Latest Research on Rheumatoid Arthritis
This article's purpose is to present some essential information about rheumatoid arthritis (RA), including the latest research on this often debilitating disease that affects millions of people around the world. We will explore various aspects of RA by asking and answering a series of questions. After reading this article, you'll have a good understanding of not only what RA is but what scientists are doing to find better ways to treat it.
What is RA's root cause?
RA is an autoimmune condition. That means RA occurs when the immune systems attack body tissue. However, no one knows yet what triggers such an attack. Your immune system typically makes antibodies that attack viruses and antibodies to fight infection.
What's it like to have RA pain?
Rheumatoid arthritis pain is usually a throbbing and aching pain in the joints. The pain is often worse after a period of inactivity and in the mornings.
What are the four stages of RA progression?
The four stages of RA progression are:
Stage 1: Early RA Stage 2: Antibodies Develop and Swelling Worsens Stage 3: Symptoms Are Visible Stage 4: Joints Become Fused
Is there a way to lower your rheumatoid factor (RF)?
An antibody found in the blood that can trigger inflammation that may cause joint damage is called the rheumatoid factor. New medical evidence shows that finding RF in a patient's blood is not required for a doctor to diagnose RA.
Doing exercise works best to lower your RA factor. You can do targeted stretches, and some dynamic, low-stress forms of exercise can also benefit people who have RA. Doing activities such as cycling or swimming can help strengthen the muscles around any affected joints. Exercises such as these help reduce the overall impact on the joints and slow the progression of RA.
What is severe RA?
If a person has many painful and swollen joints, the disease may be more severe. Swollen joints and joint pain are symptoms that are characteristic of RA. These symptoms are an essential way to measure the severity of the disease, according to rheumatologists.
What research is underway for a new drug treatment for RA?
People who have RA could soon benefit from a new type of drug. This new drug regimen not only suppresses inflammation but also significantly reduces the pain scores reported by patients. Otilimab is a biologic drug that's a monoclonal antibody. It works by targeting and stopping GM-CSF, an inflammatory cytokine. The new class of drugs called biologics, such as Otilimab, has revolutionized RA care.
A study of five doses of Otilimab (22·5 mg, 45 mg, 90 mg, 135 mg, or 180 mg) compared to a placebo evaluated the effects on RA on 222 patients who had active RA RA. Each of the study participants received weekly subcutaneous injections for five weeks. After the initial 5-week period, the frequency of injections changed to every other week for one year. The study measured a range of patient-reported outcomes for pain and function. The use of Otilimab led to a rapid reduction in swollen and tender joints. Patients involved in the study also experienced very significant improvements in their pain scores.
What are the newest drugs for RA pain that are currently available?
The newest RA drugs are the Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors, which are Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved and sold under the brand names of Olumiant, Xeljanz, and Rinvoq.
In addition to the three drugs mentioned above, this class of JAK inhibitors includes Simponi, Rituxan, Remicade, Orencia, Kineret, Humira, and Enbrel. It's important to note that self-injection or intravenous infusion are the methods used to receive these drugs, including in a hospital or a doctor's office.
What drug is currently considered the safest for treating RA?
Hydroxychloroquine is an antimalarial drug that's a well-tolerated agent for treating RA. Another antimalarial agent called Chloroquine is also sometimes used.
What organs of the body are affected by RA?
Because RA is a chronic inflammatory disorder, it can affect more than joints. RA can damage a wide variety of body systems in some people, including blood vessels, eyes, skin, lungs, blood vessels, and the heart.
If you have RA, what foods should you avoid?
You should avoid eating these foods:
- Grilled, broiled, or fried meats (and other fried foods)
- Fatty foods full of omega-6 fatty acids
- Sugars and refined carbohydrates
- Preservatives and flavor enhancers
How can RA be permanently treated?
There is currently no cure for rheumatoid arthritis. But the results of clinical studies show that if treatment begins early using medications known as disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), the remission of symptoms is more likely.
What are the best supplements and vitamins, backed by clinical trials, that help relieve RA pain?
Many people use supplements. However, science hasn't always kept up with the popularity of supplements. But the good news is the testing of more natural medicines in clinical trials.
The following nine supplements are backed by science and have shown effectiveness in treating -related conditions such as RA and osteoarthritis (OA).
- Boswellia Serrate (Indian frankincense)
- Capsaicin (Capsicum frutescens)
- Turmeric/Curcumin (Curcuma longa)
- Avocado-soybean Unsaponifiables (ASU)
- Cat’s Claw (Uncaria tomentosa)
- Fish Oil (Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA)
- Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA)
- Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
What's the difference between RA and OA?
OA is more common than RA, with both involving inflammation in the joints. However, RA's inflammation is much greater than that of OA.
Can you have both OA and RA?
Yes, you can have both RA and OA because a previous joint injury can lead to both diseases. However, you are more likely to develop OA as you age.
What is the best anti-inflammatory diet?
A good anti-inflammatory diet should include these foods:
- Olive oil
- Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, and collards
- Nuts like almonds and walnuts
- Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines
- Fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges
What is the best natural method to treat RA?
These are the best natural ways to treat RA:
- Essential oils. Since ancient times, essential oils and aromatherapy such as frankincense and myrrh have been used
- Herbal tea
- Physical therapy (PT)
- Infrared heat therapy and LED light therapy
- Biofeedback and meditation
What is end-stage RA?
End-stage RA is an advanced stage of the disease. In the absence of ongoing inflammation, there is severe joint damage and destruction.
What are the warning signs that your RA is getting worse?
You should watch out for these five warning signs:
- The number of swollen, painful joints you have
- Rheumatoid factor (RF) blood test results
- Anti-citrullinated peptide antibody (ACPA) blood test result
- Imaging test results
- Your perception of your quality of life
What is the life expectancy of someone who has RA?
In general, if someone has RA, it may lower that person's life expectancy by 10 to 15 years, although many people continue to live beyond 80 or even 90 years old with their symptoms.
Is a cure for RA close to being discovered?
RA is a tricky disease, and no one knows what causes it. Although there's no cure yet for this autoimmune condition, it definitely can be treated. RA is a prevalent problem, but not all forms of the disease are alike.
Hopefully, this article provided you with a good understanding of various vital aspects of RA. Scientists from throughout the world are conducting ongoing research to find the best methods to treat RA. This has already resulted in the development of new drugs that show great promise as a more effective treatment of RA. Thus, all signs point to significant progress in finding better ways to treat RA, a severe disease that causes suffering to millions worldwide.
Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes only. It represents the informed opinions of the author based on extensive data gathering. It is not professional medical advice. If you need assistance in dealing with RA, or any other illness, visit a medical professional.