Dr Hilary explains benefit of arthritis drugs tocilizumab and sarilumab
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Arthritis comes in many forms but the most common in the UK is osteoarthritis, which affects nearly nine million people. Osteoarthritis initially affects the smooth cartilage lining of the joint. This makes movement more difficult than usual, leading to pain and stiffness. What are the three main symptoms warning you may be developing the condition according to a study?
Research published in the journal British Society for Rheumatology sought to map out the journey of symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
Patients with rheumatoid arthritis were interviewed retrospectively to discuss their initial experiences preceding diagnosis, using a bespoke assessment form.
- Pain (97 percent),
- Swelling (73 percent)
- Stiffness (52 percent)
“These symptoms were typically in multiple joints and were later reported as initial rheumatoid arthritis symptoms,” the study added.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis but can help reduce inflammation in the joints, relieve pain, and prevent or slow down joint damage.
Much of this can be achieved by making changes to your lifestyle.
According to the Mayo Clinic, plant-based diets rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables and low in saturated fats, sodium and processed foods, might help reduce symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
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Other signs to look out for
Joint pain and tenderness
The Arthritis Foundation warns that if you are suffering from this for six weeks or longer, it may be the first sign that you are developing rheumatoid arthritis.
If you suffer from this for 30 minutes or longer in the morning, it could be a sign that you are developing the condition.
More than one joint is affected
Should the pain be localised in more than one place, such as on two different fingers, then this is another sign that you could have rheumatoid arthritis.
Small joints are affected
If joints in the wrists, hands, and feet become painful, this may be an early warning sign of rheumatoid arthritis.
Same joints affected on both sides of the body
If a joint on one side of the body is in pain, and the same joint on the other side of the body is also painful to use, then this may be a sign of rheumatoid arthritis.
Among these early warning signs, the Arthritis Foundation says many people may also experience “fatigue, loss of appetite and low-grade fever,” as they begin to develop the condition.
According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging, a Mediterranean diet can reduce markers of inflammation and improve knee flexion and hip rotation in people with osteoarthritis.
The knee flexion is the measurable degree in which your leg (and knee joint) can bend.
The study, commissioned by UK charity Arthritis Action, examined the effects of a Mediterranean type diet on 99 patients with osteoarthritis.
Half of the participants followed a Mediterranean type diet for 16 weeks, whereas the other half continued their usual dietary behaviour.
The findings revealed that one of the inflammatory markers decreased by 47 percent, and a marker of cartilage degradation by eight percent in the diet group.
In addition, there were significant improvements in knee flexion and hip rotation and a 2.2 percent reduction in body weight in the diet group.
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