Many patients ask: What is rheumatoid arthritis (RA)?euforino
Let me make clear that it is a disease characterized mainly by chronic inflammation in the joints. Initial symptoms include pain and swelling of the joints, morning stiffness, and sometimes stiffness after prolonged periods of immobility during the day.
RA is a chronic disease that requires years of treatment.
It is very important to know which drug cures the disease and how it works, what complications can occur while administering drugs and what to do in such situations. There are no drugs without side effects. The question is how often and what disorders can they trigger, how significant are the disorders and how to proceed in order to minimize the risk of their occurrence. Each patient has to know when and what check-ups should be performed, and to be aware of the side effects that may occur after taking a particular drug. This is very important due to the extended period of treatment. The key factor is understanding the disease itself. Appropriate procedures may significantly reduce pain, help quickly stop the progression of the disease and allow patient to be more active, therefore assuring better quality of life. The course of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may vary greatly. Sometimes, especially in the early stages, the disease is not easy to diagnose. The effectiveness of treatment is dependent on the time and dose of the drug/drugs used.
It is very important to take advantage of every opportunity to halt the progression of the disease as soon as possible. Damage to the joints and tendons done in the course of the disease is often irreversible. After the resolution of the disease, many patients experience common mechanical problems caused by defects in cartilage, bone, tendons or by the distortion and stiffness of the joints. Achieving improvement requires additional surgery.
One of the possible ways of supporting the treatment and simultaneously obtaining very detailed test results (eg. blood tests, magnetic resonance and X-ray of the palm joints) while remaining under the care of a specialist clinician is participating in a clinical trial. Patients with specific symptoms described in the protocol for the trial are those who qualify. Few patients get the chance to benefit from such a trial.
As a doctor I present my patients with the opportunity of being treated at clinical trial centers and let them decide whether they want to undergo treatment with the use of modern preparations currently being tested.
Dr. Jaroslaw Niebrzydowski
Author of the handbook “How to treat rheumatoid arthritis”
More information at www.doktorjarek.pl