BIOL 121 CRN # 23143
Statement of problem
Causes & risk factors
How are you diagnosis
Who will get rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints. While inflammation of the tissue around the joints and inflammatory arthritis are characteristic features of rheumatoid arthritis, the disease can also cause inflammation and injury in other organs in the body(1-2). Autoimmune diseases are illnesses that occur when the body's tissues are mistakenly attacked by their own immune system (1-2). The immune system contains a complex organization of cells and antibodies designed normally to "seek and destroy" invaders of the body, particularly infections (1-2). Patients with autoimmune diseases have antibodies in their blood that target their own body tissues, where they can be associated with inflammation. Because it can affect multiple other organs of the body, rheumatoid arthritis is referred to as a systemic illness and is sometimes called rheumatoid disease (2). The joints are structures that hold two or more bones together. Some joints (synovial joints) allow for movement between the bones being joined (articulating bones) (1). The simplest synovial joint involves two bones, separated by a slight gap called the joint cavity. The ends of each auricular bone are covered by a layer of cartilage (1). Both auricular bones and the joint cavity are surrounded by a tough tissue called the auricular capsule (1). The auricular capsule has two components, the fibrous membrane on the outside and the synovial membrane (or synovium) on the inside (1). The fibrous membrane may include tough bands of tissue called ligaments, which are responsible for providing support to the joints (1). The synovial membrane has special cells and many tiny blood vessels (capillaries). This membrane produces a supply of synovial fluid that fills the joint cavity, lubricates it, and helps the auricular bones move smoothly about the joint (1).In rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the synovial membrane becomes severely inflamed(1). It then usually is thin and delicate, the synovium becomes thick and stiff, with numerous infoldings on its surface (2). The membrane is invaded by white blood cells, which produce a variety of destructive chemicals (1). The cartilage along the auricular surfaces of the bones may be attacked and destroyed, and the bone, auricular capsule, and ligaments may begin to wear away (erode). These processes severely interfere with movement in the joint (1).
There are several symptoms that come along with rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis which includes: fatigue, morning stiffness that last longer than an hour, weakness, muscle aches, loss of appetite , deformity of hands or feet, redness of the skin and numbness or tingling. When symptoms increase joint pain eventually appears. The joints become warm, tender and stiff. The most common areas on the body that are affected are the fingers, wrists, elbows, shoulders, hips, knees, ankles, toes and neck.
The cause of RA is unknown. It is an autoimmune disease, which means the body's immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue (2-3).Rheumatoid arthritis can be difficult to diagnose in early stages for several reasons. First, there is no single test for the disease and the symptoms will differ from person to person. Second, symptoms can be similar to those of other types of arthritis and joint conditions. Finally, the full blown symptoms develop over time, and only a few symptoms may be present in the beginning stages. Doctors will usually use a variety of different resources to diagnose the disease and rule out...
Citations: 1. Meszaros, Liz. Rheumatoid Arthritis Facts. The Gale Group, Detroit.2002
2. Chang-Miller, April, MD. Why Rheumatoid. Mayo-Clinic. Rochester,Minn. 2012
3. Kuritzky, Louis, and Michael E. Weinblatt. "Rapid rheumatoid arthritis: primary care initiative for improved diagnosis and outcomes." OBG Management Apr. 2007: SS1+.
4. "MAYO CLINIC: OBESITY EPIDEMIC FUELING RISE IN RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS AMONG WOMEN." States News Service 25 Apr. 2012. General OneFile. Web. 20 Apr. 2012.
5. "CPD ZONE: Update - Managing rheumatoid arthritis." Chemist & Druggist 10 July 2010: 16.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document