Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an inflammatory condition causing pain, stiffness and swelling, most noted for its effects on the body’s joints. But do you know that this disease also produces many complications affecting other parts of the body. Adverse effects of rheumatoid arthritis can reduce life expectancy, but with modern treatment methods, we are seeing fewer external joint diseases of the joints, and patients live longer.
- Joints and skeletal system
- The circulatory system – heart and blood vessels
- Immune System – Spleen
- The respiratory system – Lungs
- Susceptibility to infection
Understanding Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid Arthritis, resulting in inflammation and pain in the joints is a chronic disease in progress. There haven’t been any exactly causes for this disease, however, it can be searched that common causes leading to rheumatoid arthritis are genetic, infectious, or hormonal changes. Drugs, combined with lifestyle changes, can help manage symptoms and improve individuals quality of life.
How arthritis affects the joints throughout the body?
Joints and skeletal system
Signs: Inflammation as pain, swelling and stiffness of the joints is known as the first common sign of rheumatoid arthritis. These adverse effects of rheumatoid arthritis are more clearly realized when you wake up in the morning. The symptoms can occur in any joint of the body, including the shoulder, elbow, hip, knee and ankle. People with RA often develop bunions, claw toes, toes or hammer. As the disease progresses, the cartilage and bone are damaged and destroyed. Finally, support the tendons, ligaments, muscles weaken. This can lead to a variety of restrictions on movement or difficulty moving the joints properly. In the long term, the joint may deform.
There RA also makes you at risk for osteoporosis, the weakening of the bones. People with osteoporosis are at high risk of fractures and breaks. Bone weakened or damaged in the neck or cervical spine can cause chronic pain.
Medication: Options include chemotherapy, anti-rheumatic and anti-inflammatory and. X-rays might shed light on the extent of damage.
The circulatory system – heart and blood vessels
Because of the characteristic for making and transporting blood throughout your body, circulatory system can experience some adverse effects of rheumatoid arthritis. Not all people with RA antibodies develop, but it is a hub for many doctors use to diagnose the condition.
People with RA have higher risk of developing anemia. This is due to the decline in the production of red blood cells and blocked arteries or hard. In rare cases, RA can lead to inflammation of pockets around the heart (pericarditis), the heart muscle (myocarditis), or even congestive heart failure.
Signs: Some people with rheumatoid arthritis have a collection of fluid between the pericardium and his heart (called pericardial effusion), but not all will have the clinical symptoms of it. These episodes of pericarditis (inflammation of the membrane surrounding the heart) often develops in flares, or periods of high disease activity.
Persistent pericarditis can lead to thickening and tightening of the membrane, which can interfere with the ability of the heart functioning properly. Similar injuries can make adverse effects of rheumatoid on the heart. Some rare complications such as myocarditis and stroke can also happen, which make the risk of cardiovascular disease become higher. These conditions created a chronic disease, low grade inflammation in the blood vessel damage and increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, heart disease, and heart failure.
Medication: The treatment of heart problems and most of the other RA complications with medications to reduce inflammation.
- Blood vessel
Signs: Inflammation of blood vessels, called vasculitis, is a rare complication of the disease, but severe rheumatoid arthritis. Vasculitis associated with RA, called rheumatoid vasculitis. Vasculitis occurs when blood vessels become inflamed, narrowed and blood flow decreased. It can block blood flow in areas such as arms, legs, and nerves. Vasculitis can sometimes lead to coronary artery disease, he added.
Medication: If significant narrowing of blood vessels, patients may need to use steroids or undergoing certain types of chemotherapy, reduce inflammation and tissue damage.
Immune System – Spleen
Your immune system works like an army, to protect you from harmful substances such as viruses, bacteria and toxins. Antibodies are produced and attack the invaders. As a result, one healthy part of the body will be mistakenly identified as invader by immune. When that happens, the antibodies attack healthy tissues.
In RA, the joints are attacked. The result is chronic inflammation continuous or throughout the body. Autoimmune diseases are chronic and treatment usually focuses on slowing the progression and reduces the symptoms. Some people have more than one autoimmune disorder.
Signs: Some people with RA have Felty’s syndrome, a condition in which the spleen becomes bigger and the number of white blood cells drops, making them more vulnerable to infection. But because RA can be controlled relatively well, this complication is unusual, affecting less than 1% of patients with RA.
Medication: Treatment of RA basic conditions, and, if necessary, operating injections to increase the number of white blood cells.
4. The respiratory system – Lungs
RA increases the risk of inflammation or scarring of the lining of the lungs (pleurisy) and damage to lung tissue (rheumatoid lung). Other problems include blocked airways (obstructive bronchiolitis), scarring of the lungs (pulmonary fibrosis), fluid in the chest (pleural effusion), high blood pressure in the lungs (pulmonary hypertension), or nodules on the lungs. In spite of the adverse effects of rheumatoid arthritis can harm the respiratory system, not everyone has symptoms. These people may experience difficulty breathing pain, cough, and chest.
Signs: Up to 40 percent of people with rheumatoid arthritis may develop a condition known as pulmonary fibrosis, scar tissue leading to your lungs. This makes it harder for the lungs to get oxygen into the bloodstream and travel to other organs. The most common condition is an inflammation in the lining of the lungs (pleurisy), pain when breathing; scarring of the tissues of the lungs (pulmonary fibrosis – a very serious complication of RA, and little can be done to repair this type of damage to the lungs); and increase the chances of emphysema, even in nonsmokers.
Medication: Proactive and diligent about your RA treatment, however, can resolve inflammation and minimize risk for lung problems.
Amyloidosis, a condition caused by the abnormal accumulation of certain proteins that may reduce kidney function, can occur in association with RA. To screen for amyloidosis, Rheumatology will periodically check the patient’s renal function of their RA. To maintain healthy kidneys, you should also take care not to abuse painkillers nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen for its harmless to kidneys.
Signs: Some RA patients were peripheral neuropathy, or nerve damage, causing a burning and numbness in the feet and hands. Also, when the blood vessels are inflamed, the nerves do not have an adequate blood supply, which can lead to nerve damage further.
Medication: The best approach is to reduce the inflammation and the use of basic drugs that treat mental illness itself.
Signs: Patients describe this bad adverse effects as a burning and gritty sensation. Although it’s rare, inflammation still can happen and damage in most parts of the eyes. If the inflammation occurs in the whites of the eyes, it called scleritis. The patient has uveitis if the irritation occurs in the middle of the eyes. The third type is known as episcleritis, in which the membrane is affected. This complication is so serious that that can cause blindness. Vision is blurred, painful and red in eyes are the symptoms. If uveitis is not treated or if you are taking steroids for RA in a long period of time, you may also be at risk of developing glaucoma.
Medication: Some kinds of eye drops which contain anti-inflammatory drugs such as corticosteroid are helpful with the adverse effect of rheumatoid arthritis on eyes. You should take eye exams regularly to diagnose the condition as soon as you can.
Signs: A skin rash or sores on the hands and feet can occur in people with rheumatoid arthritis. This usually occurs in people who have let this disease is not treated for a period of time. Moreover, if there is inflammation in the blood vessels going to the skin, it can produce rashes, skin ulcers, and skin nodules or acne, especially in the hands, feet and elbows. notes joints hard lumps under the skin due to inflammation appear, usually near joints. They can be a hassle, but is usually not painful.
Medication: These skin conditions tend to go away once the RA was controlled by medication. Surgical removal is also an option notes.
Signs: Dry mouth, making it difficult to eat or swallow can also be an adverse effect of rheumatoid arthritis. Some patients must experience swollen glands in the face and neck, dry nose, and dry skin. Women may also feel dry in their vagina.
Medication: To minimize the effect of RA on your mouth, please visit your rheumatism and scheduling regular dental check regularly to catch small problems before they become big problems.
Signs: Arthritis overrides the nerve running from the forearm to the wrist and cause carpal tunnel syndrome, in which patients can be led to feel numbness, weakness, tingling or sharp pain in the arm.
Medication: Treatment of myositis, immobilizing the wrist rest or pain with a splint, and apply a cool pack. If the problem is persistent and problematic, consider surgery.
Susceptibility to infection
People with RA more vulnerable to infection, possibly related to the disease itself or the immunosuppressive drugs used to treat it. Research shows that treatment with biological agents, a relatively new class and the effectiveness of RA treatment, can significantly increase the risk of serious infections in people with RA.
Signs: People who suffer from chronic diseases, including RA, living day to day with the pain and limitations of a chronic disease can be at a high risk of mental disease as an adverse effects of rheumatoid arthritis is an understandable occurrence. A recent study showed that nearly 11% of people with RA have quite serious to severe symptoms of depression. Those who are considered more restrictive in their normal activities were more likely to have depression. Chronic inflammation is also associated with abnormalities of neurotransmitters and hormones can affect how a person feels, he added.
Medication: The emotional symptoms often decrease after the rheumatoid arthritis treatment and control, allowing you to return to most of your normal activities. The antidepressants can take advantage with sadness in short period. If emotion is not relieved by a moderate period of time, see a psychologist or psychiatrist can help you conquer these symptoms.
Although you may not think to mention issues such as depression, chest pain, dry eye or to the doctor treating your rheumatoid arthritis, it is one of the adverse effects of rheumatoid arthritis and you should do so. All these problems can be related to your arthritis. The sooner it is recognized and treated, the less dangerous it can be. Taking drugs modified, using some medications together with changing lifestyle suitably can help life of people with RA be better.