Rheumatoid Arthritis Prevention & Treatment

Published: February 2, 2012

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How to Prevent Against This

It is impossible to prevent rheumatoid arthritis. The condition has no known cause, so the condition cannot be stopped ahead of time.

In any case, symptoms can be monitored and kept under control if you catch risk factors ahead of time. If you have a family history of rheumatoid arthritis, your doctor may want to test you as a precautionary measure ahead of time before you start to experience symptoms of pain and swelling in your joints. When you get your regular physical exams, you should let your doctor know that you have a family history of rheumatoid arthritis. The doctor may want to conduct a rheumatoid factor test or Anti-CCP antibody test as part of your routine blood work.

Early detection and treatment will allow you to prevent further damage. In most situations, rheumatoid arthritis affects people gradually, beginning with subtle pain and escalating into severe pain as the condition worsens. You may be able to prevent symptoms from intensifying through medication. You may be able to inhibit constant pain, or you may only be able to prevent flare-ups. When you start taking medications, the doctor will try to treat your symptoms using a plan that is unique to your specific needs.

To prevent further joint and bone damage, follow your doctor's treatment plan, which may include a combination of physical therapy, light strength training, diet, and medications. If you are at risk as a result of family history or sickness, the doctor may put you on a treatment plan as a preventative measure. Usually, doctors will avoid prescribing medications to the best extent possible. Most likely, you will be required to begin a treatment, exercise, or physical therapy routine that focuses on strength training, range of motion, flexibility, and stamina. The doctor may ask you to start taking walks or use certain machines at the gym.

Many rheumatoid arthritis patients develop vision problems as a result of the complications. If you have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, you should make sure that you stay on top of your regular eye exams. See a doctor if you notice your vision changing, and make sure that you mention that you are a rheumatoid arthritis patient. The doctor may want to double check whether you are developing any other conditions that also cause vision problems, such as diabetes.

Diet Tips

Rheumatoid arthritis patients should quit smoking, which triggers symptoms to develop or worsen. You may need to work with a dietician to make sure that you are receiving the right supplements for your cartilage, bones, and joints. Certain foods, such as foots that are high in fat, can make symptoms worse. Each patient's symptoms will vary, and over time, people will realize whether certain foods cause additional problems.

Make sure that your diet is well balanced. If you lose energy, you may not be able to keep up with your therapy and exercise, and as a result, you may lose strength and flexibility. When you gain weight, your bones experience a tremendous amount of stress, so make sure that you stay within a healthy and manageable range.

Some people notice that their symptoms worsen with certain foods. Keep track of these foods so that you can prevent flare-ups.

Treatment & Relief Methods

Rheumatoid arthritis patients are prescribed a combination of therapy and medications. First, the doctor will recommend that you establish an exercise routine with low-impact cardio and low-resistance strength training. You may also need to do a series of stretches to improve your flexibility and range of motion. Without exercise, your symptoms could become worse as your muscles will start to degenerate.

There is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, so doctors use treatments to relieve symptoms and minimize the potential for future damage. Ant-inflammatory drugs, antimalarial medications, and corticosteroids are common. Other medications try to control inflammation by controlling white blood cells and blocking COX-2, an enzyme related to inflammation.

Common Surgeries

Some patients with extensive damage need surgery to alleviate joint pain and improve mobility. Certain surgeries are also available to correct deformed bones.

A synovectomy is a surgical technique for removing the joint lining. Joint replacement with prosthesis is also a possibility. Some patients need a total knee or hip replacement surgery.

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