Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is delicate and often an analogy to other arthritis diseases. Early symptoms include minor joint pain, stiffness, and fatigue, but they are often associated with other, less problematic causes. For example, sometimes the symptoms will resemble flu, making it difficult to detect RA. In this article, we will consider methods for diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis. Diagnostic Methods for Rheumatoid Arthritis
However, people will usually experience the effects of RA in their smallest joints in the first place, such as the fingers and toes. The earliest signs of the disease:
- Joint pain.
- The formation of nodules.
- Inadvertent weight loss.
If the doctor suspects that the patient has RA, he will refer the patient to a rheumatologist for further testing. A rheumatologist is a medical professional who specializes in the musculoskeletal system and autoimmune diseases and is specially trained to handle the diagnosis and treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and other diseases, arthritis (e.g., psoriatic arthritis, seronegative rheumatoid arthritis and Felty’s syndrome).
Tests conducted by a rheumatologist to determine the presence of RA include:
Family History: A rheumatologist will first ask the patient’s medical history to find out if there is RA or other arthritis diseases in their family. Many scientists believe that having a particular gene increases the chances of developing RA, and they also believe that a gene can be inherited.
History of pain and joint research: a rheumatologist can better understand the progression of the disease if he or she knows the patient’s recent and current symptoms. This is why it is so important to keep accurate records of pain and other symptoms in order to ensure a correct diagnosis. As soon as the rheumatologist understands the patient’s medical history, a physical examination is performed on the joints. A physical examination can tell the rheumatologist about the progression of RA and what organ it affects. If rheumatoid arthritis begins to develop in the joints, the patient will often show signs of sensitivity to tenderness, swelling, warmth, and painful or restricted movement.
Blood tests: blood chemistry can tell a rheumatologist very much about inflammation levels, which makes him a good determinant of rheumatoid arthritis. In other words, if certain antibodies are present in the blood, there is a high probability that a person has RA. One of these antibodies is known as rheumatoid factor or RF. Rheumatoid factor is a protein that attacks healthy tissue. Thus, if a blood test shows that a rheumatoid factor is present, there is an 80% chance that the patient will develop RA or another inflammatory disease. Other blood counts include erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), tumor necrosis level – alpha or C – reactive protein (CRP), as they all can indicate the presence and level of inflammation in the body.
Image scanning: joint damage can be detected using image tests, these are useful diagnostic methods for rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatologists use x-rays, ultrasounds, and magnetic resonance imaging to examine the joints and determine if RA is the cause of erosion. However, damage will not always have a positive diagnosis of RA if the disease is at an early stage.
No test can determine if a person has rheumatoid arthritis. Rather, rheumatologists use a combination of tests for an accurate diagnosis. If diagnosed, the patient will work with a rheumatologist to create a treatment plan that matches his or her needs and the current stage of RA. Essential oils for rheumatoid arthritis .
Stages of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis most often develops as a progressive disease, which means that over time it will become more aggressive. However, this is not always the case, since it can also appear in other types of progressions.
Monocyclic progression (sometimes called remission) is an episode of RA with symptoms that last only 2 to 5 years. Monocyclic progression is usually the result of early diagnosis and immediate aggressive treatment to ensure that symptoms do not return.
Polycyclic progression (sometimes called intermittent) is a constant relapse of the symptoms and outbreaks of RA but in the vibrational stages. With polycyclic progression, patients can go through long periods of time without any symptoms, but outbreaks usually return.
Diagnostic Methods for Rheumatoid Arthritis