Friday, September 14, 2012

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic, multi system, and inflammatory autoimmune disorder that will bring on an attack to the joints.  It is a very crippling and painful condition that can lead to loss of mobility to the pain and joint devastation.  Rheumatoid arthritis is systemic and will also affect different tissues through the body, skin, blood vessels, heart, lungs and muscles.  Rheumatoid arthritis will affect anyone between the ages of 20 and 40 and can start anytime.  A family history is important to the risk.  It is three times more common in women than in men and up to four times more common in smokers than non-smokers.

The symptoms will separate rheumatoid arthritis from other types of arthritis because of the inflammation and soft tissue swelling of many joints at the same time.  This is known as polyarthritis.  The joints are usually affected asymmetrically and then will go on to the symmetrical part as the disease goes on. It is not like the other forms of arthritis like osteoarthrits because the pain will move with the use of the joints that are affected.

As the disease goes on, the inflammatory activity will lead to the erosion and destruction of the joints that will impair their range of movement and lead to some deformity.  The fingers and the bones will deviate to the outside and towards the small finger and take on unnatural shapes.  Having deformities in patients that are dealing with rheumatoid arthritis will include the Boutonnière deformity, the swan neck deformity, and the “Z-thumb” deformity.

Because rheumatoid arthritis is a multisystem disease, other disease and conditions may form as a result of it.  Many of the people that have rheumatoid arthritis will also have anemia.  Anemia is a problem of the red blood cells because there are not enough of them and or the hemoglobin and this will cause the lower ability of oxygen to be taken to the tissues.  It is a chronic disease and many will suffer from it and splenomegaly or the enlarging of the spleen.  Felty’s syndrome and Sjogren’s syndrome which is an autoimmune disorder in which the cells attack and ruin the exocrine glands and produce salvia and tears.  Dermological will affect nodules on exterior surfaces.  Fibrosis may occur in the lungs at any time or as a result of different treatments.

There are several things for diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis. Having stiffness in the morning that goes on for longer than one hour is an example as is the arthritis and soft tissue swelling of more than three out of 14 joints or in the joint groups.  Arthritis of hand joints like symmetric arthritis, subcutaneous nodules in specific places, a rheumatoid factor at a level above the 95th place and radiological changes that are suggested of joint erosion and are part of the criteria.  There are at least four of these things hat have to be met in order to establish a diagnoses.

The treatments for rheumatoid arthritis are going to be placed in disease modifying antirheumatic drugs or (DMARDS), anti inflammatory agents and analgesics.  DMARDS is known to start durable remissions and delay the disease process, prevent bone and joint damage as well.  Anti inflammatory agents and analgesics can help to improve pain and stiffness but do not stop any damage or slow down the disease in any way. 

Reactive Arthritis

There is something commonly known as Reiter’s Syndrome and is reactive arthritis.  It is a type of arthritis that is known by swelling, redness, and heat in the joints.  This is going to be especially in the spine and inflammation of other joints, urinary tract and even the eyes.  Reiter’s Syndrome is something that is related to the family of different arthritic conditions that is known as spondylarthropathies. This is known to bother the spine.  Anyone that is suffering from Reiter’s Syndrome will have fever, swelling, and ulcers in the mouth, weight loss and sores on the skin. 

With many of the diseases that are known today, Reiter’s Syndrome has no confirmed cause and can affect anyone of any age, gender or race. There are researchers that do believe that Reiter’s Syndrome is going to be due to mostly genetics because there are many tendencies that seem to run in families.  There is about 75% of people who are suffering from Reiter’s Syndrome have a certain gene that is known to start the condition.  This is a painful disease that will affect young men who are white and around the ages of 20 and 40.  Reiter’s Syndrome is also known to develop after certain infections in the small intestine, genitals, and urinary tract.  It is linked to salmonella contamination, so you nee to take measures to avoid this condition by being sure that your foods are cooked properly.

This disease does affect a number of parts of the body.  There are different treatments that must be used to help the patients be healthy and have normal lives.  Medications like NSAIDS that block and stop inflammation in joints and may be used.  There are antibiotics and skin medications that are used to clear up the painful sores that will start on the body.  Anyone that is suffering from Reiter’s Syndrome will also see urologists to deal with the urinary tract infections and occupational therapists will take care of the joints.  Use dermatologists to clear up the skin problems and there are physical therapists to teach different exercises that can be done to help lower the pain and swelling in joints.  Anyone may also want to see doctors that specialize in the eyes because this is a condition that causes inflammation in this part of the body too.  If you or someone that you know is diagnosed with Reiter’s Syndrome called Reactive Arthritis, you need to learn as much about it as you can so that you can learn to live with it and have a normal life. 

Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriasis Arthritis is an illness that affects millions of people.  There is no cure yet for it.  It is known for the swelling of joints and scaly patches of skin.  This type of arthritis is related to the skin condition of psoriasis and it also affects millions of people around the world.  If you or someone that you know is dealing with psoriatic arthritis it is necessary to do the right research for this condition in order to completely understand its symptoms and treatment options that are out there for the pain. With learning all that you can about psoriatic arthritis and all the drugs that treat it you can get a better understanding of how to treat it.  Your doctor will be able to provide you with the right information so that you can read on it and use the different organizations that are located on the Internet and at the centers across the country. 

There are a lot of people that are diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis and experience swelling of the joints in the body.  This will include the wrists, knees, back, elbows, and fingers.  This condition will also bring gray areas of skin that are very dry around the knees, elbows and lower back.  The people that are suffering from the condition will often have fingers that appear sausage like and pitted nails or cuts around the fingernails.  The cause of the condition is not known but experts think that a combination of genetic predispositions and the environment play roles in the development of psoriatic arthritis.  You can find these problems at any age and with any gender or race.  The most common age for psoriatic arthritis will start between age 20 and 50.

This is a condition that is tricky because the patients are dealing with the two fused diseases.  One is of the skin and the one of the joints.  It is important to talk to your doctor or have another medical professional helping you with treatments.  There are many drugs that can have a negative reaction to it.  There are different options other than medication that you can use to treat this disease.  Some exercises will work well with those patients that have swelling in their joints.  You can also have skin therapy to treat psoriatic parts of the disease.  Heat and cold can be used to treat psoriatic arthritis. Rest is very important too. Using splints and surgery are not usually used but the options are available for more of the extreme conditions.  Cosmetically this is a disease that can be treated with laser surgery light treatment.  There are other corrective cosmetic surgeries too.  You can talk to our doctor to find out more on this disease and your options for treatments.  

Paget’s disease

There are different kinds of arthritic conditions.  There are over 100 and one of these conditions is a very debilitating disorder that is called Paget’s disease.  This type of arthritis is usually going to affect patients who are in their later years of life.  This will be between the ages of 50 and 70. This is a chronic skeletal condition that is similar to osteoarthritis.  It is sometimes misdiagnosed.  Paget’s disease can be painful and make life hard but there are many things that you can do to prevent this disease from happening as well as a number of treatments if you have already started to get the disease.

Paget’s disease is characterized by enlarged and deformed bone structure in one or more parts of the body.  The pelvis, legs, skull and back are more commonly affected with the disease and it can result in high amounts of arthritic pain and can also account for hearing loss that starts in the skull.  The patient’s bones are fragile and fractures can happen easily.  There is no one-way of cause for Paget’s disease but there are many things that a person can do if they develop this type of pain.

Paget’s Disease can occur when the enzyme SAP is overly produced in the bones and causing it to grow abnormally and start to be weak.  Measuring SAP is what doctors can do to determine if the pain that you are having is due to Paget’s even if you may see some other signs like bowed limbs.  SAP is measured often with a blood test and higher than normal levels along with normal kidney function.  Doctors will also use SAP level readings to chart how patients are reacting to different forms of treatment for their conditions.

Bisphosponates and calcitonin are the two types of drugs that are ready by the Food and Drug Administration to treat Paget’s disease.  There are doctors that may sometimes recommend surgery for fractures or extreme deformities.  There are alternative medical treatments that can also help patients cope with the pain.  This will include acupuncture, massage, cupping, medication, and Eastern exercises like Yoga. 

It is important to remain positive with the treatment.  Paget’s Disease can be extremely painful but it is possible for patients to live even when they are suffering from the disease.  You need to learn all that you can about the illness and stay educated on new medications and treatments so that you can take good care of your body and keep healthy.

Medical Professionals

If you are diagnosed with the arthritis or other conditions that are caused in discomfort in the form of pain and inflammation at the joints you may want to consider visiting an occupational therapist to learn how to live better in your life.  You can also learn to pay for home care so hat you is able to have the help that you need during this time.  Occupational therapy is an important part of the care that you can learn to adjust to your life on a daily basis to take your arthritis into account.  Home care professionals also can make daily life easier and often times by doing some work for you.  With both cases you can live a more fulfilling life with the help of these professionals in the medical field and by the help of your friends and family.

Occupational therapy is something that your primary care doctor will help with.  Check first before your appointment to see if your occupational therapy is going to be covered by your health care insurance.  Occupational therapists have a professional license and are trained to how those that are suffering from different diseases and problems on how to live daily in life. When you first start to deal with the arthritic pain, you may find that the most difficult thing that you are going to take on is not the pain but the loss of your independence.  Arthritis can also lead to hand deformities that make many things difficult and may also confine you to a wheel chair later on.  Occupational therapists can either take care of you at your office or at your home.  This will help you learn different techniques for personal grooming, dressing, getting in and out of bed, and even driving.  With the help you can maintain a certain level of independence that would not otherwise help people. 

There are other home care help that can also be used to your advantage to avoid having to inhabit nursing homes or move in with relatives.  Some communities have meals on wheels to help provide dinner.  This is a service along with others that is going to help senior citizens who are looking to remain independent.  There are also services that send nurses to your home daily to help you with things and check your vital signs, give you medicine, and other help for you.  When you are dealing with arthritis, some of these things may not be possible on your own with the help of services. Arthritis does not have to be the end of your happiness.  If your condition is severe, occupational help and other home care professionals can help you enjoy a happy and normal life.