By Neepa Sevak
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease expressed by a chronic, inflammatory disorder affecting the synovial membranes of multiple joints of the body. The inflamed joint lining, the synovium, can damage the bone and cartilage. The involved joint can lose its shape and alignment, resulting in pain and loss of movement. Rheumatoid arthritis is more common in women than in men. It is generally seen between the ages of 20 and 50. But it can also affect very young children and adults older than age 50. It has a number of special features that make it different from other kinds of arthritis. For example, rheumatoid arthritis usually occurs in a symmetrical pattern. This means that if one knee or hand is involved, the other one is also involved. The disease often affects the wrist joints and the finger joints closest to the hand. It can also affect other parts of the body besides the joints. Another feature of rheumatoid arthritis is that it varies a lot from person to person. For some people, it lasts only a few months or a year or two and goes away without causing any obvious damage. Other people have mild or moderate disease symptoms, with periodical variation. Still others have severe disease that is active most of the time, lasts for many years, and leads to serious joint damage and disability.
Causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis
The cause of rheumatoid arthritis is not yet known. It is known as an autoimmune disease, and most people have an inherited tendency for the disease. The disease itself is not inherited, but certain genes that build the susceptibility are inherited. People who have inherited these genes will not essentially develop rheumatoid arthritis. But they may have more of a tendency to do so than others. The severity of their disease may also depend on the genes inherited. Possible hormone deficiencies or changes in certain hormones may also promote the development of rheumatoid arthritis in a genetically susceptible person.
Common Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Inflammation in one or more joints
- Generalized aching and stiffness of the joints especially after sleep or after rest
- Symmetrical pattern that is if one knee is affected, the other one is also affected
- Constant or recurring pain or tenderness in a joint
- Difficulty using or moving a joint normally
- Loss of strength in muscles attached to the affected joints
- Warmth and redness in a joint
- Low grade fever, fatigue, a general sense of not feeling well
- Deformity of the joints as time goes by
- Symptoms in other parts of the body besides the joint
Conventional treatment consists of anti-inflammatory drugs and corticosteroids. Although these give temporary relief, the body’s requirements for these go on increasing. Long term use of these medicines can cause plenty of side-effects, whereas the use of homeopathic medication has no side effects as they are non-toxic and harmless. As in almost all cases of rheumatoid arthritis, if lowered immunity is the cause, constitutional homeopathic treatment will elevate the level of immunity leading to lasting results. It will also prevent further deterioration of your joints, and also very effectively, reduce the intensity, frequency and duration of the pain. The inflammation and stiffness will reduce and the degree of functioning and mobility of the joints will improve. Above all, it will improve a person’s physical and mental sense of well being and ability to function. Homeopathy being an individualized therapy constitutional approach of homeopathy will free the patient from the continual dependency on allopathic drugs and gradually even stop the need of the drugs.