Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that usually affects the joints of the body. The Arthritis Foundation states that there are nearly 1.5 million Americans living with the disease which generally occurs in people between the ages of 30 and 60. While the causes of the disease are unknown, women are about three times more likely than men to have it. As it progresses, this disease can affect a variety of parts of the body. Here are three parts of the body that can be helped with rheumatoid arthritis CME.
Hands and Feet
The most well-known parts of the body affected by arthritis are the hands and feet. The disease causes inflammation within the joints and will usually affect them on both the left and right side. Those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis will experience pain, swelling, tenderness, and stiffness which will be felt most prominently in the morning. This type of pain can be felt for a half hour or longer after waking up. Other sensations that may be felt include a tingling or burning feeling within the joints.
The circulatory system of the body is responsible for transporting blood around the body, starting in the heart and moving to the extremities. Rheumatoid arthritis can often be detected by the existence of an antibody called the rheumatoid factor, although its presence doesn’t necessarily mean you have arthritis. Doctors can detect the antibody through a blood test and can sometimes diagnose patients based on it. Rheumatoid arthritis can make it difficult for the body to produce red blood cells, causing the patient to have a higher risk of blocked arteries.
Skin, Eyes, and Mouth
Rheumatoid arthritis can cause problems with the skin, eyes, and mouth, causing damage depending on what part the arthritis is affecting. Rheumatoid nodules are the cause of inflammation underneath the skin that appears as lumps. Usually occurring around the joints, these lumps are not painful but can bother the patient. It can cause dryness of the eyes, called Sjogren’s syndrome. This can cause a burning feeling of the eyes and will increase the chances of getting an eye infection or corneal damage. Rheumatoid arthritis can affect the mouth and throat by creating dryness that makes it difficult to swallow. The lack of saliva can lead to tooth decay, gingivitis, and other oral infections.
While rheumatoid arthritis is mostly associated with the hands and feet, it can negatively affect nearly every part of the body. These are just three of many parts it can affect, with others including the respiratory system and immune system. Rheumatoid arthritis CME allows you the education to treat this disease and enhance the lives of those affected by it.