Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
It is a disease in which there is inflammation in multiple systems of the body primarily affecting the synovium (Covering of the bones) and the adjacent tissues.
There are multiple factors that are involved.
- Immunogenic factors (e.g. HLA-DRBI) are important in knowing the expression and progress of the disease. The combination of conserved amino acids sequence in the third hyper variable region of HLA-DRBI with a positive RA factor make the individual 13 times more vulnerable to develop bony erosions at the end of one year after the disease has started.
- Other factors: hormonal factors before menopause the incidence of RA is more in women. Remission of RA during pregnancy is common. The outcome of RA is very poor in the lower socio economic group.
- How RA starts: It starts after an event which triggers the immune system which leads to a series of intersecting immunological pathways which eventually lead to joint destruction. The proliferative synovial tissue erodes the cartilages and then the bone which leads to deformed joints. Due to this process the ligaments become lax; there is subluxation of the tendons and subsequently of the joints. There is also inflammation of the surrounding tissues in that region.
Presentation of RA:
It presents as acute inflammation of multiple joints (Polyarthritis) developing over a few days, weeks or months. There is pain in the joints and muscles before frank swelling of the joints develop. The disease starts in the joints of the fingers of the hands (Metacarpophalengeal joints) or the toes (Metatarsophalengeal joints) and the wrists. There is stiffness of the joints and swelling of the synovial tissue is a common feature.
The disease course:
- There are different ways in which RA can behave. Patients suffering from RA for more then 6months will develop progressive erosive joint disease which will lead to significant disability
- up to 10% suffer from acute episode and progressive disease,20% tend to suffer from an episode of inflammatory Polyarthritis and do not suffer further.
- Due to RA 50% of the individuals suffering from the disease are unable to work 10years after its onset and life expectancy is reduced by 5 years in women and 7 years in males. The high rate of mortality is due to cardiovascular disease.
The criteria to term a patient free from RA are:
A minimum of five of the following requirements are to be fulfilled for at least 2 consecutive months
- Morning stiffness lasting for less then 15 minutes
- No fatigue
- No joint pain
- No joint tenderness or pain on motion
- No swelling of the soft tissue in the joints or the tendon sheaths
- ESR less then 30 mm/hr in women and 20mm in males.
The factors that show poor prognosis of the disease are:
- Multiple joints are affected.
- Uncontrolled inflammation of multiple joints. (Polyarthritis)
- Structural damage deformity shown on X-ray films.
- Difficulty in movement
- Presence of nodules, vasculitis. (Inflammation of the veins.)
- Psychological factors, low socio economic conditions, employment requiring moderate to severe manual labor.
Types of presentation:
- Classical: pain stiffness and swelling of the small joints of the hands and wrists. Symptoms fluctuate in severity from day to day.
- Palindromic: Intermittent episodes of pain swelling and redness usually of single joints followed by rapid return to normalcy in several days.
- Systemic: weight loss, pleurisy and pericarditis with minimal joint involvement.
- Polymyalgic: pain and stiffness in the shoulders and hips with subsequent synovitits.
- Monoarthritic: Single joint involvement mainly in the knee.
- Acute onset: Sudden overnight onset with stiffness and pain.
- With generalized lymphadenopathy (Inflammation of the lymph nodes.)
The clinical criterion is that the disease must be present for a minimum of six weeks. The joints should feel hot, swollen and usually tender to touch. There should be generalized lymphadenopathy.
- Laboratory findings
- Increased ESR
- Increased WBC count
- Mild normocytic anemia
- Positive RA factor
- Positive antinuclear test
- Arthrocentecis of the synovial fluid shows it to be straw colored with increased neutrophils.
Role of Homeopathy in RA:
- As we know now that RA is a progressive disease and it can lead to severe disability and even death.The role of homeopathy lies in the fact that it can bring back the lost balance in the human body when it is in a diseased state. Homeopathic remedies act at the psycho neuro endocrinal axis. In other words it stimulates the human body which in turn will take care of the disease.
- So the first step in treating RA is a correct case history. Human body is a complex network and the human mind can play a major role in defining any disease. So we have to know the emotional nature in details all the events that have happened which have affected the patient have to be mentioned in details.
- The patients should give all the details avoiding any conflicts. As the homeopath believe to treat the man in disease and not the disease in man. The emotional aspect, intellectual attainments any conflicts have to be explained to the best of patient's ability. As it is important to know the causative factor that has brought in the present situation.
- Homeopathy acts on the fibrous tissue and joints, and stops the further erosion of the joint capsules and also stimulates the production of the synovial fluid that lubricates the joint spaces.
- Homeopathy works at the root cause of the disease and rectifies the immune system errors which in turn results in the reduction of inflammatory changes in the joints.
- Thus there is the reduction in the swelling ,pain and stiffness of the joints thereby restoring the natural mobility and movements.
- Homeopathy works on the root cause of the disease and unlike the pain killers that are usually prescribed by modern medicine Homeopathy gives long lasting results without any side-effects.
How Happy Livin will help you:
Dr. Joshi is a leading name in the field of Homeopathy who has around 16 years of experience in treating the patient in the classical way as intended by our Founder of Homeopathy, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann.
There is an attempt to bring the best quality of treatment at your doorstep.
A thorough case-taking is done at your convenience and after careful analysis of the same, the best quality Homeopathic medicines procured from Germany are delivered at your doorstep in a week's time along with certain health tips, dietary instructions to be followed according to the disease condition.