What is Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)?
According to Arthritis Australia, RA is an autoimmune disease which can cause pain and swelling in joints. The usual function of our immune system is to fight off infections thereby keeping the body healthy, but in the case of RA, the immune system begins to attack the lining of joints.
How RA affects the Joints?
When our immune system begins to attack the lining of the joint it essentially is stripping away healthy tissue which acts to safeguard your joints, much like cartilage helps to protect your bones from rubbing against each other. Joints can become extremely painful, inflamed and stiff and in later stages deformity may occur.
Can RA affect other parts of the body?
Unfortunately, RA is not limited to just affecting joints. Research has shown that RA is indeed a systemic disease. This means it can distress various parts of the body, both because of it’s damaging nature but also because of the side effects from drugs used to treat the disease. The following are areas of the body that can also be affected by RA;
- Skin – Rheumatoid nodules or lumps of tissue can occur under the skin, as well as rashes and skin ulcers
- Bones – Chronic inflammation of joints can lead to a loss of bone density which can lead to brittle and thin bones
- Eyes – Inflammation of the whites of the eyes can occur which can cause pain, redness and blurred vision. In extreme cases Uveitis may occur which is inflammation between the retina and whites of the eye which if left untreated can result in blindness
- Lungs – Severe prolonged inflammation of lung tissue can cause pulmonary fibrosis which interferes with breathing and can become difficult to treat
- Heart – Chronic inflammation of endothelial cells that line blood vessels can cause these vessels to absorb more cholesterol and form plaques which greatly increases the chance of heart attacks and strokes
How to treat RA
To treat RA is dependent on the extent that the disease has spread through one’s joints. If diagnosed in its early stages, RA can be aggressively treated which may slow down or stop the damage completely. According to Chief Rheumatologist Stuart Kaplan, the main goal of RA treatment is to stop inflammation, slow the damage and decrease the rate of progression. This can be achieved with disease-modifying-anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) which help to control the diseases and eventually promote remission. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and corticosteroids can also help to ease pain, stiffness and inflammation. If left untreated, RA can cause permanent long-term damage as its aggressive nature actually eats away at joints which cannot be reversed.
Inflammation and swelling are the primary afflictions that RA sufferers experience on a day to day basis and is often the root cause of the pain and discomfort. There are various medications, mostly ingestible, that people can take in order to combat pain and lower inflammation.
Bexters Soda Crystals are a natural alternative to help relieve swelling and inflammation of joints and do not require ingesting. The hygroscopic (ability to attract water molecules) nature of the crystals when combined with our purpose made application wraps can significantly reduce the affects of swelling and greatly increase the chance of pain relief and lowered inflammation.
Head to our RA Page for more information about Rheumatoid Arthritis and the natural benefits Bexters offers.