Rheumatoid Arthritis – Additional Risks – a common word in the world of medicine but at times taken lightly – it is a disease which can spread too many parts of your body – and most people are not aware of the consequences. They hear those common words from their doctor and shrug their shoulders as if they were told they had the beginning of the flu.
Mind you, it is not, on its’ own a fatal disease, yet once you have the diagnosis there are many things you should be aware of; it is a chronic disease and can shorten your life span if you are afflicted by systemic inflammation which is directly related to rheumatoid arthritis.
Additional things to be aware of when diagnosed – you are at a risk for infection, metabolic disease, atherosclerosis, and cardiovascular disease.
Let’s begin with cardiovascular disease the most common cause of death for those diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis due to the risk of a heart attack or stroke. Experts have found out nearly forty percent of patients who experience a stroke or heart attack have RA. It has been known for years that RA can cause inflammation to the heart; this gives the patient higher odds for complications. If you have had RA for at least ten years, the odds climb – noted experts.
As important is the fact – if you have RA and systemic inflammation: abnormal levels of fat in the blood, insulin resistance, high levels of homocysteine in your blood, prone to blood clots, and your immune systems T-cell is activated – you probably will be told you have inflammation. (Systemic)
Women are less likely to report any problems with chest pain, and men are not always willing to give up this information, even to their doctor. Now let us add the patients with RA – who tend to accept the diagnosis and ignore important issues, like chest pain. For some reason, these patients can have a heart attack without any knowledge, more so than the person without RA. The patient with RA is at a higher risk for sudden cardiac death.
Now let’s touch on the metabolic syndrome when combined with RA. After a certain age more people tell you, “I am using medication for high blood pressure,” and someone else states, “I have gained so much weight, the doctor is checking me – something called glucose intolerance.” These very common health factors, combined with RA can cause additional problems. Signs of cardiovascular disease and problems with your metabolic systems – then add RA – the risks continue to climb.
Systemic inflammation is high for the RA patient, but also for someone with Atherosclerosis. Researchers are looking into genetic processes, and autoimmune processes may play an important role when a doctor is treating you for RA of Atherosclerosis.
After reading all of this you must be aware, by now, that the RA patient has increased risk of infection. A recent study released in the Journal of Rheumatology, May 2013, explained the risk of infection to the RA patient has declined. Perhaps, patients are aware of their disease, treated promptly, and take better care of their health.
Everyone knows how one drug heals and another harms. This is a big problem to the RA patient; with severe pain in their joints they tend to use anti-inflammatory drugs, better known as NSAIDS, like Advil and others. With the high use of anti-inflammatory drugs there is an added risk for diverticulitis and gastrointestinal problems. NSAIDS are said to be used with caution due to the built up of acids and even ulcers, or, ongoing gastrointestinal problems which lead further to complications.
So if you are a patient who is suffering from RA please take it seriously, and be aware of all the things you do, regarding eating, prescriptions and more – protect your life – know your body.