What could it be?
What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
• Your immune system mistakenly attacks parts of your body – in this case, your joints – and causes inflammation.
• Symptoms include swelling, pain, stiffness and warmth in the same joints on both sides of the body, typically the knees, elbows, wrists and ankles.
• If RA isn’t treated, joints can become damaged and deformed and lose mobility.
Who Gets RA?
• RA can be triggered by smoking cigarettes or getting an infection.
• Women get RA three times more often than men, usually between the ages of 30 and 60.
When to See Your Doctor or Rheumatologist
• Joint pain when you wake up is a key warning sign. It may go away as you start to move or last for hours.
• There’s no single test to diagnose RA.
Your rheumatologist will look for:
• Arthritis in three or more joints on both sides of the body
• Rheumatoid nodules under the skin
• Rheumatoid factor in a blood test
• Damage from rheumatoid arthritis on X-rays
• Ibuprofen and aspirin can ease symptoms. Talk to your doctor about the dosage and long-term use to avoid side effects.
• Disease-modifying medications, or DMARDs, can slow or stop progression by targeting the immune system.
Top Lifestyle Tips
• Antioxidant-rich foods, like the Mediterranean diet, can reduce inflammation. Ask your doctor about turmeric and omega-3 fish oil supplements.
• Rest when needed, but try low-impact cardio, strength training and flexibility exercises.
• Work with a physical therapist on a personalized exercise program.
• Apply heat to soothe stiff joints and tired muscles and use ice to help numb sudden pain.
• Manage pain and stress with relaxation techniques, acupuncture or acupressure.
Information source: https://www.healthday.com
For more information on Rheumatoid Arthritis, visit Healthline.com at https://www.healthline.com/health/rheumatoid-arthritis or call our clinic at 345-949-2970.