At BioMagnetic we have many customers who suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). We wanted to go over some of the rheumatoid arthritis treatments and what can be done to avoid joint damage in your day to day life.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory disease that causes pain and swelling in the joints. It affects approximately 456,00 Australians (1.9 percent of the total Australian adult population), and is one of the most common types of arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is most common in people aged 75 years or over. In some patients, RA leads to joint damage and disability. There is no known cause or cure for RA.
There are many different types of arthritis, however rheumatoid arthritis is exceptionally debilitating chronic disease due to the inflamed joints and stiff joints.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a common form of inflammatory arthritis. It occurs when the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues instead of foreign invaders. This attack damages the lining of the joints, causing swelling, stiffness, and pain.
Unfortunately, for people suffering from RA, there is no known cure.However, recent research has shown promising results from using stem cells to treat RA. Stem cell therapy involves injecting adult stem cells into damaged areas of the body. Adult stem cells are found naturally in our bodies and are capable of regenerating other types of tissue. They also have the potential to repair damaged tissue and restore function.
How is rheumatoid arthritis diagnosed?
Diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis can be difficult because many different illnesses can cause the same symptoms.
Diagnoses usually starts with a physical examination by your GP to assess the state of your joints, if there is any existing joint damage and . Your GP will ask you about your symptoms, your medical history and family history. It is important to tell your GP all of your symptoms even if you think they are unrelated.
RA can affect people with rheumatoid arthritis in so many different ways, that you may not realise it is being caused by the autoimmune disease.
Once your GP suspects you may be a person with rheumatoid arthritis, they will send you to confirm with a range of blood tests. Blood tests can not definitively verify if you have RA, however there are a few key markers that can be seen in blood cells.
You may then go on to scan the joints to find out how severe your RA is.
Thankfully through this whole process there are little to no common side effects with the process so if nothing else you are ruling out RA as a possible cause of your symptoms.
Has anyone cured their rheumatoid arthritis?
In short, no, no-one has been "cured" from their rheumatoid arthritis that we know of, but the auto immune disease may go into remission through various treatments. RA cannot be cured, but it may be controlled through medication and natural therapies. Early and aggressive treatment with disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs and biologics has made it easier than ever to achieve long-term control for patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
Sometimes, your healthcare provider may suggest you try to stop your medicine completely. The hope is that you can stay in remission without RA meds. Some people can. For others, symptoms eventually come back.
Is there a best treatment of rheumatoid arthritis?
The answer to that is complex and specific to every individual suffering from RA however here are some of the most common medical treatments and natural treatments to improve quality of life. Finding the right effective treatments for you with your healthcare provider is the best course of action to avoid any adverse effects and common side effects.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can be used to treat RA.
- Physical activity or exercise is also helpful in treating inflammatory conditions and strengthening joint tissue.
- Corticosteroids may help with inflammation.
- Methotrexate is often prescribed to control RA symptoms. There can be adverse effects associated with every medication so be sure to discuss this with your doctor.
- Complementary treatments such as massage, acupressure, magnetic therapy products or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) may be helpful for reducing your joint discomfort but they won't reduce the injury to your joints and shouldn't replace your prescription medication.
- A healthy diet and balanced diet, sometimes including fish oil supplements, if your healthcare provider agrees.
- Some rheumatoid arthritis patients use alternative therapies such as plant oils.
- Occupational therapy can be an excellent way for patients with rheumatoid arthritis to seek treatment. Make sure to find one referred by your healthcare provider.
Is rheumatoid arthritis considered a disability in Australia?
Yes, fortunately, rheumatoid arthritis is recognised as a disability in Australia, so it is covered by the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), which covers up to $20,000 per year for eligible individuals who need support because of a physical disability.
This chronic disease is gaining more awareness each year which will hopefully lead to more funding.
Can you live a good life with rheumatoid arthritis symptoms?
Yes, people with rheumatoid arthritis can live a good life. There are several things you should do to help yourself cope with the disease and increase your quality of life.
- Be honest about how you feel
- Don't try to hide your joint symptoms from others, even though it is very tempting to act like you are "fine".
- Learn to accept the limitations imposed by RA. Accepting this can help you manage your symptoms much better because you learn how far is too far.
- Find ways to relax and reduce stress, whatever you love doing that helps calm your mind, make time for it.
- Talk to other people who have RA or other Chronic Pain conditions through groups like this one >> Chronic Pain Support Australia.
- Keep active, this is a very difficult one but studies have shown that physical activity when suffering from RA may help reduce your symptoms. And it may also help reduce future symptoms. You can use mobility aids such as a Back Support.
- Weight loss, if you are overweight, the extra kilos can make it harder for you to stay mobile and move your joints.
- Eat healthy food, this seems like a given but when you are in pain, sometimes diet takes a back seat. Try to surround yourself with healthy options to make it easier when you want to snack. Diet may directly effect the inflammatory process and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
- Deep Breathing. This may sound ridiculous but it is something small that we can control that has a big effect on our mental health and body.
- Avoid alcohol. Overloading the liver with excessive alcohol consumption can damage the liver. The liver also filters many medications that people use to treat RA. Taking alcohol with these drugs can increase a person's risk of liver damage.
- Use medication wisely with the guidance of your healthcare provider.
- Seek medical advice whenever you need it and follow your healthcare provider treatment plan. A physical examination that leads to Diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis can help you navigate your plan. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis should find a doctor they can trust, this can take time but it is worth it for your long term health.
How long does it take for RA to damage joints?
Rheumatoid arthritis damages the joints slowly, usually starting around age 40. The symptoms include pain, stiffness, fatigue, and swelling. There is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, but medications can help ease some of the symptoms and help with the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
Many people suffering from RA have mild symptoms for years without realising what is happening or causing the stiffness and/or pain in their joints. A lot of people with RA think that it is just part of getting older and ignore the pain, this is why it is important see your health care provider as soon as possible.
What are some practical exercises to help with treatment of rheumatoid arthritis?
Practical exercise and physical activity helps to reduce pain and inflammation, and improves mobility.
Exercise also increases muscle strength and endurance, which reduces fatigue and improves balance.
Walking is one of the simplest, cheapest and easy to start exercises that you can do because you can do it almost anywhere, on any budget and you can start small and work your way up.
The best way to start exercising is to walk for 30 minutes at least three times per week. If you cannot do that, then try walking briskly for 20 minutes three times per week.
Everyone is different and experiences this autoimmune disease differently too, keep that in mind and ease into exercise. The main thing is to persevere so don't push yourself too hard that you quit, if you are just starting out.
How old can you live with rheumatoid arthritis?
This is a bit of a scary question but of course it is one that many people with an RA diagnosis are more than likely asking themselves.
RA can shorten your life expectancy by an average of 10 years compared to people who don't have the disease. But people with RA are living longer than ever before. Though the disease may still affect life expectancy, it doesn't have as much impact as it did in the past.
The earlier you can catch it with your healthcare provider the more of a chance you have at avoiding permanent damage and mitigating the pain associated with the disease.
Are there signs and common symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Yes, there are many common symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis, some of these are listed below:
- Joint pain in multiple joints.
- Swelling of the hands and feet.
- Painful joints.
- Swollen joints.
- Weight gain.
- Morning stiffness.
- Difficulty sleeping.
- Decreased joint function.
- Daily activities become difficult.
- Damage to joints.
What advancements are being done in Australia to combat Rheumatoid Arthritis?
It's not all doom and gloom, much is being done in Australia to develop new treatments everyday and save healthy tissue from future joint damage.
Such as a new nerve treatment invented by Melbourne researchers at the Bionics Institute which is bringing hope to people with rheumatoid arthritis.
The technology is the size of a thumbnail and it could replace drug treatments for thousands of people who suffer from pain and inflammation caused by RA.
Some patients with rheumatoid arthritis will eventually have a hip replacement or knee replacement, while this is a last resort, it is good to know that most people who have this procedure have an excellent success rate.
The long-term outcome is of course to find a cure but in the mean time those suffering from this autoimmune disease can manage their pain with over the counter medication, natural therapies such as magnetic therapy.
Your RA Journey
Where ever you are in your rheumatoid arthritis journey, whether it be a new diagnosis, you think you may be experiencing RA symptoms, or you are a seasoned veteran, it is great to keep your eye on new therapies and methods that can improve your quality of life.
We encourage you to reach out to our friendly staff at www.biomagnetic.co to find out what products may help you on your journey. Keep in mind you can try all of our products risk free with our Money Back Policy.
Bionics Institute: https://www.bionicsinstitute.org/news-and-events/melbourne-invention-brings-new-hope-for-rheumatoid-arthritis/
Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/rheumatoid-arthritis/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20353653
NHS UK: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/rheumatoid-arthritis/treatment/