Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that requires lifelong management. It is essential to consult a doctor specializing in diagnosing and treating this condition, like Dr. Amol S Raut.
He is an experienced and well-known rheumatoid arthritis specialist in Aurangabad known for accurate diagnosis and advanced treatments.
He is an expert in treating chronic autoimmune and inflammatory conditions such as gout, Sjogren's syndrome, ankylosing spondylitis, vasculitis, lupus, scleroderma, pediatric arthritis, etc.
He believes in interacting closely with his patients in order to provide them with the best possible care in a timely and effective manner.
You can visit Dr. Amol S Raut, one of the best rheumatologist in Aurangabad, for consultation at Relief Arthritis and Rheumatology Clinic.
Continue reading to learn about rheumatoid arthritis, from its causes, and symptoms to complications and treatments.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Overview
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune illness that is chronic, disabling, and progressive. It happens when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells, causing pain, swelling, and inflammation in and around the joints and affecting other body organs.
The damage caused by rheumatoid arthritis to the joints normally occurs on both sides of the body.
So, if a joint in one of your arms or legs is afflicted, the identical joint in the other arm or leg is likely to be impacted as well.
It is one of the methods to distinguish rheumatoid arthritis from other types of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis.
What are the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease that causes inflammation and pain in the joints. During flares, these symptoms become more severe, whereas during, remission, they entirely vanish.
The symptoms mainly affect the joints in the knees, hands, and wrists, but they can also affect other organs in the body, including the eyes, lungs, and heart.
The common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are:
- Stiffness and swelling in multiple joints
- Aching and pain in the joints
- It affects the same joint in both sides of the body
- Loss of appetite
- Low-grade fever
- Loss of function
- Joint deformity
Even though your symptoms come and go, it is essential not to dismiss them. The severity of the symptoms might range from mild to extreme. Knowing the early signs will help Dr. Amol S Raut, a rheumatoid arthritis specialist in Aurangabad, treat and manage it more effectively.
What are the causes of rheumatoid arthritis?
The actual cause is unknown to doctors. Something triggers your immune system to target your joints and, occasionally, other organs. A virus or bacteria may alter your immune system, causing it to attack your joints.
Some people may be more susceptible to rheumatoid arthritis than others due to certain genetic components.
Rheumatoid arthritis can be caused by a number of factors, including:
- Family history
- Excess weight
How is rheumatoid arthritis diagnosed?
Since the early symptoms and signs of rheumatoid arthritis are similar to those of many other diseases, it can be difficult to diagnose in its early stages. The diagnosis cannot be confirmed by a single blood test or physical finding.
During the physical exam, Dr. Amol S Raut, a competent rheumatoid arthritis specialist in Aurangabad, will examine your joints for redness, swelling, and warmth. He may also assess your muscle strength and reflexes.
Further, he may ask you to undergo specific blood tests and imaging tests such as x-rays and MRI.
What is the treatment for rheumatoid arthritis in Aurangabad?
Although there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, effective medicines can help you manage the disease and avoid damage.
Recent advancements in treatment options have resulted in ever-improving results and quality of life. Dr. Amol S Raut, a rheumatoid arthritis specialist in Aurangabad, is well-versed with all the latest treatment strategies.
Your treatment will depend on the severity of your symptoms and the length of time you have had rheumatoid arthritis.
NSAIDs – Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can help with pain and inflammation.
DMARDs - These drugs can help slow the progress of rheumatoid arthritis and avoid irreversible joint and tissue damage.
Steroids - Corticosteroid medications reduce inflammation and pain while also minimizing the degradation of joints. Doctors typically prescribe a corticosteroid to quickly relieve symptoms, with the intent of gradually weaning patients off the medication.
Biologics - When paired with traditional DMARD, the recent biological response modifiers deliver excellent outcomes. These drugs provide instant relief from joint pain and inflammation. They block components of the immune system that play a key role in rheumatoid arthritis inflammation.
Targeted synthetic DMARDs - If biologics and traditional DMARDs have failed to deliver the expected outcome, the rheumatoid arthritis specialist in Aurangabad may prescribe the targeted synthetic DMARDs.
Dr. Amol S Raut may recommend you to a physical or occupational therapist to teach you exercises to maintain joint flexibility. The therapist will also recommend new ways to complete everyday duties that are less taxing on your joints.
Dr. Amol S Raut, a rheumatoid arthritis specialist in Aurangabad, may recommend joint replacement surgery if joint pain and inflammation become unbearable or if joints are significantly damaged.
The knees, hips, and shoulders are the most commonly replaced joints. Surgery can significantly improve pain and mobility.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the complications of rheumatoid arthritis?
You may be at a higher risk of developing other health problems if you have rheumatoid arthritis, such as:
- Premature heart disease
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Pulmonary fibrosis
- Interstitial lung disease
- Renal failure
- Cervical myelopathy
How long can you survive without treatment if you have rheumatoid arthritis?
Although many people survive with their symptoms well into 80 or even 90, rheumatoid arthritis can shorten a person's life expectancy by as much as 10 to 15 years. Disease progression, age, and lifestyle factors impact its prognosis.
Is surgery necessary to treat rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is usually treated with a mix of medicine, exercise, rest, and joint protection. In some circumstances, the patient may require surgery.