Rheumatoid arthritis, also often referred to as RA, is an autoimmune disease that affects a substantial number of people across the UK.
It is essentially a case of the autoimmune system gone awry, as rather than simply attacking problems as it should do, it begins to attack the body’s own healthy cells and tissues.
This is felt most keenly in the joints as when the autoimmune system attacks, the membranes around them become inflamed and painful. The membranes also release enzymes that cause the bone and joint cartilage to wear away and in severe cases, other organs can be affected too. Understand more about this painful disease and discover the help that’s available online and in person.
Finding out more about RA
For many sufferers, it is the hands, feet and wrists that are most affected but other parts of the body can be a problem too. Aside from swelling and painful joints, other symptoms of RA include a general feeling of tiredness and illness. The severity of symptoms also tends to fluctuate over time and when they become worse, this tends to be called a flare-up. It can be impossible to predict when flare-ups will take place making it difficult to plan chores and activities.
Medicine Net offers a huge amount of information about the disease and its various symptoms and issues and is a good place to start if you have questions about the condition. You’ll also find some clear and concise explanations from the NHS and its guide to rheumatoid arthritis. For this particular disease, early and aggressive treatment is best as this can help keep your joints in better condition. Healthline has put together a list of nine early signs and symptoms and if you think you’re suffering from these, make an appointment with your doctor for a medical opinion.
Living with rheumatoid arthritis
If you’ve been diagnosed with RA, you’ll be adjusting to a new way of managing your lifestyle. The NHS has created a guide to living with rheumatoid arthritis which includes some excellent advice for taking control of your self-care and finding ways to minimise pain and disruption to your day-to-day routines. Another useful resources is the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society, which has also complied an in-depth guide to living with RA, which includes sections devoted to lifestyle, relationships and works and benefits.
Heathline has also created another interesting resource – a list of best RA blogs. On this list, you’ll find blogs from real life patients who are happy to share their experiences and personal inspirations. This is a great way to gain some insight into the condition straight from the minds of people who know best. There are also plenty of uplifting and interesting posts that are well worth your consideration.
Don’t feel isolated following a diagnosis; know that there are resources dedicated to helping you and other sufferers willing to share online.
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