What is Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease. It’s an autoimmune disease, which means that the body immune system fails to recognize the body tissues as its own. It’s a multi-systemic disease that affects many systems, which includes the
- Joint(musculoskeletal) system
- Renal system
- Cardiac system
- Circulatory (blood vessels) systems and even the
- Eyes system
- Nervous system
- Salivary glands
- Pulmonary system
This leads to inflammation in all these systems and manifests in different ways. In the joints; it leads to the inflammation of the synovium. This leads to the redness and pain in the joints. Also, the patient experiences difficulty in moving the various joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is more predominant in females than in males. Stem cell therapy has become effective in the treatment of this disease. Mesenchymal stem cells are used for this purpose. Other genetic materials used include exosomes. These are signaling cells that help the body regenerate and heal itself.
What Causes Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is an idiopathic disease. It’s idiopathic. In this scenario, the body immune system attacks the body tissues due to some genetic errors. In joints, the body immune system attacks the synovium of the joints, which leads to inflammation. However, there are several factors that play a role in the etiology of rheumatoid arthritis. This includes
Genetics: Genetics is responsible for more than half of rheumatoid arthritis occurrences.
Hormonal influence: It has been noticed that hormones associated with sex play a role in rheumatoid arthritis. For example, it was discovered that women on contraceptives have a lesser occurrence of the disease. It is also noticed that women with high production of prolactin are more likely to have rheumatoid arthritis (especially in prolactinoma). Pregnancy is also an important factor, as it improves the condition of patients suffering from the disease
Infections: Some microorganisms have been associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Bacterial and viral organisms are known to cause this disease. An example is the mycoplasma bacteria. In addition, Epstein-Barr and even the Rubella have been recorded to cause this disease. There have been recorded cases where samples from the synovium of affected patients have tested positive for the presence of antibodies to some anaerobic bacteria
The immune system: The reactions of the body immune system to the body tissues is the most important factor (autoimmunity) Both the body’s cellular and humoral immunity, which encompasses the T cells and the B (plasma) cells play a crucial role in the development of this disease. These two systems actually destroy the synovium of the joints through the release of chemokines such as Interleukin-1 by the humoral system and the action of macrophages. The huge potential of the Rheumatoid arthritis synovium to be destroyed and multi-systemic autoimmunity distinguishes the disease from other seronegative arthritis.
What Causes Inflammation In The Body
Rheumatoid arthritis begins initially as progressive hyperplasia of cells in the synovium, consequently resulting to autoimmunity in the joints( It starts primarily in the joints before it spreads to other systems of the body). The development of this disease can be categorized into 3 stages, which are
Can Rheumatoid Arthritis Be Prevented
Rheumatoid arthritis cannot be prevented, however, the risk factors can be decreased. This include
Smoking: Individuals who have a family member that is affected by rheumatoid arthritis should desist from smoking. Smoking raises the chances of having this disease
Diet: Since rheumatoid arthritis is more common in older women, it is advisable for them to consume food that contains anti-oxidants such as Vitamins C and E. In addition, they should consume more of fish
products because they contain Omega 3-acid which slows down the inflammatory process
Warm and cold baths: warm baths have proved effective in the reduction of pains, and discomfort associated with movement of the joints.
Physiotherapy: some specific exercise of the joints helps in reducing joint stiffness.
Signs And Symptoms Of Rheumatoid Arthritis
As said initially, Rheumatoid arthritis is a multi-systemic disease, that starts primarily in the joints, then later affects other systems.
Joints (Musculoskeletal system): It causes inflammation and destruction of the synovium, damaging the bones. The joints exhibit the classic signs of inflammation which includes redness, warmth, pain and reduces the flexibility of the joints. It’s generally more painful in the morning, however, the pain reduces over some exercise. This differentiates it from osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis occurs in a symmetrical pattern, although might not be symmetrical initially.
Pulmonary system: The abnormal immune system triggers the production of fibroblasts, which eventually leads to fibrosis in the lungs. Although it isn’t very common. It is a well-known complication of rheumatoid arthritis
Cardiac system: Hepcidin is a marker for chronic diseases. Simply out, iron is crystallized inside macrophages. This eventually leads to anemia. Also, the platelet counts of the patient shot up because of the unregulated inflammation.
Circulatory system: Rheumatoid arthritis have a high potential to have atherosclerosis. This boosts their chance of developing heart diseases, such as myocardial infarction.
Renal system: Uncontrolled inflammation that persists for a long time eventually leads to renal amyloidosis.
Eyes: In the eyes, rheumatoid arthritis manifest as the inflammation of the sclera of the eyes. If left untreated leads to the dryness of the eyes
Are There Natural Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment
Vegetables: vegetables contain vitamins A,B,C,E which are antioxidants. These anti-oxidants reduce the inflammatory reactions and the pain.
Fish: Fishes contain omega 3-acid. This chemical slows down the progression of this disease. It’s safe and has no side effect. Omega3-Acid is present in fishes. Examples of this fish include salmon, Atlantic mackerel, farm-harvested fishes
Pregnancy: Pregnancy improves the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. This is because of the rise in sex hormones. Although the condition might worsen after delivery.
Herbs: Some herbs have been recorded to improve the symptoms. Example of these herbs include Euonymus alatus, boswellic acid
What Is A Good Diet To Help Erase The Symptoms Of Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Vegetables and fruits: vegetables and fruits contain vitamins A, B, C, E which are antioxidants. These anti-oxidants reduce the inflammatory reactions and the pain. Examples of this vegetables include potatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, ginger, and green vegetables
Fish: Fishes contain omega 3-acid. This chemical slows down the progression of this disease. It’s safe and has no side effect. Omega3-Acid is present in fishes. They reduce the pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
Grains: Refined grains should be avoided as they worsen rheumatoid arthritis, because of inflammatory properties. Instead, whole grains should be purchased and consumed. This includes Barley, buckwheat, bulgur, corn, rye bread, amaranth, brown rice, sorghum.
What Types Of Medication Are Prescribed In The Treatment Of Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic agents: They are the first line drugs in the treatment of rheumatic arthritis, and has been the most effective medication for the disease. They are capable of reducing and stopping the progression of the disease. Although, it’s best to combine them with pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs. Examples include Methotrexate: They work by improving the symptoms. They are anti-folate drugs.
Sulfasalazine: the mechanism of action is reducing inflammation and reducing prostaglandin production.
Leflunomide: It reduces the destruction of the joints. It improves the symptoms
Anti-inflammatory drugs: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, celecoxib are really efficient.
Glucocorticoid: examples include prednisone reduces inflammation and improves the symptoms as they are anti-inflammatory drugs.
Surgery: Surgery is most times the last resort. This is used when the drug therapy has not worked. Badly affected joints need surgery for correction.
Antibiotics: Antibiotics such as tetracycline and Minocin are required for patients whose period of the disease is less than 2 years.
Stem Cell Treatment Of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Studies have shown that mesenchymal stem cells can be used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. It works by reducing the pro-inflammatory cytokines and tissue necrosis factors.
“Handout on Health: Rheumatoid Arthritis”. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. August 2014. Archived from the original on June 30, 2015. Retrieved July 2, 2015.
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Smolen, Josef S.; Aletaha, Daniel; McInnes, Iain B. (2016-10-22). “Rheumatoid arthritis”. Lancet. 388 (10055): 2023–2038. PMID 27156434.Get More Stem Cell Information at iSTEMCELL