April 18, 2011
Rheumatoid Arthritis is normally a disease we consider for an older person but as Joan Rooney states, “Most people who have it develop it in their 50s and 60s, but some experience symptoms in their 20s and 30s---or even younger.” (62) Even though we don’t know the cause we do know that it is a connective tissue disease that affects any of the synovial joints. “The disease can be characterized by progressive disability, severe joint deformity, and loss of function.” (Browning, 399)
When you think of RA I normally think of women more than I do men and studies do show that the ratio is 3:1 with women being affected more by RA. (Browning, 399) To help us prevent RA in our personal life we need to watch our diet, and smoking. There is growing scientific literature that is in support of the hypothesis that our diet may play a role in both the onset and persistence of RA. Oliver stated that research has shown that males who smoke are almost three times more likely to develop RA, heavy smoking can increase this risk to over 13 for both sexes. (170)
When a person goes into their doctor to speak with them about possibly having RA they need to meet 4 of the following criteria: morning stiffness, arthritis of 3 or more joints, arthritis of hand joints, symmetric arthritis, rheumatoid nodules, serum rheumatoid factor, and radiologic changes. (Browning, 401) The diagnostic tests involved include: complete blood cell count with differential, acute phase reactants, and radiography. (Browning, 403-405)
When it comes to treatment of the disease it is important the patient get into the doctor early, because irreversible damage takes place in the first 2 years of rheumatoid arthritis. (Rooney, 62) When treating RA a doctor may prescribe a disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug therapy or biological therapy depending on severity.
As you can see when a person has been diagnosed Rheumatoid...