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Rheumatoid Arthritis

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The joints are the main organs affected by rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a chronic inflammatory disease. It happens when the body's own tissues—specifically, the synovium, which lines the membranes surrounding the joints—are unintentionally attacked by the immune system. Inflammation, discomfort, stiffness, and possible joint injury result from this. RA commonly manifests as stiffness, edema, and discomfort in the joints, particularly in the morning or after periods of inactivity. The hands, wrists, elbows, knees, and feet are the joints that are most frequently impacted. RA can cause joint abnormalities and impairment over time. Although the precise etiology of RA is uncertain, a mix of environmental and genetic variables are thought to be involved. In addition to variables like smoking, obesity, and hormone fluctuations, some genes can predispose a person to the development of RA.A patient's medical history, physical examination, blood tests, and imaging scans are frequently used in the diagnosis of RA. Diagnosis-aiding blood tests for certain antibodies, such as anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP) and rheumatoid factor (RF), are frequently performed. The degree of joint injury can be determined with the aid of imaging procedures such as MRIs and X-rays. The goals of RA treatment are to lessen discomfort, avoid joint deterioration, reduce inflammation, and enhance quality of life. This frequently entails a mix of prescription drugs, lifestyle modifications, and occasionally surgery. Corticosteroids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) are frequently used to treat pain and inflammation. In order to prevent joint degeneration and halt the advancement of disease, physicians frequently give disease-modifying antirheumatic medications (DMARDs), such as methotrexate. One class of DMARD is a biologic medication, which works by targeting particular immune system components to lower inflammation. Physical therapy can assist enhance joint function and mobility in addition to medicine. It could be advised to pursue occupational therapy to acquire joint protection strategies for day-to-day tasks. Surgery, such as joint replacement, may be required in extreme situations where joints have sustained extensive damage in order to restore function and lessen pain. Living with RA necessitates constant supervision and assistance. Keeping a healthy lifestyle with appropriate diet and exercise, controlling stress, and routine medical monitoring are all crucial components of managing this long-term illness. Many RA patients can have active, satisfying lives with the right diagnosis and care.