Nov 30, 2017 by Comfort Keepers Denver
With most diseases or conditions, the earlier you get diagnosed and begin treatment, the better outcome you’ll have.
This idea couldn’t be truer for rheumatoid arthritis. Affecting an estimated 1.5 million Americans, this condition is burdensome and painful, but can be managed well with early diagnosis. Here’s the scoop on the disease and when you should see the doc:
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), usually just referred to as arthritis, normally results from an immune system issue. The body mistakes its own cells for foreign ones and attacks itself, specifically in the lining of joints. This results in inflamed, stiff, and even painful joints anywhere in the body.
The condition can fluctuate, being very painful some days and other days showing no symptoms at all.
It’s also a chronic condition, meaning that there is no cure. However, medications are on the market to help manage symptoms and slow the progression of the disease.
The cause of RA is still unknown, although we do know of several risk factors that trigger it. Some of the most common risk factors are:
There are many ways RA may present itself, but it’s important to know some of the most common early signs, such as:
If you suspect you have RA, the quicker you go see the doctor, the better. Earlier diagnosis can lead to earlier, more effective treatment.
This is especially important because if the condition goes untreated for an extended period of time, complications can occur. For example:
Therefore, if you think you may have RA, get to the doctor as soon as you can.