Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder and chronic inflammatory condition. When immune system goes haywire, it can attack cells, tissues and organs that are perfectly healthy and work just as they should as if they were attacking the organism. In this case, target of one's own defence mechanisms gone astray are tissues and cartilage of joints. Rheumatoid arthritis usually affects people of both sexes between twenty and forty years of age, but cases of this disorder in older or younger people are also common.
Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
Area around the joints in persons who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis becomes shrunken through formation of scar tissue, which replaces tissue destroyed by the immune system. This limits the moving ability of joints, and thus hampers the ability to flex. Typical symptoms for most people who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis include periods of sudden inflammation of the affected area and some stiffness in the area of the inflamed joint. Other people will eventually end up with deformations in feet and hands, an aftermath of gradually worsening symptoms through long periods of time. In most severe cases, even organs such as heart, lungs and skin (yes, skin is also an organ) can be affected after a time.
Causes of rheumatoid arthritis
As rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder, underlying cause (or causes) for it, as for other autoimmune diseases, are still unknown. Hereditary dispositions are on list of likely suspects. Some experts believe that factors other than genetic, such as infection, diet poor in nutrients, or emotional stress or anxiety may trigger autoimmune attacks such as rheumatoid arthritis.
As there is no understanding of its cause, there is no treatment that will eradicate the disorder. However, there are numerous supplements that will reduce the inflammation, help to restore the damaged tissue that surrounds the joints and soothe chronic pain linked with arthritis. Antioxidants such as vitamins C and E fight the damaging free radicals and can be used to prevent cellular damage. Zinc also has antioxidant properties and is frequently deficient in this condition; it is a good idea to use it as a supplement, but together with supplements of copper. Fish oils can reduce stiffness of joints, while evening primrose oil, ginger and cat's claw can help to reduce inflammation.
Glucosamine helps in restoration of damaged cartilage. Topical cayenne cream is good for soothing of arthritic pain. There are also some benefits in eating home-made chicken soup that is rich with cartilage. Herbs such as boswellia and pineapple contain substances that are also effective against symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.