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All You Need To Know About Rheumatoid Arthritis And Its Symptoms

General Health

All You Need To Know About Rheumatoid Arthritis And Its Symptoms

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All You Need To Know About Rheumatoid Arthritis And Its Symptoms

Receiving a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can feel overwhelming. It involves learning about the disease and understanding its impact on your life ahead. But you are not alone. Millions of individuals worldwide lead active lives while coping with RA. To provide insights into what RA is and how it affects the body, Dr. Jatin Patel from Roswell, GA, who is the Founder of the Arthritis & Rheumatology Center, P.C, discusses the potential causes, symptoms, and treatment options available.

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory condition primarily affecting a person’s joints. Unlike other types of arthritis, RA often affects multiple joints symmetrically. This means that if one knee is impacted by RA, the other knee may likely be affected as well. RA can also involve other body parts such as the skin, eyes, heart, and lungs.

RA is classified as an autoimmune disorder where the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissues. In the case of RA, the target tissue is the lining of the joints known as the synovium. The synovium, a thin membrane that lubricates and cushions the joints, becomes inflamed in RA, leading to potential damage to the cartilage and bone within the joint.

Being a progressive condition, RA worsens gradually over time. In the initial stages, it may cause mild joint pain and stiffness. However, as RA progresses, it can result in joint deformity, disability, and possibly even fatality, as noted by Dr. Jatin Patel.

Treatments For RA

While there is no definitive cure for rheumatoid arthritis, various treatments are available to help slow its progression and alleviate symptoms. With proper treatment, many individuals with RA can lead productive lives.

The most common treatments for RA include:


Different medications can be used to address RA. Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) are often prescribed to slow down the disease’s advancement. Other common medications include Biologics, which are living cultured cells administered through injections or infusions, targeting RA inflammatory cells. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and corticosteroids are among other available options.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy serves as a common treatment for RA to enhance joint function, flexibility, and pain relief. Dr. Jatin Patel emphasizes that tailored exercises and stretches in physical therapy can assist individuals in maintaining their quality of life.


In cases of severe joint damage due to RA, surgical intervention may be necessary. Joint replacement surgery is a commonly performed procedure, involving the replacement of a damaged joint with an artificial one.

What Causes RA?

The exact cause of rheumatoid arthritis remains unknown. However, it is believed to result from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Specific genes may predispose individuals to RA, with exposure to certain environmental factors like infections potentially triggering the disease’s onset.

Symptoms Of RA

The predominant symptom of rheumatoid arthritis is joint pain and stiffness, which can develop gradually or suddenly and often worsens in the morning or after inactivity. Other common symptoms include joint swelling, tenderness, redness, deformity, and fatigue.

Risk Factors Of RA

While rheumatoid arthritis can affect individuals of any age, it is most prevalent in adults aged 25 to 60, with women being more susceptible than men. A family history of the disease increases the risk, as does smoking, as highlighted by Dr. Jatin Patel.

Diagnosing RA

There is no single test for diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis. Typically, doctors rely on a combination of medical history, physical examination, and lab tests to make an accurate diagnosis.

For individuals with RA, seeking medical attention promptly is crucial. Early diagnosis and treatment play a significant role in preventing damage and preserving joint functionality.

Living With RA

Managing rheumatoid arthritis can pose challenges due to its chronic nature, as acknowledged by Dr. Jatin Patel. However, several strategies can help alleviate pain and stiffness while enhancing joint function.

Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise is essential for individuals with RA as it can enhance joint function and flexibility. It is advisable to avoid high-impact activities to prevent excessive stress on the joints. Swimming and Tai Chi are recommended exercises for people with RA.

Eat A Healthy Diet

Maintaining a healthy diet is vital for individuals with RA as it can help reduce inflammation and promote overall well-being. Antioxidant-rich foods like fruits and vegetables are beneficial, while omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and nuts possess anti-inflammatory properties.

Manage Stress

Effective stress management is crucial for individuals with RA as chronic stress can exacerbate symptoms. Practicing relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation, ensuring an adequate amount of sleep, and regular exercise are essential components of stress management.

Talk To Your Doctor

Regular consultations with your doctor are imperative for managing RA effectively. Various specialists and treatments are available in the Roswell, GA region, and your doctor will collaborate with you to determine the most suitable treatment plan.

Final Thoughts

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic condition that requires proactive management. Incorporating lifestyle modifications such as exercise, a nutritious diet, and stress management techniques are crucial for optimizing well-being while living with RA. Routine medical supervision is essential for accessing the best treatment options available.

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