Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the body believes that linings of the joints are foreign tissues and attacks damaging them causing pain throughout the body. It affects more than 180 million people. The prevalence is higher than Diabetes, Blood Pressure, and HIV. Medicircle brings the Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness series with eminent and professional orthopedic doctors.
Dr.Rohit Chakor, Rheumatologist Specialist, Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon at The Bone & Joint Clinic, Pune. He is an experienced doctor with many organizations in the healthcare industry. He is also skilled in Clinical Research, Medicine Specialist, Pediatrics, and Medicine. He has special expertise in Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Signs and symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Dr.Rohit Chakor informs, “Rheumatoid Arthritis which is an autoimmune disease that affects own body cells is very commonly seen in his day-to-day practice. It affects and damages the patient's body cells. It generally affects the small joints like fingers, toes. knees and wrist or ankles with swelling and pain or will have more characteristic morning stiffness. Triggering factors such as cold weather may aggravate the symptoms”.
Difference between Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis
Dr.Chakor explains, “For those who are confused between Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis generally affects the young age and Osteoarthritis may affect the elderly age due to wear and tear of joints. Rheumatoid Arthritis needs to be differentiated from Osteoarthritis to give a proper and correct line of treatment.
Complications of Rheumatoid arthritis
Dr.Chakor states, “Rheumatoid Arthritis may affect hands and wrist causing deformity of the joints. It may affect the skin and eyes. Rheumatoid Arthritis is a systemic disease and can affect other organs in case of complications. The early detection of Rheumatoid Arthritis for patients with swelling and inflammation of small joints and characteristic symptoms of morning stiffness can help in preventing complications. A blood test would confirm the diagnosis.”
Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
Dr.Chakor emphasizes, “Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis occurs in patients as early as 14 years of age with swelling in finger or wrist joints leading to difficulty in writing and early detection is a must in such patients to prevent the complications of arthritis as age advances.”
HCQS For Rheumatoid Treatment
Dr.Rohit Chakor elaborates, “The medical field is advanced now. Many medicines can help you decrease the immune response and can help with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Earlier, the patients who were affected by rheumatoid attacks were admitted to the hospital. But now, Hydroxychloroquine (HCQS) which is also used for coronavirus infection these days and also the most used anti-malarial drug can help Rheumatoid Arthritis patients. It is an immunomodulatory drug. So there are many drugs available to control and prevent rheumatoid arthritis under medical supervision.”
Control with HCQS
Dr.Chakor states, “Patients having myopia need the spectacles for clear vision. The moment they wear specs they have a clear vision and vice versa. Similarly, the medicines for treating Rheumatoid Arthritis should be taken under medical supervision and will help you control and prevent it as long as medicines are consumed”
Diet for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Dr.Chakor states, “The importance of anti-inflammatory food which is full of antioxidants such as fruits and vegetables will help in reducing the inflammatory response of Rheumatoid Arthritis to some extent. In the case of myopia, the spectacles are very important for clear vision but the consumption of carrots that have vitamin A can help for eye health. The importance of fatty fish which omega-free fatty acids will prevent the destruction of joint pain and whole grains like oats, brown rice, quinoa can help to a certain extent. Having well-balanced can help in overall well-being by improving your immune response and inflammation to some extent. Diet is just a supplementation and should not be considered as the only source of cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis."
Early detection of Rheumatoid Arthritis can help
Dr.Chakor informs, “Rheumatoid Arthritis complications such as deformities of hands and wrist can be prevented with early detection. The percentage of Rheumatoid Arthritis patients may rise with early detection but it may prevent long-term complications. A regular blood test for Rheumatoid Arthritis may help increase or taper the dosage of medications based on the titer. For example, the summer system helps in reducing the immune response where the medicines can be tapered. Also, a regular x-ray check-up may help in knowing about any deformities.
Rheumatoid Arthritis can affect the quality of life
Dr.Chakor explains,” Rheumatoid Arthritis can affect the quality of life. But, With early detection, there is good control of immune response and inflammatory response. Doing regular exercise can help you improve your overall wellbeing and longevity of life.”
(Edited by Dr. Rati Parwani)