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Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Rheumatoid Arthritis

  1. Disease Description:

The name is this disease is called Arthritis. There are approximately over 50 million adults and 300,000 children with some type of arthritis in the United States.  This disease affects two thirds of those people under the age of 65 years old. Although, the risk of arthritis increases with age, which means almost half of adults who are 65 or older have one form of arthritis (Arthritis Foundation). They say Rheumatoid Arthritis shortens life expectancy by almost up to 10 years.  It’s a chronic diseases and tends be more progressive and the symptoms only become worse as you age. The mortality rate is hard to determine because this disease is non-fatal. Arthritis will increase as the population grows and ages increase according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.  

[pic 1]

  1. 2) Etiology

The cause of rheumatoid arthritis is caused the body’s immune system attacking the lining of the joint capsule, a tough membrane that enclosed all the joint parts (Mayo Clinic, 2017).This diseases will eventually destroy cartilage and the bone within the joint.  Some known risk factors are age, obesity, previous joint injury, gender, and family history. It’s true that Rheumatoid Arthritis can be inherited through family genes. They don’t necessarily have enough scientific findings, but they say occupation and infection can also be a linked causes (CDC, 2008). Gender can also play a role because almost 52% of women all have arthritis.

  1. Symptoms vs. Bodily changes associated with aging:

It’s very hard to notice the difference in symptoms sometimes for old people. Most people complain of painful joints and some people mistake it for old age. This is not always true. Approximately 25% of people live with arthritis and do not have it diagnosed until later in life. They commonly mistake arthritis for pain in aging. According to Center for Disease they say the most common symptoms are:[pic 2]

  • Lasting joint pain
  • Joint swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Tenderness or pain when touching a joint
  • Problems using or moving a joint normally
  • Warmth and redness in a joint

If any of these symptoms last longer than two weeks they want you to see your primary care doctors or even a rheumatologist.  

Rheumatoid Arthritis affects the most important Joints in the body, including joints in the:

  • Hands[pic 3]
  • Feet
  • Wrists
  • Elbows
  • Knees
  • Ankles

  1. Prevention, testing, and treatment:

There is no way to prevent rheumatoid arthritis from occurring. Although you can slow down the progression early and do treatment to help with the side effects. There are some tests that can help your physician determine if you have arthritis. They can test your blood to measure inflammation levels and look for biomarkers such as antibodies (blood proteins) that have been linked with rheumatoid Arthritis. According to the arthritis foundation, “An X-ray, ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging scan may be done to look for joint damage, such as erosions – a loss of bone within the joint – and narrowing of joint space. But if the imaging tests don’t show joint damage that doesn’t rule out RA. It may mean that the disease is in an early stage and hasn’t yet damaged the joints.” As far as treatment there is medication that is an anti-inflammatory that will help the joints from arthritis taking over.  If arthritis is so severe they now have a surgery for people who have permanent damage that affects their daily functions, mobility and independence. Joint replacement is also a treatment.  Most care providers don’t recommend an invasive surgery unless it affects your daily activities to where a person can not function.

  1. Daily living with Rheumatoid Arthritis and complications:        

Rheumatoid arthritis can be a constant pain that will disrupts your normal daily activity. Living with this disease can be very stressful and overwhelming considering there’s no prevention. According to WebMD, they recommend staying active, taking your medications, and don’t do activities that cause more pain. It’s been known that rheumatoid arthritis has affected family life, financial implications, and even emotions. It can be very stressful on an entire family because it limits the person’s aspects, while also trying to maintain it. Maintaining rheumatoid arthritis is a finical burden. It’s not cheap trying to care for rheumatoid arthritis. As a person ages the complications only seem to become worse. Joints begin to become weakened and thin. Most people claim like there body feels like it’s falling apart. Some complications from rheumatoid arhtiris can lead to ruptured tendons, ruptured joints, joint infections, spinal cord compression, and in rare cases even amyloidosis. It has been linked to increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes, which is why they try to have it maintained as much as possible.[pic 4]

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