About Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a painful autoimmune condition in which a patient's joints undergo irreversible damage. Although not curable, RA pain can be minimized through medication and lifestyle changes.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a systemic inflammatory disease in which the immune system targets the synovium (the inner lining of the joints) and leads to destruction of the structure of the joint.
As it is a multisystem, inflammatory disease, RA can lead to anemia, vasculitis, interstitial lung disease, inflammation in the eye, inflammation in the glands producing tears and saliva, unintended weight loss and atherosclerosis (hardening of the vessels). It can also increase the chance of stroke and heart attack.
RA affects about 1% of Americans. An individual is at risk for developing RA at any point in life, but the likelihood increases with age.
Although genetic factors play a role in an individual's development of RA, certain environmental factors, such as smoking or exposure to silica dust or other airborne particles, can increase that risk significantly.
Obesity also increases the risk of RA.
Symptoms of RA include a prolonged period of stiffness in the morning and persistent swelling to the joints. An RA diagnosis is supported by evidence of inflammatory markers in the blood stream.
RA requires early diagnosis and treatment to secure optimal results. Treatment is used to lessen or even completely resolve the signs and symptoms of the disease process.
Drs. Majewski and McCasland have helped hundreds of patients go into remission. See what they can do for you.
- RA is an inflammatory joint disease.
- Inflamed joints undergo irreversible damage.
- Symptoms include morning stiffness and joint swelling.
- Treatment involves use of disease-modifying medications.
- The goal of treatment is disease remission.