Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease with "autoimmune" characteristics (substances are produced against the body itself, known as Antibodies). It mainly affects the joints of the bones, although it is a disease that can damage other organs and systems.
This rheumatism can appear at any age and, from the clinical point of view, is characterized by pain and inflammation of the joints, especially in hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, knees and feet. Rheumatoid arthritis, sometimes, is accompanied by fever, fatigue and malaise. The patient feels joint stiffness ("as if he lacks oil"), especially in the mornings, which improves throughout the day. If left untreated, the joint becomes deformed, causing it to lose its function little by little, while muscle tissue atrophies.
The diagnosis is made from the signs and symptoms, confirming it with complementary tests. It has been shown that rheumatoid arthritis affects more women than men (3 women for each male), since there is an important hormonal factor. If it is not treated in time, apart from the fact that it can deform and destroy the joints, bringing with it an important disability, it can also affect internal organs such as the lung, eyes, etc.
Advances in the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Until 15 years ago rheumatoid arthritis could be a devastating disease leading people, many times very young, to a serious disability. Nowadays things have changed radically.
Early diagnosis, treatment with effective drugs since diagnosis and close monitoring of the patient, have made the vast majority of patients lead a practically normal life. For this reason, it is essential that the first signs of suspicion are consulted to rule out the existence of this disease.