Rheumatoid arthritis: causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

If the joints are bound rheumatoid arthritis: symptoms and treatment

Joint damage can occur in various forms, what is the basis of the specific classification of such diseases, one of which is rheumatoid arthritis.

In Greek this definition dysfunction can be translated as «state of inflammation».

What is the disease?

The disease begins with inflammation in the synovium, or the tissue surrounding the joint. Over time, a destructive process covers more of the cells of the joint, penetrating the cartilage and bones.

The process may develop with different speed, it depends on the intensity of the spread of infectious cells.

Compounding the situation, the reaction of the body when rheumatoid arthritis immune system begins to destroy it with antibodies and their cells, causing destruction.

Most of the affected small joints of extremities, but were diagnosed cases of transition of the inflammatory process in other parts, rarely the internal organs.

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Despite the fact that the disease is known quite a long time, absolutely precise causes of such inflammation has not been elucidated.

Put forward the following assumptions:

  1. Heredity. It is believed that people at the genetic level are prone to arthritis as they initially lady down the immune system to autoimmune reactions. This means that in order to protect the liquidation of the desired tissue, particularly the synovial;
  2. Infection. The exact proof of this theory is not, as some factors, such as the lack of seasonality, as well as reactions to antibiotics, is a contradiction of this assumption. If you rely on the studies, rheumatoid arthritis occurs more frequently in the presence of virus in the body, including rubella, hepatitis b, herpes and some other.

Major risk category — people who have relatives who already have problems with joints, diagnosed as arthritis, especially rheumatoid.

There is some dependence on age, but mostly it stems from the fact that the peak of the disease may be achieved after 50 years, and the very beginning in 30-35 years. There are cases of development of rheumatoid arthritis in children.

Classification of the disease and the main stage

The disease has a working classification, with respect to which compliance is diagnosed anatomical changes, and is characterized by a clinical picture.

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According to these indicators are the following separation of the disease:

  1. Classic rheumatoid arthritis. The defeat of the symmetric nature of the joints of both small and large. The development of the disease is not intensive;
  2. Polyarthritis and oligoarthritis and monoartrit.

Mainly affects the large joints, particularly the knee:

  1. Pseudoskepticism syndrome. Destruction of exposed tissue of the internal organs and nerve cells. Affected can be the lungs, cardiovascular system, organs of vision and other systems;
  2. Felty syndrome or combination with diseases such as splenomegaly and poliartrit;
  3. Steele disease or rheumatoid arthritis, which is simultaneously combined with other dysfunctions of tissues, including rheumatism, osteoarthritis.

In addition to the classifications of rheumatoid arthritis, there is still a stage of development of inflammation, and for which is determined by the ability of the patient’s working capacity.


  1. Stage I or initial. The joint is almost destroyed, there are signs of periarticular osteoporosis, preserved mobility, perceptible symptoms are absent;
  2. Stage II or early. Destruction (the beginning of the destruction) can be observed only in the cartilage, the joint has no significant deformation, possible atrophy of the interosseous muscles, the formation of rheumatic nodes. The period of development of stage II is about 0.5-1 years;
  3. Stage III or deployed. The formation of knots, the appearance of critical deformation of joints, destruction of cartilage and bone. Muscle atrophy to a large extent, which complicates the walk and other activities;
  4. Stage IV or late. The development of all manifestations of stage III adopts a strengthened character, there is a real danger to the life, limitation of physical activity.

In a separate category is subdivided disease, develops in children, occasionally it can be found under the term juvenile.

Features of the disease in children

Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is diagnosed infrequently, but some parents still face this kind of dysfunction.

In this case, it is important to start treatment in time and competently to pick up. The risk of serious complications in all organs of the child, including going on his psychological condition.

Professional therapy, diet, systemic treatment may give hope for a very favorable prognosis and restoration of normal vital activity of the baby, even when diagnosed with juvenile arthritis.

The main symptoms

The peculiarity of the manifestations of rheumatoid arthritis is symmetric, that is, if there are problems on the one hand, that similar violations are possible and on the other, of the typical symptoms are:

  1. Pain in region of inflammation, which is especially pronounced in the second half of the night, in the morning. During the day they can disappear that many of the patients taken for improvement and postpone the visit to a specialist.
  2. Stiffness. Difficulties in motor activity also occurs in the morning, after some exercise, the signs of inflammation subside.
  3. Swelling and deformity of the joints begins to be noticeable visually, the formation near the problem area cyst.
  4. The deviation of the little finger on his hands. It is often on the hands reflect the condition of the joints and if you have already developed pathology, the noticeable deviation of the little finger.
  5. Rheumatoid nodules that occur mainly on the ulnar part of the hand.
  6. Fatigue and weakness, some have a loss of appetite, weight. In advanced stages fever.
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Even with a slight manifestation of one of the symptoms, you must immediately go to the rheumatologist to clarify or refute the diagnosis.

Diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis

To make an accurate diagnosis is not enough visual inspection and survey, as this information will give a General clinical picture.

In addition, with similar symptoms there are other less serious diseases, in particular, acute rheumatic fever, Lyme disease.

As a rule, the doctor is assigned to the following studies:

  • blood tests, including biochemical and immunological;
  • MRI or arthroscopy;
  • The study of the condition of the joints using x-rays.

It is only some studies, which can be assigned to a technician. After a careful study of the results obtained can be diagnosed.


To completely get rid of the disease is impossible, but to preserve healthy tissue and to stop the spread of inflammation.

For this to be picked up by a special package that includes anti-inflammatory drugs, immunomodulatory, as well as the procedures that strengthen the achieved effect.

The main goals of treatment of rheumatoid arthritis: the elimination of symptoms, inhibition of the immune reactions that trigger the process of destruction of joints and relieve inflammation.

It is possible that all of these drugs need to be taken throughout life that will allow you to block the spread of the disease.

Apart from drug therapy are mandatory activities such as:

  1. Physical therapy, including the effects of low frequency laser and magnetotherapy.
  2. LFK. Loads are selected exclusively by the specialist.
  3. Massage. The massing and the impact on painful joints should be done with great accuracy, which is possible only in the relevant medical institution.
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In some cases, is assigned to a surgical intervention aimed at the correction of the deformed area.

Methotrexate save

The medicines are selected depending on the stage and the overall clinical picture, but one of the most popular drugs in rheumatoid arthritis is Methotrexate.

Medication is prescribed exclusively by a doctor and may have different initial dosages. Gradually the dose can be increased to improve and strengthen the effect.

The effect aimed at removing the compounds that provoke the destruction of the connective tissue (synoviocytes), and also prevents erosion of the joints, reduces inflammation.

The course of treatment can be very long-lasting, positive changes recorded in a few weeks. Necessarily periodic blood tests and analysis of the immunological state of the organism.

Nutrition — the cornerstone

Complex the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis includes traditional recipes, and special diet and if adhered to, can prevent the recurrence of the disease.

In some cases, the doctor himself provides a list of foods that worsen the patient’s condition, it is also possible to find a menu yourself.

The main enemies of patients with arthritis are:

  • citrus;
  • fatty meat;
  • alcohol;
  • some cereal;
  • salt
  • fried;
  • smoked foods.

Recommended diet can give nutritionist if joint problems are supplemented by the dysfunction of internal organs, the list of prohibited products can expand.

To treat rheumatoid arthritis is necessary, as complications can cause serious problems, including disability.

It concerns not only the joints but also the heart system, the lung and other systems including the nervous.

If you have even a minor joint problems, you should immediately go for a cat scan, especially if the relatives were diagnosed with similar diseases or over the age of 50 years.