Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a long-term auto-immune disease that leads to inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissues. It can also affect other organs.
The cause of RA is unknown but here one’s own immune system starts attacking its own tissues causing inflammation and destruction in later stages.
It can occur at any age but more common in middle ages and in women.
In RA usually the joints on both the sides are equally affected mainly affecting the larger joints first that is, wrists, fingers, knees, feet and ankles.
The onset of the disease is generally insidious with minor joint pains, morning stiffness and fatigue.
Common symptoms of the joint are:
- Stiffness and swelling of the joint in the morning on waking up lasting for more than 1 hour, is common. Joints may feel warm, tender, and stiff when not used for an hour.
- Often the same joint on both the sides of the body experience pain.
- Over a period of time, joints may lose their flexibility and the range of motion and may become deformed.
Other symptoms include:
- Chest pain when taking a breath (pleurisy)
- Dry eyes and mouth (Sjogren syndrome)
- Eye burning, itching, and discharge
- Nodules under the skin (usually a sign of more severe disease)
- Numbness, tingling, or burning in the hands and feet
- Sleep difficulties
There are many tests that can be done to determine whether a person has a RA. Any of these tests showing positive results will determine the presence of RA but the absence does not rule out the disease. Some patients with RA may have all the tests normal but yet suffer with one of the severe forms of RA.
The most common tests are:
Two lab tests that often help in the diagnosis are:
- Rheumatoid factor test
- Anti-CCP antibody test
Other tests that may be done include:
- Complete blood count with Erythrocyte sedimentation rate
- C-reactive protein
- Joint ultrasound or MRI
- Joint x-rays
- Synovial fluid analysis.
- In Homoeopathy, all the symptoms are taken into consideration- right from the onset of disease, peculiar symptoms present, progress of disease and the rate at which it progresses all this together with other individualizing factors of the patient will form the complete totality of the patient from which a medicine is derived and administered helping not only to allay the pains but also to stop the further progress of the diseases towards destruction.
- When the treatment is begun early the prognosis is generally very good with patient being disease free in comparative short period of time.
- Despite that a period of treatment is generally recommended to see that there is no recurrence as the disease is known for it.
- Regular exercises and if required physiotherapy treatment needs to be included in the daily routine.
- Massage from an expert masseur also helps in allaying the symptoms of pain and stiffness.
- Leading an active life helps to delay the disease considerably.
- Many RA patients are known to have food allergies.
- The food which your system is allergic to must be avoided till your homoeopath advises you to restart.
- It is very important to watch the reaction of your body to certain food types and then accordingly increase or decrease its intake.
- Overall- dairy products, fats, meat should be kept away with arthritis.
- Including ginger, fish for omega 3, and eating lots of vegetables will help one to feel a greater relief from the symptoms while the medicines take care to stop the further progress of the disease.
- But all this will of course depend on the specific allergies the person , if at all, he may be suffering from.
The general advice is to begin the treatment early as soon as the disease is diagnosed or to get investigated sooner when the pain and stiffness begin and remain for a period of time.