Rheumatoid arthritis treatment guidelines

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Rheumatoid arthritis hands

People with rheumatoid arthritis know how hard is to fight with it. The treatment is focused on decreasing symptoms not healing. The best outcome is to suppress the inflammation and pain. In the end, the disability of the patient will vanish. However, the Rheumatoid arthritis treatment includes a few different parts - pills, exercises and physical therapy. Surgery will restore the joint but it won't make RA (rheumatoid arthritis) vanish so it is not a regular practice. Let's dig deeper into guidelines of rheumatoid arthritis treatment.

What is the most common treatment for rheumatoid arthritis?

Usually, the doctor first tries to cope with the inflammation with NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug). Popular drugs in this group are naproxen and ibuprofen, they have lots of side-effects and risks but not taking them might be more dangerous. The second step is a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug, which has to slow down rheumatoid arthritis. Most common drugs in this group are Arava (leflunomide), methotrexate, Azulfidine (sulfasalazine), and Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine). If one man has rheumatoid arthritis, his immune system is too powerful. Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs aim to slow it down - they are immune suppressors. Of course, slowing down the immune system could lead to easier infections and longer recovery periods.

packs of pills

What is the best treatment for rheumatoid arthritis?

Excluding disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, there are natural treatments, like supplements, ice compresses and mind therapies. Traditional treatment should be combined with natural treatments - this will lead to the best results.

What is the first line of treatment for rheumatoid arthritis?

In the beginning, people have used gold treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. It was injected intramuscularly and acted like a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug, but less effective. Today this treatment is almost forgotten because there are better solutions on the market with higher percentage success and fewer side effects.

What helps a rheumatoid arthritis flare-up?

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease and it doesn't have an exact reason to occur. It is hard for diagnosis and hard for treatment. Strong immune system attack joints and bones, and causes pain and damages. The real reason is still not clear.

How long can you live with rheumatoid arthritis?

There is no exact number but patients with rheumatoid arthritis are predisposed to different diseases. If they don't take any medications, their joints will suffer and eventually degrade. If they undergo treatment their immune system will be with lowered strength. According to data patients with rheumatoid arthritis live with 10 - 15 years less. Of course, it depends on their lifestyle, medical history, gender and age.

What is the best painkiller for rheumatoid arthritis?

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are the best painkillers for arthritis. Your doctor might prescribe one of these - Advil, Naproxen, Ibuprofen, or Motrin. They reduce pain and swelling and fight with the inflammation. Painkillers don't heal.

What is the best vitamin for rheumatoid arthritis?

Vitamin and supplements are great choices if you need some supportive therapy. Most often people who are receiving methotrexate, need some vitamins to help their immune system. The commonly used vitamin is B9 (folic acid).

vitamin B9 folic acid

What are the first signs of rheumatoid arthritis?

We have already mentioned that finding out diagnosis rheumatoid arthritis is a hard task. One of the reasons is that signs of the disease are signs of many other diseases. However, we sum up some early signs that might help to diagnose:

  • Exhaustion and fatigue - Exhaustion might occur in daily activities. Some people report an increased level of depression, also;
  • Increased body temperature.
  • Joint inflammation raises temperature;
  • Weight loss is a direct consequence of fatigue and higher body temperature;
  • Stiffness in joints might occur - especially in small joints like those in fingers;
  • Joint pain and tenderness;
  • Joint swelling - no matter it is a sign of progressive arthritis it might occur in early stages, also;
  • Red skin around the joints - discolouration is one significant early sign;
  • Limited motion;
  • Parallel pain in both hands, joints.

Having one symptom doesn't mean that you have arthritis but having all of them should concern you a little.

What foods make arthritis worse?

A healthy diet is extremely important when it comes to rheumatoid arthritis. Some foods, such as processed foods, can make arthritis symptoms worse. Other foods to avoid include fried foods, sugar, red meat and refined grains. Preparing a special menu for the week makes living with arthritis easier.