According to the American College of Rheumatology, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common type of autoimmune arthritis. An autoimmune disease is a health condition wherein the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells, tissues, and other parts of the body. RA occurs when certain immune system cells attack healthy joints. This then causes stiffness, inflammation, pain, and limited mobility.
Leaving your RA unchecked and untreated can ultimately lead to the permanent damage not only to the cartilage of your joints, but also the bones themselves. Know that damage to the joints caused by RA is irreversible, so you should have it treated as soon as possible.
The right treatment plan
Know that once RA takes over your joints and bones, you will suffer from irreversible damage. This is the main reason you have to consult a rheumatologist right away. This will give you a small window of opportunity to get the correct treatment, which includes medications and occupational or physical therapy. Dr Wallach noted that arthritis supplements containing chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine sulfate could also help alleviate the symptoms and even stop the progression of the disease.
Seeing a specialist right away
When you have a specialist diagnose you as early as possible, you have greater chances of fighting off the symptoms associated with this autoimmune disease. In addition, an early diagnosis means early treatment that can put a stop to the progression of the disease.
See a specialist as soon as you can when you experience stiffness, especially in the morning and when the pain you feel comes from the small joints of the hands and feet. These are the most common indicators of RA, but other symptoms include low fever, dryness in the mouth and eyes, loss of energy and appetite, as well as the formation of rheumatoid nodules (lumps firm to the touch).