Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition that occurs due to hyperactivity of your immune system, in which your joints become swollen and inflamed. Your joints may also feel warm and painful.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a common condition globally, most commonly in old-aged people. However, it can also occur in young people. Sometimes people spread a lot of fake things about it.
To get rid of lies and myths, we have decided to bust those myths. In this article, we will tell you the truths about rheumatoid arthritis. Always believe in things having a scientific background and do make sense.
- Myth no 01- rheumatoid arthritis is a condition that occurs due to aging.
Truth- people misconstrued rheumatoid arthritis as an age-related condition. They think that it can occur in older aged people like hair graying. But this is wrong.
Rheumatoid arthritis can occur at any age but is most common from 30 to 60. Even it can occur in children and teens.
- Myth no 02- rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are the same things.
Truth- people often misconstrued that rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are the same. However, both cause swollen and painful joints, but they are quite different.
Osteoarthritis occurs as a result of wear and tear of joints. And rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition. In it, your immune system gets hyper-activated and attacks the linings of your joints, leading to their inflammation and damage. All this can damage your joints, making them swollen and painful. The pathogenesis for both health conditions differs. Treatment for both conditions also varies.
- Myth no 03- rheumatoid arthritis affects joints only.
Truth- rheumatoid arthritis attacks joints initially. However, as the disease progresses, it can affect other organs, such as the lungs, blood vessels, and heart.
A common symptom of rheumatoid arthritis is fatigue. People having it often complain about fatigue that exacerbates with flare.
- Myth no 04- exercise worsens rheumatoid arthritis.
Truth- exercise does not worsen rheumatoid arthritis. Instead doing it daily, can help calm down symptoms of arthritis, such as swollen and painful joints. However, if you feel like your pain exacerbates upon working out in the acute attack, it is better to refrain from working out.
- Myth no 05- side effects of rheumatoid arthritis can be too bad for your health, so do not take medications.
Truth- medications for rheumatoid arthritis may cause adverse effects, but your healthcare provider always prescribes them based on risk versus benefit ratio.
If you do not take medications for rheumatoid arthritis, it can lead to various complications such as anemia, coronary artery disease, loss of mobility, and osteoporosis.
Therefore you must take medications prescribed by your physician for rheumatoid arthritis on time in the same dose. Make sure you do not skip any doses as it can lead to exacerbation of symptoms.
- Myth no 06- if you feel well, you do not need to take medications.
Truth- rheumatoid arthritis is a condition of the immune system. Therefore if you leave-taking medications mid-way, it will affect the progress, in turn, leading to relapse of the disease.
Medications are given to suppress the hyperactivity of your immune system so that you do not get symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. But if you stop taking medications abruptly, the symptoms may exacerbate.
Your healthcare providers may lower the dose of medications and give them the lowest possible dose. But you will need to take medications for lifelong as rheumatoid arthritis is a long-lasting condition.
The Bottom Line
More than the disease of joints, rheumatoid arthritis is a disease of the immune system. Therefore it can affect your other organs too. You need to take medications for the long term if you are diagnosed with it.
If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you need to visit the healthcare provider frequently. To get an expert opinion, you can consult with a Rheumatologist in Islamabad.