Dealing with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic inflammatory disorder that affects a lot of tissues and organs but usually has the largest effect on a person’s joints. The disorder usually becomes more prevalent in older age, with the majority of cases diagnosed between the ages of 40 and 60, and is known to affect women three times more often than men.

Much research has been conducted into the risks of rheumatoid arthritis and recent research has shed light on a new danger sufferers may face. The Swedish study has shown that those with rheumatoid arthritis are at greater risk of having serious health issues due to blood clots.

Among those that don’t suffer from rheumatoid arthritis there is a 2.7% risk of developing a specific type of blood clot, whereas those with the condition are at a 5.9% risk. With this in mind, we take a look at exactly what risks the condition poses and how you can deal with the condition.

Risks

Rheumatoid arthritis main symptom is an inflammation of the synovial membrane that surrounds joints and tendons. This can lead to incredibly painful stiffness in and around joints as well as a great deal of tenderness, making it incredibly sore to move around or perform everyday tasks. Rheumatoid arthritis also poses a number of risks to other organs, such as the lungs and kidneys. Though these afflictions aren’t as common, they can have a hugely detrimental effect on your overall health and quality of life.

How to Help

One of the best ways to help with rheumatoid arthritis is by adapting your home and lifestyle to meet the demands of the condition. This means changing the way you move around the home, how much stress you put on your joints and how much rest and recuperation time you need.

Many people opt to install features like disabled showers, which are designed to reduce the amount of stretching and clambering required to get in or out of the bath and shower. The spaces are also often fitted with hand rails for additional support and safety.

It’s also important to remember the importance of sleep while dealing with rheumatoid arthritis. Most experts suggest that you should be having anywhere between seven and nine hours of sleep a night.

However, if you regularly feel tired or lacking in energy, it is a good idea to have a fifteen or twenty minute nap, just to recharge the batteries. It may also be necessary to change the way you go about everyday activities, minimising the amount of strain being placed on sore joints. Make sure you don’t carry heavy loads, take the weight off your feet regularly and give yourself plenty of relaxation time!