that can really have a negative impact, but with discipline and the proper know-how you will be able to lead a fulfilling life that is not limited by the extend of this disease. You can prevail!