Modern medicine knows many varieties of joint diseases that occur with varying degrees of severity and various symptoms. Seronegative rheumatoid arthritis is characterized by the fact that, unlike the usual rheumatoid variety of the disease, it does not produce the formation of rheumatoid factor in blood tests, which is considered one of the main markers of the disease. This problem is common enough and affects about a quarter of all people with rheumatoid arthritis. The synovial connective membranes of the joints become inflamed due to various disorders of the immune system or the presence of a genetic predisposition. To begin effective treatment, you need to see a doctor as soon as possible and go through all the prescribed examinations.
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Features of the disease
Rheumatoid seronegative arthritis has several differences during development from other varieties of the disease.
- The disease develops much faster and sharper than other forms.
- The onset of the disease is often accompanied by fever, fever or chills.
- The lymph nodes are noticeably enlarged.
- The patient noticeably loses weight
- The muscles atrophy.
- Anemia develops.
- Most often, at first, the disease affects only one joint, then it spreads to others, but not symmetrical. First, these are large joints, then the wrists, wrist joints, and feet.
- Unlike other varieties, this type of arthritis rarely causes stiff movements in the morning, as well as rheumatoid nodules under the skin, visceritis. But the increase in peripheral lymph nodes is much more common.
- Destruction and deformation of joints (especially brushes) and destructive changes develop to a lesser extent than in the case of other types of arthritis. However, the destruction of the pelvic joints is harder (before necrosis), and there is also a limited movement in the elbows and hands.
- Seronegative arthritis, as a rule, is not very difficult, and doctors give more favorable prognoses than with other forms of the disease.
- If the disease is not stopped, kidney damage develops.
- The formation of contractures is characteristic.
- During the year, patients develop symmetrical polyarthritis.
Stages of the disease and diagnosis
If the patient goes to the doctor at an early stage of the disease, then at first he can only detect periarticular osteoporosis. The doctor will reveal a narrowing of the connecting slots. Then bone erosion develops. In the future, arthropathy with ankylosis of the arms and legs is observed. Despite the fact that other forms of arthritis are even more dangerous, in this case, it is also very important to start treatment as early as possible in order to prevent the development of more severe phases of the disease. Of course, any treatment should begin with the correct diagnosis. When studying the tests, not only the absence of a rheumatoid factor is detected, but also a lower increase in ESR and other markers of inflammation in comparison with other varieties of arthritis. X-rays show minor changes in small joints and severe deformations of large joints of bones, as well as asymmetric erosion placement.
When starting treatment for an ailment, you need to understand that rheumatoid arthritis of the seronegative type is extremely poorly treated with basic drugs and immunosuppressants. Quite often, their use simply does not produce noticeable and quick results. In addition, arthritis is sometimes complicated by the fact that protein metabolism is impaired. Another important point: when taking penicillamine, side effects may occur. Otherwise, the therapy is the same as with any rheumatoid arthritis. Treatment will necessarily include:
- Active anti-inflammatory drugs. These are, first of all, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Often they can be supplemented with glucocorticoid drugs.
- Cyclosporin. This drug leads to an improvement in the patient’s condition, inhibits the development of the disease, slows down the treatment of cell division. Rheumatologists borrowed this tool from oncology. It must be borne in mind that the drug is canceled if, after sixteen weeks of use, there is no improvement, as well as if side effects (kidney problems, hypertension, headaches, digestive system disorders, and also hypertrichosis) are manifested.
- Sulfanilamide preparations. They are antimicrobial agents, well tolerated by patients, have almost no side effects and complications. The only drawback of these drugs is the slow development of the effect of the treatment.
- Immunosuppressive drugs, in particular D-penicillamine. These are effective, but rather toxic drugs, often giving adverse reactions. Without his help, it is often not possible to defeat a disease when it has already affected the lungs with a heart.
- A course of physiotherapy that helps relieve pain, restore joint mobility, improve the general condition of the patient.
- Massage sessions. This measure helps to improve blood circulation, restore muscle tone, and tidy up the patient’s nervous system.
- Physiotherapy. It is prescribed by a doctor and is indispensable for bringing the patient to normal. Specially selected exercises make it possible to strengthen muscles with ligaments, normalize blood circulation, metabolism, prolong periods of remission and prevent the disease from returning to the acute stage.
- Sanatorium and resort events. It is better to spend it every year. Most often, mud treatments, special baths, physiotherapy sessions are prescribed, a special diet is developed with a high content of vitamins and minerals. Many patients prefer to visit institutions for these purposes in Odessa, Saki, Sochi, Pyatigorsk.
- If conventional therapy does not work, doctors resort to the last resort: surgery. This is a partial or complete replacement of the affected joint with an artificial prosthesis made of ceramic, plastic or iron.
If the patient fulfills all the requirements and recommendations of the attending specialist, most often the prognosis will be positive. This ailment is an extremely serious inflammatory disease, causing severe suffering and inconvenience to a person, limiting his capabilities and turning him into a disabled person. In addition, it is quite difficult to treat and requires a special approach. Previously, seeking help and correctly selected therapy will not allow serious complications to appear and will return to the patient the opportunity to lead a familiar lifestyle.
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