Due to the complex nature of the body, there are sometimes undiscovered mysteries about the development and spread of certain diseases. Medical research has defined the way patients relate to their bodies, and in the case of arthritis, a great deal of progress has been made to understand and treat the effects of chronic joint inflammation. But there are instances where an incomplete picture persists. One example of this is the fact that researchers have not fully established the causes of rheumatoid arthritis. This means that prevention efforts are still elusive to the medical community. Alternatively, what remains is a well-established knowledge base for treating and managing rheumatoid arthritis. For those diagnosed with rheumatoid inflammatory arthritis in south Jersey, a standard patient profile will inform and empower you as you pursue treatment.
Definition: Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the body produces a chemical substance, which attacks the surfaces of various joints throughout the body.
Who is affected?
Individuals of every age have been diagnosed and treated for this disease. Patients with all types of medical histories are at risk. Rheumatoid arthritis does not discriminate. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, worldwide there is an estimated 1% of people that have rheumatoid arthritis. Researchers also found reason to believe there is a gender bias because women are three times more likely to develop the condition.
Why does this happen?
In the case of rheumatoid inflammatory arthritis, there is not conclusive evidence as to what the exact causes are. Scientists have discovered the possibility of a gene susceptibility, but have also disproved the possibility that it is an inherited disease. Doctors have pointed to a common causal pattern where a “trigger” can prompt the disease development. In most cases, a trigger can either be an environmental factor or an infection. What is known is the fact that the unusual response of the immune system is out of character, damaging, and lasting.
When do symptoms develop?
Symptoms can occur at any time, but the most common experience for many has been during middle age. Early treatment may be effective, but many cope with the chronic symptoms of the disease for a long time. Reports have revealed that the disease progression slows with age.
Where does it occur in the body?
One of the defining characteristics of rheumatoid inflammatory arthritis is its symmetrical nature. When one side of the body has a joint that is affected, the other has an identical diagnosis. Another common trait is its affect on multiple joints in the body. These vulnerable parts of the body may include: hands, feet, hips, knee, elbows, and even the spine.
What happens next?