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Rheumatoid Arthritis: Diagnosis and Treatment

Nowadays, more than one percent of the population of the Earth is affected by Rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is considered to be one of the most widespread inflammatory autoimmune diseases affecting people after the age of forty or even earlier in a number of cases. According to Firth (2011, p. 1179), ‘RA is considered to be an autoimmune disease which is characterized by inflammation of the synovial joints and an unpredictable course of fluctuating disease activity’.

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It is ‘a severe systemic and life-threatening condition that sub-optimally treated can shorten life expectancy, increase the risk of comorbidities, including cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis, and cause joint destruction and ultimately loss of functional ability’ (Improving long-term outcomes 2010, p. 30). In the following paper, RA-associated pathophysiology along with the methods of its diagnosis and treatment will be examined.

First of all, with regards to RA-associated pathophysiology, the main factors causing this poignant disease are to be addressed. Among the most common factors causing RA is the endocrine profile. RA affects women on a more frequent basis than men in the ratio of four to one which may be explained by the fact that women’s organism is subjected to the action of varied hormones more significantly. Firth states, ‘the precise etiology of RA is unknown, but risk factors include genetic, hormonal and reproductive factors, medical and lifestyle factors and physical/psychological trauma’ ((2011, p.1179).

Thus, among the risk factors is also the individual’s lifestyle along with the occurrence of trauma. In this vein, the person with an unhealthy diet having much stress in one’s life along with an insufficient amount of rest is in the group of high risk (Clancy & Hasthorpe 2011). The other risk group is people of sport including volleyball players, football players, and so on as these sportsmen are often subjected to traumas and their joints are under constant pressure.

One more important issue as to the RA pathophysiology is whether this medical condition is caused by nature or nurture. According to Clancy & Hasthorpe (2011), this disease can be rather characterized as caused by a complex of factors including both nature and nurture conditioned ones.

Next, discussing the methods of RA diagnosis, it should be stated that the earlier the disease is diagnosed the better chances has the one affected with it (Dollah, Yaacob, Ismail & Hussin 2011). Unfortunately, at its early stage, RA is difficult in its detection. At the initial stadium, the patient is to pass through a row of complex blood tests to detect this medical condition. ‘Agglutination tests detecting IgM

RF is the most common methods used in the laboratory diagnosis of RA’ (Dollah et al. 2011, p. 54). At more progressive stadiums, RA symptoms are detected by means of simple blood tests, and they can be also seen during the examination of patients’ joints.

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Finally, addressing possible RA treatment methods, it should be stated that the two stadiums of this disease are to be distinguished: active and passive ones. During the active stadium, the most troublesome problem for the affected person is in painful syndrome. Thus, it is important to prescribe the person sufficient pain killers (Improving long-term outcomes 2010).

In addition, at this stage, the person needs anti-inflammatory drugs such as acetylsalicylate, etodolac, and ibuprofen (Improving long-term outcomes 2010). At the passive stage, the patient may be prescribed a sufficient diet along with such medicines as Plaquenil, Azulfidine, Solganal, Depen, Cuprimine, Cytoxan, Leukeran, Sandimmune and Imuran (Improving long-term outcomes 2010).

As a final point, RA is one of the most wide-spread inflammatory diseases in the world. It affects people of the most diversified backgrounds, social layers and styles of life. This painful and poignant malady robs people of their joy in life, and makes the quality of their life much worse.

On the reason of RA pandemic in world, scientists and medical specialists try their best in order to understand the nature of this disease, its provocative factors, and possible treatment and prophylactic strategies which might help people in fighting this terrible health problem. Among the factors contributing to prophylactics of RA are sufficient amount of rest, avoiding unnecessary stresses, healthy food and regular physical loads of balanced nature. In case, the disease is in its active period the patient is to be prescribed a row of medicines including painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs.

References

Clancy, J., & Hasthorpe, H. (2011). Pathophysiology of rheumatoid arthritis: nature or nurture?. Primary Health Care, 21(9), 29-36.

Dollah, R., Yaacob, A., Ismail, A., & Hussin, C. (2011). Anti-CCP Antibodies: A Better Diagnostic Tool for Rheumatoid Arthritis. International Medical Journal,18(1), 53-57.

Firth, J. (2011). Rheumatoid arthritis: diagnosis and multidisciplinary management. British Journal Of Nursing (BJN), 20(18), 1179-1185.

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Improving long-term outcomes for rheumatoid arthritis: evidence-based care. (2010). Primary Health Care, 20(9), 30-39.

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