Meaning: The word “Arthos” is a Greek word that translates to “joints,” and the suffix “Itis” stands for “inflammation.” Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune inflammatory disorder characterized by inflammation and pain in the Joints.  In Autoimmune disease, your immune system fails to recognize foreign particles inside the body and mistakenly attacks the healthy cells resulting in morbidity.

Symptoms: RA can be characterised by Joint pain, Inflammation of joints, Stiffness of joints (Usually in winter’s morning lasting for 2-3 hours), Fever, Fatigue, Weakness, and Weight loss.

Diagnosis: Diagnosis of RA is confirmed by blood tests (CRP- C Reactive Protein, ERS-Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate) and Imaging tests (X-rays, MRI).

Risk factors for Rheumatoid Arthritis:  Risk factors for RA are broadly classified into 2 categories

Modifiable: Imbalanced Diet, Lack of physical activities, Obesity, and consumption of tobacco and alcohol.

Non-modifiable: Age (>65), Comorbidity, Family history of hypertension.

Additionally, according to the Global RA network, more than 350 million people are suffering from arthritis globally. 

The occurence rate of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is two to three times more in women than in men.

Why rheumatoid arthritis common in females: RA is an autoimmune disease. It is evidently proved that autoimmune diseases are genetically controlled and genes in sex chromosomes favor the prevalence of autoimmune disease in females.

Estrogen, a female sex hormone is the determining factor of RA. When estrogens regulate autoimmune responses, it favors the survival of forbidden autoreactive clones which triggers the prevalence of autoimmunity in females.

Rheumatoid Arthritis and pregnancy:

Numerous normal changes occur in the immune system during pregnancy and some of these changes substantially improve RA.

However, this is not applicable to all females some of them complain their RA is active and flaring up during pregnancy

Hence, it is necessary to modify the treatment of RA during pregnancy to manage flares and mitigate the risk of RA treatment to developing fetus.

Is Rheumatoid arthritis a disability: It might limit your ability to perform daily activities due to flare-ups. But, being diagnosed with RA does not entitle a person to disability.

Conclusion: Numerous aspects of daily life, such as work, leisure, and social interactions, are impacted by RA.

RA can be managed by adopting a healthy lifestyle, being physically active, joining self-management programs, and quitting smoking are imperative. 

However, a cure for RA is yet to be discovered. It can only be managed through altering lifestyles, and apart from these doctors might prescribe you NSAIDs, Steroids, Conventional DMARDs, Biologic Agents and Targeted Synthetic DMARDs based on the severity of the symptoms.

Additionally, you can reach out to our TEAM OF EXPERTS for any medical assistance.

About the Author

Ms. Niti Tyagi
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