Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease of the joints, usually the smaller joints of the body. Many people believe wrongly that this is always a disabling, severe condition. In fact, it may be mild and can be well controlled using modern medicine. It is not infectious, but no one is able to say what triggers it. There is no cure for this condition, but all patients can be treated.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS?
Rheumatoid Arthritis symptoms will vary a great deal from person to person, as well as from day to day. However, some of the common symptoms include:
· Stiffness and tenderness of the small joints, especially of the wrist, hands and feet (the base of the fingers, thumbs or toes can be affected; less commonly it can affect the larger joints such as the knee, shoulder, ankle and neck)
· Morning stiffness
In summary, the main symptoms are pain, stiffness and swelling of the small joints.
HOW IS RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS DIAGNOSED?
After being suspected by the doctor upon examination, rheumatoid arthritis can usually be diagnosed by tests, including x- rays of the hands and special blood tests.
HOW COMMON IS THE PROBLEM?
About 2 persons in 100 suffer to some extent from rheumatoid arthritis. It is more common in females. Most sufferers are between 40 and 60 years of age, but the disease can affect people in any age group, even in juveniles (Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis or JRA). However, the majority of patients have little or no long- term problems and only 1 patient in 10 is severely affected.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS?
In severe cases the swollen and deformed joints may become partly or completely dislocated, causing considerable discomfort and problems with walking if the knee or foot joints are affected. The tendons may become so weak that they can snap. A special problem is the neck, which can become unstable so that manipulative procedures can be dangerous and cause paralysis.
Difference between Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis
WHAT IS THE TREATMENT FOR RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS?
It is important to keep fit. Walking and swimming are to be encouraged. Many local councils and physiotherapists offer swimming and other forms of hydrotherapy in heated pools. Home exercise routines to prevent muscle weakening can be provided by your physiotherapist or doctor.
Rest is important and depends on how you feel. It must be sensibly balanced with exercise. If an exercise causes pain, it should be altered or reduced.
Each joint affected should be put through a daily full range of motion to keep it mobile and to reduce stiffness. Protect any weakened joints or tendons by lifting gently and smoothly rather than in a jerking motion.
HEAT AND COLD
For stiff joints a hot-water bottle, warm water or a heat lamp can help. For morning stiffness an electric blanket or a warm shower can be helpful. Sometimes cold packs or water are appropriate, for example over a hot, tender joint.
There is no special diet. No specific food has caused arthritis and no specific diet will cure it. However, a nourishing and well-balanced diet including adequate fibre will promote health and a sense of well-being. Maintain a normal weight to lessen the burden on your joints.
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RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS MEDICATION
There are many effective pain-killing and anti-inflammatory drugs available to treat rheumatoid arthritis. The basic drug is likely to be aspirin in high doses, but it can cause ringing in the ears and other unpleasant effects. Your doctor may have to experiment for a time before finding the best drugs for you.
Occasionally surgery may help if a particular joint is severely inflamed by removing the inflamed lining called the synovium. In later stages it may be possible to replace a badly damaged joint with an artificial joint.
Excellent leaflets and practical help are available from the Arthritis Foundation in your city. These include information about and access to a wide range of inexpensive equipment and tools that can assist your daily living.
Please seek Medical attention as soon as possible if you are unsure of you or your family's health condition.
Management of Joint Pains & Gout
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Ph.D., CPE. William S. Marras holds the Honda Endowed Chair in the Department of Integrated Systems Engineering at the Ohio State University. He serves as the director of the Biodynamics Laboratory and is in the process of developing the Spine Research Institute at The Ohio State University. Dr. Marras also holds joint appointments in the Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, as well as Biomedical Engineering.
His research is centered on musculoskeletal causal pathway investigations including occupational biomechanical epidemiologic studies, laboratory biomechanics studies, mathematical modeling, and clinical studies of the spine. His findings have been published in over 200 peer reviewed journal articles and numerous books and book chapters including a recent book entitled "The Working Back: A Systems View." Professor Marras was the past Chair of the Board on Human Systems Integration at the National Research Council (NRC). He is currently Editor-in-Chief of Human Factors, Deputy Editor of Spine, and has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering (the National Academies).
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Dominic D'Agostino: Metabolic Therapies: Therapeutic Implications and Practical Application
Metabolic therapies that induce a state of mild ketosis from caloric
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Dominic D’Agostino is an Assistant Professor at the University of South Florida’s Morsani College of Medicine. Dr. D’Agostino teaches in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology with an emphasis on such topics as Biochemistry, Neuropharmacology and Nutrition. His research is focused on developing and testing nutritional strategies for promoting healthy weight loss and enhancing cognitive and physical performance. In addition, his research aims to develop and test specific metabolic therapies and supplements for neurological diseases and cancer. Dr. D’Agostino’s research is supported by the Office of Naval Research (ONR), Department of Defense (DoD) and private foundations.
Healthy Diets for Optimal Health
Vitamins & Nutrients for a Well-functioning Immune System to Protect against COVID-19 & other Viral Infections
(Ref: Nutrients. 2020 Apr 23;12(4). pii: E1181. doi: 10.3390/nu12041181 Optimal Nutritional Status for a Well-Functioning Immune System Is an Important Factor to Protect against Viral Infections Calder PC1, Carr AC2, Gombart AF3, Eggersdorfer M4.
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Comorbidities & Underlying Health Conditions in COVID-19 Patients with Complications
(Ref: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41430-020-0642-3.pdf, Dailymail.co.uk, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32320003/, Comorbidity and its impact on 1590 patients with Covid-19 in China: A Nationwide Analysis https://erj.ersjournals.com/content/early/2020/03/17/13993003.00547-2020
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Co-infection of COVID-19 with other infectious diseases is possible
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Asymptomatic patients may display no symptoms of illness. Vulnerable people should get vaccinated against Influenza which protects susceptible people from, as well as exclude the Flu and H1N1 viruses should they start to show URTI or ARI symptoms.
a. Vaccination decreases the risk of co-infection with COVID-19.
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Up to $400 per Medisave Account per year can be used for Vaccinations under the National Adult & Childhood Immunisation Schedule - Influenza, Pneumococcal (PCV13/PPSV), Human Papillomavirus (HPV2/HPV4), Hepatitis B, Tetanus, Diphtheria & Pertussis (Tdap), Measles, Mumps & Rubella (MMR) and Chickenpox (Varicella).
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Medical Services available:
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The information provided in this website is for knowledge purposes only. It does not constitute medical advice.
Should you encounter any medical problem that you are unsure of, always consult your doctor or health care provider for assistance and medical advice.
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MBBS (Monash), B Med Sc (Hons) (Monash), Dip Pract Derm (Wales, UK)
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YAMAGATA Chihiro 山懸千尋
MD International Medical Centre
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