[toc]Are you suffering from swelling and pain within the joints followed by some warmth, stiffness or redness? Probably, you are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. It is a form of chronic arthritis that causes inflammation in a joint. Surprisingly, it causes pain in the joints on both sides of the body at the same time, for example, in both the arms, knees, etc. which makes it distinct from any other type of arthritis.
The factors that cause rheumatoid arthritis as well as their signs and symptoms may differ from person to person, depending on their age, sex, natural climate, lifestyle, etc.
Causes Of Rheumatoid Arthritis
HLA (human leukocyte antigen) is a genetic factor which is associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Although the different forms of HLA do not primarily cause rheumatoid arthritis, they can certainly worsen the disease and make it more severe.
These genetic factors also determine how well a patient responds to drugs and medications for dealing with rheumatoid arthritis.
The Immune System
The ability of our body to fight infections or heal injuries, wounds, etc depends on our immune system. A strong immune system helps in fighting foreign bodies like viruses, bacteria and harmful toxins that are mainly responsible for inflammation and diseases. The B cells and the T cells are the two things that helps in improving the body’s immune system and ward off the affects of inflammation and pain.
These two components are a part of cells called lymphocytes, which is a type of white blood cell(WBC) present in our blood. However, these T cells and B cells may become overactive in some cases and make the immune system imbalanced. This may have a serious affect on our body, resulting in damage of our joints, muscles, kidneys and blood vessels.
Some bacterial and viral infection may have a correlation with rheumatoid arthritis. However, no single organism can be directly attributed for triggering the disease.
The infection might make the immune system hyper-active by stimulating it, which in turns attack on its own body tissues which leads to the inflammation of the various parts of our body including joints, eyes, lungs, etc.
Signs And Symptoms Of Rheumatoid Arthritis
The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis may vary from person to person as it affects each individual in a different way. Some people may complain of rheumatoid arthritis all of a sudden with no prior sign or symptom while for others, it may slowly develop and increase over several years or a very long period.
The most common symptoms are inflammation and pain in the joints. Stiffness is another major symptom which may be caused due to sitting or lying in the same position for a long time, especially during the morning. The stiffness tends to be on the higher side during the winters.
However, the symptoms also depend on the level of inflammation of the tissues. The disease becomes inactive or or in the state of remission when the inflammation starts decreasing, and gradually disappears.The other symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are fever, loss of energy and appetite, weakness, fatigue and muscle and joint pain in both the sides of the body at the same time. This may have an affect on the day to day activities of a person like difficulty in walking, performing household chores or outdoor activities, completing a task within time, etc.
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