The term “ARTHRITIS” is composed of two words “ARTHO” meaning Joint and “IT IS” meaning inflammation. So the word Arthritis denotes inflammation in the joints. Rheumatoid Arthritis is derived from a Greek word, denoting watery and inflamed Joint. It is popularly known as RA.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a variety of Arthritis, which is an auto-immune (Our own immune system attacking the body) chronic inflammatory condition (Inflammation is a condition which arises as a result of the body’s reaction to external trauma or an infection which is usually characterized by redness, swelling, pain and rise in temperature) of the Joints affecting the synovial membrane, and over a period of time, leading to the destruction of the cartilage and bone and to the disfiguring of the joint, leading to dysfunction. The Stiffness and pain in Rheumatoid Arthritis aggravate with rest.
Causes Of Rheumatoid Arthritis-RA
- The exact cause of Rheumatoid Arthritis is not yet clear.
- However, Rheumatoid Arthritis is considered to be caused by a genetic vulnerability triggered by environmental factors.
- Persons with HLA DRB1 and PTPN22 genes are known to be having a higher risk.
- Other environmental triggers are also known to trigger the condition. Not everyone with a positive HLA DRB1 or PTP N22 develops the disease.
- Ayurveda describes, Vata increasing and Blood vitiating food and lifestyle, comprising of excessive exertion, irregular lifestyle, ingestion of spicy and incompatible foods, stress, lack of adequate, rest and leading a very sedentary life, as factors responsible for precipitating the condition.
Symptoms Of Rheumatoid Arthritis – RA
- Joint Pain, swelling, stiffness, warmth & redness are the primary symptoms associated with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).
- Multiple joints are usually affected at the same time and so it is called a Polyarthritis. The joints that are usually affected are the joints of the hands, feet, ankles, wrists, shoulders, knees, hips, vertebral joints, the jaws as well.
- Early morning stiffness lasting over an hour is one of the typical symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).
- Over a period of time, if the problem is not well controlled, the joints get disfigured and the patient loses the capacity to use the joint.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) can also affect other organs like the Skin, Lungs, Kidneys, Liver, Bones, Blood, Heart and cardiovascular system.
- Low blood count is often an accompanying problem.
- It is sometimes associated with symptoms like fever, fatigue, malaise, loss of appetite and loss of weight.