Rheumatoid arthritis: Your Permanent Nemesis
For few days, when you wake up in the morning, you experience morning stiffness in your hands. At first, you tried to ignore the fact as it seemed too vague. But the condition started to worsen. You notice there is a slight disfiguration in your hand. All on a sudden, you start to panic and start looking for a rheumatologist in Brooklyn. After hearing your history and doing some tests, your doctor concludes that you have rheumatoid arthritis – an inflammation of the joints in your body. Have you heard that name before? You might have. After all, this is a common medical condition among the elderly population in the US. Today we will tell you about the disease, and when to suspect you have one.
First of all, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. That means your protective immune system is attacking your own body tissue due to some genetic mutations. As a result, you are left with inflamed joints and painful arthritis.
The diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis is largely clinical. Your rheumatologist in Brooklyn will take your detailed clinical history, mix and match them with established guidelines and will decide if you have the disease or not. Hence, it is of paramount importance to know the exact sign and symptoms of the disease. Those are –
- Morning joint stiffness, especially in your hands. You will have a hard time grasping something for about 30 minutes after waking up in the morning.
- Always remember that both sides of your body will be equally affected. That means your right hand is going to be affected just like your left hand. This goes same for your feet.
- Your joint movement will be fairly limited. Up until now, you could have moved your joints in a variety of directions. But after contacting the disease, you will find it hard to repeat those movements. Even if you can do so, you will feel great discomfort or pain.
- There will be tenderness around the joint. If you press your finger around your knee or elbow joint, you will experience a sharp pain.
- Rheumatoid arthritis is a joint deforming disease. After few months, and without proper treatments your joints might start getting deformed.
- In addition to pain and deformity, your joints might start swelling. There are instances where the joints get swollen severely and cause great discomfort and movement problem for the affected individual.
Your rheumatologist in Brooklyn will look for above signs and symptoms, and make a conclusion from there on. Besides, he might advise you a few tests like the presence of your rheumatoid factor or acute phase proteins in the blood. These tests are non-specific and only add little value to your diagnosis.