Anyone can affect with arthritis at any time for a number of reasons and possibilities.
So, how can you tell that something is wrong, other than the severe pain that you experience when you use joints, muscles and move around?
If you suspect that your condition is arthritis, you need to be diagnosed with your condition.
Rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis involves the following procedure:
- Discussion of your problem with your practitioner
- Physical examination
- Your medical history and questions
- Conducting some tests by medical specialist
- Details about the type of arthritis pain and symptoms, history of the pain when the condition starts and ends
- How bad is your condition, which number of joints are affected, how long your pain exists, what makes your condition worsen and what makes it better
Rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis is completed after conducting some confirmation tests. They include:
- Screening blood test
- Test for rheumatoid factor, antinuclear factor (ANF), extractable nuclear antigen and specific antibodies
- Radiographs or X-rays
When it comes to rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis, here are some examples what you might come across or to be diagnosed:
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Crohn’s disease
- Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF)
- Henoch-schonlein purpura
- HIDS (hyperimmunoglobulinemia D periodic fever syndrome)
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Juvenile arthritis
- Multiple myeloma
- Hypertrophic pulmonary osteoarthropathy – lung cancer
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Reactive arthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Septic arthritis
- SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus)
- Still’s disease
- TRAPS (TNF-alpha receptor associated periodic fever syndrome)
- Vasculitis syndromes
- Wegener’s granulomatosis
- Each one of these illnesses has its own identity and treatment. Discuss your problem with your physician to clarify and get the best possible treatment that you possibly can.
The American college of rheumatoid has defined the following criteria for rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis:
- Arthritis and soft-tissue swelling of >3 of 14 joints/joint groups
- Arthritis of hand joints
- Morning stiffness of >1 hour.
- Radiological changes suggestive of joint erosion
- Rheumatoid factor at a level above the 95th percentile
- Subcutaneous nodules in specific places
- Symmetric arthritis
At least 4 of the above criteria have to be met for formal rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis.
After the rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis, the next stage you need to enter is treatment.
Most common treatments for rheumatoid arthritis include:
- Joint injections
- Diet change
- Hyperbaric oxygen
- Nutritional supplements
- Immune-strengthening alternative therapies
- Anti-cytokine medication
- Weight loss
- Nutritional counseling, habits
- Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), anti-inflammatory agents and analgesics for PAIN relief
- Occupational therapy
- Aides, utilities and assistance type tools to improve hard movements
- Infra-red sauna
- Steps and modifications in posture, walking, activity, etc. to minimize stiffness, swelling, pain and all arthritic flare-ups
- Joint replacement surgery
- Eastern and Naturopathic Approaches
Among these treatments, eastern and naturopathic approaches are increasingly becoming more accepted and explored. In this way proper rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis helps in treating your condition effectively.