Experts say rheumatoid arthritis can be stopped or reversed if treated early, but symptoms are often overlooked

Living Smart

Failure to act on early signs of rheumatoid arthritis could prove fatal: People are at risk of dying prematurely by not following the first signs of rheumatoid arthritis, doctors warned today.

Lameness causes swelling and pain in the joints, but these symptoms are often overlooked due to aging or minor ailments that bother GP.

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Studies of patients diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis have shown that, on average, they do not receive treatment for more than six months, and most of these delays are due to a lack of concern conceived with their GP.

Dr Karim Raza, the rheumatologist at Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS hospitals, said it is important to prevent the early symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis because it can be treated successfully if detected within three months.

“This disease doesn't just affect the joints. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis typically die 10 years earlier from early cardiovascular disease,” said Dr. Raza.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that damages the joints but also causes damage to other parts of the body. The disease affects 350,000 people in the UK and usually occurs between the ages of 30 and 50. Three times more women than men are affected. "The data shows that interventions during the first trimester can slow the disease very quickly and sometimes stop it," said Dr Raza. “There are also indications that fewer people can be killed if they are badly affected. "

The disease begins with inflammation of the joints of the fingers and the entire toe joint. The joints become stiff, unable to move, and eventually become very swollen. This condition is different from other types of arthritis in that it is stiff and the pain is most intense in the morning and subsides for up to a day.

“We need to educate the public about the severity of the disease so that they can get the treatment they need quickly, which can have a big impact on the outcome of the disease,” said Raza. Source

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