How Rheumatoid Arthritis Affects Your Body

How Rheumatoid Arthritis Affects Your Body

Arthritis can change your life dramatically. Germantown arthritis affects your joints, making it hard for you to move the affected body parts. Though arthritis comes in various types, the most common likely to affect you are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.  

How does rheumatoid arthritis affect your body?

  • Skeletal system

Inflammation of the less major joints in your limbs is a common warning sign of rheumatoid arthritis. The effects of the inflammation present symptoms like swelling, stiffness, tenderness and pain that will most likely worsen during the morning hours. Most often, the pain that may last for at least 30 minutes affects both sides at once. Rheumatoid arthritis may also result in burning or tingling sensations that come and go in flares, followed by a remission period. The most common joints this type of arthritis affects include the elbows, ankles, toes, hips, knees, wrists, fingers, and shoulders. Since the disease damages and destroys your bones and cartilage with progression, your supporting tendons, ligaments and muscles eventually weaken, limiting your motion range.

  • Immune system

The immune system is your ultimate protection. It produces antibodies that attack harmful invaders like toxins, bacteria, and viruses. However, sometimes the antibodies mistakenly attack your healthy tissues, causing you to have an autoimmune disease like rheumatoid arthritis. In instances that your immune system invades the tissues in your joints, you might experience chronic inflammation in your entire body.

  • Skin, mouth, and eyes

Joint inflammation resulting from the disease might cause rheumatoid nodules (hard lumps) to develop under your skin, mainly close to the joints. Though the lumps might not be painful, they can be an eyesore on your skin surface. You are at risk of developing secondary Sjogren’s syndrome when you have R.A. The inflammatory disease may result in severe dryness in your eyes, along with a gritty or burning sensation. Failure to seek medical help, along with prolonged dryness, might cause corneal damage or eye infection. Sjogren’s syndrome might also give you a dry feeling in your mouth and throat, making swallowing tough foods difficult. Severe mouth dryness may lead to gingivitis, oral infections, and tooth decay. The chances are high you might have dry nasal airways, dry skin, and swollen glands in your neck and face.

  • Respiratory system

Rheumatoid arthritis increases your risk of lung tissue damage and scarring on the lining of your lungs. Other health concerns you are likely to have with R.A. include:

  • Pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in your lungs)        
  • Pleural effusion (fluid buildup in your chest)
  • Blocked airways
  • Rheumatoid nodules in your lungs
  • Pulmonary fibrosis (scarring on the lining of your lungs)

You might fail to showcase symptoms with the damages to your respiratory system. However, when you do, the signs you may have include chest pains, shortness of breath, or coughing.

Arthritis can affect your life in several ways. However, working with your healthcare provider can help slow down the progression of the disease. Inform your physician of possible changes in your symptoms to help him adjust your treatment, and help you live a comfortable life.   

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