Rheumatoid arthritis is a long-term disease which cannot be completely cured but can be managed with correct health care, adequate physical therapy and also by treating rheumatoid disease symptoms. It must be noted that arthritis is associated with diseases of organs and tissues in the body and so it is considered as one of the main causes of disability in those who are above 50 years old. But there is a special form of rheumatoid arthritis is juvenile idiopathic arthritis. The “children’s rheumatism” affects children and adolescents under the age of 16.
Ask any of the elders around you what conditions they suffer mostly from. They will surely mention arthritis many times. Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition which is most common in old people as it affects the joints and the bones. However, it affects more parts of the body than those mentioned.
To understand this condition better, let us discuss the most affected parts of the body in rheumatoid arthritis. The joints are the parts which are mostly affected by this condition and joint pains are one of the main rheumatoid disease symptoms. It begins with these cartilages and bones particularly those that are located on the lower part of the body.
Long-term Effects of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Aside from the swelling and the pain it brings to the joint, it can also affect other body parts like the blood, nerves, eyes, heart, skin and even the heart. This effect of Rheumatoid Arthritis makes the actual illness worse.
Some people have this disease for only a few months or a year or two. Then it goes away without causing damage. Other people have times when the symptoms get worse, and times when they get better. Others have a severe form of the disease that can last for many years or a lifetime. This form of the disease can cause serious joint damage
The effect of Rheumatoid Arthritis varies on a person-to-person basis. It may progress fast or slow. However, some people may experience it for quite some time then will continue to the decrease of disease manifestations.
How Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Affect The Body?
Rheumatism is not limited to the musculoskeletal system. Rheumatic diseases can affect almost all organs of the patient. For example, there are rheumatic inflammations of the heart muscle, but also rheumatic inflammation of the eyes, kidneys or nerves.
Can rheumatoid arthritis affect your eyes?
Yes, it does and the condition can also lead to blindness if it is not treated immediately. Many patients who have rheumatoid arthritis also experience sensitivity of the eyes and blurred vision. Researchers have also shown that the condition can be a risk factor for glaucoma, which is a serious eye condition. The lungs are another part of the body affected by rheumatoid arthritis. Studies have claimed that there is a slight correlation between the inflammation of joints and lung problems. Specifically, it improves the risk of getting pleurisy. This condition makes it difficult for a person to breathe and it can also lead to emphysema.
How does rheumatoid arthritis affect the heart?
Another part of the body which is affected is the heart. The recent findings have stated that the heart is more likely to fail in patients who suffer from rheumatism. This is because this condition affects the blood vessels slowly. When the veins and arteries become affected, this increases the risk of heart attack.
- Must Read: How Are Heart Disease and RA Linked?
How does rheumatoid arthritis affect the immune system?
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic condition potentially disabling which occurs when the immune system of the body mistakenly attacks the cell lining the joints. It causes loss of joint function, a lot of joint pain, swelling, stiffness and at times also leads to permanent deformity. Well, rheumatoid arthritis can be hard to diagnose early because the symptoms are deceptive. As a result, no test can conclusively establish its right diagnosis. It is responsible for inflammation and RA Joints pain which affects joints in fingers, toes, knees, and wrists.
RA and Skin
As we know, rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most common inflammatory diseases of the joints. Occasionally you see “rheumatic knots” on the skin. These hard clumps of tissue range in size by about the size of a pea the size of a ping pong ball. They can develop under the skin over bony areas such as elbows, ankles or fingers. They can also form on organs like the lungs.
Rheumatoid arthritis skin manifestations are:
- Skin bleeding or a reticular pattern of the skin may be associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
- Another eye-catching skin sign of rheumatoid arthritis is lupus erythematosus (LE), is the “butterfly erythema” on the face: a butterfly-shaped, symmetrical erythema on the nose, forehead, and cheeks.
- The skin symptoms were “quite uncomfortable” and tended to scar. “They are not so easy to treat,” the dermatologist regrets, a therapy “only from outside”, so by creams or the like, unfortunately, in most cases not work.
- Using rheumatism drugs (e.g. cortisone) can cause a puffy face, “steroid acne” or stretch marks on the skin are possible. Also, rashes can be a sign of an allergic reaction to a drug
How to avoid complications of rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis can also affect the nerves in the body which is why a lot of patients experience numbness and sharp pain in affected areas. The condition is definitely alarming. It affects more parts of the body than you think. And does not just affect your joints as bones like most of the people say. It can also affect vital organs and affect your vision as well as your nerves. So, is vital to treat this condition as soon as possible to avoid complications of rheumatoid arthritis.
Take control: Talk to your doctor and discuss the treatment options for you. It is important that you are in control and know that your illness does not define who you are.
Know Your Limits: Rest when you’re tired, conserve energy. If necessary, take naps during the day, do the activities more slowly, to get tired less and lessen the chances of inflammation and damage.
Talk to Someone: Limiting yourself to both daily activities and social life because of illness is not healthy. Talk to family members, friends and get in touch with people on the same terms as you. Do not be afraid to talk about the disease, just as you should not talk about it either. Keeping a good relationship with the people you love is one of the keys to feeling fulfilled despite the illness.
Take Time Out for Yourself: As much as the illness requires a lot of attention, it is important to take time to take care of yourself beyond the condition. Do the activities you enjoy doing – as much as possible – listen to the songs you like, take care of their appearance, and more. There are several ways to take care of yourself and you should not give up on this because of a disease that can be controlled.