Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease that has debilitating potential for joint damage if left untreated. It can be important to recognize the symptoms so that you can start treatment quickly. Early detection is important in limiting joint deterioration.

There is no known specific cause for rheumatoid arthritis. What is known is that this chronic condition consists of your immune system attacking your joints. Joints may swell, becoming red and inflamed. Typically, pain in your body will be bilateral, so that if one joint flares, the corresponding joint on the other side of your body may also hurt. You could feel pain all over, or your aches may be intense in one zone. You might experience other symptoms, such as a stiff neck, and it may be painful for you to stand up or sit down.

Once diagnosed through a series of body scans and blood tests, treatment for rheumatoid arthritis can begin if you test positive for a majority of the major symptoms. Treatment focuses on what combination of anti-inflammatory medication will work for your condition.

Rheumatoid arthritis treatment can vary among individuals. For many patients, treatment with methotrexate, in pill or injection form, can be effective in stopping the pain and slowing the disease’s progression of joint destruction. For other patients, a combination of methotrexate and newer forms of treatment called biologics can make a difference.

Research and development of new treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and gout, another form of arthritis, offer hope for improved patient prognosis. In addition to finding the right medication that your body responds to, exercise and diet also can be important to enhance. A well-balanced diet that is low in sodium can make a difference in reducing painful bouts of gout in addition to boosting your overall health. The more you exercise, the more energy you may have through the day. You may find that you can confront feelings of fatigue from the condition and medication with as little as two 10-minute sessions each day of walking.

Consult with your doctor so that you can build a lifestyle plan and discover effective treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. You can take control of your pain by making important changes to improve the quality of your life. You do not have to suffer in silence; today’s medical options can bring relief and a new perspective to your condition.

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