Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease characterized by damage to small joints, mainly hands. It leads to changes in internal organs and systems. If the rheumatoid factor is detected in the blood, then seropositive rheumatoid arthritis is diagnosed. There is also a seronegative form, but it is much less common.



Causes

Seropositive rheumatoid arthritis is considered an autoimmune disease. The etiology of its development is not fully known.

Such factors contribute to the development of the disease:

  • herpes virus and other viral infections;
  • mycoplasma, various bacteria;
  • stress
  • hypothermia;
  • injuries and mechanical damage to articular joints;
  • allergy;
  • disruption of the endocrine system;
  • genetic predisposition.

Any of the above factors is perceived by the immune system as foreign, so the production of antibodies starts. Immunoglobulins cause inflammation of the joints.

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Symptoms

Seropositive arthritis is more common in women after the age of 35. During this period, the first symptoms appear. As a rule, the patient does not pay attention to them. The first signs may be mild pain in the articular joints.

Other symptoms:

  • weakness;
  • morning stiffness of movements in the joints of the arms or legs;
  • increased sweating and body temperature;
  • swelling in the joint;
  • weight loss.

This symptomatology is similar to a cold, and not with manifestations of rheumatism.

Arthritis is more often affected by the maxillofacial, ankle and hip joints, and destruction of the spine is possible.

Clinical signs depend on the stage of the disease. There are 3 stages:

  • Hidden or early stage.  The disease at the initial stage proceeds secretly. Arthritis develops earlier than the first symptoms appear, but the disease progresses rapidly. Six months later, the patient is diagnosed with seropositive rheumatoid polyarthritis, as several joints are involved in the process.
  • Expanded stage or rheumatoid arthritis 2 degrees. This stage lasts up to a year. The expanded phase is accompanied by symptoms of osteoporosis, deforming processes are triggered, which lead to subluxations, a change in the shape of the fingers, flat feet, and contractures.
  • Late.  This stage is established if more than 2 years have passed since the development of the disease. It is very difficult to treat this form since severe changes appear – bone erosion, a fusion of cartilage and bone structures, narrowing of the articular joints. As a result of this, a complete limitation of mobility is observed.



Diagnostics

At the initial stage, the diagnosis is made on the basis of a blood test. In plasma, rheumatoid factor is detected, C-reactive protein, hemoglobin is reduced, and ESR is increased.

At a later stage, articular changes are visible on x-rays. Informative is the puncture of the joint fluid.

Treatment

Treatment of seropositive rheumatoid arthritis is aimed at inhibiting the development of the pathological process and the development of complications.

Combined therapy includes:

  • medicines
  • physiotherapeutic procedures;
  • medical gymnastics ;
  • diet.

Seropositive rheumatoid arthritis is better treated than seronegative. With severe deformation of the articular joints, impaired movement, and other complications, the disease is treated only with surgical intervention.

With complete destruction of the joint, the following types of operations are used:

  • arthrodesis – manipulation of the fusion of articular joints;
  • synovectomy – excision of the synovial membrane;
  • endoprosthetic – replacement of the affected joint with an artificial prosthesis.

After surgery, a long recovery period is indicated.

Medicines

Drug therapy involves a decrease in the inflammatory process and relief of pain. Seropositive rheumatoid arthritis is treated with the following medications:

  • Steroidal and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. This is Diclofenac, Ibuprofen, Ketoprofen. You can choose systemic or topical preparations. In the acute stage, drugs are injected directly into the joint cavity.
  • Gold preparations.  This is Tauredon or Myocrisin.
  • Cytostatics. This is methotrexate, azathioprine.
  • Sulfonamides.  They have an antimicrobial effect. Sulfasalazine or salazopyridazine are effective.
  • Antimalarial drugs. Delagil or Plaquenil will do.

In severe cases of the disease, D-penicillamines, for example, Kineret or Humira, are prescribed. These drugs have a lot of contraindications and side effects, so they should be taken only after consulting a doctor.

Physical Education

To restore mobility and normal functioning of the articular joint, motor activity is important. Exercise therapy is selected by a specialist individually for each patient.

The exercises are simple, should not cause pain. The complex may look like this:

  • flexion, extension of the fingers and toes;
  • swing legs forward;
  • extension and bending of the arms at the elbows;
  • walking on the spot;
  • half squats with support;
  • hands apart;
  • exercise “scissors”.

You need to exercise regularly, do not miss gymnastics. If pain occurs, stop exercising.

Physiotherapy

Procedures are carried out only during the period of remission. In the acute phase, drug therapy is preferred. Effective:

  • magnetotherapy;
  • laser therapy;
  • acupuncture;
  • UHF;
  • cryotherapy;
  • massage;
  • mud therapy.

Folk methods

Seropositive rheumatoid arthritis can be treated with folk remedies, but only at the initial stage. Ointments, tinctures for rubbing and ingestion are used.

Effective means:

  • tincture of chestnut flowers;
  • turpentine ointment;
  • alcohol tincture of honey and radish juice for grinding;
  • decoction of wheat germ (suitable sprouts no more than 3 mm in height).

Possible prolonged use of these funds, since there are no contraindications.


Nutrition

With rheumatoid arthritis, it is important to follow a diet. Diet will not only increase the effectiveness of therapy but also allow the patient to improve their well-being.

Fatty, fried, spicy, and spicy foods should be excluded from the diet. It is better to cook steamed, stew or cook. The list of banned foods also includes whole milk, wheat, corn and oatmeal, citrus fruits, tomatoes, and potatoes.

When compiling a diet menu, it is important to monitor the body’s response to each product. If an exacerbation of the disease is observed, then it must be excluded from the diet.

Complications

With seropositive rheumatoid arthritis, not only articular joints are affected, changes occur throughout the body. Because of this, the disease is accompanied by such diseases:

  • lymphadenitis (swollen lymph nodes);
  • pleurisy (inflammatory lesion of the lungs);
  • myocardium, pericardium, endocardia;
  • vasculitis (systemic vascular disease);
  • enlarged liver and spleen;
  • eye damage (cataract, conjunctivitis, scleritis);
  • renal failure.

Arthritis is often accompanied by digestive upset.

There are also quite severe lesions of the articular joints, which can cause a patient’s disability. These are flat feet, synovitis, ankylosis, deformation of the fingers and feet.

Prevention

Since the true cause of the disease is unknown, preventive measures have not been developed. It is important to eliminate the effect of provoking factors. It is necessary to treat inflammatory joint diseases in time, abandon bad habits, and avoid hypothermia and stress.

To maintain the body’s defenses, you need to take vitamin-mineral complexes. This disease can quickly make a person disabled. You can slow down degenerative processes if you follow all the recommendations of a doctor.

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