Rheumatoid Arthritis, or RA, is one of many types of arthritis. It is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease that can affect more than just your joints. For some, the condition can impact a wide variety of body systems, including the skin, eyes, lungs, heart and blood vessels.

For most, rheumatoid arthritis affects the lining of your joints, causing a painful swelling that can eventually result in bone erosion and joint deformity. RA often occurs in more than one joint and typically affects the hands, feet, wrists, elbow, knees and ankles.

For more information on Rheumatoid Arthritis, visit the Arthritis Foundation at www.arthritis.org.

Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis:

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic disease characterized by periods of disease flares and remissions. Early rheumatoid arthritis tends to affect your smaller joints first — particularly the joints that attach your fingers to your hands and your toes to your feet. Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms vary in severity and include:

  • Joint pain, such as in the joints of the feet, hands, and knees
  • Swollen joints
  • Fever
  • Loss of range of motion
  • Tender joints,
  • Loss of joint function,
  • Joint stiffness – worsens after inactivity
  • Fatigue
  • Rheumatoid nodules
  • Anemia
  • Joint warmth
  • Joint deformity

About 40 percent of the people who have rheumatoid arthritis also experience symptoms that don’t involve the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis can affect many body systems including:

  • Skin
  • Eyes
  • Lungs
  • Heart
  • Kidneys
  • Salivary glands
  • Nerve tissue
  • Bone marrow
  • Blood vessels

Diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis:

Rheumatoid Arthritis can be difficult to diagnose in its early stages because the early signs and symptoms mimic those of many other diseases. There is no one blood test or physical finding to confirm the diagnosis.

During the physical exam, your doctor will check your joints for swelling, redness and warmth. Reflexes and muscle strength are also evaluated.

Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis:

The inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis is what can damage other parts of the body as well. While new types of medications have improved treatment options, severe rheumatoid arthritis can still cause physical disabilities. Treatment or medications selection will depend on the severity of your symptoms and how long you’ve had Rheumatoid Arthritis. Options might include:

  • Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Steroids
  • Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs).

AZIV Infusion provides the following biologic injections and infusions in a convenient and comfortable setting for patients seeking treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis:

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