Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. The disease leads to wearing away of the joint tissue lining which leads to significant pain and joint deformity. It affects many people all around the world. People commonly ask if rheumatoid arthritis can be cured completely and also about the treatment options for it. This article aims at understanding these aspects of it and explore the possible treatment options.
Can Rheumatoid Arthritis Be Cured Completely?
Rheumatoid arthritis affects the joints, worsening their function and can affect other organs too. As it progresses, it can damage the affected parts and organs, thus making it difficult to manage. It is commonly asked, can rheumatoid arthritis be cured completely? The fact is that it is an incurable disease and most of the treatment options revolve around managing the symptoms and preventing the flare-ups of the condition.
Knowing the risk factors of rheumatoid arthritis helps in taking appropriate action to reduce the risks, if possible. While certain risk factors cannot be changed, some can be controlled so as to keep the suffering minimal:
- Gender. Women are more likely to suffer from rheumatoid arthritis than men.
- Genetic factors. Due to a person’s inherited traits, bacterial and viral infections are more likely to cause rheumatoid arthritis in a person.
- Age. This condition generally begins to affect during the middle age and continues till the old age. The middle age people are more likely to suffer from it. In some cases, it can also affect older teenagers and young adults.
- Smokers. People who smoke are at a higher risk of getting rheumatoid arthritis.
- Weight. Overweight people are more prone to suffer from rheumatoid arthritis.
- Environment. Certain environmental exposures such as exposure to asbestos and silica can elevate the risk of rheumatoid arthritis.
A patient suffering from rheumatoid arthritis may present symptoms like:
- Pain and Swelling around the joints
- Morning stiffness
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Redness and puffiness of hands
The symptoms can be managed, even if not completely cured and the patient can be relieved from the sufferings. If the treatment is ignored it can lead to permanent damage to the joints. The disease can further lead to other health conditions such as inflammation of lung and eyes, and even risk of cardiovascular diseases. Certain studies have shown the remission of symptoms when checked on the early stages of the disease. Although, rheumatoid arthritis cannot be cured completely, the symptoms can be managed very well with the available treatment options.
Treatment Options for Rheumatoid Arthritis
The main goal of treatment for rheumatoid arthritis lies in achieving the lowest possible level of rheumatic disease activity, remission of the symptoms, minimizing joint damage, and enhancing physical function and the quality of life. The main objective lies in relieving pain, preventing joint and organ damage and reducing long-term complications. The treatment options for rheumatoid arthritis include medications, occupational and physical therapies including exercises and even alternative therapies and home remedies.
The first and foremost target of treatment is to give stop inflammation as quickly as possible. As the inflammation is stopped the remission can be expected. The medicines prescribed are to ease the symptoms and to slow or stop the course of the disease to inhibit any structural damage. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroids, disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), and biologics are the medicinal intervention techniques.
Surgery is rarely recommended for people with the rheumatic disease but can be important for those with permanent damage which could be limiting the daily functions.
Alternative medicines have proven of giving complete relief in many cases suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Being herbal preparation with minimal or no side effects, these remedies are completely safe to be taken by the rheumatic disease patient. These medicines include Homeopathy, Ayurveda, and the Unani preparations. These treatment options for rheumatoid arthritis can work well for many and the best treatment must be decided after consulting with an expert.
Home Remedies For Rheumatoid Arthritis
The treatment options for rheumatoid arthritis also include some home remedies. Certain home remedies can prove to be beneficial in providing relief from the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
Green tea. The polyphenols present in green tea are well-known for the joint –protecting and anti-inflammatory properties. The antioxidants present in it suppress the immune system and also gives relief from the pain and swelling associated with the disease.
Garlic. Garlic plays a good role in limiting the progression of the rheumatic disease and reducing the symptoms. It is an anti-inflammatory agent, which suppresses the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. The best result is seen when eaten raw.
Cinnamon. The anti-inflammatory properties of cinnamon help in alleviating the symptoms associated with RA. It provides relief from the aches and pain, which increase in the winter season. However, this should be carefully used by pregnant women and by people who have gastric problems.
Willow bark. It is the bark of willow trees, which with its anti-inflammatory effects assist the pain relief in patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. It has shown its positive effects in fever, muscle aches, and the stiffness of joints. Knowledge of correct dosage is needed, as the large doses can prove to be fatal.
Black pepper. Capsaicin is an ingredient present in black pepper, which gives relief to rheumatic patients. It helps relieve the pain and swelling associated with this disease.
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