Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a condition that results in joint inflammation and pain. It occurs when the immune system malfunctions and attacks the joint lining (called the synovium). Typically, the condition affects small joints hands, elbow, shoulders, knees, or ankles, with the same joint on both sides of the body. However, rheumatoid arthritis can occasionally affect other body sections, including the eyes, heart, circulatory system, and lungs.
Rheumatoid arthritis is diagnosed in a variety of ways
Clinical parameters: Multiple Joint pains, joint swellings, and stiffness around joints in early morning hours
Blood tests: A positive blood test for Rheumatoid Factor and Anti CCP antibodies. High ESR and CRP gives a clue about active inflammations
X-rays/Ultrasound/MRI Scans: Changes in the x-rays of the hands, which are characteristic of rheumatoid arthritis. To diagnose early in doubtful cases Ultrasound of Joints and MRI scans are extremely useful.
The Importance of Early Diagnosis and Treatment
EULAR (The European Alliance of Associations for Rheumatology) published guidelines emphasizing the vital need for early identification and treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. EULAR modified its procedures for early referral to a rheumatologist: If symptoms linger for more than six weeks, patients should seek care, and a rheumatologist should lead early management.
Additionally, the recommendations state that patients at risk of developing chronic arthritis should begin treatment with Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Medications (DMARDs) within three months after the onset of symptoms.
Dr. Ashish K Badika has 3 years of advanced training in Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology including 2 years Post Doctoral.
He has extensive exposure to Systemic Autoimmune Disorder (Rheumatoid arthritis, Psoriatic arthritis, Seronegative spondyloarthritis, Systemic lupus erythematosus, Scleroderma, Gout, Myositis, Sjogren’s Syndrome, Vasculitic conditions, and Paediatric rheumatology disorders).